CHICAGO – There are going to be around 42-thousand people who hold tickets to one of the biggest sporting events in Chicago sports history tonight.
It’s safe to say those people feel lucky to witness in person something that is 71 years and 18 days in the making.
For the first time since October 10, 1945, the Chicago Cubs will host a World Series game at Wrigley Field. The unprecedented drought has pushed the prices for a majority of the tickets over $2,000. Heck, even bars around the ballpark are charging $250 for the privilege to just watch the game in the vicinity of the Friendly Confines.
Fans who are there will feel lucky, but should the Cubs feel the same about having the next three contests at Wrigley Field? Recent history says yes, the past would say no.
This season the Cubs finished with 57 wins at Wrigley Field, a team record in the ballpark. This year in the playoffs they went 4-1 in games played at the park – and incredible improvement for them since 1984 when their record in the National League Playoffs was 7-11.
As for the World Series? Well Wrigley wasn’t exactly a lucky place for the Cubs. Frankly, the team played a little better on the road than home from 1929-1945.
In that span the Cubs went 2-11 in five World Series that were played at Wrigley Field. Their only victories came in Game 6 of the 1945 World Series against the Tigers (The team’s last Fall Classic win at home) and a Game 5 win over Detroit in 1935. Both victories delayed the elimination of the team from the World Series.
Here’s a breakdown of the records at the Friendly Confines for each World Series year.
1945 – Detroit Tigers – 1-3 (Games 4-7)
1938 – New York Yankees – 0-2 (Games 1-2)
1935 – Detroit Tigers – 1-2 (Games 3-5)
1932 – New York Yankees – 0-2 (Games 3-4)
1929 – Philadelphia Athletics – 0-2 (Games 1-2)
WHAT ABOUT 1918?
Fans might be quick to point out the 1918 World Series in which the Cubs took on the Boston Red Sox.
While Wrigley Field was built at that point (Known then as Weeghman Park), it was determined that a bigger ballpark was needed to host the Fall Classic.
So the series was moved to the South Side and played at the bigger Comiskey Park, which was built in 1910. Not that it gave the Cubs much luck as they lost two of the three games played in the series, including a 1-0 shutout at the hands of legendary hitter and then pitcher Babe Ruth.
During the previous three World Series the Cubs played in 1906, 1907 and 1908, the team called West Side Grounds home.
MAYBE KYLE CAN BRING SOME LUCK
If Cubs fans want to find a good reason to feel like luck in the World Series could change at home, look to their pitcher on the mound tonight.
Kyle Hendricks has found the Friendly Confines to be most cozy during the 2016 season and even in the playoffs. During the regular season the pitcher posted a 9-2 record during home games with an ERA of 1.32.
In the playoffs he has remained effective at Wrigley Field, posting a 1-1 record with a 2.88 ERA. It is worth noting that in the NLCS against the Dodgers he gave up just a single run in a Game 2 loss in which he was beaten by Clayton Kershaw in a shutout then responded by not allowing a run in Game 6 in 7 1/3 innings in helping the Cubs clinch the pennant.
THE ALL TIME RECORD IN WORLD SERIES GAME 3 IS…..
The team is 3-7 in those contests with wins coming in 1907, 1929 and 1945. The Cubs’ only loss in their last World Series victory came in Game 3 against the Tigers in 1908 at Bennett Park.