A year before winning the first of back-to-back World Series championships, the Chicago Cubs put baseball on notice, winning 116 games in the 1906 campaign.
All or most, Chicago Cubs fans know the clammy distaste a World Series drought can leave in one’s mouth. For the Cubs, in particular, that distaste became especially bad, if not worse than what other fan bases have experienced. At the beginning of the 1900s, though, the Cubs were one of the best teams in baseball, if not the absolute best.
The club fielded guys like Frank Chance, Joe Tinker and Mordecai Brown. Chance served as a player/manager, leading the club to a solid campaign. Interestingly, the 1906 squad is one of the most impressive starting lineups to ever grace a baseball diamond. How they became so successful is a different tale in its regard.
The 1906 club started their season off without much flash or pizzazz. Their April record of 10-6 left something to be desired. Everyone at the time knew the team was strong. However, the season did not fully begin to take off until the next month.
May kicked off with the Cubs winning six in a row, finishing a stretch with the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-2. They went from being 2 1/2 games back in the division to leading the division by three games within a matter of weeks. Throughout the month, the Cubs had posted additional win streaks of five and three, respectively.
June and July are where everything started to round into shape, and the Cubs began to separate themselves from the remainder of the pack. Heading into June, Chicago was one game up in their division. After a hard fought month which saw them finish an impressive 17-5, they entered into July with a 2 1/2 game advantage.
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In July, they posted their best month to that point in the season. Winning 20 games, the team finished with five shutouts and closed the month out with five straight wins to stretch their division lead to 6 1/2 games.
Relative to winning percentage and overall success, Chicago’s 26-3 record in August remains one of the best in the history of the game. After win streaks of 11 and 14 games respectively, the Cubs put the division out of reach as the season rolled into September.
Most impressively about this team, especially in the second half of the season, is how they amassed such an improbable run. From the start of August until October, the Cubs went a whopping 50-8, never losing in back-to-back games and posting 17 shutouts in the span. Needless to say, it still holds strong as one of the rare feats to exist in the game.