The permits, required by state law, are only available for adoption reasons, meaning a lion will already be available.
The Lion of Judah (Rev 5:5) is the symbol of the Israelite tribe of Judah in the Book of Genesis. Judah was the fourth son of Jacob the Israelite and was the progenitor of King David. The Lion of Judah is also a phrase in the Book of Revelation representing Jesus, which originated from the tribe of Judah .
The Biblical Judah (in Hebrew: Yehuda) is the original name of the Tribe of Judah, which is traditionally symbolized by a lion. In Genesis, the patriarch Jacob ("Israel") gave that symbol to his tribe when he refers to his son Judah as a Gur Aryeh גּוּר אַרְיֵה יְהוּדָה, a "Young Lion" (Genesis 49:9) when blessing him. In Jewish naming tradition the Hebrew name and the substitute name are often combined as a pair, as in this case. The Lion of Judah was used as a Jewish symbol for many years, and as Jerusalem was the capital of the Kingdom of Judah, in 1950 it was included in the Emblem of Jerusalem.
In Christian tradition, the Lion of Judah represents Jesus. Jesus was from the tribe of Judah and he is mentioned as the Lion of Judah in Revelation. The phrase appears in the New Testament Book of Revelation 5:5; "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." Many Christian organizations and ministries use the lion of Judah as their emblem or even their name.
The use in C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia of a lion named Aslan is known to represent Jesus Christ.
Ethiopia's traditions, recorded and elaborated in a 5th-century treatise, the "Kebre Negest", assert descent from a retinue of Israelites who returned with Makeda, the Queen of Sheba from her visit to King Solomon in Jerusalem, by whom she had conceived the Solomonic dynasty's founder, Menelik I. As Solomon was of the tribe of Judah, his son Menelik I would continue the line, which according to Ethiopian tradition was passed directly down from King to King until Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed in 1974. Both Christian and Jewish Ethiopian tradition has it that there were also immigrants of the Tribes of Dan and Judah that accompanied Makeda (Queen of Sheba) back from her visit to Solomon; hence the Ge'ez motto Mo`a 'Anbessa Ze'imnegede Yihuda ("The Lion of the Tribe of Judah has conquered"), included among the titles of the Emperor (King of Kings) throughout the Solomonic Dynasty. It is unknown whether John of Patmos was directly aware of this hereditary title when he penned it into the text of the prophecy. The Lion of Judah motif figured prominently on the old imperial flag, currency, stamps, etc. and may still be seen gracing the terrace of the capital as a national symbol. After the collapse of the Communist Derg in 1990 and the increase of Western-style political freedoms, a minor political party bearing the name Mo'a Anbessa made its appearance.
In Rastafari, "The Lion of Judah" represents Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, crowned November 2, 1930 with the titles King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God and Power of the Trinity. Rastas hold that Selassie is a direct descendant of the Israelite Tribe of Judah through the lineage of King David and Solomon, and that he is also the Lion of Judah mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parent or parents. Unlike guardianship or other systems designed for the care of the young, adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction. Historically, some societies have enacted specific laws governing adoption; where others have tried to achieve adoption through less formal means, notably via contracts that specified inheritance rights and parental responsibilities without an accompanying transfer of filiation. Modern systems of adoption, arising in the 20th century, tend to be governed by comprehensive statutes and regulations.
Adoption has changed considerably over the centuries with its focus shifting from adult adoption and inheritance issues toward children and family creation; its structure moving from a recognition of continuity between the adopted and kin toward allowing relationships of lessened intensity. In modern times, adoption is a primary vehicle serving the needs of homeless, neglected, abused and runaway children.
While the modern form of adoption emerged in the United States, forms of the practice appeared throughout history. The Code of Hammurabi, for example, details the rights of adopters and the responsibilities of adopted individuals at length. The practice of adoption in ancient Rome is well documented in the Codex Justinianus.
Markedly different from the modern period, ancient adoption practices put emphasis on the political and economic interests of the adopter, providing a legal tool that strengthened political ties between wealthy families and created male heirs to manage estates. The use of adoption by the aristocracy is well documented; many of Rome's emperors were adopted sons.
Infant adoption during Antiquity appears rare. Abandoned children were often picked up for slavery and composed a significant percentage of the Empire’s slave supply. Roman legal records indicate that foundlings were occasionally taken in by families and raised as a son or daughter. Although not normally adopted under Roman Law, the children, called alumni, were reared in an arrangement similar to guardianship, being considered the property of the father who abandoned them.
Other ancient civilizations, notably India and China, used some form of adoption as well. Evidence suggests the goal of this practice was to ensure the continuity of cultural and religious practices; in contrast to the Western idea of extending family lines. In ancient India, secondary sonship, clearly denounced by the Rigveda, continued, in a limited and highly ritualistic form, so that an adopter might have the necessary funerary rites performed by a son. China had a similar idea of adoption with males adopted solely to perform the duties of ancestor worship.
The practice of adopting the children of family members and close friends was common among the cultures of Polynesia including Hawaii where the custom was referred to as hānai.
The nobility of the Germanic, Celtic, and Slavic cultures that dominated Europe after the decline of the Roman Empire denounced the practice of adoption. In medieval society, bloodlines were paramount; a ruling dynasty lacking a natural-born heir apparent was replaced, a stark contrast to Roman traditions. The evolution of European law reflects this aversion to adoption. English Common Law, for instance, did not permit adoption since it contradicted the customary rules of inheritance. In the same vein, France's Napoleonic Code made adoption difficult, requiring adopters to be over the age of 50, sterile, older than the adopted person by at least fifteen years, and to have fostered the adoptee for at least six years. Some adoptions continued to occur, however, but became informal, based on ad hoc contracts. For example, in the year 737, in a charter from the town of Lucca, three adoptees were made heirs to an estate. Like other contemporary arrangements, the agreement stressed the responsibility of the adopted rather than adopter, focusing on the fact that, under the contract, the adoptive father was meant to be cared for in his old age; an idea that is similar to the conceptions of adoption under Roman law.
Europe's cultural makeover marked a period of significant innovation for adoption. Without support from the nobility, the practice gradually shifted toward abandoned children. Abandonment levels rose with the fall of the empire and many of the foundlings were left on the doorstep of the Church. Initially, the clergy reacted by drafting rules to govern the exposing, selling, and rearing of abandoned children. The Church's innovation, however, was the practice of oblation, whereby children were dedicated to lay life within monastic institutions and reared within a monastery. This created the first system in European history in which abandoned children did not have legal, social, or moral disadvantages. As a result, many of Europe's abandoned and orphaned children became alumni of the Church, which in turn took the role of adopter. Oblation marks the beginning of a shift toward institutionalization, eventually bringing about the establishment of the foundling hospital and orphanage.
As the idea of institutional care gained acceptance, formal rules appeared about how to place children into families: boys could become apprenticed to an artisan and girls might be married off under the institution's authority. Institutions informally adopted out children as well, a mechanism treated as a way to obtain cheap labor, demonstrated by the fact that when the adopted died, their bodies were returned by the family to the institution for burial.
This system of apprenticeship and informal adoption extended into the 19th century, today seen as a transitional phase for adoption history. Under the direction of social welfare activists, orphan asylums began to promote adoptions based on sentiment rather than work; children were placed out under agreements to provide care for them as family members instead of under contracts for apprenticeship. The growth of this model is believed to have contributed to the enactment of the first modern adoption law in 1851 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, unique in that it codified the ideal of the "best interests of the child." Despite its intent, though, in practice, the system operated much the same as earlier incarnations. The experience of the Boston Female Asylum (BFA) is a good example, which had up to 30% of its charges adopted out by 1888. Officials of the BFA noted that, although the asylum promoted otherwise, adoptive parents did not distinguish between indenture and adoption; "We believe," the asylum officials said, "that often, when children of a younger age are taken to be adopted, the adoption is only another name for service."
The next stage of adoption's evolution fell to the emerging nation of the United States. Rapid immigration and the American Civil War resulted in unprecedented overcrowding of orphanages and foundling homes in the mid-nineteenth century. Charles Loring Brace, a Protestant minister became appalled by the legions of homeless waifs roaming the streets of New York City. Brace considered the abandoned youth, particularly Catholics, to be the most dangerous element challenging the city's order.
His solution was outlined in The Best Method of Disposing of Our Pauper and Vagrant Children (1859) which started the Orphan Train movement. The orphan trains eventually shipped an estimated 200,000 children from the urban centers of the East to the nation's rural regions. The children were generally indentured, rather than adopted, to families who took them in. As in times past, some children were raised as members of the family while others were used as farm laborers and household servants.
The sheer size of the displacement—the largest migration of children in history—and the degree of exploitation that occurred, gave rise to new agencies and a series of laws that promoted adoption arrangements rather than indenture. The hallmark of the period is Minnesota's adoption law of 1917 which mandated investigation of all placements and limited record access to those involved in the adoption.
During the same period, the Progressive movement swept the United States with a critical goal of ending the prevailing orphanage system. The culmination of such efforts came with the First White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children called by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1909, where it was declared that the nuclear family represented "the highest and finest product of civilization” and was best able to serve as primary caretaker for the abandoned and orphaned. Anti-institutional forces gathered momentum. As late as 1923, only two percent of children without parental care were in adoptive homes, with the balance in foster arrangements and orphanages. Less than forty years later, nearly one-third were in an adoptive home.
Nevertheless, the popularity of eugenic ideas in America put up obstacles to the growth of adoption. There were grave concerns about the genetic quality of illegitimate and indigent children, perhaps best exemplified by the influential writings of Henry H. Goddard who protested against adopting children of unknown origin, saying,
Now it happens that some people are interested in the welfare and high development of the human race; but leaving aside those exceptional people, all fathers and mothers are interested in the welfare of their own families. The dearest thing to the parental heart is to have the children marry well and rear a noble family. How short-sighted it is then for such a family to take into its midst a child whose pedigree is absolutely unknown; or, where, if it were partially known, the probabilities are strong that it would show poor and diseased stock, and that if a marriage should take place between that individual and any member of the family the offspring would be degenerates.
The period 1945 to 1974, the baby scoop era, saw rapid growth and acceptance of adoption as a means to build a family. Illegitimate births rose three-fold after World War II, as sexual mores changed. Simultaneously, the scientific community began to stress the dominance of nurture over genetics, chipping away at eugenic stigmas. In this environment, adoption became the obvious solution for both unwed mothers and infertile couples.
Taken together, these trends resulted in a new American model for adoption. Following its Roman predecessor, Americans severed the rights of the original parents while making adopters the new parents in the eyes of the law. Two innovations were added: 1) adoption was meant to ensure the "best interests of the child;" the seeds of this idea can be traced to the first American adoption law in Massachusetts, and 2) adoption became infused with secrecy, eventually resulting in the sealing of adoption and original birth records by 1945. The origin of the move toward secrecy began with Charles Loring Brace who introduced it to prevent children from the Orphan Trains from returning to or being reclaimed by their parents. Brace feared the impact of the parents' poverty, in general, and their Catholic religion, in particular, on the youth. This tradition of secrecy was carried on by the later Progressive reformers when drafting of American laws.
The number of adoptions in the United States peaked in 1970. It is uncertain what caused the subsequent decline. Likely contributing factors in the 1960s and 1970s include a decline in the fertility rate, associated with the introduction of the pill, the completion of legalization of artificial birth control methods, the introduction of federal funding to make family planning services available to the young and low income, and the legalization of abortion. In addition, the years of the late 1960s and early 1970s saw a dramatic change in society's view of illegitimacy and in the legal rights of those born outside of wedlock. In response, family preservation efforts grew so that few children born out of wedlock today are adopted. Ironically, adoption is far more visible and discussed in society today, yet it is less common.
The American model of adoption eventually proliferated globally. England and Wales established their first formal adoption law in 1926. The Netherlands passed its law in 1956. Sweden made adoptees full members of the family in 1959. West Germany enacted its first laws in 1977. Additionally, the Asian powers opened their orphanage systems to adoption, influenced as they were by Western ideas following colonial rule and military occupation.
Although adoption is today practiced globally, the United States has the largest number of children adopted per 100 live births. The table below provides a snapshot of Western adoption rates. Adoption in the United States still occurs at nearly three times those of its peers although the number of children awaiting adoption has held steady in recent years, hovering between 133,000 to 129,000 during the period 2002 to 2006.
Table 2: Adoptions, Live Births, and Adoption/Live Birth Ratios are provided in the table below (alphabetical, by country) for a number of Western countries
Contemporary adoption practices can be open or closed.
Adoptions can occur either between related family members, or unrelated individuals. Historically, most adoptions occurred within a family. The most recent data from the U.S. indicates about half of adoptions are currently between related individuals. A common example of this is a "stepparent adoption", where the new partner of a parent may legally adopt a child from the parent's previous relationship. Intra-family adoption can also occur through surrender, as a result of parental death, or when the child cannot otherwise be cared for and a family member agrees to take over.
Infertility is the main reason parents seek to adopt children they are not related to. One study shows this accounted for 80% of unrelated infant adoptions and half of adoptions through foster care. Estimates suggest that 11–24% of Americans who cannot conceive or carry to term attempt to build a family through adoption, and that the overall rate of ever-married American women who adopt is about 1.4%. Other reasons people adopt are numerous although not well documented. These may include wanting to cement a new family following divorce or death of one parent, compassion motivated by religious or philosophical conviction, to avoid contributing to overpopulation out of the belief that it is more responsible to care for otherwise parent-less children than to reproduce, to ensure that inheritable diseases (e.g., Tay-Sachs disease) are not passed on, and health concerns relating to pregnancy and childbirth. Although there are a range of possible reasons, the most recent study of experiences of women who adopt suggests they are most likely to be 40–44 years of age, currently married, have impaired fertility, and childless.
Unrelated adoptions may occur through the following mechanisms:
Disruption refers to the termination of an adoption. This includes adoptions that end prior to legal finalization and those that end after that point (in U.S. law, the latter cases are referred to as having been dissolved). The Disruption process is usually initiated by adoptive parents via a court petition and is analogous to divorce proceedings. It is a legal avenue unique to adoptive parents as disruption/dissolution does not apply to biological kin.
Ad hoc studies, performed in the U.S., however, suggest that between 10–25 percent of adoptions disrupt before they are legally finalized and from 1–10 percent are dissolved after legal finalization. The wide range of values reflects the paucity of information on the subject and demographic factors such as age; it is known that older children are more prone to having their adoptions disrupted.
As of May 2012, adoption by same-sex couples was legal in at least some jurisdictions of about twenty states.
The biological relationship between a parent and child is important, and the separation of the two has led to concerns about adoption. The traditional view of adoptive parenting received empirical support from a Princeton University study of 6,000 adoptive, step, and foster families in the United States and South Africa from 1968 to 1985; the study indicated that food expenditures in households with mothers of non-biological children (when controlled for income, household size, hours worked, age, etc.) were significantly less for adoptees, step-children, and foster children, causing the researchers to speculate that, instinctually, people are less interested in sustaining the genetic lines of others. This theory is supported in another more qualitative study where in adoptive relationships marked by sameness in likes, personality, and appearance, both adult adoptees and adoptive parents report being happier with the adoption.
Other studies provide evidence that adoptive relationships can form along other lines. A study evaluating the level of parental investment indicates strength in adoptive families, suggesting that parents who adopt invest more time in their children than other parents and concludes, "...adoptive parents enrich their children's lives to compensate for the lack of biological ties and the extra challenges of adoption." Another recent study found that adoptive families invested more heavily in their adopted children, for example, by providing further education and financial support. Noting that adoptees seemed to be more likely to experience problems such as drug addiction, the study speculated that adoptive parents might invest more in adoptees not because they favor them, but because they are more likely than genetic children to need the help.
Psychologists' findings regarding the importance of early mother-infant bonding created some concern about whether parents who adopt older infants or toddlers after birth have missed some crucial period for the child's development. However, research on The Mental and Social Life of Babies suggested that the "parent-infant system," rather than a bond between biologically related individuals, is an evolved fit between innate behavior patterns of all human infants and equally evolved responses of human adults to those infant behaviors. Thus nature "ensures some initial flexibility with respect to the particular adults who take on the parental role.”
Beyond the foundational issues, the unique questions posed for adoptive parents are varied. They include how to respond to stereotypes, answering questions about heritage, and how best to maintain connections with biological kin when in an open adoption. One author suggests a common question adoptive parents have is: "Will we love the child even though he/she is not our biological child?" A specific concern for many parents is accommodating an adoptee in the classroom. Familiar lessons like "draw your family tree" or "trace your eye color back through your parents and grandparents to see where your genes come from" could be hurtful to children who were adopted and do not know this biological information. Numerous suggestions have been made to substitute new lessons, e.g., focusing on "family orchards."
Adopting older children presents other parenting issues. Some children from foster care have histories of maltreatment, such as physical and psychological neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse, are at risk of developing psychiatric problems. Such children are at risk of developing a disorganized attachment. Studies by Cicchetti et al. (1990, 1995) found that 80% of abused and maltreated infants in their sample exhibited disorganized attachment styles. Disorganized attachment is associated with a number of developmental problems, including dissociative symptoms, as well as depressive, anxiety, and acting-out symptoms. "Attachment is an active process- it can be secure or insecure, maladactive or productive."
The consensus among researchers is that adoption affects development throughout life, with the fact of "being adopted," creating unique responses to significant life-events, e.g., the birth of a child. As a result, researchers often assume that the adoptee population faces heightened risk in terms of psychological development and social relationships. Earlier literature on the topic supported the conception of such problems, however, much of that research has since been deemed flawed due to methodological failures.
Some conclusions about the development of adoptees can be gleaned from newer studies, though, and it can be said that adoptees, in some respect, seem to develop differently than the general population while facing greater risks during adolescence. Many adopted persons experience difficulty in establishing a sense of identity.
Identity is formed in early childhood and the strength and functionality of family relationships play a huge role in its development and outcome. By the time children are of school age they are beginning to ask questions about who they are, where they belong and where they fit into the family. For adopted children this is a little more complicated than for their non-adopted peers.
The US Department of Health and Human Services says the following: "School-age children form a stronger sense of who they are. Much of that identity comes from their family and the relationships with the people in their lives. For adopted children, developing an identity is more complicated. They must merge two separate families and histories as they explore how they fit in. In middle childhood, children [...] begin to sort through critically important questions about who they are. Those who felt "special" and "chosen" because they were adopted may begin to realize, at least subconsciously, that someone else "unchose" them. Many struggle with issues of self-worth, self-esteem, and being different. Newly adopted children may be grieving for previous homes or caretakers. Some adopted children may have difficulty with social relationships outside the family. These emotional tasks can interfere with concentration and distract children from schoolwork."
