Cubs whose only homer was a walk-off

During the Cubs' 146 seasons in the National League, they have hit 14,659 home runs.

Only 2 teams have hit more, the Yankees (16,531) and Giants (15,004).

The Cubs' homers were hit by 845 different batters, which is 39 percent of their 2,161 total players.

Two Cubs hit more than 500 home runs, Sammy Sosa (545) and Ernie Banks (512).

Only 2 more hit as many as 300, Billy Williams (392) and Ron Santo (337).

Twenty more hit between 100 (Keith Moreland) and 282 (Ryne Sandberg).

A whopping 550, nearly two thirds, hit fewer than 10.

And of those 550, 202 hit exactly 1 homer as a Cub.


The first of those was Deacon White, in 1876.

Four joined the club in 2021: Alfonso Rivas, brothers Andrew and Austin Romine, and Eric Sogard.

Four also had hit their only homer as a Cub in both 2019 and 2020.

In all, 48 have done it since 2000.



According to my research, the Cubs have won 925 times since 1876 on the final play of the game, with exactly 400 different players performing the feat at least once.

About 1 in 5 of those walk-off plays was a home run. The most recent, by Jason Heyward on Sept. 8, 2021, was their 191st.

Heyward's 2-run shot in the 10th inning against the Reds was his eighth homer of the season and 61st as a Cub.

That is 60 more than were hit by 3 previous Cubs, each of whom hit a walk-off home run, then never homered again for the team.



Right hander Lindy McDaniel spent 21 years in the Major Leagues, making his debut with the Cardinals in 1955, at age 19, and his final appearance with the Royals in 1975, at age 39.

He pitched in 987 games, 17th most in MLB history. Each of the 16 with more topped 1,000, from Jesse Orosco, with 1,252, to Rich "Goose" Gossage, with 1,002.

McDaniel started 43 of 56 games in 1957-58; in the rest of his career, just 33 of 931. He led both leagues in saves in 1959 (16) and 1960 (27), then led the NL in saves (22) and games finished (48) in 1963, the first of his 3 seasons with the Cubs.

He came to Chicago as part of a blockbuster deal in October 1962 that also brought starter Larry Jackson and catcher Jimmie Schaffer, in exchange for pitcher Don Cardwell, catcher Moe Thacker and outfielder George Altman.


McDaniel pitched a scoreless inning in the Cubs' second game of 1963, then got a 1-out save in their fifth, at home against the Giants.

Through June 2, in 17 games, he had converted 10 of 11 save opportunities, posting a 1.96 earned run average in 23 innings while holding batters to a .232 average. He had struck out 21, walked 8 and allowed 3 home runs.

On June 4, the Cubs beat the Giants in the opener of a series at Wrigley Field. The next day, they won Game 1 of a doubleheader.



In Game 2, the Cubs led, 4-2, after 6 innings. But the Giants opened the seventh with a pair of singles, and after a strikeout, another single scored a run and put runners on first and third.

McDaniel entered the game and gave up a fly to right on which the tying run came home. He struck out the next hitter to end the inning.

The pitcher's spot was first up for the Cubs in the bottom of the inning. McDaniel, a .177 career hitter (42 for 237) with 1 home run, stepped to the plate and struck out, as he had in 91 times before, 35 percent of his 256 plate appearances.

Then Lou Brock lined a double and Ken Hubbs singled him to third. When second baseman Chuck Hiller dropped Billy Williams' popup in short right center field, Brock raced home with the go-ahead run.


In the eighth, McDaniel knocked down a smash by Willie Mays and threw him out. The next batter was safe on an error, but a pinch runner was thrown out stealing and another groundout followed.

Matty Alou led off the ninth with a drag bunt on which second baseman Hubbs threw the ball into the Giants' dugout, allowing Alou to reach second. McDaniel then struck out Willie McCovey, got Orlando Cepeda to foul out and struck out Tom Haller to preserve the 5-4 victory.

"Perhaps not since the Cubs' last pennant days in 1945 was there such a wild demonstration of fans as the 19,710 put on during the five and a half hours of spectacular action," Ed Prell wrote in the Chicago Tribune.

