Chicago Cubs

Known as the Chicago White Stockings, 1871, 1874-89; Chicago Colts, 1890-97; Chicago Orphans, 1898-1901


Ballparks of the Cubs
Union Base-Ball Grounds (1871); 23rd Street Park (1874-77); Lake Front Park (1878-84); West Side Park (1885-90; partial usage, 1891); South Side Park (1891-93); West Side Grounds (1894-1915; partial usage, 1893); Weeghman Park/Cubs Park/Wrigley Field (1916-present).


Brown type indicates league leader. Italic type indicates modern era (1900 or later) team record. * - World Series champion. # - League champion. e - Eastern Division champion. c - Central Division champion. ! - Wild Card entrant.

Year
W
L
PCT
GB
Pos.
BA
R
HR
SB
ERA
Best Hitter
Best Pitcher
Attendance
1871 19 9 .679 2 T-2 .270 302 10 69 2.76 Jimmy Wood George Zettlein  
1874 28 31 .475 18.5 5 .281 418 3   3.25 Levi Meyerle George Zettlein  
1875 30 37 .448 35 7 .262 379 0   2.40 Paul Hines George Zettlein  
1876 52 14 .788 --- #1 .337 624 8   1.76 Ross Barnes Al Spalding  
1877 26 33 .441 15.5 5 .278 366 0   3.37 Cal McVey George Bradley  
1878 30 30 .500 11 4 .290 371 3   2.37 Joe Start Terry Larkin  
1879 46 33 .582 10.5 4 .259 437 3   2.46 Ned Williamson Terry Larkin  
1880 67 17 .798 --- #1 .279 538 4   1.93 George Gore Larry Corcoran  
1881 56 28 .667 --- #1 .295 550 12   2.43 Cap Anson Larry Corcoran  
1882 55 29 .655 --- #1 .277 604 15   2.22 Cap Anson Larry Corcoran  
1883 59 39 .602 4 2 .273 679 13   2.78 George Gore Larry Corcoran  
1884 62 50 .554 22 T-4 .281 834 142   3.03 King Kelly Larry Corcoran  
1885 87 25 .777 --- #1 .264 834 54   2.23 Cap Anson John Clarkson  
1886 90 34 .726 --- #1 .279 900 53 213 2.54 Cap Anson John Clarkson  
1887 71 50 .587 6.5 3 .271 813 80 382 3.46 Cap Anson John Clarkson  
1888 77 58 .570 9 2 .260 734 77 287 2.96 Cap Anson Gus Krock  
1889 67 65 .508 19 3 .263 867 79 243 3.73 Jimmy Ryan Bill Hutchinson  
1890 84 53 .613 6 2 .260 847 67 329 3.24 Cap Anson Bill Hutchinson 102,536
1891 82 53 .607 3.5 2 .253 832 60 238 3.47 Will Wilmot Bill Hutchinson 181,431
1892 70 76 .479 30 7 .235 635 26 233 3.16 Jimmy Ryan Bill Hutchinson 109,067
1893 56 71 .441 29 9 .279 829 32 255 4.81 Bill Dahlen Willie McGill 223,500
1894 57 75 .432 34 8 .314 1,041 65 327 5.68 Bill Dahlen Clark Griffith 239,000
1895 72 58 .554 15 4 .298 866 55 260 4.67 Bill Dahlen Clark Griffith 382,300
1896 71 57 .555 18.5 5 .286 815 34 332 4.41 Bill Dahlen Clark Griffith 317,500
1897 59 73 .447 34 9 .282 832 38 264 4.53 Bill Lange Clark Griffith 327,160
1898 85 65 .567 17.5 4 .274 828 18 220 2.83 Jimmy Ryan Clark Griffith 424,352
1899 75 73 .507 26 8 .277 812 27 247 3.37 Sam Mertes Clark Griffith 352,130

