This Week in Cubs History: After a World Series Matchup, Two Storied Franchises Meet 87 Years Later

In today’s edition of This Week in Cubs History we take a look back at June 10, 2005, when the Cubs played the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field for the first time since the 1918 World Series. Before we get to that game, let’s look back at the World Series contests.

The Cubs entered the 1918 World Series with a major league-best 84-45 record. They were led by lefties Claude Hendrix who led the National League with 20 wins and Hippo Vaughn who was atop the National League in ERA and strikeouts (1.74 and 148 respectively).

Babe Ruth was the driving force behind the Red Sox. He led the majors with 12 home runs and a team-high batting average of .300. He finished the regular season with a pitching record of 13- 7 in 20 starts, and a 2.22 ERA.

The Cubs and Red Sox both split the first two games. The Red Sox took game one with a 1-0 victory, driven by a complete game shutout by Ruth. The Cubs took game two, 3-1, behind pitcher Lefty Tyler, who tossed a complete game while giving up six hits with two strikeouts. Tyler helped himself out at the plate as well by going 1-for-3 and driving in two of the Cubs three runs.

The Red Sox won game three 2-1 to take a 2-1 series lead. They also took game four after a wild pitch in the 8th broke the tie giving them the 3-2 victory. Game five was a 3-0 Cubs shutout by Vaughn, which earned him his first and only victory of the series. Ultimately, the Red Sox take the series after a 2-1 victory in game six.

Fast forward to 2005 when the Red Sox made their first visit to Wrigley in 87 years on June 10. This game would feature Bronson Arroyo and Greg Maddux on the mound. Although this game had little significance in the grand scheme of things, the Cubs won in a 14-6 thrashing of the Red Sox. Aramis Ramirez and  Micheal Barrett led the Cubs’ bats, both going 3-for-4. Maddux also got a part of the action by hitting a solo shot in the 6th. The Cubs would go on to win the series 2-1.

The 1918 World Series marked a turning point for both of these clubs. Each organization went on to play in the Fall Classic following the 1918 season, but they both had to wait quite a long time until they were crowned champions once again. Red Sox fans blame a 1920 trade that sent Babe Ruth to the Yankees and the Cubs had the infamous curse of the billy goat. Fortunately, for two of baseball’s most storied franchises, their curses have since been lifted. The Curse of the Bambino ended after 86 years in 2004. While the Curse of the Billy Goat lasted a whopping 108 years, ending in 2016.

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