What's the Curse of the Billy Goat?
It started during the 1945 World Series, which pitted the Cubs against the Detroit Tigers. The Cubs refused to let Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis bring his lucky goat inside Wrigley Field for Game 4. An angry Sianis declared that the Cubs would never win a World Series again. They lost that Series and haven't been back since.
Who planted the ivy on the outfield wall at Wrigley?
Former Cubs front-office assistant Bill Veeck (who later owned the White Sox) planted the ivy in 1937, the same year the bleachers and scoreboard were built.
What happens if a ball lands in the ivy and gets stuck there?
The batter is awarded a ground-rule double.
Why aren't there seats in the lower portion of the center-field bleachers at Wrigley?
The section is kept empty to provide a better visual background for hitters.
Why is there a wire basket in front of the bleachers?
It was installed in 1970 to keep fans from falling or jumping onto the field. It also prevented them from draping coats and jackets over the wall -- a practice that used to inspire Cubs public address announcer Pat Pieper to playfully declare: "Will the bleacher fans please remove their clothes?"
What should you do if you catch an opponent's home run ball in the bleachers?
Throw it back onto the field, or ask security for an escort out of the park.
What was the original name of the ballpark at Clark and Addison Streets?
It was called Weeghman Park when it was built in 1914. The park was named after Charlie Weeghman, who built it for his team, the Chicago Federals of the short-lived Federal League. When the Federal League folded in 1916, the National League's Cubs moved in.
How many Chicago parks have the Cubs called home?
Six: The 23rd Street Grounds on 23rd and State Streets (1876-77), Lakefront Park south of Randolph Street between Michigan Avenue and the Illinois Central Railroad tracks (1878-1884), West Side Park at Congress and Throop Streets (1885-1891), South Side Park at 35th and Wentworth Streets (1891-1893), West Side Grounds at Polk and Wolcott Streets (1893-1915) and Wrigley Field -- also known as Weeghman Park and Cubs Park -- from 1916 to today.
What took so long for the Cubs to install lights at Wrigley?
Former owner P.K. Wrigley planned to install lights for the 1942 season but instead donated the fixtures to a shipyard for the war effort on the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked.
So when was the first night game?
That would be Aug. 8, 1988. But that game wound up getting rained out, so the first official game was the following night, when the Cubs beat the Mets 6-4.
What does that 'W' flag mean?
After a Cubs victory, the "W" flag (for "Win") is raised atop the centerfield scoreboard.
There's a flag on the roof of Wrigley that says "Hack 191." What does that mean?
It commemorates Hack Wilson's 191 runs batted in during the 1930 season, a major-league record that still stands.
What about those other flags?
The "66 Sammy" flag and the "20 KW" flag commemorate Sammy Sosa's 66 home runs and Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game in 1998, respectively. There are also flags honoring other Cubs greats, including the "8 Hawk" flag for Andre Dawson, the Cubs outfielder who wore No. 8 and was nicknamed Hawk, and the "17 Grace" flag for popular first baseman Mark Grace.
How many Cubs uniform numbers have been retired?
So far, only four: Ernie Banks' No. 14, Ron Santo's No. 10, Billy Williams' No. 26 and Ryne Sandberg's No. 23. Flags honoring those players fl y from the foul poles at Wrigley.
Why do the foul poles at Wrigley have "Hey Hey" on them?
"Hey Hey" was the homerun call of Hall of Fame Cubs broadcaster Jack Brickhouse.
What was Wrigley's largest crowd?
On July 27, 1930, 51,556 fans attended. But it was Ladies Day, so only 19,748 admissions were paid.
How did they fit 51,556 people into Wrigley?
They let fans stand on the field of play -- along the warning track of the outfield. Hits going into the crowd were declared ground-rule doubles.
The Cubs drew 3.25 million fans this season, a team record. What are some low points in attendance?
On Sept. 24, 1943, the Cubs drew 314 fans, who sat through nearly five innings of freezing drizzle before the game was called as a Cubs victory. In the early '60s, attendance was so low that the Cubs closed the upper deck for weekday games.
There's a sign on one of the rooftops beyond right field reading "EAMUS CATULI!" and then another sign with letters and numbers reading "AC036198." What do those signs mean?
"Eamus catuli" is an imperfect Latin translation of "Go Cubs." AC means "anno catuli" -- Cubs time. The "03" means three seasons without a division title; "61" means 61 years without a National League pennant; and "98" means the Cubs have gone 98 seasons without a World Series title. Because the Cubs won the division this year, "03" will change to "00." Let's hope it reads "AC000000" on Opening Day in 2008.
