This year's World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians promises to be the most momentous since 2004, and maybe even before that. No matter what happens, the entire world is going to look differently afterward. You shouldn't need any extra reason to watch this World Series, but in case you need one, here are 108 of them, from justifications, bits of trivia or just bold proclamations. This series runs the gamut.
1. The Cubs are playing in their first World Series since before either one of the two major-party candidates running for president were born.
2. The Cubs are attempting to win their first World Series since before either of the mothers of the two major-party candidates running for president were born.
3. Speaking of those two presidential candidates, one of them one sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with Harry Caray.
4. The other guy did it, too, though Harry wasn't a part of it.
5. Oh, and Hillary Clinton is a Cubs fan … sort of:
Hillary Clinton and the Cubs: It's complicated - My story on the politics of baseball: https://t.co/DKpZilBlKI- Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) October 23, 2016
6. If you're looking for a presidential candidate connection to the Indians, there's always this.
7. But that's enough politics for now.
8. Dexter Fowler will become the first African-American player in Cubs history to play in the Fall Classic.
9. The Cubs haven't been to the World Series since 1945, but they have been to the World Series 11 times in all. They've beaten Detroit twice. They've lost to the Tigers twice, the Yankees twice, the A's twice, and the Red Sox and White Sox once.
10. The Cubs' record in World Series games since their last championship in 1908? 8-28.
11. The world's oldest person, at 116 years old, is Italian Emma Morano. She is the only person currently living to have been born in the 1800s. She was 8 years old when the Cubs last won the World Series. She was 46 the last time they appeared in one.
12. The last World Series game held at Wrigley Field featured the following players: Hank Greenberg, Hal Newhouser, Dizzy Trout, Peanuts Lowrey and Stan Hack.
13. When the Indians won their last World Series, in 1948, the Cubs' title drought was 40 years.
14. That is longer than the Seattle Mariners have been in existence today.
15. No matter what happens in this series, this will not end up being the Cubs team that has won the most games in a season. A World Series title would give them 110. That would be second in Cubs history, because the 1906 team led by Frank Chance, went 116-36 in the regular season. (They still lost the World Series in six to the White Sox.)
16. A current Cubs player with the highest career WAR is Anthony Rizzo, at 22. He is only 17 WAR behind Johnny Evers to make it into the Cubs' top 20 players in WAR of all time.
17. The Cubs team you are currently watching is going to be around a long, long time.
18. The following players, barring a trade, will be under control through the year 2020: Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Kyle Hendricks, Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Willson Contreras, C.J. Edwards Jr., Addison Russell.
19. That doesn't even count some of their top prospects still coming.
20. The Cubs paid Edwin Jackson $12.492 million this year. That's not so much a "reason to watch," but it's amazing, is it not?
21. According to their Pythagorean record, the Cubs should have won four more games this season than they actually did.
22. Bryant is probably about to win his first of perhaps many MVP Awards.
23. The Cubs could put together a starting lineup without a single player over 30.
24. Seriously, check it out:
1B Anthony Rizzo (27)
2B Javier Baez (23)
SS Addison Russell (22)
3B Kris Bryant (24)
LF Jorge Soler (24)
CF Dexter Fowler (30)
RF Jason Heyward (27)
C Willson Contreras (24)
With backups Almora, Matt Szczur, Tommy La Stella and, potentially, Schwarber.
25. Point is: This is probably not the last World Series you're going to see the Cubs in.
26. The Cubs lost 101 games in 2012.
27. There are two players on this 2016 team who were on the Cubs in 2012: Rizzo and Travis Wood.
28. The Indians lost 94 games in 2012.
29. There are seven players on this '16 team who were on the Indians in '12: Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall, Josh Tomlin, Cody Allen, Corey Kluber and Zach McAllister.
30. Unsurprisingly, neither team has the same manager that it did in 2012.
31. Current in-the-door price for the first World Series game at Wrigley Field, Game 3 on Friday night: $2,264.53. That's standing room only, of course.
