Cubs Hold Parade, Rally In Front Of 5 Million Fans
The Chicago river was blue from dye and baseball fans in Chicago celebrated the Cubs win in the World Series with a parade. As is the case with every city celebration of a team's win, the streets were lined with fans and at the end players and team management address a large crowd. City officials estimate some 5 million people took part in the parade.
The number comes Friday afternoon from Melissa Stratton, the spokeswoman for the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications. It includes everyone who lined the parade route and the crowd who attended a rally at Grant Park.
Among those in the crowd at Grant Park were four generations of Laura Lewis' family, including her 70-year-old grandma, her mother and her son. All three women told stories of going to games as young girls and continuing the tradition with their families.
The family gathered pieces of the red and blue parade confetti to send to Lewis' sister in Japan. Grandma Mary Blevins called the experience "priceless.''
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo got teary-eyed while speaking at the team's World Series championship rally at Grant Park afterwards.
Rizzo singled out retiring Cubs catcher David Ross, saying Ross taught him a lot in life both on and off the field. Rizzo said he's "forever grateful to him.'' The younger Cubs players affectionately call the 39-year-old Ross "Grandpa.'' Rizzo says Ross is "going out a champion forever.''
Ross spoke after Rizzo, coming to the microphone at the Grant Park rally and yelling "Chicago!'' loudly. He then picked up the championship trophy and shouted, "Look what the boys got me!''
Rizzo finished his speech by giving Cubs owner Tom Ricketts the ball from the last out of Game 7 that gave the Cubs the win over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
Second baseman Ben Zobrist greeted fans at the championship rally with his World Series MVP trophy. He told fans that it was "definitely a team award.'' He said that the Cubs are "a team full of MVPs'' and Chicago is "a city of MVPs.'' Zobrist said the players were confident until the Cubs fell back three games to one in the World Series to Cleveland. He says, "It was silent in that clubhouse.''
But Zobrist says that's when catcher David Ross said, `Don't hang your heads. We're going to do it.'' Zobrist said first baseman Anthony Rizzo started playing "Rocky'' movies in the clubhouse. He told fans "this ball club pulled through for all of you.''
Manager Joe Maddon carried the World Series championship trophy onto the stage at a rally honoring the team in Grant Park. Maddon started by talking to the fans, saying "You guys are the best. Congratulations!''
Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein also spoke, telling fans that they "are really what carried our guys through October.'' He said the players "felt how badly'' the Chicago Cubs fans wanted a World Series win. Cubs owner Tom Ricketts told the crowd that the players on the World Series team are "going to be Chicago baseball legends.''
Ricketts said he was used to fans coming up to him, asking when the Cubs were going to win a World Series. He said, "For the thousands of people who have said that to me, "There you go.'''
Friday's rally ended with a rendition of "Go Cubs Go'' and more blue and red confetti.