Cubs' homers by first batter of game

Former Cubs fan favorite Kyle Schwarber homered as the Phillies' first batter against the Tigers at Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

That turned out to be the only run of the game.

Alfonso Soriano is the lone Cub to accomplish that feat. He did it on May 9, 2007, at home against the Pirates, by teeing off on an 0-1 pitch by Tom Gorzelany, who would be his teammate on the Cubs in 2009-10.



Soriano hit 22 homers as the first batter among his 181 total homers during 7 seasons with the Cubs, 2007-13.

Rick Monday (17) and Dexter Fowler (12) are the only other Cubs who hit more than 8 leading off the first inning. Brian McRae had the 8.

Schwarber is among 5 players who did it 5 times. The others are Ian Happ, Eddie Miksis, Tuffy Rhodes and Eric Young Sr.

79 different batters have turned the trick a total of 217 times. The most recent was Nico Hoerner, against the Rays on May 30. He became the 35th to do it exactly once.


31 were hit with the Cubs behind, of which 14 tied the score.

10 cut a 2-0 deficit in half.

One of McRae's 5 came after the Giants had scored 3 runs in the top of the first.

Brant Brown and Joe Wallis both homered against the Phillies to make the score 4-1. Happ did the same against the Cardinals.

On Aug. 21, 1983, Cubs starter Dick Ruthven was rocked for 6 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and a walk while getting 2 outs.

After the pitcher to struck out to end the inning, Thad Bosley homered for the Cubs. They hit 3 more homers in the game, but wound up losing, 11-9.



12 of Soriano's 22 first-batter homers were true leadoff homers, coming in the top of the first. Fowler hit 7 such homers; Monday and McRae, 5.

Happ has hit 3, tying him with Shawon Dunston, Stan Hack, Don Kessinger, Rafael Ortega and Rhodes.

Schwarber hit 2. So did 10 others, including Miksis, Anthony Rizzo, Young Sr. and Ben Zobrist.

That makes adds up to 21 batters who did it multiple times.

35 did it once, most recently Christopher Morel, on June 7 of last year, at Baltimore, for a grand total of 104 by Cubs batters



Soriano homered 54 times in his career as his team's first batter of the game, tying him with Craig Biggio and George Springer for the second most by any player. Springer hit his 54th last Friday.

Those 3 have only two thirds the number of the all-time leader: Rickey Henderson, with 81.


39 of Henderson's were true leadoff homers, 8 more than runnerup Soriano.

Curtis Granderson hit 30; Jimmy Rollins, 27; Springer, 24; and Brady Anderson and Biggio, 23.



Through Wednesday, there have been 2,662 true leadoff homers since 1914, an average of about 24 per season.

The Cubs' 104 tied them with the Astros and Guardians for 9th most, but far behind the 134 by the co-leading Twins and Yankees.

They were followed by Tigers (128), Giants (118), Braves and Orioles (113), White Sox (110) and Reds (106).

The Phillies and Red Sox, both with 101, were the only other teams in triple digits. The Dodgers' 95 ranked 14th.


Cubs pitchers had served up 107 leadoff homers, which was 10th most.

The Tigers were first by far, with 131, to 116 by the Orioles and 115 each by the Giants, White Sox and Yankees.

Others ahead of the Cubs: the Athletics (104), Guardians (110), Braves and Phillies (both 110).

The Red Sox came right after the Cubs, with 102. The Reds had 97.



There have been nearly 25 percent fewer homers through Wednesday by the first batter in the bottom of the first: 2,016, about 18 per season.

The top 3 teams were the Yankees (113), Dodgers (107) and Giants (100).

Then there was a big gap to the Orioles (92).

Next came the Tigers (91), Athletics (88) and Braves (87).

The Cubs' 83 ranked eighth, ahead of the Phillies' 81 and Guardians' 80.


On May 23, the Red Sox became the first team to surrender 100 first-batter home runs. Mickey Moniak of the Angels hit it.

The Reds had given up 96; the Yankees, 86; the Twins, 84; and the Phillies and Tigers, 80.

The Cubs and Braves were tied for 15th most, at 69.



On Tuesday, the same day that Schwarber's first-batter homer earned the Phillies a 1-0 victory, Mauricio Dubon hit a true leadoff homer for the Astros.

It was their only run, too. But they lost, 5-1.

The Cubs have scored just once in 1,914 games since 1914 (!). The run came on a homer in 490 of them, including 4 this season, most recently in a 10-1 shellacking by the Mets on May 25, when Dansby Swanson homered as the second batter in the first inning.


The homer was hit by Cubs' true leadoff batter in just 10 of the 490 games.

Soriano's in the 1-0 win at Pittsburgh in 2007 was the most recent.

The most recent in their 9 losses was a quarter century ago, on May 24, 1998, when the Cubs lost at Atlanta, 2-1. Manny Alexander hit it.

2 other Cubs hit a leadoff homer in a 2-1 loss: Frank Baumholtz, at Cincinnati on Aug. 10, 1954, and Lenny Randle, at Los Angeles against the Dodgers on May 12, 1980.

The other losses after a leadoff homer, with the name of the batter who homered in parentheses after the score:

Aug. 4, 1914, at New York, 4-1 (Tommy Leach)

Sept. 20, 1922, at Philadelphia, 11-1 (Jigger Statz)

July 30, 1936, at New York, 3-1 (Augie Galan)

May 25, 1966, at St. Louis, 9-1 (Adolfo Phillips)


Schwarber was the last Cub to hit a homer as the first batter in the bottom of the first for their only run. He did it on June 18, 2019, in a 3-1 loss to the White Sox.

The 4 previous such homers:

July 21, 1962, vs. Dodgers, 3-1 (Lou Brock)

May 7, 2005, vs. Phillies, 4-1 (Corey Patterson)

June 1, 2011, vs. Astros, 3-1 (Kosuke Fukudome)

May 1, 2018, vs. Rockies, 3-1 (Anthony Rizzo)

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