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Cubs' bases-loaded walks

With 2 outs and the bases loaded in the second inning against the Padres on Wednesday night, PJ Higgins took a 3-1 pitch up and out of the strike zone.

Higgins thus became the 400th different Cubs batter to draw a walk with the bases loaded since 1915, first season for which baseball-reference.com has play-by-play data.

Jonathan Villar, the previous batter, had been the 399th.

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And, get this: through Thursday, there had been 4,999 different batters on all teams to walk with the bases loaded!

They had done so 22,528 times.

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The walk to Higgins was the Cubs' 994th that forced in a run.

That is the 10th most among all teams, but second among National League clubs. The Dodgers have 1,084, which ranks fifth overall.

The top 4: Yankees (1,323), Red Sox (1,290), Athletics (1,159) and Guardians (1,084).

Other teams ahead of the Cubs: Tigers (1,077), Twins (1,061), White Sox (1,049) and Orioles (1,039).

The Giants follow the Cubs, with 976.

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Cubs pitchers have walked 1,017 batters with the bases loaded, most among NL teams. The Reds are next, with 962.

7 AL teams have walked more than the Cubs: Athletics (1,212), Orioles (1,148), Yankees (1,099), White Sox (1,088), Guardians (1,075), Tigers (1,065) and Red Sox (1,028).

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MOST BY A CUB

Ron Santo holds the Cubs' record for bases-loaded walks, 24.

Others with at least 10:

20: Mark Grace

19: Bill Nicholson

18: Gabby Hartnett

17: Don Kessinger

15: Phil Cavaretta and Stan Hack

13: Sammy Sosa

11: Kiki Cuyler, Dom Dallessandro, Leon Durham and Hank Leiber

10: Woody English, Billy Herman and Anthony Rizzo

Jody Davis is the only player with 9.

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MOST BY ANY BATTER

A pair of long-time Red Sox rank 1-2 in most such walks.

Carl Yastrzemski had 39 during his 23 seasons, all with Boston.

Dwight Evans had 38 -- 34 during 19 years with the Sox and 4 during his final year, with the Orioles.

Only 1 other player had more than 31: Luke Appling, with 34.

4 players had 31: Derek Jeter, Mickey Mantle, Joe Morgan and Elmer Valo.

5 had 30: Rocky Colavito, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Sewell, Mickey Tettleton and Ted Williams.

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Santo had 1 bases-loaded walk in his final season, with the White Sox, for a career total of 25. That ties him with 6 players for 34th most. Those 6: Willie Kamm, Jorge Posada, Pee Wee Reese, Pete Rose, Babe Ruth and Paul Waner.

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Mantle's 31 are the most among the 28 players who have hit at least 500 home runs.

Here are the top 10 in homers and the bases-loaded walks for each:

762, Barry Bonds: 24

755, Hank Aaron: 12

714, Babe Ruth: 25

696, Alex Rodriguez: 27

683, Albert Pujols: 15

660, Willie Mays: 14

630, Ken Griffey Jr.: 13

612, Jim Thome: 12

609, Sammy Sosa: 13

586, Frank Robinson: 14

So, Bonds, Ruth and Rodriguez all had 24-27, while the 7 others all had just 13-15!

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MOST IN A GAME

Baseball-reference says there was 1 game in which a team had 8 bases-loaded walks. Alas, there is way to find that game.

There have been 3 games with 6, 18 with 5 and 73 with 4, for a total of 95 with at least 4.

The Cubs have had a high of 4, 4 times:

1. July 7, 1939, at home vs. Reds. The Cubs trailed, 0-4, at the start of the third inning. A double and 2 walks loaded the bases, followed by the first walk that scored a run. A single made the score 4-2, then 3 straight walks gave the Cubs a 5-4 lead. They gave up 4 runs in the top of the ninth, tying the score at 8, but won in the bottom on a 2-out, bases-loaded hit.

