CLEVELAND — As the clubhouse cleared out late Tuesday night, after the Chicago Cubs had forced Game 7 of this rollicking World Series with the Cleveland Indians, Ben Zobrist was asked if he had dreamed of a chance like this.
Zobrist is 35 and has played 11 seasons in the major leagues. He had won and lost a World Series before joining the Cubs as a free agent in the off-season. As his mind flashed back to his childhood, he could not pretend that he expected any of it.
“No,” Zobrist said, laughing softly. “I wasn’t that guy. I mean, I never even thought about playing professionally. I didn’t think that was a possibility for a little kid from Illinois. I just wanted to play the game and win. I was competitive, but I never thought that I would be in a situation like this.”
Yet how many other little kids from Illinois did? Thousands, millions? How many have wondered, over the last 108 years, what it might be like to stand in the batter’s box…