(ATR) Dexter Fowler and Jake Arrieta helped fuel the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series victory in more than 100 years.
The center fielder and starting pitcher first played together during the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics where they earned a bronze medal in baseball’s final appearance at the Olympics before its revival at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Fowler and Arrieta were both 22 years old during their chase for Olympic gold and were close to cracking into the starting lineup of Major League Baseball teams. Arrieta became a starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles while Fowler became the center fielder for the Colorado Rockies shortly after the Olympics.
The two each earned their first All-Star appearance in 2016 and are among the long list of players acquired by Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein since he took control of the team in 2011.
The acquisitions allowed the much-maligned baseball team to end its 108-year championship drought and break its famed "curse". Epstein also helped the Boston Red Sox organization break its 86-year championship drought in 2004.
The 2016 World Series between the Cubs and the Cleveland Indians took all seven games and one extra inning to determine the winner. The final battle on Wednesday night will go down as one of the best World Series games of all time with the Cubs prevailing 8-7 over the Indians in the 10th inning.
Fowler immediately got the momentum in the Cubs’ favor with a lead-off homerun in the first inning and finished the game with three hits. Arrieta pitched in game six and lead the team to a 9-3 victory with nine strikeouts.
The Indians will have to wait at least another year to end their own streak of 68 years without a championship following the devastating game seven loss in Cleveland.
Fowler and Arrieta can now add a World Series championship ring to their Olympic bronze medal. Pitcher Trevor Cahill also played with Fowler and Arrieta on the Beijing 2008 team and will receive a World Series ring although he was not on the downsized roster for the Cubs in the playoffs.
Written by Kevin Nutley
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