32. For what it's worth, the in-the-door price for Game 1 at Progressive Field? $795.
33. It's $130 to see LeBron James raise the city of Cleveland's first championship banner in more than 50 years just across the street on Tuesday.
34. Cleveland has had an active year. An NBA championship, a World Series and a Republican National Convention that many feared would be a nightmare.
36. (You should probably expect police everywhere, anyway.)
37. Before this season, the Indians had not won a postseason game since 2007.
38. That win, by the way, was Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, which gave Cleveland a 3-1 lead over Boston. Paul Byrd was your starting pitcher. Casey Blake and Jhonny Peralta both homered.
39. There are two players who appeared in that game who will play in this series.
40. The first is Coco Crisp, who batted seventh for Boston, playing center field. He went 0-for-4.
41. The second? Jon Lester. He pitched in relief, throwing three scoreless innings, striking out four, to keep the Red Sox in the game.
42. The Indians have not reached the World Series since 1997, when they lost in seven to the then-Florida Marlins.
43. Here's the last at-bat, in case Cleveland fans would like to relive that.
44. The following players are among those who appeared in that series: Matt Williams, Gary Sheffield, Moises Alou, Bobby Bonilla, Manny Ramirez, Omar Vizquel, Darren Daulton, Jim Thome, Bip Roberts, Kevin Brown, Orel Hershiser, Al Leiter, Tony Fernandez, Livan Hernandez, David Justice and John Cangelosi.
45. No active players appeared in that series.
46. The Indians drew nearly two million more fans that '97 season than they did in '16.
47. The following players appeared in the 1948 World Series, the last time the Indians won the championship: Lou Boudreau, Johnny Sain, Warren Spahn, Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Satchel Paige.
48. This series is an opportunity to see some of the best players in baseball at their peak.
49. According to Baseball Reference WAR, this series will feature the following players who were one of the top 50 players in baseball this year: Kyle Hendricks (40), Jon Lester (31), Francisco Lindor (21), Anthony Rizzo (20), Corey Kluber (13) and Kris Bryant (3).
50. Both of these teams dominated their divisions in '16.
51. The Indians took over first place in the AL Central on June 4 and never fell out after that date. They finished the year eight games ahead of the second-place Tigers, their highest point of the season.
52. The Cubs took over first place in the NL Central even earlier, on April 11, and never fell out. At one point they were up 19 on second-place St. Louis and ended up 17 1/2 up.
53. Since Sept. 30, the start of the final weekend of the season, the Indians are 10-1.
54. The Cubs are 9-4 since that date.
55. If the Indians were to somehow sweep this series, they will have finished the postseason with an 11-1 record.
56. This would make them the first team to make it through the whole postseason with just one loss since the 2005 Chicago White Sox.
57. The Cubs are the biggest story baseball has seen in a long time. Their Game 6 was the highest-rated National League Championship Series game since 2010.
58. Plus, Bill Murray got back from Chicago in time to receive his Mark Twain Award for Humor and can still get back to Wrigley for Game 3.
59. Or even to Cleveland for Game 2, if he wants to try that.
60. It's worth remembering that for all the history that this series will make, we'll still all have to deal with Marlins Man behind home plate for the entire thing.
61. We humbly request the denizens of Cleveland and Chicago to resist selling him their behind-home-plate seats.
62. Especially you, Chicago. Save those for Bill Murray, or Eddie Vedder, or sheesh, Oprah or somebody.
63. Or Cleveland, Drew Carey, or one of LeBron's friends.
64. We briefly pause this countdown for a random Harry Caray photo break.
I'll see you guys in Chicago next weekend! pic.twitter.com/9dkAKKAYA6- Jeff Pantridge (@PantsPartyRadio) October 23, 2016
65. All right, back to it.
66. Is it possible that a championship for either team secures a Hall of Fame spot for the former Boston leader currently in charge of each team?
67. Obviously, if the Cubs win the World Series, Theo Epstein -- who is still only 42 freaking years old -- has assured his place in bronze.
68. Breaking the curse in Boston and Chicago?
69. I'm pretty sure that would get Epstein elected to Congress.
70. (Well, if he were running against Curt Schilling, anyway.)
