- Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2016

BASEBALL

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Cubs fans waited 71 years to celebrate a return to the World Series.

Overjoyed fans streamed out of Wrigley Field and into the streets after the Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series to earn their first trip to the World Series since 1945.

Many people donned Cubbie blue and held “W” flags. Two people climbed a traffic pole, with one man shimmying all the way to the end. Police said he was later arrested, as were a couple of fans who lit fireworks.

A majority of the crowd, however, celebrated the victory peacefully. Many took selfies in front of the stadium and hugged one another. Some also broke out in song, while others shook up beer bottles and sprayed the crowd.

Police officers, including about a dozen cops on horseback, kept a close eye on the crowd. And some officers were seen giving high-fives to fans as they walked by.

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Chicago Cubs have opened as heavy favorites to beat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

John Avello, who makes the odds at the Wynn Las Vegas, set the line after the Cubs beat the Dodgers in the clinching Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

Avello says a bettor would have to wager $220 on the Cubs to win $100. A $100 bet on the Indians would pay $190 if they win.

Game 1 is Tuesday night in Cleveland.

The Cubs, with a healthier rotation than Cleveland, are trying to win their first crown since 1908. The Indians haven’t won the title since 1948.

NEW YORK (AP) - The Chicago Cubs‘ first pennant clincher since 1945 was seen by an average of 9.7 million viewers on Fox Sports 1, the highest total for a League Championship Series in six years.

Chicago’s 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS was the most-watched LCS game since San Francisco’s 3-2 victory over Philadelphia in Game 6 in 2010 (11.6 million), Fox said Sunday. Viewers increased to a peak of 12.2 million for the Cubs‘ game-ending double play.

Fox said an average of 110,500 viewers watched digitally on Fox Sports Go and 273,000 more on Fox Deportes’ Spanish-language coverage. The game had a 25.8 rating and 46 share in Chicago, and a 10.2/23 in Los Angeles. The rating is the percentage of television households tuned to a broadcast and the share is the percentage among homes with TVs on at the time.

The NLCS averaged 6.95 million viewers on Fox networks, up 80 percent from last year’s 3.85 million for Kansas City’s win over Toronto in the ALCS and 56 percent from 4.46 million for San Francisco’s victory over St. Louis in the 2014 NLCS.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis sprained his left ankle during a postgame celebration in the AL playoffs, but is expected to be ready for Game 1 of the World Series.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Kipnis rolled his ankle last Wednesday when he hugged teammate Francisco Lindor on the field after the final out in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series in Toronto

Francona says he expects Kipnis to be OK for the World Series opener on Tuesday night at home against the Chicago Cubs.

Francona described Kipinis’ injury as a low ankle sprain. He’s confident rest and the adrenaline Kipnis will feel with 37,000 screaming fans in Progressive Field will help him recover.

NATIONAL ANTHEM PROTESTS

MIAMI (AP) - A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami did so while kneeling at midcourt.

Denasia Lawrence opened her jacket just before she started to sing, revealing a “Black Lives Matter” shirt, then dropped to her left knee and performed the song. She said it was her way of protesting racial oppression.

Miami Heat officials said they had no advance knowledge of Lawrence’s plan to protest. Lawrence, a social worker, kept the shirt hidden until her performance.

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand while it is played. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports - and many levels, from youth all the way to professional - have followed his lead in various ways.

PRO HOCKEY

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey Devils have dedicated a statue outside Prudential Arena to longtime goaltender Martin Brodeur.

The 44-year-old Brodeur was honored prior to the Devils’ game against the Minnesota Wild in a ceremony attended by a couple hundred fans on a damp, drizzly night.

Brodeur led the Devils to three Stanley Cups and set NHL records for games played (1,266), wins (691) and shutouts (125). The 10-time All-Star won the Vezina Trophy four times during his 21 seasons with the Devils, and the Montreal native was a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

The Devils unveiled Brodeur’s statue in February when they retired his No. 30 jersey.

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