2. Aug. 8, 1965, at New York vs. Mets. The first 2 came back-to-back, in the sixth inning, cutting the Cubs' deficit to 5-9. The third, in the top of the ninth, put them ahead, 11-10, and the fourth, 1 out later, increased their lead to 13-10.

3. April 12, 2009, at Milwaukee. The first, with 1 out in the fourth inning, broke a 1-1 tie. The next 3 came with 2 out and made the score 5-1.

4. April 14, 2018, at home vs. Braves. The Cubs were behind, 2-10, when the first walk came in the sixth. The next 3 all came with 2 out in the eighth, when the Cubs scored 9 runs. The first made the score 7-10; the second, 11-10 ; and the third, 12-10. Kyle Schwarber had the walk in the sixth and the second of the 3 in the ninth.

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The 2018 game was the most recent in which the Cubs had more than 2 bases-loaded walks.

Wednesday was the fifth game since then when they had a pair.

It was the first time they had 2 in a row since May 21, 2021, when Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras were walked in the eighth inning at St. Louis.

The previous time they had back-to-back bases-loaded walks at home was Sept. 21, 2019, when Ben Zobrist and Victor Caratini did it in the first inning against the Cardinals.

The Cubs have had 3 run-scoring walks in 12 games, 2 in 87 games and 1 in 766 games.

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GAME SITUATIONS

Of the Cubs' 994 bases-loaded walks, 95 tied the score while 250 put them ahead.

There have been 29, just under 3 percent, that were literal walk-offs.

The most recent of those was July 8, 2018, vs. the Reds, when David Bote took ball 4 to give the Cubs a 6-5 win.

The others since 2000:

2004: Todd Walker, 9th inning, to beat White Sox, 2-1

2009: Jake Fox, 10th, to beat Brewers, 2-1

2010: Aramis Ramirez, 10th, to beat Nationals, 4-3

2012: David DeJesus, 11th, to beat Dodgers, 4-3

2015: Chris Coghlan, 9th, to beat Mets, 2-1

2016: Anthony Rizzo, 11th, to beat Cardinals, 4-3

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Of the 29 walk-offs, 14 came in the 9th, 5 in the 10th and 9 in the 11th.

The only such walk in a later inning was to George Altman, with 1 out in the 16th, to beat the Dodgers, 3-2, on May 23, 1965.

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The Cubs have lost 24 games on a bases-loaded walk. Of the 7 other pre-expansion NL teams, only the Cardinals have lost fewer, 22.

The Braves and Giants each have lost 33; the Reds, 30; and the Dodgers, Phillies and Pirates, 27.

The Red Sox and White Sox top the AL, with 28. The Yankees have 25.

The Cubs' most recent loss by a walk-off walk was on Sept. 10, 2019. Steve Cishek's fourth straight ball with 1 out in the 10th inning gave the Padres a 9-8 victory.

Just 1 Cub ever issued 2 such walks: Don Elston, at San Francisco in the ninth inning in 1961 and in the 12th inning at Pittsburgh in 1964.

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PECULIAR FINAL WALK

A search for bases-loaded walks to the Cubs at baseball-reference.com shows 29 that were walk-offs but 30 that were "last play of game."

On Wednesday, Aug. 20, 1958, the Cubs lost Game 1 of a doubleheader to the Pirates, 4-2.

In Game 2, they took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, then added 2 more runs in the fourth, the second on a 2-out RBI single by Johnny Goryl off Bob Friend.

With the score 3-1, the Cubs loaded the bases with 1 out in the fifth, then a fly ball drove home a run.

A wild pitch by Friend followed, prompting an intentional walk to load the bases again. Goryl then coaxed a walk, forcing in a run.

Then, according to the Chicago Tribune, "Umpire Augie Donatelli, who probably couldn't see the last pitch anyway, signalled an end. It was too dark to continue, but rain came up at the same moment to provide further reason for the halt."

So Goryl's walk was the final play but not a walk-off.

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There has been only 1 other walk of its kind.

It came on Aug. 6, 1975, when rain halted play in the top of the ninth inning at New York, moments after a walk had reduced the Mets' lead over the Expos to 9-6.

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