Now that everybody’s favorite lovable losers are losers no more, the reins have been passed to the Cleveland Indians.
It’s true—as you may have heard, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last year to end a 108-year drought. Now, the Indians bear that cross, as the club hasn’t been the last team standing since 1948. (Ironically enough, they succumbed to the Cubs in that epic 2016 World Series.)
Cleveland’s baseball team isn’t the only squad to be stuck in a rut. Until the conclusion of the 2015-2016 NBA season, the entire city hadn’t produced a championship team in the four major sports since the Browns beat the Baltimore Colts in the 1964 NFL Championship game. Granted, they only have teams in three of the four major sports, but still: For those of you scoring at home, that’s a 147-season championship drought, according to Wikipedia.
This year, though, the Tribe is poised to break the curse. The team produced a 22-game winning streak (the longest in major-league history without a tie) and led the American League with 102 wins (two games shy of the MLB-best Dodgers’ 104 wins). What’s funny about that stat is that Cleveland actually underperformed according to its Pythagorean W-L. Holy smokes.
The team took a small first step in breaking the curse by beating the heck out of the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALDS, but they’ll have a long way to go to call themselves World Series champions.
Speaking of which: Hey, Cleveland sports savior LeBron James, who ya got in the Yanks-Indians matchup?
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 5, 2017
Here’s a look at the Indians’ championship 1948 season, through the lens of the modern team looking to repeat history.