Cubs' Opening Day batting records

It's never too early to set batting records.

Here are marks that the Cubs can shoot for on Opening Day, based on analysis of box scores from each of their first games of the Modern Era, 1901-2022.



RUNS: 16, in 2005 and 2006

The Cubs scored as many as 13 runs in only 1 of their first 102 season openers, a 13-4 triumph at St. Louis. They hit 3 home runs, all by the bottom 3 in the batting order: Gene Baker, Clyde McCullough and pitcher Paul Minner. McCullough and Dee Fondy each had 4 of the Cubs' 16 hits.

Then the Cubs topped that 13-run debut 3 times in 4 seasons.

First, they routed the Mets, 15-2, at New York to begin 2003. Corey Patterson led the 16-hit attack with 4 hits, 2 of them homers, and drove in 7 runs.

Two years later, the Cubs crushed the Diamondbacks, 16-6, at Arizona. They collected 23 hits, including 4 by Derrek Lee and 3 each by Jeromy Burnitz, Patterson and Aramis Ramirez. Lee and Ramirez both homered.

In 2006, at Cincinnati, they broke a 5-5 tie with 7 runs in sixth inning, added 4 in the ninth and won, 16-7. Matt Murton, Juan Pierre and Todd Walker had 3 hits apiece for half of the Cubs' 18. Murton homered.


The most runs the Cubs have scored at home in a season opener is 10, first accomplished in 1927, 95 years ago, when they beat the Cardinals, 10-1. Earl Webb hit 2 homers and walked twice. Charlie Grimm drove in 4 runs, 3 on a home run.

The only other time they scored 10 at home was in 1965, in an 11-inning tie against the Cardinals. The Cubs pulled even at 9-9 on a 3-run, 2-out homer in the ninth by Ernie Banks, then knotted the score again on Ron Santo's RBI double in the 11th.

The Cubs have scored double-digit runs in 7 openers on the road.


HITS: 23, in 2005

The 23 hits in that 16-6 shellacking at Arizona in 2005 are 5 more than they have made on any other Opening Day. The first 10 came in 1.2 innings against starter Javier Vazquez.

Every player in the starting lineup had at least 1 hit, including pitcher Carlos Zambrano, who had 1 of the Cubs' 4 doubles. Reliever Cliff Bartosh added a single, as did defensive replacement Jason Dubois.

The Cubs went 10 for 18 with runners in scoring position.

The Cubs have finished with 18 hits in 3 other openers: 1901, 1936 and 2006.

They have had at least 10 hits in 49 of their 122 season debuts.


DOUBLES: 7, in 1950

The Cubs were clinging to a 6-5 lead at Cincinnati with 1 out in the top of the ninth inning. Then Preston Ward smacked their seventh double, Hank Sauer walked and Andy Pafko walloped a 3-run homer that made the difference in a 9-6 victory.

The homer was Pafko's second of the day. Ward also homered.

Hal Jeffcoat had 2 doubles. Besides Ward, the others were by Pafko, Sauer, Roy Smalley and Wayne Terwilliger.

The Cubs had 6 doubles in a 9-8 win at St. Louis in 1930 and in an 8-4 win at Pittsburgh in 1964.

Then they had 6 at home for the only time in 1975, while falling to the Pirates, 8-4.


TRIPLES: 3, in 1912

The Cubs led, 5-1, midway through the fourth inning at Cincinnati, only to lose, 10-6.

They have had 2 triples in 8 season openers: 6 between 1901 and 1917, then in 1926 and 1951.


HOME RUNS: 5 IN 1936

The Cubs teed off against Dizzy Dean at St. Louis, as he departed after 6 innings in which he served up 14 hits, 4 of them homers.

Frank Demaree hit the first 2, with 1 on in the first and the bases empty in the fifth. Chuck Klein and Gabby Hartnett homered back-to-back in the sixth, Klein with a runner aboard.

Then Billy Herman's homer off reliever Bill McGee in the seventh completed the Cubs' scoring in a 12-7 victory.


The Cubs have slammed 3 homers in 9 other openers, including 2018 at Miami and 2019 at Texas.

The last time they did it at home was in 1994, when Tuffy Rhodes hit all 3 in a 12-8 loss to the Mets.


WALKS: 12, in 2003

Sammy Sosa drew 3 walks during the 15-2 demolition of the Mets at New York. Moises Alou, Mark Belhorn and Hee-Seop Choi each did it twice; Alex Gonzalez, Mark Grudzielanek and defensive replacement Ramon Marinez, once.

The Cubs struck out 6 times in that game. That plus-6 differential of walks to strikeouts is their best in any season opener.

They were plus-5 in 2000, when they had 10 walks and 5 strikeouts in a 5-3 win over the Mets at Tokyo. That is the only other Opening Day in which they reached double digits in walks.

They also were plus-5 in 1914 (6 walks, 1 strikeout) while losing at Cincinnati, 10-1.

Their most walks at home were 8, in the 10-10 tie with the Cardinals in 1965.


STRIKEOUTS: 15, in 2013

The Cubs managed to win at Pittsburgh, 3-1, despite their 15 whiffs, thanks to Anthony Rizzo's 2-run homer in the first and Wellington Castillo's RBI double in the sixth.

Brent Lillibridge struck out in each of his 3 trips to the plate. David DeJesus, Alfonso Soriano, Luis Valbuena and pitcher Jeff Samardzija each fanned twice.

Alberto Gonzalez went down swinging as the Cubs' final batter, to break the mark of 14 strikeouts on Opening Day that had stood since 1960, in an 11-inning, 3-2 loss at Los Angeles.

