Yearbook, Dec. 9: Cubs lose (players)

Dec. 9, 1992: We'll let Joey Reaves of the Chicago Tribune start us off:

Surely, the Chicago Fire was worse.

But that was a long time ago.

Right now, for Cubs fans, the loss of Greg Maddux and Andre Dawson seems about the biggest disaster to hit Chicago in a century.

Such was the feeling 20 years ago, when the Chicago Cubs -- they of three consecutive losing seasons after a 1989 trip to the National League Championship Series -- kept losing, this time off the field, with the free-agent departures of five-time North Side All-Star (and onetime MVP) Dawson to the Boston Red Sox and, more importantly, rising ace (and reigning Cy Young winner) Maddux to the Atlanta Braves.

Sure, Chicagoans had no idea 2003 (read: the Bartman Incident) would happen. And yes, the 38-year-old Dawson's Hall of Fame talent already had diminished. But so, too, had hopes in Wrigleyville; the Cubs reached the playoffs just once in the next 10 years (and, of course, they're still searching for their first World Series title since 1908).