The 1907 Chicago Cubs won the first World Series title in franchise history, and they are widely considered to be one of the best teams of all-time. Coming off of a disappointing performance in the 1906 postseason , the team quickly proved that history didn’t need to repeat itself. They eventually finished that year with a World Series win, and then they went on to do it again in 1908 . Here’s more information about that team:
1906 Regular Season and Playoffs
The Chicago Cubs won 116 games in the 1906 season, setting an MLB record for number of wins during the regular season and this record still holds today. However, despite that success, the 1906 team didn’t win the World Series. The Cubs lost to the White Sox even though the Cubs were thought to be the stronger team. The White Sox managed to win the pennant with the worst hitting team in the league, but the offense came alive in the World Series. The upset is still widely considered to be the most shocking World Series victory in baseball history. This disappointing finish put a lot of pressure on the Cubs entering the 1907 season.
1907 Regular Season
While the 1907 Cubs were not able replicate the regular season success of the previous season, the team still had no trouble defending their National League pennant. The Cubs cruised through the regular season with 107 wins, thanks their pitching staff. Jack Pfiester entered the season as the third pitcher in the starting rotation, but he ended up leading the league with a 1.15 ERA. Carl Lundgren and Mordecai Brown immediately followed their teammate on the ERA list. Ed Reulbach’s 1.69 ERA was the highest in the Chicago rotation, but it was still good enough to finish seventh in the league. Thanks to the elite rotation, the Cubs only gave up 390 runs in 152 games.
The Cubs needed their pitching to dominate because their offense struggled for most of the regular season. Hall of Famers Frank Chance , Johnny Evers and Joe Tinker all had down seasons. The lack of success from their key hitters made it hard for Chicago to score runs at times. The teams 574 runs put them squarely in the middle of the league, which was a huge drop off from the club’s league-leading 705 runs the previous season.
1907 World Series
The Cubs were ahead in the National League by 17 games, but they still had to face Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers in the 1907 World Series . Game 1 was declared a tie after 12 innings due to darkness. A dominant performance from Jack Pfiester in Game 2 helped the Cubs win 3-1. Ed Reulbach gave up only one run on six hits in Game 3 as the Cubs won 5-1. He outperformed his teammates by surrendering five hits in a 6-1 victory for the Cubs in Game 4.
Chicago completed the sweep when they defeated the Tigers 2-0 in the final game. Mordecai Brown threw a complete game shutout for the Cubs. Holding the highest scoring team in the sport to only three runs in four games may be the most impressive pitching performance in World Series history.
The Chicago Cubs went on to win the World Series again in 1908. After that, the team and fans would have to wait 108 years before winning again in 2016 .