Rivals of the Diamond: the Chicago Cubs Vs. Cincinnati Reds

Kevin Smith

cubs vs reds

The rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds is steeped in baseball history, dating back to the founding years of Major League Baseball.

Spanning over a century, this storied competition has witnessed thrilling matchups, iconic moments, and passionate fanbases on both sides.

From legendary players gracing the field to historical triumphs and heartbreaks, the Cubs and Reds have etched their names in the annals of America’s pastime.

This introduction sets the stage for exploring the enduring allure and significance of this classic baseball rivalry, a tale of two teams that have left an indelible mark on the sport they love.

History: Chicago Cubs Vs Cincinnati Reds

The history of the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds is a tale of two storied franchises with distinct narratives, successes, and challenges. . .

Let’s compare their histories

Establishment and Early Years

  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs were founded in 1876 as one of the original charter members of the National League. They were initially known as the Chicago White Stockings and later became the Chicago Cubs in 1903.
    The team has a rich history, winning two World Series titles in 1907 and 1908, establishing themselves as one of the early powerhouses in baseball.

  • Cincinnati Reds: The Reds, also founded in 1876, were originally called the Cincinnati Red Stockings and later changed their name to the Reds.
    They were also among the founding members of the National League.
    The Reds have a unique history, as they were the first professional baseball team, paving the way for the establishment of the league. They won their first World Series title in 1919, defeating the infamous “Black Sox” team.

World Series Titles

  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs’ history has been marked by periods of success and droughts. While they had early success with World Series victories in 1907 and 1908, they faced a championship drought that lasted more than a century.
    This drought became a significant part of their narrative and created a sense of longing among their passionate fanbase.
    However, in 2016, they finally ended the curse, winning their third World Series title after defeating the Cleveland Indians in a thrilling seven-game series.

  • Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have captured five World Series titles throughout their history, making them one of the more successful franchises in baseball.
    After their victory in 1919, they went on to win championships in 1940, 1975, 1976, and 1990.
    The back-to-back titles in the mid-1970s were particularly iconic, as they were led by the legendary “Big Red Machine” with stars like Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Pete Rose.

Hall of Fame Players

  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs have had numerous Hall of Fame players don their uniform, including icons like Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Ryne Sandberg.
    These players have left an indelible mark on the team and are beloved by Cubs fans for their contributions to the franchise.

  • Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have also seen their fair share of Hall of Fame players throughout history. Johnny Bench, widely considered one of the greatest catchers of all time, leads the list of Reds legends.
    Joe Morgan and Pete Rose, both instrumental in the team’s success in the 1970s, also earned their place in Cooperstown.

Fanbase: Chicago Cubs Vs Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs fanbase is renowned for its unwavering loyalty, enduring a century-long championship drought with remarkable perseverance.

Rooted in tradition, generational bonds connect fans to the team.

Wrigley Field’s nostalgic charm and the beloved seventh-inning stretch tradition, led by celebrity guests, foster a unique atmosphere.

Proudly adorned in “Cubbie Blue,” fans display their passion through “W” flags after victories.

This diverse and devoted fanbase extends far beyond Chicago, encompassing a widespread and dedicated following nationwide and even worldwide.

Through highs and lows, Cubs fans stand united, making their presence felt, and adding to the team’s storied legacy.

Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds fanbase is deeply entrenched in baseball history as one of the earliest professional franchises.

With a strong grasp of the game, they exude enthusiasm for their team’s successes.

The unforgettable “Big Red Machine” era of the 1970s, led by legends like Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan, continues to be a source of immense pride. From Riverfront Stadium to Great American Ball Park, cherished venues have hosted generations of devoted fans.

This passionate and supportive fanbase extends beyond Cincinnati, encompassing the entire state of Ohio, creating a tradition of unwavering dedication.

Their love for the Reds resonates through both triumphant and challenging times.

Iconic Moments: Chicago Cubs Vs Cincinnati Reds Rivalry

The rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds has produced several iconic moments throughout their long history.

Here are some of the most memorable moments that have added to the allure of this historic rivalry

1932 World Series

The Cubs and the Reds met in the 1932 World Series, marking their first-ever postseason matchup. The Reds emerged victorious, winning the series in a hard-fought battle, securing their first World Series title.

“Sandberg Game” (1984)

One of the most famous games in Cubs history took place on June 23, 1984. Trailing 9-0 against the Reds, the Cubs mounted an incredible comeback, led by second baseman Ryne Sandberg.