71. But what about Terry Francona?
72. The Indians manager won two World Series in Boston, a pretty big part of breaking the curse himself. He also would have taken a team that had five non-winning seasons in a row, and of course hadn't won a World Series in nearly 70 years, and won a World Series for them.
73. Oh, and he managed Michael Jordan!
74. In a different era in which we revered the manager more than the general manager -- which is to say, any era other than this one -- he'd be considered one of the most important baseball figures of all time, right?
75. If Francona wins a World Series, he has one fewer ring than, say, Joe Torre does.
76. And he would have, with each team he won a World Series with, ended two of the longest championship droughts in all of sports.
77. That's Hall of Fame worthy right?
78. Heck, if Francona wins the World Series, the Cubs may someday have to hire him just to end their own damn curse.
79. So it's more than just these franchises going for history. This is 2004 drama, replaying itself 12 years later, with the only fan bases that had suffered as much as the Red Sox fans had back then.
80. So there's a lot going on here.
81. Under any other context than the one we're currently experiencing, the Indians being in the World Series would be the biggest story in sports right now.
82. It's not just the "Major League" thing, though boy howdy does Charlie Sheen ever want to throw that first pitch.
83. And it's not just the LeBron thing.
84. It's that the Indians have been among the most moribund franchises in baseball for decades … except when they've been amazing.
85. It's sort of stunning, really, that those '90s Indians never won a championship. They were so, so good. In a truly honest universe, Ramirez and Albert Belle would throw out a first pitch together.
86. Those Indians teams deserved a title. That was a sustained run by a smart, groundbreaking front office group whose alumni populate the top braintrusts throughout baseball today. It was perfectly reasonable to think that one of those Indians teams would have won a title.
87. They just … didn't.
88. That this confluence of circumstances would all come together, that LeBron would break the Cleveland championship drought, that the Indians would bust through to reach the World Series after years of bad luck and injuries the same year that happens, that the whole city just feels more energetic in the wake of the Cavs' title … I mean, it's the best story going, right?
90. Except there is of course the Cubs, who are not simply the biggest story in all of the sports world, but maybe the biggest non-election story going in popular culture at this moment.
91. You know how you've been feeling this year, not just because of the election, but because of, you know, everything?
2016 summed up in a screenshot. pic.twitter.com/cYRYkbaqP1- jizzica (@jfcxox) October 10, 2016
93. It has been one of those years -- and remember, all years stink -- that has been full of unrelenting awfulness, start to finish.
94. Someday your descendants are going to ask you, "Wait, were you alive in 2016? That year? Oh my, what was that like?"
95. And you'll just start crying for about half an hour.
96. That is what 2016 has been like.
97. But the Cubs are the story that everyone has been waiting for and everyone has been needing to finish this year.
98. It's a feel-good story, the way for 2016 to be looked back at with a smile rather than a snarl, or tears.
99. (Well, for everyone other than us Cardinals fans. But nobody cares about us right now.)
100. That's why the Indians aren't the story, even though they deserve to be, even though in any other year, they would be.
101. This is the Cubs' year. This is a team that has been the focus of just about every bit of attention baseball has received this year, from Spring Training on.
102. They have met every challenge, in every way. Overhyped? Well, how about a dominant opening month that lets them run away with the division from the first month.
103. Losing postseason hero Schwarber? All good, there are dozens of young players ready to step in.
104. Worried that there will be a postseason collapse like so many of years past? How about blasting through the NL Division Series and the NLCS?
105. Everything the Cubs have done was leading up to this. All eyes have been on them, and they haven't been affected one bit.
106. The Indians are amazing. They could change the entire trajectory of baseball history in the next week.
107. But the Cubs can shake everything we understand about the planet to its very foundation. They can make this awful 2016 live forever as The Cubs Year. Or it can be the year that it was all set up for them … but once again, they couldn't make it work.
108. There are more than 108 reasons to watch this World Series. There are dozens, hundreds, thousands. But it's difficult to argue that isn't the best one. No matter what happens: The world is about to change.