DENVER — In a baseball town that normally bleeds purple and white, Denver was decked out in red, white and blue Tuesday night.
Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians fans packed sports bars all over the city to take in Game 1 of the World Series.
Both teams claim the rights to the longest World Series win droughts. The Indians haven’t played in a world series since 1997 and last won it in 1947. The Cubs haven’t played in one since 1945 and haven’t won since 1908.
“My grandma was 84 years old when she passed and she never got to see a Cubs World Series win,” Cubs fan Mike Bolte said.
While most of the fans who were at Blake Street Tavern to watch Game 1 described themselves as “die-hard fans,” each side said they are genuinely happy for the other.
“I have a lot of love for the Cubs given the history so it’s kind of bittersweet here,” lifelong Indians fan Dan Debacco said.
While the World Series is an important step in baseball history, a former Rockies player made history Tuesday night.
Dexter Fowler plays for the Cubs, but he made his major league debut with the Rockies in 2008.
Fowler was the first player to swing a bat to start Game 1. In doing so, he became the first African-American to represent the Cubs in a World Series.
“That’s awesome. I mean, I’ve been watching Dexter for a long time so seeing Dexter in a World Series for my team is awesome,” Bolte said.
The Cubs also have not played in a World Series for so long, that during Fowler’s 2 1/2-minute at-bat, he was the only man alive to ever play for the Cubs in a World Series. The last member of the 1945 Cubs team died in 2015.
“I think it makes it that much better, just the fact that no matter who wins, it’s been forever for both teams,” Cubs fan Matt Tarter said.