Tom Verducci on 2016 Cubs: 'Greatest championship of our lifetime' across all sports


(Audacy) It's hard to objectively label one team's championship run as the single "greatest" that we've ever seen. Depending on which city you live in or which teams you follow or which players you idolize, it might be hard to shake your bias and choose one as the objective "best" championship story above all the others. But there are definitely a handful that stand out, and for longtime sportswriter Tom Verducci, it was the only one that brought a 108-year drought to an end.

In the latest installment of Audacy's 2400Sports and MLB podcast "The Run -- 2016 Chicago Cubs," Verducci joined hosts Matt Spiegel and Roy Wood Jr. to recount what made the 2016 Cubs' championship such a special one.

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"The magic of a singular championship, in this case, overwhelms whatever kind of underachievement you want to say, because there was one game that World Series where the Cubs started six players who were 24 and younger," Verducci said. "That had never happened in the World Series before. This was a young team and you're looking at it and saying, 'Whoa, we had a window that's just opening here, who knows how many championships' — plural — 'that this team can win?'

"Didn't happen obviously. It's hard to repeat, we've never seen anybody do it, now, in 20 years. The gauntlet to get through the postseason is just incredibly hard. The depth of really good teams, I think, is better than it's been, back in the '50s or '60s, certainly. So there's reasons why it doesn't happen, but I think the championship is so special it can stand on its own.

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"Yeah, you want more if you're a Cubs fan. If you're (Anthony) Rizzo and (Kris) Bryant and (Javier) Baez and those guys, yeah, you wanted more out of this. But I think it's the greatest championship of our lifetime, when you think about all sports. And I thought that going in... I was thinking to myself, if the Cubs ever actually win the World Series, I don't know that I'll see anything bigger than this in my lifetime."

For that reason, Verducci wrote a book titled "The Cubs Way," taking us behind the scenes of how the roster was built and how such a turnaround was achieved. You can't make up a story like this, and that's how Verducci felt not only in witnessing it but also feeling the need to write about the championship campaign. He does understand the feeling that