The “black stain in Irish rugby has been removed,” with a first ever victory over the New Zealand All Blacks in 29 attempts, 40-29, before more than 63,000 in Chicago.
The Chicago Cubs’ historic World Series victory, which ended a 108-year championship drought, generated plenty of headlines on Irish media websites. The same was not true in print the last time the team won baseball’s fall classic.
I searched the Irish Newspaper Archive but couldn’t find any Cubs coverage from October 1908. Two days after Chicago’s Series win over Detroit, the Freemans Journal reported on a “big fire” that destroyed a railroad office and corn elevator in the city. A few weeks later, Kilkenny People detailed the sensational case of a native-born priest who survived being shot twice outside of his Chicago church “by a ruffian whom he was attempting to arrest.”
Most contemporary Irish media coverage of the Cubs’ 10-inning win over Cleveland also included references to the 5 November rugby match between Ireland and New Zealand at Chicago’s Soldier’s Field. The teams have played 28 times over 111 years, with Ireland’s best result a 10-10 draw in 1973. Maybe another championship drought will come to an end.
Meanwhile, Cubs fans can select from plenty of Irish gear at the team’s official MLB shop.