Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant knew the second history rolled into his baseball mitt.
The Cubs were just a single run ahead of the Cleveland Indians in extra innings of Game 7 of the World Series early Thursday when the Indians’ Michael Martínez stepped up to the plate. If Martínez hit a homer, it would be Cleveland hoisting the trophy.
Instead, Martínez’s grounder rolled toward a smiling Bryant, who collected the ball and ― still grinning like a kid at Christmas ― whipped it to first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
And that was the ballgame.
“Oh, man, I knew he was fast. I knew I had to get rid of it,” Bryant told MLB.com’s Tom Verducci after the game. “It’s wet out here, the longest game ever ― that’s one of the best games anybody’ll ever see.”
Judging by the reaction around Wrigleyville after Bryant’s throw, all of Chicago would agree.
CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, Bryant was previously identified as an outfielder.