Vince Vaughn was not worried when the Indians tied Game 7 of the World Series in the eighth inning Wednesday night, and he was not worried when Michael Martinez came to bat as the winning run in the bottom of the 10th.
The actor and Cubs fan – who led the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch in Game 4 in Chicago – had vowed in advance not to be pessimistic, regardless of the team’s 108-year world championship drought.
“I actually made a decision that I was going to be optimistic the whole time, because what’s the alternative?” he said Thursday night after what he called the “incredible, unbelievable” experience of watching the Cubs win it all.
Vaughn saw two of the three games at Wrigley Field but was not in Cleveland for the clincher because of his commitments to promote the new movie “Hacksaw Ridge” in which he appears.
He was in Manhattan for an event promoting the new Audience Network documentary series “Religion of Sports,” produced by Tom Brady and Michael Strahan that premieres on Nov. 15.
“You have your moments of doubt,” he said of the Cubs. “But as you get older in sports, you have your childhood team, and for me it’s the Cubs, but you also love the stories, and this was both. I had a team that I love. It was just a great story. [Cubs manager] Joe Maddon had such a great bedside manner, and [team president Theo] Epstein, and all the players were supportive and positive. So it was a great story on top of it. It was so much fun.
“When that last batter steps up to the plate you go like, gosh, they hit a two-run homer to tie it [earlier], so it was in my mind that it was possible. But like I said, I made a choice to say: This is going to go our way.”
Asked about Fox analyst Alex Rodriguez’s pre-Series assertion that baseball could again become the country’s favorite sport, Vaughn said, “It does feel like the best of the game kind of came to the forefront and it’s why we love it as fans. It’s why we like to play it when we’re kids. Some people can play it later [in life] – not me.
“But it felt like you had a lot of guys having a lot of fun on both sides, really working toward something and playing hard and that was captivating . . . I kept thinking to myself everyone on that field has played this moment out a thousand times on the playground: Game 7, game tied. So it was just amazing to watch.”
Vaughn balked when asked about whether the Cubs might be able to sustain their success.
“The first time in 108 years and people want to start kicking around the roster,” he said. “Can we have at least one day? What’s there to talk about? World Champions, right?”