Everything you always wanted to know about a team often referred to as the "lovable losers"
The Chicago Cubs Encyclopedia
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Jerome Holtzman and George Vass
For the last half century, since 1945 when they won their last pennant, the Chicago Cubs have often been characterized as "lovable losers." Even Dallas Green, when he took over the club following the 1981 season, was unaware of the Cubs' glorious history and launched a promotional campaign entitled "Building a New Tradition." It was an understandable mistake.
The Cubs set a record for consecutive second division finishes, 20. Still, all that was needed was one or two championship teams, certainly not a new tradition. The Cubs have won 16 pennants, set the one-season major league record for victories, 116 in 1906, and are the only charter member of the National League to play in the same city without interruption, 121 years.
They were baseball's first dynastysix pennants in the National League's first 11 seasons. Twice they won three consecutive pennants and four in a five-year sequence. A galaxy of hall-of-famers have paraded across the Chicago scene: Adrian Constantine Anson, Frank Chance, "Three Finger" Mordecai Brown, Gabby Hartnett, Hack Wilson, and more recently, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Ferguson Jenkins, and Ryne Sandberg, just to name a few.
The Chicago Cubs Encyclopedia presents the touching history of the team that has been without a pennant longer than anyone in the major leagues. It includes:
George Vass is a freelance journalist. He was a writer for the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Daily News and is the author of several sports books.
In the series
Baseball Encyclopedias of North America, edited by Rich Westcott.
The purpose of Baseball Encyclopedias of North America, edited by Rich Westcott, is to examine each of the clubs in big league baseball in an encyclopedic format. That is, to provide baseball fans a place to go to find information on a particular team organized in such a fashion that is available nowhere else. The series editor aims to concentrate on the 16 original teams of both leagues and publish each book as he is able to find the right person to do it. The books will all be unique because of their emphasis on three major components: 1) short, straight forward prose accounts of all aspects of the team including seasons, players, stadiums and front office people, 2) listings and statistics of all players of the team, and 3) heavy illustrations. These books can be read cover to cover or used as reference materials.