Cubs savor division title

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The famous Wrigley Field marquee scrolled a celebratory message on Saturday: “2008 NL Central Champs Chicago Cubs.” The Cubs defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 and the Milwaukee Brewers lost, giving Chicago the NL Central title and a trip to

The famous Wrigley Field marquee scrolled a celebratory message on Saturday: “2008 NL Central Champs Chicago Cubs.”

The Cubs defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 and the Milwaukee Brewers lost, giving Chicago the NL Central title and a trip to the playoffs. In the city’s Wrigleyville neighborhood, tens of thousands of fans erupted into cheers and screams and spilled beers at the game-ending catch.

Patrick Rodriguez, 23, of Chicago and his friend Stan Lasko, 23, of Chicago didn’t have tickets to the game. Instead the friends roamed Wrigleyville listening to the game on a small portable radio.

“It’s always in the back of my mind that something unexpected really could go wrong,” Rodriguez said, standing outside a packed bar across from Wrigley Field. “But I really do think this could be our year.”

In Wrigley Field, the 41,597 Cubs fans in attendance stood and sang in the stands after the game ended. The Cubs haven’t won a World Series for 100 years since 1908.

Outside Wrigley, revelers celebrated on streets close to traffic by police outside the ballpark, randomly parading around and high-fiving strangers.

Among those high-fivers were Jon Weber, 26, and his wife Katie Weber, 24. The couple was headed out of Wrigley for a 3 1/2-hour drive home to Rock Island. Jon held up a sign that read: “The Hunt for Blue October” and echoed the day’s confidence.

“I’m convinced that this is the year they’re going to go all the way,” he said.

Cubs fan Matt Lyons said he’s already bought World Series tickets. AP

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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