In our last episode, we noted that Jim Hickman had hit two walkoff home runs in a five-day period in 1969.
He didn’t have any that close together in this five-year span, but he’s prominently featured in walkoff lore for the early 1970s Cubs.
April 6, 1971: For the second time in three years, the Cubs won on Opening Day on a walkoff homer. This one was another future Hall of Famer matchup, Billy Williams off Bob Gibson for a 2-1 Cubs win over the Cardinals in 10 innings. And yes, there is video!
The voice is Jim West, who paired with Jack Brickhouse in the Cubs TV booth from 1971-76. Go look at the time of game, too.
May 16, 1971, first game: The Cubs trailed 7-1 in the fourth inning, but rallied to tie to send the game to extras. The Padres scored a run in the top of the 10th, but with a runner on base in the bottom of the inning, Jim Hickman did it yet again, a walkoff homer for a 9-8 win.
June 8, 1971: The game went into the 12th (!) inning scoreless, and with two out in the bottom of the 12th Joe Pepitone hit a walkoff homer. Ken Holtzman threw a 12-inning, complete-game shutout with 12 strikeouts. It is one of only seven CG shutouts in Cubs history of 12 innings, and just two of those have been since 1918, none since Holtzman’s (and not likely to be any more, either).
August 30, 1972: Jim Hickman — yet again. He hit five walkoff homers as a Cub and seven overall, quite a large number for someone with only 159 career home runs. The Cubs trailed 6-1 in the third inning, came back to tie, and Hickman’s walkoff led off the 11th inning.
July 1, 1973, second game: The Cubs scored three in the first but not again until the bottom of the ninth, when with two on and two out Randy Hundley’s three-run homer gave the Cubs a 6-5 win over the Mets. The Cubs were 48-33 and led the N.L. East by eight games after this win, only to collapse and go just 29-51 the rest of the way.
July 4, 1973: The game went to extras tied 1-1. The Phillies scored a run in the top of the 10th, but with one out and a runner on base in the bottom of the inning Ron Santo walked it off for a 3-2 victory.
May 3, 1974: The Cubs led 4-2 going to the ninth, but Pete Rose’s three-run homer off Ray Burris put the Reds ahead. In the bottom of the ninth, Vic Harris led off with a walk and Rick Monday hit the walkoff homer.
May 4, 1974: The Cubs were a 96-loss team in 1974, but they hit walkoff homers in back-to-back games against the 98-win Reds. The Reds took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but the Cubs tied it up and sent it to extras, where they won 3-2 on a Billy Williams homer with two out in the bottom of the 11th.