1906 Chicago Cubs

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1906 Chicago Cubs / Franchise: Chicago Cubs / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 116-36-3, Finished 1st in National League (1906 NL)

Clinched Pennant: September 19, 1906, At Boston Beaneaters

Managed by Frank Chance

Ballpark: West Side Park

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1906 Chicago Cubs own the best all-time winning percentage in Major League history (.763) and are tied for most all-time wins in a season (116). They were a team with great pitching and solid position players. The team was known as a very savvy team.

The Cubs dominated both league hitting and pitching. Their 705 runs scored were nearly 100 ahead of anyone else. The 381 runs they allowed were also almost 100 better than anyone else.

All four of the starters had winning percentages in the top five in the league. The team ERA, 1.75, was a result of the fact that Mordecai Brown had a 1.04 ERA and all six of the most utilized pitchers had ERA's as good or better than 2.21. Carl Lundgren was at 2.21, while the other five were at 1.88 or better. The league as a whole was at 2.62.

The hitters led the league in batting average and slugging percentage. Although the Pittsburgh Pirates' Honus Wagner was the top offensive player in the league, Harry Steinfeldt was second behind him in batting average and tied for the league lead in RBI. Player-manager Frank Chance had an excellent season, leading the league in stolen bases and run scored, and finishing among the leaders in many offensive categories.

Jimmy Sheckard was third in runs scored and fourth in doubles, while Frank Schulte tied for the league lead in triples. Sheckard led the league in sacrifice hits while Johnny Evers was fifth in the league in stolen bases.

The oldest player on the team, Jimmy Slagle at age 32, would continue to play center field for the team through 1908, while the team would finish in the first place each season from 1906 to 1908.

The team is perhaps most famous for the poem "Baseball's Sad Lexicon", penned about the defensive prowess of the infield combination of SS Joe Tinker, 2B Evers and 1B Chance. This has contributed to inflate the three players' reputation over the years, but the Cubs were in fact an excellent defensive team, which explains to some extent why all of their pitchers had very low ERAs.

Manager Chance, "The Peerless Leader", would manage the Cubs for eight seasons, winning the pennant four times and never finishing worse than third in the league. He would manage a total of 11 seasons in all in the majors, with a winning percentage of .593.

The Cubs' great record was the result of a tremendous winning streak that started when they won two games against the New York Giants starting on August 6th, and were awarded a third win by forfeit when Giants manager John McGraw tried to prevent umpire Jim Johnstone, with whom he had a beef, from entering the ballpark on August 7th. They lost only two games in six weeks and had streaks of 11, 14 and 12 wins around these losses. From that point on, they ran away with the pennant, finishing 20 games in front of their nearest pursuer. The Cubs went on to meet their cross-town rivals, the Chicago White Sox, in the World Series. In what remains one of the greatest World Series upsets of all time, the White Sox, known as the "hitless wonders" for their lack of batting, defeated them in six games.

World Series[edit]

Main article: 1906 World Series
Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 White Sox - 2, Cubs - 1 October 9 West Side Park 12,693
2 Cubs - 7, White Sox - 1 October 10 South Side Park 12,595
3 White Sox - 3, Cubs - 0 October 11 West Side Park 13,667
4 Cubs - 1, White Sox - 0 October 12 South Side Park 18,385
5 White Sox - 8, Cubs - 6 October 13 West Side Park 23,257
6 Cubs - 3, White Sox - 8 October 14 South Side Park 19,249

Further Reading[edit]

  • Hal Bock: The Last Chicago Cubs Dynasty: Before the Curse, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2016. ISBN 978-1442253308
  • Douglas Jordan: "The .700 Club: Blessedly Good Baseball", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 45, Number 2 (Fall 2016), pp. 26-33.

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White Sox over Cubs (4-2)