The formation of identity is a complicated process and there are many factors that affect its outcome. In their article on issues in adoption, Deborah N. Silverstein and Sharon Kaplan refer to the people involved and affected by an adoption (the biological parent, the adoptive parent and the adoptee) as triad members and state: Adoption may also threaten triad members’ sense of identity. Triad members often express feelings related to confused identity and identity crises, particularly at times of unrelated loss. Identity is defined both by what one is and what one is not. Adoptees born into one family lose an identity and then borrow one from the adopting family. Adoption, for some, precludes a complete or integrated sense of self. Triad members may experience themselves as incomplete, deficient, or unfinished. They state that they lack feelings of well-being, integration, or solidity associated with a fully developed identity.
Family plays a vital role in identity formation. This is not only true in childhood but also in adolescence. Identity is still forming during adolescence (gender/sexual/ethnic/religious/family) and family holds a vital key to this. The research seems to be unanimous; a stable, secure, loving, honest and supportive family in which all members feel safe to explore their identity is necessary for the formation of a sound identity. What happens then, if a child does not experience this in their family as they grow and develop? What happens if their family is characterised by secretive behaviours (even if this is unknown to the child) instead of openness? What if there is dysfunction in the family because of the secrets it possesses and indeed, hides? What if the very people that are supposed to be modelling a sound identity are in fact riddled with insecurities? Ginni Snodgrass answers these questions in the following way. The secrecy in an adoptive family and the denial that the adoptive family is different builds dysfunction into it. "... social workers and insecure adoptive parents have structured a family relationship that is based on dishonesty, evasions and exploitation. To believe that good relationships will develop on such a foundation is psychologically unsound" (Lawrence). Secrecy erects barriers to forming a healthy identity. () The research seems to tell us that the dysfunction, untruths and evasiveness that can be present in adoptive families not only makes sound identity formation impossible, but also directly works against it. It begs the following question. What effect on identity formation is present if the adoptee knows they are adopted but has no information about their biological parents? Let’s see what Silverstein and Kaplan have to say. Adoptees lacking medical, genetic, religious, and historical information are plagued by questions such as Who are they? Why were they born? Were they in fact merely a mistake, not meant to have been born, an accident? This lack of identity may lead adoptees, particularly in adolescent years, to seek out ways to belong in more extreme fashion than many of their non-adopted peers. Adolescent adoptees are overrepresented among those who join sub-cultures, run away, become pregnant, or totally reject their families. ()
Concerning developmental milestones, studies from the Colorado Adoption Project examined genetic influences on adoptee maturation, concluding that cognitive abilities of adoptees reflect those of their adoptive parents in early childhood but show little similarity by adolescence, resembling instead those of their biological parents and to the same extent as peers in non-adoptive families.
Similar mechanisms appear to be at work in the physical development of adoptees. Danish and American researchers conducting studies on the genetic contribution to body mass index found correlations between an adoptee's weight class and his biological parents' BMI while finding no relationship with the adoptive family environment. Moreover, about one-half of inter-individual differences were due to individual non-shared influences.
These differences in development appear to play out in the way young adoptees deal with major life events. In the case of parental divorce, adoptees have been found to respond differently than children who have not been adopted. While the general population experienced more behavioral problems, substance use, lower school achievement, and impaired social competence after parental divorce, the adoptee population appeared to be unaffected in terms of their outside relationships, specifically in their school or social abilities.
The adoptee population does, however, seem to be more at risk for certain behavioral issues. Researchers from the University of Minnesota studied adolescents who had been adopted and found that adoptees were twice as likely as non-adopted people to suffer from oppositional defiant disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (with an 8% rate in the general population). Suicide risks were also significantly greater than the general population. Swedish researchers found both international and domestic adoptees undertook suicide at much higher rates than non-adopted peers; with international adoptees and female international adoptees, in particular, at highest risk.
Nevertheless, work on adult adoptees has found that the additional risks faced by adoptees are largely confined to adolescence. Young adult adoptees were shown to be alike with adults from biological families and scored better than adults raised in alternative family types including single parent and step-families. Moreover, while adult adoptees showed more variability than their non-adopted peers on a range of psychosocial measures, adult adoptees exhibited more similarities than differences with adults who had not been adopted. There have been many cases of remediation or the reversibility of early trauma. For example, in one of the earliest studies conducted, Professor Goldfarb in England concluded that some children adjust well socially and emotionally despite their negative experiences of institutional deprivation in early childhood. Other researchers also found that prolonged institutionalization does not necessarily lead to emotional problems or character defects in all children. This suggests that there will always be some children who fare well, who are resilient, regardless of their experiences in early childhood. Furthermore, much of the research on psychological outcomes for adoptees draws from clinical populations. This suggests that conclusions such that adoptees are more likely to have behavioral problems such as ODD and ADHD may be biased. Since the proportion of adoptees that seek mental health treatment is small, psychological outcomes for adoptees compared to those for general population are more similar than some researchers propose.
Several factors affect the decision to release or raise the child. White adolescents tend to give up their babies to non-relatives, whereas black adolescents are more likely to receive support from their own community in raising the child and also in the form of informal adoption by relatives. Studies by Leynes and by Festinger and Young, Berkman, and Rehr found that for pregnant adolescents, the decision to release the child for adoption depended on the attitude toward adoption held by the adolescent’s mother. Another study found that pregnant adolescents whose mothers had a higher level of education were more likely to release their babies for adoption. Research suggests that women who choose to release their babies for adoption are more likely to be younger, enrolled in school, and have lived in a two-parent household at age 10, than those who kept and raised their babies.
There is limited research on the consequences of adoption for the original parents, and the findings have been mixed. One study found that those who released their babies for adoption were less comfortable with their decision than those who kept their babies. However, levels of comfort over both groups were high, and those who released their child were similar to those who kept their child in ratings of life satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and positive future outlook for schooling, employment, finances, and marriage. Subsequent research found that adolescent mothers who chose to release their babies for adoption were more likely to experience feelings of sorrow and regret over their decision than those who kept their babies. However, these feelings decreased significantly from one year after birth to the end of the second year.
More recent research found that in a sample of mothers who had released their children for adoption four to 12 years prior, every participant had frequent thoughts of their lost child. For most, thoughts were both negative and positive in that they produced both feelings of sadness and joy. Those who experienced the greatest portion of positive thoughts were those who had open, rather than closed or time-limited mediated adoptions.
In another study that compared mothers who released their children to those who raised them, mothers who released their children were more likely to delay their next pregnancy, to delay marriage, and to complete job training. However, both groups reached lower levels of education than did their peers who were never pregnant. Another study found similar consequences for choosing to release a child for adoption. Adolescent mothers who released their children were more likely to reach a higher level of education and to be employed than those who kept their children. They also waited longer before having their next child. Most of the research that exists on adoption effects on the natural parents was conducted with samples of adolescents, or with women who were adolescents when carrying their babies—little data exists for natural parents from other populations. Furthermore, there is a lack of longitudinal data that may elucidate long-term social and psychological consequences for natural parents that choose to release their children for adoption.
In Western culture, many see that the common image of a family being that of a heterosexual couple with biological children. This idea places alternative family forms outside the norm. As a consequence, research indicates, disparaging views of adoptive families exist, along with doubts concerning the strength of their family bonds.
The most recent adoption attitudes survey completed by the Evan Donaldson Institute provides further evidence of this stigma. Nearly one-third of the surveyed population believed adoptees are less-well adjusted, more prone to medical issues, and predisposed to drug and alcohol problems. Additionally, 40–45% thought adoptees were more likely to have behavior problems and trouble at school. In contrast, the same study indicated adoptive parents were viewed favorably, with nearly 90% describing them as, "lucky, advantaged, and unselfish."
The majority of people state that their primary source of information about adoption comes from friends and family and the news media. Nevertheless, most people report the media provides them a favorable view of adoption; 72% indicated receiving positive impressions. There is, however, still substantial criticism of the media's adoption coverage. Some adoption blogs, for example, criticized Meet the Robinsons for using outdated orphanage imagery as did advocacy non-profit The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.
The stigmas associated with adoption are amplified for children in foster care. Negative perceptions result in the belief that such children are so troubled it would be impossible to adopt them and create "normal" families. A 2004 report from the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care has shown that the number of children waiting in foster care doubled since the 1980s and now remains steady at about a half-million a year."
Adoption practices have changed significantly over the course of the last century, with each new movement labeled, in some way, as reform. Beginning in the 1970s, efforts to improve adoption became associated with opening records and encouraging family preservation. These ideas arose from suggestions that the secrecy inherent in modern adoption may influence the process of forming an identity, create confusion regarding genealogy, and provide little in the way of medical history.
Family preservation: As concerns over illegitimacy began to decline in the early 1970s, social-welfare agencies began to emphasize that, if possible, mothers and children should be kept together. In America, this was clearly illustrated by the shift in policy of the New York Foundling Home, an adoption-institution that is among the country's oldest and one that had pioneered sealed records. It established three new principles including, "to prevent placements of children...," reflecting the belief that children would be better served by staying with their biological families, a striking shift in policy that remains in force today.
Open records: Movements to unseal adoption records for adopted citizens proliferated along with increased acceptance of illegitimacy. In the United States, Jean Paton founded Orphan Voyage in 1954, and Florence Fisher founded the Adoptees' Liberty Movement Association (ALMA) in 1971, calling sealed records "an affront to human dignity.". While in 1975, Emma May Vilardi created the first mutual-consent registry, the International Soundex Reunion Registry (ISRR), allowing those separated by adoption to locate one another. and Lee Campbell and other birthmothers established CUB (Concerned United Birthparents). Similar ideas were taking hold globally with grass-roots organizations like Parent Finders in Canada and Jigsaw in Australia. In 1975, England and Wales opened records on moral grounds.
By 1979, representatives of 32 organizations from 33 states, Canada and Mexico gathered in Washington, DC to establish the American Adoption Congress (AAC) passing a unanimous resolution: "Open Records complete with all identifying information for all members of the adoption triad, birthparents, adoptive parents and adoptee at the adoptee's age of majority or earlier if all members of the triad agree." Later years saw the evolution of more militant organizations such as Bastard Nation (founded in 1996), groups that helped overturn sealed records in Alabama, Delaware, New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee, and Maine. Simultaneously, groups such as Origins USA (founded in 1997) started to actively speak about family preservation and the rights of mothers. The intellectual tone of these recent reform movements was influenced by the publishing of The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier. "Primal wound" is described as the "devastation which the infant feels because of separation from its birth mother. It is the deep and consequential feeling of abandonment which the baby adoptee feels after the adoption and which may continue for the rest of his life."
Estimates for the extent of search behavior by adoptees have proven elusive; studies show significant variation. In part, the problem stems from the small adoptee population which makes random surveying difficult, if not impossible.
Nevertheless, some indication of the level of search interest by adoptees can be gleaned from the case of England and Wales which opened adoptees' birth records in 1975. The UK Office for National Statistics has projected that 33% of all adoptees would eventually request a copy of their original birth records, exceeding original forecasts made in 1975 when it was believed that only a small fraction of the adoptee population would request their records. The projection is known to underestimate the true search rate, however, since many adoptees of the era have access to get their information by other means.
The research literature states adoptees give four reasons for desiring reunion: 1) they wish for a more complete genealogy, 2) they are curious about events leading to their conception, birth, and relinquishment, 3) they hope to pass on information to their children, and 4) they have a need for a detailed biological background, including medical information. It is speculated by adoption researchers, however, that the reasons given are incomplete: although such information could be communicated by a third-party, interviews with adoptees, who sought reunion, found they expressed a need to actually meet biological relations.
It appears the desire for reunion is linked to the adoptee's interaction with and acceptance within the community. Internally focused theories suggest some adoptees possess ambiguities in their sense of self, impairing their ability to present a consistent identity. Reunion helps resolve the lack of self-knowledge.
Externally focused theories, in contrast, suggest that reunion is a way for adoptees to overcome social stigma. First proposed by Goffman, the theory has four parts: 1) adoptees perceive the absence of biological ties as distinguishing their adoptive family from others, 2) this understanding is strengthened by experiences where non-adoptees suggest adoptive ties are weaker than blood ties, 3) together, these factors engender, in some adoptees, a sense of social exclusion, and 4) these adoptees react by searching for a blood tie that reinforces their membership in the community. The externally focused rationale for reunion suggests adoptees may be well adjusted and happy within their adoptive families, but will search as an attempt to resolve experiences of social stigma.
Some adoptees reject the idea of reunion. It is unclear, though, what differentiates adoptees who search from those who do not. One paper summarizes the research, stating, "...attempts to draw distinctions between the searcher and non-searcher are no more conclusive or generalizable than attempts to substantiate...differences between adoptees and nonadoptees."
In sum, reunions can bring a variety of issues for adoptees and parents. Nevertheless, most reunion results appear to be positive. In the largest study to date (based on the responses of 1,007 adoptees and relinquishing parents), 90% responded that reunion was a beneficial experience. This does not, however, imply ongoing relationships were formed between adoptee and parent nor that this was the goal.
The book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" by Judith and Martin Land provides insight into the mind of an adoptee from childhood through to adulthood and the emotions invoked when reunification with their birth mothers is desired.
Reform and family preservation efforts have also been strongly associated with the perceived misuse of adoption. In some cases, parents' rights have been terminated when their ethnic or socio-economic group has been deemed unfit by society.
Forced adoption based on ethnicity occurred during World War II. In German occupied Poland, it is estimated that 200,000 Polish children with purportedly Aryan traits were removed from their families and given to German or Austrian couples, and only 25,000 returned to their families after the war.
The Stolen Generation of Aboriginal people in Australia were affected by similar policies, as were Native Americans in the United States and First Nations of Canada.
These practices have become significant social and political issues in recent years, and many cases the policies have changed. The United States, for example, now has the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, which allows the tribe and family of a Native American child to be involved in adoption decisions, with preference being given to adoption within the child's tribe.
From the 1950s through the 1970s, a period called the baby scoop era, adoption practices that involved coercion were directed against unwed mothers, as detailed in The Girls Who Went Away.
The language of adoption is changing and evolving, and since the 1970s has been a controversial issue tied closely to adoption reform efforts. The controversy arises over the use of terms which, while designed to be more appealing or less offensive to some persons affected by adoption, may simultaneously cause offense or insult to others. This controversy illustrates the problems in adoption, as well as the fact that coining new words and phrases to describe ancient social practices will not necessarily alter the feelings and experiences of those affected by them. Two of the contrasting sets of terms are commonly referred to as positive adoption language (PAL) (sometimes called respectful adoption language (RAL)), and honest adoption language (HAL).
In the 1970s, as adoption search and support organizations developed, there were challenges to the language in common use at the time. As books like Adoption Triangle by Sorosky, Pannor and Baran were published, and support groups formed like CUB (Concerned United Birthparents), a major shift from "natural parent" to "birthparent" occurred. Along with the change in times and social attitudes came additional examination of the language used in adoption.
"Honest Adoption Language" refers to a set of terms that proponents say reflect the point of view that: (1) family relationships (social, emotional, psychological or physical) that existed prior to the legal adoption often continue past this point or endure in some form despite long periods of separation, and that (2) mothers who have "voluntarily surrendered" children to adoption (as opposed to involuntary terminations through court-authorized child-welfare proceedings) seldom view it as a choice that was freely made, but instead describe scenarios of powerlessness, lack of resources, and overall lack of choice. It also reflects the point of view that the term "birth mother" is derogatory in implying that the woman has ceased being a mother after the physical act of giving birth. Proponents of HAL liken this to the mother being treated as a "breeder" or "incubator". Terms included in HAL include terms that were used before PAL, including "natural mother," "first mother," and "surrendered for adoption."
There are supporters of various lists, developed over many decades, and there are persons who find them lacking, created to support an agenda, or furthering division. All terminology can be used to demean or diminish, uplift or embrace. In addressing the linguistic problem of naming, Edna Andrews says that using "inclusive" and "neutral" language is based upon the concept that "language represents thought, and may even control thought."
Advocates of inclusive language defend it as inoffensive-language usage whose goal is multi-fold:
A common problem is that terms chosen by an identity group, as acceptable descriptors of themselves, can be used in negative ways by detractors. This compromises the integrity of the language and turns what was intended to be positive into negative or vice-versa, thus often devaluing acceptability, meaning and use.
Language at its best honors the self-referencing choices of the persons involved, utilizes inclusive terms and phrases, and is sensitive to the feelings of the primary parties. Language evolves with social attitudes and experiences.
Attitudes and laws regarding adoption vary greatly. Whereas all cultures make arrangements whereby children whose birth parents are unavailable to rear them can be brought up by others, not all cultures have the concept of adoption, that is treating unrelated children as equivalent to biological children of the adoptive parents. Under Islamic Law, for example, adopted children must keep their original surname to be identified with blood relations, and, traditionally, observe hijab (the covering of women in the presence of non-family) in their adoptive households. In Egypt, these cultural distinctions have led to making adoption illegal.
Some species of animals show behavior where individuals care for the offspring of deceased relatives or group members. One species in which this occurs is the chacma baboon, where infants whose mothers have died are cared for by young adults (both males and females) in their social groups. These adoptive parents sleep with the infant baboons, carry them, groom them, and protect them from harassment from other baboons. This behavior may be an example of kin selection or may simply be practice for the young adults for when they have their own offspring.
National Football League (1930–present)
The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and play their home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit.
Originally based in Portsmouth, Ohio and called the Portsmouth Spartans, the team began play in 1929 as an independent professional team, one of many such teams in the Ohio and Scioto River valleys. For the 1930 season, the Spartans formally joined the NFL as the other area independents folded because of the Great Depression. Despite success within the NFL, they could not survive in Portsmouth, then the NFL's smallest city. The team was purchased and moved to Detroit for the 1934 season.
The Lions have won four NFL Championships, the last in 1957, giving the club the second-longest NFL championship drought behind the Arizona Cardinals. The Lions have not had much success during the Super Bowl era: the Lions are one of four current NFL teams that have yet to qualify for the Super Bowl, and the team is 1–10 in post-season play during that period. The 2008 team became the only team in NFL history to lose all 16 regular season games since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978.
Aside from a brief change to maroon in 1948 instituted by then head coach Bo McMillin (influenced by his years as coach at Indiana), the Lions uniforms have basically remained the same since the team debuted in 1930. The design consists of silver helmets, silver pants, and either blue or white jerseys.
There have been minor changes to the uniform design throughout the years, such as changing the silver stripe patterns on the jersey sleeves, and changing the colors of the jersey numbers. White trim was added to the logo in 1970. In 1998, the team wore blue pants with their white jerseys along with grey socks but dropped that combination after the season. In 1999, the 'TV numbers' on the sleeves were moved to the shoulders.
The shade of blue used for Lions uniforms and logos is officially known as "Honolulu blue," which is supposedly inspired by the color of the waves off the coast of Hawaii. The shade was chosen by Cy Huston, the Lions first vice president and general manager, and of the choice, he said: "They had me looking at so many blues I am blue in the face," Huston said about the selection. "But anyway, it's the kind of blue, I am told, that will match with silver."
