In 2016, the Chicago Cubs ended one of the longest championship droughts in professional sports, winning the World Series for the first time in more than a century. While the victory represented a momentous occasion for professional baseball and the city of Chicago, it may not be the most interesting World Series the Cubs have been involved in from a historical perspective.
The Cubs franchise, playing one of its last seasons as the Chicago White Stockings, made its first World Series appearance in 1885 following an impressive 87-25 regular season. The White Stockings faced off against the American League champion St. Louis Browns. The teams contested seven games in four cities, including an opening game in Chicago that was suspended due to darkness after eight innings, with the score tied at five runs apiece. Perhaps more strangely, the following day’s game in St. Louis ended with a White Stockings forfeit. Chicago, leading 5-4 in the sixth inning, left the field in protest of an umpire ruling, which resulted in the forfeit.
Remaining in St. Louis for Games 3 and 4, the home team won 7-4 and 3-2, respectively. Game 5, played at Recreation Park in Pittsburgh, was also suspended due to darkness. However, Chicago’s 9-2 lead after seven innings was enough for a victory. The series moved to Cincinnati for Game 6, which Chicago again won by a score of 9-2, this time in a full nine innings. The final game of the series saw the Browns upend the White Stockings 13-4.
Chicago, discounting the Game 2 result, viewed the series as tied at three games each, while St. Louis claimed an outright victory. The series was ultimately declared a 3-3-1 tie, with the teams splitting the prize money.