Chicago Cubs Baseballs Loveable Losers
The Chicago Cubs and their fans are long suffering. Oh to win a world series would send die hard Cub fans into orbit. The Chicago Cubs have been in existence since 1870 and were called the Chicago White Stockings. A fact most Cub fans would rather forget as their cross town rivals are the Chicago White Socks. Most of us die hard Cubs fans are not fans of the White Sox. Being a die hard Cub fan, that is all I have to say about the Sox. The Chicago Cubs have had 4 name changes in their history. The present name has been theirs since 1902. The Chicago Cub franchise is the only National League team still playing in their original city. Another reason the Chicago Cubs are America's Team. Over the years the Cubs have played in 6 different stadiums, being in the most famous, Wrigley Field since 1916. Wrigley Field is the 2nd oldest baseball stadium still being used today, coming in second only to Boston's Fenway Park. Wrigley Field or " The Friendly Confines", is undoubtedly the most beautiful ball park around. The ivy and the Cubs rooftop seating is unequaled in baseball today.
The Early Years
The Cubs started play in 1870 and became one of 8 teams to be charter members of the newly formed National League in 1876. In 1882 they became the first team to win 3 consecutive National League Championships. In 1885 they win their fifth National League Pennant in the National League's 10 year history. In 1886 they win the National League Championship and play in their 3rd version of the 19th century World Series. They lose this series to the American Association's St Louis Brown Stockings, losing 4 out of 6 games. From 1887 until 1903 they were not much of a force in baseball, playing mediocre baseball at best. The only highlight during those rough years was in 1897 when they scored 36 runs in a game and set a Major League Record. From 1903 until 1906 the Cubs started to show promise once again. In 1906 they won a Major League Record 116 games and won the National League Championship yet again. They played their cross town rivals the Chicago White Sox in the World Series that year and sadly lost. In 1907 the Cubs win 110 games and a World Series Appearance for the 2nd straight year, where they beat the Detroit Tigers. In 1908 the Cubs appeared in their 3rd straight World Series and beat the Detroit Tigers. At the time of course no one knew that this would be the last time the Cubs would win the World Series. It has now been 101 years and counting since the Cubs have won a World Series. Since the Cubs last win in the World Series in 1908 they have only had 7 more appearances in the World Series, the last appearance coming in 1945 and they have lost all 7 times. And Cub fans know the reason.
The Curse of the Goat
In 1945 a man named William " Billy Goat" Sianis, brought his goat to Wrigley Field to watch Game 4 of the World Series. He bought himself and his goat a ticket and they watched until late in the game when he and his goat were asked to leave by Cub owner P.K. Wrigley. The reason William Sianis and his goat were asked to leave was because the goat stunk. As William Sianis and his goat were leaving he was heard to say " The Cubs aint gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field". After the Cubs lost the World Series that year to the Detroit Tigers, William Sianis sent a telegram to P. K. Wrigley asking " Who stinks now?" This was the last time the Cubs were in a World Series. In 1969 the Cubs were on their way to the World Series leading the New York Mets by 9 1/2 games and on one occasion at Wrigley the Cubs were playing a very important series against the Mets when a black cat ran onto the field, running circles around Ron Santo who was in the on deck circle. The Mets went on to win the Pennant and preventing the Cubs from reaching the World Series. In 1998 the Cubs were in the Wild Card race with the Mets and the Giants and lost a crucial game on an easy pop up to left field that was dropped, knocking the Cubs out of the wild card race. In 2003 during a playoff game against the Marlins the Cubs were one win away from going to the World Series when a popup to right field where Moises Alou was playing went close to the wall. Alou had a play on the ball but a fan reached out and caught the ball. The game went downhill after that play and the Cubs ended up losing to the Marlins who won the World Series that year. It was a horrible feeling for Cub fans and I watched that game in disbelief. It was heartbreaking. Most die hard Cub fans believe that curse put on the Cubs in 1945 still exists today. It sure seems like it.
So We Hope and Pray
So the only thing the Cub fan can do is support the Cubs and hope and pray that in our lifetime we will have the chance to see our beloved Cubs in the World Series. Better yet to see them win and end the curse of the goat. One more thing that is really amazing is that in 1972 Cub pitcher Milt Pappas pitched a no hitter. That record stood until 2008 when Carlos Zambrano pitched a no hitter in Milwaukee against the Houston Astros. This game was played in Milwaukee with the Houston Astros as the home team because the Astrodome was damaged by a hurricane. The point I am making is this, we live in a very small town about 50 miles south of Chicago. The principal of the high school where my sons attend is none other than the wife of Milt Pappas. The kids love her and Milt Pappas has done some appearances at the high school and for fund raising events.