The Cubs will experience something for the first time in 112 years during Monday's doubleheader with the Cardinals.
St. Louis is the home team for the second game in Monday’s and Wednesday’s doubleheaders at Wrigley Field. According to Cubs historian Ed Hartig, it’s the first time the Cubs will bat first at their home ballpark since July 16, 1908, when they played the New York Giants at West Side Grounds
The last time the Cubs batted first at home against the Cardinals was way back on May 18, 1898, also at West Side Grounds, according to Hartig.
The Cubs and Cardinals are playing three doubleheaders this season after their series in St. Louis was postponed a few weeks ago. That was the only series scheduled between the longtime rivals in St. Louis this season, hence the Cardinals being the home team at Wrigley.
St. Louis will also be the home team at Wrigley in Game 2 of a doubleheader on Sept. 5.
Hartig notes home teams commonly batted first prior to 1950, when the rule to have them bat second was implemented. Before that, teams flipped coins to determine who batted first. If the home team won, they’d often choose to bat first because it meant hitting the ball at its hardest state. The practice faded as more balls began to be used each game.
Now, imagine if the Cardinals win any of these three games on a walk-off. In a season full of quirks, that would easily be one of the strangest sights.