Think of hopping on the Cubs bandwagon? Everyone knows about the painful defeats in Cubs history, but these are the victories you need to know about if you don't want to be sniffed out as a phony:
Aug. 31, 1932: Cubs 10, Giants 9
Bill Veeck said it was the greatest game he ever saw. In the middle of a pennant race, the Cubs were down 5-1 but scored four in the bottom of the ninth to tie it. In typical Cubs fashion, they gave four right back to the Giants in the 10th but this was no typical day at Wrigley. The North Siders responded with five in the bottom of the inning, capped by a three-run walk-off homer by Kiki Cuyler. It was the 12th consecutive win for the eventual pennant-winning Cubs, who ultimately found themselves on the losing end of Babe Ruth's purported called shot 31 days later in the World Series.
Sept. 28, 1938: Cubs 6, Pirates 5
Not only did Gabby Hartnett hit the Homer in the Gloamin', he also signed this ball for Al Capone.
Aug. 31, 1963: Cubs 6, Colt .45s 5
In their first winning season since 1946, the Cubs gave their fans a Saturday afternoon to remember. Chicago found itself trailing Houston 5-1 in the bottom of the ninth -- the same deficit it faced 31 years earlier to the day in the aforementioned rally against the Giants. With two outs and only a man on first, an encore didn't seem likely. Pinch hitter Don Landrum kept things going with a bunt single. Andre Rodgers made it 5-2 with an RBI single, and Leo Burke walked to load the bases. Next up was switch-hitter Ellis Burton, a career .216 hitter, facing Colts left-hander Hal Woodeshick. Burton delivered a walk-off grand slam, one of his 17 career homers. Only 9,027 paid to get into Wrigley that day, but we guess at least 90,027 Chicagoans later claimed to have been there.
Here's everything you need to know about bandwagon riding:
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• Ten tips for bandwagoners
• History's biggest bandwagons
• 12 legendary victories a Cubs bandwagoner must know
• Cubs bandwagon dictionary
• Uni Watch: Cubs edition
This was the peak of what had been a magical summer in Wrigleyville. Crowd favorite Ron Santo delivered a three-run homer in the first to account for all the scoring. Pitching for the first-place Cubs was 23-year-old Ken Holtzman, who didn't strike out a single batter but hurled the first of his two no-hitters for Chicago, outdueling future Hall of Famer Phil Niekro and shutting down a lineup that included Orlando Cepeda, Felipe Alou and Hank Aaron. That Braves team ended up winning the NL West. Conversely, the Cubs, who were eight games ahead of the Mets and 32 games over .500 after Holtzman's no-no, proceeded to lose seven of their next nine -- the start of a free fall that resulted in New York winning the NL East by eight games.
Sept. 2, 1972: Cubs 8, Padres 0
Even today, the name Milt Pappas seems to come up whenever a Cubs pitcher carries a no-hitter into the middle innings. Pappas went 17-7 with a 2.77 ERA for the second-place Cubs in 1972 -- the team's last winning season until 1984. With two outs in the ninth, the only thing that stood between Pappas and a perfect game was Larry Stahl, a career .232 hitter. Pappas walked him, with a young Bruce Froemming calling balls and strikes. Nevertheless, Pappas did get the next batter, Garry Jestadt, to pop out to second, ensuring that his name will live on -- at least as long as Cubs pitchers go without another no-hitter.
June 23, 1984: Cubs 12, Cardinals 11 (11)
Milt Pappas' no-hitter marked the high point of the 1970s for the Cubbies.
Sept. 24, 1984: Cubs 4, Pirates 1
In the 16 seasons from 1973 to 1988, the Cubs had one winning season -- 1984. After being acquired from Cleveland in June, Rick Sutcliffe went 16-1 with Chicago, including a gem in the team's division-clinching win at Pittsburgh. The North Siders scored a run in each of the first three innings -- more than enough with the Red Baron on the mound. With a chance to send the Cubbies to the postseason for the first time in nearly 40 years, Sutcliffe threw a two-hitter with nine strikeouts and no walks.
AP Photo/Fred Jewell
The future seemed to be wide open when Kerry Wood made history on May 6, 1998.
At 20 years old, Wood wasn't old enough to buy a postgame beer at Murphy's. He could, however, strike out an Astro for every year of his life. Not only did Wood tie a major league record with 20 K's, but he didn't walk a single batter. If not for a two-hopper that ate up Cubs third baseman Kevin Orie in the third -- a play that could've been ruled an error -- Wood would've had a no-hitter. As it turned out, Wood settled for a one-hit shutout, the NL single-game strikeout record and the creation of grandiose expectations by Cub Nation.
Sept. 12, 1998: Cubs 15, Brewers 12
Sept. 13, 1998: Cubs 11, Brewers 10 (10)
It isn't possible to include one game without the other. After Milwaukee won the series opener 13-11 on Friday, Sept. 11, the Cubs were tied atop the wild-card standings with the Mets, and Sammy Sosa was in the midst of a historic home run chase with Mark McGwire. On Saturday, Chicago rallied from a 12-5 deficit, starting with Sosa's 60th homer in the seventh and ending with Orlando Merced's walk-off homer in a five-run ninth -- one of 10 career at-bats for Merced as a Cub. The next day was just as dramatic. Sosa hit his 61st and 62nd homers, the latter being part of another ninth-inning Chicago rally to tie it. Then Mark Grace -- not exactly known for his power -- belted a homer with two outs in the 10th to win it. The teams combined for 72 runs in three games.
Sept. 28, 1998: Cubs 5, Giants 3
Thanks to a Rockies rally against the Giants, the Cubs were able to survive an 11-inning loss in Houston on the final day of the regular season. On the 60th anniversary of the Homer in the Gloamin', Chicago and San Francisco met on a Monday night at raucous Wrigley Field to determine the NL wild-card berth. With the game scoreless in the fifth, 40-year-old Gary Gaetti, a midseason pick-up from St. Louis, slammed a two-run shot for the Cubs. Then, pinch-hitter Matt Mieske delivered a single in the sixth, driving in two of the 12 RBIs he had in his only season in Chicago. It proved to be just enough. Despite walking six, Steve Trachsel pitched six-plus innings of one-hit, shutout ball. Then the Giants nearly came back from a 5-0 deficit in the ninth. With the tying run at the plate and Rod Beck on the mound, former World Series hero Joe Carter stepped into the batter's box with two outs. But there would be no Curse of the Billy Goat on this night, as Carter popped out in foul territory near first base.
Oct. 5, 2003: Cubs 5, Braves 1
The Cubbies failed to close out the NL Division Series at Wrigley on the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 4, so the series shifted south for a decisive Game 5 at Turner Field, which had been transformed into Wrigley South all series long thanks to thousands of Cubs fans. Chicago struck first with a Moises Alou RBI single in the first and an Alex Gonzalez solo homer in the second. Kerry Wood dominated for the second time in the series, allowing one earned run in eight innings. Joe Borowski retired the side 1-2-3 in the ninth, clinching the Cubs' only postseason series victory since 1908.