Ah, the Midwest, my long-lost home, and the exclusive locale for the 2016 World Series. Ken Burns is buying a map as we speak. I missed the mark in last year’s World Series preview by picking the Mets in 5 and I regret the error. Still, the piece garnered Banished to the Pen thirteen SABR awards so overall it was a net win. (Please don’t Google to confirm.)

This year we’re back with the Cleveland Indians taking on the Chicago Cubs – two teams who have gone a combined 178 years without winning a World Series. To put that in perspective, John Wilkes Booth was born 178 years ago (and from what little I’ve read he was a total jerk). And to really drive the point home, just know that other sports teams from Cleveland have actually won a championship in the amount of time it has taken either the Cubs or Indians to win the big prize.

In total, the Cubs and Indians have each won two World Series titles in their history. This doesn’t count the blockhead Cubs squad who actually tied the St. Louis Browns for a World Series championship back in 1885, when they were known as the Chicago White Stockings. Fun fact: Tip O’Neill, went 5-24 in that series. O’Neill, of course, went on to become Speaker of the House from 1977 to 1987 when he was well into his 120s. Quite impressive.

Plenty of fun baseball players have played for both the Cubs and the Indians and they are as follows:

Bobby Bonds

Jumbo Brown

Joe Carter

Sumpter Clarke

Dennis Eckersley

George Frazier (not the boxer)

Oscar Gamble

Greek George

Kenny Lofton

Jack Russell (not the dog)

Vito Valentinetti

Kerry Wood

 

That’s not all the teams and cities share. They’re each allegedly cursed. The Indians for trading Rocky Colavito, and the Cubs for not allowing farm animals into their ballpark on game day amongst many other things. Both cities are home to a famous fire: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and The Completely Ridiculous Cuyahoga River Being So Polluted It Caught on Fire of 1969.

The cities of Chicago and Cleveland have never met to decide a championship for any major sport (I didn’t research that but it certainly sounds correct), so let’s compare and contrast both the cities and the teams as best we can so we know what to expect come Tuesday night.

 

THE CITIES

Chicago

Population: 2.7 million residents, but this doesn’t take into account every single person’s jerk roommate in college who was from Niles but repped Chicago. Although maybe it should – as anyone from downstate Illinois will tell you, everything north of I-80 might as well be rural Wisconsin anyway.

Nickname: The Second City

Famous Cuisine: Chicago-style hot dog

ketchup

 

Most Notable Resident: Jimmy “the Weasel” Fratianno – from Wiki:

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-2-40-58-pm

 

Cleveland

Population: 396,815 residents. The citizens have not taken their title-less drought all that well. Around 914,808 people lived in Cleveland the last time the Indians won the World Series.

Nickname: The Forty-Eighth City

Famous Cuisine: Polish Boy Sandwich

polish-boy

 

Most Notable Resident: Jimmy “the Weasel” Fratianno – from Wiki:

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-2-40-37-pm

 

THE TEAMS

Chicago Cubs

Regular Season Record: 103-58-1 (honor the tie)

Manager: Joe Maddon

J Mascis

 

Fight Song: Go Cubs Go by Steve Goodman

 

Most Beloved Fan:

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-8-24-56-pm

 

Greatest Moment in Franchise History: Wrigley Field’s 100th Anniversary

 

Cleveland Indians

Regular Season Record: 94-67

Manager: Terry “Tito” Francona

tito

 

Fight Song: Burn On by Randy Newman

 

Most Beloved Fan:

lebron

 

Greatest Moment in Franchise History: Sports Illustrated projects good things for the Indians in 1987. (They finished the season with 101 losses and 37 games out of first place.)

cleveland-indians-si-cover

 

Now that we’re all caught up, here’s a few other things to know before tuning in this evening.

The X Factor: The crowd noise. Will the teams be able to handle it? Should they even be obligated to handle it? Can’t people for once just be quiet?

Keys to the Game: In October, good pitching always beats good sliding.

Prediction: 

Feel free to make your prediction in the comments below. And here’s to a great Fall Classic, everyone.

 

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2 Responses to “Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians: A World Series Preview”

  1. SuckitCardinals

    Cardinals haven’t played in a WS since 2013…that’s a longer drought then the Cubs…ouch!

    Reply

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