The Chicago Cubs won the National League to advance to the World Series since 1945 and are seeing their first championship for more than a century. Here's how Major League Baseball looked the last time the Cubs played for a title against the Detroit Tigers, 71 years ago.
MLB’s color barrier hadn’t been broken yet
Jackie Robinson broke MLB’s color barrier in 1947, two seasons after the Cubs’ last trip to the Series. As a result, Dexter Fowler will be the first African-American Cubs player to appear in the World Series.
Wrigley Field looked mostly the same
There’s a giant Budweiser scoreboard missing in right field, but after 71 years, Wrigley still looks like Wrigley.
There were only 16 teams in Major League Baseball
There were three teams in New York (the Yankees, Dodgers and Giants, and two teams in Boston (the Braves and the Red Sox), Philadelphia (the Phillies and the Athletics) and St. Louis (the Browns and the Cardinals).
World Series programs were sold for 25 cents
World War II had been over for a month
The surrender of Japan occurred on September 2nd, 1945, and the 1945 World Series began a month later on October 3rd. Teams across the league were missing players throughout the season, but Tigers star Hank Greenberg, who was the first veteran to return to MLB in the summer of 1945, played a huge role in Detroit’s World Series win. The Series was also played under travel restrictions, which saw the first three games of the Series played in Detroit and the final four in Chicago.
The St. Louis Browns had a player with one arm
As a result of rosters being depleted by the war, Pete Gray played 77 games in the 1945 season for the St. Louis Browns, and he batted .218.
Cubs pitcher Hank Borowy started Game 7 of the World Series on one day of rest
Borowy threw a nine-inning shutout on the road to win Game 1, then started (and lost) Game 5. He picked up the Game 6 win with four innings of relief a day later, then started Game 7 on one day's rest. He gave up three runs before he was pulled in the first inning.
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Pop culture: Perry Como’s ‘Till the End of Time’ was the top-selling record in America
“The Lost Weekend” won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1945, and Bing Crosby was the top-grossing movie star.
The oldest Cubs player was 43
39-year-old “Grandpa” David Ross wouldn’t seem so old on the 1945 Cubs. They had six players on the roster who were 37 or older, including 43-year-old Johnny Moore.
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Bill Nicholson led the team with 13 home runs
Only two Cubs hit more than 10 home runs for the season. Tommy Holmes led MLB with a staggering 28 home runs in 1945.