The Chicago Cubs were 14 games over .500 and in second place, just two a half games behind the New York Giants on July 25, 1914. The team lost 14 of their next 17 and wound up in fourth place. (the Giants finished second to the Boston Braves). At the end of the season, first-year Manager Hank O’Day was let go by the Cubs and returned to umpiring. Catcher Roger Bresnahan was named as O’Day’s replacement.
Later in the off-season, there was another drama taking place off the field. It involved Clara Maduro:
In December, The Chicago Daily News said:
“Because the female of the species is more deadly than the male, Clara Maduro, the brown bear mascot of the Cubs, must die. The wee cub, which fans saw drinking milk from a bottle or eating ice cream cones at the West Side park last summer, has grown to giant proportions, and while of a pleasant disposition is inclined to break loose at times. Hence, Clara will be executed New Year’s Day.”
A month earlier, The Chicago Tribune reported:
“‘There’s a woman being strangled at Wood and Taylor Streets,’ was the message received by Desk Sergeant Comstock of the Warren Avenue station last night. ‘Send a lot of policemen.’
“The patrol wagon with a number of detectives was sent to the location, which proved to be on the west side of the National League ballpark.
“A loud howling was heard from the inside, and upon investigation it was found the bear mascot of the Cub team, which had been locked in a cage in the team’s quarters had broken its chains and was roaming about.”
After an outpouring of outrage and concern from Chicagoans, The Daily News reported that Clara Maduro “has been saved through the protest that followed the announcement.” The bear was initially placed with a local saloon owner named Joe Biggio; later reports said the bear went to the Lincoln Park Zoo.
With Clara out, it was determined that a bear cub mascot was not the best idea for 1915. So in March, the team introduced their new mascot, Toy.
The Tribune said:
“‘Toy,’ the 1915 Cub mascot is a canine of high degree and more likely to become a permanent fixture than the baby bear which grew so big and developed such a crabbed disposition that he [sic] had to be discarded last fall. ‘Toy’ used to be the mascot and assistant caddie of a feminine golf expert who was a visitor at Tampa during the Cubs stay there and who became such an ardent baseball fan that she bestowed her pet on the team when the Cubs departed for the north.”
The Cubs started the season strong and led the National League until mid-July, but the team faltered badly and ended the season in fourth place with a 71-82 record.
Toy did not “become a permanent fixture;” when Charles Weeghman bought the team after the 1915 season he replaced both Bresnahan and Toy.
Weeghman did not learn from the past and introduced the Cubs new mascot in November. A bear cub whose mother was killed during a Wisconsin hunting trip, was presented to the team by the hunter, either a state senator named Albert J. Olson or Cubs stockholder J. Ogden Armour–newspapers reported both, but the bear’s name, Joa, would suggest the latter.
It is unknown what became of Toy.