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The 5 Latinos Who Helped Take Chicago Cubs to World Series Victory

CHICAGO, Illinois — They did it.

In the end the Chicago Cubs pulled off a thrilling 8-7 victory in 10 innings, to finally end 108 years of frustration. Their victory over the Cleveland Indians may go down as the greatest World Series of all-time, especially when you consider that the Cubs trailed the series 3-1 and found a way to come back and win it all.

Chicago Cubs' World Series win 'means more than can be expressed,' Bob Costas says 4:23

As with any championship victory, it takes a team effort to accomplish such a feat. The Latino players on their roster played a major role in claiming the Commissioners Trophy this year, and here is how they contributed to the Cubs success:

MLB: World Series-Chicago Cubs at Cleveland Indians
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta celebrates in the clubhouse after defeating the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Ken Blaze / Reuters

Jake Arrieta

Outfielder Ben Zobrist may have won the World Series Most Valuable Player award, but pitcher Jake Arrieta made a strong case for the award as well. Starting on the hill for games two and six, Arrieta compiled a 2-0 record in which he only gave up three runs on five hits. He also had 15 strikeouts, he held the Indians to a team batting average of .150, and both of his starts were inspirational performances after Cubs losses. Arrieta has been strong for the Cubs all season, but he stepped his game up to the next level in the Fall Classic.

Javier Baez

Image: Chicago Cubs at Cleveland Indians
Chicago Cubs player Javier Baez celebrates after the Cubs won the World Series over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 02 November 2016. The Cubs won the best-of-seven series 4-3. TANNEN MAURY / EPA

After struggling in the batters box for most of the series, second baseman Javier Baez picked up the pace when it counted the most in game seven. His fifth inning solo home run was part of a stretch in which the Cubs scored five runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings combined.

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One part of his game that was consistent however was his defense. Baez made many big plays with his glove that kept the Cubs going. It’s the perfect way to end an amazing season for the 23-year-old who’s still just getting his career started.

MLB: World Series-Chicago Cubs at Cleveland Indians
Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero hits a two-run single against the Cleveland Indians in the 10th inning in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Tommy Gilligan / Reuters

Miguel Montero and Willson Contreras

Catchers Miguel Montero and Willson Contreras didn’t always light up the box scores this postseason but they pitched in when it counted the most. They went a combined 12-for-51 at the plate for October and November with two home runs, 10 runs batted in, and five runs scored.

MLB: World Series-Chicago Cubs at Cleveland Indians
Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras reacts after hitting a RBI double against the Cleveland Indians in the fourth inning in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Ken Blaze / Reuters

Against Cleveland on Wednesday, Contreras’ fourth inning RBI double jumpstarted the Cubs offense, while Montero’s 10th inning RBI single turned out to be the championship clinching insurance run. With David Ross retiring and Kyle Schwarber probably getting mostly outfield reps next season, Montero and Contreras will be tasked with manning the backstop and managing the Cubs pitching staff in 2017.

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Aroldis Chapman

Relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman was a major piece to the Cubs championship puzzle. The team traded for him back in July for this exact purpose. His 36 saves during the regular season wound up being just a sample size of what “The Cuban Missile” brings to the table.

World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians - Game Seven
Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Despite his blown save on Wednesday night, Chapman’s playoff numbers overall were pretty solid. The left-handed flame thrower posted a 2-0 record with four saves (not including game seven), 21 strikeouts, a 1.09 WHIP, and a 3.45 earned run average. Chapman is set to hit free agency this winter so it would be wise for the Cubs to crack open the piggy bank to keep his services for 2017 and beyond.

These five men are crucial pieces to an even bigger core of players that ended the Cubs long dreaded “Curse of the Billy Goat”. If the franchise can keep these men on board, and if they can stay healthy, they have an excellent chance of repeating next year and possibly creating Chicago’s next great sports dynasty.

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