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Baseball history unpacked, September 2

Milt Pappas loses perfect game, Ernie has some good days, and other stories

RIP Milt
Photo by Michael L Abramson/Getty Images

... on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you 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. The embedded links often point to articles that pertain to the scenes, such as reproductions of period newspapers, images, and/or other such material as is often found in the wild.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1880 - Using three towers illuminating light 100 feet above the playing field, teams from the department stores of Jordan Marsh and R.H. White stage the first night game in history. (1,3)
  • 1920 - Warren G. Harding, who will serve as the next president of the United States, throws three pitches for the Kerrigan Tailors, a semi-pro team, in an exhibition game played against the Cubs. The contest, in which the Giants, Reds, and Indians declined to be participants, was arranged in the presidential candidate’s hometown to make him more appealing to the masses. (1)
  • 1929 - The Cubs beat the Cards twice, 11 - 7 and 12 - 10, before 81,000 fans at Wrigley Field. A crowd of 38,000 sees the morning game and 43,000 watch the afternoon game. Rogers Hornsby has two home runs and Hack Wilson has one. (3)

Box scores: Game one, game two.

  • 1955 - In the second inning of the Cubs’ 12-2 rout of St. Louis at Wrigley Field, Ernie Banks sets the record for home runs hit by a shortstop when he hits a two-run, two-out shot off Redbird southpaw Paul LaPalme for his 40th round-tripper. ‘Mr. Cub’ will extend the mark to 44 homers this season and will boost the total to 48 in 1958. (1)

Box score.

  • 1957 - At Wrigley Field, the Braves sweep the Cubs, 23-10 and 4-0. In the opener, Frank Torre crosses the plate in the first, second, third, fourth, sixth, and ninth innings, tying a major league record by scoring six times in one game. (1)

Box scores: Game one, game two.

  • 1965 - Cubs first baseman Ernie Banks hits his 400th career home run, a three-run round-tripper off Cardinal hurler Curt Simmons in the third inning, helping Chicago to defeat St. Louis at Wrigley Field, 5-3. “Mr. Cub” will finish his 19-year career with 512 home runs, including 277 home runs stroked as a shortstop, the record at the time of his retirement. (1,3)

Box score.

  • 1972 - After retiring twenty-six consecutive batters, Cubs starter Milt Pappas walks pinch-hitter Larry Stahl on a 3-2 pitch, losing a bid for a perfect game. ‘Gimpy’ retires the next batter, former Cub Gary Jestadt, to preserve his 8-0 no-hitter against the Padres at Wrigley Field. (1,3)

Pappas and C Randy Hundley both say of the pitches to Stahl, “They were so close I don’t know how Stahl could take them, but they were balls.” Pappas later comments on the plate umpire: “he had a chance to become famous as the umpire in the twelfth perfect game in history, but he blew it.”

Box score.

  • 1986 - The Astros and Cubs use a major-league record 53 players in the game. Billy Hatcher’s home run off Greg Maddux in the top of the 18th inning is the difference in Houston’s 8-7 victory at Wrigley Field. (1)

Box score.

  • 1998 - Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa hits his 56th homer of the season, tying the franchise record established in 1930 Hack Wilson. The right fielder’s solo round-tripper in the sixth inning of the Wrigley Field contest off Jason Bere contributes to Chicago’s 4-2 victory over Cincinnati. (1,3)

Box score.


Thanks for reading.