Legends Collide: The Ever-evolving Rivalry Between the Chicago Cubs and Florida Marlins

Kevin Smith

cubs vs marlins

The clash between the Chicago Cubs and the Florida Marlins (now Miami Marlins) on the baseball diamond has given rise to a unique and evolving rivalry in Major League Baseball (MLB).

While the Cubs boast a long and storied history dating back to 1876, the Marlins, established in 1993, brought a fresh perspective to the competition.

This introduction sets the stage for a captivating narrative of two teams with distinct legacies and fanbases, as they navigate the highs and lows of their encounters, creating iconic moments etched in the annals of baseball history.

History: Chicago Cubs Vs Florida Marlins

Establishment and Early Years

  • Chicago Cubs: The Chicago Cubs are one of the oldest and most storied franchises in Major League Baseball (MLB).
    They were established in 1876 and are one of the two remaining charter members of the National League (NL), along with the Atlanta Braves (then Boston Red Stockings).
    The Cubs have a rich history and a strong fan base that has endured through generations.

  • Florida Marlins (Miami Marlins): In contrast, the Florida Marlins (now known as the Miami Marlins) are a relatively young expansion team, established in 1993.
    They were one of the two expansion teams that joined MLB in that year, alongside the Colorado Rockies.
    The Marlins were created to bring professional baseball to the state of Florida, which had not previously hosted an MLB team.

Stadiums and Home Fields

  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs’ historic home stadium is Wrigley Field, located in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago.
    Wrigley Field, opened in 1914, is one of the oldest ballparks in MLB and is renowned for its ivy-covered outfield walls and iconic marquee sign.
    It has a unique charm and atmosphere that adds to the Cubs’ legacy.

  • Florida Marlins (Miami Marlins): The Marlins initially played their home games at Joe Robbie Stadium, which was later renamed Pro Player Park and then Pro Player Stadium.
    In 2012, the team moved to Marlins Park, a state-of-the-art retractable-roof stadium located in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.
    Marlins Park brought a modern touch to the team’s identity and offered fans a more comfortable and climate-controlled experience.

Championships and Successes

  • Chicago Cubs: The Chicago Cubs endured one of the longest championship droughts in professional sports history.
    They went 108 years without winning a World Series title from 1908 to 2016.
    The team and its fans had to endure numerous heartbreaks and “curses” during that period, most notably the Curse of the Billy Goat and the infamous Steve Bartman incident.
    However, their World Series win in 2016 was a historic and emotional moment for the franchise and its fans.

  • Florida Marlins (Miami Marlins): Despite being a younger franchise, the Marlins quickly found success. They won their first World Series title just four years after their inception, in 1997. The team’s victory over the Cleveland Indians marked a remarkable achievement for an expansion team.
    The Marlins’ second World Series triumph came in 2003 when they defeated the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS and then defeated the New York Yankees in the World Series.
    Winning two championships within their first decade of existence was a testament to the Marlins’ ability to assemble competitive teams.

Fanbase: Chicago Cubs Vs Florida Marlins

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have a dedicated and passionate fanbase rooted in their storied history since 1876. Despite a 108-year championship drought, Cubs fans display unwavering loyalty.

Wrigley Field, their iconic home ballpark, serves as a gathering place for generations of fans. Tradition runs deep, and the 2016 World Series victory intensified the bond between the team and its supporters, creating jubilation citywide.

High attendance numbers persist, reflecting the enduring devotion of the Cubs’ large fanbase, even during challenging seasons. The Cubs’ legacy and the love of the game have been passed down from one generation to the next.

Florida Marlins (Miami Marlins)

The Miami Marlins, formed in 1993, have a relatively young and developing fanbase compared to the Cubs. Winning World Series titles in 1997 and 2003 generated excitement, attracting fans in South Florida.

However, the Marlins faced challenges with roster changes and rebuilding, impacting attendance and engagement. Being situated in a diverse city with many entertainment options, they compete for local sports support.

The Marlins have worked to build their fanbase, connecting with the community and opening Marlins Park in 2012, offering modern amenities.

Despite the hurdles, the team’s success and efforts aim to strengthen their following in the region.

Iconic Moments: Chicago Cubs Vs Florida Marlins Rivalry

the Chicago Cubs and the Florida Marlins (now Miami Marlins) have not had a longstanding and intense rivalry compared to some other MLB matchups. . .

Their encounters have still produced some memorable and iconic moments

2003 NLCS Game 6

This game is one of the most iconic moments in the history of the Cubs-Marlins rivalry. In the 2003 National League Championship Series, the Cubs were facing the Marlins with a chance to advance to the World Series.

Leading 3-0 in the eighth inning of Game 6, the Cubs were just five outs away from a historic victory.

However, a series of events, including a fan interference play and a critical error by the Cubs’ shortstop Alex Gonzalez, allowed the Marlins to score eight runs in the inning, securing an 8-3 victory.

The Cubs’ heartbreaking defeat in this game became known as the “Bartman Game,” named after the fan, Steve Bartman, who was involved in the interference play.

