The Cubs are scheduled to close out their 3-game series at Washington this afternoon.
After the game, they will travel to Baltimore, where they are supposed to play a makeup game tomorrow afternoon.
It's a short trip from Washington to Baltimore, less than 40 miles, and it's one that the Cubs have made before -- but not in nearly 124 years, since September of 1898.
From 1892 through 1899, Washington and Baltimore had teams in the National League.
Washington had had an NL team, called the Nationals, in 1886-89. In 1891, a new team, the Washington Statesmen, joined the rival American Association. A year later, after the AA folded, the team changed its name to the Senators and joined the NL.
So did 3 other former AA teams: the Baltimore Orioles, Louisville Colonels and St. Louis Browns.
The Orioles and Browns had been members of the AA throughout its entire 10 seasons.
The Cubs were known as the Colts in 1892. They played their first game against the Orioles at home, in early May, then hosted the Senators in a doubleheader a week later.
They won 3 in a row at Washington at the end of the month, starting on Monday, May 30, with a Memorial Day doubleheader, 10-7 and 6-4, followed by a single game the next day, 12-4.
Then the Colts played 3 times at Philadelphia before making their debut at Baltimore on Saturday, June 4. The Colts won that game, 7-3, then were humbled on Monday, 1-23, before winning on Tuesday, 7-3.
The Colts journeyed from Boston to Baltimore to begin a series on Saturday, July 23. They lost that day, but won on Monday and Tuesday.
After taking the rubber game, the Colts headed for Washington, where they won a pair.
That was the first of 4 times that they played at Baltimore, then at Washington. The second came the next year, 1893, and the third in 1895.
But in 1894, the Colts reversed the order -- Washington, then Baltimore -- for the first time.
During a 22-game road trip between May 29 and June 23, the Colts visited both cities, but not consecutively. They played 2 games at Baltimore on June 4-5, between series at Brooklyn and New York, then played 3 games at Boston before making their way to Washington.
They began another 22 in a row on the road on Pittsburgh on Aug. 13. After 3 games at Brooklyn, they played a doubleheader at New York in which a Colts victory in Game 1 was voided by a protest and Game 2 ended in a tie, requiring the teams to play single games each of the next 3 days. The Colts lost all 3,, the last on Aug. 22.
The next day, a Thursday, they lost again at Washington. A win and a loss completed the series.
Baseball was prohibited on Sunday in Baltimore, so it was on Monday that the Colts arrived at Oriole Park to make up a game the series finale rained out on June 6. The Colts lost, 3-12, and departed for Philadelphia.
But the Colts weren't done playing at Baltimore for the year. Following 3 games against the Phillies and 3 at Boston, they returned to Baltimore, where they were beaten on Sept. 4-6 by scores of 3-9, 3-12 and 6-14, to end their long road trip.
The Colts had been in ninth place, 17.5 games out of first, when they had left Chicago. When they returned, they were in eighth, but 26.5 games behind.
A 9-20 shellacking by the Orioles at home on the final day of the season left the Colts 57-75-5 and 34 games in back of the champion Orioles (89-39-1), who had gone 9-3 against the Colts.
The Senators came in 11th, at 45-87, including 5-7 vs. the Colts.
5 TIMES IN 3 YEARS
The Colts played at Washington, then Baltimore, twice in 1896.
They lost and won against the Senators on June 8 and 10, then won, lost and won against the Orioles on June 11-13.
On Aug. 29-Sept. 1, the Colts split 4 games at Washington, including a doubleheader on the third day. They lost at Baltimore 2 days later, were rained out there the next day, then lost and tied in 2 games on Sept. 4. The tie was 11-11, the highest-scoring stalemate in the Cubs' long history.
The results were identical when the Colts repeated the Washington-Baltimore double in 1897: 2 wins and 2 losses against the Senators on Aug. 19-21, then a loss, a tie and a loss against the Orioles, on Aug. 24-25.
The Colts went from the District of Columbia to Maryland 2 times again in 1898.
They won 4 straight at Washington on July 11-14, then lost 3 in a row at Baltimore on the 15th, 16th and 18th.
They went 2-1 vs. the Senators on Sept. 17 and 19-20, then lost 3 times in 2 days to the Orioles, Sept. 21-22, before salvaging the last game of the series.
That proved to be the last time the Cubs played at Washington, then Baltimore, until this week.
From June 1-8, 1899, the Colts faced the 2 opponents in reverse order, winning 2 of 3 at Baltimore and losing 3 straight at Washington.
They won 2 of 3 vs. the Senators on Aug. 8-10, losing by 1-4, then winning by 6-3 and 5-4.
They lost 3 in a row at Philadelphia before going to Baltimore, where they were beaten, 1-6, on Aug. 16, and by 5-13 the next day.
On Aug. 18, the Colts outlasted the Orioles, 13-12, in Game 1 of a doubleheader and were edged, 4-5, in Game 2.
Those results made the Colts' records 14-32 at Baltimore and 30-16 at Washington since those teams had joined the league in 1892.
After the season, the National League jettisoned 4 of its 12 teams: the Orioles, the Senators, the Colonels and the Cleveland Spiders.
The Spiders had finished an ignominious 20-134, 84 games out of first place. Their owners also owned the St. Louis Perfects, today's Cardinals, and soon after the season began had traded nearly all of the Spiders' competent players to St. Louis.
BASEBALL IN BALTIMORE
New teams also named the Orioles and Senators became charter members of the American League in 1901.
The Orioles were disbanded after 1902, replaced by the New York Highlanders, today's Yankees.
The St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore after 1953 and adopted the Orioles name.
Interleague play began in 1998, but it was 2003 before the Cubs played the Orioles for the first time. They did so at Baltimore, on June 10-12, winning by 4-0 and 7-6 before losing, 1-6.
The Cubs did not return to Baltimore until July 14-16, 2017, when they swept 3 games by scores of 9-8, 10-3 and 8-0.
That series came after the break for the All-Star Game and was followed by 3 games at Atlanta.
After 1960, the Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. Yet another team called the Senators began play in Washington in 1961, only to depart after 1971 for Texas, where they became the Rangers.
The Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, as the Nationals, after 2004. On following May, on Friday the 13th, the Cubs played in the nation's capital for the first time since 1899, earning a 6-3 victory.
The Cubs have played a series at Washington every year since, except in 2020, due to the pandemic.