It had to end like this, after a 108-year drought that consumed Cubs fans and vexed experts for decade after decade.
It had to end with the Cubs beating the Indians 8-7 in 10 innings in Game 7 of the World Series, in a ballpark occupied by thousands of road-tripping Cubs fans, on a summer-like night in November, in a season in which everything fell into place from start to glorious finish.
And it had to end with a Cubbie Occurrence, a Grandpa goodbye, an eighth-inning collapse and a night more nerve-wracking than a presidential election.
The Cubs blew a four-run lead before coming back in extra innings before 38,104 shell-shocked fans at Progressive Field, culminating a comeback from a 3-1 Series deficit and kick-starting a party in Chicago that may not end until the last snowbank melts next spring.
After Aroldis Chapman gave up a game-tying, two-run homer to Rajai Davis in the eighth, Ben Zobrist's RBI double put the Cubs on top in the 10th, and Miguel Montero added a pinch-RBI single for insurance.
After the Indians closed to within one on Davis' RBI single off C.J. Edwards, Mike Montgomery induced a grounder to Kris Bryant, ending one of the craziest Game 7s in World Series annals.
Manager Joe Maddon's team lived up to its "we never quit" mantra, finishing off the Series with three straight wins to keep the Indians' 68-year drought alive while ending their own.
Zobrist was named Series MVP, finishing with a .357 average and the game-winning double.
Raise a glass, Cubs fans, for the ones who weren't here, and take a bow for keeping the faith when logic told you to give up.
You wouldn't want it any other way, would you?
This was going to be a classic all along. David Ross, playing in the final game of his career, figured that out during the Game 6 victory.
"I started thinking about it a lot more, just saying, 'Wow, my career is going to end in a Game 7 World Series, how lucky and fortunate am I to be with these guys?'" Ross said. "I kept watching them play and thinking, 'Man, I'm part of something special here. And I'm very, very lucky to be on this team.'"
Ross was involved in the Cubbie Occurrence — a wild pitch by Jon Lester in the fifth that ricocheted off Ross' mask to the backstop, allowing two runs to score and allowing the Indians to creep to within two runs. The worst fears of Cubs fans crept into the back of your mind, if only for a moment.
"Grandpa Rossy" alleviated those fears a few minutes later, cranking a 402-foot home run off uber-reliever Andrew Miller, making him the oldest player to homer in a Series.
The sea of blue-and-white jerseys in the stands two hours before the first pitch made it apparent this was not going to be just another road game. The Cubs received a raucous ovation as they walked off the field at the end of batting practice.
But no one could've imagined just how huge the contingent was until Dexter Fowler led off the game with a 406-foot solo home run to center off Corey Kluber.
The ballpark erupted. Occupation Cleveland was underway.
Kluber was mocked by fans in his own park in the first inning, and when the Indians put a graphic on the video board exhorting their fans to cheer, Cubs fans outshouted them with a "Let's go, Cubs" chant.
Kyle Hendricks started and pitched well into the fifth, and the Cubs grabbed a 3-1 lead with a two-run fourth that starred Davis.
Third-base coach Gary Jones sent Bryant home on a pop to shallow center by Addison Russell, and when Davis' throw to the plate was high, Bryant slid between the legs of catch Roberto Perez to retake the lead. Davis got a bad jump on Willson Contreras' fly to deep center, resulting in an RBI double that made it 3-1.
Javier Baez made up for two errors error with a solo homer in the fifth, knocking out Kluber, and Bryant scored all the way from first on Anthony Rizzo's single later in the inning to make it 5-1.
Lester, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey had slowly marched out to the bullpen along with Ross in the second, looking like a scene from an old black-and-white war movie, with Lester playing John Wayne.
Maddon said before the game he didn't want to bring Lester in in a "dirty inning" but did just that with two outs and a on in the fifth. Ross made a throwing error to put runners on second and third, and Lester bounced a wild pitch that went to the fence and allowed both runs to score, awakening the crowd.
Lester stiffened and got the Cubs into the eighth, when Maddon summoned Chapman, who proved his rubber arm wasn't made of rubber after all. Maddon took a beating on the internet for overtaxing Chapman, but the Cubs saved him from being the designated goat.
The blown save was only a prelude to an ending that will live forever, on a night Chicago waited 108 years to witness.