Do you smell that? Fresh cut grass, newly laid chalk lines, hotdogs on the grill? That’s right—it’s baseball season! And more exact, Cubs season here in Chicago. Now that Spring Training has wrapped and baseball season has officially begun, we wanted to take a look at the history of Chicago’s north-side team with Cubs buttons—through the goat curses and all!
As part of the 1932 Orbit Gum baseball button series Kiki Cuyler (Hazen Shirley Cuyler), along with his 53 other team mates, were featured in the gum company’s pack called “Tattoo.” The buttons feature an illustration of the player’s face and jersey number on a 3/4 inch round litho button.
Culyer’s career lead him to 7 seasons with the Cubs and eventually brought him to coach the team for a couple seasons before he passed away from a heart attach in 1951. In 1968 Kiki was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Frame and in 1981 was included in the book, “The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time” by Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig.
This button with a pennant attached features the image of William Crutcher Lee, otherwise known as Big Bill Lee. He was a right-handed pitcher for the Cubs from the years 1934 to 1943, and then again in 1947. Big Bill Lee brought the team 139 wins, which is still ranked the 9th longest streak in the franchise’s history. Lee also brought the Cubs to the World Series in 1938.
An homage to the 1969 song, “Hey Hey! Holy Mackerel!” which was originally recorded by several players on the team. The song features some fan-favorite inside jokes like Cubs’ announcer Vince Lloyd’s catch phrase, “holy mackerel.”
The term “Cubs Power” and this cute cub drawing were put onto buttons, bumper stickers, and Chicago Cubs Merch ingraining the slogan into the Cubs Culture. While 1969 was a fun year for the fans and the city, the Cubs lineup that featured key-players like Ron Santo, Billy Williams, and Ernie Banks is now remembered mostly for their 17 game losing streak.
These buttons were a part of a 8 cubs pins series that were available in vending machines in the 1960’s. The buttons showcase the slogan “Cub Power” as well as lovingly refer to dedicated fans as “Bleacher Bums.” The name is in reference to those who came to watch the Cubs play in the bleacher section of Wrigley Field on a regular basis.
Attendees in this section were usually were students of Loyola, DePaul, and Northwestern and were available to spend multiple afternoons at the ball park. In 2006 Bid Light purchased the naming rights to the bleacher section and renamed the seats the “Bud Light Bleachers.”
Not only have the Chicago Cubs remained in the same city their entire history, but they are one of the oldest and still active professional sports teams in the country. The Chicago Cub’s emblem that is featured on this button has been the team’s logo since 1979. This 3.5″ round button features the logo repeated with the famous and recognizable Chicago skyline in the background of this Cubs apparel.
Founded in 1870 under their original name Chicago Stockings, the team changed their name to the Chicago Cubs in 1907. Today, the Chicago Cubs are one of the longest running baseball franchises in the United States. Their legacy extends past being one of the first teams too. Until the 2016 season, hardcore Chicago Cubs fans were convinced the Billy Goat Curse placed on the team in the 1945 World Series would never lift.
Luckily in 2016 the Cubs broke the 71 year curse and won the World Series 8-7 in a game against the Cleveland Indians that lasted 10 innings. Busy Beaver recreated the 1945 Cubs World Series pin with our own one inch round button for the 2016 victory.