Thanks to "Back To The Future II," we know that the Cubs will win this year's World Series. But what do the next decades hold for Chicago and baseball in general? We traveled 30 years into the future to peek at the 2045 Baseball Almanac.
10/7/2015 | By Jim Caple
he Chicago Cubs play the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League wild-card game Wednesday, but we already know who will win. That's because Marty McFly learned that the Cubs swept the 2015 World Series when he traveled 30 years ahead in time in "Back to the Future, Part II.'' He also found the 1950-2000 edition of Grays Sports Almanac, which listed the results of every major sporting event during that span.
So we know that the Cubs will win this year's World Series. But what do the next decades hold for Chicago and baseball in general? You've come to the right place, because we traveled 30 years into the future to peek at the 2045 Baseball Almanac.
2016: Royals Fans Trump the Vote
Online balloting for the All-Star Game proved even more problematic and controversial after Kansas City fans abused the system and voted Donald Trump onto the American League team. Angry New York democrats insisted that the final All-Star should be Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
2017: Cubs A Bit Out Of Whack
The two-time defending world champion Cubs lost a club-record 15 consecutive games after manager Joe Maddon was placed on leave of absence because of injuries incurred during a hit ordered by newly named St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony Soprano. In a related story, North Korea and China accused the Cardinals of hacking their computer systems.
2018: Padres Get Sirious, Hire New GM
In another sign of baseball's increasing trend toward advanced metrics and technology, the Padres replaced general manager A.J. Preller with Siri and the iPhone7. "I found three free agents who are close to you and have a career OPS of .900 or better,'' Siri announced.
2019: Squeezed Out Of Tropicana Field
After finishing last in attendance yet again, the AL East champion Rays announced they will move to a location where they can draw larger crowds than they could in the Tampa Bay area. Among the sites they said they would consider are Las Vegas, Montreal, Portland, Scranton and Irkutsk, Siberia.
2020: One Hall Of A Traffic Jam
Cars were trapped for seven days on I-87 and Highway 20 in upstate New York as part of the nation's worst traffic jam in history. Furious motorists complained that U.S. secretary of transportation Chris Christie should have seen this coming and planned accordingly in advance of Derek Jeter's Hall of Fame induction.
2021: The Kanye West Wing
Fans at Wrigley Field tossed the ceremonial first pitch of the World Series back onto the field after it had been thrown over the dugout and into the stands by President Kanye West. "His pitch was just a bit outside,'' said White House Press Secretary Harry Doyle.
2022: He Feared the Beards
Looking to improve the face of the game, Commissioner Rob Manfred imposed new facial-hair restrictions after baseballs were repeatedly getting lost in players' beards for ground-rule doubles.
2023: That's How You Throw Like A Girl
In one of the biggest breakthroughs in sports history, Mo'ne Davis became the first woman to play in the majors when she pitched a 4-0 shutout for the Phillies. Sexist naysayers downplayed the feat by saying it was no big deal because she was merely pitching against the Marlins.
2024: And the Gold Medal Goes to Milwaukee
Baseball officially became an Olympic sport again after officials compromised on a plan that allows the major leagues to continue play without disrupting the season in mid-summer. Baseball will simply send the Brewers to the Olympics since they won't be in contention anyway.
2025: Don't Kill The Umpires Just Yet
Baseball replaced umpires with a drone-operated GPS tracking system that knows when a ball is in the strike zone and when it arrives in a fielder's glove at a base. But umpires were needed again following a system-wide shutdown when Maddon kicked dirt into the mainframe after a close call.
2026: If You Don't Build It, We Won't Stay
Just nine years after moving into SunTrust Stadium, the Braves threatened to move unless taxpayers build them a "more modern'' $3 billion stadium with a retro 1970s circular design, three decks of seating and artificial turf. Meanwhile, MLB announced it is still looking into the situation regarding the Athletics and Oakland Coliseum.
2027: Well, That and Perhaps Viagra
In their final year of eligibility, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were elected to the Hall of Fame after an investigation revealed that the only performance enhancers they really took were mixing bowl-sized servings of Wheaties, the Breakfast of Champions.
