Cozzens: Forgotten powerhouse: The 1876 Chicago White Stockings

From Peter Cozzens at The National Pastime Museum on May 18, 2016:

Like other Chicago Cubs fans, I’ve been waiting a lifetime for a triumphant postseason. I won’t reveal my age, but memories of the Cubs’ September 1969 collapse and the Miracle Mets’ surge remain among the most painfully vivid of my childhood. Some historically inclined Cubs fans seek solace in stories of the great teams of 1906–1910, 1908 being of course the last year the Cubs won a World Series. I prefer to reach further back, all the way to 1876 and the birth of the National League, and tell myself that the champions of the centennial year season, the Chicago White Stockings (the franchise that would later become the Cubs), were one of the greatest teams in baseball history. Admittedly, my hometown pride may cloud my judgment a bit because I’ve yet to see a list of even the top 50 teams in Major League history that includes the 1876 White Stockings. But a .788 winning percentage and a team batting average of .337 (the league average was .265) have to count for something.

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Originally published: May 19, 2016. Last Updated: May 19, 2016.