In 1994, every NFL team wore throwback jerseys, and the Lions' were similar to the jerseys used during their 1935 championship season. The helmets and pants were solid silver, the jerseys Honolulu blue with silver numbers and the jersey did not have 'TV numbers' on the sleeves. The team wore solid blue socks along with black shoes. The helmets also did not have a logo, as helmets were simple leather back then. The Lions also wore '50s-style jerseys during their traditional Thanksgiving Day games from 2001 to 2004 as the NFL encouraged teams to wear throwback jerseys on Thanksgiving Day.
In 2003, the team added black trim to their logo and the jerseys. The face masks on the helmet changed from blue to black with the introduction of the new color. Additionally, an alternate home field jersey which makes black the dominant color (in place of Honolulu Blue) was introduced in 2005.
For 2008, the team dropped the black alternate jerseys in favor of a throwback uniform to commemorate the franchise's 75th anniversary. The throwback uniform became the team's permanent alternate jersey in 2009, replacing the former black alternate. The Lions officially unveiled new logo designs and uniforms on April 20, 2009. The Lion on the helmet now has a flowing mane and fangs, and the typeface of "Lions" is more modern.
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The Lions have been a part of multiple divisions and have had several division rivals in their existence. Their oldest rivals are the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers, whom they have been paired with in a division since 1933. The Minnesota Vikings have been in a division with Detroit ever since their inaugural season in 1961.
The Lions' flagship radio stations are WXYT-FM, 97.1 FM, and WXYT-AM, 1270 AM. Dan Miller does play-by-play, Jim Brandstatter does color commentary, and Tony Ortiz provides sideline reports. If a conflict with Detroit Tigers or Detroit Red Wings coverage arises, only WXYT-FM serves as the Lions' flagship. The Lions and WXYT AM/FM renewed their partnership for three more seasons on October 9, 2009.
WXYZ-TV is the flagship station Lions preseason games. The announcers are Matt Shepard with play-by-play, Rob Rubick with color commentary, and Tom Leyden with sideline reports.
Regular season games are broadcast regionally on Fox, except when the Lions play an AFC team in Detroit, in which case the game airs regionally on CBS. The Thanksgiving Classic game in Detroit is always televised nationally on either Fox or CBS, depending on who the visiting team is. The Detroit Lions are the last NFC team to play on NBC, since they got football back in 2006 (the Lions at Saints game on December 4, 2011 will mark their 1st appearance). The Lions' official regular season pregame show is The Ford Lions Report.
The Lions' winless performance in 2008 and 2–14 season in 2009, coupled with the effects of the late-2000s recession in Michigan, led to several local broadcast blackouts, as local fans did not purchase enough tickets by the 72-hour blackout deadline. In 2008, five of the Lions' final six home games of the season did not sell out, with the Thanksgiving game being the exception. The first blackout in the seven-year history of Ford Field was on October 26, 2008, against the Washington Redskins. The previous 50 regular season home games had been sellouts. The second home game of the 2009 season in which the Lions broke the losing streak (also against the Washington Redskins) was blacked out locally, as well as the comeback victory over the Cleveland Browns. The Lions had only one blackout in 2010, the Washington Redskins game, which the Lions won 37–25.
Games were also often blacked out at the Lions' previous home, the (perhaps over-sized) 80,000-seat Pontiac Silverdome, despite winning seasons and the success and popularity of star players such as Barry Sanders.
Bloom was a chain of mid-grade North American grocery stores operated by Food Lion, originally established in 2004. The parent company of Food Lion, The Delhaize Group, announced in January 2012 that it was discontinuing the Bloom brand. Bloom's headquarters are/were in Salisbury, North Carolina.
In 2002, after realizing the customers' needs, expectations, and behaviors were changing and becoming more diverse, Food Lion created a cross-functional "concept" team whose mission was to examine customer and retail trends, identify opportunities for growth, and develop retail concepts to capture those opportunities. Soon after came the idea of Bloom.
Bloom (then called Bloom, A Food Lion Market) was first test marketed in Charlotte, North Carolina, through five test stores, the first of which opened on May 26, 2004. The concept is based on the idea of using a slightly unconventional layout to maximize shopper convenience. This layout included a TableTop section at the entrance to the store (where the shopper can purchase ready to eat foods), wider aisles, and convenient groupings of foods. In most locations, customers can buy milk at the front of the store. This eliminates the need to walk to the back, where milk is normally located.
One of the ways Bloom tried to differentiate itself from competition was through the addition of consumer-friendly technology. Self-checkout stands, PAT (Personal Assistant Technology) the revolutionary touch screen computer that uses a wireless in-store network, and produce scales with printers that let customers create bar-coded tags are placed in most stores to maximize customer convenience.
In March 2011, Delhaize America and its Bloom banner announced that it would convert 15 of its stores in the Charlotte, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina markets into Food Lion stores. In some areas, this resulted in two Food Lions being within a mile or less of each other.
In January 2012 Delhaize announced that, as part of a restructuring of its US operations, the Bloom banner would be retired and the remaining stores converted to Food Lion or closed.
Currently, as of June 2013, the Bloom website redirects to FoodLion.com.
The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia (where an endangered remnant population resides in Gir Forest National Park in India) while other types of lions have disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans. They were found in most of Africa, across Eurasia from western Europe to India, and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru. The lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a major population decline of 30–50% over the past two decades][ in its African range. Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. Within Africa, the West African lion population is particularly endangered.
Lions live for 10–14 years in the wild, while in captivity they can live longer than 20 years. In the wild, males seldom live longer than 10 years, as injuries sustained from continual fighting with rival males greatly reduce their longevity. They typically inhabit savanna and grassland, although they may take to bush and forest. Lions are unusually social compared to other cats. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Groups of female lions typically hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. Lions are apex and keystone predators, although they scavenge as opportunity allows. While lions do not typically hunt humans, some have been known to do so. Sleeping mainly during the day, lions are primarily nocturnal, although bordering on crepuscular in nature.
Highly distinctive, the male lion is easily recognised by its mane, and its face is one of the most widely recognised animal symbols in human culture. Depictions have existed from the Upper Paleolithic period, with carvings and paintings from the Lascaux and Chauvet Caves, through virtually all ancient and medieval cultures where they once occurred. It has been extensively depicted in sculptures, in paintings, on national flags, and in contemporary films and literature. Lions have been kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire, and have been a key species sought for exhibition in zoos over the world since the late eighteenth century. Zoos are cooperating worldwide in breeding programs for the endangered Asiatic subspecies.
The lion's name, similar in many Romance languages, is derived from the Latin ; and the Ancient Greek (). The Hebrew word () may also be related. It was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus, who gave it the name Felis leo, in his eighteenth-century work, Systema Naturae.
The lion's closest relatives are the other species of the genus Panthera: the tiger, the jaguar, and the leopard. P. leo evolved in Africa between 1 million and 800,000 years ago, before spreading throughout the Holarctic region. It appeared in the fossil record in Europe for the first time 700,000 years ago with the subspecies Panthera leo fossilis at Isernia in Italy. From this lion derived the later cave lion (Panthera leo spelaea), which appeared about 300,000 years ago. Lions died out in northern Eurasia at the end of the last glaciation, about 10,000 years ago; this may have been secondary to the extinction of Pleistocene megafauna.
Traditionally, 12 recent subspecies of lion were recognised, distinguished by mane appearance, size, and distribution. Because these characteristics are very insignificant and show a high individual variability, most of these forms were probably not true subspecies, especially as they were often based upon zoo material of unknown origin that may have had "striking, but abnormal" morphological characteristics. Today, only eight subspecies are usually accepted, although one of these, the Cape lion, formerly described as Panthera leo melanochaita, is probably invalid. Even the remaining seven subspecies might be too many. While the status of the Asiatic lion (P. l. persica) as a subspecies is generally accepted, the systematic relationships among African lions are still not completely resolved. Mitochondrial variation in living African lions seemed to be modest according to some newer studies, therefore all sub-Saharan lions sometimes have been considered a single subspecies, however, a recent study revealed lions from western and central Africa differ genetically from lions of southern or eastern Africa. According to this study, Western African lions are more closely related to Asian lions than to South or East African lions. These findings might be explained by a late Pleistocene extinction event of lions in western and central Africa and a subsequent recolonization of these parts from Asia. Previous studies, which were focused mainly on lions from eastern and southern parts of Africa, already showed these can be possibly divided in two main clades: one to the west of the Great Rift Valley and the other to the east. Lions from Tsavo in eastern Kenya are much closer genetically to lions in Transvaal (South Africa), than to those in the Aberdare Range in western Kenya. Another study revealed there are three major types of lions, one North African–Asian, one southern African and one middle African. Conversely, Per Christiansen found that using skull morphology allowed him to identify the subspecies krugeri, nubica, persica, and senegalensis, while there was overlap between bleyenberghi with senegalensis and krugeri. The Asiatic lion persica was the most distinctive, and the Cape lion had characteristics allying it more with P. l. persica than the other sub-Saharan lions. He had analysed 58 lion skulls in three European museums.
By far most lions kept in zoos are hybrids of different subspecies. Approximately 77% of the captive lions registered by the International Species Information System are of unknown origin. Nonetheless, they might carry genes which are extinct in the wild, and might be therefore important to maintain overall genetic variability of the lion. It is believed that those lions, imported to Europe before the middle of the nineteenth century, were mainly either Barbary lions from North Africa or lions from the Cape.
Eight recent (Holocene) subspecies are recognised today:
Several additional subspecies of lion existed in prehistoric times:
Lions have been known to breed with tigers (most often the Siberian and Bengal subspecies) to create hybrids called ligers and tiglons (or tigons). They also have been crossed with leopards to produce leopons, and jaguars to produce jaglions. The marozi is reputedly a spotted lion or a naturally occurring leopon, while the Congolese spotted lion is a complex lion-jaguar-leopard hybrid called a lijagulep. Such hybrids were once commonly bred in zoos, but this is now discouraged due to the emphasis on conserving species and subspecies. Hybrids are still bred in private menageries and in zoos in China.
The liger is a cross between a male lion and a tigress. Because the growth-inhibiting gene from the female tiger mother is absent, the growth-promoting gene passed on by the male lion father is unimpeded by a regulating gene and the resulting ligers grow far larger than either parent. They share physical and behavioural qualities of both parent species (spots and stripes on a sandy background). Male ligers are sterile, but female ligers often are fertile. Males have about a 50% chance of having a mane, but if they grow them, their manes will be modest: around 50% the size of a pure lion mane.
Ligers are much bigger than normal lions, typically 3.0 to 3.7 m (10 to 12 feet) in length, and can weigh 360 to 450 kg (800 to 1,000 pounds).
The less common tiglon or tigon is a cross between a lioness and a male tiger. In contrast to ligers, tigons are often relatively small in comparison to their parents, because of reciprocal gene effects.
The lion is the tallest (at the shoulder) of all living cats, averaging approximately 5 cm (2.0 in) taller than the tiger. Behind only the tiger, the lion is the second largest living felid in length and weight. Its skull is very similar to that of the tiger, although the frontal region is usually more depressed and flattened, with a slightly shorter postorbital region. The lion's skull has broader nasal openings than the tiger, however, due to the amount of skull variation in the two species, usually, only the structure of the lower jaw can be used as a reliable indicator of species. Lion coloration varies from light buff to yellowish, reddish, or dark ochraceous brown. The underparts are generally lighter and the tail tuft is black. Lion cubs are born with brown rosettes (spots) on their body, rather like those of a leopard. Although these fade as lions reach adulthood, faint spots often may still be seen on the legs and underparts, particularly on lionesses.
Lions are the only members of the cat family to display obvious sexual dimorphism – that is, males and females look distinctly different. They also have specialised roles that each gender plays in the pride. For instance, the lioness, the hunter, lacks the male's thick mane. The colour of the male's mane varies from blond to black, generally becoming darker as the lion grows older.
Weights for adult lions range between 150–250 kg (330–550 lb) for males and 120–182 kg (264–400 lb) for females. Nowell and Jackson report average weights of 181 kg (400 lb) for males and 126 kg (280 lb) for females. Lions tend to vary in size depending on their environment and area, resulting in a wide spread in recorded weights. For instance, lions in southern Africa tend to be about 5 percent heavier than those in East Africa, in general.
Head and body length is 170–250 cm (5 ft 7 in – 8 ft 2 in) in males and 140–175 cm (4 ft 7 in – 5 ft 9 in) in females; shoulder height is up to 123 cm (4 ft) in males and as low as 91 cm (3 ft) in females. The tail length is 90–105 cm (2 ft 11 in - 3 ft 5 in) in males and 70–100 cm in females (2 ft 4 in – 3 ft 3 in). The longest known lion, at nearly 3.6 m (12 ft) in total length, was a black-maned male shot near Mucsso, southern Angola in October 1973; the heaviest lion known in the wild was a man-eater shot in 1936 just outside Hectorspruit in eastern Transvaal, South Africa and weighed 313 kg (690 lb). Another notably outsized male lion, which was shot near Mount Kenya, weighed in at 272 kg (600 lb). Lions in captivity tend to be larger than lions in the wild – the heaviest lion on record is a male at Colchester Zoo in England named Simba in 1970, which weighed 375 kg (826 lb). However, the frequently cited maximum head and body length of 250 cm (8 ft 2 in) fits rather to extinct Pleistocene forms, like the American lion, with even large modern lions measuring several centimeters less in length.
The most distinctive characteristic shared by both females and males is that the tail ends in a hairy tuft. In some lions, the tuft conceals a hard "spine" or "spur", approximately 5 mm long, formed of the final sections of tail bone fused together. The lion is the only felid to have a tufted tail – the function of the tuft and spine are unknown. Absent at birth, the tuft develops around 5½ months of age and is readily identifiable at 7 months.
The mane of the adult male lion, unique among cats, is one of the most distinctive characteristics of the species. It makes the lion appear larger, providing an excellent intimidation display; this aids the lion during confrontations with other lions and with the species' chief competitor in Africa, the spotted hyena. The presence, absence, colour, and size of the mane is associated with genetic precondition, sexual maturity, climate, and testosterone production; the rule of thumb is the darker and fuller the mane, the healthier the lion. Sexual selection of mates by lionesses favors males with the densest, darkest mane. Research in Tanzania also suggests mane length signals fighting success in male–male relationships. Darker-maned individuals may have longer reproductive lives and higher offspring survival, although they suffer in the hottest months of the year. In prides including a coalition of two or three males, it is possible that lionesses solicit mating more actively with the males who are more heavily maned.
Scientists once believed that the distinct status of some subspecies could be justified by morphology, including the size of the mane. Morphology was used to identify subspecies such as the Barbary lion and Cape lion. Research has suggested, however, that environmental factors influence the colour and size of a lion's mane, such as the ambient temperature. The cooler ambient temperature in European and North American zoos, for example, may result in a heavier mane. Thus the mane is not an appropriate marker for identifying subspecies. The males of the Asiatic subspecies, however, are characterised by sparser manes than average African lions.
In the Pendjari National Park area almost all males are maneless or have very weak manes. Maneless male lions have also been reported from Senegal and from Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, and the original male white lion from Timbavati also was maneless. The testosterone hormone has been linked to mane growth, therefore castrated lions often have minimal to no mane, as the removal of the gonads inhibits testosterone production.
Cave paintings of extinct European cave lions almost exclusively show animals with no manes, suggesting that either they were maneless, or that the paintings depict lionesses as seen hunting in a group.
The white lion is not a distinct subspecies, but a special morph with a genetic condition, leucism, that causes paler colouration akin to that of the white tiger; the condition is similar to melanism, which causes black panthers. They are not albinos, having normal pigmentation in the eyes and skin. White Transvaal lion (Panthera leo krugeri) individuals occasionally have been encountered in and around Kruger National Park and the adjacent Timbavati Private Game Reserve in eastern South Africa, but are more commonly found in captivity, where breeders deliberately select them. The unusual cream colour of their coats is due to a recessive gene. Reportedly, they have been bred in camps in South Africa for use as trophies to be killed during canned hunts.
Lions spend much of their time resting and are inactive for about 20 hours per day. Although lions can be active at any time, their activity generally peaks after dusk with a period of socializing, grooming, and defecating. Intermittent bursts of activity follow through the night hours until dawn, when hunting most often takes place. They spend an average of two hours a day walking and 50 minutes eating.
Lions are the most socially inclined of all wild felids, most of which remain quite solitary in nature. The lion is a predatory carnivore with two types of social organization. Some lions are residents, living in groups centering around related lionesses, called prides. The pride usually consists of five or six females, their cubs of both sexes, and one or two males (known as a coalition if more than one) who mate with the adult females (although extremely large prides, consisting of up to 30 individuals, have been observed). The number of adult males in a coalition is usually two, but may increase to four and decrease again over time. Male cubs are excluded from their maternal pride when they reach maturity.
The second organizational behaviour is labeled nomads, who range widely and move about sporadically, either singularly or in pairs. Pairs are more frequent among related males who have been excluded from their birth pride. Note that a lion may switch lifestyles; nomads may become residents and vice versa. Males have to go through this lifestyle and some never are able to join another pride. A female who becomes a nomad has much greater difficulty joining a new pride, as the females in a pride are related, and they reject most attempts by an unrelated female to join their family group.
The area a pride occupies is called a pride area, whereas that by a nomad is a range. The males associated with a pride tend to stay on the fringes, patrolling their territory. Why sociality – the most pronounced in any cat species – has developed in lionesses is the subject of much debate. Increased hunting success appears an obvious reason, but this is less than sure upon examination: coordinated hunting does allow for more successful predation, but also ensures that non-hunting members reduce per capita caloric intake, however, some take a role raising cubs, who may be left alone for extended periods of time. Members of the pride regularly tend to play the same role in hunts and hone their skills. The health of the hunters is the primary need for the survival of the pride and they are the first to consume the prey at the site it is taken. Other benefits include possible kin selection (better to share food with a related lion than with a stranger), protection of the young, maintenance of territory, and individual insurance against injury and hunger.
Lionesses do the majority of the hunting for their pride. They are more effective hunters as they are smaller, swifter and more agile than the males, and unencumbered by the heavy and conspicuous mane, which causes overheating during exertion. They act as a coordinated group with members who perform the same role consistently in order to stalk and bring down the prey successfully. Smaller prey is eaten at the location of the hunt, thereby being shared among the hunters; when the kill is larger it often is dragged to the pride area. There is more sharing of larger kills, although pride members often behave aggressively toward each other as each tries to consume as much food as possible. If near the conclusion of the hunt, males have a tendency to dominate the kill once the lionesses have succeeded. They are more likely to share this with the cubs than with the lionesses, but males rarely share food they have killed by themselves.
Both males and females can defend the pride against intruders, but the male lion is better-suited for this purpose due to its stockier, more powerful build. Some individuals consistently lead the defence against intruders, while others lag behind. Lions tend to assume specific roles in the pride. Those lagging behind may provide other valuable services to the group. An alternative hypothesis is that there is some reward associated with being a leader who fends off intruders and the rank of lionesses in the pride is reflected in these responses. The male or males associated with the pride must defend their relationship to the pride from outside males who attempt to take over their relationship with the pride. Females form the stable social unit in a pride and do not tolerate outside females; membership only changes with the births and deaths of lionesses, although some females do leave and become nomadic. Subadult males on the other hand, must leave the pride when they reach maturity at around 2–3 years of age.
