FanPost

Top stars' last games as Cubs, Part 2

Second of 2 posts about the last games as a Cub, in chronological order, of the 24 players who compiled the highest career WAR while with the team. His WAR and rank among the 24 is shown in parentheses after each player's name.

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GABBY HARTNETT (54.5, 9th)

Date: Sept. 29, 1940

Site, opponent and score: at St. Louis; lost, 6-0

37th game of season, 1,926th as Cub

Made unknown out as pinch hitter in ninth to end game.

Game was his 13th since his last start, July 25 at Boston, where he went 1 for 3, a double, plus a walk in an 8-4 win.

Had been manager of Cubs since midway through 1938. Was fired after they finished fifth, with record of 75-79. Played 64 games for Giants in 1941, then retired.

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BILLY HERMAN (42.0, 18th)

Date: May 4, 1941

Site, opponent and score: at New York; lost, 9-4

11th game of season, 1,344th as Cub

Went 0 for 3 with a walk. Walk came with 2 out in second. Next batter made an out. Lined out to end third with 2 on base and Cubs behind, 5-2. Made unknown out to end seventh with 2 aboard and score 5-3.

Two days later, was traded to Dodgers for Charlie Gilbert, Johnny Hudson and $65,000. Played 488 games for Dodgers, then 75 for Braves and 37 for Pirates before retiring after 1947.

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CHARLIE ROOT (38.1, 23rd)

Date: Sept. 20, 1941

Site, opponent and score: at home vs Reds; won, 5-1

19th game of season, 605th as Cub*

Worked around 5 hits and 5 walks to gain 201st victory, most by any Cubs pitcher. Struck out 5. Run was first of game, in second inning, on walk, bunt and double. Walked bases loaded with 1 out in fourth and Cubs ahead, 2-1, then started 1-2-3 double play. Set down final 7 batters, striking out last.

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STAN HACK (55.5, 7th)

Date: Sept. 24, 1947

Site, opponent and score: at Cincinnati; lost, 6-5

76th game of season, 1,938th as Cub*

Entered game to play third base in bottom of tie with score tied. First batter homered.

Had made out as pinch hitter in final at bat on Sept. 19 at St. Louis.

Last start had been Aug. 30 at home vs. Pirates. Went 0 for 3 in 8-5 loss.

Incredible fact: Cubs were 0-12-1 in Hack's last 13 games: 4 losses, a tie and 8 losses. The Cubs did not win consecutive games in which he played after a win at Philadelphia on June 14, going 4-33-1. That June 14 win marked the Cubs' all-time high of 1,179 games above .500. They are currently 556 above.

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BILL NICHOLSON (38.4, 22nd)

Date: Sept. 29, 1948

Site, opponent and score: at home vs. Reds; lost, 5-3

143rd game of season, 1,349th as Cub

Went 1 for 4, a single leading off fourth inning. Hit sacrifice fly in fifth to make score 5-2. Lined out to right fielder in ninth. Traded to Phillies after season.

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ERNIE BANKS (67.7, 4th)

Date: Sept. 26, 1971

Site, opponent and score: at home vs. Phillies; lost, 5-1

39th game of season, 2,528th as Cub*

Went 1 for 3 plus a walk. Made infield single in first, sending runner to second, who then scored on hit by next batter. Walked with 2 out and nobody on in third, then forced out. Popped up to third baseman in final at bat in eighth.

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RON SANTO (72.1, 2nd)

Date: Oct. 1, 1973

Site, opponent and score: at home vs. Mets; lost, 6-4

149th game of season, 2,126th as Cub

Went 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts. Flied out to right leading off second, struck out in first, fouled out to catcher with 1 out and 2 on in fifth, then struck out to end seventh. Traded to White Sox after season.

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BILLY WILLIAMS (61.7, 5th)

Date: Oct. 1, 1974

Site, opponent and score: at Pittsburgh; lost, 6-5

117th game of season, 2,213th as Cub

Doubled home 2 runs as pinch hitter with 1 out in seventh to give Cubs 4-3 lead. Pinch runner was out at home trying to score on single. Triple then scored batter who had singled for 5-3 lead. Cubs gave up run in bottom of inning on triple and wild pitch, then surrendered single and 2-run homer in eighth.

Last start had been previous day, Sept. 30. Went 1 for 3, a single with 2 out and nobody on in first. Scored on hit batsman, single and walk. Flied out in third with 1 out and nobody on. Grounded to second leading off sixth, then replaced in field in bottom of inning. Traded to Athletics after season.