"Most of the spectators still remained when Lindy McDaniel eliminated three dangerous batters with the tying run on second base. They gave the Cubs an uproarious standing ovation."

But what McDaniel did the next day was even more impressive.



A smaller crowd, just 11,240, turned out on Thursday to see if the Cubs could complete a 4-game sweep.

Hiller greeted Cubs starter Jackson with a single and scored moments later on a double by Mays. Jackson yielded no more runs and only 4 additional hits through the seventh.

The Cubs made 2 hits in the first against Juan Marichal but failed to score, then managed only 2 more hits over the next 6 innings.


Mays singled to open the eighth and advanced to second on a groundout by McCovey. He stayed there when Cepeda grounded out, but scored easily on a single by Ed Bailey.

Marichal retired the first 2 Cubs in the bottom of the inning. Then Hubbs doubled and Williams slammed a game-tying 2-run homer.

Cubs reliever Barney Schultz set down the Giants in order in the ninth. Marichal did the same to the Cubs.



Schultz faltered in the 10th. Singles by Hiller and Mays and a bunt by Alou put runners on second and third with 1 out. Schultz intentionally walked Cepeda, loading the bases, then McDaniel was summoned to face Bailey.

McDaniel threw a strike, Then, instead of throwing a second pitch to the plate, he whirled and fired to second base, where shortstop Andre Rodgers tagged Mays for the second out.

"Andy puts on this play," catcher Dick Bertell said after the game. "After Lindy's first pitch to Bailey, Rodgers flashed the signal to me. I relayed it to Lindy and -- bingo! -- we had given the business to Mr. Mays!"

McDaniel proceeded to strike out Bailey on 4 pitches.


Marichal had scattered 6 hits, walked 2 and struck out 7 in 9 innings. Now he was replaced by Billy Pierce.

In 13 seasons with the White Sox, the lefty had won 186 games, including 20 each in 1956 and 1957. The second time, his total led the American League. He had led all of baseball in ERA in 1955, at 1.97.

He had topped the AL in complete games for 3 straight years, 1956-58, and was an All-Star 7 times, including 1961, his last year with the Sox.

Pierce had gone 16-6 to help the Giants win the NL pennant in 1962. But after a season-opening shutout, he had been hit hard in his next 3 starts: 10 earned run runs, on 15 hits, in 14.1 innings.

The last of those starts had been on May 5. Since then, he had started only once, on May 17, while relieving 7 times. In his 4 most recent appearances, he had allowed no runs and 2 hits in 3.1 innings.



The first batter Pierce in the bottom of the 10t was McDaniel.

He never faced another, as McDaniel swung, connected with the ball and sent it sailing nearly to the back of the bleachers in left field.

"I think it was a breaking ball below the waist," McDaniel told reporters.

The Tribune was so impressed with McDaniel's home run that it ran not one, but two, photos of fans reaching for the ball.


The 3-2 triumph lifted the Cubs into a first-place tie with the Giants and Cardinals, all at 31-23.

The Cubs wound up 82-80, their first winning record since 1946, but good only for seventh place in the 10-team league, 17 games behind the champion Dodgers.

McDaniel finished 13-7, with a 2.86 ERA and an ERA+ of 123, in 57 games. He batted 13 more times and made 1 hit, a single, during a 3-inning save at San Francisco on Sept. 3.

Over the next 2 years, he was 2 for 24, both singles. He pitched in 134 games, finishing 66 and saving 18. He won 6 games, lost 13 and had an ERA of 3.14.

In December 1965, the Cubs swapped McDaniel and outfielder Don Landrum to the Giants; maybe San Francisco just didn't want to face him any longer, on the mound or at bat.

In return, the Cubs got 2 players who would become mainstays for years to come, pitcher Bill Hands and catcher Randy Hundley.



During his final 10 seasons, McDaniel saved 68 games for the Giants, Yankees and Royals.

He hit 1 more home run, as a Yankee, to break a 1-1 tie in the ninth inning of a 1972 game. But it was not a walk-off, coming in the top of the ninth at Detroit.