The lioness is the one who does the hunting for the pride. The male lion associated with the pride usually stays and watches its young while waiting for the lionesses to return from the hunt. Typically, several lionesses work together and encircle the herd from different points. Once they have closed with a herd, they usually target the closest prey. The attack is short and powerful; they attempt to catch the victim with a fast rush and final leap. The prey usually is killed by strangulation, which can cause cerebral ischemia or asphyxia (which results in hypoxemic, or "general", hypoxia). The prey also may be killed by the lion enclosing the animal's mouth and nostrils in its jaws (which would also result in asphyxia). Smaller prey, though, may simply be killed by a swipe of a lion's paw.
Lions are powerful animals that usually hunt in coordinated groups and stalk their chosen prey. However, they are not particularly known for their stamina – for instance, a lioness' heart makes up only 0.57 percent of her body weight (a male's is about 0.45 percent of his body weight), whereas a hyena's heart is close to 1 percent of its body weight. Thus, they only run fast in short bursts, and need to be close to their prey before starting the attack. They take advantage of factors that reduce visibility; many kills take place near some form of cover or at night. They sneak up to the victim until they reach a distance of approximately 30 metres (98 ft) or less.
The prey consists mainly of large mammals, with a preference for wildebeest, zebras, buffalo, and warthogs in Africa and nilgai, wild boar, and several deer species in India. Many other species are hunted, based on availability. Mainly this will include ungulates weighing between 50 and 300 kg (110–660 lb) such as kudu, hartebeest, gemsbok, and eland. Occasionally, they take relatively small species such as Thomson's gazelle or springbok. Lions hunting in groups are capable of taking down most animals, even healthy adults, but in most parts of their range they rarely attack very large prey such as fully grown male giraffes due to the danger of injury.
Extensive statistics collected over various studies show that lions normally feed on mammals in the range 190–550 kg (420–1210 lb). In Africa, wildebeest rank at the top of preferred prey (making nearly half of the lion prey in the Serengeti) followed by zebra. Most adult hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, elephants, and smaller gazelles, impala, and other agile antelopes are generally excluded. However giraffes and buffalos are often taken in certain regions. For instance, in Kruger National Park, giraffes are regularly hunted. In Manyara Park, Cape buffaloes constitute as much as 62% of the lion's diet, due to the high number density of buffaloes. Occasionally hippopotamus is also taken, but adult rhinoceroses are generally avoided. Even though smaller than 190 ;kg (420 lb), warthogs are often taken depending on availability. In some areas, lions specialise in hunting atypical prey species; this is the case at the Savuti river, where they prey on elephants. Park guides in the area reported that the lions, driven by extreme hunger, started taking down baby elephants, and then moved on to adolescents and, occasionally, fully grown adults during the night when elephants' vision is poor. Lions also attack domestic livestock; in India cattle contribute significantly to their diet. Lions are capable of killing other predators such as leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, and wild dogs, though (unlike most felids) they seldom devour the competitors after killing them. They also scavenge animals either dead from natural causes (disease) or killed by other predators, and keep a constant lookout for circling vultures, being keenly aware that they indicate an animal dead or in distress. A lion may gorge itself and eat up to 30 kg (66 lb) in one sitting; if it is unable to consume all the kill it will rest for a few hours before consuming more. On a hot day, the pride may retreat to shade leaving a male or two to stand guard. An adult lioness requires an average of about 5 kg (11 lb) of meat per day, a male about 7 kg (15.5 lb).
Because lionesses hunt in open spaces where they are easily seen by their prey, cooperative hunting increases the likelihood of a successful hunt; this is especially true with larger species. Teamwork also enables them to defend their kills more easily against other large predators such as hyenas, which may be attracted by vultures from kilometres away in open savannas. Lionesses do most of the hunting; males attached to prides do not usually participate in hunting, except in the case of larger quarry such as giraffe and buffalo. In typical hunts, each lioness has a favored position in the group, either stalking prey on the "wing" then attacking, or moving a smaller distance in the centre of the group and capturing prey in flight from other lionesses. Young lions first display stalking behaviour around three months of age, although they do not participate in hunting until they are almost a year old. They begin to hunt effectively when nearing the age of two.
Lions and spotted hyenas occupy the same ecological niche (and hence compete) where they coexist. A review of data across several studies indicates a dietary overlap of 58.6%. Lions typically ignore spotted hyenas, unless they are on a kill or are being harassed by them, while the latter tend to visibly react to the presence of lions, whether there is food or not. Lions seize the kills of spotted hyenas: in the Ngorongoro crater, it is common for lions to subsist largely on kills stolen from hyenas, causing the hyenas to increase their kill rate. Lions are quick to follow the calls of hyenas feeding, a fact that was proven by Dr. Hans Kruuk, who found that lions repeatedly approached him whenever he played the tape-recorded calls of hyenas feeding. When confronted on a kill by lions, spotted hyenas will either leave or wait patiently at a distance of 30–100 m (100–350 ft) until the lions have finished. In some cases, spotted hyenas are bold enough to feed alongside lions, and may occasionally force the lions off a kill. The two species may act aggressively toward one another even when there is no food involved. Lions may charge at hyenas and maul them for no apparent reason: one male lion was filmed killing two matriarch hyenas on separate occasions without eating them, and lion predation can account for up to 71% of hyena deaths in Etosha. Spotted hyenas have adapted by frequently mobbing lions that enter their territories. Experiments on captive spotted hyenas revealed that specimens with no prior experience with lions act indifferently to the sight of them, but will react fearfully to the scent. The size of male lions allows them occasionally to confront hyenas in otherwise evenly matched brawls and so to tip the balance in favour of the lions.
Lions tend to dominate smaller felines such as cheetahs and leopards where they co-occur, stealing their kills and killing their cubs and even adults when given the chance. The cheetah has a 50% chance of losing its kill to lions or other predators. Lions are major killers of cheetah cubs, up to 90% of which are lost in their first weeks of life due to attacks by other predators. Cheetahs avoid competition by hunting at different times of the day and hide their cubs in thick brush. Leopards also use such tactics, but have the advantage of being able to subsist much better on small prey than either lions or cheetahs. Also, unlike cheetahs, leopards can climb trees and use them to keep their cubs and kills away from lions; however, lionesses will occasionally be successful in climbing to retrieve leopard kills. Similarly, lions dominate African wild dogs, not only taking their kills but also preying on young and (rarely) adult dogs. Population densities of wild dogs are low in areas where lions are more abundant. However, in Kruger National Park, there have been records of wild dogs killing lions and there is one report of eight dogs killing and eating an adult male.
The Nile crocodile is the only sympatric predator (besides humans) that can singly threaten the lion. Depending on the size of the crocodile and the lion, either can lose kills or carrion to the other. Lions have been known to kill crocodiles venturing onto land, while the reverse is true for lions entering waterways, as evidenced by the occasional lion claw found in crocodile stomachs.
Most lionesses will have reproduced by the time they are four years of age. Lions do not mate at any specific time of year, and the females are polyestrous. As with other cats' penises, the male lion's penis has spines that point backward. During withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's vagina, which may cause ovulation. A lioness may mate with more than one male when she is in heat; during a mating bout, which could last several days, the couple copulates twenty to forty times a day, often forgoing eating. Lions reproduce very well in captivity.
The average gestation period is around 110 days, the female giving birth to a litter of one to four cubs in a secluded den (which may be a thicket, a reed-bed, a cave, or some other sheltered area) usually away from the rest of the pride. She will often hunt by herself while the cubs are still helpless, staying relatively close to the thicket or den where the cubs are kept. The cubs themselves are born blind – their eyes do not open until roughly a week after birth. They weigh 1.2–2.1 kg (2.6–4.6 lb) at birth and are almost helpless, beginning to crawl a day or two after birth and walking around three weeks of age. The lioness moves her cubs to a new den site several times a month, carrying them one by one by the nape of the neck, to prevent scent from building up at a single den site and thus avoiding the attention of predators that may harm the cubs.
Usually, the mother does not integrate herself and her cubs back into the pride until the cubs are six to eight weeks old. Sometimes this introduction to pride life occurs earlier, however, particularly if other lionesses have given birth at about the same time. For instance, lionesses in a pride often synchronise their reproductive cycles so that they cooperate in the raising and suckling of the young (once the cubs are past the initial stage of isolation with their mother), who suckle indiscriminately from any or all of the nursing females in the pride. In addition to greater protection, the synchronization of births also has an advantage in that the cubs end up being roughly the same size, and thus have an equal chance of survival. If one lioness gives birth to a litter of cubs a couple of months after another lioness, for instance, then the younger cubs, being much smaller than their older brethren, usually are dominated by larger cubs at mealtimes – consequently, death by starvation is more common amongst the younger cubs.
In addition to starvation, cubs also face many other dangers, such as predation by jackals, hyenas, leopards, martial eagles, and snakes. Even buffaloes, should they catch the scent of lion cubs, often stampede toward the thicket or den where they are being kept, doing their best to trample the cubs to death while warding off the lioness. Furthermore, when one or more new males oust the previous male(s) associated with a pride, the conqueror(s) often kill any existing young cubs, perhaps because females do not become fertile and receptive until their cubs mature or die. All in all, as many as 80 percent of the cubs will die before the age of two.
When first introduced to the rest of the pride, the cubs initially lack confidence when confronted with adult lions other than their mother. They soon begin to immerse themselves in the pride life, however, playing amongst themselves or attempting to initiate play with the adults. Lionesses with cubs of their own are more likely to be tolerant of another lioness's cubs than lionesses without cubs. The tolerance of the male lions toward the cubs varies – sometimes, a male will patiently let the cubs play with his tail or his mane, whereas another may snarl and bat the cubs away.
Weaning occurs after six to seven months. Male lions reach maturity at about 3 years of age and, at 4–5 years of age, are capable of challenging and displacing the adult male(s) associated with another pride. They begin to age and weaken between 10 and 15 years of age at the latest, if they have not already been critically injured while defending the pride (once ousted from a pride by rival males, male lions rarely manage a second take-over). This leaves a short window for their own offspring to be born and mature. If they are able to procreate as soon as they take over a pride, potentially, they may have more offspring reaching maturity before they also are displaced. A lioness often will attempt to defend her cubs fiercely from a usurping male, but such actions are rarely successful. He usually kills all of the existing cubs who are less than two years old. A lioness is weaker and much lighter than a male; success is more likely when a group of three or four mothers within a pride join forces against one male.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not only males that are ousted from their pride to become nomads, although most females certainly do remain with their birth pride. However, when the pride becomes too large, the next generation of female cubs may be forced to leave to eke out their own territory. Furthermore, when a new male lion takes over the pride, subadult lions, both male and female, may be evicted. Life is harsh for a female nomad. Nomadic lionesses rarely manage to raise their cubs to maturity, without the protection of other pride members. One scientific study reports that both males and females may interact homosexually][.
Although adult lions have no natural predators, evidence suggests that the majority die violently from humans or other lions. Lions often inflict serious injuries on each other, either members of different prides encountering each other in territorial disputes, or members of the same pride fighting at a kill. Crippled lions and lion cubs may fall victim to hyenas, leopards, or be trampled by buffalo or elephants, and careless lions may be maimed when hunting prey.
Various species of tick commonly infest the ears, neck and groin regions of most lions. Adult forms of several species of the tapeworm genus Taenia have been isolated from intestines, the lions having ingested larval forms from antelope meat. Lions in the Ngorongoro Crater were afflicted by an outbreak of stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans) in 1962; this resulted in lions becoming covered in bloody bare patches and emaciated. Lions sought unsuccessfully to evade the biting flies by climbing trees or crawling into hyena burrows; many perished or emigrated as the population dropped from 70 to 15 individuals. A more recent outbreak in 2001 killed six lions. Lions, especially in captivity, are vulnerable to the canine distemper virus (CDV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). CDV is spread through domestic dogs and other carnivores; a 1994 outbreak in Serengeti National Park resulted in many lions developing neurological symptoms such as seizures. During the outbreak, several lions died from pneumonia and encephalitis. FIV, which is similar to HIV while not known to adversely affect lions, is worrisome enough in its effect in domestic cats that the Species Survival Plan recommends systematic testing in captive lions. It occurs with high to endemic frequency in several wild lion populations, but is mostly absent from Asiatic and Namibian lions.
When resting, lion socialization occurs through a number of behaviours, and the animal's expressive movements are highly developed. The most common peaceful tactile gestures are head rubbing and social licking, which have been compared with grooming in primates. Head rubbing – nuzzling one's forehead, face and neck against another lion – appears to be a form of greeting, as it is seen often after an animal has been apart from others, or after a fight or confrontation. Males tend to rub other males, while cubs and females rub females. Social licking often occurs in tandem with head rubbing; it is generally mutual and the recipient appears to express pleasure. The head and neck are the most common parts of the body licked, which may have arisen out of utility, as a lion cannot lick these areas individually.
Lions have an array of facial expressions and body postures that serve as visual gestures. Their repertoire of vocalizations is also large; variations in intensity and pitch, rather than discrete signals, appear central to communication. Lion sounds include snarling, hissing, coughing, miaowing, woofing, and roaring. Lions tend to roar in a very characteristic manner, starting with a few deep, long roars that trail off into a series of shorter ones. They most often roar at night; the sound, which can be heard from a distance of 8 kilometres (5.0 mi), is used to advertise the animal's presence. Lions have the loudest roar of any big cat.
In Africa, lions can be found in savanna grasslands with scattered Acacia trees which serve as shade; their habitat in India is a mixture of dry savanna forest and very dry deciduous scrub forest. The habitat of lions originally spanned the southern parts of Eurasia, ranging from Greece to India, and most of Africa except the central rainforest-zone and the Sahara desert. Herodotus reported that lions had been common in Greece in 480 BC; they attacked the baggage camels of the Persian king Xerxes on his march through the country. Aristotle considered them rare by 300 BC. By 100 AD they were extirpated. A population of Asiatic lions survived until the tenth century in the Caucasus, their last European outpost.
The species was eradicated from Palestine by the Middle Ages and from most of the rest of Asia after the arrival of readily available firearms in the eighteenth century. Between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, they became extinct in North Africa and Southwest Asia. By the late nineteenth century, the lion had disappeared from Turkey and most of northern India, while the last sighting of a live Asiatic lion in Iran was in 1941 (between Shiraz and Jahrom, Fars Province), although the corpse of a lioness was found on the banks of the Karun river, Khūzestān Province in 1944. There are no subsequent reliable reports from Iran. The subspecies now survives only in and around the Gir Forest of northwestern India. Approximately 400 lions live in the area of the 1,412 km2 (545 sq mi) sanctuary in the state of Gujarat, which covers most of the forest. Their numbers have increased from 180 in 1974 mainly because the natural prey species have recovered.
Most lions now live in eastern and southern Africa, and their numbers there are rapidly decreasing, with an estimated 30–50% decline over the last two decades. Estimates of the African lion population range between 16,500 and 47,000 living in the wild in 2002–2004, down from early 1990s estimates that ranged as high as 100,000 and perhaps 400,000 in 1950. Primary causes of the decline include disease and human interference. Habitat loss and conflicts with humans are considered the most significant threats to the species. The remaining populations are often geographically isolated from one another, which can lead to inbreeding, and consequently, reduced genetic diversity. Therefore the lion is considered a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, while the Asiatic subspecies is endangered. The lion population in the region of West Africa is isolated from lion populations of Central Africa, with little or no exchange of breeding individuals. The number of mature individuals in West Africa is estimated by two separate recent surveys at 850–1,160 (2002/2004). There is disagreement over the size of the largest individual population in West Africa: the estimates range from 100 to 400 lions in Burkina Faso's Arly-Singou ecosystem. Another population in northwestern Africa is found in Waza National Park, where approximately 14-21 animals persist
Conservation of both African and Asian lions has required the setup and maintenance of national parks and game reserves; among the best known are Etosha National Park in Namibia, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, and Kruger National Park in eastern South Africa. The Ewaso Lions Project protects lions in the Samburu National Reserve, Buffalo Springs National Reserve and Shaba National Reserve of the Ewaso Nyiro ecosystem in Northern Kenya. Outside these areas, the issues arising from lions' interaction with livestock and people usually results in the elimination of the former. In India, the last refuge of the Asiatic lion is the 1,412 km2 (545 sq mi) Gir Forest National Park in western India which had about 180 lions in 1974 and about 400 in 2010. As in Africa, numerous human habitations are close by with the resultant problems between lions, livestock, locals and wildlife officials. The Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project plans to establish a second independent population of Asiatic lions at the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is important to start a second population to serve as a gene pool for the last surviving Asiatic lions and to help develop and maintain genetic diversity enabling the species to survive.
The former popularity of the Barbary lion as a zoo animal has meant that scattered lions in captivity are likely to be descended from Barbary lion stock. This includes twelve lions at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent, England that are descended from animals owned by the King of Morocco. Another eleven animals believed to be Barbary lions were found in Addis Ababa zoo, descendants of animals owned by Emperor Haile Selassie. WildLink International, in collaboration with Oxford University, launched their ambitious International Barbary Lion Project with the aim of identifying and breeding Barbary lions in captivity for eventual reintroduction into a national park in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
Following the discovery of the decline of lion population in Africa, several coordinated efforts involving lion conservation have been organised in an attempt to stem this decline. Lions are one species included in the Species Survival Plan, a coordinated attempt by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to increase its chances of survival. The plan was originally started in 1982 for the Asiatic lion, but was suspended when it was found that most Asiatic lions in North American zoos were not genetically pure, having been hybridised with African lions. The African lion plan started in 1993, focusing especially on the South African subspecies, although there are difficulties in assessing the genetic diversity of captive lions, since most individuals are of unknown origin, making maintenance of genetic diversity a problem.
While lions do not usually hunt people, some (usually males) seem to seek out human prey; well-publicised cases include the Tsavo maneaters, where 28 officially recorded railway workers building the Kenya-Uganda Railway were taken by lions over nine months during the construction of a bridge over the Tsavo River in Kenya in 1898, and the 1991 Mfuwe man-eater, which killed six people in the Luangwa River Valley in Zambia. In both, the hunters who killed the lions wrote books detailing the animals' predatory behaviour. The Mfuwe and Tsavo incidents bear similarities: the lions in both incidents were larger than normal, lacked manes, and seemed to suffer from tooth decay (although only one of the Tsavo man-eaters did). The infirmity theory, including tooth decay, is not favored by all researchers; an analysis of teeth and jaws of man-eating lions in museum collections suggests that, while tooth decay may explain some incidents, prey depletion in human-dominated areas is a more likely cause of lion predation on humans.
