CHICAGO — After waiting 71 years to witness a World Series game, Chicago Cubs fans can hardly contain themselves.

More than six hours before the first pitch of Game 3, thousands of fans – many of them wearing jerseys with names like Banks, Sandberg and Rizzo on their backs – were already in the streets ringing Wrigley Field on Friday as the Cubs prepared to play the Cleveland Indians.

It’s the first Series game at the fabled ballpark since 1945, and many Chicagoans skipped work to begin a weekend of baseball they’ll never forget.

There was a long line outside Murphy’s Bleachers, the renowned tavern on the corner of Sheffield and Waveland Avenues. Vendors worked the crowd, one of them peddling a T-shirt that said, “I Ain’t Afraid of No Goat.”

Generations of Cubs fans believed their team was denied a trip to the Series partly because of “The Curse of the Billy Goat,” which began when a Chicago tavern owner supposedly put a hex on the team after it refused to let his pet goat, Murphy, into Wrigley Field during the ’45 Series.

The Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908. In contrast, it’s only been a 68-year drought for the Indians, who last won it all in 1948.

RED SOX: Prospect Yoan Moncada suffered a thumb sprain and will leave the Arizona Fall League, the team announced Friday.

Moncada played in six games for the Surprise Saguaros, hitting .292 with a home run and 10 strikeouts. According to a report on, Moncada was injured swinging the bat and will be held out of baseball activities for two weeks.

The second baseman/third baseman is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.

NATIONALS: Whether discussing where Bryce Harper or Trea Turner might play next season or assessing the team’s performance or his priorities for the offseason, General Manager Mike Rizzo avoiding saying much during a 15-minute conference call with reporters.

Rizzo broke little new ground in his first public comments since Washington’s season ended with an NL Division Series loss for the third time in five years.

“I definitely view it as a successful season that ended poorly for us,” Rizzo said, adding: “But again, we didn’t get to our ultimate success, which is winning the World Series.”

He declined to say what the Nationals’ main needs are, noting, “We have a very versatile roster.”

A big part of that is Turner, who had a breakout rookie season, including 13 homers and 33 steals, while transitioning to center field from the middle infield. Rizzo would not commit to a position for Turner – or even to keeping Turner at one position – in 2017, saying he can “excel in center field, at shortstop and at second base.”

METS: Curtis Granderson won the Roberto Clemente Award, becoming the fourth player from the New York Mets to take home baseball’s honor for sportsmanship and community involvement.

Granderson, who is from the Chicago suburb of Blue Island, helps run baseball clinics and character development programs through the Grand Kids Foundation.

The outfielder also made a $5 million donation to his alma mater, the University of Illinois-Chicago, for the construction of an indoor/outdoor baseball facility.

Clemente, a Hall of Famer for the Pirates, died on New Year’s Eve in 1972 while on a charter plane that crashed after takeoff. The plane was carrying relief aid to Nicaragua following an earthquake.

Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen was recognized last year.