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Baseball history unpacked, June 29

One-ball game?, no putouts for Ripper, Billy Williams Day, and other stories

Billy in the Hall

A Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1897 - The Chicago Colts (Cubs) of the National League establish the record for most runs scored in a game by one team when they clobber the Louisville Colonels, 36-7. The Cardinals will beat the Phillies 28-6 at Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl in 1929 to set the modern NL mark. (1)

The Colts were still 14 games under .500 at 20-34. Louisville was 20-31. Cap Anson, Bill Dahlen, and Clark Griffith were on that Colt team. That didn’t seem to help. Griffith pitched 343.3 innings.

  • 1909 - The Pirates play their last game at Exposition Park, defeating the Cubs, 8-1, in front of 5,545 fans. Tomorrow, the team will leave the small and cramped ballpark on the north side of the Allegheny River to play at Forbes Field, baseball’s first stadium to be constructed with concrete and steel. (1)

Box score. Mordecai “Three-Finger” Brown was outdueled by Lefty Liefield, who was a pretty good pitcher for 12 years. “Lefty Leifield was one of those ain’t-got-a-thing pitchers who never threw a ball where the batter wanted it,” wrote The Sporting News. (4)

If Albert Peter Liefield hadn’t been injured (four years in te minors rehabbing and working his way back), he’d have had a 17-year career and a likely Hall-of-Fame berth. Instead, he is a member of the Hall-of-Pretty-Good. So he won the battle, but Brown won the war.This was the famous Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance era. The Pirates had Honus Wagner and Chief Wilson, who had a couple of very good years.

1916 - Only one baseball is used during the Reds’ 9-6 win over the Cubs at Redland Field. There are no home runs or foul balls which land in the stands during the contest. (1)

This turns out not to be the case. The only game on record with this result was a minor-league contest on April 11, 1912, between the the Kansas City Blues and the Columbus Senators. The Cubs and the Cardinals actually played to a 3-2 Cubs win on June 29, 1916.

  • 1937 - In a 10-2 loss to Brooklyn, Chicago’s first baseman Ripper Collins does not make a putout during the nine-inning game. Although this is just the third occurrence of the rare feat, it is the second time for the Cubs infielder, who also didn’t make a putout playing first for the Cardinals in a game played against the Braves two seasons before. (1)

Box score. Gabby Hartnett and Augie Galan had eight putouts each.

Norm Cash did it June 27, 1963 (box score). Toby Harrah accomplished this singular distinction for an entire doubleheader, June 25, 1976 (game one, game two)

  • 1969 - Billy Williams plays in his 896th consecutive game to surpass Stan Musial’s mark established in 1957 when the Cubs sweep a doubleheader from the Cardinals 3-1 and 12-1, with the Chicago outfielder going 4-5 with a single, a double, and two triples in the nightcap. The team honors the accomplishment with an emotional ceremony between games of the twin bill on ‘Billy Williams Day’ before a crowd of 41,060 at Wrigley Field that visibly moves Sweet Swingin’ Billy from Whistler, Alabama. (1)

Box score 1.Box score 2. Fergie Jenkins edged Bob Gibson in the first game, then the Cardinals’ staff was shelled in the second. Ron Santo and Ernie Banks had big days, too.


Thanks for playing along.