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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Cubs and Sox meet each other at Wrigley Field tomorrow with the strongest records for both teams since the Crosstown Classic started.

Are you more excited about these six games this year than in years past?
 

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born again cyclist
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^ oh hell yeah. with both teams in first place in their respective divisions, these upcoming crosstowns are gonna be the stuff of legend. the cubs have stumbled a bit this week down in tampa, while the sox have been lighting up the scoreboard with their explosive offense.

the crosstown games are always a riot, but with both teams playing such good baseball at the moment, this year will be extra special.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Trib had a good article about last time (1977) when both the Cubs and Sox were both doing so well (obviously well before interleague play):


Spirit of '77 for White Sox, Cubs
It was a rousing time in Chicago baseball 31 summers ago. Care to watch a rerun?

By Paul Sullivan | Tribune reporter

If interleague play had begun in 1977 instead of 1997, a Cubs vs. White Sox summer showdown at old Comiskey Park or at a pre-lights Wrigley Field might have gone down as the most anticipated ever between the crosstown rivals.

There never was a time like the summer of '77 … until now.

As is the case today, both teams were in first place as the summer kicked off, with confidence growing daily. Like the tag-team tandem of Ozzie and Lou, both teams were run by crusty old field generals (managers Herman Franks and Bob Lemon) and covered by brash young Chicago-style beat writers (Bob Verdi, Philip Hersh and Joe Goddard).


Related links
Cubs' TV tandem calls the best game in town
White Sox security to help out at Wrigley
More Cubs vs. White Sox headlines
What's Goin' On: Crosstown Classic All-Stars
Teddy Greenstein: Grading the broadcast teams
Joke of the Day: Cubs' Sean Gallagher vs. Sox's Carlos Quentin
Fred Mitchell: Sox security to help out at Wrigley
Jim Thome could play 1st base for White Sox vs. Cubs
And, much as the '08 models of the Sox and Cubs have done, each team had taken its respective side of town by storm in '77, with future Hall of Fame broadcasters Harry Caray and Jack Brickhouse getting positively giggly over the possibility of the first Sox-Cubs World Series since 1906, and Jimmy Piersall being … well, Jimmy Piersall.

If history is truly repeating itself, it figures to be a bumpy ride.

The fun begins

It began getting serious in '77 when the Sox moved into a first-place tie with Minnesota in the AL West on June 19 with a doubleheader sweep over Oakland, only a few weeks after the Cubs had grabbed first in the NL East with a May 28 victory over Pittsburgh.

The Sox, after dropping to second for a spell in late June, went 22-6 in July and opened a 61/2-game lead over division rival Kansas City on July 31 by winning the first three games of a four-game series with the Royals. After tying the first game of a doubleheader in the ninth, the Sox tied it again in the 10th on Chet Lemon's two-run homer, and the Comiskey crowd of 50,412 then erupted on Ralph Garr's game-winning single off Doug Bird.

The Cubs opened an 81/2-game lead over St. Louis and Philadelphia on June 28, as Rick Reuschel improved to 11-2 by beating Montreal and closer Bruce Sutter collected his 21st save, lowering his ERA to 0.68.

It all ended badly, of course, as it usually did in the '70s, with both teams falling out of first before the end of August.

The Cubs went first in a spectacular collapse, falling out of first Aug. 7 and finishing in fourth place with a pedestrian 81-81 record. The Sox dropped out of the top spot for good with a loss to Milwaukee on Aug. 20, ultimately winding up third with a respectable 90-72 record.

As it turned out, the Yankees, with outfielder and future Cubs manager Lou Piniella, beat the Dodgers, with outfielder and future Cubs manager Dusty Baker, in a World Series best remembered for Reggie Jackson's three-homer night in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium.

Spirit of '77

Despite the free-falls on both sides of town, however, many who got an up-close and personal view of the summer of '77 consider it the greatest two-month stretch in Chicago baseball history. The journey was so raucous, so unpredictable and so uniquely "Chicago" that a late-summer fade on both sides of town couldn't obscure the delicious moments that preceded it.

It was the summer of the South Side Hit Men and the Little Blue Machine. Of "Na Na, Hey Hey," "Holy Cow" and "Back, back, back …" Of "Ooooh, for the long one," "Pitch at risk to Richie Zisk" and "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief he is."

