How a trip to Pebble Beach helped the Chicago Cubs win the World Series
Much was made about some of the Golden State Warriors getting to play Augusta National earlier this year as a gift from coach Steve Kerr for winning the NBA title. But the Chicago Cubs' World Series winning campaign also involved a trip to a golf mecca. Just a different one.
Back in August, a group of Cubs visited Pebble Beach when they had an off day before beginning a series against the Oakland Athletics. The team-bonding activity was organized by Jon Lester, who pitched in relief during Wednesday night's Game 7 win against the Cleveland Indians.
Here's another photo from catcher David Ross, who became the oldest player to hit a home run in a World Series Game 7:
And here's one from catcher Miguel Montero, who wound up driving in the game's winning run with a 10th-inning single:
The round of golf looked fun, but it can also be looked at (If we really stretch it) as a turning point in the season. Following that day, the Cubs went on a seven-game winning streak, won 11 of 13, and finished with a 37-17 (a winning percentage of .685) record over their final 54 regular season games. Prior to that round their winning percentage was .617.
And of course, the Cubs went on to capture their first World Series title since 1908 -- more than a decade before Pebble Beach opened -- to end the longest championship drought in pro sports. Hey, you know what they say, "The baseball team that plays golf together, breaks curses together." Or, at least, some may say that now.
The Indians, after blowing a 3-1 World Series lead, take over the reign as the pro team furthest removed from winning a championship at 68 years. On the bright side, they've got a relatively young squad and now, a blueprint to follow, courtesy of the team that just beat them. When the 2017 schedule comes out, hopefully, it includes an off day in the Bay Area.