As of 3:25PM CDT on 10/21/15, the Chicago Cubs are put in a position to accomplish something that’s only been done once in baseball history: Namely, coming off a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series to sweep the final four games, win the series, and–in this case–put the Cubs into a World Series for the first time in 70 years. Even then, the Cubs didn’t win the world’s championship. It’s pretty well known by now that the Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908.
So, with the daunting (and virtually impossible) task at hand for the Cubs to win four straight and defeat the New York Mets to earn a spot in the Fall Classic (and it’s moving deeper and deeper into the fall these days thanks to the expansion of the playoffs), I sat and wondered what exactly it would take for the Cubs to finally make it into a World Series within the next few seasons.
By the way, I type this post on “Back To The Future Day”…the day that Michael J. Fox’s and Christopher Lloyd’s characters were transported to in “Back To The Future II”: October 21, 2015. In my case, I’m going to transport myself back to 1908 and try to figure out what that world championship Cubs team had that Joe Maddon’s current crop of young Cubs is lacking.
I believe I have the answer.
In the off-season, I suggest to Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer to ask their scouting staff to seek out a pitcher that has only three fingers on his throwing hand.
I say this because, in 1908, Cubs pitcher Mordecai Brown (AKA “Three-Finger” Brown) was considered by perhaps the greatest manager of the first third of baseball’s 20th century, New York Giants manager John McGraw, as one the two best pitchers in the 1900’s National League along with McGraw’s own pitcher, inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Christy Mathewson. “Three-Finger” Brown had a career record of 239–130 record with a 2.06 earned run average, the third best ERA in Major League Baseball history among players inducted into the Hall of Fame, and the best in major league history for any pitcher with more than 200 wins.
Mordecai Brown also played at Wrigley Field before the Cubs did. In 1915, Brown pitched for the Federal League Chicago Whales, who played at Weegham Park on the corner of Clark and Addison Streets on Chicago’s North Side. The Cubs moved to Weegham Park in 1916 and have stayed there ever since…and “Three-Finger” Brown was on that first Cubs team to play at what is now Wrigley.
So there is my suggestion for the Cubs. Find another three-fingered pitcher like Mordecai Brown. Or, perhaps, offer a multi-million dollar bonus to, say, Kyle Hendricks or Jason Hammel to hack off the pointer finger on his pitching hand.