2028: The Day (Game) The Music Died
Baseball greatly sped up pace of play by banning all walkup music because of ever-shortening attention spans and Corey Seager demanding that Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off'' be played in its entirety before each of his at-bats.
2029: Charlie Moron
Pete Rose further hurt his Hall of Fame hopes when he admitted to having regularly bet on the Padres and Cleveland to win the World Series. "And we're supposed to elect someone stupid enough to bet on those teams into the Hall?'' one writer said.
2030: Don't Let My Elbow Go Down On Me
Arm injuries reached epidemic levels, requiring doctors to perform, in addition to Tommy John surgery, Olivia Newton-John surgery, Elton John surgery, Jimmy John's surgery, Papa John's surgery, Porta John surgery, Prince John surgery and Matthew, Mark, Luke and John surgery. The new procedures didn't work and abruptly ended careers, leading to them being called Dear John surgeries instead.
2031: Take Me Out To The Brain Game
The Cubs not only won the World Series again, but Kris Bryant drew record viewership, as more than 50 million fans streamed live broadcasts from his Go-Pro camera and Google glasses onto their devices -- and directly into their heads.
2032: The Rally Monkey Had An Amazing WAR
The Pirates won Game 7 of the World Series, but because advanced metrics (BABIP, defensive range, wind conditions, etc.) showed the series normally would have gone the other way, the Angels were crowned champions instead.
2033: No, Canada
Baseball announced it has plans to expand to 40 teams and 10 divisions by adding franchises in Las Vegas, Sacramento, Portland, New Jersey, Tokyo, Seoul, Havana, San Pedro de Macoris, Sydney and Albuquerque, but not Montreal.
2034: The New Home Run/Teriyaki Chicken King
The night of his 43rd birthday, Mike Trout broke the all-time home run record to become the first 763-763 player in baseball history: 763 career home runs, 763 Subway foot-long sandwiches eaten in commercials.
2035: The Golden Voice of Baseball
Vin Scully announced that he will no longer broadcast Dodgers away games in San Francisco because he wants to cut back on travel at his age (108) and because, "Well, they're the Giants.''
2036: Now Batting, the Shortstop, No. 102
After retiring the numbers of Didi Gregorius, Michael Pineda and Bryce Harper, the Yankees ran out of double-digit numbers and were forced to start having players wear triple digits on their jerseys.
2037: The Winter Classic
Baseball's extended postseason format of 19 teams -- 10 division champs, plus eight wild cards and two online fan votes -- pushed the World Series into late December. Fortunately, thanks to global warming, it was 82 degrees for Game 1 in Minnesota.
2038: Changes on the Horizon
Commissioner Yasiel Puig announced that to keep the World Series from stretching into January, baseball would consider a 154-game season, more scheduled doubleheaders and a shortened spring training. He also said there will be a decision on the Oakland Coliseum situation soon.
2039: Raising the Blue Flag
The Cubs honored their 125 years of Wrigley Field tradition by losing 100 games and finishing in last place.
2040: Fountain of Youth Still Flowing
Julio Franco became the oldest player in history when he signed with Arizona at age 82. Unfortunately, he went 0-for-3 in his first game, striking out twice against Colorado lefthander Jamie Moyer.
2041: Wait, There's an Even Older Player
Exactly 100 years after Ted Williams batted .406, baseball finally saw another .400 hitter when the thawed head of Ted Williams (surgically mounted on Google's new artificial Ghuman) finished the 2041 season at .401. Said manager Xander Bogaerts, "There goes the greatest hitter who never died."
2042: The Class of '42 (And '41)
The Hall of Fame extended votes to former players with 10 years of experience. This prevented Bryce Harper from becoming the first player voted unanimously into Cooperstown when Jonathan Papelbon left him completely off the ballot.
2043: Upon Further Review
Under newly expanded replay rules, baseball retroactively awarded the Cardinals the 1985 world championship because of the Don Denkinger call.
2044: Hell Freezes Over
Meteorologists said Hell's River Styx developed 2-foot ice flows while the earth stopped spinning on its axis, zombies began roaming the streets, republicans and democrats agreed on a Congressional bill and the Seattle Mariners reached the World Series.