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FERGUSON JENKINS (54.8, 8th)

Date: Sept. 26, 1983

Site, opponent and score: at home vs. Phillies; lost, 5-2

33rd game of season, 401st as Cub

Entered game to start ninth inning with Cubs trailing, 3-2. Got first batter to pop up, then gave up single to Mike Schmidt and home run to Joe Lefebvre. Fly outs to right and center ended inning.

Home run was 271st he served up as Cub, far more than by any other pitcher; Charlie Root is second, with 185. Homer was 484th in 664 career games. At time, was second most, behind Robin Roberts' 505. Now ranks third, behind Jamie Moyer (523) and Roberts. Phil Niekro is fourth, with 482; Don Sutton is fifth, with 472; and 8 others have allowed at least 400. Last active among all 13 was Bartolo Colon, seventh with 439, who ended career in 2018. Active leaders are Zack Greinke (367), Justin Verlander (340) and Max Scherzer (328).

Last start had been Sept. 29 at home vs. Cardinals. Lifted after 4 innings, having allowed 4 runs on 5 hits, including a homer, with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.

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RICK REUSCHEL (49.1, 10th)

Date: Sept. 9, 1984

Site, opponent and score: at New York; lost, 5-1

19th game of season, 358th as Cub

Entered game to start eighth inning and recorded grounder to short, popup to shortstop and grounder to short.

Last start had been Aug. 10 at Montreal: 7 innings, 2 runs, 8 hits, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts. Became free agent after season and pitched for 7 more seasons, going 75-60 for Pirates (91 games) and Giants (96).

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RYNE SANDBERG (68.0, 3rd)

Date: Sept. 28, 1997

Site, opponent and score: at St. Louis; lost, 2-1

135th game of season, 2,151st as Cub*

Went 0 for 2, grounding to shortstop in first inning and flying out to deep left-center to end third. Replaced in field in bottom of inning.

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MARK GRACE (44.2, 15th)

Date: Oct. 1, 2000

Site, opponent and score: at Pittsburgh; won, 10-9

143rd game of season, 1,910th as Cub

Went 2 for 3, with singles and double, plus 3 walks. Drove in 3 runs; all other position players among top 24 in WAR combined to drive in 4. Doubled home 2 runs with 1 out in first, then walked with bases loaded in third, giving Cubs 3-1 lead. While batting with bases loaded in sixth, wild pitch cut Cubs' deficit to 8-7; then walked on 3-2 pitch. Singled in eighth with 1 out and runner at first. After strikeout, both runners scored on double to put Cubs in front, 9-8. Walked intentionally in ninth with 1 out, runner on second and score 10-8. After season, became free agent and signed with Diamondbacks.

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SAMMY SOSA (58.8, 6th)

Date: Oct. 2, 2004

Site, opponent and score: at home vs. Braves; lost, 8-6

126th game of season, 1,811th as Cub

Went 2 for 4, with double and homer. Doubled leading off second and was stranded. Homered leading off fourth to break 1-1 tie. Struck out looking with nobody on to end fifth. Grounded to third leading off eighth. Came to park for final game next day and left without permission, prompting trade to Orioles after season.

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CARLOS ZAMBRANO (43.2, 16th)

Date: Aug. 12, 2011

Site, opponent and score: at Atlanta; lost, 9-7

24th game of season, 242nd as Cub

After 1-2-3 first, served up 5 homers, tying career high, with last 2, both solo shots, by final 2 batters faced, with 1 out in fifth inning, making score 7-1. Other homers were by leadoff man in second, 3-run drive with 2 out in third and solo with 1 out in fourth. Gave up 8 total hits, walked none and struck out 3. Traded to Marlins after season for Chris Volstad. Was 7-10 with 4.49 ERA for Miami in 2012, then became free agent. Signed by Phillies in May of 2013, did not pitch for them and was released on July 25, ending big league career at age 31.

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ANTHONY RIZZO (36.8, 24th)

Date: July 28, 2021

Site, opponent and score: at home vs. Reds; lost, 8-2

92nd game of season, 1,308th as Cub

Went 1 for 4, a single with 2 out and nobody on in second. Flied to right in third with 1 out and runner on third. Grounded to second with nobody on to end fifth. Hit into forceout t second in eighth with runner on first and 1 out. Traded to Yankees next day for minor leaguers Kevin Alcantara and Alexander Vizcaino.

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