Who's on the Mount Rushmore of the Chicago Cubs?
Cap Anson > Nineteenth-Century legend who managed Cubs for 19 years and became baseball’s first 3,000-hit man
Ernie Banks > Popular shortstop who famously refrained, “Let’s play two” while collecting back-to-back MVP titles and 500 home runs
Frank Chance > “Peerless Leader” who guided Cubs on continued streak of dominance and last world title to date in 1908
William Wrigley > Magnetic owner who honed modern Cubs brand by making Wrigley Field a marquee attraction


1900 65 75 .464 19 T-5 .260 635 33 189 3.23 Sam Mertes Ned Garvin 248,577
1901 53 86 .381 37 6 .258 578 18 204 3.33 Topsy Hartsel Rube Waddell 205,071
1902 68 69 .496 34 5 .250 544 6 229 2.21 Jimmy Slagle Jack Taylor 263,700
1903 82 56 .594 8 3 .275 695 9 259 2.77 Frank Chance Jake Weimar 386,205
1904 93 60 .608 13 2 .248 697 22 227 2.30 Frank Chance Jake Weimar 439,100
1905 92 61 .601 13 3 .245 667 12 267 2.04 Frank Chance Bob Wicker 509,900
1906 116 36 .763 --- #1 .262 704 20 283 1.75 Frank Chance Three Finger Brown 654,300
1907 107 45 .704 --- #*1 .250 574 13 235 1.73 Jimmy Sheckard Orvie Overall 422,550
1908 99 55 .643 --- #*1 .249 624 19 212 2.14 Johnny Evers Three Finger Brown 665,325
1909 104 49 .680 6.5 2 .245 635 20 187 1.75 Solly Hoffman Three Finger Brown 633,480
1910 104 50 .675 --- #1 .268 712 34 173 2.51 Solly Hoffman Three Finger Brown 526,152
1911 92 62 .597 7.5 2 .260 757 54 214 2.90 Wildfire Schulte Lew Richie 576,000
1912 91 59 .607 11.5 3 .277 756 43 164 3.42 Heinie Zimmerman Larry Cheney 514,000
1913 88 65 .575 13.5 3 .257 720 59 181 3.13 Vic Saier Larry Cheney 419,000
1914 78 76 .506 16.5 4 .243 605 42 164 2.71 Heinie Zimmerman Hippo Vaughn 202,516
1915 73 80 .477 17.5 4 .244 570 53 166 3.11 Vic Saier Hippo Vaughn 217,058
1916 67 86 .438 26.5 5 .239 520 46 133 2.65 Cy Williams Hippo Vaughn 453,685
1917 74 80 .481 24 5 .239 552 17 127 2.62 Fred Merkle Hippo Vaughn 360,218
1918 84 45 .651 --- #1 .265 538 21 159 2.18 Charlie Hollocher Hippo Vaughn 337,256
1919 75 65 .536 21 3 .256 454 21 150 2.21 Max Flack Hippo Vaughn 424,430
1920 75 79 .487 18 T-5 .264 619 34 115 3.27 Dave Robertson Pete Alexander 480,783
1921 64 89 .418 30 7 .292 668 37 70 4.39 Ray Grimes Pete Alexander 410,107
1922 80 74 .519 13 5 .293 771 42 97 4.34 Ray Grimes Pete Alexander 542,283
1923 83 71 .539 12.5 4 .288 756 90 181 3.82 Jigger Statz Pete Alexander 703,705
1924 81 72 .539 12.5 4 .276 698 66 137 3.83 George Grantham Pete Alexander 716,922
1925 68 86 .442 27.5 8 .275 723 86 94 4.41 Howard Freigau Pete Alexander 622,610
1926 82 72 .532 7 4 .278 682 66 85 3.26 Hack Wilson Charlie Root 885,063
1927 85 68 .556 8.5 4 .284 750 74 65 3.65 Hack Wilson Charlie Root 1,159,168
1928 91 63 .591 4 3 .278 714 92 83 3.40 Hack Wilson Sheriff Blake 1,143,740
1929 98 54 .645 --- #1 .303 982 139 103 4.16 Rogers Hornsby Charlie Root 1,485,166
1930 90 64 .584 2 2 .309 998 171 70 4.80 Hack Wilson Pat Malone 1,463,624

