Cubs' back-to-back homers, 1876-1900, Part 2

Second of 2 posts about the Cubs' back-to-back home runs before 1901.


Based on my research, the Cubs -- as the White Stockings, Colts and Orphans -- hit back-to-back homers 19 times in the 25 seasons prior to the Modern Era.

During those years, they played 2,914 games and homered 998 times.

In all seasons since 1876, the first year of the National League, the Cubs have hit back-to-back homers 372 times and 3 in a row 11 times, for a total of 383 games with multiple homers in an inning.

That adds up to 777 home runs, out of 14,659 total homers, which is 5.3 percent. They have played 21,769 games.



The Cubs, then known as the Colts, opened the 1892 season on April 12, at St. Louis.

"It was in the seventh when disaster struck for the St. Louis club," the Tribune reported. "[Pop] Schriver went to his base on balls and then came calamity. [Walt] Wilmot made a two-bagger, [Bill] Dahlen a two-bagger, [Jimmy] Ryan a home run, and [Cap] Anson a home run. That was all."

The back-to-back homers made the score 14-5 and the Colts went on to win, 14-10.

They also marked the third time the Colts had homered consecutively in less than 11 months, having done so on May 14 and Aug. 25 in 1891.

They would not do so again until July 4, 1895 -- 3 years, 2 months and 24 days later.

During that span, the Colts played 474 games and hit 148 home runs, but only once hit 2 in the same inning. And that was not until April 18, 1895, more than 3 years since the 1892 season opener at St. Louis.



On Independence Day of 1895, the Colts trailed the visiting Reds, 6-1, after 7 innings of Game 1 of a doubleheader. They scored 3 runs in the eighth, 3 more in the ninth and gained an 8-7 victory on a 2-out, bases-loaded hit in the 10th by Bill Everitt.

The Colts were behind again, 3-2, when they came to bat in the third inning of Game 2.

"Dahlen was sent to first by [pitcher Frank] Foreman and was promptly scored by Wilmot, who made a home run. Anson also made a circuit of the bases on a lonesome hit to left field."

Another run, on a walk and 2 singles, made the score 6-3.

"That was enough to win the game, but just for good measure [Bill] Lange and Everitt made home runs in the fifth and Wilmot scored his second [homer] in the seventh."

The homers by Lange and Everitt came consecutively, so after going 1,178 days without hitting back-to-back home runs, the Colts did it twice in 2 innings!

They had a chance to do it a third time in the seventh, after Wilmot homered again, but Anson made an out.

Lange then "stepped up to the plate ready to bat . . . but when the ball was pitcher Catcher [Morgan] Murphy could not see it, and Umpire Andrews called the game and ended the agony" with the score 9-5.


In the Modern Era, the Cubs have hit back-to-back homers twice in just 11 games, and the first of those was not for nearly 60 years: April 16, 1955, at St. Louis.

They did it again in 1958 and 1974, 7 times between 1987 and 2011, and most recently on May 28, 2019, at Houston, when Jason Heyward and Addison Russell homered in the second inning and David Bote and Kyle Schwarber did so in the sixth.



After the 2 sets of consecutive homers on July 4, 1895, the Colts didn't get one homer after another again for more than 2 years.

Then they did it on 2 straight Mondays.

On Aug. 30, 1897, Everitt led off at New York and "slashed the ball to the clubhouse for a homer."

In the second, with 2 out and nobody on, Clark Griffith walked and scored on "[Malachi] Kittridge's ripping double.

"Everitt lifted the sphere into the bleachers for his second homer, and Dahlen drove a clean four-baser to center."


The following Monday, Sept. 6 was Labor Day, and the Colts spent it at Brooklyn, playing 2 games against the Bridegrooms. They lost the morning contest, 14-7.

"In weird, pathetic, abortive style the Colts went down in defeat in the first game," the Tribune declared. "Anson, 'Papa Anson,' the godfather of baseball, played like a boss hodcarrier at a picnic, and succeeded in putting up such a pitiful exhibition at first that [pitcher Clark] Griffith grew disgusted, and permitted the Trolley Dodgers to pound out all the runs they wanted, which was twice as many as they needed.

