By Victoria Saporito
After a long regular season of baseball, a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox in the American League Division Series (ALDS) and five games in the American League Championship Series (ALCS), the Cleveland Indians are making their first World Series appearance since 1997.
The Indians defeated the Toronto Blue Jays four games to one in the best-of-seven series. For years, the city of Cleveland witnessed many losing seasons with the Indians, Cavaliers and Browns. However, the Cleveland
Cavaliers won their first NBA Championship this past June, marking a new era for sports fans in Cleveland, Oh.
“They broke the curse for Cleveland,” said Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis to the New York Times. “That did a lot for the city, and it lifted the grey cloud over us that Cleveland can’t win. If we are on the verge of winning two titles in the same year, you can’t ask us for much more than that.”
The Indians have not won a World Series since 1948. The Indians’ championship drought is the second-longest in MLB history, which is 68 years. The longest belongs to the Chicago Cubs, who they will face in the World Series. The Cubs drought has been going on for 108 years up to this point.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how the Indians do against the Cubs,” said senior Jason Sokol. “I don’t really watch baseball that much because of football season, but this World Series is definitely going to be a big one.”
The Indians’ bullpen was one of the driving forces in taking this team to the number one spot in the American League by allowing only five runs in 22 innings, delivering 27 strikeouts and just three walks.
Andrew Miller, star left-handed closer for Cleveland, finished the season with a 10-1 record, a 1.45 ERA and 123 strikeouts. Miller was one of the many talents that led this team to appear at World Series. During the ALCS alone, Miller had four scoreless appearances, totaling 7 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits while striking out 14.
In the ALCS alone, the Indians offense delivered six home runs while the Blue Jays only dealt two. However, during the regular season, Toronto outscored Cleveland in home runs 221-185. Coco Crisp, Francisco Lindor, Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana were the top batters in the lineup that lead the Indians to defeat the Blue Jays 3-0 in the final game of the ALCS.
“I think the Indians have an opportunity to give new life to sports for Cleveland, not only in baseball but basketball and football as well,” said Sokol. “The Cavs already broke the curse so it’s only up from here.”
The Cleveland Indians made it to the World Series in 1954, losing the series to the New York Giants baseball team 4-0, ’95 against the Atlanta Braves (4-2) and ’97 against the Florida Marlins (4-3). In basketball, the Cavaliers had played in two NBA finals prior to winning this past season. They lost in four games to the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 and to the Golden State Warriors in 2015. In football, the Cleveland Browns have not won a Super Bowl in franchise history.
For Terry Francona, former manager of the Red Sox, this is his third World Series appearance. Francona won with the Red Sox in 2004 as well as in ’07.
The Indians will face the Chicago Cubs in the World Series, who defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.