“Wrigley Field is a Peter Pan of a ballpark. It has never grown up and it has never grown old.”
—E.M. Swift, sportswriter


1931 84 70 .545 17 3 .289 828 84 49 3.97 Kiki Cuyler Charlie Root 1,086,422
1932 90 64 .584 --- #1 .278 720 69 48 3.44 Riggs Stephenson Lon Warneke 974,688
1933 86 68 .558 6 3 .271 646 72 52 2.93 Babe Herman Lon Warneke 594,112
1934 86 65 .570 8 3 .279 705 101 59 3.76 Chuck Klein Lon Warneke 707,525
1935 100 54 .649 --- #1 .288 847 88 66 3.26 Augie Galan Bill Lee 692,604
1936 86 67 .565 5 T-2 .286 755 76 68 3.54 Billy Herman Bill Lee 699,370
1937 93 61 .604 3 2 .287 811 96 71 3.97 Frank Demaree Bill Lee 895,020
1938 89 63 .586 --- #1 .269 713 65 49 3.37 Stan Hack Bill Lee 951,640
1939 84 70 .545 13 4 .266 724 91 61 3.80 Billy Herman Larry French 726,663
1940 75 79 .487 25.5 5 .267 681 86 63 3.54 Bill Nicholson Claude Passeau 534,878
1941 70 84 .455 30 6 .253 666 99 39 3.72 Stan Hack Vern Olsen 545,159
1942 68 86 .442 38 6 .254 591 75 63 3.60 Bill Nicholson Claude Passeau 590,972
1943 74 79 .484 30.5 5 .261 632 52 53 3.31 Bill Nicholson Hi Bithorn 508,247
1944 75 79 .487 30 4 .261 702 71 53 3.59 Bill Nicholson Claude Passeau 640,110
1945 98 56 .636 --- #1 .277 735 57 69 2.98 Phil Caverretta Claude Passeau 1,036,386
1946 82 71 .536 14.5 3 .254 626 56 43 3.24 Phil Caverretta Johnny Schmitz 1,342,970
1947 69 85 .448 25 6 .259 569 71 22 4.04 Bill Nicholson Johnny Schmitz 1,364,039
1948 64 90 .416 27.5 8 .262 597 87 39 4.00 Andy Pafko Johnny Schmitz 1,237,792
1949 61 93 .396 36 8 .256 593 97 53 4.50 Andy Pafko Dutch Leonard 1,143,139
1950 64 89 .418 26.5 7 .248 643 161 46 4.28 Andy Pafko Bob Rush 1,165,944
1951 62 92 .403 34.5 8 .250 614 103 62 4.34 Hank Sauer Bob Rush 894,415
1952 77 77 .500 19.5 5 .264 628 107 50 3.58 Hank Sauer Bob Rush 1,024,826
1953 65 89 .422 40 7 .260 633 137 49 4.79 Ralph Kiner Paul Minner 763,658
1954 64 90 .416 33 7 .263 700 159 46 4.51 Hank Sauer Bob Rush 748,183
1955 72 81 .471 26 6 .247 626 164 37 4.17 Ernie Banks Bob Rush 875,800
1956 60 94 .390 33 8 .244 597 142 55 3.96 Ernie Banks Bob Rush 720,118
1957 62 92 .403 33 T-7 .244 628 147 28 4.13 Ernie Banks Moe Drawbowsky 670,629
1958 72 82 .468 20 T-5 .265 709 182 39 4.22 Ernie Banks Don Elston 979,904
1959 74 80 .481 13 T-5 .249 673 163 32 4.01 Ernie Banks Glen Hobbie 858,255
1960 60 94 .390 35 7 .243 634 119 51 4.35 Ernie Banks Dick Ellsworth 809,770
1961 64 90 .416 29 7 .255 689 176 35 4.48 George Altman Don Cardwell 673,057