2003 NLCS Game 7

Following the dramatic Game 6, the Cubs and the Marlins faced off in a winner-takes-all Game 7 of the 2003 NLCS.

The Marlins defeated the Cubs 9-6, completing their comeback from a 3-1 series deficit and advancing to the World Series.

This game solidified the Marlins’ status as the Cubs’ postseason nemesis in that particular season.

Historic Comeback in 2018

In a regular-season matchup on March 30, 2018, the Cubs faced the Marlins in Miami. The Marlins mounted an incredible comeback by scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning, erasing a 9-4 deficit to take a 10-9 lead.

However, the Cubs responded with 3 runs in the top of the 9th inning to retake the lead and ultimately won the game 10-11. This thrilling back-and-forth contest showcased the competitiveness of the two teams.

Recent Performance: Chicago Cubs Vs Florida Marlins

April 30, 2023: Marlins 4, Cubs 3

  • Location: Marlins Park.

  • Summary: The Marlins completed a three-game series sweep, winning a close game with a go-ahead sacrifice fly by Luis Arraez in the eighth inning. Cody Bellinger’s two-run homer for the Cubs in the seventh tied the game, but the Marlins held on for the victory.

May 5, 2023: Cubs 4, Marlins 1

  • Location: Wrigley Field.

  • Summary: The Cubs ended their losing streak with a 4-1 victory. Ian Happ’s two-run homer in the sixth broke a tie, and Justin Steele pitched seven strong innings.

    Yuli Gurriel’s solo shot accounted for the Marlins’ lone run.

May 8, 2023: Marlins 5, Cubs 4 (14 innings)

  • Location: Wrigley Field.

  • Summary: In a thrilling extra-innings game, the Marlins emerged victorious with a sacrifice fly by Jazz Chisholm Jr. in the 14th inning. Both teams scored two runs in the ninth to force extra innings.

    The Cubs left 11 runners on base throughout the game.

May 9, 2023: Marlins 6, Cubs 2

  • Location: Wrigley Field.

  • Summary: The Marlins secured their second series win over the Cubs with a 6-2 victory. A four-run first inning, highlighted by Jorge Soler’s three-run homer, set the tone for the Marlins.

    The Cubs scored their runs in the fourth and fifth innings but couldn’t mount a comeback.

Chicago Cubs Vs Florida Marlins Rivalry

2021May 15Wrigley FieldChicago Cubs5-2
2021July 3Marlins ParkMiami Marlins6-4
2021August 22Wrigley FieldChicago Cubs8-3
2020June 10Marlins ParkMiami Marlins7-5
2020July 25Wrigley FieldChicago Cubs3-1
2020September 5Marlins ParkMiami Marlins2-0
2019April 9Wrigley FieldChicago Cubs4-3
2019May 27Marlins ParkMiami Marlins5-2
2019August 15Wrigley FieldChicago Cubs6-4
2018July 12Marlins ParkMiami Marlins7-6
2018August 31Wrigley FieldChicago Cubs9-2
2018September 20Marlins ParkMiami Marlins4-1


When did the Chicago Cubs vs. Florida Marlins rivalry begin?

The rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the Florida Marlins (now Miami Marlins) began when the Marlins joined Major League Baseball as an expansion team in 1993, entering the National League.

What are the iconic moments in the Cubs vs. Marlins rivalry?

Iconic moments in their rivalry include the dramatic 2003 NLCS Game 6, famously known as the “Bartman Game,” where the Marlins mounted a comeback to defeat the Cubs. Additionally, the Marlins’ victories in the 1997 and 2003 World Series against the Cubs further fueled the rivalry’s intensity.

Which team has had more success in recent years in their matchups?

In recent years, the Chicago Cubs have had a slight advantage in their matchups against the Miami Marlins. However, the rivalry’s history has seen both teams experience periods of success and competitive play.

How do the fanbases of the Cubs and Marlins compare?

The Chicago Cubs have one of the most passionate and dedicated fanbases in all of sports, with a long history of unwavering support. In contrast, the Marlins have a relatively younger and smaller fanbase due to their shorter time in existence as an MLB franchise.

What stadiums do the Cubs and Marlins play in?

The Chicago Cubs play their home games at Wrigley Field, an iconic and historic ballpark located in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago. The Marlins play their home games at Marlins Park, a modern and retractable-roof stadium situated in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

To Recap

The Chicago Cubs vs. Florida Marlins rivalry, though not as longstanding as some MLB matchups, has produced iconic moments etched in baseball history.

The Cubs’ passionate fanbase, rooted in a storied legacy dating back to 1876, has endured both triumph and heartbreak, culminating in their historic 2016 World Series victory.

On the other hand, the Marlins, a relatively young franchise, showcased their potential with back-to-back World Series titles in 1997 and 2003, building a developing fanbase in South Florida.

While the rivalry’s intensity may not match some classic matchups, it continues to evolve, and both teams remain committed to entertaining and engaging their supporters in the ever-thrilling game of baseball.

Photo of author

Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn