A Cubby Comedy: Top moments in team history

November 8th, 2019

CHICAGO -- Plenty of Cubs fans can tell you exactly where they were the moment that the team ended its long, historic World Series drought. A memory of that magnitude lasts a lifetime.

There are other types of moments that fans never forget, though for different reasons. We're talking about those funny, bizarre moments -- bloopers on the field or strange happenings off the diamond.

Remember when Sammy Sosa injured his back while sneezing? How about the time Ozzy Osbourne completely butchered the words to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at Wrigley Field? Yeah, we remember those, too, and plenty more.

With more than a century's worth of history for the Cubs, it'd be nearly impossible to come up with a definitive list of the all-time funniest or most bizarre moments for the franchise. Here are 10 memorable moments of that nature for the North Siders:

1. Da Coach's seventh-inning sprint
June 5, 1998

Mike Ditka, the former head coach of the Chicago Bears, gave a legendary performance of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the summer of '98. After broadcasters Steve Stone and Chip Caray bought time for Ditka to make his way to the booth, Da Coach shouted through a rapid-fire rendition of the famous song in front of a stunned Wrigley Field crowd.

2. Schwarber's celebration
Oct. 23, 2016

The Cubs clinched the National League pennant with a 5-0 win over the Dodgers in '16, but outfielder Kyle Schwarber was not there for the party. He was getting at-bats in the Arizona Fall League in an attempt to return from a torn ACL that shelved him two games into the season. That did not stop Schwarber from celebrating "with" his teammates. Wearing a Cubs uniform, Schwarber was doused in champagne by a group of people with him in Arizona. Schwarber returned in time for the World Series and the rest, as they say, is history.

3. Maddux, teammates go sliding
Aug. 8, 1988

The first night game in the history of Wrigley Field was spoiled by Mother Nature in August of '88. A steady rain arrived in the fourth inning and eventually led to a rainout of Chicago's night tilt against the Phillies. During the delay, Cubs star Greg Maddux, along with teammates Jody Davis, Les Lancaster and Al Nipper did tarp slides to entertain the soaked crowd. They each received a $500 fine from manager Don Zimmer.

4. Will Ferrell suits up
March 12, 2015

During one wild Spring Training day in '15, comedian Will Ferrell played every position and suited up for 10 teams. That included the Cubs in the third inning of their game against the Angels. Ferrell served as the third-base coach first, giving players literal signs. He held up one that read, "Don't Pull a Muscle," and another that said, "Swing As Hard As You Can." After seeing the latter, slugger Kris Bryant sent a sharp foul ball in Ferrell's direction. Ferrell later struck out (while the Angels had four infielders to the right of second base) and manned first base in his brief tour with the Cubs.

5. Russell's nachos delivery
June 2, 2017

Shortstop Addison Russell sprinted into foul ground beyond the left-field line in the second inning of a 10-2 win over the Cards in St. Louis late in the '17 season. As he dove into the stands, Russell's right foot kicked a plate of nachos out of a fan's hands, spilling the chips and cheese onto the field. Later in the game, Russell returned with a new order of nachos for the fan, and they took a selfie together.

6. Lou's hat-kicking ejection
June 2, 2007
In the eighth inning of a 5-3 loss to the Braves, Ángel Pagán was called out at third while trying to advance on a ball that got by the catcher. Cubs manager Lou Piniella took the field enraged, spiking his hat to the ground and going nose-to-nose with third-base umpire Mark Wegner. Piniella kicked dirt on the umpire's legs and then kicked his hat, creating a memorable clip in his first ejection as manager of the Cubs.

7. Maddon's spin move
July 4, 2019
After a series of high-and-tight pitches, Cubs manager Joe Maddon bolted from the visitors' dugout in Pittsburgh in the fourth inning of an 11-3 win, and he had some choice words for Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle. On his way across the field, Maddon got ejected and stopped by home-plate umpire Joe West, leading to a humorous moment tailor-made for the GIF era. Maddon and West bumped chests, the manager pointed a finger and then tried a spin move to break free.

8. Biittner's hat trick
Sept. 26, 1979

In the fourth inning of an 8-3 loss to the Mets, New York's Bruce Boisclair drove a pitch into Wrigley Field's right-center-field gap. Right fielder Larry Biittner gave chase, losing his hat as he hustled for the ball. Somehow, the ball rolled into Biittner's cap, while Boisclair sprinted around the bases. Biittner looked around confused, eventually checking his hat in the nick of time. Boisclair tried to turn a double into a triple in light of the mistake, but Biittner fired the baseball to third in time to record the out.

9. Destroying the Bartman Ball
Feb. 26, 2004

Cubs fans found "humor" in the events of Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series, when Moises Alou could not reel in a foul ball while fan Steve Bartman reached over the wall. Chicago did not advance to the World Series, and the incident entered Cubs lore. The following February, however, restaurant owner Gary DePorter bought the ill-fated baseball at an auction and with the help of a special effects expert had it blown up outside Harry Caray's restaurant to exorcise any demons under the seams.

10. The Curse of the Billy Goat
Oct. 6, 1945

No list of bizarre moments for the Cubs could be complete without mentioning Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis and the supposed hex he placed on the franchise during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series against the Tigers. As the story goes, Sianis was asked to leave Wrigley Field because some fans were bothered by the presence of his pet goat, Murphy. Sianis declared that the Cubs would not win again, and they lost that Fall Classic and did not return to the World Series for 71 years. There's a little more humor in it now, given that the Cubs won it all in 2016 to snap the team's 108-year championship drought.