Also, both teams each have their own individual reputations. The Yankees have consistently won, and the Cubs have consistently lost. The Yankees have 27 World Series titles, the last one in 2009 against the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cubs have 2 World Series titles, the last one in………you guessed it, 1908 against the Detroit Tigers.
While the Yankees and their fans have experienced so much success over the years, the Cubs and their fans have dealt with much heartbreak. The collapse of 1969, the ball that went between the legs of Leon Durham in 1984 and the much recent 2003 NLCS chokejob where the Cubs blew a 3-1 series lead to the Florida Marlins. Is it really worth mentioning that the Cubs were swept out of the NLDS in 2007 and 2008 during? Sure why not, may as well pile it on.
The Cubs and Yankees are meeting again at Wrigley Field this Friday for just the seventh time since the 1938 World Series. So since we’re on the subject of the past, let’s take a look at the previous Cubs vs. Yankees matchups…
June 17-19, 2005 – Yankee Stadium: Yankees sweep the Cubs
This was a pretty ugly series for the Cubs; the Yankees outscored the Cubs 23-10 that weekend. Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano came through with some clutch hitting that really hurt the Cubs. The Cubs’ pitching staff was filled with injuries that year (Remember the Mark Prior/Kerry Wood gotta get healthy days?). The Cubs never won a game at the old Yankee Stadium, going 0-7 lifetime. Hopefully the Cubs will somehow muster up one victory at the new Yankee Stadium when the Cubs travel there in the next few years.
June 6-8, 2003 – Wrigley Field: Cubs win two of three
The first meeting between the Cubs and Yankees since the 1938 World Series was a successful one for the Cubs. The Cubs were sitting in first place on their way to a surprising division title in Dusty Baker’s first year as Cubs’ manager. The Yankees won the first game of the series. David Wells pitched a nice game, going 7 2/3 innings allowing three runs. The Cubs, however, took the next two games with Kerry Wood pitching a gem in the second game, while denying the cheater Roger Clemens his 300th victory. Although, there was one milestone reached in the third game of the series involving another cheater. Sammy Sosa recorded his 2,000th career hit just two days after receiving an eight game suspension for the corked bat incident against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Sosa appealed the suspension, which allowed him to play in the Cubs/Yankees series.
1938 World Series, October 5-9: Yankees sweep the Cubs 4-0
Since this was very much before my time, I’ll quote the recap of the matchup from WorldSeries.com…
“The Yankees, as usual, cruised to the American League pennant, finishing 9 ½ games ahead of the second-place Red Sox. The Cubs traveled a significantly tougher path to the National League flag. Chicago spent most of the season chasing, first, the Giants, and then the Pirates. But on September 28, with twilight descending upon Wrigley Field, Cubs catcher Gabby Hartnett, who had been named manager in July, hit a home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, lifting Chicago to a victory over the Pirates and sole possession of first place. Hartnett’s blow would immortalized in Cubs lore as “the Homer in the Gloamin’.”A few days later, the Cubs clinched the pennant.
The World Series opened in Chicago, where the fans in Wrigley Field witnessed a tight contest. The Yanks scored a pair of runs in the second, the Cubs scored once in the third, the Yanks a single run in the sixth, and that’s how it ended — 3-1 Yankees. Red Ruffing went the distance and scattered nine hits to earn the victory with Bill Lee taking the loss.
Game 2 matched Yankee ace Lefty Gomez against Dizzy Dean, bereft of his once-great fastball but still effective. And thanks to center fielder Joe Marty’s sac fly in the first and two-run double in the third, Dean was nursing a 3-2 Chicago lead after seven frames. But in the top of the eighth, Frank Crosetti touched Dean for a two-run homer, and one inning later Joe DiMaggio did the same. Gomez, with help from reliever Johnny Murphy, didn’t allow the Cubs to score after the third, and the final was New York 6, Chicago 3.
In New York for Game 3, after a day off, the Yankees didn’t collect their first base hit until the fifth inning, when Joe Gordon drove a Clay Bryant pitch into the left-field bleachers. Three batters later, Yankees third baseman Red Rolfe singled home Yankees starter Monte Pearson to give New York a 2-1 lead. The Bombers scored another pair in the sixth on Gordon’s two-run single, and Pearson went nine innings for the 5-2 victory.
Crosetti lined a bases-loaded triple into the left-field corner in the second inning of Game 4, and though the Cubs hung around for a while after that, the Yankees put the game away with four runs in the bottom of the eighth. Game 1 winner Red Ruffing went nine innings to gain the 8-3, Series-clinching decision.
That made six straight Series losses for the Cubs, while the Yankees could boast three in the last three seasons.”
1932 World Series, September 28-October 2: Yankees sweep the Cubs, 4-0
When I was a little kid, I had heard of Babe Ruth’s called shot a few times. I didn’t know until shortly later, when I began to follow baseball more closely, that Ruth’s called shot was against the Cubs. “That figures.” I said to myself. Here’s the WorldSeries.com recap of this matchup as well…
“After a surprising three-year pennant drought, the Yankees climbed once again to the top of the American League, finishing 13 games ahead of the second-place Philadelphia Athletics. The Yankees, incidentally, were managed by Joe McCarthy, who skippered the Cubs to their last pennant in 1929, but was fired after finishing second in 1930.
The World Series opened in New York, and the Cubs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning, helped by Babe Ruth’s error in right field. Ruth atoned for his miscue with an RBI single in the fourth, and Lou Gehrig followed with a two-run homer into the right-field bleachers which gave the Bombers a 3-2 lead. The Yanks made it 8-2 in the sixth, scoring five times and knocking out Cub starter Guy Bush. Both teams scored four runs after that, making the final 12-6. Despite allowing 10 hits and six walks, Red Ruffing went the distance for the victory.
Game 2 wasn’t as wild, but the result — a Yankee decision — was the same. Gehrig went 3-for-4 and scored a run, Lefty Gomez pitched nine strong innings, and the Bombers took a 2-0 lead in the Series with a 5-2 triumph.
In Chicago for Game 3, Ruth blasted a three-run homer in the first inning, and Gehrig made it 4-1 in the third with a solo clout of his own. The Cubs battled back, though, and after four innings the contest was deadlocked at four runs apiece. The 1932 Series was marked by animosity between the two clubs from the beginning, and when Ruth came up in the fifth with one out, he was greeted by derisive catcalls from the Chicago dugout. He responded with a gesture — exactly toward whom or what, no one knows for sure — and then drove a Charlie Root pitch over the wall in deep center field. This would forever after be known as Ruth’s “Called Shot.” Gehrig followed with his second homer of the game, and the Yankees were well on their way to a 7-5 triumph.
In Game 4, the Cubs exploded for four runs in the first inning, knocking out Yankee starter Johnny Allen in the process. The score was 5-5 after six innings … at which point the Bombers took over, scoring four runs in both the seventh and ninth innings, thus rolling to a Series-clinching, 13-6 victory. Tony Lazzeri was the hitting star, with a pair of home runs and four RBIs, and Wilcy Moore earned the decision with 5 1/3 innings of relief work.”
The Cubs have played better so far this week, hopefully they’ll continue to play well during their series with the Yankees.