As the Chicago Cubs head to the World Series for the first time since 1945, I figured I would bombard you with some fun facts about their drought and history to put in perspective just how happy Cubby fans truly are right now:
- The 176-year combined World Series drought between the Cubs and the Indians is the longest by 45 years.
- The Cubs were originally known as the White Stockings when they were part of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players.
- By end of the 19th century they’d dropped “White Stockings” and were known as the Colts from 1890-97, followed by the “Orphans” from 1898-1902.
- 1902 – the Chicago Daily News began to refer to the Orphans as the “Cubs” due to the abundance of young players on the roster. It stuck and the franchise officially adopted it in 1907.
- 1906 – Cubs set a major league record with 116 wins, which stood nearly unmatched for nearly 100 years until 2001 when Mariners tied it, and winning percentage (.763) which is still the best in baseball history. Yet, they lost in the World Series in six games.
- 1907 – Won franchise’s’ first World Series after sweeping the Detroit Tigers in four games after winning 107 regular season games.
- 1908 – Won their second and LAST World Series after rallying to win 14 of their last 18 games in the final two weeks of the season. They went on to beat the Tigers again.
- Sold to Albert Lasker and Charles Weeghman in 1916 and moved from Chicago’s West Side to North Side park. It officially became Wrigley Field in 1927.
- Cubs next trip back to the World Series came in 1918. This was their first of four World Series losses over the next decade when they fell to the Boston Red Sox and Babe Ruth.
- 1932 – The fourth World Series loss in seven seasons is a series we all know well. We’re all familiar with Babe Ruth’s “Called Shot”. But did you know it came against the Cubs in Game 3 of the series? That was the nail in the Cubs’ preverbal coffin.
- 1938 – Cubs lose to the Yankees in the World Series
- 1945 – After six straight World Series losses, the Cubs win a major-league best 98 games going on to face the Detroit Tigers. Local pub owner Bill Sianis brings his billy goat with him to take in Game 4 at Wrigley Field hoping to watch his team take a 3-1 lead. Fans apparently didn’t like the smell of the goat and Billy and his goat were asked to leave. Yep, you know this. Curse blah blah blah.
- There’s a lot more on this miserable Cubs’ timeline but you get the gist. You can check it out here if you so choose.
And here we are in 2016. The Cubs are back in the World Series. I have no dog in this fight but I can say this: I am rooting for the Cubs for multiple reasons.
I feel for the fans. When I see an 80+ year-old woman sobbing in the stands after advancing to the World Series I can’t help but hope that madness ends.
I want it for goats everywhere. For goodness sakes, athletic achievements or failures should never be attributed to or blamed on chubby lovable animals. And for those of you who think it otherwise, I feel for you and worry about your grasp on reality.
And lastly, I want it because none of the following things existed when the Cubs last won the NL Pennant in 1945 and to me that is just crazy talk:
- Joe Maddon
- The NBA
- Color Television
- Super glue
- Hula hoops
- Bar codes
- Alaska (as part of the US)
- Hawaii (as part of the US)
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- The LCS
- Credit cards
- Diet soda
- The Korean War
- International air travel
- Barbie Dolls
- Potato Head
I mean come on!!! A world without Velcro? Make the madness stop.