Cubs' 'thousandth' home runs

The Cubs are just 7 home runs away from becoming only the third Major League team hit 15,000.

The Yankees are only 12 away from 17,000, followed by the Giants, with 15,347.

5 teams behind the Cubs have hit at least 14,000: the Braves (14,767), Red Sox (14,338), Tigers (also 14,338!), Orioles (14,131) and Reds (14,069).

The Phillies (13,919) and Athletics (13,870) likely will reach 14,000 next season. The Dodgers (13,800) may do so, too.

The Guardians (13,669) will have to wait at least until 2025.

The Cardinals are 55 away from 13,000.

The White Sox (12,102) and Pirates (12,042) have a long way to go.

The Twins have hit just 11,762.

The Rangers need 56 more to become the first expansion team with 10,000. The runnerup Angels are 37 short of 9,000.


Following is a look at each of the Cubs' "thousandth" homers to date



Batters for the White Stockings, Colts and Orphans slugged 998 home runs from 1876 through 1900.

Their first homer of 1901 came in their second game of the season, at St. Louis on April 20. It was a solo shot, in the second inning, by Barry McCormick off Cowboy Jones.

The Orphans lost, 11-9, and did not hit another home run for 13 games, of which they won only 4.

On Wednesday, May 8, the Orphans faced the Pirates for the seventh straight game, having split 4 at Pittsburgh, then lost the first 2 at the West Side Grounds.

The Orphans fell behind, 5-1, in the fourth inning but scored twice in the sixth, then tied the score on a 2-out hit in the eighth by Frank Chance.

A bunt and a popup brought up Topsy Hartsel, who walloped "a beauteous drive right over the place where 'Little Eva' used to play," in the words of the Chicago Tribune, "sending the ball almost to Uncle Tom Loftus' cabin in deep center. It was an easy home run."



Hartsel's 1,000th homer came in the Cubs' 26th season, in their 2,930th NL game.

It took them another 26 seasons, until 1927, to hit their next 1,000.

But it actually took them more than 1,000 additional games -- 4,029, to be exact.

Home run No. 2,000 came in game No. 6,959. on July 30, 1927.

It was hit by outfieldere Jackson Riggs Stephenson, who went by his middle name. He stood 5-foot-10, weighed 185 pounds and was 29 years old.

His drive to deep right field against the Phillies came with nobody on base and 1 out in the bottom of the sixth inning, with the Cubs trailing, 3-0.

They lost the game, 5-3.



The Cubs needed just 90 minutes to beat the Cardinals on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 1937. Larry French struck out a season-high 10 while working around 5 hits and 4 walks to record a 4-0 shutout.

Dizzy Dean held the Cubs in check until the fourth, in which he walked the first 2 batters. Frank Demaree singled home run and Gabby Hartnett followed with an RBI double.

The score still was 2-0 when Hartnett came up again in the sixth, with 1 out and Demaree on first.

Hartnett launched the ball into the bleachers in left-center, doubling the Cubs' lead.

The home run, Hartnett's ninth of the season and 205th of his career, was his first in 22 games.

It was the first by any Cub in 8 games, since a 2-run homer by Demaree on Aug. 29.

It also was the Cubs' 3,000th in their 8,535 games since 1876.

They had played 1,576 games since hitting No. 2,000 in 1927, nearly 2,500 fewer games than the 4,028 games between No. 1,000, in 1901, and No. 2,000.



It took the Cubs 1,961 games to go from 3,000 homers to 4,000, or 404 more than the 1,577 games needed to go from 2,000 to 3,000.

During the 1940s, the Cubs averaged 75 home runs a season. In the 1950s, they averaged 147, starting with 161 in 1950.

The 84th that year was their 4,000th. It came off the bat of Bill Serena, a 25-year-old third baseman, on Sunday, July 26, in Game 2 of a doubleheader at home against the Phillies.

The score was tied at 1 when Carmen Mauro led off the fifth with a triple and came home on Mickey Owen's base hit. After a forceout and strikeout, Bob Borkowski singled and Roy Smalley hit home run No. 3,999.

Hank Sauer doubled, giving the Cubs at least 1 of all 4 kinds of hit in the inning. Andy Pafko doubled in Sauer, knocking out pitcher Bob Miller.

Blix Donnelly took over and Serena greeted him with his milestone homer, producing the Cubs' 6th and 7th runs of the inning.



After hitting their 3,000th home run, the Cubs had played 1,961 more games before reaching 4,000. But they required only 1,122 games -- almost 850 fewer -- to increase their all-time total to 5,000.

No. 5,000 could not have come in more dramatic fashion.

Facing the Reds at home on Friday, Aug. 16, 1957, the Cubs started out as if they were headed for an easy win. Four of their first 5 batters singled against Art Fowler, producing 2 runs, then Ernie Banks smashed the Cubs' 4,999th home run, making the score 5-0.

After Cincinnati got on the board in the top of the second, Fowler was replaced on the mound in the bottom half by Don Gross, a 26-year-old lefthander. He not only blanked the Cubs for inning after inning, but tripled home a run in the fifth.

The Reds tied the game with 3 more in the sixth on 4 singles. An inning later Frank Robinson's 2-out homer gave them the lead, 6-5.

The Cubs needed only 3 batters in the bottom of the seventh to pull even: a walk, a bunt and an RBI single by Bobby Adams.


Four scoreless innings followed, in which the Reds left the bases loaded in the 10th and the Cubs stranded 2 runners in both the 9th and 11th.

Cincinnati had 2 on with 2 out in the top of the 12th, but Cubs pitcher Jim Brosnan got slugger Ted Kluszewski to fly out, completing his fifth inning of relief.

