TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — Wrigley Field is about 1,100 miles away from Joe Maddon’s South Tampa restaurant Ava, but baseball fans here in the Tampa Bay area are still partying like it’s 1908.
The “Cubs Win” Flag typically flies over Wrigley Field in Chicago, but on Thursday morning, it was seen hanging in Tampa homes and outside of Ava. Fans even posted a congratulations sign outside Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s Tampa home.
The messages they wrote for Maddon show the respect they have for the World Series winning manager, “Joe, you’ve never looked better” and “In Joe Maddon we trust!”
Maddon has a long history here in Tampa Bay. He is the former manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, spending nine years with the Rays before opting out of his contract and heading to Chicago in 2014. There weren’t many hard feelings with the baseball fans News Channel 8 spoke with the morning after the Cubs won the World Series.
“At the end of the day, you gotta do what’s best for you. He had an opportunity that presented itself and he took advantage of it. It’s pretty cool to see him win the World Series again, though. I’m sure they will give him a warm welcome over there when he comes back,” said Robbie Shields
“I’m very excited for him, I mean the guy brought us to the World Series in Tampa… I’m not a Cubs fan, but, I am because of Maddon, so very excited, an awesome game,” said Colin Jotham.
The Cubs won their first World Series championship since 1908 when Ben Zobrist hit a go-ahead double in the 10th inning, beating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in a thrilling Game 7 delayed by rain early Thursday.
Lovable losers for generations, the Cubs nearly let this one get away, too. But the Cubs, after tormenting their fans one more time, came right back after a 17-minute rain delay before the top of the 10th and scored twice.
Manager Joe Maddon’s team halted the longest title drought in baseball, becoming the first club to overcome a 3-1 Series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.
Baseball fans here in Tampa Bay are celebrating a historic win for Chicago alongside their former Tampa Bay Ray.