Chicago, Cleveland public universities in friendly World Series wager

The University of Illinois at Chicago and Cleveland State University — as members of the Horizon League — square off against each other annually to determine who reigns superior on the athletic fields. Now, the two universities’ cities are vying for a bigger prize — a World Series championship.screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-2-44-55-pm-2

The 2016 Series begins Tuesday in Cleveland, pitting the Chicago Cubs against the Cleveland Indians, two teams who collectively have not won the Fall Classic in 174 years. One team’s streak will soon come to an end.

Cleveland State President Ronald M. Berkman is so confident the Indians will be victorious that he is willing to wager UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis, putting up one of Cleveland’s most prized possessions, a case of Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard. Amiridis, enthusiastically accepting the challenge, countered with a Chicago tradition, deep dish pizza.

Since relocating to Chicago less than two years ago, Amiridis has been faithfully following both the Cubs and the crosstown White Sox. With the South Side Sox waiting for next year, his attention is focused solely on the Cubs.

“The entire city has been captivated by them the entire year,” Amiridis said. “They won more than 100 games with great pitching, offense and defense. I’m confident the World Series trophy will end up in Chicago.”

The Cubs last won the World Series in 1908, playing at the spot that now houses the UIC College of Medicine. That ballpark was called the West Side Grounds and was the Cubs’ home from 1893 to 1915.

The Indians last won the World Series in 1948, and the city of Cleveland suffered a 52-year all-sports championship drought, which was finally snapped when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA title in June.

“Cleveland is on a roll, and I am confident the Indians will follow the Cavaliers and bring a second championship home to our city in 2016,” Berkman said.

Berkman previously bet Kevin McCormick, president of Huntington University in Ontario, Canada, that the Indians would defeat the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series, winning a case of Canadian maple syrup in the process.

About Cleveland State University –

With an enrollment of more than 17,000 students, eight colleges and more than 200 academic programs, Cleveland State is committed to providing a hands-on learning environment where faculty and students connect and ideas mesh with real-world experience.  We strive to serve the public, to support faculty in their teaching endeavours and research and to prepare students to lead productive, responsible and fulfilling lives in the region and around the world.

About the University of Illinois at Chicago –

The University of Illinois at Chicago is a major research university located in the heart of one of the world’s great cities. With more than 29,000 students, UIC is Chicago’s largest university and one of the nation’s most diverse campuses. Students benefit from an elite research faculty and close engagement with the leading corporate, civic and cultural institutions of the Chicago metropolitan area. An institution of growing national and international stature, UIC is among the top research universities in the United States.


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