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Here Come the Cardinals

The rivalry between the Cubs and Cardinals is probably the oldest and best in baseball, no matter how the Red Sox and Yankees spit and spite at each other. That's a tabloid-fueled soap opera about money and ego and sound bites. That's a pair of bratty high-priced supermodels trying to trip each other in their stilettos on the runway. The Cards-Cubs epic is about roots and geography and territorial rights. It's entwined in the Midwestern blood and therefore refreshing and honest and even heroic.–Buzz Bissinger, from 3 Nights in August

The Cubs-Cardinals rivalry is one of the most intense in baseball, dating back to when players traveled by train and these two franchises represented the western edge of the Major Leagues. The teams first played in 1892 and have faced each other more than 2,000 times since, with the Cubs holding a slight edge overall. There is little doubt the Cardinals have the more impressive past, though, with 10 world titles to the Cubs’ two; the Cards have two pennants and a World Series title this decade alone. That can make the annual invasion of Cards' fans somewhat annoying, although they are almost uniformly friendly. You'll see them strolling Michigan Avenue in their conspicuous, bright red caps, riding the El up to the park in packs and, on summer weekends, taking up a good many seats at Wrigley. Although ballpark disputes are rare, a little creative heckling never hurt anyone.