“Without Ernie Banks, the Cubs would finish in Albuquerque.”
—Jimmy Dykes, manager


1962 59 103 .364 42.5 9 .253 632 126 78 4.54 Billy Williams Bob Buhl 609,802
1963 82 80 .506 17 7 .238 570 127 68 3.08 Billy Williams Dick Ellsworth 979,551
1964 76 86 .469 17 8 .251 649 145 70 4.08 Ron Santo Larry Jackson 751,647
1965 72 90 .444 25 8 .238 635 134 65 3.78 Billy Williams Ted Abernathy 641,361
1966 59 103 .364 36 10 .254 644 140 76 4.33 Ron Santo Ken Holtzman 635,891
1967 87 74 .540 14 3 .251 702 128 63 3.48 Ron Santo Ferguson Jenkins 977,226
1968 84 78 .519 13 3 .242 612 130 41 3.41 Billy Williams Ferguson Jenkins 1,043,049
1969 92 70 .568 8 2 .253 720 142 30 3.34 Ron Santo Bill Hands 1,674,993
1970 84 78 .519 5 2 .259 806 179 39 3.76 Billy Williams Ferguson Jenkins 1,642,705
1971 83 79 .512 14 T-3 .258 637 128 44 3.61 Billy Williams Ferguson Jenkins 1,653,007
1972 85 70 .548 11 2 .257 685 133 69 3.22 Billy Williams Ferguson Jenkins 1,299,163
1973 77 84 .478 5 5 .247 614 117 65 3.66 Jose Cardenal Rick Reuschel 1,351,705
1974 66 96 .407 22 6 .251 669 110 78 4.28 Rick Monday Bill Bonham 1,015,378
1975 75 87 .463 17.5 T-5 .259 712 95 67 4.49 Jose Cardenal Rick Reuschel 1,034,819
1976 75 87 .463 26 4 .251 611 105 74 3.93 Rick Monday Rick Reuschel 1,026,217
1977 81 81 .500 20 4 .266 692 111 64 4.01 Bobby Murcer Rick Reuschel 1,439,834
1978 79 83 .488 11 3 .264 664 72 110 4.05 Ivan DeJesus Rick Reuschel 1,525,311
1979 80 82 .494 18 5 .269 706 135 73 3.88 Dave Kingman Bruce Sutter 1,648,587

“One thing you learn as a Cubs fan: When you bought your ticket, you can bank on seeing the bottom of the ninth inning.”
—Joe Garagiola, broadcaster


