Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs
Established 1870

Team logo

Cap Insignia
Major league affiliations
Current uniform
Retired numbers 10, 14, 23, 26, 31, 31, 42
Colors
  • Blue, Red, White
              
Name
  • Chicago Cubs (1903–present)
  • Chicago Orphans ([[ in baseball|]]–[[ in baseball|]])
  • Chicago Colts ([[ in baseball|]]–[[ in baseball|]])
  • Chicago White Stockings ([[ in baseball|]]–[[ in baseball|]], [[ in baseball|]]–[[ in baseball|]])
(a.k.a. Remnants [[ in baseball|]]–[[ in baseball|]])
Other nicknames
  • The Cubbies, The North Siders, The Boys in Blue, Chicago's team
Ballpark
Major league titles
World Series titles (2) 1908 • 1907
NL Pennants (16) 1945 • 1938 • 1935 • 1932
1929 • 1918 • 1910 • 1908
1907 • 1906 • 1886 • 1885
1882 • 1881 • 1880 • 1876
1870 (amateur)
Central Division titles (3) 2008 • 2007 • 2003
East Division titles (2) 1989 • 1984
Wild card berths (1) 1998
Owner(s): Family trust of Joe Ricketts
Day-to-day control/Chairman: Tom Ricketts
Team President: Crane Kenney
Manager: Mike Quade
General Manager: Jim Hendry

The Chicago Cubs are an American professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago (the other being the Chicago White Sox). The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National League (the other being the Atlanta Braves).

The Cubs have not won the World Series in 102 years; a longer championship drought than that of any other major North American professional sports team,[1][2] and are often referred to as "The Lovable Losers" because of this distinction. They are also known as "The North Siders" because Wrigley Field, their home park since 1916, is located in Chicago's north side Lake View community. The Cubs have rivalries with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the cross-town White Sox.

The club, which is the oldest active team in major North American sports still currently in its original city (only the Braves, who were also professionally founded in 1871 and did not lose two years due to the Great Chicago Fire, have played longer), is currently owned by a family trust of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, with his son Tom Ricketts operating the team on a daily basis. The Cubs were previously owned by the Wrigley Company and the Chicago Tribune.

Early franchise history

1876–1902: A National League dynasty

William Hulbert, president of Chicago's club, the White Stockings, signed multiple star players, such as pitcher Albert Spalding, and infielders Ross Barnes, Deacon White and Adrian Anson to join the team prior to the N.L.'s inaugural season of 1876. The Chicago franchise, playing its home games at West Side Grounds, quickly established themselves as one of the new league's top teams. Spalding won 47 games and Barnes led the league in hitting at .429 as Chicago won the first ever National League pennant, which at the time was the game's top prize.

After back to back pennants in 1880 and '81, Hulbert dead, and Al Spalding, who had retired to start Spalding sporting goods, assumed ownership of the club. The White Stockings, with Anson acting as player/manager, captured their third consecutive pennant in 1882, and "Cap" Anson established himself as the game's first true superstar. In 1885 and '86, after winning N.L. pennants, The White Stockings met the short-lived American Association champion in that era's version of a World Series. Both seasons resulted in matchups with the St. Louis Brown Stockings, with the clubs tying in '85 and with St. Louis winning in '86. This was the genesis of what would eventually become one of the greatest rivalries in sports. In all, the Anson-led Chicago Base Ball Club won six National League pennants between 1876 and 1886. As a result, Chicago's club nickname transitioned, and by 1890 they had become known as the Chicago Colts,[3] or sometimes "Anson's Colts," referring to Cap's influence within the club. Anson was the first player in history credited with collecting 3,000 career hits, and when he left the team in 1898, the loss of his leadership resulted in the team becoming known as the Chicago Orphans (or Remnants) and a few forgettable seasons.

After the 1900 season, the American Base-Ball League formed as a rival professional league, and incidentally the club's old White Stockings nickname would be adopted by a new American League neighbor to the south.[4]

1902–1920: A Cub dynasty

In 1902, Spalding, who by this time had revamped the roster to boast what would soon be one of the best teams of the early century, sold the club to Jim Hart, and the franchise became known as the Chicago Cubs.[5] During this period, which has become known as baseball's dead-ball era, three Cub infielders; Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance were made famous as a double-play combination by Franklin P. Adams' poem Baseball's Sad Lexicon. The poem first appeared in the July 18, 1910 edition of the New York Evening Mail. Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, Jack Taylor, Ed Reulbach, Jack Pfiester and Orval Overall were several key pitchers for the Cubs during this time period. With Chance acting as player-manager from 1905 to 1912 the Cubs won four pennants and two World Series titles over a five-year span. Although they fell to the White Sox in the 1906 World Series, The Cubs recorded a record 116 victories and the best winning percentage (.763) in Major League history. With mostly the same roster, Chicago won back to back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908. Their appearance in three consecutive World Series made the Cubs the first Major League Club to play three times in the Fall Classic. Likewise, their back-to-back World Series victories in 1907 and 1908 made them the first club to win two World Series.

The next season, veteran catcher Johnny Kling left the team to become a professional pocket billiards player. Some historians think Kling's absence was significant enough to prevent the Cubs from also winning a third straight title in 1909, as they finished 6 games out of first place.[6] When Kling returned the next year, the Cubs won the pennant again, but lost to the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1910 World Series.

In 1914, advertising executive Albert Lasker obtained a large block of the club's shares and before the 1916 season assumed majority ownership of the franchise. Lasker brought in a wealthy partner, Charles Weeghman, the proprietor of a popular chain of lunch counters who had previously owned the Chicago Whales of the short-lived Federal League. As principal owners, the pair moved the club from the West Side Grounds to the much newer Weeghman Park, which had been constructed for the Whales only two years earlier. The Cubs responded by winning a pennant in the war-shortened season of 1918, where they played a part in another team's curse. The Boston Red Sox defeated Grover Cleveland Alexander's Cubs four games to two in the 1918 World Series. After the victory Boston's owner sold its star pitcher, Babe Ruth, to the New York Yankees to help funding of a Broadway play, and thus starting a tale of futility which would last 86 years, known as Curse of the Bambino.