Batters' first homers as a Cub, Part 2

Second of 2 posts


768 players have hit a home run as a Cub since 1901, first season of the Modern Era.

On average, their first homer came in their 23rd game.

It took position players an average of 22 games; pitchers, 33.

That initial homer came in the 80th plate appearance.

It was the 71st for position players and the 83rd for pitchers.



No player matched both overall averages of 23 games and 80 PA.

Gene Mauch, the only player to homer in his 80th PA, did so in his 20th game.

Hobie Landrith homered in his 24th game and 79th PA; Roy Smalley, 24th and 78th; and Billy Williams, 26th and 79.

Mauch is among 8 players whose first homer came in his 23rd game. The PA number of the 7 others ranged from 32 to 70.


Joe Girardi and Jack Hiatt came closest to the averages for position players of 22 games and 71 PA.

Girardi's homer was in his 22nd game and 70th PA; Hiatt's in his 21st and 71st.

Others who came close: Dee Fondy (18th and 71st), Marv Rickert (22nd and 73rd) and Woody English (22nd and 74th).


Among pitchers, Kevin Tapani came closest to the averages of 33rd game and 81st PA. He homered in his 32nd game and 81st PA.



22 of the 853 players who homered as a Cub since 1876 hit a second homer in the same game in which they hit their first.

Tom Daly, a second baseman, was the only one to do it in the 19th Century, homering in the second and fourth innings at Philadelphia on May 20, 1887.

The first 2 of the Modern Era turned the trick in the same game, on April 20, 1923, at home against the Pirates.

Bernie Friberg homered in the fifth (147th game, 502nd PA) and eighth; Gabby Hartnett, in the eighth (31st and 90th) and ninth.


Here are the 19 since then, in chronological order, with the innings of both homers and, in parentheses, the game and PA number as a Cub of the first:

July 14, 1926: Riggs Stephenson, 2nd (6th G/24th PA) and 3rd

April 27, 1927: Earl Webb, 1st (1st/1st) and 8th

June 19, 1941: Babe Dahlgren, 6th (4th/16th) and 8th

May 21, 1948: Clarence Maddern, 4th (10th/37th) and 5th

May 16, 1951: Dee Fondy, 7th (18th/71st) and 8th

July 4, 1952: Toby Atwell, 3rd (52nd/194th) and 6th

June 7, 1953: Ralph Kiner, 4th (4th/15th) and 8th

April 25, 1956: Walt Moryn, 4th (8th/28th) and 6th

May 12, 1956: Pete Whisenant, 2nd (4th/7th) and 6th

Aug. 20, 1968: Willie Smith, 1st (30th/76th) and 10th

Sept. 1, 1972: Elrod Hendricks, 4th (7th/20th) and 7th

April 23, 1982: Ryne Sandberg, 4th (14th/57th) and 7th

May 28, 1995: Howard Johnson, 1st (13th/27th) and 7th

Aug. 22, 2000: Rondell White, 1st (15th/53rd) and 4th

April 21, 2001: Todd Hundley, 7th (13th/49th) and 9th

July 2, 2006: Angel Pagan, 7th (10th/24th) and 8th


Note that only 4 of the 2-homer games have come in the past 50 years, and none in the past 16-plus.

Marshall's homers came in Game 1 of a doubleheader. He homered once in Game 2, making him the only player ever to hit his first 3 homers as a Cub on the same day.

Wondering about Tuffy Rhodes, who famously hit 3 home runs on Opening Day of 1993? He had hit 3 homers in 20 games after joining the Cubs the previous September. His first was in his 12th game, in his 21st PA.


Hendricks' homers were the only 2 he hit in his 16 games and 72 PA as a Cub.

Atwell hit just 1 more. He batted 494 times in 128 games.

Maddern hit a total of 5, in 89 games and 246 PA.

Pagan hit 9, in 133 games and 348 PA.

All the others hit at least 11.

Sandberg hit 280.



The Cubs were known as the Orphans in 1899.

After a 6-1 start, the Orphans had lost 4 in a row, then won 7 of 8, the last 6 straight, to tie for first place, at 13-6.

