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The Remarkable Sporting Parallels Between 1908 And 2016 - The Cubs' Two World Series Wins

The Remarkable Sporting Parallels Between 1908 And 2016 - The Cubs' Two World Series Wins
By Gavan Casey
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This week, the Chicago Cubs ended sport's longest-running hoodoo with their incredible World Series victory over the Cleveland baseball franchise. It got us to thinking, how different was the global sporting landscape a full 108 years ago - the last time the Cubs reached baseball's promised land? We were expecting extraordinary tales of sporting victories by modern-day minnows and now-defunct organisations. Here's what we found...

The GAA in 1908

It was little old Dublin who became All-Ireland football champions the last time Chicago won the World Series, retaining the trophy for the third time in as many years - their fifth in eight Championship seasons during an unprecedented era of dominance.

Meanwhile in hurling, modern-day minnows Tipperary - God bless them - took home the pre-Liam McCarthy era 'Great Southern Cup'. It was Tipp's second All-Ireland in three seasons, as they replaced Kilkenny (remember them?) as champions. The following year, of course, Kilkenny retook their mantle atop the hurling pecking order.

Dublin and Tipp, All-Ireland champions. It's gas, looking back on it all now.

Football in 1908

In foreign sports, the 1907–08 English Football League - which has since become the Premier League - was won by a club named 'Manchester United', who finished ahead of near neighbours Manchester City to top the pile. These were sad times, however, for Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City fans, with both clubs being relegated to the Second Division, while Sunderland produced a great escape to beat the drop by two points.

Up in Scotland, Celtic won the domestic double, finishing five clear of Glaswegian rivals Rangers. They also dumped Rangers out of the cup that year with a 2-1 victory at Ibrox Park.


In Italy, football was in disarray with Genoa, Torino and AC Milan protesting against the Italian Football Association. The Federal Championship (one of two Italian top flights, the Federal was the league which permitted the fielding of foreign players) was claimed by Juventus. In a farcical development, however, Milan refused to hand the title over to the Bianconeri as their protest continued, and to this day Juve's 1908 triumph is not officially recognised by Italian football.


Baseball in 1908

Across the Atlantic it was the 1908 Chicago Cubs - the inspiration behind this article - who won the World Series, defeating the Detroit Tigers by four games to one. Baseball in 1908 was considered to be a sport in crisis, as Major League Baseball recorded its overall lowest scoring season ever.

The Olympics in 1908

London played host to the Olympic Games in 1908, with Great Britain leading USA in the medal table.

The Team GB class of 1908 won 145 total medals - 56 of them gold. Marginal gains.


Tennis in 1908

Also in the UK, it was a Brit, Arthur Gore, who won Wimbledon. Gore also claimed Men's Singles gold for Britain at the London Olympics. Even the most doughy-eyed optimist would have suggested that British tennis would never see the like of it again...

Boxing in 1908

Finally, in boxing, Jack Johnson became the first ever black World heavyweight champion, embarking on his seven-year reign of dominance over boxing's most prestigious division. Johnson, who would go on to become an all-time great heavyweight champ, marked the beginning of a new era with a victory over then record-breaking and long-spanning champion Tommy Burns. Great, but could Johnson sell out a fight with Eric Molina at the Manchester Arena inside 15 minutes?

Conclusion - 1908 in sport

For fuck's sake. 1908: A year for truly unrepeatable sporting fairytales.


SEE ALSO: Bill Murray Was One Of The Best Things About Chicago Cubs Winning The World Series

From Biddy Early To Babe Ruth: 6 Times Sporting Curses Came To An End

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