Their most in a season opener at home: 13, last year, while losing to the Pirates, 5-3.

They have struck out at least 10 times in 14 openers, 10 of them since 1999.



RUNS: 4, by 2 players

Billy Herman scored 4 times in the Cubs' 12-7 win at St. Louis in 1936.

He doubled in the first and came home on a single by Chuck Klein, doubled leading off the third and tallied on a single by Gabby Hartnett, doubled in the sixth ahead of a homer by Klein, and hit a 2-run homer in the seventh.

The only player to match Herman is Aramis Ramirez, in the 16-6 rout at Arizona in 2005.

Ramirez singled in the first and scored on a hit by Derrek Lee, doubled home 2 runs in the second and scored on a double by Lee, walked in the sixth and scored on a homer by Lee, and slugged a 2-run homer in the seventh.


HITS: 5, by Billy Herman in 1936

Herman went 5 for 5. Besides his 3 doubles and home run, just described, Herman had an RBI single in the fourth, following a 2-out error.

Nine Cubs have had 4 hits on Opening Day: Jack Doyle (1901), Ripper Collins (1938), Dee Fondy and Clyde McCullough (1954), Ernie Banks (1965), Tuffy Rhodes (1994), Corey Patterson (2003), Derrek Lee (2005) and Emilio Bonifacio (2014).

Banks and Rhodes are the only 2 who did it at home.

Doyle and Fondy had 4 singles. Bonafacio had 4 of the Cubs' 6 hits for the day.


RUNS BATTED IN: 7, by Corey Patterson in 2003

When Patterson homered with a runner on third and 2 out in the seventh, he shattered Ernie Banks' 34-year-old mark of 5 RBI on Opening Day.

Patterson singled home the last of the Cubs' 4 runs in the first, singled in another run in the third, then smashed a 3-run homer in the sixth.

He struck out in the fifth and flied out in the ninth, both with a runner on first.

Banks' 5 RBI in 1969 came on a pair of homers against the Phillies: a 3-run blast in the first and a 2-run shot in the third. Those were the Cubs' only runs until Willie Smith's 2-run homer in the 11th won the game, 7-6.

Seven Cubs have begun a season with 4 RBI: Charlie Grimm (1927), Dee Fondy and Andy Pafko (1950), Hank Sauer (1952), Sammy Taylor (1952), Aramis Ramirez (2005) and Javier Baez (2019).


DOUBLES: 3, by 3 players

Jimmy Sheckard was the first to do it, in 1911, during a 3-3 tie at home against the Cardinals. Sheckard scored 1 run and had no RBI.

Billy Herman matched Sheckard in 1936, as described previously.

Then Rick Monday joined the club in 1975, during an 8-4 loss at home to the Pirates. He doubled and was stranded in the fourth, then doubled home 2 runs to tie the game at 4 in the fifth.

In the seventh, with the score still knotted, he hit a leadoff double. With 1 out, Manny Trillo lined to the shortstop, who stepped on second to double up Monday. The Pirates followed with 4 runs in the eighth.

After the first 2 Cubs reached base in the ninth, Monday grounded into a double play.

Fourteen Cubs have had 2 doubles on Opening Day, including 4 after 1985: Derrek Lee (2005), Michael Barrett and Todd Walker (2006) and Wellington Castillo (2013).


TRIPLES: 2, by 4 players

All 4 did it on the road: Topsy Hartsel (1901) and Jack McCarthy (1905), both at St. Louis, and Frank Schulte (1910) and Jimmy Sheckard (1912), both at Cincinnati.

Schulte also singled, giving him all 3 hits in the Cubs' 1-0 loss.


HOME RUNS: 3, by Tuffy Rhodes, 1994

The Cubs acquired Rhodes from the Astros in a 3-team deadline deal in 1993. He played 15 games for the Cubs in September, hitting 3 homers in 65 trips to the plate.

Leading off at home on Opening Day of 1994, Rhodes homered on a 3-2 pitch by Dwight Gooden of the Mets.

He tied with score at 2 with a 2-out homer in the third.

The Cubs trailed, 9-5, when he started the fifth with his third homer.

Rhodes walked on 4 pitches, loading the bases with 2 out in the sixth, but Ryne Sandberg lined out. He singled leading off the ninth and scored on a 2-out single by Derrick May.

Six Cubs have homered twice on Opening Day: Earl Webb (1927), Frank Demaree (1936), Andy Pafko (1950), Ernie Banks (1969), Corey Patterson (2003) and Javier Baez (2019). Webb and Banks did it at home.


WALKS: 3, by 2 players

Rogers Hornsby walked 3 times and hit into 2 forceouts in his debut with the Cubs in 1929. The second forceout came in the ninth, with nobody out, runners on first and second, and the Cubs trailing, 4-2. They wound up losing, 4-3.

Derrek Lee came to the plate 6 times in the Cubs' 16-7 win at Cincinnati in 2006, but had only 2 official at bats, thanks to 3 walks and a sacrifice fly. His AB were a fly out and an RBI double.


STRIKEOUTS: 4, by 2 players

Babe Herman struck out in the second, fourth and sixth innings of the Cubs' opener at Cincinnati in 1934. He singled in the seventh, then struck out again to end the ninth.

The Cubs still won the game, 6-0,

In 1960, during a 3-2, 11-inning loss at Los Angeles, Frank Thomas struck out in the second, third, eighth and 11th. The first strikeout came with the bases loaded. He also grounded out with the bases loaded in the fifth.

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