For Chicago sports fans, this World Series gives them a chance to break a century-old curse, but for center fielder Dexter Fowler it is something more.
Fowler will be making history Tuesday night as the first black man to ever play for the Cubs in the World Series, as his team takes on the Cleveland Indians. The last time the Cubs made the World Series was two years before Jackie Robinson became the first black player in Major League baseball.
Fowler himself was not even aware of the history he was making until sportswriter Rany Jazayerli tweeted about it.
How appropriate that the first Cub to play in the WS will be a black man (Dexter Fowler) – they weren’t even allowed to play the last time.
— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) October 23, 2016
Fowler said that he was speechless and would “carry it with” him during the game.
Wow… speechless. Thanks for sharing this fact. I will carry it with me https://t.co/OkcHe5sx15
— Dexter Fowler (@DexterFowler) October 23, 2016
Of course, being the Internet, this got some interesting replies.
— Chris Suellentrop (@suellentrop) October 23, 2016
— al pepper (@viejas46) October 23, 2016
However, those types of responses were not the norm. Most people were excited by the news, a nice reflection on how much this country has changed in the last 70 years. One user even pointed out that the Cubs had always been on the front lines of racial progression, and that Fowler’s start comes 54 years after the team hired the first black professional baseball coach.
@jazayerli 54 years after John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil became the first African-American coach in Major League Baseball – for the Cubs ….
— Brad Porter (@bradkporter) October 23, 2016
The only left question for Fowler and the Cubs now is if they can take home the team’s first World Series title since 1908, or the curse will continue.