1980 64 98 .395 27 6 .251 614 107 93 3.89 Bill Buckner Rick Reuschel 1,206,776
1981 38 65 .369 21.5 6/5 .236 370 57 72 4.01 Bill Buckner Mike Krukow 565,637
1982 73 89 .451 19 5 .260 676 102 132 3.92 Leon Durham Ferguson Jenkins 1,249,278
1983 71 91 .438 19 5 .261 701 140 84 4.08 Keith Moreland Lee Smith 1,479,717
1984 96 65 .596 --- e 1 .260 762 136 154 3.75 Ryne Sandberg Steve Trout 2,107,655
1985 77 84 .478 23.5 4 .254 686 150 182 4.16 Ryne Sandberg Dennis Eckersley 2,161,534
1986 70 90 .438 37 5 .256 680 155 132 4.49 Ryne Sandberg Lee Smith 1,859,102
1987 76 85 .472 18.5 6 .264 720 209 109 4.55 Andre Dawson Rick Sutcliffe 2,035,130
1988 77 85 .475 24 4 .261 660 113 120 3.84 Andre Dawson Greg Maddux 2,089,034
1989 93 69 .574 --- e 1 .261 702 124 136 3.43 Ryne Sandberg Greg Maddux 2,491,942
1990 77 85 .475 18 T-4 .263 690 136 151 4.34 Ryne Sandberg Greg Maddux 2,243,791
1991 77 83 .481 20 4 .253 695 159 123 4.03 Ryne Sandberg Lee Smith 2,314,250
1992 78 84 .481 18 4 .254 593 104 77 3.39 Ryne Sandberg Greg Maddux 2,126,720
1993 84 78 .519 13 4 .270 738 161 100 4.18 Mark Grace Randy Myers 2,653,763
1994 49 64 .434 16.5 5 .259 500 109 69 4.17 Sammy Sosa Steve Trachsel 1,845,208
1995 73 71 .507 12 3 .265 693 158 105 4.13 Mark Grace Jaime Navarro 1,918,265
1996 76 86 .469 12 4 .251 772 175 108 4.36 Sammy Sosa Steve Trachsel 2,219,110
1997 68 94 .420 16 5 .263 687 127 116 4.44 Mark Grace Jeremi Gonzalez 2,190,308
1998 90 73 .552 12.5 ! 2 .264 831 212 65 4.50 Sammy Sosa Rod Beck 2,623,194
1999 67 95 .414 30 6 .257 747 189 60 5.27 Sammy Sosa Jon Leiber 2,813,854
2000 65 97 .401 30 6 .256 764 183 93 5.25 Sammy Sosa Jon Leiber 2,789,511
2001 88 74 .543 2 3 .261 777 194 67 4.03 Sammy Sosa Jon Leiber 2,779,465
2002 67 95 .414 30 5 .246 706 200 63 4.29 Sammy Sosa Matt Clement 2,693,096
2003 88 74 .543 --- c 1 .259 724 172 73 3.83 Sammy Sosa Mark Prior 2,962,630
2004 89 73 .549 16 3 .268 789 235 66 3.81 Moises Alou Carlos Zambrano 3,170,154
2005 79 83 .488 21 4 .270 703 194 65 4.19 Derrek Lee Carlos Zambrano 3,099,992
2006 66 96 .407 17.5 6 .268 716 166 121 4.74 Aramis Ramirez Carlos Zambrano 3,123,215
2007 85 77 .525 --- c 1 .272 752 151 86 4.04 Derrek Lee Carlos Zambrano 3,252,462
2008 97 64 .602 --- c 1 .278 855 184 87 3.87 Aramis Ramirez Ryan Dempster 3,300,200
2009 83 78 .516 7.5 2 .255 707 161 56 3.84 Derrek Lee Randy Wells 3,168,859
2010 75 87 .463 16 5 .257 685 149 55 4.18 Alfonso Soriano Carlos Marmol 3,062,973
2011 71 91 .438 25 5 .256 654 148 69 4.33 Aramis Ramirez Matt Garza 3,017,966
2012 61 101 .377 36 5 .240 613 137 94 4.51 Alfonso Soriano Jeff Samardzija 2,882,756
2013 66 96 .407 31 5 .238 602 172 63 4.00 Anthony Rizzo Travis Wood 2,642,682
2014 73 89 .451 17 5 .239 614 157 65 3.91 Anthony Rizzo Jake Arrieta 2,652,113
2015 97 65 .599 3 ! 3 .244 689 171 95 3.36 Anthony Rizzo Jake Arrieta 2,959,812
2016 103 58 .640 --- #*c 1 .256 808 199 66 3.15 Kris Bryant Kyle Hendricks 3,232,420

How does This Great Game determine the best hitters and pitchers? Find out here.


Highlights of the Cubs' History on This Great Game:

1906 baseball history1906: The Hitless Wonders How the Chicago White Sox bat .230 with seven home runs all year—and still become world champions.


1908 baseball history1908: The Merkle Boner A 19-year-old rookie costs the New York Giants by committing one of the game's most notorious blunders—and leads to the Cubs’ last World Series triumph to date.


1929 baseball history1929: Running on Ehmke All but washed up, veteran pitcher Howard Ehmke gets the dream call for Game One of the World Series and delivers, setting the tone for a long-overdue championship for the Philadelphia A's over the Cubs.


