A Lot Has Happened Since That Year

We all know the year. We all know the teams involved. What we may not realize is how much has happened since the Cubs last won the World Series. If you are in the dark as to what I am referring to, it is regarding the year 1908, the last year the Chicago Cubs won the World Series when they beat the Detroit Tigers.

Do any Cubs fans not know how long it has been? Anyone can subtract and realize that it has been 100 years since the Cubs last won it all. Can we quantify how long 100 years really is? I can take my age and times it by 2 1/2 and that gets me to 100 but it is still hard to imagine how long that is. To help me understand the time we are talking about I decided to look back at what has happened since the Cubs last won the World Series. I realize some may have already done this but I wanted to do it anyway.

Wrigley Field – Wrigley Field was built in 1914, 5 1/2 years after the Cubs last won the World Series. Wrigley Field has seen a number of World Series but has never seen a champion. The Cubs have played in six World Series in Wrigley Field, they have lost all six.

Cubs World Series Appearances – Since 1908 the Cubs appeared in the World Series seven times in 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938 and 1945. They lost all seven series. The Billy Goat is blamed for the Cubs failure to reach the World Series since 1945 but from 1909 to 1945 they failed to win it even though they did make it seven times.

World Series Titles – We might as well start at the obvious and look at how many teams have won the World Series since the Cubs last did it. The Yankees have been the Yankees since 1913 and have won 26 World Series titles since the Cubs last won in 1908. Here are the other teams that have won it all since 1908:

  • Cardinals – 10 times
  • Athletics – 9 times
  • Dodgers/Red Sox – 6 times
  • Reds/Pirates – 5 times
  • Tigers/Giants – 4 times
  • Braves/Orioles/Twins – 3 times
  • White Sox/Indians/Mets/Blue Jays/Marlins – 2 times
  • Phillies/Royals/D’backs/Angels – 1 time

I hear it said time and time again about the long list of teams that weren’t even around 100 years ago that have won the World Series lately. Overall I am not bothered by an expansion team winning it all, except for the Florida Marlins and their second World Series title. The irritation for me comes from the New York Yankees. 26 World Series titles for them and zero for the Cubs. I think that is why I can’t stand the Yankees.

Baseball Divisions – In 1908, the Cubs were the National League champions. They went directly to the World Series. The entire league consisted of the Cubs, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Braves, Brooklyn Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 1969, with the addition of the San Diego Padres and Montreal Expos making it a total of 12 teams, two divisions were created. The NL East and the NL West were formed. The Cubs were placed in the NL East along with the Expos, now the Nationals, Mets, Phillies, Pirates and Cardinals. Florida became part of the NL East when they were added in 1993.

In 1995 the two divisions were split again into three divisions and the NL Central was added. The Central originally included the Cubs, Cardinals, Astros, Reds and Pirates. The Brewers were added in 1998 due to MLB expansion when the Diamondbacks and Devil Rays were added to the league.

With the change in divisions you can make a case for the Cubs lack of World Series appearances being made harder by the changes. Before it was a division win and now it was that and beating the other division winner to make it there. Now you have the NLDS, then the NLCS and then you play in the World Series. Not that it was easy to get there before but it sure is a lot harder nowadays.

Come and Gone

Harry Caray – was born 5 1/2 years after the Cubs last World Series. He broadcast games for the Cubs from 1981 through the 1997 season. Harry passed away February 18, 1998.

Jack Brickhouse – was born 7 years 3 months after the Cubs last won the World Series. Jack broadcast games on television from 1948 until 1981. Jack broadcast his 5000th game on August 5th, 1979. Even though he never saw the Cubs in a World Series many say he always broadcast the games like the Cubs where in it. Jack passed away on August 6, 1998.

Rod “Shooter” Beck – After signing with the Cubs in 1997 he converted 51 of 58 save chances that same year. He was born 60 years 10 months after the Cubs last won the World Series. He died on June 23, 2007 at the young age of 38.

James F. Edgar – My grandfather was born three months before the Cubs last won the World Series. He passed away in 1984 never seeing another. He was a lifelong Cubs fan.

J. Neil Edgar – My father was born 29 years 1 month after the Cubs last won the World Series. He was 7 years old when the Cubs last saw the World Series and never saw them win it all. He passed away in August of 1991. He was also a lifelong Cubs fan.

Now I realize there are a lot of people that were born after the last Cubs World Series that are no longer with us but these people helped put it in perspective for me. For many of you I would bet you have lost a family member or more that were also lifelong Cubs fans. My point with this is that there are a lot of Cubs fans no longer with us that never saw the Cubs in the World Series, let alone seeing them win one. I feel lucky I still have a chance to see one before I am gone.

Retired Cubs Jerseys

  • Ron Santo (10) – born 31 years 4 months after the Cubs last World Series
  • Ernie Banks (14) – born 23 year 3 months after the Cubs last World Series
  • Ryne Sandberg (23) – born 50 years 11 months after the Cubs last World Series
  • Billy Williams (26) – born 29 years 8 months after the Cubs last World Series

Let’s hope 2008 is the year of the Cubs. If so, it should be dedicated to the four listed above and all the former Cubs players that never saw a World Series championship.

Presidents – Theodore Roosevelt was the President when the Cubs won the World Series in October of 1908. William Howard Taft was elected shortly after the World Series and including Roosevelt and Taft there have been 18 different Presidents since that special Cubs day.

Wars – World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Invasion of Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq. I don’t mean to be somber but the Cubs not winning the World Series in 100 years causes pain for Cubs fans but it doesn’t compare to the tragedy many faced when fighting for our country.

Inventions – Since the Cubs last won the World Series we have seen a number of inventions we commonly use today. The radio, television, microwave, cable TV, satellite TV, VCRs, CDs, DVDs and now HD. And don’t forget that if not for the computer, the Internet and blogs you wouldn’t be here reading this today.

I think that is enough. I don’t mean for this to make it look like the Cubs are inept and just can’t win. I think the fact they haven’t won in so long just adds to the lovability of the Cubs. They are after all the “Lovable Losers”. To say you are a lifelong Cubs fans means something to other Cubs fans. You are a loyal fan and nothing will change that for you. After all, when the time comes and the Cubs do win it all….it will be the biggest party this World has ever seen, and I hope to be there for it.

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein