Tonight at the United Center, the Chicago Blackhawks have a chance to win the Stanley Cup on home ice for the first time since 1938.
That’s a long dry spell.
But, then again, it’s next to nothing when it comes to the postseason series-clinching drought that our city is still enduring in baseball.
That’s because, as crazy as it may seem, Chicagoans have not seen a MLB postseason series clincher – of any kind – take place on city turf since way back in 1906, when the White Sox beat the Cubs in a World Series that never left Chicago.
In the century-plus since ’06, there have been seven other baseball postseason series victories by the Cubs and White Sox, but each and every one of them has been clinched outside the City of Big Shoulders. That history also includes four separate times – three in 2003, and one in 1945 – that the Cubs had an opportunity to secure a series championship on Chicago soil only to come up typically short.
Ponder the following list from Chicago’s bizarre history of only managing to win MLB playoff series when the Cubs or the Sox were playing on the road, and failing every time they had a shot to do so at home:
2005: The White Sox won the American League Division Series on the road in Boston, won the AL Championship Series on the road in Anaheim, and won the World Series on the road in Houston.
2003: In the NLDS against the Braves, the Cubs failed the clinch the series in Game 4 at Wrigley Field before going on to ultimately win the series in Game 5 on the road in Atlanta. In the NLCS against the Marlins, the Cubs lost two potential series clinchers – Games 6 and 7 – at Wrigley Field en route to losing the series.
1945: Facing Detroit, the Cubs lost the decisive Game 7 of the World Series at Wrigley Field.
1917: In Game 6 at the Polo Grounds in New York City, the White Sox won the World Series over the Giants.
1908: The Cubs won the World Series by beating the Tigers in Game 5 at Bennett Park in Detroit.
1907: The Cubs won the World Series by beating the Tigers in Game 4 at Bennett Park in Detroit.
Hopefully, the Blackhawks can get it done and win the Stanley Cup in front of the home crowd tonight. But if they do, don’t blame Chicago’s baseball die-hards if they get a little jealous.
After all, we’ve never even seen a NLDS win in town, let alone a World Series.
One of these days …