The temperature in St. Louis reached 97 degrees and felt like 106 during the Cubs-Cardinals game Saturday afternoon.
That sent me searching for the hottest weather in which the Cubs ever played.
Baseball-reference.com's temperature data is spotty until around 1983, but it includes 5 games with a recorded temperature of 104.
One of those was on May 14 of this year, at Phoenix. But the roof was closed at Chase Field, so that game can be ignored.
Following is a look at the 4 others.
SUNDAY, JUNE 29, 1952
At Crosley Field, Cincinnati
From the Chicago Tribune:
The Cubs managed to get an even break for themselves today in a frying pan doubleheader with the Cincinnati Reds, but it could easily have wound up with Phil Cavarretta's boys on the bottom of the pile in both cases.
A seven-run ninth inning saved them from that embarrassment in the first half of the afternoon's entertainment.
With that last-minute splurge against three Rhineland pitchers, the Chicagoans sweated thru their flannels to a 9 to 8 triumph before 13,622 customers, many of whom had gone to air-conditioned spots before the show finished.
Those who weren't distressed by the heat got their reward in a 9 to 1 achievement for Luke Sewell's fellows.
The official temperature was 97. In the roof top press box it reached 104 degrees, but a cold wave set in and the mercury contracted to 102.
Down on the playing field it was far more uncomfortable. [Outfielder] Hank Sauer became starry-eyed and couldn't bounce back. [Catcher] Bruce Edwards had to give up after three innings in the second game. More than a few of the Reds quit for the same reason.
After the first 2 batters were retired in the ninth inning of Game 1, the Cubs' chance of winning was 0.01 percent.
They they went: double, walk, RBI single, run-scoring error, hit by pitch loading the bases, 2-run single, RBI double, intentional walk loading the bases and 2-run single.
Only 1 other team ever has won a game after its chance of victory was so low. In 1990, the Phillies reached 0.01 in the seventh inning, with 1 out, when they trailed, 1-11. They beat the Dodgers, 12-11, by scoring 2 runs in the eighth and 9 in the ninth.
SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 1953
At Wrigley Field, Chicago
The previous day, the Cubs and Dodgers had split a doubleheader in front of "18,776 steaming fans," of whom 15 were treated for heat exhaustion.
In the single game on Saturday, the Cubs took a 3-2 lead by scoring twice in the sixth, but Jackie Robinson's 2-run pinch-hit double put the Dodgers back in front in the seventh and they went on to win, 5-3.
From the Tribune:
For the second successive day temperatures in the vine clad arena exceeded 100 degrees.
In the fifth inning, Umpire Jocko Conlan, one of the finest, put on a remarkable demonstration of rabbit-ear listening in a high cross wind from the south.
Jocko, working back of second, heard every word catcher Clyde McCullough said, sotte voce, in a tete-a-tete with a companion in the shade of the dugout.
It took Jocko more than 5 minutes to get Clyde on the way to his tub, tho McCullough probably had a cool bath in mind when he started to whisper criticism of a call on Ransom Jackson at second base in the fourth inning.
Later in the game Umpire Augie Donatelli chased Robinson, but this came too late to do the Cubs any good.
Nearly 70 years later, this remains the game with the highest recorded temperature at Wrigley Field.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 5, 1954
At Busch Stadium, St. Louis
The Cubs lost to the Cardinals, 6-2.
From the Tribune:
Brooks Lawrence, a strutting, struggling farm hand from Columbus, slowed down the Cubs' 1955 contract drive today by pitching six-hit ball in 104-degree temperature to snap the Cardinals' seven-game losing streak.
Only Hank Sauer and Ralph Kiner were able to cause young Lawrence any trouble, as he virtually breezed thru nine innings in tropical Busch Stadium to his 12th major league triumph since June 24.
Lawrence, a 29-year-old right-hander, finish the season 15-6, with a 3.74 earned run average. After going 3-8 the next season, he was traded to the Reds.
He went 19-10 and 16-13 in his first 2 years with Cincinnati, then a combined 16-25 in the next 3, after which he retired, at age 35.
SUNDAY, JULY 23, 1961
At Connie Mack Stadium, Philadelphia
The Cubs' bats were as hot as the thermometer.
From the Tribune:
The temperature went over 100 today on the playing field in Connie Mack Stadium -- and so did the Chicago Cubs' home run total.
The Cubs fled from the heat of the east by salvaging a final victory on a dismal road trip, an 11 to 5 triumph over the last-place Phillies made possible by four homers and Don Elston's best relief pitching stint since May.
Don Zimmer hit two of the homers, his seventh and eighth of the season. Ed Bouchee hit his ninth, George Altman clouted his 19th, and with eight of the 11 Cubs runs accumulated from these blasts, the Cubs broke a seven-game losing streak.
It was only the third victory in a dozen games since the troubled Chicagoans departed on a post All-Star Game excursion. . . .
The Cubs now have hit 101 homers for the year.
MORE HOT GAMES
Other days on which the Cubs have played in triple-digit temperatures:
103: June 25, 1988, at home vs. Mets (won, 5-2)
103: July 13, 1995, at home vs. Reds (lost, 11-5)
102: June 22, 1988, at Philadelphia (lost, 5-3)
100: Aug. 31, 1953, at New York (lost, 13-4)
100: July 11, 1954, at St. Louis (lost, 4-3)
Saturday's game was 59th since 1901 that the Cubs have played with a recorded temperature of at least 95: 19 at home and 40 on the road.
The most recent at home was on June 29, 2018, when the high was 96 while they were beating the Twins, 10-6.
The Cubs are 6-13 in those hot games at home. They are 16-24 on the road, for a total of 22-37.
In 2020, the Diamondbacks played 2 games indoors at Phoenix while it was a blistering 113 outside.
Three games have been played outdoors in 109 degrees: Twins vs. Rangers at Texas, on June 27, 1980; Blue Jays vs. Rangers at Texas, on Aug. 26, 1988; and Astros vs. Angels at Los Angeles, on Sept. 5, 2020.
When the Tigers and Senators played in Washington on July 10, 1936, it was 108 degrees, as it was on July 6, 2018, when the Angels hosted the Dodgers.
The Rangers have played 5 games at home in 107 degrees (1980, 1988 and 2 in 2018). The Cardinals (1930) and Royals (2011) have done so once.
Nine games have been played when it was 106, and 11 when it was 105.
That makes a total of 32 games played at 105 or more.
Half took place at Texas, 5 each at Los Angeles and Kansas City, 3 at St. Louis, and 1 each at Baltimore, Houston and
There have been 106 games when it was between 100 and 104, making a grand total of 138 that took place in triple-digit heat.
Those 106 do not include 80 times when it was at least 100 in Phoenix on days the Diamondbacks were at home. It also omits 2 games played indoors at Houston and 1 each at Milwaukee and at Minnesota while it was 100 or more outdoors.
HIGHEST FOR EACH CITY
Here, from highest to lowest, are the highest temperatures recorded for games at each of the current Major League cities, with separate entries for cities that have multiple teams:
113: Phoenix (2 games)
109: Los Angeles (Angels)
108: Washington (Senators)
107: Kansas City; Arlington, Texas
106: St. Louis
105: Baltimore, Houston
104: Atlanta, Chicago (Cubs), Cincinnati (3 games), Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, San Diego
102: Boston, Chicago (White Sox), Los Angeles (Dodgers)
101: New York (Mets and Yankees), Pittsburgh
100: Denver, Minneapolis
96: Cleveland, Miami, San Francisco
The highest temperature for a Nationals game at Washington has been 101, twice.