"The old man was about as handy as a cow with a musket, and indeed his whole team seemed to be suffering from loss of sleep. It was too early in the morning for hired men to work."



As for Game 2:

"In the afternoon, under the stimulus of a midday siesta and a great, good-natured crowd, who watched the fierce game with bubbling enthusiasm, over what nobody cared, the Colts turned and in fierce slugging rallied wreaked sweet vengeance on the Perambulator Pushers [!], and added a victory to the[ir] meager list."

The Colts were behind, 6-2, after 3 innings, then rallied in the fourth.

With 1 out, "Kittridge drew a base; [Walter] Thornton perished. Ryan drove a terrific homer to center, and a moment later Dahlen cracked the sphere across the fence in left for a four-bagger."

The Colts scored 4 runs in the seventh to take a 12-8 lead.

"Thornton pitched three balls in the eighth, and as darkness fell over Jamaica Bay, [Umpire] T. Hurst dismissed the congregation."



Those 2 sets of back-to-back homers in 1897 were the Colts' 17th and 18th in National League play.

They hit consecutive homers just once more in their 469 subsequent games through the end of 1900, during which they hit 81 home runs.

The back-to-back blasts came in the 405th of those games, the finale of a 5-city, 12-game trip, at New York, on Aug. 2, 1900.

The Giants had tied the score at 2 with a run off pitcher Clark Griffith in the bottom of the sixth.

"In retaliation, Griffith started the seventh with a two-bagger and scored on [Jack] McCarthy's hit, making the score 3 to 2, with bright prospects of more runs, but an instant later McCarthy blundered into a double play when [Cupid] Childs flied out, and it seemed the evil luck was still to pursue the Chicagoans.

"Then [Sam] Mertes and [Danny] Green singled in rapid succession and [Charlie] Dexter came to bat.

"Dexter came at the right moment. For months he had been wearing the paint off the bench and occasionally getting chased off the grounds by umpires, yet he has bided the time when he should get into the game. Once his name was on the score card and he felt like a real player again. Today his opportunity came.

"Ryan was out of the game and Dexter was sent to right field; therefore, when he came to bat his ambition was to hit. [Win] Mercer pitched and Dexter swung. The ball flashed out to left.

"Down on the bleacher fence was flag, an Irish flag, marking the foul line, and the ball struck in the floating folds of the flag and dropped into the bleachers, while three runners did the lockstep around the bases, and Chicago led.

"An instant later [John] Ganzel capped his hitting performance of the afternoon by driving the ball over the ropes in right field, making his fourth hit a home run."

The Orphans held on to win the game, 7-6.


Dexter and Ganzel also homered in the same game a week later, at home against the Phillies, but the homer came in different inning.

Those were the first of 10 total home runs that the Orphans hit before the season ended. Twice more, they hit 2 in different innings of a game.



The 38 home runs that the Cubs hit back-to-back before 1901 came from 16 different players, a little less than one fifth of the 84 who homered at least once for the team before 1901.

Nine of the 16 took part in multiple consecutive homers, and those 9 combined to hit 31 of the 38 homers.

Cap Anson was involved in 7 sets of back-to-back homers; Fred Pfeffer, 6; Ned Williamson, 4; and Jimmy Ryan and Walt Wilmot, 3 each.

Here is the full list, ranked by total homers the player hit that were consecutive. After the player's name, in parentheses, is the number he hit as the first of consecutive homers, then the number he hit as the second:

7: Cap Anson (3/4)

6: Fred Pfeffer (3/3)

4: Ned Williamson (1/3)

3: Jimmy Ryan (3/0)

3: Walt Wilmot (2/1)

2: Tommy Burns (1/1)

2: Bill Dahlen (0/2)

2: Bill Everitt (1/1)

2: King Kelly (2/0)

1: Abner Dalrymple (0/1), Charlie Dexter (1/0), Duke Farrell (0/1), Silver Flint (1/0), John Ganzel (0/1), Bill Hutchison (0/1) and Bill Lange (1/0)


During the Modern Era, 235 different Cubs hit at least 1 homer that was among 2 or 3 in a row, with 107 of them doing so at least twice.