In their next game, on May 8, they trailed the Cleveland Spiders, 5-7, as they came to bat in the bottom of the ninth.

After the first batter flied out, an infield single and a walk brought up rookie second baseman Harry Wolverton, who swung at the first pitch.

"There was a crack," said the Chicago Tribune. "The ball shot out to right like a bat across a streak of moonlight, crashed against The Tribune sign, and fell back into the bleachers."

That was the first of just 10 walk-off blasts that were a player's first as a Cub.


Here are the 9 others, in chronological order, with the game and PA number in parentheses:

Aug. 4, 1907: Pat Moran, solo leading off 12th to beat Giants, 2-1 (103rd/360th)

May 31, 1920: Grover Cleveland Alexander, solo with 2 out in 10th to beat Reds, 3-2 (42nd/136th)

Aug. 20, 1932: Mark Koenig, 3-run with 2 out in 9th to beat Phillies, 6-5 (5th/11th)

April 30, 1940: Al Todd, solo leading off 10th to beat Braves, 8-7 (14th/56th)

May 5, 1950: Randy Jackson, solo leading off 10th to beat Dodgers, 7-6 (4th/14th)

Aug. 25, 1960: Glen Hobbie, solo with 2 out in 9th beat Pirates, 2-1 (72nd/231st)

June 6, 1963: Lindy McDaniel, solo leading off 10th to beat Giants, 3-2 (3rd/3rd)

July 7, 1968: Jose Arcia, solo leading off 9th to beat Pirates, 5-4 (25th/46th)

June 13, 1996: Terry Shumpert, 3-run with 2 out to beat Padres, 9-6 (3rd/6th)


Note that Shumpert's is the only one in the past 54-plus years. He hit only 1 more as a Cub. He batted in 22 games and had 35 PA.

Arcia's homer was his only one in 35 games and 89 PA as a Cub.


Alexander and Hobbie were starting pitchers.

McDaniel, a reliever, was summoned from the bullpen in the top of the 10th with 1 out and the bases loaded. He picked Willie Mays off second, struck out the next batter, then homered.

He never homered again as a Cub. He batted in 38 games and had 49 PA.

In his 21-year career, McDaniel hit 3 homers in 412 PA.

Alexander homered 6 times in 724 PA as a Cub, and 11 in 1,981 over 20 seasons.

Hobbie hit 3 homers as a Cub, in 420 PA, and 4 in 434 PA in his 8 seasons.


Todd, Jackson and Shumpert all hit their walk-off homers after entering the game as a defensive replacement.

In 1940, the Cubs had trailed, 2-7, in the fourth inning.

Hartnett singled home a run with 2 out in the eighth inning to make the score 4-7, then was lifted for a pinch runner. Todd took over as catcher in the top of the ninth

and the Cubs tied the game on back-to-back, 2-out RBI singles by Hank Leiber and Bill Nicholson.

In 1950, Phil Cavaretta pinch hit for Bill Serena with 2 out in the eighth and the Cubs behind, 3-6. After Cavarretta flied out, Jackson replaced Serena at third base to start the ninth. The Cubs tied the game on a 2-out, 3-run homer by Hank Sauer.

In 1996, Shumpert entered the game at third base in the top of the 13th as part of a double switch. He fouled out leading off the bottom of the 13th, then homered on in the 14th on an 0-2 pitch with runners on second and third.



44 of the 768 players who homered as a Cub in the Modern Era hit their first as a pinch hitter.

11, one quarter of them, did so in the past 20 years: Todd Hollandsworth (2004), Freddie Bynum and John Mabry (both 2006), Jeff Baker and Bobby Scales (both 2009), Bryan LaHair (2011), David DeJesus (2012), Willson Contreras (2016), Tony Kemp (2019), Robinson Chirinos (2021) and Christopher Morel (2022).

Morel became only the third to smack a homer while pinch hitting in his first game, after Carmen Fanzone (1971) and Bret Barberie (1996).

Willson Contreras (2016) homered as a pinch hitter in his second game and first PA.