Sandberg hit two game-tying home runs, and the Cubs eventually won the game 12-11 in extra innings. This memorable performance solidified Sandberg’s reputation as one of the game’s greats.

Pete Rose’s Record-breaking Hit (1985)

On September 11, 1985, while playing for the Reds, Pete Rose became the all-time hits leader in MLB history, surpassing Ty Cobb’s longstanding record.

The historic moment occurred during a game against the Cubs, further adding to the significance of this rivalry.

Sammy Sosa’s 500th Home Run (2003)

On April 4, 2003, Sammy Sosa, a Cubs legend, hit his 500th career home run during a game against the Reds. Sosa became only the 18th player in MLB history to reach this milestone, cementing his legacy as one of the most iconic players in Cubs history.

Chapman Vs. Rizzo (2016)

During a game in 2016, Cubs pitcher Aroldis Chapman faced off against Reds first baseman Anthony Rizzo in a dramatic and intense matchup. The two former teammates battled in a pivotal moment, showcasing the intensity and competitiveness of the rivalry.

Controversial Plays and Umpire Altercations

The long history between the Cubs and Reds has also seen its fair share of controversial plays and heated moments involving players and umpires. These incidents have added to the intensity and drama of the rivalry over the years.

Recent Performance: Chicago Cubs Vs Cincinnati Reds

April Series at Great American Ball Park

  • Cubs swept the four-game series.

  • Cubs outscored Reds 32-16.

  • Offensive Leader (Cubs): Kris Bryant (4 HR, 10 RBI).

  • Winning Pitchers (Cubs): Kyle Hendricks, Adbert Alzolay, Zach Davies, Jake Arrieta.

May Series at Wrigley Field

  • Reds won three out of four games.

  • Reds scored 25 runs, allowed 18.

  • Offensive Leader (Reds): Nick Castellanos (3 HR, 8 RBI).

  • Winning Pitchers (Reds): Luis Castillo, Wade Miley, Sonny Gray.

July Series at Wrigley Field

  • Cubs won two out of three games.

  • Cubs scored 15 runs, allowed 11.

  • Offensive Leader (Cubs): Javier Baez (2 HR, 6 RBI).

  • Winning Pitchers (Cubs): Alec Mills, Trevor Williams.

August Series at Great American Ball Park

  • Cubs won three out of four games.

  • Cubs scored 18 runs, allowed 14.

  • Offensive Leader (Cubs): Anthony Rizzo (2 HR, 7 RBI).

  • Winning Pitchers (Cubs): Kyle Hendricks, Zach Davies, Jake Arrieta.

Chicago Cubs Vs Cincinnati Reds Rivalry

1932World SeriesMultiple LocationsCincinnati RedsReds win
1984June 23Wrigley FieldChicago CubsCubs win
1985Sep 11Riverfront StadiumCincinnati RedsReds win
2003Apr 4Great American Ball ParkChicago CubsCubs win
2016VariousVariousChicago CubsCubs win
2021VariousVariousCincinnati RedsReds win


When did the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds first play against each other?

The Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds first played against each other in 1876, the inaugural season of the National League, making it one of the oldest rivalries in MLB history.

How many World Series titles have the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds won combined?

The Chicago Cubs have won three World Series titles (1907, 1908, 2016), while the Cincinnati Reds have won five (1919, 1940, 1975, 1976, 1990), resulting in a combined total of eight championships between the two teams.

Who are some of the legendary players associated with the Cubs-Reds rivalry?

The rivalry has featured iconic players like Ryne Sandberg and Sammy Sosa for the Cubs and Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Pete Rose for the Reds, among others.

Which stadium is considered the home of the Chicago Cubs?

The Chicago Cubs’ home stadium is Wrigley Field, located in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago. It has been their home since 1916 and is known for its ivy-covered outfield walls and historic charm.

How often do the Cubs and Reds play each other during a regular season?

As both teams are members of the National League Central division, they play each other multiple times throughout the regular season. In a typical season, they face off in a series of games, usually spread across several months.

To Recap

The rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of Major League Baseball.

Spanning over a century, this historic competition has witnessed iconic moments, legendary players, and passionate fanbases.

Both franchises have left an indelible mark on the sport, with the Cubs breaking their championship curse in 2016 and the Reds showcasing their dominance in multiple World Series triumphs.

The rich traditions and generational bonds within their fanbases exemplify the heart of baseball’s allure.

As these two storied teams continue to face each other on the diamond, their battles reflect the essence of the game, uniting fans and contributing to the timeless legacy of America’s pastime.

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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