Who sings that "Go, Cubs, Go" song?
Late Chicago songwriter and folk singer Steve Goodman.
When a die-hard Cubs fan dies, can the fan get his or her ashes scattered at Wrigley Field?
No. Even Goodman didn't get that honor, according to "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music" by Clay Eals. But Goodman's admirers surreptitiously scattered some of his ashes at the ballpark anyway.
What seminal pop group from the 1960s recorded a Cubs theme song?
The Beach Boys cut a track called "Here Come the Cubs" that was loosely based on their hit "Barbara Ann."
What's the name of the Cubs' home ballpark for spring training?
HoHoKam Park in Mesa, Ariz.
On what island did the Cubs once hold their spring training sessions?
From 1921 to 1951 -- with just a short break during World War II -- the Cubs trained on Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles. Owner William Wrigley Jr. favored the island as a vacation getaway and a real-estate investment.
What position was retired Air Force colonel and former Air Force Academy football coach Robert V. Whitlow hired to fill in 1961 by Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley?
What Cubs outfielder once saved an American flag from being set on fi re during a game?
In a game at Dodger Stadium in 1976, center fielder Rick Monday snatched the flag away from two protesters who had jumped onto the field and were preparing to torch Old Glory.
What was the "College of Coaches"?
In the early 1960s, the Cubs did away with the single-manager concept and had a rotation of "head coaches" instead. The experiment lasted until 1963, when Bob Kennedy was hired as manager.
What Cubs outfielder sang the national anthem on Opening Day in 1991?
What is the "Homer in the Gloamin'"?
It refers to a game-winning home run hit by Cubs catcher Gabby Hartnett in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sept. 28, 1938. Wrigley did not have lights yet, and the skies were nearly black at the time of the homer. The win moved the Cubs into first place and helped them win the National League pennant that season.
What is the "Sandberg Game"?
On June 23, 1984, Ryne Sandberg went 5-for-6 against the Cardinals, including a solo home run off ace reliever (and ex-Cub) Bruce Sutter to tie the game in the ninth and a two-run homer off Sutter to tie the game again in the 10th. The Cubs went on to win 12-11 in 11 innings.
Which Supreme Court justice is a Cubs fan?
Justice John Paul Stevens, who has served on the U.S. Supreme Court for 32 years. Stevens attended the 1932 World Series game at Wrigley Field in which Babe Ruth supposedly called his shot. A scorecard from that game
hangs in Stevens' chambers.
Which prominent member of the Bush administration is a Cubs fan?
The man who is a heartbeat away from the presidency -- Dick Cheney.
What former president once broadcast Cubs games?
Ronald Reagan did radio re-creations of Cubs games from teletype reports for an Iowa station in the 1930s.
What Cubs broadcaster left his job to take over as the club's manager?
Lou Boudreau was doing Cubs games on WGN Radio in 1960 when team owner Phil Wrigley decided to make an unusual trade. He sent Boudreau to the dugout to replace Charlie Grimm and moved Grimm from the dugout to the microphone. The arrangement ended after the 1960 season, when Grimm retired and Boudreau returned to the booth.
What TV actor once played first base for the Cubs?
Chuck Connors -- best known as the star of the TV show "The Rifl eman" -- played 66 games for the 1951 Cubs, hitting .239 with two homers and 18 RBIs.
What TV game-show host was the father of a Cubs first baseman?
Peter Marshall, host of "Hollywood Squares," was the father of Pete LaCock, who played for the Cubs in the 1970s.
Former basketball coach Richard "Digger" Phelps is the father-in-law of which former Cubs left-hander?
Who was the 19-year-old Cubs farmhand actress Mamie Van Doren married in 1965 after breaking up with noted playboy Bo Belinsky?
Lee Meyers, a left-handed pitcher who never made it to "The Show."
What Cubs pitcher also played basketball for the Harlem Globetrotters?
Which current Cubs player was a starting quarterback in college?
Mark DeRosa played quarterback at the University of Pennsylvania.
Who was the Cubs player who died in a plane crash at 22?
Second baseman Ken Hubbs was killed when the private plane he was piloting crashed in Utah in February 1964. Hubbs was NL Rookie of the Year in 1962 and was the first rookie to win a Gold Glove.