In their analysis of Tsavo and man-eating generally, Kerbis Peterhans and Gnoske acknowledge that sick or injured animals may be more prone to man-eating, but that the behaviour is "not unusual, nor necessarily 'aberrant'" where the opportunity exists; if inducements such as access to livestock or human corpses are present, lions will regularly prey upon human beings. The authors note that the relationship is well-attested amongst other pantherines and primates in the paleontological record.
The lion's proclivity for man-eating has been systematically examined. American and Tanzanian scientists report that man-eating behaviour in rural areas of Tanzania increased greatly from 1990 to 2005. At least 563 villagers were attacked and many eaten over this period – a number far exceeding the more famed "Tsavo" incidents of a century earlier. The incidents occurred near Selous National Park in Rufiji District and in Lindi Province near the Mozambican border. While the expansion of villagers into bush country is one concern, the authors argue that conservation policy must mitigate the danger because, in this case, conservation contributes directly to human deaths. Cases in Lindi have been documented where lions seize humans from the center of substantial villages. Another study of 1,000 people attacked by lions in southern Tanzania between 1988 and 2009 found that the weeks following the full moon (when there was less moonlight) were a strong indicator of increased night attacks on people.
Author Robert R. Frump wrote in The Man-eaters of Eden that Mozambican refugees regularly crossing Kruger National Park at night in South Africa are attacked and eaten by the lions; park officials have conceded that man-eating is a problem there. Frump believes thousands may have been killed in the decades after apartheid sealed the park and forced the refugees to cross the park at night. For nearly a century before the border was sealed, Mozambicans had regularly walked across the park in daytime with little harm.
Packer estimates more than 200 Tanzanians are killed each year by lions, crocodiles, elephants, hippos, and snakes, and that the numbers could be double that amount, with lions thought to kill at least 70 of those. Packer has documented that between 1990 and 2004, lions attacked 815 people in Tanzania, killing 563. Packer and Ikanda are among the few conservationists who believe western conservation efforts must take account of these matters not just because of ethical concerns about human life, but also for the long term success of conservation efforts and lion preservation.
A man-eating lion was killed by game scouts in Southern Tanzania in April 2004. It is believed to have killed and eaten at least 35 people in a series of incidents covering several villages in the Rufiji Delta coastal region. Dr Rolf D. Baldus, the GTZ wildlife programme coordinator, commented that it was likely that the lion preyed on humans because it had a large abscess underneath a molar which was cracked in several places. He further commented that "This lion probably experienced a lot of pain, particularly when it was chewing." GTZ is the German development cooperation agency and has been working with the Tanzanian government on wildlife conservation for nearly two decades. As in other cases this lion was large, lacked a mane, and had a tooth problem.
The "All-Africa" record of man-eating generally is considered to be not Tsavo, but incidents in the early 1930s through the late 1940s in what was then Tanganyika (now Tanzania). George Rushby, game warden and professional hunter, eventually dispatched the pride, which over three generations is thought to have killed and eaten 1,500 to 2,000 people in what is now Njombe district.
Lions are part of a group of exotic animals that are the core of zoo exhibits since the late eighteenth century; members of this group are invariably large vertebrates and include elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, large primates, and other big cats; zoos sought to gather as many of these species as possible. Although many modern zoos are more selective about their exhibits, there are more than 1,000 African and 100 Asiatic lions in zoos and wildlife parks around the world. They are considered an ambassador species and are kept for tourism, education and conservation purposes. Lions can reach an age of over 20 years in captivity; Apollo, a resident lion of Honolulu Zoo in Honolulu, Hawaii, died at age 22 in August 2007. His two sisters, born in 1986, were still alive in August 2007. Breeding programs need to note origins to avoid breeding different subspecies and thus reducing conservation value.
At the ancient Egyptian cities of Taremu and Per-Bast were temples to the lioness goddesses of Egypt, Sekhmet and Bast and at Taremu there was a temple to the son of the deity, Maahes the lion prince, where live lions were kept and allowed to roam within his temple. The Greeks called the city Leontopolis, the "City of Lions" and documented that practice. Lions were kept and bred by Assyrian kings as early as 850 BC, and Alexander the Great was said to have been presented with tame lions by the Malhi of northern India. Later in Roman times, lions were kept by emperors to take part in the gladiator arenas or for executions (see bestiarii, damnatio ad bestias, and venatio). Roman notables, including Sulla, Pompey, and Julius Caesar, often ordered the mass slaughter of hundreds of lions at a time. In the East, lions were tamed by Indian princes, and Marco Polo reported that Kublai Khan kept lions inside. The first European "zoos" spread amongst noble and royal families in the thirteenth century, and until the seventeenth century were called seraglios; at that time, they came to be called menageries, an extension of the cabinet of curiosities. They spread from France and Italy during the Renaissance to the rest of Europe. In England, although the seraglio tradition was less developed, Lions were kept at the Tower of London in a seraglio established by King John in the thirteenth century, probably stocked with animals from an earlier menagerie started in 1125 by Henry I at his palace in Woodstock, near Oxford; where lions had been reported stocked by William of Malmesbury.
Seraglios served as expressions of the nobility's power and wealth. Animals such as big cats and elephants, in particular, symbolised power, and would be pitted in fights against each other or domesticated animals. By extension, menageries and seraglios served as demonstrations of the dominance of humanity over nature. Consequently, the defeat of such natural "lords" by a cow in 1682 astonished the spectators, and the flight of an elephant before a rhinoceros drew jeers. Such fights would slowly fade out in the seventeenth century with the spread of the menagerie and their appropriation by the commoners. The tradition of keeping big cats as pets would last into the nineteenth century, at which time it was seen as highly eccentric.
The presence of lions at the Tower of London was intermittent, being restocked when a monarch or his consort, such as Margaret of Anjou the wife of Henry VI, either sought or were given animals. Records indicate they were kept in poor conditions there in the seventeenth century, in contrast to more open conditions in Florence at the time. The menagerie was open to the public by the eighteenth century; admission was a sum of three half-pence or the supply of a cat or dog for feeding to the lions. A rival menagerie at the Exeter Exchange also exhibited lions until the early nineteenth century. The Tower menagerie was closed down by William IV, and animals transferred to the London Zoo which opened its gates to the public on 27 April 1828.
Animal species disappear when they cannot peacefully orbit the center of gravity that is man.
The wild animals trade flourished alongside improved colonial trade of the nineteenth century. Lions were considered fairly common and inexpensive. Although they would barter higher than tigers, they were less costly than larger, or more difficult to transport animals such as the giraffe and hippopotamus, and much less than giant pandas. Like other animals, lions were seen as little more than a natural, boundless commodity that was mercilessly exploited with terrible losses in capture and transportation. The widely reproduced imagery of the heroic hunter chasing lions would dominate a large part of the century. Explorers and hunters exploited a popular Manichean division of animals into "good" and "evil" to add thrilling value to their adventures, casting themselves as heroic figures. This resulted in big cats, always suspected of being man-eaters, representing "both the fear of nature and the satisfaction of having overcome it."
Lions were kept in cramped and squalid conditions at London Zoo until a larger lion house with roomier cages was built in the 1870s. Further changes took place in the early twentieth century, when Carl Hagenbeck designed enclosures more closely resembling a natural habitat, with concrete 'rocks', more open space and a moat instead of bars. He designed lion enclosures for both Melbourne Zoo and Sydney's Taronga Zoo, among others, in the early twentieth century. Though his designs were popular, the old bars and cage enclosures prevailed until the 1960s in many zoos. In the later decades of the twentieth century, larger, more natural enclosures and the use of wire mesh or laminated glass instead of lowered dens allowed visitors to come closer than ever to the animals, with some attractions even placing the den on ground higher than visitors, such as the Cat Forest/Lion Overlook of Oklahoma City Zoological Park. Lions are now housed in much larger naturalistic areas; modern recommended guidelines more closely approximate conditions in the wild with closer attention to the lions' needs, highlighting the need for dens in separate areas, elevated positions in both sun and shade where lions can sit and adequate ground cover and drainage as well as sufficient space to roam.
There have also been instances where a lion was kept by a private individual, such as the lioness Elsa, who was raised by George Adamson and his wife Joy Adamson and came to develop a strong bond with them, particularly the latter. The lioness later achieved fame, her life being documented in a series of books and films.
Lion-baiting is a blood sport involving the baiting of lions in combat with other animals, usually dogs. Records of it exist in ancient times through until the seventeenth century. It was finally banned in Vienna by 1800 and England in 1825.
Lion taming refers to the practice of taming lions for entertainment, either as part of an established circus or as an individual act, such as Siegfried & Roy. The term is also often used for the taming and display of other big cats such as tigers, leopards, and cougars. The practice was pioneered in the first half of the nineteenth century by Frenchman Henri Martin and American Isaac Van Amburgh who both toured widely, and whose techniques were copied by a number of followers. Van Amburgh performed before Queen Victoria in 1838 when he toured Great Britain. Martin composed a pantomime titled Les Lions de Mysore ("the lions of Mysore"), an idea that Amburgh quickly borrowed. These acts eclipsed equestrianism acts as the central display of circus shows, but truly entered public consciousness in the early twentieth century with cinema. In demonstrating the superiority of human over animal, lion taming served a purpose similar to animal fights of previous centuries. The ultimate proof of a tamer's dominance and control over a lion is demonstrated by placing his head in the lion's mouth. The now iconic lion tamer's chair was possibly first used by American Clyde Beatty (1903–1965).
The lion has been an icon for humanity for thousands of years, appearing in cultures across Europe, Asia, and Africa. Despite incidents of attacks on humans, lions have enjoyed a positive depiction in culture as strong but noble. A common depiction is their representation as "king of the jungle" or "king of beasts"; hence, the lion has been a popular symbol of royalty and stateliness, as well as a symbol of bravery; it is featured in several fables of the sixth century BC Greek storyteller Aesop.
Representations of lions date back to the early Upper Paleolithic. The lioness-headed ivory carving from Vogelherd cave in the Swabian Alb in southwestern Germany, dubbed Löwenmensch (lion-human) in German. The sculpture has been determined to be at least 32,000 years old from the Aurignacian culture, but it may date to as early as 40,000 years ago. The sculpture has been interpreted as anthropomorphic, giving human characteristics to an animal, however, it also may represent a deity.
Two lions were depicted mating in the Chamber of Felines in 15,000-year-old Paleolithic cave paintings in the Lascaux caves. Cave lions also are depicted in the Chauvet Cave, discovered in 1994; this has been dated at 32,000 years of age, though it may be of similar or younger age to Lascaux.
Ancient Egypt venerated the lioness (the fierce hunter) as their war deities and among those in the Egyptian pantheon are, Bast, Mafdet, Menhit, Pakhet, Sekhmet, Tefnut, and the Sphinx; The Nemean lion was symbolic in Ancient Greece and Rome, represented as the constellation and zodiac sign Leo, and described in mythology, where its skin was borne by the hero Heracles.
The lion was a prominent symbol in ancient Mesopotamia (from Sumer up to Assyrian and Babylonian times), where it was strongly associated with kingship. The classic Babylonian lion motif, found as a statue, carved or painted on walls, is often referred to as the striding lion of Babylon. It is in Babylon that the biblical Daniel is said to have been delivered from the lion's den.
In the Puranic texts of Hinduism, Narasimha ("man-lion") a half-lion, half-man incarnation or (avatar) of Vishnu, is worshipped by his devotees and saved the child devotee Prahlada from his father, the evil demon king Hiranyakashipu; Vishnu takes the form of half-man/half-lion, in Narasimha, having a human torso and lower body, but with a lion-like face and claws. Singh is an ancient Indian vedic name meaning "lion" (Asiatic lion), dating back over 2000 years to ancient India. It was originally only used by Rajputs a Hindu Kshatriya or military caste in India. After the birth of the Khalsa brotherhood in 1699, the Sikhs also adopted the name "Singh" due to the wishes of Guru Gobind Singh. Along with millions of Hindu Rajputs today, it is also used by over 20 million Sikhs worldwide. Found famously on numerous flags and coats of arms all across Asia and Europe, the Asiatic lions also stand firm on the National Emblem of India. Farther south on the Indian subcontinent, the Asiatic lion is symbolic for the Sinhalese, Sri Lanka's ethnic majority; the term derived from the Indo-Aryan Sinhala, meaning the "lion people" or "people with lion blood", while a sword wielding lion is the central figure on the national flag of Sri Lanka.
The Asiatic lion is a common motif in Chinese art. They were first used in art during the late Spring and Autumn Period (fifth or sixth century BC), and became much more popular during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220), when imperial guardian lions started to be placed in front of imperial palaces for protection. Because lions have never been native to China, early depictions were somewhat unrealistic; after the introduction of Buddhist art to China in the Tang Dynasty (after the sixth century AD), lions usually were depicted without wings, their bodies became thicker and shorter, and their manes became curly. The lion dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume, often with musical accompaniment from cymbals, drums, and gongs. They are performed at Chinese New Year, the August Moon Festival and other celebratory occasions for good luck.
The island nation of Singapore derives its name from the Malay words (lion) and (city/fortress), which in turn is from the Tamil-Sanskrit சிங்க singa and புர , which is cognate to the Greek , pólis. According to the Malay Annals, this name was given by a fourteenth-century Sumatran Malay prince named Sang Nila Utama, who, on alighting the island after a thunderstorm, spotted an auspicious beast on shore which appeared to be a lion.
The name of the nomadic Hadendoa people, inhabiting parts of Sudan, Egypt, and Eritrea, is made up of haɖa 'lion' and (n)ɖiwa 'clan'. Other variants are Haɖai ɖiwa, Hanɖiwa, and Haɖaatʼar (children of lioness).
"Lion" was the nickname of several medieval warrior rulers with a reputation for bravery, such as the English King Richard the Lionheart, Henry the Lion (German: ), Duke of Saxony and Robert III of Flanders nicknamed "The Lion of Flanders"—a major Flemish national icon up to the present. Lions are frequently depicted on coats of arms, either as a device on shields themselves, or as supporters, but the lioness is much more infrequent. The formal language of heraldry, called blazon, employs French terms to describe the images precisely. Such descriptions specified whether lions or other creatures were "rampant" or "passant", that is whether they were rearing or crouching. The lion is used as a symbol of sporting teams, from national association football teams such as England, Scotland and Singapore to famous clubs such as the Detroit Lions of the NFL, Chelsea and Aston Villa of the English Premier League, (and the Premiership itself) to a host of smaller clubs around the world.
Lions continue to be featured in modern literature, from the messianic Aslan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and following books from The Chronicles of Narnia series written by C. S. Lewis, to the comedic Cowardly Lion in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The advent of moving pictures saw the continued presence of lion symbolism; one of the most iconic and widely recognised lions is Leo the Lion, which has been the mascot for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studios since the 1920s. The 1960s saw the appearance of what is possibly the most famous lioness, the Kenyan animal Elsa in the movie Born Free, based on the true-life international bestselling book of the same title. The lion's role as King of the Beasts has been used in cartoons, from the 1950s manga which gave rise to the first Japanese colour TV animation series, Kimba the White Lion, Leonardo Lion of King Leonardo and his Short Subjects, both from the 1960s, up to the 1994 Disney animated feature film The Lion King, which also featured the popular song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in its soundtrack. A lion appears on the 50-rand South African banknote.
Christian was a lion originally purchased by Australians John Rendall and Anthony "Ace" Bourke from Harrods department store of London, England, in 1969 and ultimately reintroduced to the African wild by conservationist George Adamson. One year after Adamson released Christian to the wild, his former owners decided to go looking for him to see whether Christian would remember them. He did, and with him were two lionesses who accepted the men as well.
Christian was originally acquired by Harrods from the now-defunct zoo park in Ilfracombe. Rendall would later recall that the department store was eager to sell the cub, which had escaped from his cage one night and destroyed the merchandise in the carpet department. Rendall and Bourke purchased Christian for 250 guineas (£262.50).
Rendall and Bourke, along with their friends Jennifer Mary Taylor and Unity Jones, cared for the lion where they lived in London until he was a year old. As he got larger, the men moved Christian to their furniture store—coincidentally named Sophistocat—where living quarters in the basement were set aside for him. Rendall and Bourke obtained permission from a local vicar to exercise Christian at a church graveyard, and the men also took the lion on day trips to the seaside.
Christian’s growing size and the increasing cost of his care led Rendall and Bourke to understand they could not keep him in London. When Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the film Born Free, visited Rendall and Bourke’s furniture store and met Christian, they suggested that Bourke and Rendall ask the assistance of George Adamson. Adamson, a Kenyan conservationist, who together with his wife Joy raised and released Elsa the Lioness, agreed to reintegrate Christian into the wild at their compound in the Kora National Reserve. Virginia McKenna wrote about the experience in her memoir The Life in My Years, published March 2009.
Adamson introduced Christian to an older male lion, "Boy", who had been used in the movie Born Free and who also featured prominently in the documentary film The Lions Are Free, and subsequently to a female cub Katania in order to form the nucleus of a new pride. The pride suffered many setbacks: Katania was possibly devoured by crocodiles at a watering hole; another female was killed by wild lions; and Boy was severely injured, afterwards losing his ability to socialize with other lions and humans, and was shot by Adamson after fatally wounding an assistant. These events left Christian as the sole surviving member of the original pride.
Over the course of a year, as George Adamson continued his work, the pride established itself in the region around Kora, with Christian as the head of the pride started by Boy.
When Rendall and Bourke were informed by Adamson of Christian's successful reintroduction to the wild (reported in some newspaper articles to be in 1971, and by George Adamson to be 1972) they traveled to Kenya to visit Christian and were filmed in the documentary Christian, The Lion at World's End (released in the U.S. as Christian the Lion). According to the documentary, Adamson advised Rendall and Bourke that Christian might not remember them. The film shows the lion at first cautiously approach and then quickly leap playfully onto the two men, standing on his hind legs and wrapping his front legs around their shoulders, nuzzling their faces. The documentary also shows the lionesses, Mona and Lisa, and a foster cub named Supercub welcoming the two men.
Rendall details a final, largely unfilmed reunion that occurred (reported in some newspaper articles to have been in 1974, and by George Adamson to have been in 1973). By this time Christian was successfully defending his own pride, had cubs of his own and was about twice the size he was in the earlier reunion video. Adamson advised Rendall that it would most likely be a wasted trip as he had not seen Christian's pride for nine months. However, when he reached Kora, Christian and his pride had returned to Adamson's compound the day before their arrival.
Rendall describes the visit he and George Adamson made:
The second reunion lasted until the next morning. According to Rendall that was the last anyone saw Christian.
George Adamson counted the days without seeing Christian from the late spring 1973 final reunion. He notes in his book My Pride And Joy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987) that after 97 days, he stopped counting.
In 1971, Christian's owners published his story as A Lion Called Christian. This book was republished in 2009 following the spread of his story on YouTube.
A video of the 1971 reunion, edited from the documentary, was first posted on a fan web site in 2002. From there it was picked up by a MySpace user and then picked up from MySpace and posted on YouTube where it became a viral video and worldwide sensation, more than 30 years after the event. As of July 2009, several versions of the video have been viewed millions of times on YouTube, one garnering over 18 million. Various news sources have since tracked down Rendall and Bourke for their current perspective on the events surrounding their life with Christian.