1932 baseball history1932: The So-Called Shot Babe Ruth's historic and highly debated gesture gives a hostile World Series between the New York Yankees and the Cubs its flashpoint.


1945 baseball history1945: Hank's Heroic Rescue As World War II comes to an end, Hank Greenberg makes the first and most celebrated return to baseball—and keeps the Cubs from going over the top in the World Series.


1998 baseball history1998: The Maris Sweepstakes Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa embark on a historic record-breaking pursuit of Roger Maris' long-standing season home run mark.


2003 baseball history2003: Curses, Inc. Baseball's two most famously cursed—the Cubs and Boston Red Sox—add to their long-suffering legend of heartbreak.


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The Cubs by the Decade


19th Century Begun in 1870 as a semipro outfit, the White Stockings (Cubs) entered the National Association in 1871 but were badly victimized late that year by the Great Chicago Fire, forcing them to wander in and out of major league status until emerging as a charter member of the National League in 1876 with the help of an influx of star players. Among them was Cap Anson—a great baseball man who managed the team for 19 years and became baseball’s first 3,000-hit man, but a lousy humanitarian as he led the successful effort to bar black ballplayers from the majors. Five-time pennants winners during the 1880s, Chicago briefly survived a mass exodus of its players to the short-lived Players League in 1890 before descending into mediocrity, in part due to a simmering feud between the front office and Anson, fired after 1897.


1900s The Cubs began the 20th Century in impressive fashion by fielding a National League dynasty late in the decade behind the “Peerless Leader” Frank Chance, the team’s hard-nosed first baseman-manager and part of the fabled double-play combination that also featured shortstop Joe Tinker and second baseman Johnny Evers. Chance especially relied on sensational pitching on his way to multiple pennants; three times the Cubs turned in team earned run averages below 2.00, including an all-time record 1.73 in 1907. Chicago’s back-to-back World Series titles in 1907-08 would be the Cubs’ last for over a century.


1910s After another pennant in 1910, the Cubs slowly descended in the standings through the decade, rising briefly to the top in 1918 with another NL flag before bowing to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. Numerous hitters made star turns for the Cubs including Wildfire Schulte, Heinie Zimmerman, Cy Williams and Vic Saier; Hippo Vaughn dominated the rotation as the decade’s top ace. The team inherited the ballpark soon to be known as Wrigley Field when the owners of the defunct Federal League’s Chicago entry—who had built it in 1914—were allowed to purchase the Cubs in 1916.


1920s The Cubs’ personality was a perfect fit for Chicago’s arresting role in the Roaring Twenties, as prohibition didn’t keep stars such as veteran ace Pete Alexander and the short (yet incredibly powerful) slugger Hack Wilson from pursuing their alcohol. After menial results through the first part of the decade, the Cubs transformed into a hitting machine thanks to a titanic lineup that included, by decade’s end, Wilson, Rogers Hornsby and Kiki Cuyler—all under the astute leadership of young manager Joe McCarthy. The fans loved it and packed Wrigley Field with over a million fans (a NL first) for five straight seasons beginning in 1927.


1930s Despite an almost maddening turnover in managers and top talent, the Cubs managed to stay consistently at the top of the NL standings through the decade as they ran their streak of winning records to 14 and collected three more pennants—yet with no championships. Engorging hitting highlighted by Wilson’s 56 homers and 191 RBIs in 1930 gave way later to a Cub team more dependent on solid pitching, with sterling contributions from Lon Warneke, Bill Lee and, briefly at decade’s end, a fragile yet effective Dizzy Dean.


1940s The Cubs sloughed through the early 1940s but caught lightning in a wartime bottle when they spiked to a NL pennant in 1945—losing out to Detroit in a wild, seven-game World Series that’s the Cubs’ last to date, with many since blaming their absence on a curse laid down by a local tavern owner who wasn’t allowed to bring his billy goat inside Wrigley. Any hex made its presence immediately felt, as the 1947 season began a run of 16 years without a winning season.


