If a friend from Chicago tells you he or she can’t remember the Cubs ever playing this late into October, it’s not hyperbole.
Unless, of course, your friend is at least 105 years old.
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As the Cubs host the Mets in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday, the date is Oct. 20. In their history — which goes back more than a century — the Cubs have played only three games on Oct. 20 or later, according to STATS LLC.
All of them occurred during the 1910 World Series, which the Cubs lost in five games to the Philadelphia Athletics. (Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown earned the Game 4 win in relief on Oct. 22 … then started and took the complete-game loss in Game 5 the next day.)
How long ago is that in baseball terms? Well, Wrigley Field didn’t yet exist. The 1910 Cubs played at the West Side Grounds, on the present site of the University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center.
In other words, the Cubs have yet to play baseball at Wrigley Field as late in the year as they will Tuesday night.
MLB’s expanded playoffs and a late start to the 2015 season are contributing factors. But history is history, especially when the Cubs are involved.