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. We do our best to verify the accuracy of the contents. There’s a LOT to unpack today — let’s get started!
Today in baseball history:
- 1897 - Although he gives up 14 runs on 17 hits, Dave Wright of the Chicago Colts (Cubs) wins his first and only major league game. The 21 year-old Dennison, Ohio native is the beneficiary of Chicago’s 11-run fifth inning when the club beats the Pirates, 15-14. (1)
- 1920 - Eight White Sox players are indicted by the grand jury on charges of fixing last season’s World Series against the Reds. The eight members involved in the ‘Black Sox Scandal’ will be cleared of the charges by the court, but on the same day, they will be banned for life from baseball by Kenesaw Mountain Landis, baseball’s first commissioner. (1)
- 1930 - In a 13-11 season-finale victory over the Reds, Cubs outfielder Hack Wilson drives in his 189th and 190th runs of the season to establish a new major league record. The total will be revised to 191 in 1999 after baseball’s historian Jerome Holtzman finds a missing RBI in a game played in July of 1930. (1) With Riggs Stephenson and Kiki Cuyler each driving in 100 runs, the Cubs have the first all-100 RBI outfield in the 20th century. (2)
- 1935 - With nothing on the line, the pennant winning Cubs finally lose to the Cardinals and snap their 21-game win streak. The skein is the longest in the majors since the Giants of 1916 when New York won 26 games and tied one. However, Chicago’s win streak is the longest without a tie since 1880. (2)
Box score. Even at that, it was a tight 7-5 contest.
- 1938 - Gabby Hartnett hits his famous “Homer in the Gloamin’” in the 9th inning against the Pirates’ Mace Brown to give the Chicago Cubs a 6 - 5 victory, their ninth straight, at Wrigley Field. It is a key triumph en route to the Cubs’ National League pennant. (3)
- 1962 - In front of only 595 fans at Wrigley Field, the Cubs (58-101) beat the Mets (39-118) in the first meeting in major league history between two 100-loss teams before the series begins. The New York expansion team will split the remaining two games in Chicago to finish the season 40-120, establishing the record for the most losses in baseball’s modern-era. (1)
Box score. Pinch-hitter Bob Will drove in the winning runs in the bottom of the 6th as the Cubs hung on for a one-run victory, with Bob Anderson, Don Cardwell and Barney Schultz holding the Mets to one run over the last three innings. Schultz pitched to only one batter, Choo-Choo Coleman, and induced him to ground out.
- 1983 - At Wrigley Field, the Phillies clinch the National League East championship with a 13-6 victory over Chicago. The clincher is the team’s 7000th win in franchise history. (1)
- 1995 - A fan takes exception when a Cub reliever gives up two-run, pinch-hit home run to James Mouton, giving the Astros an eighth inning 9-7 lead. As the Houston pinch hitter rounds the bases, the 27-year-old spectator runs out of the stands and heads toward the mound, where he is immediately pinned by Randy Myers, who in addition to his pitching prowess, is well trained in the martial arts. (1)
Box score. The Cubs ended up winning 12-11 in 11 innings when Scott Bullett and Mark Parent hit run-scoring singles off Todd Jones. Anthony Young, the Cubs 8th pitcher, ended up with the win, his third. The Astros used ten pitchers.
- 2001 - In the first home game at Wrigley since the terrorist attacks on America, Sammy Sosa, after hitting his 59th home run of the season, pulls out a small American flag and waves it as he circles the bases. After scoring and making a curtain call from the dugout, the Cub slugger continues to wave Old Glory. (1)
- 2003 - Ron Santo, the team’s radio color commentator, joins Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Billy Williams, becoming third player to have his number retired by the Cubs. The nine-time All-Star third baseman, who spent 14 of his 15-year career with Chicago (1960-73), will have his uniform #10 below Ernie Banks’ on the left-field foul pole.
Box score. The Pirates won 3-2 but that didn’t do much to dampen the enthusiasm of fans on that day, the day after the Cubs clinched the division. Eric Karros and Alex Gonzalez hit solo homers, but Jack Wilson’s solo drive in the top of the 7th off Juan Cruz was the winning run.
- 2007 - The Chicago Cubs clinch the NL Central division title with a 6-0 shutout of the Cincinnati Reds, combined with a loss by the Milwaukee Brewers. It is the third different franchise that Cubs’ manager Lou Piniella has led to a division title. For Chicago, Alfonso Soriano hits his 32nd home run of the season, taking Bronson Arroyo deep in the 1st inning. It is Soriano’s 6th home run leading off a game this month, a new major league record. It is also his 13th homer in September, tying Ernie Banks’ franchise record. (3)
- 2008 - Pitching on a day’s short rest, CC Sabathia tosses a complete game, defeating the Cubs, 3-1. The victory, along with the Mets’ 4-2 loss to Florida an hour later, makes the Brewers the NL Wild Card and puts Milwaukee in the postseason for the first time since 1982. (1)
- 2012 - 2B Darwin Barney of the Cubs makes a wild throw to first base after fielding Justin Upton’s ground ball in the 8th inning of the Cubs’ 8-3 loss to the Diamondbacks. The miscue ends Barney’s 141-game errorless streak, tying Placido Polanco’s all-time record for a single season, set in 2007. (3)
- 2015 - Chris Denorfia of the Cubs does something unprecedented when he homers as a pinch-hitter for Fernando Rodney in the bottom of the 11th inning to give his team a 1 - 0 win over the Royals. His blast off Miguel Almonte is the first-ever pinch-hit, walk-off homer in extra innings in a 1-0 game.
Box score. That was a great game. You probably remember it well. There were eight hits in all between the two teams, with Mike Moustakas’ 4th-inning double the only extra-base hit until Denorfia’s drive.
- (1) — The National Pastime.
- (2) — Today in Baseball History.
- (3) — Baseball Reference.
- (4) — Society for American Baseball Research.
Please note that individual lines may have been corrected for spelling and/or grammarical errata. Thanks for playing along.