CHICAGO – Joe Maddon posed for a selfie on the field with his wife. Jon Lester sprayed champagne with his young son. Rocker Eddie Vedder partied on the mound.
For the Chicago Cubs and their ever-hopeful fans, this bash was a long time in the making.
Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez homered and the fresh Cubs clinched a postseason series at Wrigley Field for the first time ever, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Tuesday to win the NL Division Series in four games.
"This is all just baseball fantasy, right?" a drenched Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said.
Only once since they last brought home the World Series in 1908 had the Cubs won a playoff series and never before had they finished off the job at their century-plus-old ballpark.
But with a raucous, towel-waving crowd jamming the Friendly Confines, the North Siders gave generations of fans exactly what they wanted. And as they gathered in the pulsating neighborhood, the lit-up marquee at Wrigley Field said it all: Cubs Win.
"I can only imagine what the next thing is going to look like," said Lester, the lefty who twice won the World Series with Boston. "And the next thing after that."
The crowd started roaring before the first pitch. And when closer Hector Rondon struck out Stephen Piscotty on a ball in the dirt and catcher Miguel Montero made the tag to end it, the Cubs came streaming out of the dugout.
"They deserve it," Rizzo said in the middle of the party. "Hopefully, this is just a taste of what's to come."
Up-and-comers all season under their first-year manager, Maddon's bunch of wild-card Cubs had arrived.
As the music blared and the strobe lights flashed in the clubhouse, Cubs players and coaches soaked each other. Then they took the celebration back onto the field as fans went crazy.
Chicago will play Game 1 Saturday on the road."I think we're too young to even realize what we just did," young slugger Kris Bryant said. "It truly is a special time right now."
Rizzo's solo drive to right off losing pitcher Kevin Siegrist in the sixth put Chicago back on top 5-4 after St. Louis scored two in the top half.
As if the fans were already hollering at the top of their lungs after that home run, they were really screaming after Schwarber's monstrous shot leading off the seventh. The ball landed on top of the right-field videoboard.
The late drives by Rizzo and Schwarber along with Baez's three-run homer off John Lackey in the second came after Chicago set a postseason record with six long balls in Monday's win.
And with the ball flying out again, the Cubs won for the 12th time in 13 games.
Cubs starter Jason Hammel allowed two runs and three hits. He exited after giving up a leadoff walk to Jhonny Peralta in the fourth.
Seven relievers combined to hold the Cardinals to two runs and five hits the rest of the way. Trevor Cahill picked up the win and Rondon worked the ninth for the save.