Chirinos and Mabry did it in their second PA; Hollandsworth and Mel Hall in their third. A total of 15 players homered for the first time as a Cub while pinch hitting in fewer than 10 PA.

10 of the 43 never hit another homer as a Cub: Bob Addis, Barberie, Marv Gudat, Lou Jackson, Kemp, Jason Maxwell, Bob Molinaro, Dan Rohn, Matt Walbeck and Derrick White.

The homers by Gudat, Jackson and Rohn were the only ones of their careers.



3 of the pinch-hit first-Cub homers were grand slams: by Bob Scheffing, in 1941; Champ Summers, in 1975; and David DeJesus, in 2012.

16 starting players also cleared the bases with their first homer, beginning with pitcher Larry Corcoran, whose ninth-inning drive on June 20, 1882, was the first grand slam by any Cub.

3 other pitchers also hit a slam as their first homer for the team: Ox Miller (1947), Burt Hooton (1972) and Kevin Tapani (1998).


Here are the 18 slams of the Modern Era that were a player's first homer as a Cub, with the game and PA number in parentheses:

Sept. 21, 1911: Vic Saier (69th/231st)

June 27, 1922: Kettle Wirts (20th/51st)

April 17, 1929: Rogers Hornsby (2nd/10th)

April 29, 1930: Les Bell (5th/10th)

May 18, 1934: Tuck Stainback (24th/84th)

Sept. 20, 1941: Bob Scheffing (46th/123rd)

Sept. 7, 1947: Miller (1st/1st)

May 29, 1954: Walker Cooper (7th/16th)

Sept. 16, 1962: Nelson Matthews (9th/23rd)

Sept. 16, 1972: Burt Hooton (34th/82nd)

April 17, 1974: George Mitterwald (5th/13th)

Aug. 23, 1975: Champ Summers (53rd/72nd)

July 5, 1992: Kal Daniels (4th/10th)

July 20, 1998: Kevin Tapani (32nd/81st)

Aug. 18, 2007: Daryle Ward (52nd/90)

May 11, 2012: David DeJesus (31st/125th)

Sept. 2, 2017: Rene Rivera (6th/17th)

May 4, 2019: Taylor Davis (4th/8th)


Scheffing's broke a 3-3 tie with 1 out in the top of the ninth inning at St. Louis.

DeJesus' gave the Cubs a 4-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning at Milwaukee.

Davis' tied the Cardinals at 5 in the bottom of the fifth.


The slams by Davis, Hooton, Miller and Wirts were their only homers as a Cub. It was the first career homer for each.

So were the slams by Corcoran, Matthews, Saier, Scheffing, Stainback and Tapani.

Corcoran, Rivera and Tapani each hit 1 more homer as a Cub. Daniels and Summers each hit 3 more; Matthews and Stainback, 5; Ward, 6; and Bell, 9.

Later homers by the others whose first was a slam: Cooper, 13; DeJesus, 14; Scheffing, 15; Mitterwald, 25; Saier, 52; and Hornsby, 57.



Cliff Johnson was acquired by the Cubs from Cleveland during the 1980 season. In 68 games and 227 PA following the trade, Johnson hit 10 homers.

His Home Run Log at says the first of those 10 was a walk-off grand slam against the Expos on May 28, with 2 out in the 14th inning.

But that is not true. On May 28, Johnson still was with Cleveland and played at Baltimore, where he made 2 singles and a walk in 5 PA.

The Cubs and Expos battled to a 3-3 tie through 10 innings, then the game was suspended.

Johnson was dealt to the Cubs on June 23 and the next day made an out as a pinch hitter in his first PA.

He hit his first homer as a Cub on July 4, in his 10th game and 26th PA.

Johnson homered 5 more times in 23 games and 78 PA through Aug. 6.

Two days later, the suspended game against the Expos was resumed. Johnson pinch hit in the 11th, striking out with 1 out and runners on first and second. He stayed in the game, at first base.

Each team scored once in the 12th, then Johnson cleared the bases in the 14th.

Under baseball's scoring rules, all events in the conclusion of the game are treated as if they took place on the date it began, so Johnson's slam is recorded taking place on May 28, not Aug. 8.

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