CLEVELAND — They gather around and spray champagne when these things are done. If you’re not a player but you’re special enough to a team that just won the World Series — like the Chicago Cubs did on Wednesday night — they hand you a bottle.
So actor Bill Murray, perhaps the most famous Cubs fan of ‘em all, walked around the Cubs’ clubhouse after their thrilling 8-7 win in Game 7 with a bottle of bubbly in his hand. He already had a moment in the stands after the final out.
But now, he was pouring champagne on team president Theo Epstein during a funny interview. And he was most certainly drinking some. He was even pretending to pour it on other people. Everybody was enjoying the party, Bill Murray included.
When Murray walked past Cubs star first baseman Anthony Rizzo, Rizzo spotted Murray and stopped the interview he was doing. He needed to jump out to say hi.
“You’re the inspiration,” Rizzo shouted and then went in for a big hug.
“Every game since,” Rizzo told Murray, obviously an inside reference. “I swear to God.”
“I don’t want a ring,” Murray chuckled. “I don’t want a ring. I don’t want a ring.”
[Championship gear: Get Chicago Cubs World Series merchandise]
What are they talking about? Rizzo told us and it’s one of the things, along with the “Rocky” movies and “Rocky” songs, that Rizzo says helped the Cubs come back from a 3-1 series deficit.
Five-Hour Energy Drinks. Or, as Rizzo calls them, “speedballs.” (Not to be confused with “Spaceballs”)
Before Game 4 at Wrigley Field, Murray came up to Rizzo and handed him a 5-Hour and said “Take this.”
Rizzo had two hits and an RBI that night. Baseball players are superstitious, so you know what that meant? Rizzo took a 5-Hour Energy before every game the rest of the series.
He got a hit and scored a run in Game 5, then got three hits, a homer, two RBIs and scored three times in Game 6. In Game 7, he had another hit and RBI.
Who gets partial credit? Bill Murray, of course. That’s why Rizzo gave him the big hug then introduced him to his dad, who immediately buddied up with the famous actor/comedian. Heck, they went roaming around the bowels of Progressive Field together looking for Cubs T-shirts while Rizzo went back to his interviews.
Rizzo acknowledged that one of the cooler things about being a Cub is all the celebrity fans. But Murray, he’s the coolest to become friends with, right?
“Of course,” Rizzo said. “It’s Bill Murray.”
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