How Many Times Have Cubs Reached World Series?

Would you ever have guessed the Cubs’ franchise is 492-games above .500 dating back to its inaugural season in 1876?

That seems unfitting of a ‘Lovable Losers’ tag. But the truth is only five of the current 30 franchise have a better all-time record above .500 than the Cubs (Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals & Red Sox).

As for the worst mark? Philadelphia earns the dubious honor having fallen 1,055-games below .500. Ouch.

I jotted down this meaningless trivia over the weekend while researching Cubs’ history for another article. I ended up with a notebook page of random tidbits and decided clumping a few together was deserving of its own post.

Anyway, the rest of my diggings: 

  • The Cubs have played the most games of any franchise (20,412). It’s just 35 more games than Atlanta and a whopping 17,985 more than Tampa Bay, who has played the fewest games (2,427).
  • Chicago has the second most wins all-time (10,372), trailing only the Giants’ 10,616 (244 more than the Cubs). The Rays of course have the fewest victories (1,103).
  • The Cubs are 3rd in all-time losses (9,880). Only Philadelphia (10,373) and Atlanta (10,095) have suffered more defeats.
  • As far as winning percentage the Cubs rank 6th all-time (.512); better than Cleveland (.509), Cincinnati (.508), Detroit (.507), White Sox (.506), Pittsburgh (.503) and Atlanta (.501).
  • The Top 5 spots in all-time winning percentage belongs to the Yankees (.568), Giants (.538), Dodgers (.524) Cardinals (.518) and Red Sox (.517).
  • The Cubs have won 16 pennants, one fewer than Atlanta (17) and 24 behind the Yankees’ 40 flags. The Giants, Dodgers and Cardinals are each tied with 22. Only two teams have failed to clinch a pennant at all, the Nationals and Mariners.
  • Before the Cubs were ever ‘cursed’ by Bartman, a black cat and a billy goat, they were remarkable poor in postseason play, in particular, the World Series. In fact, the history of the Cubs’ Fall Classic shortcomings may be richer than some even realize.
  • In 12 World Series appearances the Cubs have won just twice and tied on one other occasion–1885 vs. St. Louis Browns (3-3-1). The Cubs also reached the championship series the following season in 1886. But technically, neither 1885 or 1886 would count as World Series appearances since it didn’t officially begin until 1903. So make it 10 World Series for Chicago with a record of (2-8).
  • Chicago’s appearance in the 1906 World Series (a loss vs. the White Sox) marked the first of three consecutive seasons reaching the Fall Classic. The Cubs won the next two in 1907-1908…and of course the later infamously remains a marker of the Cubs’ championship futility.
  • Since then Chicago has lost its next 7 World Series appearances (SEVEN!), the latest coming in 1945 vs. Detroit. If that’s not the Cubs being ‘the Cubs’ what is?

Obviously there are layers upon layers of interesting historical facts and meaningless minutia within these notes. But it’s just a little something to feed our addiction during what’s been an otherwise quiet weekend for the Cubs this offseason.

At the very least, there ought to be something here worthy of winning yourself a bar bet with a fellow Cubs fan. Poor a little out for me when you do, too.


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