Whether they’re baseball’s lovable losers or one of the strongest teams in the sport—and at times they’ve managed to be both—the Cubs have been taking fans on a whirlwind ride for almost 150 years. With enough traditions and history for any 2 major franchises, Chicago’s oldest professional franchise would run up a string of victories in the 19th century, heartbreaks in the 20th, and plenty of both in the 21st. Thanks to that, it’s always a good time to pick up tickets to a Cubs game and check out the legend for yourself.
Formed as the Chicago White Stockings in 1870, the team is even older than Major League Baseball, scoring record successes before most of today’s teams even existed. They became charter members of the National League in 1876 and won the first-ever league pennant the same year, back when that was the biggest prize in the sport. After the American League came along and made the World Series possible, the Cubs in 1907 and 1908 became the first team to win two in a row. And then they didn’t claim the title again for 108 years.
In the intervening century, the boys in blue seemed to turn losing into an art form. They would go on to win 7 more pennants—and lose 7 World Series—up through 1945, when the Detroit Tigers and a pet billy goat helped to create one of the most infamous sports curses in history. Despite signing standout talent like Ryne Sandberg, Greg Maddux, Sammy Sosa, and Mark Prior, the Cubs wouldn’t bring the World Series back to Wrigley Field until 2016, when they ended the sport’s longest championship drought after 10 innings in Game 7.
The Cubs have made their home on Chicago’s North Side for more than a century, turning Wrigleyville into its own special neighborhood with plenty of things to do. The team boasts one of the oldest rivalries in baseball, facing off with St. Louis since the days of Cap Anson in the 1880s and with the South Side team who adopted the Cubs’ old name. But whether they’re playing the White Sox, the Brewers, or any other name in the Majors, a ticket to a Cubs game can show you baseball at its best.