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Baseball history unpacked, September 12

Sammy Sosa’s 60th, The CRE is born, and other stories

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A wildly popular Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review select scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1900 - Sammy Strang, a rookie 3B, breaks in with seven hits for the Chicago Orphans in a doubleheader against the Giants. Chicago catcher Johnny Kling and Giants pitcher Win Mercer collide at the plate in the 7th inning of the second game, and Mercer is carried off the field unconscious. Chicago coasts, 9 - 1 in the opener, with Mercer the loser to Jock Menefee. New York takes the nightcap, 7 - 6, when Dummy Taylor fashions a 7-inning win over Jack Taylor.
  • 1932 - In the bottom of the ninth, Johnny Frederick hits his major league record-setting sixth pinch-homer of the season, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Cubs. The Brooklyn outfielder’s major league mark will not be broken for 68 years (exactly 68 years*) until another Dodger, Dave Hansen, strokes seven round-trippers coming off the bench in 2000. (1)

Box score. Burleigh Grimes took the loss in relief. Watty Clark went the distance for his 17th.

  • 1995 - During a WGN pregame radio broadcast at Wrigley Field, Cubs announcer Harry Caray remarks to the team’s skipper Jim Riggleman, “Well, my eyes are slanty enough, how ‘bout yours?”, referring to Hideo Nomo, the Japanese rookie hurler scheduled to start for the Dodgers. The veteran announcer, known for not backing off for his on-the-air off-handed comments, does issue an apology, calling the incident “unfortunate.” (1)
  • 1998 - Cubs’ slugger Sammy Sosa becomes the fourth major leaguer to hit 60 home runs in a season when he blasts a seventh-inning three-run shot off Milwaukee’s Valerio de los Santos in a 15-12 victorious slugfest at Wrigley Field. The Chicago right-fielder joins Babe Ruth (1927 Yankees), Roger Maris (1961 Yankees), and Mark McGwire (1998 Cardinals) in reaching one of baseball’s most cherished milestones. (1)

Box score. That was a wild game against the Crew as the Brewers hit three homers of their own to combat the Cubs’ 18-hit, 6 home run attack. Glenallen Hill went 4-for-5.

  • 2000* - On the same date the mark was established 68 years ago, Dave Hansen breaks Johnny Frederick’s 1932 record for pinch-hit home runs in a single season with his seventh round-tripper coming off the bench. The Dodger pinch-hitter’s historic homer, a seventh-inning three-run blast off Diamondback right-hander Curt Schilling, isn’t enough to prevent the team’s 5-4 loss to Arizona at Bank One Ballpark. (1)
  • 2016 - The major league ERA leader, Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs, take a no-hit bid into the 9th inning in a start against the Cardinals, but Jeremy Hazelbaker leads off the frame with his 12th homer to break it up. Still, Hendricks records his 15th win, 4 - 1, and lowers his ERA to 2.03 as the Cubs’ magic number to clinch the NL Central is down to three. (3)

Box score. Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist homered and Mike Leake took the loss.


Please note that individual lines may have been corrected for spelling and/or grammarical errata. Thanks for playing along.