Column: 2022 Chicago Cubs share dubious history with the 1879 team — but there could be a sign of hope

When a colleague pulled out his iPhone in the Chicago Cubs clubhouse Thursday afternoon to show a factoid he received from the team’s historian, my head began to spin.

After the four-game sweep by the San Diego Padres, the Cubs had been outscored by 20 or more runs in back-to-back series for only the second time in franchise history. The other time it happened was in September 1879, when the Providence Grays outscored the Cubs by 20 runs (29-9) and the Boston Braves by 23 (31-8).

Of all the bad teams in Cubs history, we finally have a matching set, separated by only 143 years.

I wondered how the 1879 Cubs handled their beatings. Did they have stand-up players such as closer David Robertson or catcher Willson Contreras who stepped up Thursday and faced media members after the embarrassing losing streak had reached 10 games? Was the manager on the hot seat afterward? Did Cubs fans of 1879 ignore the drubbings on the field and focus on building the longest beer-cup snake known to modern man at Lake Front Park?

Thanks to modern technology — a subscription to the Chicago Tribune — I was able to find some answers.

The Tribune, which turned 175 on June 10, did not employ a baseball beat writer back in 1879, when the Cubs were known as the White Stockings, Rutherford B. Hayes was president and the telephone had just been invented three years earlier.

The 1879 team was managed by Cap Anson, a first baseman who led the White Stockings to the National League pennant in 1876, the first year of the new league. Anson later was called “baseball’s first superstar” by the Society for American Baseball Research, which wrote: “So good was Anson’s bat control that …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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