On Friday the 13th, let's revisit the Cubs' 'Black Cat Game'
This post originally ran on Friday, June 13, 2014.
It didn't happen on a Friday the 13th -- but in 1969, one of the spookiest, most ominous events in MLB history happened. On September 9, Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins was on the hill for the Cubs in a crucial late-season game against the Mets. The Mets had already won the first contest in the two-game series and were now just 1 1/2 games behind the Chicago in the newly-created NL East, and the Cubs were trying to avoid losing their sixth in a row. Things were already looking bleak for the Cubs, and then this happened:
As Jenkins said in the interview above, the black cat could have headed to the Mets dugout -- but it didn't. It went right for the Cubs, and stared into their dugout for a good 10 seconds. Chicago, which had been in first place all season, ended up losing 18 of their 27 games in September and October and failed to qualify for postseason play.
A lot of factors contributed to the collapse -- manager Leo Durocher's reluctance to give position players days off has often been cited -- but the black cat became another chapter in the Cubs' history of bad fortune.
That was 47 years ago, though, and in 2016 the Cubs have 25-8 start and a historically awesome run differential -- and really, what's a little bad luck in the face of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and the ferocious beard of Jake Arrieta?