In September 2008, Sony Pictures announced that it was interested in obtaining the rights to the story of Christian’s life for the purpose of making a feature film.
A children's book about Christian was published in 2010. Christian, the Hugging Lion was written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, and illustrated by Amy June Bates. The book was nominated as a finalist for a 2011 Lambda Literary Award in the Children's/Young Adult Fiction category.
(a.k.a. Remnants 1898–1901)
The Chicago Cubs
are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Cubs are one of the two remaining charter members of the National League (the other being the Atlanta Braves) and one of two active major league clubs based in Chicago, the other being the Chicago White Sox of the American League. The team is currently owned by a family trust of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts.
The Cubs have not won the World Series in 104 years, the longest championship drought of any major North American professional sports team, and are often referred to as the "Lovable Losers" because of this distinction. They are also known as "The North Siders" because Wrigley Field, their home park since 1916, is located in Chicago's north side Lake View community at 1060 West Addison Street (as opposed to their crosstown rivals, the Chicago White Sox, who play on the city's South Side).
The club played its first games in 1870 as the Chicago White Stockings
. This makes the Cubs, along with the Braves who were founded in 1871, the two oldest active teams in major North American sports. There is an argument as to who is actually older because although the Cubs are a full season "older" they lost two seasons to the Great Chicago Fire; thus the Braves have played more seasons. The Cubs are still the longest continuously existing franchise (notwithstanding the two lost seasons), having existed in the same city for their entire history. The Cubs are characterized by their 100+ year World-Series-winning drought (last won in 1908).
Although 1876 is generally recognized as the birth-year of the Cubs franchise, the Chicago club was initially founded in 1870 as the Chicago White Stockings and played a single season in a pro-am league called the National Association of Base Ball Players. The White Stockings won that league's championship and followed that effort playing the next five seasons (with the exception of 1872 and 1873, when the club temporarily ceased operations following the Great Chicago Fire) in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players along with the Boston Red Stockings (now the Atlanta Braves). Both of these early leagues were hampered by a variety of ethical issues, such as the "throwing" of games and the league's inability (or unwillingness) to enforce rules and player contracts. Because of these challenges, William Hulbert, the president of the Chicago club, spearheaded the development of the National League, whose inaugural season was 1876.
Hulbert signed multiple star players, such as pitcher Albert Spalding and infielders Ross Barnes, Deacon White, and Adrian "Cap" Anson, to join the team prior to the N.L.'s first season. The White Stockings played their home games at West Side Grounds, and quickly established themselves as one of the new league's top teams. Spalding won 47 games and Barnes led the league in hitting at .429 as Chicago won the first ever National League pennant, which at the time was the game's top prize.
After back-to-back pennants in 1880 and 1881, Hulbert died, and Spalding, who had retired to start Spalding sporting goods, assumed ownership of the club. The White Stockings, with Anson acting as player/manager, captured their third consecutive pennant in 1882, and Anson established himself as the game's first true superstar. In 1885 and '86, after winning N.L. pennants, the White Stockings met the short-lived American Association
champion in that era's version of a World Series. Both seasons resulted in match ups with the St. Louis Brown Stockings, with the clubs tying in 1885 and with St. Louis winning in 1886. This was the genesis of what would eventually become one of the greatest rivalries in sports. In all, the Anson-led Chicago Base Ball Club won six National League pennants between 1876 and 1886. As a result, Chicago's club nickname transitioned, and by 1890 they had become known as the Chicago Colts
, or sometimes "Anson's Colts," referring to Cap's influence within the club. Anson was the first player in history credited with collecting 3,000 career hits. After a disappointing record of 59-73 and a 9th place finish in 1897, Anson was released by the Cubs as both a player and manager. Due to Anson's absence from the club after 22 years, local newspaper reporters started to refer to the Cubs as the "Orphans".
After the 1900 season, the American Base-Ball League
formed as a rival professional league, and incidentally the club's old White Stockings nickname would be adopted by a new American League neighbor to the south.
In 1902, Spalding, who by this time had revamped the roster to boast what would soon be one of the best teams of the early century, sold the club to Jim Hart, and the franchise became known as the Chicago Cubs.
During this period, which has become known as baseball's dead-ball era, Cub infielders Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance were made famous as a double-play combination by Franklin P. Adams' poem Baseball's Sad Lexicon
. The poem first appeared in the July 18, 1910 edition of the New York Evening Mail
. Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, Jack Taylor, Ed Reulbach, Jack Pfiester, and Orval Overall were several key pitchers for the Cubs during this time period. With Chance acting as player-manager from 1905 to 1912, the Cubs won four pennants and two World Series titles over a five-year span. Although they fell to the "Hitless Wonders" White Sox in the 1906 World Series, the Cubs recorded a record 116 victories and the best winning percentage (.763) in Major League history. With mostly the same roster, Chicago won back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908, becoming the first Major League club to play three times in the Fall Classic and the first to win it twice. However, the Cubs have not won a World Series since; this remains the longest championship drought in North American professional sports.
The next season, veteran catcher Johnny Kling left the team to become a professional pocket billiards player. Some historians think Kling's absence was significant enough to prevent the Cubs from also winning a third straight title in 1909, as they finished 6 games out of first place. When Kling returned the next year, the Cubs won the pennant again, but lost to the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1910 World Series.
In 1914, advertising executive Albert Lasker obtained a large block of the club's shares and before the 1916 season assumed majority ownership of the franchise. Lasker brought in a wealthy partner, Charles Weeghman, the proprietor of a popular chain of lunch counters who had previously owned the Chicago Whales of the short-lived Federal League. As principal owners, the pair moved the club from the West Side Grounds to the much newer Weeghman Park, which had been constructed for the Whales only two years earlier. The Cubs responded by winning a pennant in the war-shortened season of 1918, where they played a part in another team's curse: the Boston Red Sox defeated Grover Cleveland Alexander's Cubs four games to two in the 1918 World Series, Boston's last Series championship until 2004.
Beginning in 1916, Bill Wrigley of chewing-gum fame acquired an increasing quantity of stock in the Cubs. By 1921 he was the majority owner, maintaining that status into the 1930s.
Meanwhile, the year 1919 saw the start of the tenure of Bill Veeck, Sr. as team president. Veeck would hold that post throughout the 1920s and into the 30s. The management team of Wrigley and Veeck came to be known as the "double-Bills."
Near the end of the first decade of the double-Bills' guidance, the Cubs won the NL pennant in 1929 and then achieved the unusual feat of winning a pennant every three years, following up the 1929 flag with league titles in 1932, 1935, and 1938. Unfortunately, their success did not extend to the Fall Classic, as they fell to their AL rivals each time. The '32 series against the Yankees featured Babe Ruth's "called shot" at Wrigley Field in Game 3. There were some historic moments for the Cubs as well; In 1930, Hack Wilson, one of the top home run hitters in the game, had one of the most impressive seasons in MLB history, hitting 56 home runs and establishing the current runs-batted-in record of 191. That 1930 club, which boasted six eventual Hall of Famers (Wilson, Gabby Hartnett, Rogers Hornsby, George "High Pockets" Kelly, Kiki Cuyler and manager Joe McCarthy) established the current team batting average record of .309. In 1935 the Cubs claimed the pennant in thrilling fashion, winning a record 21 games in a row in September. The '38 club saw Dizzy Dean lead the team's pitching staff and provided a historic moment when they won a crucial late-season game at Wrigley Field over the Pittsburgh Pirates with a walk-off home run by Gabby Hartnett, which became known in baseball lore as "The Homer in the Gloamin'".
After the "double-Bills" (Wrigley and Veeck) died in 1932 and 1933 respectively, P.K. Wrigley, son of Bill Wrigley, took over as majority owner. He was unable to extend his father's baseball success beyond 1938, and the Cubs slipped into years of mediocrity, although the Wrigley family would retain control of the team until 1981.
The Cubs enjoyed one more pennant at the close of World War II, finishing 98–56. Due to the wartime travel restrictions, the first three games of the 1945 World Series were played in Detroit, where the Cubs won two games, including a one-hitter by Claude Passeau, and the final four were played at Wrigley. In Game 4 of the Series, the Curse of the Billy Goat was allegedly laid upon the Cubs when P.K. Wrigley ejected Billy Sianis, who had come to Game 4 with two box seat tickets, one for him and one for his goat. They paraded around for a few innings, but Wrigley demanded the goat leave the park due to its unpleasant odor. Upon his ejection, Mr. Sianis uttered, "The Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more."
The Cubs lost Game 4, lost the Series, and have not been back since. It has also been said by many that Sianis put a "curse" on the Cubs, apparently preventing the team from playing in the World Series. After losing the 1945 World Series to the Detroit Tigers, the Cubs finished with winning seasons the next two years, but those teams did not enter post-season play.
In the following two decades after Sianis' ill will, the Cubs played mostly forgettable baseball, finishing among the worst teams in the National League on an almost annual basis. Longtime infielder/manager Phil Cavarretta, who had been a key player during the '45 season, was fired during spring training in 1954 after admitting the team was unlikely to finish above fifth place. Although shortstop Ernie Banks would become one of the star players in the league during the next decade, finding help for him proved a difficult task, as quality players such as Hank Sauer were few and far between. This, combined with poor ownership decisions such as the College of Coaches, and the ill-fated trade of future Hall of Famer Lou Brock to the Cardinals for pitcher Ernie Broglio (who won only 7 games over the next three seasons), hampered on-field performance.
The late-1960s brought hope of a renaissance, with third baseman Ron Santo, pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, and outfielder Billy Williams joining Banks. After losing a dismal 103 games in 1966, the Cubs brought home consecutive winning records in '67 and '68, marking the first time a Cub team had accomplished that feat in over two decades.
In 1969 the Cubs, managed by Leo Durocher, built a substantial lead in the newly created National League Eastern Division by mid-August. Ken Holtzman pitched a no-hitter on August 19, and the division lead grew to 8 games over the St. Louis Cardinals and by 9 games over the New York Mets. After the game of September 2, the Cubs record was 84-52 with the Mets in second place at 77-55. But then a losing streak began just as a Mets winning streak was beginning. The Cubs lost the final game of a series at Cincinnati, then came home to play the resurgent Pittsburgh Pirates (who would finish in third place). After losing the first two games by scores of 9-2 and 13-4, the Cubs led going into the ninth inning. A win would be a positive springboard since the Cubs were to play a crucial series with the Mets the very next day. But Willie Stargell drilled a 2-out, 2-strike pitch from the Cubs' ace reliever, Phil Regan, onto Sheffield Avenue to tie the score in the top of the ninth. The Cubs would lose 7-5 in extra innings.
Burdened by a four-game losing streak, the Cubs traveled to Shea Stadium for a short two-game set. The Mets won both games, and the Cubs left New York with a record of 84-58 just 1⁄2 game in front. Disaster followed in Philadelphia, as a 99 loss Phillies team nonetheless defeated the Cubs twice, to extend Chicago's losing streak to eight games. In a key play in the second game, on September 11, Cubs starter Dick Selma threw a surprise pickoff attempt to third baseman Ron Santo, who was nowhere near the bag or the ball. Selma's throwing error opened the gates to a Phillies rally. After that second Philly loss, the Cubs were 84-60 and the Mets had pulled ahead at 85-57. The Mets would not look back. The Cubs' eight-game losing streak finally ended the next day in St. Louis, but the Mets were in the midst of a ten-game winning streak, and the Cubs, wilting from team fatigue, generally deteriorated in all phases of the game. The Mets (who had lost a record 120 games 7 years earlier), would go on to win the World Series. The Cubs, despite a respectable 92-70 record, would be remembered for having lost a remarkable 17 1⁄2 games in the standings to the Mets in the last quarter of the season.
Following the '69 season, the club posted winning records for the next few seasons, but no playoff action. After the core players of those teams started to move on, the 70s got worse for the team, and they became known as "The Loveable Losers."
In 1977, the team found some life, but ultimately experienced one of its biggest collapses. The Cubs hit a high-water mark on June 28 at 47–22, boasting an game NL East lead, as they were led by Bobby Murcer (27 Hr/89 RBI), and Rick Reuschel (20–10). However, the Philadelphia Phillies cut the lead to two by the All-star break, as the Cubs sat 19 games over .500, but they swooned late in the season, going 20–40 after July 31. The Cubs finished in 4th place at 81–81, while Philadelphia surged, finishing with 101 wins. The following two seasons also saw the Cubs get off to a fast start, as the team rallied to over 10 games above .500 well into both seasons, only to again wear down and play poorly later on, and ultimately settling back to mediocrity. This trait became known as the "June Swoon
." Again, the Cubs' unusually high number of day games is often pointed to as one reason for the team's inconsistent late season play.
P.K. Wrigley died in 1977. The Wrigley family sold the team to the Chicago Tribune in 1981, ending a 65-year family relationship with the Cubs.
After over a dozen more subpar seasons, in 1981 the Cubs hired GM Dallas Green from Philadelphia to turn around the franchise. Green had managed the 1980 Phillies to the World Series title. One of his early GM moves brought in a young Phillies minor-league 3rd baseman named Ryne Sandberg, along with Larry Bowa for Ivan DeJesus. The 1983 Cubs had finished 71–91 under Lee Elia, who was fired before the season ended by Green. Green continued the culture of change and overhauled the Cubs roster, front-office and coaching staff prior to 1984. Jim Frey was hired to manage the 1984 Cubs, with Don Zimmer coaching 3rd base and Billy Connors serving as pitching coach.
Green shored up the 1984 roster with a series of transactions. In December, 1983 Scott Sanderson was acquired from Montreal in a three-team deal with San Diego for Carmelo Martinez. Pinch hitter Richie Hebner (.333 BA in 1984) was signed as a free-agent. In spring training, moves continued: LF Gary Matthews and CF Bobby Dernier came from Philadelphia on March 26, for Bill Campbell and a minor leaguer. Reliever Tim Stoddard (10–6 3.82, 7 saves) was acquired the same day for a minor leaguer; veteran pitcher Ferguson Jenkins was released.
The team's commitment to contend was complete when Green made a midseason deal on June 15 to shore up the starting rotation due to injuries to Rick Reuschel (5–5) and Sanderson. The deal brought 1979 NL Rookie of the Year pitcher Rick Sutcliffe from the Cleveland Indians. Iowa Cub Joe Carter and CF Mel Hall were sent to Cleveland for Sutcliffe and back-up C Ron Hassey (.333 with Cubs in 1984). Sutcliffe (5–5 with the Indians) immediately joined Sanderson (8–5 3.14), Eckersley (10–8 3.03), Steve Trout (13–7 3.41) and Dick Ruthven (6–10 5.04) in the starting rotation. Sutcliffe proceeded to go 16–1 for Cubs and capture the Cy Young Award.
The Cubs 1984 starting lineup was very strong. It consisted of LF Matthews (.291 14–82 101 runs 17 SB), C Jody Davis (.256 19–94), RF Keith Moreland (.279 16–80), SS Larry Bowa (.223 10 SB), 1B Leon "Bull" Durham (.279 23–96 16SB), CF Dernier (.278 45 SB), 3B Ron Cey (.240 25–97), Closer Lee Smith(9–7 3.65 33 saves) and 1984 NL MVP and Ryne Sandberg (.314 19–84 114 runs, 19 triples,32 SB).
Reserve players Hebner, Thad Bosley, Henry Cotto, Hassey and Dave Owen produced exciting moments. The bullpen depth of Rich Bordi, George Frazier, Warren Brusstar and Dickie Noles did their job in getting the game to Smith or Stoddard.
At the top of the order, Dernier and Sandberg were exciting, aptly coined "the Daily Double" by Harry Caray. With strong defense – Dernier CF and Sandberg 2B, won the NL Gold Glove- solid pitching and clutch hitting, the Cubs were a well balanced team. Following the "Daily Double," Matthews, Durham, Cey, Moreland and Davis gave the Cubs an order with no gaps to pitch around. Sutcliffe anchored a strong top to bottom rotation and Smith was one of the top closers in the game.
The shift in the Cubs' fortunes was characterized June 23 on the "NBC Saturday Game of the Week" contest against the St. Louis Cardinals. it has since been dubbed simply "The Sandberg Game." With the nation watching and Wrigley Field packed, Sandberg emerged as a superstar with not one, but two game-tying home runs against Cardinals closer Bruce Sutter. With his shots in the 9th and 10th innings Wrigley Field erupted and Sandberg set the stage for a comeback win that cemented the Cubs as the team to beat in the East. No one would catch them, except the Padres in the playoffs.
In early August the Cubs swept the Mets in a 4-game home series that further distanced them from the pack. An infamous Keith Moreland-Ed Lynch fight erupted after Lynch hit Moreland with a pitch, perhaps forgetting Moreland was once a linebacker at the University of Texas. It was the second game of a double header and the Cubs had won the first game in part due to a three run home run by Moreland. After the bench-clearing fight the Cubs won the second game, and the sweep put the Cubs at 68–45.
When the Cubs clinched the Eastern Division with a Sutcliffe complete-game 2-hitter at Pittsburgh on September 24, the franchise had its first title of any kind since 1945. The celebrating crowd outside at Wrigley Field was enormous despite the fact the Cubs were on the road. The Cubs concluded the regular season with a 96–65 record, 6.5 games ahead of the 2nd place Mets.
In 1984, the two leagues, American and National, each had two divisions, East and West. The divisional winners met in a best-of-5 series to advance to the World Series, in a "2–3" format, first two games were played at the home of the team who did not have home field advantage. Then the last three games were played at the home of the team, with home field advantage. Thus the first two games were played at Wrigley Field and the next three at the home of their opponents, San Diego. A common and unfounded myth is that since Wrigley Field did not have lights at that time the National League decided to give the home field advantage to the winner of the NL West. In fact, home field advantage had rotated between the winners of the East and West since 1969 when the league expanded. In even numbered years, the NL West had home field advantage. In odd numbered years, the NL East had home field advantage. Since the NL East winners had had home field advantage in 1983, the NL West winners were entitled to it.
The confusion may stem from the fact that Major League Baseball did decide that, should the Cubs make it to the World Series, the American League winner would have home field advantage unless the Cubs hosted home games at an alternate site since the Cubs home field of Wrigley Field did not yet have lights. Rumor was the Cubs could hold home games across town at Comiskey Park, home of the American League's Chicago White Sox. Rather than hold any games in the cross town rival Sox Park, the Cubs made arrangements with the August A. Busch, owner of the St. Louis Cardinals, to use Busch Stadium in St. Louis as the Cubs "home field" for the World Series. This was approved by Major League Baseball and would have enabled the Cubs to host games 1 and 2, along with games 6 and 7 if necessary. At the time home field advantage was rotated between each league. Odd numbered years the AL had home field advantage. Even numbered years the NL had home field advantage. In the 1982 World Series the St. Louis Cardinals of the NL had home field advantage. In the 1983 World Series the Baltimore Orioles of the AL had home field advantage.
