Ben Zobrist is the only man in baseball that has won the World Series the last two years. And as he begins Spring Training this week in Arizona with the Cubs, he's looking for the three-peat.
It's been a whirlwind 18 months for the Franklin, Tennessee resident. Zobrist helped the Royals to a breakthrough World Series victory in 2015, then signed with the Cubs as a free agent before their storybook 2016 season that was capped with his go-ahead RBI double in the 10th inning of an epic game 7 in Cleveland that earned him World Series MVP honors.
It's the type of storyline that dreams are made of. Zobrist grew up in tiny Eureka, Illinois, a couple hours south of Chicago, as a Cubs fan. But even he never dreamed of playing for them and delivering that elusive World Series.
"I never thought I would play for the Cubs," Zobrist said. "Let alone have the chance to break a curse of 108 years."
Yet there he was on that cold night in Cleveland for the biggest at-bat in franchise history.
"I got a shot," Zobrist said of his thoughts as he walked to the plate. "I got a shot to do this right here. When I was able to get something through and get that hit, everybody saw I wasn't able to hold the emotion in."
In the bottom of that inning, the Cubs put the finishing touches on their first World Series title since 1908, sparking massive celebrations in Chicago and from long-tortured Cubs' fans around the globe.
"To see how many people have responded and are thankful for that one hit, it's just crazy to me," Zobrist said. "That's my favorite thing from winning is this whole offseason from talking to people about that hit or when we finally won the game, how the tears were just coming down because of all the family history and the times that those families had connected over Cubs baseball, hoping we would win someday."
Zobrist's offseason included a giant championship celebration in Chicago, being the Grand Marshall of the Franklin Christmas Parade, traveling to the White House when the Cubs were honored by President Obama and leading prayer at President Trump's first National Prayer Breakfast.
"It's been such a blessing to be able to play at this level," Zobrist said. "We're going to really enjoy those accomplishments later down the road when we look back and see how God's blessed us in this time."
It's a time in life that isn't over yet as Zobrist and the Cubs set out this spring for a repeat to a once in a lifetime season.