The Chicago Cubs‘ first season was all the way back in 1876. The team went 52-14 and finished in first place in the National League.
However, Chicago wasn’t called the Cubs back in the day. The franchise was named the Chicago White Stockings. It wasn’t until 1903 that the team became the Chicago Cubs.
Chicago had three nicknames before its current one
Chicago was called the Chicago White Stockings from 1876 to 1889. This name was formed since the players wore “stockings of pure white British thread [and] shoes of white goatskin.”
The White Stockings tied the St. Louis Browns in the 1885 World Series. Chicago then lost to St. Louis in the 1886 World Series. Chicago’s best player was Adrian Anson. In 1879, he was named their captain and manager.
By 1890, several players from the National League left the league to form a more player-friendly one they dubbed the “Players League.” As a result, Anson lost all of his best players. He was forced to fill his roster with players who weren’t that good.
The Chicago team was called the Chicago Colts from 1890 to 1897. Newspapers mockingly called the team “Anson’s Colts.” Back in the day, MLB team names weren’t created by anyone involved with the franchise. A newspaper writer or fan often created them, which is why the Chicago Colts name stayed around.
In 1898, the Chicago Orphans were born. Since Anson was no longer the manager, local newspapers began calling the team the Chicago Orphans since the club lost their “father” in Anson.
1903 is when the Chicago Cubs name was generated. The club’s name hasn’t changed since.
How did the Chicago Cubs get created?
The Chicago Daily News began referring to the team as the Chicago Cubs because of the high amount of young players on the roster. This nickname stuck and became the official team name in 1907.
The Cubs won back-to-back World Series titles in 1907 and 1908. Both championships came against the Detroit Tigers. After the 1908 title, though, the Cubs didn’t experience much success.
Chicago lost seven World Series’s following their 1908 championship. During Game 4 of the 1945 World Series against the Tigers, Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis was asked to leave the game because his pet goat smelled and bothered the fans in attendance.
Sianis left the stadium but not without angrily stating that the Cubs would never win. This was the beginning of the “Curse of the Billy Goat.” The curse lasted 71 years, from 1945 to 2016.
There was also the incident with the black cat when the Cubs took on the Mets at Shea Stadium. A black cat ran in front of the division-leading Cubs dugout. The Mets clinched the division on September 24, thanks largely to the cat haunting the Cubs.
The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series
The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series over the Cleveland Indians, ending the “Curse of the Billy Goat.” Ben Zobrist was the World Series MVP, which was fitting since he grew up in Eureka, Illinois.
The history of the Chicago Cubs’ name is fascinating since newspaper writers are responsible for it. It’s incredible how much the game has changed since 1876.