Chicago Cubs: Looking back fifty years to the 1969 Cubs

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: The tipping point 

And then it began.  A trickle at first…the three losses to Atlanta when the bats went quiet again, scoring only five runs in three games.  A three out of four series loss to the Reds followed as the pitching gave up 23 runs in three games.  The lead shrank to just three games.  Then a burst of fight hit, as they won the last four games, sweeping Atlanta.  An 18-11 August seemed worse.

The end of August winning streak carried over to one game in September, and then things came crashing to the ground.  A three-game sweep by the Pirates, cut it to just 1 1/3 games. Then, at Shea Stadium, in the fourth inning with Glenn Beckert on second and Billy Williams up and Santo on deck, the metaphor of metaphors happened.  The black cat.

Now, I don’t how animals other than birds end up in an MLB ballpark, and I certainly have no clue how a cat, much less a black cat, ends up in the grandstands of Shea that evening.  But it didn’t cause Don Young to drop a fly ball in center field, or Ron Santo to chew him out afterward, or all the rest of losing that went on that season.

The Mets caught the Cubs the following day and the 84-59 Cubs would go onto to win just eight of the last nineteen games, finishing the month at 9-18 and the season at 92-70.

dark. Next. Chicago Cubs: An appreciative look back at the lowly 2012 Cubs

For me, it’s been, at times, a long tough road of Cub fandom from there to 2016.  Along the way, we have lost many of the legends of that team, but a few remain.  The 2016 Cubs were a special team, with tons of young talent.  But the ’69 team will always be in my mind the best team the Cubs have fielded in my lifetime.