Cubbies, Did Tolstoy Ever Know Ye?

By Glen Sparks

The great writer Leo Tolstoy posed for this picture in 1908.

The great writer Leo Tolstoy posed for this picture in 1908, the last year that the Cubs won a World Series.

Can you name the first team to make three straight World Series appearances and also the first to win back-to-back Series? Hint: The team has not won a World Series since those two straight titles. Second hint: Baseball people like to point out this long drought and, yes, snicker a bit over it. Third hint: Look at the headline.

Yes, it’s the Chicago Cubs. Starring Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown and (Joe) Tinker to (Johnny) Evers to (Frank) Chance. The Cubs lost to the crosstown White Sox in 1906 before beating the Detroit Tigers in 1907 and ’08.

How do you put 106 years of wait-‘til-next-year into perspective? In 1908:

  • Leo Tolstoy was still alive. So was Mark Twain.
  • Machine Gun Kelly turned 8. Bugsy Siegel turned 2.
  • The start of World War I was still six years away. The Spanish-American War had been over for just a decade.
  • Winston Churchill married Clementine.
  • The movie, In the Sultan’s Power, was released. It was the first film completely made in Los Angeles. The city of L.A. had about 300,000 residents when the cameras started rolling.
  • Henry Ford introduced the Model T.

Below, check out every current team’s World Series history. (Note that I am naming each franchise by its current location and team name.) The road to the 2014 Series begins this evening with the wildcard games. The Cubs, 73-89 this season and in last place, will be watching again from the side of that road.

Remember, though, that next year could be the year for the Cubs. The young talent is making its way to the majors. Or it could be the year after that. Or the year after that.

World Series History by Team

 

Teams League Appearances Wins Losses Last Championship
New York Yankees AL 40 27 13

2009

St. Louis Cardinals NL 19 11 8 2013
San Francisco Giants NL 19 7 12 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers NL 18 6 12 1988
Oakland A’s AL 14 9 5 1990
Boston Red Sox AL 12 8 4 2013
Detroit Tigers AL 11 4 7 1984
Chicago Cubs NL 10 2 8 1908
Atlanta Braves NL 9 3 6 1995
Cincinnati Reds NL 9 5 4 1990
Philadelphia Phillies NL 7 2 5 2009
Pittsburgh Pirates NL 7 5 2 1979
Baltimore Orioles NL 7 3 4 1983
Minnesota Twins AL 6 3 3 1991
Cleveland Indians AL 5 2 3 1948
Chicago White Sox AL 5 3 2 2005
New York Mets NL 4 2 2 2000
Kansas City Royals AL 2 1 1 1985
Miami Marlins NL 2 2 0 2003
San Diego Padres NL 2 0 2
Texas Rangers AL 2 0 2
Toronto Blue Jays AL 2 2 0 1993
Arizona D’backs NL 1 1 0 2001
Colorado Rockies NL 1 0 1
Houston Astros NL/AL 1 0 1
Los Angeles Angels AL 1 1 0 2002
Milwaukee Brewers AL/NL 1 0 1
Tampa Bay Rays AL 1 0 1
Washington Nats NL 0 0 0
Seattle Mariners AL 0 0 0

 

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