By Manny Randhawa / for Sports on Earth

It took 71 years and 24 days, but it has happened: The Chicago Cubs have won the National League pennant and will play in the World Series after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-0, in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

Needless to say, much has been made about that drought and the one that casts a looming shadow over it: the 108 years and counting since the Cubs last won the title. But there’s also something to be made of just how difficult the journey to the Fall Classic has been for the 2016 Cubs, who have navigated far choppier waters to reach the precipice of baseball immortality than any of their predecessors in franchise history.

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