For 126 seasons, beginning in 1876, 251 different players took part in consecutive homers, 116 of them at least twice. Since 1876, 845 players have hit at least 1 home run for the team.



The 19 sets of back-to-back homers before 1901 were hit by 14 distinct combinations of players. Only 3 did it multiple times: Cap Anson-Fred Pfeffer (3), Pfeffer-Ned Williamson (3) and King Kelly-Anson (2). Eleven did it once.

During the Modern Era, 45 combinations did it multiple times and 231 did it once.

So, from 1876-2021, 59 combinations have hit back-to-back homers at least twice and 242 have done it only once, for a total of 291 distinct combinations of players who homered consecutively.



HOMERS BY SEASON, 1876-1900:

(15 seasons with 0 omitted

1881: 1

1884: 5

1886: 2

1888: 1

1889: 2

1891: 2

1892: 1

1895: 2

1897: 2

1900: 1




(IPHR denotes inside-the-park homer)

Sept. 28, 1881, at Worcester

2nd inning: King Kelly (2-run IPHR) and Cap Anson (IPHR)

Made score 2-0; won, 7-6

June 3, 1884: at home vs. Buffalo

8th inning: King Kelly and Cap Anson

Made score 2-1; won, 4-3

June 24, 1884: at home vs. Boston

5th inning: Fred Pfeffer (2-run) and Ned Williamson

Made score 10-4; won, 13-6

July 4, 1884 (Game 2): at home vs. Philadelphia

5th inning: Ned Williamson (grand slam) and Tom Burns

Score 17-1 at end of inning; won, 22-3

Aug. 4, 1884: at home vs. Cleveland

6th inning: Silver Flint and Abner Dalrymple

Made score 6-2; won, 9-2

Sept. 30, 1884: at home vs. New York

4th inning: Cap Anson (3-run) and Fred Pfeffer

Score 12-2 at end of inning; won, 17-2

June 25, 1886: at home vs. Washington

1st inning: Fred Pfeffer (3-run) and Ned Williamson

Made score 5-1; won, 16-5

July 23, 1886: at home vs. Kansas City

3rd inning: Fred Pfeffer and Ned Williamson

Made score 6-0; won, 11-0

May 26, 1888: at home vs. Detroit

3rd inning: Cap Anson and Fred Pfeffer (IPHR)

Made score 5-1; lost, 8-9

May 2, 1889: at Indianapolis

3rd inning: Cap Anson and Fred Pfeffer

Made score 6-6; lost, 13-16

Sept. 19, 1889: at home vs. Cleveland

8th inning: Tom Burns (2-run) and Duke Farrell

Made score 6-2; won, 19-10

May 14, 1891: at home vs. Boston

9th inning: Walt Wilmot and Bill Hutchison (IPHR)

Made score 5-1; won, 8-1

Aug. 25, 1891: at home vs. Brooklyn

7th inning: Jimmy Ryan (3-run) and Walt Wilmot

Score 23-2 at end of inning; won, 28-5

April 12, 1892: at St. Louis

7th inning: Jimmy Ryan (2-run) and Cap Anson

Made score 14-5; won, 14-10

July 4, 1895 (Game 2): at home vs. Cincinnati

3rd inning: Walt Wilmot (2-run) and Cap Anson

Made score 5-3; won, 9-5 (6 innings)

July 4, 1895 (Game 2): at home vs. Cincinnati

5th inning: Bill Lange and Bill Everitt

Made score 8-4; won, 9-5 (6 innings)

[Note that previous 2 were in same game]

Aug 30, 1897: at New York

2nd inning: Bill Everitt (3-run) and Bill Dahlen

Made score 5-0; won, 7-5

Sept. 6, 1897: at Brooklyn

4th inning: Jimmy Ryan (2-run) and Bill Dahlen

Made score 5-6; won, 12-8

Aug. 2, 1900: at New York

7th inning: Charlie Dexter (3-run) and John Ganzel

Made score 7-3; won, 7-6

FanPosts are written by readers of Bleed Cubbie Blue, and as such do not reflect the views of SB Nation or Vox Media, nor is the content endorsed by SB Nation, Vox Media or Al Yellon, managing editor of Bleed Cubbie Blue or reviewed prior to posting.