The Chicago Cubs Vs. San Diego Padres Rivalry

Kevin Smith

padres vs cubs

The rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres, though not as renowned as some other baseball rivalries, has still carved its place in the hearts of fans.

Both teams boast dedicated and passionate fanbases—the “Cubs faithful” and the “Friar Faithful”—who have stood by their respective teams through highs and lows.

While their history may not be as extensive, notable moments like the “Flag Incident” and playoff matchups have added excitement to their encounters.

This introduction delves into the unique characteristics of the Cubs-Padres rivalry, showcasing the fervor and loyalty that make these matchups meaningful for baseball enthusiasts.

History: Chicago Cubs Vs San Diego Padres

The Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres have distinct histories, both in terms of their founding, success, and overall impact on Major League Baseball (MLB).

Let’s explore a comparison of their histories

Founding and Early Years

  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs were established in 1876 and are one of the oldest and most storied franchises in MLB history. Originally known as the Chicago White Stockings, they were one of the charter members of the National League (NL).
    The team’s name changed to the Cubs in 1903. The Cubs have a rich history, including two back-to-back World Series titles in 1907 and 1908.

  • San Diego Padres: The Padres were founded in 1969 as an expansion team. They joined the National League along with the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals). As a relatively young franchise compared to the Cubs, the Padres did not have immediate success.
    They struggled during their early years, but they eventually became more competitive and had their first taste of postseason success in the early 1980s.

Championships and Success

  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs experienced a prolonged championship drought that lasted 108 years, from their last World Series victory in 1908 until their historic triumph in 2016.
    The 2016 World Series win was a momentous occasion for the franchise and its devoted fan base.
    Throughout the years, the Cubs have had periods of success and some great teams but had difficulty breaking through in the postseason until 2016.

  • San Diego Padres: The Padres have yet to win a World Series title, making them one of a few MLB teams without a championship. However, they have experienced some success, including five NL West division titles (1984, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2006) and two NL pennants (1984, 1998).
    Despite not winning a championship, the Padres have had memorable seasons and players who have left a lasting impact on the franchise.


  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs are famous for playing their home games at Wrigley Field, located in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago.
    Wrigley Field is the second-oldest ballpark in MLB and is known for its ivy-covered brick outfield walls and iconic hand-operated scoreboard.
    It has a rich history and is considered one of the most unique and beloved ballparks in the league.

  • San Diego Padres: The Padres played their home games at various stadiums until they moved into Petco Park in 2004.
    Petco Park is situated in downtown San Diego and is renowned for its picturesque views of the city skyline and the nearby San Diego Bay.
    The stadium is known for its fan-friendly atmosphere and is a popular destination for both Padres fans and visitors to San Diego.

Notable Players

  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs have produced numerous legendary players, including Hall of Famers such as Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Ryne Sandberg. Additionally, players like Sammy Sosa, Billy Williams, and Ferguson Jenkins are among the franchise’s all-time greats.

  • San Diego Padres: The Padres have also had notable players in their history, with the most iconic being Tony Gwynn, who is often regarded as one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. Gwynn spent his entire 20-year career with the Padres and was a beloved figure in San Diego.
    Other notable players include Trevor Hoffman, Dave Winfield, and Steve Garvey.

Fanbase: Chicago Cubs Vs San Diego Padres

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs boast a renowned fanbase, known for unwavering loyalty and passion. Fondly referred to as the “Cubs faithful” or “Cubs Nation,” their dedication endured through a 108-year championship drought until the historic 2016 World Series victory.

Rooted in the team’s storied history since 1876, fans cherish Wrigley Field’s iconic ambiance, fostering tradition and nostalgia. Their nationwide and global appeal stems from frequent television appearances and matchups with popular teams.

The Cubs’ recent success has only strengthened the bond with their devoted followers, solidifying their status as one of the most dedicated and beloved fanbases in sports.

San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres’ fanbase, known as the “Friar Faithful,” displays unwavering enthusiasm and loyalty, even during less successful periods.

Established in 1969, the Padres may lack historical depth compared to older franchises, but their passionate following has steadily grown, particularly during successful phases.

The team’s strong connection to the local community is evident, and they have fostered a dedicated fanbase among the military population in San Diego.

Petco Park, the team’s modern home stadium, has played a pivotal role in enhancing the game-day experience and further solidifying the Padres’ popularity among their devoted fans.

Iconic Moments: Chicago Cubs Vs San Diego Padres Rivalry

July 9, 1972 – the “Flag Incident”

During a game between the Cubs and the Padres at Wrigley Field, Cubs outfielder Rick Monday made an iconic play that became known as the “Flag Incident.”

As two protesters attempted to burn an American flag on the field, Monday sprinted over and snatched the flag away, saving it from being desecrated.