In the NLCS, the Cubs easily won the first two games at Wrigley Field against the San Diego Padres. The Padres were the winners of the Western Division with Steve Garvey, Tony Gwynn, Eric Show, Goose Gossage and Alan Wiggins. With wins of 13–0 and 4–2, the Cubs needed to win only one game of the next three in San Diego to make to the World Series. After being beaten in Game 3 7–1, the Cubs lost Game 4 when Smith, with the game tied 5–5, allowed a game-winning home run to Garvey in the bottom of the ninth inning. In Game 5 the Cubs took a 3–0 lead into the 6th inning, and a 3–2 lead into the seventh with Sutcliffe (who won the Cy Young Award that year) still on the mound. Then, Leon Durham had a sharp grounder go under his glove. This critical error helped the Padres win the game 6–3, with a 4-run 7th inning and keep Chicago out of the 1984 World Series against the Detroit Tigers. The loss ended a spectacular season for the Cubs, one that brought alive a slumbering franchise and made the Cubs relevant for a whole new generation of Cubs fans.
The Padres would be defeated in 5 games by Sparky Anderson's Tigers in the World Series. Baseball experts felt the Cubs would have better represented the National League and would have won at least two World Series games.
The 1985 season brought high hopes. The club started out well, going 35–19 through mid-June, but injuries to Sutcliffe and others in the pitching staff contributed to a 13-game losing streak that pushed the Cubs out of contention.
In 1989, the first full season with night baseball at Wrigley Field, Don Zimmer's Cubs were led by a core group of veterans in Ryne Sandberg, Rick Sutcliffe and Andre Dawson, who were boosted by a crop of youngsters such as Mark Grace, Shawon Dunston, Greg Maddux, Rookie of the Year Jerome Walton, and Rookie of the Year Runner-Up Dwight Smith. The Cubs won the NL East once again that season winning 93 games. This time the Cubs met the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS. After splitting the first two games at home, the Cubs headed to the Bay Area, where despite holding a lead at some point in each of the next three games, bullpen meltdowns and managerial blunders ultimately led to three straight losses. The Cubs couldn't overcome the efforts of Will Clark, whose home run off Maddux, just after a managerial visit to the mound, led Maddux to think Clark knew what pitch was coming. Afterward, Maddux would speak into his glove during any mound conversation, beginning what is a norm today. Mark Grace was 11–17 in the series with 8 RBI. Eventually, the Giants lost to "The Bash Brothers
" and the Oakland A's in the famous "Earthquake Series
The '98 season would begin on a somber note with the death of legendary broadcaster Harry Caray. After the retirement of Sandberg and the trade of Dunston, the Cubs had holes to fill and the signing of Henry Rodriguez, known affectionately as "H-Rod"
to bat cleanup provided protection for Sammy Sosa in the lineup, as Rodriguez slugged 31 round-trippers in his first season in Chicago. Kevin Tapani led the club with a career high 19 wins, Rod Beck anchored a strong bullpen and Mark Grace turned in one of his best seasons. The Cubs were swamped by media attention in 1998, and the team's two biggest headliners were Sosa and rookie flamethrower Kerry Wood. Wood's signature performance was one-hitting the Houston Astros, a game in which he tied the major league record of 20 strikeouts in nine innings. His torrid strikeout numbers earned Wood the nickname "Kid K,"
and ultimately earned him the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year award. Sosa caught fire in June, hitting a major league record 20 home runs in the month, and his home run race with Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire transformed the pair into international superstars in a matter of weeks. McGwire finished the season with a new major league record of 70 homeruns, but Sosa's .308 average and 66 homers earned him the National League MVP Award. After a down-to-the-wire Wild Card chase with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago and San Francisco ended the regular season tied, and thus squared off in a one game playoff at Wrigley Field in which third baseman Gary Gaetti hit the eventual game winning homer. The win propelled the Cubs into the postseason once again with a 90–73 regular season tally. Unfortunately, the bats went cold in October, as manager Jim Riggleman's club batted .183 and scored only four runs en route to being swept by Atlanta. On a positive note, the home run chase between Sosa, McGwire and Ken Griffey, Jr. helped professional baseball to bring in a new crop of fans as well as bringing back some fans who had been disillusioned by the 1994 strike. The Cubs retained many players who experienced career years in '98, and after a fast start in 1999, they collapsed again (starting with being swept at the hands of the cross-town White Sox in mid-June) and finished in the bottom of the division for the next two seasons.
Despite losing fan favorite Grace to free agency, and the lack of production from newcomer Todd Hundley, skipper Don Baylor's Cubs put together a good season in 2001. The season started with Mack Newton being brought in to preach "positive thinking." One of the biggest stories of the season transpired as the club made a midseason deal for Fred McGriff, which was drawn out for nearly a month as McGriff debated waiving his no-trade clause, as the Cubs led the wild card race by 2.5 games in early September. That run died when Preston Wilson hit a three run walk off homer off of closer Tom "Flash" Gordon, which halted the team's momentum. The team was unable to make another serious charge, and finished at 88–74, five games behind both Houston and St. Louis, who tied for first. Sosa had perhaps his finest season and Jon Lieber led the staff with a 20 win season.
The Cubs had high expectations in 2002, but the squad played poorly. On July 5, 2002 the Cubs promoted assistant general manager and player personnel director Jim Hendry to the General Manager position. The club responded by hiring Dusty Baker and by making some major moves in '03. Most notably, they traded with the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Kenny Lofton and third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and rode dominant pitching, led by Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, as the Cubs led the division down the stretch.
Chicago halted St. Louis' run to the playoffs by taking 4 of 5 games from the Cardinals at Wrigley Field in early September, after which the hapless Cubs finally won their first division title in 14 years. They then went on to defeat the Atlanta Braves in a dramatic five-game Division Series, the franchise's first postseason series win since beating the Detroit Tigers in the 1908 World Series.
After losing an extra-inning game in Game 1, the Cubs rallied and took a 3 games to 1 lead over the Wild Card Florida Marlins in the NLCS. Florida shut the Cubs out in Game 5, but young pitcher Mark Prior led the Cubs in Game 6 as they took a 3–0 lead into the 8th inning and it was at this point when a now-infamous incident took place. Several spectators attempted to catch a foul ball off the bat of Luis Castillo. A Chicago Cubs fan by the name of Steve Bartman, of Northbrook, IL, reached for the ball and deflected it away from the glove of Moisés Alou for the second out of the 8th inning. Alou reacted angrily toward the stands, and after the game stated that he would have caught the ball. Alou at one point recanted, saying he would not have been able to make the play, but later said this was just an attempt to make Bartman feel better and believing the whole incident should be forgotten. Interference was not called on the play, as the ball was ruled to be on the spectator side of the wall. Castillo was eventually walked by Prior. Two batters later, and to the horror of the packed stadium, Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez misplayed an inning ending double play, loading the bases and leading to eight Florida runs and a Marlin victory. Despite sending Kerry Wood to the mound and holding a lead twice, the Cubs ultimately dropped Game 7, and failed to reach the World Series.
In 2004, the Cubs were a consensus pick by most media outlets to win the World Series. The offseason acquisition of Derek Lee (who was acquired in a trade with Florida for Hee-seop Choi) and the return of Greg Maddux only bolstered these expectation. Despite a mid-season deal for Nomar Garciaparra, misfortune struck the Cubs again. They led the Wild Card by 1.5 games over San Francisco and Houston on September 25, and both of those teams lost that day, giving the Cubs a chance at increasing the lead to a commanding 2.5 games with only eight games remaining in the season, but reliever LaTroy Hawkins blew a save to the Mets, and the Cubs lost the game in extra innings, a defeat that seemingly deflated the team, as they proceeded to drop 6 of their last 8 games as the Astros won the Wild Card. Despite the fact that the Cubs had won 89 games, this fallout was decidedly unlovable, as the Cubs traded superstar Sammy Sosa after he had left the season's final game early and then lied about it publicly. Already a controversial figure in the clubhouse after his corked-bat incident, Sammy's actions alienated much of his once strong fan base as well as the few teammates still on good terms with him, (many teammates had tired of Sosa's playing of loud salsa music in the locker room)and possibly tarnished his place in Cubs' lore for years to come. The disappointing season also saw fans start to become frustrated with the constant injuries to ace pitchers Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. Additionally, the '04 season led to the departure of popular commentator Steve Stone, who had become increasingly critical of management during broadcasts and was verbally attacked by reliever Kent Mercker. Things were no better in 2005, despite a career year from first baseman Derrek Lee and the emergence of closer Ryan Dempster. The club struggled and suffered more key injuries, only managing to win 79 games after being picked by many to be a serious contender for the N.L. pennant. In 2006, bottom fell out as the Cubs finished 66–96, last in the NL Central.
After finishing last in the N.L. Central with 66 wins in 2006, the Cubs re-tooled and went from "worst to first" in 2007. In the offseason they signed Alfonso Soriano to the richest contract in Cubs history at 8 years for $136 million, and replaced unpopular skipper Dusty Baker with fiery veteran manager Lou Piniella. After a rough start, which included a brawl between Michael Barrett and Carlos Zambrano, the Cubs overcame the Milwaukee Brewers, who had led the division for most of the season, with winning streaks in June and July, coupled with a pair of dramatic, late-inning wins against the Reds, and ultimately clinched the NL Central with a record of 85–77. They met Arizona in the NLDS, but controversy followed as Piniella, in a move that has since come under scrutiny, pulled Carlos Zambrano after the sixth inning of a pitcher's duel with D-Backs ace Brandon Webb, to "....save Zambrano for (a potential) Game 4." The Cubs, however, were unable to come through, losing the first game and eventually stranding over 30 baserunners in a 3-game Arizona sweep.
The Tribune company, in financial distress, was acquired by real-estate mogul Sam Zell in December 2007. This acquisition included the Cubs. However, Zell did not take an active part in running the baseball franchise, instead concentrating on putting together a deal to sell it. For that reason, the 2008 season may be regarded as the last hurrah of the Tribune years. New management had not yet had an impact on the team in 2008. Lou Piniella remained as the on-field manager.
The Cubs successfully defended their National League Central title in 2008, going to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 1906–08. The offseason was dominated by three months of unsuccessful trade talks with the Orioles involving 2B Brian Roberts, as well as the signing of Chunichi Dragons star Kosuke Fukudome. The team recorded their 10,000th win in April, while establishing an early division lead. Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds were added early on and Rich Harden was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in early July. The Cubs headed into the All-Star break with the N.L.'s best record, and tied the league record with eight representatives to the All-Star game, including catcher Geovany Soto, who was named Rookie of the Year.The Cubs took control of the division by sweeping a four game series in Milwaukee. On September 14, in a game moved to Miller Park due to Hurricane Ike, Zambrano pitched a no-hitter against the Astros, and six days later the team clinched by beating St. Louis at Wrigley. The club ended the season with a 97–64 record and met Los Angeles in the NLDS. The heavily favored Cubs took an early lead in Game 1, but James Loney's grand slam off Ryan Dempster changed the series' momentum. Chicago committed numerous critical errors and were outscored 20–6 in a Dodger sweep, which provided yet another sudden and stunning ending to what had once been looked at as a season of destiny.
The Ricketts family acquired a majority interest in the Cubs in 2009, ending the Tribune years. Apparently handcuffed by the Tribune's bankruptcy and the sale of the club to the Ricketts family, the Cubs' quest for a NL Central 3-peat started with notice that there would be less invested into contracts than in previous years. Chicago engaged St. Louis in a see-saw battle for first place into August 2009, but the Cardinals played to a torrid 20–6 pace that month, designating their rivals to battle in the Wild Card race, from which they were eliminated in the season's final week. The Cubs were plagued by injuries in 2009, and were only able to field their Opening Day starting lineup three times the entire season. Third baseman Aramis Ramírez injured his throwing shoulder in an early May game against the Milwaukee Brewers, sidelining him until early July and forcing journeyman players like Mike Fontenot and Aaron Miles into more prominent roles. Additionally, key players like Derrek Lee (who still managed to hit .306 with 35 HR and 111 RBI that season), Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto also nursed nagging injuries. The Cubs posted a winning record (83–78) for the third consecutive season, the first time the club had done so since 1972, and a new era of ownership under the Ricketts' family was approved by MLB owners in early October.
Rookie Starlin Castro debuted in early May as the starting shortstop. However, the club played poorly in the early season, finding themselves 10 games under .500 at the end of June. In addition, long-time ace Carlos Zambrano was pulled from a game against the White Sox on June 25 after a tirade and shoving match with Derrek Lee, and was suspended indefinitely by Jim Hendry, who called the conduct "unacceptable." On August 22, Lou Piniella, who had already announced his retirement at the end of the season, announced that he would leave the Cubs prematurely to take care of his sick mother. Mike Quade took over as the interim manager for the final 37 games of the year. Despite being well out of playoff contention the Cubs went 24–13 under Quade, the best record in baseball during that 37 game stretch, earning Quade to have the interim tag removed on October 19.
On December 3, Cubs broadcaster and former third baseman, Ron Santo, died due to complications from bladder cancer and diabetes. He spent 13 seasons as a player with the Cubs, and at the time of his death was regarded as one of the greatest players not in the Hall of Fame. He has since been elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
Despite trading for pitcher Matt Garza and signing free-agent slugger Carlos Pena, the Cubs finished the 2011 season 20 games under .500 with a record of 71-91. Weeks after the season came to an end, the club was rejuvenated in the form of a new philosophy, as owner Tom Ricketts signed Theo Epstein away from the Boston Red Sox, naming him club President and giving him a five-year contract worth over $18M, and subsequently discharged the GM Jim Hendry manager Mike Quade. Epstein, a proponent of sabremetrics and one of the architects of two world series titles in Boston brought along Jed Hoyer to fill the role of GM and hired Dale Sveum as manager. Although the team had a dismal 2012 season, losing 101 games (the worst record since 1966) it was largely expected. The youth movement ushered in by Epstein and Hoyer began as longtime fan favorite Kerry Wood retired in May, followed by Ryan Dempster and Geovany Soto being traded to Texas at the All-Star break for a group of minor league prospects headlined by Christian Villanueva. The development of Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Darwin Barney, Brett Jackson and pitcher Jeff Samardzija as well as the replenishing of the minor-league system with prospects such as Javier Baez, Albert Almora, and Jorge Soler became the primary focus of the season, a philosophy which the new management said would carry over at least through the 2013 season. The club also made a market savvy move in transitioning its long running single-A affiliation with the Peoria Chiefs to one with the nearby Kane County Cougars]
60-day disabled list
25 active, 15 inactive
7- or 15-day disabled list
† Suspended list
# Personal leave
updated July 26, 2013
→ All MLB rosters
On September 23, 1908, the Cubs and New York Giants were involved in a tight pennant race. The two clubs were tied in the bottom of the ninth inning at the Polo Grounds, and N.Y. had runners on first and third and two outs when Al Bridwell singled, scoring Moose McCormick from third with the Giants' apparent winning run, but the runner on first base, rookie Fred Merkle, left the field without touching second base. As fans swarmed the field, Cub infielder Johnny Evers retrieved the ball and touched second. Since there were two outs, a forceout was called at second base, ending the inning and the game. Because of the tie the Giants and Cubs ended up tied for first place. The Giants lost the ensuing one-game playoff and the Cubs went on to the World Series.
Slugger Hack Wilson had a combative streak and frequently initiated fights with opposing players and fans. On June 22, 1928, a riot broke out in the ninth inning at Wrigley Field against the St. Louis Cardinals when Wilson jumped into the box seats to attack a heckling fan. An estimated 5,000 spectators swarmed the field before police could separate the combatants and restore order. The fan sued Wilson for $20,000, but a jury ruled in Wilson's favor.
Hack Wilson set a record of 56 home-runs and 190 runs-batted-in in 1930, breaking Lou Gehrig's MLB record of 176 RBI. (In 1999, a long-lost extra RBI mistakenly credited to Charlie Grimm had been found by Cooperstown researcher Cliff Kachline and verified by historian Jerome Holtzman, increasing the record number to 191.) As of 2013 the record still stands, with no serious threats coming since Gehrig (184) and Hank Greenberg (183) in the same era. The closest anyone has come to the mark in the last 75 years was Manny Ramirez's 165 RBI in 1999. In addition to the RBI record, Wilson 56 home-runs stood as the National League record until 1998, when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire hit 66 and 70, respectively. Wilson was named "Most Useful" player that year by the Baseball Writers Association of America, as the official N.L. Most Valuable Player Award was not awarded until the next season.
On September 28, 1938, with the Cubs and Pirates tied at 5, Gabby Hartnett stepped to the plate in a lightless Wrigley Field that was gradually being overcome by darkness and visibility was becoming difficult. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the umpires ready to end the game, Hartnett launched Pirate hurler Mace Brown's offering into the gloom and haze. This would be remembered as his "Homer in the Gloamin.
" It was ranked by ESPN as the 47th greatest home run of all time.
On April 25, 1976, at Dodger Stadium, father-and-son protestors ran into the outfield and tried to set fire to a U.S. flag. When Cubs outfielder Rick Monday noticed the flag on the ground and the man and boy fumbling with matches and lighter fluid, he dashed over and snatched the flag to thunderous applause. When he came up to bat in the next half-inning, he got a standing ovation from the crowd and the stadium titantron flashed the message, "RICK MONDAY... YOU MADE A GREAT PLAY..." Monday later said, "If you're going to burn the flag, don't do it around me. I've been to too many veterans' hospitals and seen too many broken bodies of guys who tried to protect it."
On June 23, 1984, Chicago trailed St. Louis 9–8 in the bottom of the ninth on NBC's Game of the Week when Ryne Sandberg, known mostly for his glove, slugged a game-tying home run off ace closer Bruce Sutter. Despite this, the Cardinals scored two runs in the top of the tenth. Sandberg came up again facing Sutter with one man on base, and hit yet another game tying home run, and Ryno
became a household name. The Cubs won what has become known as "The Sandberg Game
" in the 11th inning.
In June, 1998 Sammy Sosa exploded into the pursuit of Roger Maris' home run record. Sosa had 13 home runs entering the month, representing less than half of Mark McGwire's total. Sosa had his first of four multi-home run games that month on June 1, and went on to break Rudy York's record with 20 home runs in the month, a record that still stands. By the end of his historic month, the outfielder's 33 home runs tied him with Ken Griffey, Jr. and left him only four behind McGwire's 37. Sosa finished with 66 and won the NL MVP Award.
On April 23, 2008, against the Colorado Rockies, the Cubs recorded the 10,000th regular-season win in their franchise's history dating back to the beginning of the National League in 1876. The Cubs reached the milestone with an overall National League record of 10,000 wins and 9,465 losses. Chicago is only the second club in Major League Baseball history to attain this milestone, the first having been the San Francisco Giants in mid-season 2005. The Cubs, however, hold the mark for victories for a team in a single city. The Chicago club's 77–77 record in the National Association (1871, 1874–1875) is not included in MLB record keeping. Post-season series are also not included in the totals. To honor the milestone, the Cubs flew an extra white flag displaying "10,000" in blue, along with the customary "W" flag.
