David Ortiz, the Chicago Cubs and a historic day at Wrigley Field
June 10, 2005. This marked the first time ever the Boston Red Sox played a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The two teams had not played each other since the 1918 World Series when Babe Ruth shut down the Cubs, leading the Red Sox to a championship.
While the Cubs made the corner of Clark and Addison their home in 1916, the 1918 World Series saw the games in Chicago played at Comiskey Park because of the higher seating capacity. David Ortiz was also returning to the ballpark where he made his MLB debut.
Coming off their World Series win in 2004, the Red Sox had broken the “Curse of the Bambino” while the Cubs were still working through their their own drought. The 1918 World Series win by the Red Sox would be their only one for the next 86 years. Both clubs were five outs away in 2003 from playing each other in the Fall Classic…man what a matchup that would have been. Two “curses” and something would have had to give.
While it was not quite the same scale as the hypothetical World Series matchup, the first game of a three-game set between the Cubs and Red Sox still brought plenty of hype. It was somewhat similar to the time the Yankees came to Wrigley in 2003, which was their first time at The Friendly Confines since the 1938 World Series.
Chicago Cubs: David Ortiz and the Red Sox come to the Friendly Confines
In the lineup for the Sox was David Ortiz, the man elected to the Hall of Fame earlier this week. It is easy to forget, but back on September 2, 1997 Ortiz made his MLB debut against the Cubs at Wrigley as a member of the Minnesota Twins. The following day he recorded his first career hit, a double as a pinch-hitter. The main focus of the game, though, was the Red Sox franchise finally coming to the North Side of Chicago.
39,215 spectators packed into Wrigley Field on a sunny and hot Friday afternoon. Greg Maddux, who never suffered a loss to Boston, took the mound for the Cubs opposite right-hander Bronson Arroyo. In typical summer Wrigley fashion, 20 runs on 30 hits were scored total, including seven home runs. Jeremy Burnitz hit two home runs, as did Ortiz.
Even Maddux, in the bottom of the sixth, lined his fifth and final career home run into the left field bleachers. The Cubs won 14-6 as Maddux picked up his fifth win of the year. Twenty of the 30 hits in the ballgame were provided by Chicago. Every starting position player had at least two hits and all nine had at least one hit on the day.
The North Siders would take two of three in this set. The Red Sox have only played the Cubs at Wrigley Field one other time since that 2005 series when they came to town in 2012.