Who was the Cubs announcer who was killed in a car accident during spring training?
Jack Quinlan, a Cubs play-by-play announcer from 1955 to 1964, died in an auto accident near the Cubs' camp in Mesa, Ariz. in March 1965. He was 38.
What is the worst trade the Cubs ever made?
It's debatable, but the general consensus is the deal that sent outfielder Lou Brock and two other Cubs to St. Louis for an over-the-hill pitcher named Ernie Broglio and two other Cardinals in 1964. Brock went on to have a Hall-of- Fame career with the rival Cardinals. Broglio was out of baseball after the 1966 season.
How about the best deal?
Again, it's up for argument, but it's tough to beat the 1982 trade in which the Cubs sent shortstop Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for shortstop Larry Bowa and a bright young prospect named Ryne Sandberg.
Who is the last Cubs pitcher to win 20 games in a season?
Jon Lieber went 20-6 in 2001.
Who is the last Cubs pitcher to throw a no-hitter?
Milt Pappas no-hit the San Diego Padres on Sept. 2, 1972. Pappas was one strike away from a perfect game but walked San Diego's Larry Stahl on a 3-2 pitch.
Who was the #@%$! umpire who called that pitch a ball and ruined Pappas' perfect game?
That would be Bruce #@%$! Froemming.
Who called Lou Piniella's dirt-kicking tirade this season "a terrible display of disrespect"?
That would also be Bruce #@%$! Froemming.
Who is the last pitcher to throw a no-hitter against the Cubs?
Sandy Koufax of the Dodgers threw a perfect game against the Cubs in Los Angeles on Sept. 9, 1965.
What Cubs outfielder made a sliding catch for the final out of Don Cardwell's no-hitter in 1960?
Walt "Moose" Moryn.
How many Cubs have won the Cy Young Award as the top pitcher in the National League?
Four: Fergie Jenkins (1971), Bruce Sutter (1979), Rick Sutcliffe (1984) and Greg Maddux (1992).
How many Cubs have won the National League Rookie of the Year Award?
Four: Billy Williams (1961), Ken Hubbs (1962), Jerome Walton (1989) and Kerry Wood (1998).
Who is the only Cub to win back-to-back Most Valuable Player Awards?
Ernie Banks -- a.k.a. "Mr. Cub" -- won in 1958 and 1959.
Who was the Cubs' Opening Day shortstop in 1962, the year they moved Banks from shortstop to first base?
Who is the last Cub to win the MVP award?
Sammy Sosa in 1998.
How many All-Star Games have been played at Wrigley Field?
Three: 1947, 1962 and 1990. The National League lost all three.
What Cubs outfielder once had to miss a game because he claimed his eyelids were swollen shut?
Who was the Cubs catcher who hit a home run in his first major-league at-bat on Sept. 1, 1961?
How many additional homers did Barragan hit in his 69-game career over parts of three seasons?
What Cubs pitcher was attacked on the field by a disgruntled fan in 1995?
Randy Myers, who used his martial-arts skills to neutralize the fan until security personnel took over.
What Cubs pitcher was nicknamed "The Vulture"?
Phil Regan, who was the top reliever on the 1969 Cubs.
What Cubs pitcher was nicknamed "Twiggy"?
The slightly built Chuck Hartenstein, who pitched for the Cubs in the late 1960s.
Which former Cubs left-hander lost 20 games in 1962 and won 22 in 1963?
What was unusual about Cubs pitcher Mordecai Brown?
He had only three full fingers on his pitching hand. "Three-Finger" Brown won 20 games or more six times for the Cubs in the early 1900s.
What left-handed pitcher won 13 games as a Cubs rookie in 1967 and later went into a career in veterinary medicine?
Which pitching brothers served up three of the four home runs Mike Schmidt hit against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 17, 1976?
Rick and Paul Reuschel.
Who was the Cubs pitcher who served up Stan Musial's 3,000th career hit at Wrigley
Field on May 13, 1958?
What promising young Cubs pitcher injured his knee while doing a cartwheel?
What Cubs pitcher came up with the so-called barking shoulder this season?
Reliever Will Ohman.
What reliever watched a game from inside the Minute Maid Park scoreboard in Houston?
Which Cubs rookie got his hair cut off at 2 in the morning after learning he'd been called up this season?
Which Cubs pitcher on the current 40-man roster sticks his tongue out during his delivery?
How many times was Lou Piniella ejected in '07?
