No love lost: 8 defining moments from the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry
The Cubs-Cardinals rivalry is over a century old, and known as one of the best in pro sports. But why? The two teams haven't faced each other in a postseason series in 129 years. There's no shortage of animosity between the two fan bases, but the rivalry isn't one manufactured by fans -- the players on the field don't like each other all that much either. As the Cubs and Cardinals square off in the NLDS, we take a look back at some of the defining moments of one of baseball's oldest rivalries.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY SportsJasen Vinlove
In the beginning...
In 1885, the National League champion Chicago White Stockings (Cubs) and the American Association champion St. Louis Browns (Cardinals) faced off in the World's Championship, which was considered an exhibition at the time. The seven-game series ended in a 3-3-1 tie, but the Browns disputed their Game 2 forfeit and claim themselves the real champions. The two teams would meet again the following year in the championship series, which St. Louis won, four games to two. It would be the last time the two teams would meet in the postseason for 129 years.
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1928: Hack Wilson's riot
Cubs slugger Hack Wilson had a reputation for picking fights with opposing teams and their fans. In 1928, during a Cubs-Cards game at Wrigley Field, Wilson jumped into the stands in the ninth inning to attack a heckler. The fight started a near-riot and nearly 5,000 fans swarmed the field. The fan involved in the altercation sued Wilson for $20,000, but lost. Wilson was fined $100 for the incident.
1945: Cubs edge Cards to win pennant
The 1945 season was an intense pennant race between the two NL rivals. The Cubs finished the season with a 98-56 record, just three games ahead of the Cards, to advance to the World Series. In Game 4 of the series, William Sianis, a fan and owner of the local Billy Goat Tavern, brought his pet goat to help him cheer on Chicago and bring the team good luck, but the pair wasn't allowed into Wrigley Field. There was an argument and Sianis 'cursed' the Cubs saying 'The Cubs ain't gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field.' The 'Curse of the Billy Goat' still lives on today, as the Cubs have not returned to the World Series since.
1964: Brock for Broglio trade
On June 15, 1964, the Cubs and Cardinals made the most lopsided trade in baseball history. The six-player deal essentially sent Cubs outfielder Lou Brock to St. Louis in exchange for pitcher Ernie Broglio. Brock started off as a promising young player, but his slow development frustrated the Cubs and they traded him to the Cards. Broglio, the other centerpiece of the deal, was a solid pitcher who won 70 games in just over five seasons for the Cards before being traded. He went on to win only seven games in two-plus seasons with the Cubs before an arm injury caused him to retire. Brock’s career flourished in St. Louis, where he led the Cardinals to winning the 1964 World Series and again in 1967. The six-time All-Star had a monster career and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
1974: The Ted Simmons-Bill Madlock Brawl
In one of baseball's most infamous brawls, Cardinals pitcher Al Hrabosky and Cubs third baseman Bill Madlock got into a full-blown fist fight. Hrabosky, known as the Mad Hungarian, would do everything humanly possible to delay an at-bat. This didn't sit well with Madlock, who decided to give Hrabosky a taste of his own medicine. The two exchanged theatrics before the umpire ordered Hrabosky to pitch -- but Madlock was out of the box. A strike was called and chaos ensued, resulting in an intense bench-clearing brawl for the ages.
1984: The Sandberg Game
On June 23, 1984, Ryne Sandberg cemented himself into Cubs history forever. In a nationally televised game against the Cardinals, the Cubs put on one of the most memorable performances in franchise history. Chicago rallied back from a 7-1 deficit to tie the game 9-9 in the ninth on a homer by Sandberg. His heroics continued in the 10th when he hit another home run to tie the game 11-11, which the Cubs eventually went on to win in the 11th. It was a coming-out party for Sandberg, who went on to win the MVP that season and lead the Cubs to the NL East title, their first championship of any kind since 1945.
1998: Sosa vs. McGwire
The '98 season was an exciting one for baseball fans, as two players from rival teams battled for MLB's all-time home run record. It was fitting that Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire hit No. 62, breaking Roger Maris's record of 61, against the Cubs. McGwire and Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa were neck-and-neck in the home run race all season long, but McGwire was victorious, finishing with 70 homers to Sosa's 66. Much to the Cardinals' dismay, the Cubs went on to make the playoffs and Sosa won NL MVP.
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2015: NLDS showdown
The two teams met in the postseason for the first time since 1886 in a series that lived up to the hype. The young, fiesty Cubs, led by manager Joe Maddon, shocked many when they took the best-of-five series from Mike Matheny's experienced, veteran Cardinals. While the Cardinals were favored to win the World Series, the Cubs are now the team to beat this postseason and have all the momentum heading into the NLCS.