clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What If BCB Had Existed In 1969?

New, 236 comments

Come inside for a little experiment.

Wrigley Field as it appeared in the 1960s.
Wrigley Field as it appeared in the 1960s.
Getty Images

The Cubs are off Sunday, as you know, and I thought I'd give you an opportunity to do something a little different.

I've often seen people say, when discussing some big current sports or other event and comparing such event to something that happened in the past, "What if Twitter, or Facebook, or something like it, had existed at that time?"

Here's your opportunity to try this out. I'm going to set the scene for you and then you can have at it.

It is September 7, 1969. The Cubs have been in first place all year, leading by as many as 9½ games in the National League East. The lead, however, has been shrinking in recent days, and on this Sunday afternoon the Cubs lost to the Pirates 7-5 in 11 innings at Wrigley Field. This game has become famous in Cubs history because they were one strike away from winning in nine innings and ending a short losing streak when Willie Stargell homered onto Sheffield. An error by Don Kessinger helped lead to two unearned runs in the 11th and though the Cubs got the tying run on base in the bottom of the inning, Kessinger lined into a game-ending double play. (You can read the rest of the play-by-play of that game at the link above.)

It was the Cubs' fourth straight loss. They had lost four or more in a row five other times that year and still led the division by 2½ games and their magic number to clinch was 22. They were about to head on a nine-game trip to New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Montreal.

What I want you to do here is to comment on that loss and the Cubs' chances the rest of 1969 as if you were here on that day, just after that game ended. Remember, for this exercise you don't know what happened after that in the N.L. East race that year, you don't know anything past September 7, 1969 -- no baseball history, no pop culture history since then, nothing.

So the Cubs have just lost a tough one in extra innings, but are still in first place. What would you have said here at BCB if it had existed September 7, 1969?

Have at it.