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Few alive from 1908 when Cubs last won World Series—study

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Soon, they’ll all be gone.

Makes sense there aren’t many people around who could spin yarns about the Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance double-play combo of the 1908 Cubs, but a study estimates that sometime in the middle of the next decade, no one will be alive from the last time the Cubs won the World Series.

Of course, that’s if this young Cubs team doesn’t put an end to all the “Wait ‘Til Next Years.”

From WBEZ:

When the team last won in 1908, the Census Bureau estimates 88 million people were living in the United States. Survivors of that cohort have experienced two wars, put a man on the moon and saw the election of the nation’s first first black president. The dwindling remnant has witnessed no other celebrations at Wrigley Field. And, as each season has come and gone, that group of potential championship witnesses has kept losing members, down to fewer than 50,000 in 2008. …

The Social Security Administration estimates the mortality rate of people older than 107 at more than 50 percent, so the team loses half of its potential witnesses each year. Within the next decade, there won’t be a human being on Earth older than the Cubs’ streak of futility.

Using Census Bureau data, WBEZ came up with a World Series mortality tracker, which really shows the grim realization of Cubs’ fandom:

The White Sox had a nice bounce back in 2005.

But if you really want to know how bad it’s been for Cubs fans, take a look at the Yankees graph. Since the Babe Ruth-led Yanks won the first of their 27 championships in 1923, the Yankees have never had less than 120 million people alive who could have witnessed their greatness. The Cubs’ peak was 88 million in 1908 and has progressively declined to around 400 today.