Hey, Pirates: The Cubs won the World Series, which means you’re next

The Cubs last won the title in 1908. We care more about 1909.

The 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates

The 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates

Library of Congress
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The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series, which means we can no longer say “the last time the Cubs won the World Series” and follow it with some old-timey reference to a D.W. Griffith film or the invention of the Model T.

Spectators at Pittsburg[h]-Detroit game. At least nine spectators in Pittsburgh climbed up a tall pole to observe the baseball game.

Spectators at Pittsburg[h]-Detroit game. At least nine spectators in Pittsburgh climbed up a tall pole to observe the baseball game.

Library of Congress

1908. That was the last time the Cubs were world champions, and so with Chicago prepping for a North Side parade to honor the 2016 team, the obvious thing for the rest of the league is to look to next year.

With the longest curse in American sports now officially dead and buried, the question becomes who’s next?

Could it be the Pirates?

It was last time.

While everyone was reminiscing this postseason about the 1908 baseball playoffs, fans in Pittsburgh should be much more interested in the 1909 World Series. The Pirates have won five World Series in franchise history, the last in 1979, but the first came 70 years earlier, in 1909; the year after the Cubs last won the title.

The 1909 World Series was a doozy, with the Pirates and Detroit Tigers trading victories through the first six games, creating a winner-takes-all Game 7 at Detroit’s Bennett Park. The attendance for Game 7 was a modest 17,562, still more than 7,000 fans than the attendance for Game 6.  Babe Adams was on the bump for the Pirates in the decisive game, pitching a complete game, six-hit shutout as the Pirates routed the Tigers 8-0 to win their first world championship.