Then he surrendered the tying run in the bottom of the ninth on a pair of singles and an outfield error. The Yankees ultimately won, 3-2, on a homer in the 12th.

McDaniel's final slash line was .148/.168/.201, with 56 hits in 378 at bats: 42 singles, 11 doubles and 3 home runs. He struck out 159 times, 38.6 percent of his 412 plate appearances.

As a Cub, he slashed .087/.106/.152. In 49 PA, he struck out 21 times. In 46 at bats, he had just 4 hits: 3 singles and 1 unforgettable, game-ending home run.


McDaniel was less than a month from his 85th birthday when he died on Nov. 14, 2020.



McDaniel's game-winning homer on June 6, 1963 came in the Cubs' 88th National League season, in their 12,498th game.

In those games, 104 players had hit what proved to be their only homer as a Cub. None had been a walk-off.

Only 3 more would hit their one-and-only homer before someone duplicated McDaniel's feat, only July 7, 1968 -- 5 years, 1 month, 1 day and 841 games later.



Jose Arcia, a native of Cuba, was 18 when he signed with the Tigers in 1962. From that year through 1967, he played for a dozen minor league teams from Florida and Georgia to Iowa and North Dakota.

At various times, he was under contract to Detroit, Houston, Cleveland and St. Louis.

After batting just .202 for one of the Cardinals' Class A affiliates in 1965, he improved to .272 with another in 1966. But after he slumped to .219 in Double-A in 1967, Arcia was left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft and was chosen by the Cubs.


In spring training of 1968, Arcia batted .343, capped by 9 hits in his final 12 at bats. That earned him a spot on the Cubs' roster.

The Cubs' first regular-season game, scheduled for April 8 at Cincinnati, was postponed, due to the death of Dr. Martin Luther King.

When the season began, 2 days later, Jose Arcia, age 24, made his Major League debut, starting at second base in place of Glenn Beckert, who was injured.

Arcia flied out and grounded out before being lifted for a pinch hitter, as the Cubs lost at Cincinnati, 9-4.

The following day, he struck out, then singled home the fifth of six runs that the Cubs scored in the third inning to open a 7-0 lead. He laid down a bunt, flied out and struck out later on in a 10-3 victory.



Beckert was back in the lineup for the Cubs' third game, their home opener on April 13. They played 160 games after that. Arcia appeared in only 59 of them.

When he did play, he certainly got around: 17 games in the outfield, 10 at second base, 7 at shortstop and 1 at third. He started 21 games in the field and completed 12.

He also pinch ran 23 times and pinch hit 7.


Arcia played in the field only 5 times between May 23 and July 4, starting 3 games at short, then finishing 2, the first after pinch running.

On July 5, the Cubs began a 3-day, 5-game series at home against the Pirates. Arcia pinch ran in the bottom of the ninth of the Friday opener, a 4-0 loss, and was forced out moments later on a double play.

Arcia had run for Gene Oliver, who had walked. In the second inning of Saturday's first game, Oliver singled, then left the game. Arcia replaced him on the bases, then stayed in and played center field.

In the fourth, he walked and scored on a 2-run single by Don Kessinger that put the Cubs in front, 2-1.

The score was 3-1 when Arcia grounded out to end the fifth and 5-1 when he struck out in the seventh. Jim Hickman, up next, tripled in the final run in the Cubs' 6-1 victory.

Hickman was the center fielder in Game 2, a 10-3 win. After Beckert made his third hit, leading off the eighth, Arcia ran for him. He went to third on a singe by Billy Williams and trotted home on a 2-out hit by Dick Nen.



Arcia was on the bench again at the start of Game 1 on Sunday.

Five batters into the game, the Cubs led, 4-0, as Beckert and Williams hit 1-out singles, Ron Santo walked and Ernie Banks delivered a grand slam that knocked out starter Steve Blass.

But the Cubs were held hitless for the next 6.2 innings by Dock Ellis. Meanwhile, the Pirates got a run on 3 singles off Ken Holtzman in the third, then another on a leadoff homer in the seventh.


Holtzman retired the first 2 batters in the ninth, leaving him 1 out from a 5-hit complete game. Instead, he gave up back-to-back singles and was relieved by Phil Regan.

