Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are a Major League Baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are in the Central Division of the National League.

Founded: 1870, as an independent professional club. Joined the National Association in 1871. Became a charter National League member in 1876.
Formerly known as: White Stockings, in the 1870s. Colts, in the late 1890s. Orphans, 1898, after the firing of longtime manager Cap Anson. Remnants, in 1901, after a number of players deserted the team for the American League. The nickname Cubs was coined in 1902 when manager Frank Selee arrived and rebuilt the club with young, inexperienced players. The Chicago Tribune tried to call the team the Spuds around this time, but that name didn't stick.
Home ballpark: Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison Street, Chicago.
Uniform colors: Blue and red
Logo design: A red "C" on a blue field. Sometimes, the team will make use of a cartoon bear cub.
Wild Card titles won (1): 1998
Division titles won (3): 1984, 1989, 2003
League pennants won (16): 1876, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1885, 1886, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, 1945
World Series championships won (2): 1907, 1908

Table of contents
1 Franchise history
2 Players of note
3 External links

Franchise history

White Stockings

Great Chicago Fire destroyed the club's ballpark, uniforms and records toward the end of the 1871 season. The club completed its schedule, finishing second in the National Association that year, but was forced to drop out of the league for the next two seasons as a result.

In 1875, Chicago acquired several key players from the Boston Red Stockings, including pitcher Al Spalding and first baseman Cap Anson, who would later become the team leader and manager for almost twenty seasons. Anson was arguably the best player in baseball in his day, though he is chiefly remembered today for his role in establishing baseball's color line than for his playing and managerial skill.

"Tinker and Evers and Chance"

Joe Tinker (SS), Johnny Evers (2B) and Frank Chance (1B) were three legendary Cubs infielders, who played together from 1903-1910, and sporadically over the following two years. They, along with third baseman Harry Steinfeldt, formed the nucleus of one of the dominant baseball teams of all time. After Chance took over as manager for the ailing Frank Selee in 1905, the Cubs won four pennants and two World Series titles over a five-year span. Their record of 116 victories in 1906 (in a 154-game season) has not been broken, though it was tied by the Seattle Mariners in 2001, in a 162-game season.

The Cubs relied on dominant pitching during this period, featuring hurlers such as Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, Jack Taylor, Ed Reulbach, Jack Pfiester and Orval Overall, who posted a record for lowest staff earned-run average that still stands today.

However, the infield attained fame after turning a critical double play against the New York Giants in a July 1910 game. The trio was immortalised in Franklin P. Adams' poem Baseball's Sad Lexicon, which first appeared in the July 18, 1910 edition of the New York Evening Mail:

These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double--
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

(The fourth line is sometimes misquoted as also reading "Tinker to Evers to Chance").

Tinker and Evers reportedly could not stand each other, and rarely spoke off the field. Evers, a high-strung, argumentative man, suffered a nervous breakdown in 1911 and rarely played that year. Chance suffered a near-fatal beaning the same year. The trio played together little after that. In 1913, Chance went to manage the New York Yankees and Tinker went to Cincinnati to manage the Reds, and that was the end of one of the most notable infields in baseball. They were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame together in 1946.

Success in the 20s and 30s

"Smalley to Miksis to Addison Street"

"Let's play two!"

Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins, Ron Santo, Billy Williams

Day games only until 1988, because the stadium owner donated the lights to the war effort in the 1940s, and it then became tradition. The first night game was scheduled to be played August 8, 1988, vs. Philadelphia, but after 3 1/2 innings, it was rained out, and so the first official night game occurred the next night, August 9, 1988. The Cubs defeated the New York Mets, 6-4.

"Lovable losers"

FUTILITY: It can't go without mention that the Cubs have the longest dry spell between championships in all of professional sports, having failed to win a World Series since 1908. To make matters worse, the Cubs haven't even been in a World Series since 1945, before there were divisions. They didn't win any playoff series between 1945 and 2003, when they beat the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.

The Cubs 2003 playoff run ended in an emotional game 7 of the NLCS against the Florida Marlins. While at one point ahead in the 7-game series 3 games to 1, the Marlins came back to win the final three games. Marlins pitcher Josh Beckett shut out the Cubs in game 5. An implosion of the Cubs defense late in game 6, following a now-infamous incident of a fan named Steve Bartman touching a ball in foul territory, allowed the Marlins to score 8 runs in the eighth inning inning and tie the series. The Cubs were unable to win the final game at home, and the Cubs were without a pennant again.

What may be the least known and cried over but possibly the most telling statistic of futility for the Cubs, though, is that they haven't had back-to-back winning seasons since 1973. Not division titles, not playoff appearances, just winning seasons. Yet, they still are perennially in the top 10 in the league in attendance.

See also: Curse of the billy goat, Steve Bartman, Major League Baseball franchise post-season droughts

Players of note

Baseball Hall of Famers

Current stars

Not to be forgotten

Retired numbers

Other persons of note

External links