Northside Nostalgia Part 1: The Beginning
Part 2: 1870-1900
Part 3: 1900-1910
Part 4: 1910-1920
Part 5: 1920-1930
The Cubs carried over their success in 1929 to the 1930's, eventually going to three World Series in the decade. Hack Wilson and Rogers Hornsby faded from the scene, but new stars emerged. 1932 was the first full season for Stan Hack and Billy Herman, who would become mainstays in the lineup.
They won 90 games in 1932 behind a terrific pitching performance by Lon Warneke, who won 22 games in 277 innings. Unfortunately, Chicago ran into a Yankees team managed by Joe McCarthy that won 107 in the AL. They steam-rolled the National League champions in four games.
The most famous moment is of course Babe Ruth's called shot home run. You know the story, the Cubs taunt Ruth, he points to center and takes Charlie Root deep for a round tripper. There is no actual footage of the Babe pointing to center, instead he points at the Chicago dugout.
I contend Ruth never called a shot, instead, he trash talked the Cubs bench in return and then backed up his dissing with a dinger. Which honestly is more impressive. I also believe he flipped a double middle finger at the Cubs dugout around third base. I'll post the video and let you the reader make your own conclusion.
Bricks and Ivy
In 1935, the Cubs won another pennant behind a red-hot finish. They won 21 consecutive games in September, but didn't get a Brad Pitt movie out of it like some people. Herman, Hack, and Gabby Hartnett or Triple H, as they were never called, led the way. Alas they fell in the series to Hank Greenberg and the TIgers in six games.
After Bill Wrigley died in 1932 his son Phil became team owner and decided to renovate the stadium named for his father in 1937. Bill Veeck junior, son of the Cubs president who died in 1933, had an idea. He proposed planting ivy on the outfield walls and on the outside brick of the stadium. English ivy was soon replaced with heartier Boston ivy and the rest is history. As for the ivy on the outside of Wrigley, people kept stealing it so it was taken off.
In 1938, the Cubs were chasing the Pittsburgh Pirates in the standings. By late September they were just 1.5 games out of first before a three-game set with the Bucs at Wrigley. Dizzy Dean, past his prime with an injured arm, pitched a gem to win game one of the set.
The real drama would come in game two of the series. The score was deadlocked at five in the bottom of the 9th inning. With darkness falling, the umpires decreed the game would be called after that inning. If called, the contest would have to be completely replayed the next day. The Cubs final hope was Gabby Hartnett, who fell behind in the count 0-2 against Mace Brown.
Then Brown made a mistake and the Chicago backstop launched a drive to left in the twilight. The walk-off winner put the Cubs in first and they won the pennant three days later in St. Louis (which is always nice). An Associated Press reporter called it the Homer in the Gloamin' after a popular song, Roamin' in the Gloamin'.
Alas those pesky Yankees, this time featuring a young Joe DiMaggio, swept the Cubs again in the World Series. An interesting side note of this series was the fact color footage was filmed of a game at Wrigley Field.
Rare Color~Cubs and Yanks readying for the 1938 World Series at Wrigley Field (from the Flagstaff Films baseball home movie archive) pic.twitter.com/M9ptG8mwSu
— Flagstaff Films (@Flagstafffilms) August 22, 2018
The Cubs success on the field was coming to an end as Phil Wrigley took full control of the team. Under his leadership, the Northsiders would make the post-season just once the next 40 years. Despite this fact, let's try to have fun the next few decades shall we?