Bill Mazeroski, a future Hall of Famer, was due up. Willie Stargell, also bound for Cooperstown, hit for Mazeroski and lined a single to center, making the score 4-3, with runners on first and third.

Manny Jiminez, another pinch hitter, followed with an infield single that scored the runner from third, tying the game.

Regan got a third pinch hitter, Gary Kolb, to ground out, ending the inning and stranding 2 runners.



Lefty Bob Veale had thrown a complete-game 2-hitter on Friday, lowering his ERA to 1.83 in 132.2 innings over 18 games, all but 1 starts. Now Pirates Manager Larry Shepard brought him in from the bullpen to pitch the bottom of the ninth.

Back in the sixth, left fielder Willie Smith had fouled a ball off his shin before flying out. Smith departed, with Billy Williams shifting to left from right, Hickman moving to right from center, and Arcia entering as the center fielder.

In the ninth, Arcia was the first batter to face Veale. He stepped to the plate with a slash line of .158/.179/.237, built on 6 hits (3 doubles, 3 singles) in 38 at bats.

Moments later, his line was .179/.200/.333, as he sent Veale's third pitch high and far over the wall in left field to win the game, 5-4.



Three months earlier, near the end of spring training, Arcia had gone 5 for 6, all singles, the last an 11th-inning hit that beat the Giants, 7-6. Richard Dozer of the Tribune had written:

"[Leo] Durocher is delighted with the way Arcia has accepted suggestions that he should not try to hit home runs. Today he was at least partially convinced that this best glove man and his best hitter could be one and the same."

Alas, Dozer did not quote Durocher's thoughts about Arcia's home run in his account of the July 7 doubleheader.


Arcia played center in Game 2. He struck out in the third inning, doubled home a run in the fifth to cut the Cubs' deficit to 3-2, then struck out in the seventh.

Consecutive singles by Williams, Santo and Banks tied the score in the eighth.

With 1 out and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth, Arcia had a chance for a second walk-off homer. Instead, he struck out for a third time.

But Phil Regan, who had pitched 2 innings in relief, surprised everyone with a double and scored on a single to right by Kessinger, completing a rare 5-game series sweep by the Cubs.



Arcia's 1 for 4 in that game left him at .186/.205/.349. At the end of the season, he was .190/.218/.274, with 16 hits in 84 at bats: 11 singles, 4 doubles and 1 home run. He struck out 24 times and walked only 3.

He made his final 2 hits against the Dodgers on Sept. 24, when he played the entire game at second base. He started at second the next day, going 0 for 2, the pinch ran scored on Sept. 27 and 29.


On Oct. 14, the National League held its draft to stock the rosters of the Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres, the teams that would begin play in 1969.

The Cubs did not protect Arcia and the Padres made him the ninth player selected.

He played 2 seasons for San Diego, batting .218/.267/.279. Of his 116 hits, 26 went for extra bases: 20 doubles, 6 triples and no home runs.

None of his hits were walk-offs.

Arcia returned to the minors in 1971. In a mirror image of how his career began, he played for 6 teams, from Hawaii to Florida, that were affiliated with the Padres, Angels, Twins, Royals and Astros.

He was 32 when he retired after the 1976 season.

Over 15 seasons, at all levels, he he had played in 1,490 games, batting at least 2,959 times (some records are incomplete) and hitting at least 54 home runs.



Just over 5 years had separated the Cubs' first and second walk-off homers that proved to be a player's only home runs as a Cub.

More then 30 years would pass before it happened again, 30 years in which the Cubs played 4,797 games and 43 players hit their lone home run for the team.

Jason Maxwell became the 150th such player when he delivered a pinch-hit, 2-run homer at Wrigley Field on Friday, Sept. 11, 1998.

His fourth-inning blast came with the Cubs trailing the Brewers, 9-3, in a game they eventually lost, 13-11.


The slugging continued on Saturday, but for a long time it was exclusively by Milwaukee.

After the Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, the Brewers unloaded against Cubs starter Mike Morgan in the third. A single, a bunt, an error and another single loaded the bases.

