By Michael Klopman
You've heard it a million times, but it hasn't gotten old yet: The 2016 World Series was historic, without a doubt. Not only did the Cubs end 108 years of misery, but we also had plenty of firsts that may have been underappreciated due to the epic battle we witnessed.
Let's not forget these gems.
Game 1: Corey Kluber, the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner, became the first pitcher ever to strike out eight batters through three innings of a World Series game. Once Kluber left the game, he had the fifth-best ERA (0.74) of any pitcher through their first four career postseason starts.
Then there was his battery mate, Roberto Perez. The 27-year-old, who had a .183 batting average and only three homers in the regular season, ended up belting two dingers at Progressive Field. He became just the fifth catcher ever to hit two homers in a World Series game.
But before all of that happened, Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler made history with the first at-bat of the entire Series, becoming the first African-American Cubs player to appear in a World Series game.
Game 3: With its thrilling 1-0 victory in Game 3, Cleveland became the first team in the history of baseball to record five shutouts in a single postseason.
Game 4: In the fourth game of the Series, Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis ended up doing something that nobody had done since Babe Ruth in 1932: He hit a three-run homer in a World Series game at Wrigley Field, lifting the Tribe to a 7-2 win and giving his team a 3-1 series lead.
Games 6 and 7: Even though the Series moved back to Cleveland for the final two games, the Cubs didn't seem to be too homesick. Especially Addison Russell, who quickly grabbed the spotlight by recording six RBIs within the first three innings of Game 6. Four of those came from a grand slam in the third inning, making Russell the only shortstop in Major League history to go yard with the bases loaded in a World Series game. His six RBIs were the most ever by a single player in World Series history for a team facing elimination, along with the most ever in a postseason game by a player under 23 years old.
Russell wasn't done. He tacked on three more RBIs in Game 7, giving him the second-most RBIs ever in a World Series by a player under 23. The player with the most? Mickey Mantle.
The prodigious performance by Russell seemed to be contagious in the final game of the Series. Chicago's 23-year-old second baseman, Javier Baez, became the second-youngest player ever to hit a home run in a World Series Game 7. The youngest? Mantle again.
Cubs catcher David Ross, at age 39, became the oldest player ever to hit a homer in a World Series Game 7.
Chicago's other two catchers, Miguel Montero and Willson Contreras also drove in runs in Game 7, making the Cubs the first team in postseason history to have three catchers each record an RBI in a single game.
The Indians got in on the action too, as Rajai Davis hit the latest game-tying homer in World Series Game 7 history.
When it was all said and done, and the Cubs were crowned World Series champions, just the fact that they won their first title in 108 years wasn't the only historic feat. They also became the first road team to win a World Series Game 7 in extra innings. And of course, the Cubs are the sixth team ever to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series.
No matter how you crunch the numbers, it's safe to say that the 2016 Fall Classic was truly legendary.
Michael Klopman is an associate producer for Sports on Earth.