1950s Despite repeated losing, the decade didn’t lack for excitement at Wrigley Field. Three MVP awards were handed out to Cub players: Hank Sauer in 1952 and, from 1958-59, shortstop Ernie Banks—the team’s first black player whose everlasting positive energy captivated the Wrigley faithful. On the mound, Bob Rush did all he could to patch together an otherwise woeful rotation. All in all, the Cubs could not escape the NL’s second division once during the decade.


1960s Desperate to try anything to win, the Cubs established the unorthodox “College of Coaches” system to replace the single manager from 1961-62—with failing bureaucratic results. A new wave of talent—including ace pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, quiet slugger Billy Williams and effervescent third baseman Ron Santo—would ultimately prove to be the much-needed tonic to reverse the franchise’s fortunes; behind roughened veteran manager Leo Durocher, the Cubs made a run at the postseason late in the decade, coming closest in 1969 when it folded late in a turbulent pennant race with the upstart New York Mets.


1970s The star players of the 1960s faded or were traded, and the mid-decade birth of modern free agency was heavily stiff-armed by the ruling Wrigley family, which had owned the Cubs for over 50 years and once claimed no ballplayer was worth $100,000. Hence, the results on the field were telling; though the Cubs seldom hit rock bottom, they rarely threatened to contend with a weak rotation and popgun offense occasionally brought to life by perennial batting champ Bill Madlock and, late in the decade, the tape-measure theatrics of Dave Kingman. Outspent, the Wrigleys sold to the Tribune Company in 1981.


1980s The Cubs produced two winning seasons in the decade—and made the playoffs in both, their first postseason appearances since 1945. Although both ended in failure at the NLCS (most frustratingly in 1984 by blowing a two-game lead over San Diego) they sparked a newfound, long-term enthusiasm in Chicago, further aided by the quiet leadership of highly popular players Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson, the winsome play-by-play antics of legendary broadcaster Harry Caray and—finally, in 1988—with the installation of lights at Wrigley after years of arm-wrestling with surrounding residents.


1990s A disappointing decade saw just one postseason appearance, and barely—with the 1998 Cubs needing a 163rd regular season game to qualify for the wild card spot. That team was lifted by Sammy Sosa, who began the 1990s as a speedy, skinny kid and ended it as a supremely bulky presence who played a powerful second fiddle to Mark McGwire in 1998’s historic rush to snap Roger Maris’ season home run mark; Sosa’s 66 clouts that year ignited a four-year run in which he averaged 61 a season. Pitching was fair at best, save for Greg Maddux’ pre-Atlanta successes and Kerry Wood’s 20-K performance in 1998.


2000s As the Cubs approached and surpassed 100 years without a world title, the Billy Goat Curse took on an expanded life—especially in the 2003 NLCS as, up three runs and five outs away from the team’s first World Series in nearly 60 years, Steve Bartman’s infamous interference on a fly ball and Alex Gonzalez’s critical infield error opened the floodgates for the opposing Marlins and sank the Cubs’ quest. Three years later, the Tribune Company went for broke and succeeded in the worst way—infusing $300 million on free agents to help foster two divisional titles but zero playoff wins in 2007-08. In 2009, a bankrupt Tribune sold to the Ricketts family.


2010s A prolonged dive in the standings took the Cubs to rock bottom in 2012 with 101 losses, but a steady, seemingly endless stream of gifted top prospects including Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Javier Baez quickly brought the Cubs back to prominence. Guiding them were proven leaders in eccentric manager Joe Maddon and team president Theo Epstein—who, after rebuilding the Red Sox and helping them snap their long World Series drought, finally brought championship glory back to Wrigleyville in 2016 after a 108-year dry spell. Another rebuild also took place in the stands with a $500 million makeover of century-old Wrigley Field, which the City of Chicago helped to finance.


Bushers Book