The next 3 batters tripled, doubled and homered, producing 6 runs. After a ground out, Morgan served up back-to-back solo homers, leaving the Cubs behind, 2-8.


The Brewers added 2 runs in the fifth: 2-10.

Jose Hernandez hit a solo homer in the bottom of the inning: 3-10.

Gary Gaetti homered with a runner on in the sixth: 5-10.

But with 2 out and a man on first in the top of the seventh, a double and a single made it 5-12.



A walk, a strikeout and a double in the bottom half brought up Sammy Sosa. On a 3-2 pitch, Sosa walloped a ball 430 feet onto Waveland Avenue. It was his 60th homer of the year, to join Babe Ruth, Roger Maris and Mark McGwire as the only players to hit 60 homers in a season.

After the Sosa circled the bases and took a curtain call, Glenallen Hill worked the count to 3-2, too, then cranked a pitch 435 feet for another homer: 9-12.

The next 2 Cubs were retired, but after the Brewers failed to score in the eighth, Tyler Houston led off with a drive into the seats in right: 10-12.


That still was the score when Sosa opened the ninth with a ground-ball single through the left side against new reliever Bob Wickman Hill singled to center, with Sosa stopping at second.

Gaetti laid down a bunt on the first pitch. Mickey Morandini drew a 3-2 walk, loading the bases.

Houston took a ball, then smacked the next pitch through the hole between first and second, scoring Sosa and Hill: 12-12.



Manny Alexander had entered the game at shortstop for the Cubs as part of a 2-out, none-on double switch in the top of the inning. He was due up next.

In exactly 100 games, Alexander was batting .233/.285/.339. Manger Jim Riggleman sent up Orlando Merced, whose line was .276/.335/.401, in 76 games.

Only 4 of those games had been for the Cubs.


Merced, 31 years old and a 9-year veteran, had spent his first 7 seasons with the Pirates. In November 1996, they had traded him to the Blue Jays. He signed as a free agent with the Twins in January 1998, only to be swapped to the Red Sox on July 31.

He played 9 games for Boston, went 0 for 9, and was released on Sept. 1. Four days later, he joined the Cubs.


In the Friday loss to the Brewers, the first 2 Cubs had reached base against Wickman. Merced then had batted for Alexander and smacked a 1-1 pitch into a 6-4-3 double play.

On Saturday, facing Wickman again, Merced took a ball, then drilled the next pitch into the seats in right-center, sending the crowd of 39,170 into delirium: Cubs 15, Brewers 12.



"Just imagine -- hitting a home run that overshadowed Sosa's 60th," wrote the Tribune's Paul Sullivan.

Said Merced: "If you said that one or two weeks ago, I'd have said you were crazy."

"Unbelievable," said Sosa. "I could never feel more happy than I feel today."

It was the first home run as a Cub by Merced, but not for his bat; Houston had borrowed it when he had homered in the eighth.


The victory kept the Cubs, 13 games behind in the Central Division, 1 game ahead of the Mets for the lone Wild Card berth in the playoffs.

They won the series finale on Sunday, 11-10, by scoring twice in the ninth, then getting a 2-out walk-off homer in the 10th from Mark Grace.

Then they went 5-7 to close out the season, setting up a 163rd game against the Giants at Wrigley Field to determine which team would be the Wild Card.

Merced took over in left field as part of a double switch in the seventh inning, with the Cubs leading, 4-0. He grounded out with a runner on second and 1 out in the seventh, then raced from the outfield to join the celebratory scrum on the mound when the Cubs weathered a 3-run ninth to win, 5-3.


In his 12 games as a Cub, Merced batted .300/.333/.600, with 2 singles and his epic home run.

He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Expos. He divided 2000 between a team in Japan and Houston's top farm club, then played 3 seasons for the Astros before retiring, at age 36, after 2003.

In his 13-year career, he batted .277/.355/.426, with 103 homers among his 1,108 hits.



The Cubs have played 3,637 games during the 33-plus years since Orlando Merced's walk-off home run on Sept. 12, 1998.

They have hit 4,109 homers, including 41 that turned out to be the player's only homer as a Cub.

None of those 41 was a walk-off.

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