It was a time when journeyman players like Jose Cardenal, Eric Soderholm and Oscar Gamble all were in their highest orbits, enjoying the life of a superstar in a city that blue-collar athletes ruled.

The Sox hit 192 homers and broke the franchise attendance record set in 1960. The Cubs were bigger than the King Tut exhibit. Chicago was so cool and so hot at the same time that Sports Illustrated featured both teams with the corny but endearing headline, "Chi, Oh My!"

Fortunately, for those too young or too inebriated to remember that remarkable stretch when both teams dominated simultaneously for the first time in decades, several eyewitnesses will be on hand this weekend for the first interleague series with both teams in first place.

Sox outfielder Nick Swisher can ask his father, Steve, about George Mitterwald's two homers in an incredible 16-15 win over the Reds at Wrigley in late July, as the elder Swisher was a catcher for those '77 Cubs.

Analyst Steve Stone can pinpoint the reason for the Sox's downfall — beginning with a loss to the Royals in the second game of a wild doubleheader July 31 at Comiskey — because Stone was a member of the Sox's rotation and won a team-best 15 games.

Cubs coach Ivan DeJesus can tell Carlos Zambrano that he, too, once owned Wrigley, becoming a cult hero in '77, his first season after arriving from the Dodgers with Bill Buckner in the Rick Monday deal.

Everyone has a story to tell, and only a few of the tales are exaggerated.

A summer-long party

To some natural-born cynics, the summer of '77 will serve as a cautionary tale for Chicagoans fantasizing at the Summer Solstice about October. The wildest of dreams can evaporate in the heat of the summer, a lesson that has been replayed on both sides of town over the decades, with 2005 a notable exception.

But sometimes a season can be measured by its individual moments of pure joy, and not just the way it ends. For thousands of Cubs and Sox fans, the summer of '77 was the party that no one wanted to leave, like being in a 4 o'clock bar at 3:30 in the morning. You knew the end was coming soon, but, man, what a time you had.

"A phenomenally entertaining season," Stone recalled last year on the 30th anniversary of the '77 Sox.

The same could be said about the Sox and Cubs seasons already in progress, so enjoy it, Chicago.

It doesn't happen very often, and it can end very suddenly.

But when everything's in perfect alignment, the Sox and Cubs are both in first and porch-sitting season has begun in earnest, there's really only one thing to say:

Chi, oh my!
 

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Seven Costanza
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Yes, this should be a good one. The Sox lucked out not having to face Zambrano, hurt or not. Hopefully they can continue their strong hitting after this Pittsburg sweep, and not struggle after this offensive explosion like they did when they were in Tampa themselves. Go Sox!
 

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Loyola University
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Beating the Soxs just has an extra good feel to it. It's awesome!
 

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Registered
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Ok so that weekend series sucked ass :( Hopefully we can at least defend our turf on the Southside.
 

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Registered
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Ok, now for the sweep at home :cheers:
 

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Registered
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Ok, now for the sweep at home :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know this is ridiculous, a terribly giddy question, and perhaps even a jinx, but for anyone who wants to take the bait:

How would you rate the chances of a Cub-White Sox World Series this fall? Select appropriate response:

• Definite?

• Probable?

• Likely?

• Possible?

• Doubtful?

• Infintessimal?

• Impossible?
 

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^:lol:

If you had asked a couple weeks ago before the Twins went on a 10 game winning streak to instantly bring them back in the AL Central race along with the Tigers who are on a tear now, I may have given it "Possible." The Red Sox, Rays, A's, Twins, and Angles are going to give the White Sox all they can handle just to get to the playoffs much less when in them.

Now, if you ask me, the Cubs are clearly the best team in the NL including the Marlins by a good bit.

All of that said, we're still only half way through the season. :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
^:lol:

If you had asked a couple weeks ago before the Twins went on a 10 game winning streak to instantly bring them back in the AL Central race along with the Tigers who are on a tear now, I may have given it "Possible." The Red Sox, Rays, A's, Twins, and Angles are going to give the White Sox all they can handle just to get to the playoffs much less when in them.

Now, if you ask me, the Cubs are clearly the best team in the NL including the Marlins by a good bit.

All of that said, we're still only half way through the season. :yes:
we're talking CHICAGO here, Future: getting only half way through the season is considered an accomplishment of monumental proportion. When it happens to both teams, it becomes pure lore, a story of the ages.

Don't forget that this is the city where sporting attention in August turns to Bear practices.
 
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