The Chicago Cubs are an American professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League Central division. The team plays its home games at Wrigley Field, located on the city's North Side. The Cubs are one of two major league teams based in Chicago; the other, the Chicago White Sox, is a member of the American League Central division. The Cubs, first known as the White Stockings, were a founding member of the NL in 1876, becoming the Chicago Cubs in 1903.
Throughout the club's history, the Cubs have played in a total of eleven World Series. The 1906 Cubs won 116 games, finishing 116–36 and posting a modern-era record winning percentage of .763, before losing the World Series to the Chicago White Sox by four games to two. The Cubs won back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908, becoming the first major league team to play in three consecutive World Series, and the first to win it twice. Most recently, the Cubs won the 2016 National League Championship Series and 2016 World Series, which ended a 71-year National League pennant drought and a 108-year World Series championship drought, both of which are record droughts in Major League Baseball. The 108-year drought was also the longest such occurrence in all major North American sports. Since the start of divisional play in 1969, the Cubs have appeared in the postseason ten times through the 2019 season.
The Cubs are known as "the North Siders", a reference to the location of Wrigley Field within the city of Chicago, and in contrast to the White Sox, whose home field is located on the South Side.
Through 2020, the franchises all-time record is 11,016-10,430
The Cubs began playing in 1870 as the Chicago White Stockings, joining the National League in 1876 as a charter member. Owner William Hulbert signed multiple star players, such as pitcher Albert Spalding and infielders Ross Barnes, Deacon White, and Adrian "Cap" Anson, to join the team prior to the N.L.'s first season. The White Stockings played their home games at West Side Grounds and quickly established themselves as one of the new league's top teams. Spalding won forty-seven games and Barnes led the league in hitting at .429 as Chicago won the first ever National League pennant, which at the time was the game's top prize.
After back-to-back pennants in 1880 and 1881, Hulbert died, and Spalding, who had retired to start Spalding sporting goods, assumed ownership of the club. The White Stockings, with Anson acting as player-manager, captured their third consecutive pennant in 1882, and Anson established himself as the game's first true superstar. In 1885 and 1886, after winning N.L. pennants, the White Stockings met the champions of the short-lived American Association in that era's version of a World Series. Both seasons resulted in matchups with the St. Louis Brown Stockings, with the clubs tying in 1885 and with St. Louis winning in 1886. This was the genesis of what would eventually become one of the greatest rivalries in sports. In all, the Anson-led Chicago Base Ball Club won six National League pennants between 1876 and 1886. As a result, Chicago's club nickname transitioned, and by 1890 they had become known as the Chicago Colts, or sometimes "Anson's Colts", referring to Cap's influence within the club. Anson was the first player in history credited with collecting 3,000 career hits. After a disappointing record of 59–73 and a ninth-place finish in 1897, Anson was released by the Cubs as both a player and manager. Due to Anson's absence from the club after 22 years, local newspaper reporters started to refer to the Colts as the "Orphans".
After the 1900 season, the American Base-Ball League formed as a rival professional league, and incidentally the club's old White Stockings nickname would be adopted by a new American League neighbor to the south.
In 1902, Spalding, who by this time had revamped the roster to boast what would soon be one of the best teams of the early century, sold the club to Jim Hart. The franchise was nicknamed the Cubs by the Chicago Daily News in 1902, although not officially becoming the Chicago Cubs until the 1907 season. During this period, which has become known as baseball's dead-ball era, Cub infielders Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance were made famous as a double-play combination by Franklin P. Adams' poem Baseball's Sad Lexicon. The poem first appeared in the July 18, 1910 edition of the New York Evening Mail. Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, Jack Taylor, Ed Reulbach, Jack Pfiester, and Orval Overall were several key pitchers for the Cubs during this time period. With Chance acting as player-manager from 1905 to 1912, the Cubs won four pennants and two World Series titles over a five-year span. Although they fell to the "Hitless Wonders" White Sox in the 1906 World Series, the Cubs recorded a record 116 victories and the best winning percentage in Major League history. With mostly the same roster, Chicago won back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908, becoming the first Major League club to play three times in the Fall Classic and the first to win it twice. However, the Cubs would not win another World Series until 2016; this remains the longest championship drought in North American professional sports.