Surprisingly, just once, but it was a doozy.
What was San Diego starter Greg Maddux doing in the dugout when Piniella jokingly yelled to him: "Why don't you go inside and get a rubdown instead of watching our hitters?"
Maddux was doing The New York Times crossword puzzle.
What did Piniella once call backup outfielder Matt Murton?
The adorable redhead.
Asked in late March if Ryan Dempster could be ready to pitch on Opening Day in Cincinnati, Lou Piniella said: "Yeah and it'll be 86 degrees in Cincinnati, too, and we're going to be drinking ..." what?
Who drove Michael Barrett to the hospital to get stitches after Barrett was punched in the face by Carlos Zambrano?
Backup catcher Henry
After the Zambrano-Barrett fight, what Cub said: "What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas"?
Whom was Barrett traded for?
Catcher Rob Bowen, who was later traded for catcher Jason Kendall.
When Zambrano got shin guards sent to him this season, whom did he say sent them to him?
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
What's the name of the singer whose music Zambrano credited with relaxing him before starts in September?
What's the name of Zambrano's agent?
Which player received a standing ovation at Wrigley this season and said he didn't notice it?
What was the name of the so-called mind-reading ump who kicked Ted Lilly out for throwing at Edgar Renteria this season?
Who was arguing with the plate umpire when Derrek Lee charged San Diego pitcher Chris Young?
Since-traded catcher Rob Bowen.
Who said he'd like to get Tribune Co. CEO Dennis FitzSimons "a ring out the door" on the day Tribune Co. announced the team would be sold?
What was the original nickname of Chicago's National League team?
The club was known as the White Stockings from 1876 to 1894. They also had several other nicknames before settling on "Cubs" in the early 1900s.
Paul and Teri Fields of Michigan City, Ind., recently named their son Wrigley. Is that the first time something like that has happened?
Of course not. Pro golfer David Ogrin, a Waukegan native, is such a Cubs fan that he named his son Clark Addison, after the streets that intersect at Wrigley Field.
What three Cubs infielders were immortalized in a famous poem?
Shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers and first baseman Frank Chance were the subjects of Franklin Pierce Adams' "Baseball's Sad Lexicon" in 1910. Adams was a sportswriter for the New York Evening Mail who was lamenting the brutal efficiency of the Cubs' double-play trio.
What Cubs first baseman let a ground ball get through his legs at a crucial moment in Game 5 of the 1984 National League Championship Series?
Leon "Bull" Durham.
How many current Cubs were on the ill-fated 2003 team that made it to the playoffs?
Three: Aramis Ramirez, Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano.
Who said Cubs fans were "99.44 percent scar tissue"?
Columnist George Will.
How many times have the Cubs been in the postseason?
Counting this year, it's 15. They've appeared in 10 World Series (1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938 and 1945) but won only two (1907 and 1908). They have qualified for the National League playoffs five times (1984, 1989, 1998, 2003 and 2007).
Who is Bartman?
Steve Bartman is the unfortunate fan who interacted famously with a foul ball during Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series at Wrigley. The misplay helped fuel a rally by the Florida Marlins, who went on to win the game and the series.
Is Bartman the most infamous Cubs fan?
No, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he wasn't even guilty of fan interference. Al Capone could be the most notorious Cubs fan ever, but he may have favored the Sox over the Cubs. Capone's rival, George "Bugs" Moran, definitely was a Cubs fan. So was bank robber John Dillinger.
What did third baseman Ron Santo do after Cubs victories in 1969?
Santo would jump up and click his heels together as he left the field.
What superstition allegedly befell the '69 Cubs?
A black cat crossed between the Cubs dugout and the on-deck circle where Santo stood at Shea Stadium during a September Cubs-Mets game. The Cubs had a nine-game lead in August that season but let it slip away.
What was "Merkle's Boner"?
In a tense 1-1 game against the Cubs during the 1908 pennant race, the New York Giants had runners on first and third with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Al Bridwell singled home the apparent winning run, setting off a huge celebration at the Polo Grounds. As fans swarmed the field, the runner on first, Fred Merkle, ran toward the dugout and never touched second base. The Cubs retrieved the ball and tagged the base, claiming a force-out. The game was declared a tie. At season's end, the Cubs and Giants finished in a dead heat, and the pennant had to be decided by a one-game playoff, which the Cubs won. They went on to win the World Series.
So why haven't the Cubs won a World Series since?
It's kind of complicated.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun