- 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, IL 60613–4397.
- Uniform colors: Blue and red
- Logo design: A red "C" circumscribed by a blue circle. Sometimes a smaller "ubs" will follow the large "C", or 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
- Current Manager: Dusty Baker
The 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 to Evers to 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 most 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.
Day Games at Wrigley
The Cubs' home ballpark, Wrigley Field, played host to only day games 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, versus Philadelphia, but it was rained out after 3 1/2 innings. The first official night game thus occurred the following evening, August 9, 1988; the Cubs defeated the New York Mets, 6–4. While night games are now possible at Wrigley, the Cubs still play more day games at home than any other Major League team.
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, and finished in the second division, or bottom half, of the National League for 20 consecutive years beginning in 1947. They didn't win any playoff series between 1908 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 the now-infamous incident in which a fan named Steve Bartman touched a ball in foul territory, allowed the Marlins to score 8 runs in the eighth inning (see The Inning) and tie the series. The Cubs were unable to win the final game at home, and 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 their first back-to-back winning seasons since 1973 came in 2003 and 2004. Not division titles, not playoff appearances, just winning seasons. Nonetheless, they remain one of the best-loved and best-attended teams in the league, with attendance figures consistently in the top 10, despite a smaller stadium than many other teams. Wrigley Field consistently sells out during the season.
See also: Curse of the billy goat, Steve Bartman, Major League Baseball franchise post-season droughts, Sox Cubs Rivalry, Lee Elia tirade
Baseball and Gay Fans Come Together
["Out at the Ballgame"] was launched in June 2001 as the largest gathering of gays, lesbians and their friends at a major league baseball game anywhere in the United States. Now in its fourth year, "OATB" has become an instant community classic. "OATB" takes place at historic Wrigley Field.
Players of note
Current 25-man roster (updated on May 11, 2005)
- 12 Dusty Baker
- 59 Juan López (bullpen)
- 39 Dick Pole (bench)
- 36 Gary Matthews (first base)
- 41 Larry Rothschild (pitching)
- 2 Gene Clines (hitting)
- 35 Chris Speier (third base)
- 15 Sonny Jackson (special assistant)
Not to be forgotten
- 1911 – Wildfire Schulte
- 1929 – Rogers Hornsby
- 1935 – Gabby Hartnett
- 1945 – Phil Cavarretta
- 1952 – Hank Sauer
- 1958 – Ernie Banks
- 1959 – Ernie Banks 
- 1984 – Ryne Sandberg
- 1987 – Andre Dawson
- 1998 – Sammy Sosa
- First baseman
- Second baseman
- Ryne Sandberg  (1984–85, 1988–92)
- Third baseman
Single Season Records
- Home Runs: 66 Sammy Sosa (1998)
- Runs Batted In: 190 Hack Wilson (1930) (Major League Record)
- Batting Average: .380 Rogers Hornsby (1928)
- Hits: 229 Rogers Hornsby (1929)
- Runs: 156 Rogers Hornsby (1929)
- Doubles: 57 Billy Herman (1935 & 1936)
- Triples: 21 Frank Schulte (1911), Victor Saier (1913)
- Stolen Bases: 67 Frank Chance (1903)
- Hitting Streak: 30 games – Jerome Walton (1989)
- Strikeouts: 174 Sammy Sosa (1997)
- Walks: 147 Jimmy Sheckard (1911)
- Pitching Wins: 29 Mordecai Brown (1908)
- Pitching Strikeouts: 274 Ferguson Jenkins (1970)
- Pitching ERA: 1.04 Mordecai Brown (1906)
- Pitching Saves: 53 Randy Myers (1993)
- 10 Ron Santo
- 14 Ernie Banks
- 23 Ryne Sandberg (will be retired in pregame ceremony August 28, 2005)
- 26 Billy Williams
- 42 Jackie Robinson (retired throughout baseball)
Some notable Broadcasters
- Lou Boudreau (1958–59; 1961–1987)
- Thom Brennaman (1990–95)
- Jack Brickhouse (1941–45; 1947–1981) [*]
- Chip Caray (1998–2004)
- Harry Caray (1982 -1997) [*]
- Bob Elson (1928–1941) [*]
- Pat Flanagan (1929–1943)
- Charlie Grimm (1939–1942; 1960)
- Milo Hamilton (1955–57; 1981–84) [*]
- Pat Hughes (1996-present)
- Jack Quinlan (1956–1964)
- Ronald Reagan (1933–36)
- Ron Santo (1990-present)
- Steve Stone (1983–2000; 2003–04)
- Hal Totten (1924–1944)
Other persons of note
- Pat Pieper, stadium announcer from 1916–1974, who used a megaphone until the installation of a public-address system in 1931 .
- Chicago Cubs official web site
- Chicago Suntimes Cubs News
- Chicago Tribune Cubs News
- Just North of Wrigley Field – A fan's journal