In only his third career start, Kerry Wood struck out 20 batters against Houston on May 6, 1998. This is the franchise record and tied for the Major League record. The game is often considered the most dominant pitching performance of all time. Wood hit one batter, Craig Biggio, and allowed one hit, a scratch single by Ricky Gutiérrez off third baseman Kevin Orie's glove. The play was nearly scored an error, which would have given Wood a no-hitter.
The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series championship since 1908, and have not appeared in the Fall Classic since 1945, although between their postseason appearance in 1984 and their most recent in 2008, they have made the postseason six times. It is the longest title drought in all four of the major American professional sports leagues, which includes the NFL, NBA, NHL, as well as Major League Baseball. In fact, the Cubs' last World Series title occurred before those other three leagues even existed, and even the Cubs' last World Series appearance predates the founding of the NBA. The much publicized drought was concurrent to championship droughts by the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox, who both had over 80 years between championships. It is this unfortunate distinction that has led to the club often being known as "The Lovable Losers." The team was one win away from breaking what is often called "The Curse of the Billy Goat" in 1984 and 2003, in which ironically both runs ended due to errors by Leon Durham and Alex S. Gonzalez, respectively.
On May 11, 2000, Glenallen Hill, facing Brewers starter Steve Woodard, became the first, and thus far only player, to hit a pitched ball onto the roof of a five-story residential building across Waveland Ave, beyond Wrigley Field's left field wall. The shot was estimated at well over 500 feet (150 m), but the Cubs fell to Milwaukee 12–8. No batted ball has ever hit the center field scoreboard, although the original "Slammin' Sammy", golfer Sam Snead, hit it with a golf ball in an exhibition in the 1950s. In 1948, Bill Nicholson barely missed the scoreboard when he launched a home run ball onto Sheffield Avenue and in 1959, Roberto Clemente came even closer with a home run ball hit onto Waveland Avenue. In 2001, a Sammy Sosa shot landed across Waveland and bounced a block down Kenmore Avenue. Dave Kingman hit a shot in 1978 that hit the third porch roof on the east side of Kenmore, estimated at 555 feet (169 m), and is regarded as the longest home run in Wrigley Field history.
Grover Cleveland Alexander
The Chicago Cubs retired numbers are commemorated on pinstriped flags flying from the foul poles at Wrigley Field, with the exception of Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodgers player whose number 42 was retired for all clubs. The first retired number flag, Ernie Banks' number 14, was raised on the left field pole, and they have alternated since then. 14, 10 and 31 (Jenkins) fly on the left field pole; and 26, 23 and 31 (Maddux) fly on the right field pole.
Before signing a developmental agreement with the Kane County Cougars in 2012, the Cubs had a Class A minor league affiliation on two occasions with the Peoria Chiefs (1985-1995 and 2004-2012). Ryne Sandberg managed the Chiefs from 2006-2010. In the period between those associations with the Chiefs the club had affiliations with the Dayton Dragons and Lansing Lugnuts. The Lugnuts were often affectionately referred to by Chip Caray as "Steve Stone's favorite team." The 2007 developmental contract with the Tennessee Smokies was preceded by Double A affiliations with the Orlando Cubs and West Tenn Diamond Jaxx.
The Cubs spring training facility is located in Mesa, Arizona, where they play in the Cactus League. The club plays its games at HoHoKam Park(1979–2013), Dwight Patterson Field. "HoHoKam" is literally translated from Native American as "those who vanished." The park seats just under 13,567, and the Cubs annually sell out most of their games both at home and on the road. The Northsiders have called Mesa their spring home for most seasons since 1952. In addition to Mesa, the club has held spring training in Champaign, Illinois (1901–02, 1906); Los Angeles (1903–04, 1948–1949), Santa Monica, California (1905); New Orleans (1907, 1911–1912); French Lick, Indiana. (1908, 1943-1945); Hot Springs, Arkansas (1909–1910); Tampa (1913–1916); Pasadena, Cal. (1917–1921); Santa Catalina Island, California (1922–1942, 1946–1947, 1950–1951); Rendezvous Park in Mesa (1952–1965); Long Beach, California (1966); and Scottsdale, Arizona (1967–1978).
The curious location on Catalina Island stemmed from Cubs owner William Wrigley Jr.'s then-majority interest in the island in 1919. Wrigley constructed a ballpark on the island to house the Cubs in spring training: it was built to the same dimensions as Wrigley Field. (The ballpark is long gone, but a clubhouse built by Wrigley to house the Cubs exists as the Catalina County Club.) However by 1951 the team chose to leave Catalina Island and spring training was shifted to Mesa, Arizona. The Cubs' 30-year association with Catalina is chronicled in the book, The Cubs on Catalina,
by Jim Vitti . . . which was named International 'Book of the Year' by The Sporting News
The current location in Mesa is actually the second HoHoKam Park; the first was built in 1976 as the spring-training home of the Oakland Athletics who left the park in 1979. Apart from HoHoKam Park the Cubs also have another Mesa training facility called Fitch Park, this complex provides 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of team facilities, including major league clubhouse, four practice fields, one practice infield, enclosed batting tunnels, batting cages, a maintenance facility, and administrative offices for the Cubs.
After considering relocating to Grapefruit League in Naples, Florida the Cubs reached an agreement with the City of Mesa to build a new spring training complex referred as Wrigleyville West near Mesa Riverview. The citizens of Mesa voted largely in favor of a 2010 Proposition 420 to fund construction for the facility. The complex is set to be ready for 2014 Spring Training.
The Cubs' flagship radio station is WGN/720 AM. The Chicago Cubs Radio Network consists of 45 stations and covers at least eleven states. WGN Radio is owned and operated by Tribune Company. With the recent end of the Pittsburgh Pirates' run on KDKA, this may now be the longest team-to-station relationship in MLB.
Pat Hughes and Keith Moreland host Cubs radio broadcasts WGN Radio. Prior to 2011, Hughes and Ron Santo had a memorable run as partners on WGN Radio, known as The Pat and Ron Show, which began in 1990 and the show ended with Santo's death on December 3, 2010.
The club also produces its own print media; the Cubs' official magazine Vineline
, which has 12 annual issues, is in its third decade, and spotlights players and events involving the club. The club also publishes a traditional media guide.
Cubs telecasts are locally aired on three different outlets: Over broadcast television via the WGN television outlets (both the local station on Channel 9 and the superstation nationally, produced through the station's WGN Sports department), Weigel Broadcasting's WCIU-TV (Channel 26.1), also produced by WGN Sports, with WCIU games airing over a statewide network of broadcast stations known as "CubsNet", and on cable television over CSN Chicago (of which the Ricketts family owns a 20% interest), with some games, mainly on Wednesday evenings, airing over the supplemental CSN+ channel. Len Kasper has been the Cubs' television play-by-play announcer since 2005 and was joined by Jim Deshaies in 2013. Bob Brenly, Thom Brennaman, Chip Caray, Dave Otto, and Joe Carter also spent time broadcasting from the Cubs booth since the death of Harry Caray in 1998. have announced the team's games on television.
Jack Brickhouse manned the Cubs radio and especially the TV booth for parts of five decades, the 34-season span from 1948 to 1981. He covered the games with a level of enthusiasm that often seemed unjustified by the team's poor performance on the field for many of those years. His trademark call "Hey Hey!"
always followed a home run. That expression is spelled out in large letters vertically on both foul pole screens at Wrigley Field. "Whoo-boy!" and "Wheeee!" and "Oh, brother!" were among his other pet expressions. When he approached retirement age, he personally recommended his successor.
Harry Caray's stamp on the team is perhaps even deeper than that of Brickhouse, although his 17-year tenure, from 1982 to 1997, was half as long. First, Caray had already become a well-known Chicago figure by broadcasting White Sox games for a decade, after having been a St Louis Cardinals icon for 25 years. Caray also had the benefit of being in the booth during the NL East title run in 1984, which was widely seen due to WGN's status as a cable-TV superstation. His trademark call of "Holy Cow!"
and his enthusiastic singing of "Take me out to the ballgame
" during the 7th inning stretch (as he had done with the White Sox) made Caray a fan favorite both locally and nationally. Caray had lively discussions with commentator Steve Stone, who was hand-picked by Harry himself, and producer Arne Harris. Caray often playfully quarreled with Stone over Stone's cigar and why Stone was single, while Stone would counter with poking fun at Harry being "under the influence." Stone disclosed in his book "Where's Harry
" that most of this "arguing" was staged, and usually a ploy developed by Harry himself to add flavor to the broadcast. The Cubs still have a "guest conductor," usually a celebrity, lead the crowd in singing "Take me out to the ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch to honor Caray's memory.
Al Spalding, who also owned Spalding sporting goods, played for the team for two seasons under club founder William Hulbert. After Hulbert's death Spalding owned the club for twenty one years, after which the Cubs were purchased by Albert Lasker and Charles Weeghman. That pair were followed by the Wrigley family, owners of Wrigley's chewing gum. In 1981, after 6 decades under the Wrigley family, the Cubs were purchased by Tribune Company for $20,500,000. Tribune, which also owned the Chicago Tribune
, Los Angeles Times
, WGN Television
, WGN Radio
and many other media outlets, controlled the club until December 2007, when Sam Zell completed his purchase of the entire Tribune organization and announced his intention to sell the baseball team. After a nearly two-year process which involved potential buyers such as Mark Cuban and a group led by Hank Aaron, a family trust of TD Ameritrade Joe Ricketts won the bidding process as the 2009 season came to a close. Ultimately, the sale was unanimously approved by MLB owners and the Ricketts family took control on October 27, 2009.
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon,"
also known as "Tinker to Evers to Chance"
after its refrain, is a 1910 baseball poem by Franklin Pierce Adams. The poem is presented as a single, rueful stanza from the point of view of a New York Giants fan seeing the talented Chicago Cubs infield of shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers, and first baseman Frank Chance complete a double play. The trio began playing together with the Cubs in 1902, and formed a double play combination that lasted through April 1912. The Cubs won the pennant four times between 1906 and 1910, often defeating the Giants en route to the World Series.
The poem was first published in the New York Evening Mail
on July 12, 1912. Popular among sportswriters, numerous additional verses were written. The poem gave Tinker, Evers, and Chance increased popularity and been credited with their elections to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.
The term "White flag time at Wrigley!"
, coined by former play-by-play broadcaster Chip Caray, means the Cubs have won.
Beginning in the days of P.K. Wrigley and the 1937 bleacher/scoreboard reconstruction, and prior to modern media saturation, a flag with either a "W" or an "L" has flown from atop the scoreboard masthead, indicating the day's result(s) when baseball was played at Wrigley. In case of a doubleheader that results in a split, both the "win" and "loss" flags are flown.
Past Cubs media guides show that originally the flags were blue with a white "W" and white with a blue "L". In 1978, consistent with the dominant colors of the flags, blue and white lights were mounted atop the scoreboard, denoting "win" and "loss" respectively for the benefit of nighttime passers-by.
The flags were replaced by 1990, the first year in which the Cubs media guide reports the switch to the now familiar colors of the flags: White with blue "W" and blue with white "L". In addition to needing to replace the worn-out flags, by then the retired numbers of Banks and Williams were flying on the foul poles, as white with blue numbers; so the "good" flag was switched to match that scheme.
This long-established tradition has evolved to fans carrying the white-with-blue-W flags to both home and away games, and displaying them after a Cub win. The flags have become more and more popular each season since 1998, and are now even sold as T-shirts with the same layout. In 2009, the tradition spilled over to the NHL as Chicago Blackhawks fans adopted a red and black "W" flag of their own.
The official Cub mascot is a young bear cub, which has gone through various transformations through the years and was the inspiration of the Chicago Staleys changing their team's name to the Chicago Bears, due to the Cubs allowing the football team to play at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs have no official physical mascot, though a man in a 'polar bear' looking outfit, called "The Bear-man" (or Beeman), which was not very popular with the fans, was employed by the club briefly in the early 1990s. Currently, there are "Cubbie-bear" mascots outside of Wrigley on game day, but none are employed by the team. They pose for pictures with fans for tips.
Another unofficial but much more notable mascot is Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers who is a longtime fan and local celebrity in the Chicago area. He is known to Wrigley Field visitors for his idiosyncratic cheers at baseball games, generally punctuated with an exclamatory "Woo!" (e.g., "Cubs, woo! Cubs, woo! Big-Z, woo! Zambrano, woo! Cubs, woo!") Longtime Cubs announcer Harry Caray dubbed Wickers "Leather Lungs" for his ability to shout for hours at a time. He is not employed by the team, although the club has on two separate occasions allowed him into the broadcast booth and allow him some degree of freedom once he purchases or is given a ticket by fans to get into the games. He is largely allowed to roam the park and interact with fans by Wrigley Field security, although there have been numerous minor occurrences where Wickers has had confrontations with fans who do not approve of his antics.
The Cubs have played their home games at Wrigley Field, also known as "The Friendly Confines"
since 1916. It was built in 1914 as Weeghman Park
for the Chicago Whales, a Federal League
baseball team. The Cubs also shared the park with the Chicago Bears of the NFL for 50 years. The ballpark includes a manual scoreboard, ivy-covered brick walls, and relatively small dimensions.
Located in Chicago's Lake View neighborhood, Wrigley Field sits on an irregular block bounded by Clark and Addison Streets and Waveland and Sheffield Avenues. The area surrounding the ballpark is typically referred to as Wrigleyville. There is a dense collection of sports bars and restaurants in the area, most with baseball inspired themes, including Sluggers, Murphy's Bleachers and The Cubby Bear. Many of the apartment buildings surrounding Wrigley Field on Waveland and Sheffield Avenues have built bleachers on their rooftops for fans to view games and other sell space for advertisement. One building on Sheffield Avenue has a sign atop it's roof which says "Eamus Catuli!" which is Latin for "Let's Go Cubs!" and another chronicles the time since the last Division title, pennant, and World Series championship, as shown in the picture to the left. The 02 denotes two years since the 2008 NL Central title, 65 years since the 1945 pennant and 102 years since the 1908 World Series championship. On game days, many residents rent out their yards and driveways to people looking for parking spots. The uniqueness of the neighborhood itself has ingrained itself into the culture of the Chicago Cubs as well as the Wrigleyville neighborhood, and has led to being used for concerts and other sporting events, such as the 2010 NHL Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, as well as a 2010 NCAA men's football game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Illinois Fighting Illini.
In 2013, Tom Ricketts and team president Crane Kenney unveiled plans for a $300M renovation to Wrigley Field to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. The proposed plans include a 6000 square foot jumbotron in left center field, and a return of some of the parks features from the 1930s, including recreating the green terra-cotta canopies and wrought-iron fencing that were part of Wrigley in that era. Previously, mostly all efforts to conduct large-scale renovations the field to former mayor Richard M. Daley (a staunch White Sox fan) had been opposed by the city and rooftop owners.
The "Bleacher Bums" is a name given to fans, many of whom spend much of the day heckling, who sit in the bleacher section at Wrigley Field. Initially, the group was called "bums" because it referred to a group of fans who were at most games, and since those games were all day games, it was assumed they did not work. Many of those fans were, and are still, students at Chicago area colleges, such as DePaul University, Loyola, Northwestern University, and Illinois-Chicago. A Broadway play, starring Joe Mantegna, Dennis Farina, Dennis Franz, and James Belushi ran for years and was based on a group of Cub fans who frequented the club's games. The group was started in 1967 by dedicated fans Ron Grousl, Tom Nall and "mad bugler" Mike Murphy, who was a sports radio host during mid days on Chicago-based WSCR AM 670 "The Score". Murphy alleges that Grousl started the Wrigley tradition of throwing back opposing teams' home run balls. The current group is headed by Derek Schaul. Prior to the 2006 season, they were updated, with new shops and private bar (The Batter's Eye) being added, and Bud Light bought naming rights to the bleacher section, dubbing them the Bud Light Bleachers
. Bleachers at Wrigley are general admission.
In 1975, a group of Chicago Cubs fans based in Washington, D.C. formed the Emil Verban Society. The society is a select club of high profile Cub fans, currently headed by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin which is named for Emil Verban, who in three seasons with the Cubs in the 1940s batted .280 with 39 runs batted in and one home run. Verban was picked as the epitome of a Cub player, explains columnist George Will, because "He exemplified mediocrity under pressure, he was competent but obscure and typifying of the work ethics." Verban initially believed he was being ridiculed, but his ill feeling disappeared several years later when he was flown to Washington to meet President Ronald Reagan, also a society member, at the White House. Hillary Clinton, Jim Belushi, Joe Mantegna, Rahm Emanuel, Dick Cheney and many others have been included among its membership.
During the summer of 1969, a Chicago studio group produced a single record called "Hey Hey! Holy Mackerel! (The Cubs Song)" whose title and lyrics incorporated the catch-phrases of the respective TV and radio announcers for the Cubs, Jack Brickhouse and Vince Lloyd. Several members of the Cubs recorded an album called Cub Power
which contained a cover of the song. The song received a good deal of local airplay that summer, associating it very strongly with that bittersweet season. It was played much less frequently thereafter, although it remained an unofficial Cubs theme song for some years after.
For many years, Cubs radio broadcasts started with "It's a Beautiful Day for a Ball Game" by the Harry Simeone Chorale. In 1979, Roger Bain released a 45 rpm record of his song "Thanks Mr. Banks," to honor “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks.
The song "Go, Cubs, Go!" by Steve Goodman was recorded early in the 1984 season, and was heard frequently during that season. Goodman died in September of that year, four days before the Cubs clinched the National League Eastern Division title, their first title in 39 years. Since 1984, the song started being played from time to time at Wrigley Field; since 2007, the song has been played over the loudspeakers following each Cubs home victory.
In 2007, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder composed a song dedicated to the team called "All the Way". Vedder, a Chicago native, and lifelong Cubs fan, composed the song at the request of Ernie Banks. Pearl Jam has only played this song live one time, on August 2, 2007 at the Vic Theater in Chicago, IL. Eddie Vedder has played this song live twice, at his solo shows at the Chicago Auditorium on August 21 and 22, 2008.
An album entitled Take Me Out to a Cubs Game
was released in 2008. It is a collection of 17 songs and other recordings related to the team, including Harry Caray's final performance of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" on September 21, 1997, the Steve Goodman song mentioned above, and a newly-recorded rendition of "Talkin' Baseball" (subtitled "Baseball and the Cubs") by Terry Cashman. The album was produced in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Cubs' 1908 World Series victory and contains sounds and songs of the Cubs and Wrigley Field.
A state government (provincial government in Canada) is the government of a country subdivision in a federal form of government, which shares political power with the federal or national government. A state government may have some level of political autonomy, or be subject to the direct control of the federal government. This relationship may be defined by a constitution.
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