Most baseball fans are aware that the Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908, but on this day 13 years ago they won their first postseason series win in 108 long years. By defeating the Atlanta Braves three games to two in the National League Division series, the Cubs were on their way their way to the World Series until Steve Bartman and the curse got in the way.
Like the Cleveland Browns and other tragic sports teams, the Chicago Cubs over the last 108 years have found a million ways to lose and have been stuck in baseball purgatory. 2003, has been their best chance since they made the World Series in 1945. After winning 88 games and the central division title, the Cubs were matched up against the 101 win Atlanta Braves and overall one seed in the National League.
In the five game series, the Cubs won two games on the road and outscored the Braves 19-15, in a thrilling series. The last game of the series, on Oct. 5, was a 5-1 Cubs victory as Kerry Wood won his second game of the series.
After winning the series on the road, the Cubs got to go home to Wrigley Field for a chance to make it to the World Series. Although they dropped game one, the Cubs won the next three going up three games to one. Game five featured a masterful pitching performance by Josh Beckett as he only let up one walk and two hits. Game six featured Steve Bartman and their infamous collapse and game seven Chicago was up 5-3 but were outscored 6-1 over the last six innings and lost at home.
This year, Chicago is the league’s best 103-58 as they will await the winner of the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants on Oct. 7. The Cubs have not been this good in years as they have unbelievable pitching, like in 2003, and great young players who can hit, steal and field with the best of them. This year the Cubs were clearly better than everyone else in the league as they are dominating but it just looks like they are having fun. With 13 years ago still in their memory and 108 years since their last championship, anything short of a World Series appearance will be a failure, and maybe even that will not be enough.
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn volleyball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.