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A Tale of Two Eras: Chicago Cubs Management Reacted in Opposite Ways to 1970, 2021 Losing Streaks

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In 2021, the Cubs dumped their biggest stars. In 1970, however, they acquired stars and nearly won the pennant.

CHICAGO - EntSun -- The Chicago Cubs were sailing along in first place. Then beginning in June, a losing streak of more than ten games motivated Cubs management to make some blockbuster player moves.

Those facts are true for both the 1970 and 2021 Chicago Cubs. But management's reaction was totally different in each of those seasons, according to William S. Bike, who wrote the new book The Forgotten 1970 Chicago Cubs: Go and Glow, published by The History Press.

"It's national news among baseball fans that in 2021 after the 11-game losing streak dropped the team out of first place, Cub management figured the team couldn't come back and traded its three biggest stars, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javy Baez," Bike noted.

"But interestingly, when the first-place Cubs had a 12-game losing streak in 1970, management decided to go out and acquire three top-flight players, instead of getting rid of three," Bike noted.

In 1970, the Cubs acquired pitcher Milt Pappas, outfielder-first baseman Joe Pepitone, and pitcher Juan Pizarro at mid-season.

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"These guys had been stars with other teams, and Pappas and Pepitone immediately played the Cubs back into contention," Bike said. "Pappas won ten games as a starting pitcher, Pepitone jacked 12 homers and contributed 44 RBI, and even Pizarro, who contributed less, gave the team a seasoned lefty reliever. Thanks to these guys, the Cubs got back into a tough three-way pennant race with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets. They nearly overcame that big losing streak to win the pennant.

"Should the Cubs have backed up the truck instead of acquiring players in 1970?" Bike asks. "After all, they didn't win the pennant and maybe could have gotten some good young prospects for their stars like the 2021 Cubs did. On the other hand though, 1970 provided a fun year, and nearly a pennant, for Cubs fans. Could the 2021 team have done the same? We'll never know."

The Forgotten 1970 Chicago Cubs: Go and Glow, published by Arcadia/The History Press of Charleston, SC, is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other book purchase websites, in bookstores, and at https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781467149082. ISBN: 97814671-4908-2, paperback, 160 pp., $21.99. For more about the book, log on to www.1970chicagocubs.com.

William S. Bike

Source: Central Park Communications

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