Chicago Cubs Championship

1984 Chicago Cubs Season

National League Division Championship

The list of Chicago Cubs championships may be few and far between, but that makes the occasions on which they occur all the more special and notable. One of these was the Chicago Cubs 1984 season, when the Cubs won the division title and played in the NLCS against the San Diego Padres. It was the first time in 40 years, dating back to 1945, that there were any new Chicago Cubs championships to talk about. Of course, the championships awarded ended with Division Title instead of National League Pennant or World Series Champion.

1984 NL Eastern Division
Team W L Pct GB
Cubs 96 65 .596 --
Mets 90 72 .556 6.5
Cardinals 84 78 .519 12.5
Phillies 81 81 .500 15.5
Expos 78 83 .484 18
Pirates 75 874 .463 21.5

Of course, the Chicago Cubs 1984 season was famous for another reason, the Sandberg Game. This game occurred on June 23 of 1984, and was played against St. Louis in Chicago. It was a nationally televised game, so it received a lot of exposure and attention. The Cubs were losing the game, and were up to bat in the bottom of the ninth, trailing 9-8. Ryne Sandberg came up and hit a tying home run off their star closer, Bruce Sutter.

Still, the Cardinals were able to score two runs in the 10th to retake the lead. Sandberg came up again, and hit another homer off Sutter, this time with a man on base, tying the game once again. The Cubs would win in the 11th thanks to Sandberg's two earlier home runs.

That game wasn't a fluke for Sandberg either. He won the 1984 National League MVP. He hit .314 on the year with 19 home runs and 84 RBIs. He also scored 114 runs, had an amazing 19 triples, added in 32 stolen bases, and of course, was stellar with his glove at second base.

The other major star of the season was pitcher Rick Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe was traded for from the Cleveland Indians in the middle of the year, and was a modest 5-5 prior to coming to the Chicago Cubs 1984 team. Then he went on an unthinkable 16-1 tear with the team, winning the NL Cy Young in the process. When you also factor in that manager Jim Frey was named the Manager of the Year, then you realize that the Cubs swept the awards, and you could see why they were so set up for one of a rare Chicago Cubs championship.

But, even with all of the great players on the roster and the strong season they had all around, a World Series wasn't to be. Instead, it would only be more heartbreak for the Chicago Cubs 1984 team. After winning the division, they met the San Diego Padres in a five game series in the NLCS. The Cubs won the first two games at home, and looked to be in fantastic position to advance to the Series.

Alas, they got swept by the Padres the next three games, and lost the series 3-2 after the 2-0 lead they had garnered. The series was marked by several crushing moments, including Leon Durham letting a grounder under his glove in the fifth game of the series, sparking a San Diego rally and the eventual win by the Padres.

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1984 League Championship Series
Padres 0 6 1
Cubs 13 16 0

W: Rick Sutcliffe, L: Eric Snow,
Save: none

Padres 2 5 0
Cubs 4 8 1

WP - Steve Trout, LP - Mark Thurmond;
Save - Lee Smith

Cubs 1 5 0
Padres 7 11 0

WP - Ed Whitson LP - Dennis Eckersley,
Save - none

Cubs 5 8 1
Padres 7 11 0

WP - Craig Lefferts LP - Lee Smith
Save - none

Cubs 3 5 1
Padres 6 8 0

WP - Graig Lefferts LP - Rick Sutcliffe
Save - Rich Gossage

The 1984 Chicago Cubs Championship Series is lost to the San Diego Padres 3-2