Baseball Stories

1977: The Year That Might Have Been

A review of the 1977 Cubs.

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #1 Gabby Hartnett 9/28/1938

No surprise here, I'm sure -- this HR is not only the most famous in Cub history, the "Homer in the Gloamin'" is one of the most famous in all of baseball history and one of the most memorable...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #2 Willie Smith 4/8/1969

1969. Could have, should have, been a magical season, especially for those of us who lived through it. The Cubs had come off a good second half of 1968 -- they were 35-45 after losing to the...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #4 Ryne Sandberg 6/23/1984

The Sandberg Game, as it was almost instantly tagged, burst Ryno on the national scene -- as this game was an NBC Saturday Game of the Week -- and also legitimized the Cubs as contenders for the...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #5 Ernie Banks 5/12/1970

"Everybody on your feet! This is it!" That's what Jack Brickhouse yelled into his WGN microphone on a gloomy, cool Tuesday afternoon, May 12, 1970, the day Ernie Banks hit his 500th career HR. A...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #6 Mark Grace 9/13/1998

Someday, perhaps I'll do a list here at BCB called "The Ten (or Twenty) Greatest Games In Cub History". This game would almost certainly make that list, probably high on the list. I just wrote...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #7 Orlando Merced 9/12/1998

Orlando Merced had only ten at-bats as a Cub. But one of them cemented him in Cub lore forever; on September 12, 1998, Merced hit a three-run walkoff HR to win a game against the Brewers, the...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #8 Gary Gaetti 9/28/1998

It seemed, at the time, like a useless acquisition. The Cubs signed Gary Gaetti, who had been released by the Cardinals, on his 40th birthday, August 19, 1998. Gaetti had hit decently for St. Louis...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #9 Sammy Sosa 10/7/2003

Sammy becomes the second player to have two entries on this list, after Kerry Wood. Hint: he won't be the last. This home run, which tied game 1 of the NLCS with two out in the bottom of the ninth,...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #10 Sammy Sosa 9/13/1998

Sosa actually hit two home runs on September 13, 1998 -- his 61st and 62nd of that season. The one that's commemorated here is the 62nd -- for two reasons. First, because it briefly tied him with...

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The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #11 Kerry Wood 10/15/2003

Wood is the first player to appear twice on this countdown. And this HR is perhaps the saddest of all of them, because at the time it was hit, it gave us all such great hope, hope that was...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #12 Aramis Ramirez 6/29/2007

I don't think I have to write too much about this one, because all of us remember it well. Aramis' walkoff completed a 6-5 comeback win over the Brewers, coming back from a 5-0 deficit in the first...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #13 Andre Dawson 9/27/1987

This entry on the list is another that comes under the category of "meaningless, but memorable". The 1987 Cubs were a pretty bad team -- after being in first place in May and staying close into...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #14 Rick Sutcliffe 10/2/1984

It was glorious, for two days. The Cubs' first postseason date in thirty-nine years was beautiful and sunny, with light breezes and a temperature of 70 degrees, nice for early October. The Cubs...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #15 Glenallen Hill 5/11/2000

This one still gets talked about, eight years later. Glenallen Hill, in the second inning on May 11, 2000, against the Brewers, slammed a Steve Woodard pitch onto the roof of the building at the...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #16 Larry Biittner 4/14/1978

For three years in the late 1970's -- 1977, 1978 and 1979 -- the Cubs teased us by briefly contending each year with a team that really had no business being there. Seriously. Look at this lineup: I...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #17 Mark Grace 7/30/1989

Just as in 1984, the 1989 Cubs roared out of the gate and gave notice they'd be a team to be reckoned with. A six-game winning streak in early April made them 8-2, and despite some setbacks later...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #18 Eric Karros 6/7/2003

There's been some criticism of this list because the three (two plus an "honorable mention") HR listed so far weren't "meaningful" in terms of winning important games, or in pennant races or the...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #19 Kerry Wood 5/2/2000

It figures, doesn't it, that one of the top home runs, among the most memorable, was hit by a pitcher? (Hint: this won't be the last pitcher HR on this list, either.) Kerry Wood is still among the...

The Top 20 Cub HR Of All Time - #20 Lou Brock 6/17/1962

Here's the only clue I'll give you to the contents of the rest of this list: this home run, hit by Lou Brock at the Polo Grounds in New York on June 17, 1962, is the only one of the 20 hit by a Cub...

The Top Twenty Home Runs In Cub History

Idly scanning some of the SBN sites yesterday, I ran across this Viva El Birdos post in which Larry, the proprietor, chose his top 20 HR in Cardinals history. This idea was based on this highly...

A Story

This summer I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with an older gentleman, a man who just turned 74 years old and who has been a Cub fan for over sixty years. He attends many home games as...

Baseball Stories: 2000 Japan Trip, Part 6

Thursday, March 30, 2000 In the morning we met Stacie again; she brought her friend Maria, and the two of them played tour guide in taking us to Kamakura, an old town whose temples were preserved...

Baseball Stories: 2000 Japan Trip, Part 5

Wednesday, March 29, 2000 In the morning we toured the Imperial Palace Gardens, which are the outer gardens on the grounds of the Emperor's palace. Landscaping there includes trees from all over...

Baseball Stories: 2000 Japan Trip, Part 4

Tuesday, March 28, 2000 I woke up this morning on a mission -- to find a USA Today. There are a few English-language Japanese newspapers, but they don't have much international news in them. This...

Baseball Stories: 2000 Japan Trip, Part 3

Monday, March 27, 2000 We took two trains to get to the Meiji Shrine, which was built 85 years ago to honor Emperor Meiji. It's basically a nice park centrally located in Tokyo; it's got a New York...

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