A whole lot can happen in a calendar year, including the elimination of a century-plus worth of misery.
Cubs fans obviously had plenty to celebrate in 2016, but they weren't alone. There were tears of joy and tears of disappointment, punchouts and punches, heartfelt farewells and amazing milestones -- just to mention a few of the highlights.
It's impossible to tell the story of an entire season in just 16 images, but we took our best swing at it. In chronological order:
Jake Arrieta tosses another no-no
It's tough to believe that a 3.10 ERA and 1.08 WHIP constitute an off year, but clearly it all went downhill for Arrieta after his second career no-hitter on April 21. It was the majors' only no-no all season.
Getty ImagesJamie Sabau
Bartolo Colon bashes ... finally
Big Sexy's awkward at-bats have become must-see TV in recent years, but he had a career-best three extra-base hits in 2016. That included his first career homer -- he became the oldest player (42) to do so -- on May 8. And the world rejoiced.
Getty ImagesDenis Poroy
Max Scherzer goes K crazy
No opposing hitters were safe on May 11, when the eventual NL Cy Young winner tied a major-league record with 20 strikeouts. Every Detroit player who stepped to the plate struck out at least once, and five of them fanned five times.
Getty ImagesG Fiume
The diamond becomes a ring
The tension from the teams' hotly-contested 2015 ALDS (see: Jose Bautista's bat flip) reached a boiling point on May 15 in the finale of the Toronto's weekend series in Texas. Rougned Odor didn't approve of Bautista's slide at second base, and he conveyed his displeasure with a vicious right cross to the face.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty ImagesRichard W. Rodriguez
Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. become immortal
The Kid earned a record 99.32 percent of the Hall of Fame vote -- failing to appear on just three of 440 ballots -- in his first year of eligibility. On his fourth year on the ballot, Piazza checked in at 83 percent. They officially were inducted in Cooperstown on July 25.
Getty ImagesJim McIsaac
Ichiro reaches 3K on a three-bagger
Is he or isn't he baseball's all-time hit king? That's a debate for another day, but there's no debate about Ichiro's amazing MLB career. In his age-42 season, he legged out a triple -- one of his five on the season -- for career hit No. 3,000 on Aug. 7.
USA TODAY SportsIsaiah J. Downing
Prince Fielder has to walk away
How respected was Prince Fielder by his Rangers teammates? During Fielder's emotional retirement press conference on Aug. 10, Adrian Beltre even let the big guy rub his head.
USA TODAY SportsRay Carlin
Alex Rodriguez bows out
Just four homers shy of 700 for his career, A-Rod played his final game -- at least in pinstripes -- on Aug. 12. He doubled in his first at-bat and took over at the hot corner to start the ninth inning.
USA TODAY SportsAnthony Gruppuso
Dee Gordon goes deep and breaks down
The day after Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was tragically killed in a boating accident on Sept. 25, his teammates honored him in a heartbreaking pregame ceremony and by wearing his No. 16. Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the first inning with a homer and was sobbing by the time he touched the plate.
USA TODAY SportsSteve Mitchell
Mark Teixeira calls it a career
After a 14-year run that included more than 400 homers and five Gold Gloves, Mark Teixeira tipped his cap one final time in the Yankees' season finale on Oct. 2.
Getty ImagesGetty Mike Stobe
Vin Scully signs off
The final day of the 2016 regular season was also the end of Hall of Famer Vin Scully's 67-year broadcasting career with the Dodgers. His legendary farewell: "I have said enough for a lifetime. And for the last time, I wish you a very pleasant good afternoon."
Getty ImagesJason O. Watson
Big Papi says farewell to the Fenway faithful
After arguably the best season (48 doubles, 38 homers, 1.021 OPS) of his 20-year major-league career, David Ortiz emerged from the clubhouse once more on Oct. 10 to thank the Red Sox fans. The face of the franchise during its three World Series titles since 2004, Big Papi became synonymous with clutch.
USA TODAY SportsBob DeChiara
Clayton Kershaw KO's his postseason stigma
Two days after an 11-strikeout, 110-pitch performance in the Dodgers' Game 4 win, Kershaw got the final two outs in the NLDS-clinching Game 5 win over the Nationals.
USA TODAY SportsBrad Mills
Rajai rocks Aroldis in Game 7
In perhaps the most entertaining Game 7 in World Series history, Rajai Davis' two-run blast off Aroldis Chapman evened the game at 6 in the bottom of the eighth. It sent LeBron James into a tizzy and Cubs fans into crisis mode.
USA TODAY SportsKen Blaze
Bryzzo slams the door on the curse
Indians pinch hitter Michael Martinez sent a grounder to third baseman Kris Bryant, who fired the ball over to Anthony Rizzo to end the Cubs' 108-year championship drought. However, many long-suffering Cubs fans undoubtedly still wondered how fate would rip their hearts out.
MLB Photos via Getty ImagesRob Tringali
Grandpa Rossy gets carried away
The most beloved backup catcher in major-league history entered Game 7 in the fifth inning, homered in the sixth and exited on the shoulders of his adoring teammates amid the celebration of the 10-inning win.