It's been a while since I've been interested in baseball, but I couldn't help but root for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series, and I think others like me or even less familiar with baseball in general had some idea about the Cubs and their postseason futility, which was in the early stages of its second century. And their World Series win over the Cleveland Indians (themselves in a decades-long championship dry spell) was a roller coaster over six games, perfectly encapsulated in the Game Seven finale.
Following the games where the Indians took three of the first four of the Best of Seven series (including the first two at Wrigley Field), the Cubs fought back to take Games 5 & 6 (the latter in Ohio) before that Game 7 battle, one where the Cubs took a lead, lost it, then had things stew in their heads for an hour while a rain delay came along, then reclaimed the held and almost lost it again before holding off the Indians for the storied win.
A good thing about sports and in particular playoff sports is how the unlikeliest of figures can become heroes and Game 7 had several nominees. For the Indians, normally light-hitting outfielder Rajai Davis (who averaged 5 home runs a season for more than a decade of big league ball) tied the game late with a big one. Kyle Schwarber, who had not played at all in the regular season and was not medically cleared to play defense, appeared as a Designated Hitter or as pinch hitter for the Cubs in the Series and made his own contributions. Davis Ross hit a homerun during the Game 7, his last game as a big-leaguer.
Yet for all of those on-field heroics, outfielder Jason Heyward may be the most remembered. During the rain delay, he called his Cubs teammates into a room behind the dugout and let them know his thoughts and what they could do to win the game. The Cubs scored two in the tenth inning and held on for that win, and the speech he gave was cited by many as the turning point for the team. That's the kind of stuff that makes sports great, and made the last game of an already memorable World Series so wonderful.
The game was wonderful to watch, though the decision to break this game out individually from the others (when two perfectly good releases covering the season and/or the playoff run were just sitting out there for you to get) remains a strange one. I understand the desire to snap up every morsel of the Cubs' championship run, but this release feels a little on the cash-grabby side.The Blu-rays:
Shout! uses AVC to encode this 1.78:1 high definition disc, which looks similar to the original broadcast. Colors are natural and the image is generally in good shape, whatever flaws there may be in it are inherent to the source. There isn't much to complain about on either Disc One (the game) or Disc Two (the supplements).The Sound:
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround which doesn't get a lot to do and like the transfer, replicates the sound nicely. Similar to previous MLB efforts of late, you get the options of the radio calls from both teams and the Spanish-language audio to go with the television option, thoughtful inclusions all. They sound much like you would expect.Extras:
You get "extensive highlights" from the Cubs' postseason, from the National League Division Series (16:54) to the National League Championship Series (29:12) to the previous 6 games of the Series (30:56). There's also some footage of the championship parade in Chicago (15:54) here as well. These are nice to have but, it seems like a very targeted group of material that people will breeze through.Final Thoughts:
The Complete Game 7 Ultimate Edition may be exhaustive and complete as far as Game 7's go, so I guess Shout! did the job. That doesn't mean I should go along with it, and considering how much resource has been devoted to the Cubs' championship, you shouldn't go along with it. Technically the disc looks and sounds ok, and the bonuses are somewhat forgettable. If you do get this disc, you'll start to wonder why you don't have the other games on disc before too long I think.