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Cubs Fans Line Streets Of Chicago For World Series Victory Parade

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Everything in Chicago, even the river, was awash in Cubbie blue today. The Chicago Cubs celebrated their first World Series title in over a century with a parade and rally.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Yes, a parade happens after any team wins a championship in any major sport, but there was nothing typical about today's crowd in Chicago. An estimated 5 million fans jammed themselves along a 6-mile parade route that ran from Wrigley Field to Grant Park just to get a glimpse of their newly minted champions riding in double-decker buses.

CORNISH: Jackie Bienas was born in 1945, which, until this year, was the last time the Cubs had even played in the World Series. Today's parade was a lot more relaxing for her than Wednesday night's Game 7.

JACKIE BIENAS: Last game, I had to read my novel at the end because I was so tensed up. Like, I just couldn't concentrate. But, of course, once they got ahead, I put that down, and then I watched the wonderful event at the end.

SHAPIRO: Rosalind Russell flew in from Argentina in time for Game 7. She says she just knew this was going to be the Cubs' year.

ROSALIND RUSSELL: It's all about those guys. Listen to the - that young group. They are so confident. It was something about them. It was something about the coach. This year, I knew it - this year.

SHAPIRO: Twenty-four-year-old Carlos Corral says this Cubs team is an inspiration.

CARLOS CORRAL: This is a great pick-me-up. I really do think now, now that the Cubs won the World Series, you can do almost anything if you want. Doesn't matter, whatever it is, just believe in yourself, and you'll eventually get there. Whether it takes two months or 100-plus years, (laughter) you'll get there eventually (laughter).

SHAPIRO: Generations of Cubs fans have been waiting and waiting for this day. First baseman Anthony Rizzo said this World Series title was for them and for all those past Cubs players who could never quite make it to the promised land.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANTHONY RIZZO: Every single person that has worn this jersey I feel like won the World Series with us today - or the other day.

(APPLAUSE)

RIZZO: Dempster, Kerry Wood, Ernie Banks, who is looking down on us today smiling so bright right now - Billy Williams, Ronnie Santo - it's just - every single player that's still living, too, has been a big reason we're here and a big part of this. And we thank them.

CORNISH: The Chicago Cubs and their fans have a few more months to revel in this. Pitchers and catchers report for spring training in February.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GO CUBS GO")

STEVE GOODMAN: (Singing) The Cubs are going to win today. They're singing go, Cubs, go. Go, Cubs, go. Hey, Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are going to win today. Go, Cubs, go. Go, Cubs, go... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.