The moment symbolized patriotism and respect and is still remembered fondly by Cubs fans.

June 23, 1984 – Steve Garvey’s Game-winning Home Run

During a heated series between the Cubs and the Padres in 1984, both teams were battling for a playoff spot. In a crucial game, the Padres’ Steve Garvey hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, breaking Cubs fans’ hearts and becoming an unforgettable moment for Padres supporters.

1984 National League Championship Series (Nlcs)

The Cubs and Padres faced off in the 1984 NLCS, which was a significant milestone for both franchises. The Padres won the series in five games and advanced to their first-ever World Series appearance.

The Cubs’ dream of ending their championship drought was dashed, but the series showcased the competitiveness and potential of both teams.

Future Outlook: Chicago Cubs Vs San Diego Padres

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs hold the top spot in the NL Central, but they face strong competition from the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds. To solidify their postseason berth, the Cubs must maintain consistency and stay healthy.

Their potent offense, led by stars like Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, will be crucial in securing a playoff spot. Addressing areas of need, such as strengthening their bullpen and shoring up the lineup, could elevate their chances for a deep postseason run.

With key contributors like Kyle Hendricks and Craig Kimbrel, the Cubs have the pieces in place to make a significant impact in the playoffs.

San Diego Padres

Currently sitting third in the NL West behind the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers and the resurgent San Francisco Giants, the Padres have the talent to make a playoff push.

Overcoming injuries and inconsistencies will be crucial for their success. Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and a formidable pitching rotation featuring Yu Darvish and Blake Snell provide the foundation for a competitive team.

The Padres must focus on improving their defense and bench depth to bolster their chances. With the right adjustments and a strong performance down the stretch, the Padres have the potential to secure a wild card spot and contend in the postseason.

Recent Performance: Chicago Cubs Vs San Diego Padres

Game 1 – April 26, 2023, at Wrigley Field

  • Padres 5, Cubs 3. 

  • The Padres took an early lead with home runs from Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. Despite a late rally from the Cubs, the Padres held on for the win.

Game 2 – June 2, 2023, at Petco Park:

  • Cubs 2, Padres 1 (10 innings).

  • A tight pitching duel resulted in extra innings, where the Cubs secured the win with a game-winning RBI double from Kris Bryant.

Game 3 – June 3, 2023, at Petco Park:

  • Cubs 7, Padres 4.

  • Both teams showcased their power hitting, but the Cubs’ offense prevailed with key home runs from Javier Baez and Willson Contreras.

Game 4 – June 4, 2023, at Petco Park:

  • Cubs 7, Padres 1. 

  • The Cubs dominated with a strong offensive display, highlighted by a grand slam from Kyle Schwarber, limiting the Padres to one run.

Chicago Cubs Vs San Diego Padres Rivalry

1984Oct 3-7Jack Murphy StadiumSan DiegoPadres 3-2
1998Jul 28-30Wrigley FieldChicago CubsCubs 3-0
2007May 11-13Petco ParkSan DiegoPadres 2-1
2016Apr 18-20Wrigley FieldChicago CubsCubs 2-1
2019May 31-Jun 2Wrigley FieldChicago CubsCubs 2-1
2022Aug 15-17Petco ParkSan DiegoPadres 3-0


When did the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres first face off against each other?

The Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres first played against each other in the 1969 MLB season when the Padres were established as an expansion team.

Have the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres ever met in the playoffs?

Yes, the Cubs and Padres met in the 1984 National League Championship Series (NLCS), with the Padres winning the series and advancing to the World Series.

Which ballpark is known for the “Flag Incident” involving the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres?

The “Flag Incident” occurred at Wrigley Field during a game between the Cubs and the Padres on July 9, 1972.

What is the Cubs-Padres rivalry known for among fans?

The Cubs-Padres rivalry is characterized by some memorable moments and competitive matchups, even though it may not be as prominent as other rivalries in baseball.

Who are some notable players who have played for both the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres?

While there have been several players who played for both teams at different points in their careers, one notable example is pitcher Greg Maddux, who had stints with both the Cubs and the Padres and had an impressive career with both clubs.

To Recap

The rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres may not be as storied as some of the more famous baseball rivalries, but it has had its share of memorable moments and competitive matchups.

The Cubs’ dedicated and passionate fanbase, known as the “Cubs faithful,” and the Padres’ enthusiastic “Friar Faithful” have remained unwavering in their support for their respective teams.

Through iconic incidents like the “Flag Incident” and intense playoff battles, this rivalry continues to captivate fans and add to the rich tapestry of baseball history.

As the teams continue to face each other in the seasons to come, new chapters will be written, further solidifying the Cubs-Padres rivalry in the annals of the sport.

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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