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Baseball history unpacked, September 17

Ernie’s first game, the Switch-Hit Home Run King retires, and other stories

ernie banks 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:

  • 1928 - In the 9th against Chicago, Braves reliever Ray Boggs plunks three Cubbies, walks two and tosses one wild pitch. Chicago manages to score just one run off Boggs, but they win the away game, 15-5. Pat Malone picks up the win over Art Delaney.

Box score.

  • 1938 - In the top of the seventh inning of the Cubs’ 4-0 victory over New York at the Polo Grounds, Ripper Collins hits his last career home run, finishing with 135 round-trippers during his nine-year tenure in the major leagues. The Chicago first baseman will remain the all-time switch-hitter home run leader for 18 years until Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle surpasses his total in 1956. (1)

Box score. It was the first game of a twin bill. Billy Herman drove in two runs with a double in the top of the 9th to seal the victory. The Cubs won the second game 4-2 behind the pitching of Clay Bryant. Collins was 1 for 2, with third baseman Stan Hack driving in three of the four Chicago runs with a home run. Losing pitcher Bill Lohrman drove in one of the New York runs.

  • 1953 - Ernie Banks becomes the first black player to appear in a Cubs game. The former Kansas City Monarch infielder, who makes an error and is hitless in three at-bats, will go on to hit 512 home runs, as well as winning the MVP award twice during his 19-year Hall of Fame career. (1)

Box score. Not the Cubs finest hour in terms of play on the field as they succumbed to the Phillies 16-4. Don Elston gave up six earned runs in a three-inning stint, and Philadelphia just kept right on hitting. Curt Simmons went the distance for the victory. Pinch-hitter Tommy Brown hit a three-run homer for the Cubs.

  • 1975 - Mets right-fielder Rusty Staub, in a 5-2 loss to Chicago at Shea Stadium, homers off Ray Burris in the fourth frame for his 98th RBI of the season, establishing a new team record. ‘Le Grand Orange’ surpasses the franchise mark set by Donn Clendenon in 1970. (1)

Box score. That was the only home run of the game.


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