Gross already had worked 10 innings for the Reds when he toed the rubber to start the Cubs' 12th. He got the first out, but yielded a single to Chuck Tanner.

That brought up Walt "Moose" Moryn, the 41st batter he had faced since entering the game. There would be no 42nd; Moryn promptly delivered a walk-off home run -- the Cubs' 114th of the year and their 5,000th home run in 11,618 games over 82 seasons.



After hitting their 5,000th home run in 1957, Cubs batters needed 1,053 games to hit their next 1,000.

That was the fewest games for any 1,000 so far -- 69 fewer than from 4,000 to 5,000, and a whopping 908 fewer than from 3,000 to 4,000.

They finished the push to reach 6,000 with a flourish, in the first game of a Sunday doubleheader against the Colt .45s on June 28, 1964.

Ernie Banks smacked No. 5,998 in the fifth inning, a 2-run homer that extended the Cubs' lead to 5-2.

Billy Cowan delivered No. 5,999 hit a solo shot, in the sixth.

Then Banks led off the eighth with a single off Larry Yellen, who had just entered the game. Len Gabrielson singled home Banks and Cowan singled as well, with Gabrielson stopping at second.

Dick Bertell, up next, blasted home run No. 6,000, completing the scoring in the Cubs' 10-2 victory.



For baseball fans of a certain age, the name Joe Pepitone brings to mind a slugging young first baseman for the Yankees.

Pepitone was an All Star in each of his first 3 seasons with New York, driving in 100 runs in the second of those years. Then he slammed a career-high 31 home runs in 1966.

From 1963-69, Pepitone hit 159 homers, just 3 fewer than Ernie Banks. Only 14 players hit more. But after 8 seasons as a Yankee, he was traded to the Astros, straight up for outfielder Curt Blefary.

In 1970, Pepitone hit 14 home runs through 75 games. Then Houston sold him to the Cubs, for whom he played 56 games and hit 12 homers, for a season total of 26.

He would hit fewer each year for the rest of his career: 16 in 1971, then 8 and, finally, just 3. That adds up to 27, only 1 more than he hit in 1970 alone.

Among the 16 in his first full season was the 7,000th in Cubs history: a 2-out, 2-run drive off Fred Yellen at San Diego on Saturday, July 10. Pepitone's sixth-inning homer broke a 1-1 tie, and it was all the Cubs needed, as Ferguson Jenkins pitched a complete game, allowing the Padres 1 run on 4 hits while walking none and striking out 11.

The milestone homer by Pepitone came in the Cubs' 1,159th game since they had hit No. 6,000 in 1964, and their 13,830th game since 1876.

It was the Cubs' first thousandth homer on the road.



During their first century in the National League, a disproportionate number of the Cubs' thousandth home runs have been hit by less-than-stellar players.

The trend has continued in the Cubs' second century, beginning with the player who hit home run No. 8,000: 27-year-old outfielder Mike Vail, who did it on July 25, 1980, at Los Angeles.

The Cubs scored twice in the top of the first inning against Burt Hooton, whom the Cubs had traded to the Dodgers in 1975, after 5 seasons in which he had won 34 games, including a no-hitter.

The Dodgers notched 2 runs of their own in the bottom of the inning against Mike Krukow.

The Cubs went back in front in the third and added another run in the fifth.

Then Vail led off the sixth with a home run -- his 5th of the year and 27th of his career. It was the Cubs' 67th of the season and their 8,000th since 1876, in 15,291 games.

They had played 1,461 of those games in the 9 years and 15 days since the one in which they recorded their 7,000th homer. That made the wait for No. 8,000 the longest between thousandth homers since 1,961 games between No. 3,000 in 1937 and No. 4,000 in 1950.



Leon Durham did a lot of good things during his 8 seasons with the Cubs.

Sadly, many fans seem to remember only the ground ball that went under his glove at first base in the seventh inning of Game 5 of the 1984 National League Championship Series.

Durham homered 138 times in 921 regular-season games as a Cub, helping him to a slash line of .279/.362/.484, an OPS of .831 and an OPS+ of 125.

He hit at least 20 homers in 5 of 6 seasons from 1982-87, including the last 4 in a row, capped by a career-high 27.

On Tuesday, April 12, 1988, the Cubs played at St. Louis, the day after they had spoiled the Cardinals' home opener.

Vance Law homered off Jose DeLeon with a man on in the second inning to tie the score at 2.

In the sixth, Andre Dawson hit a solo shot, pulling the Cubs even at 3 runs.

Dawson's was the Cubs' 8,999th home run since 1876. They had to wait only 6 pitches for No. 9,000, as Durham worked the count full, then unloaded for his second homer of the season and the team's 11th.

It came in the Cubs' seventh game of the year and their 16,437th since the start of 1876. It was their 1,146th since Mike Vail had hit No. 8,000 at Los Angeles on July 25, 1980.



The Cubs' 9,000th home run had gone unnoticed.

Not so their 10,000th, which was celebrated as soon as it happened.

It was only fitting that No. 10,000 was hit by a player who loved the limelight as much as any in Cubs history: Sammy Sosa.

The 26-year-old right fielder was in his fourth season with the Cubs when he delivered the historic drive, on Thursday, Aug. 17, 1995, against the Colorado Rockies in Denver.

It was the opening game of a 4-game series, only the Cubs' second at Coors Field, which had opened for business back in April. The Cubs had won 2 of 3 in their previous visit, in May, but Sosa had not homered in any of the games.

The Cubs took an early lead on Aug. 17, thanks to a 2-run double by Scott Servais in the second inning.

The Rockies then teed off against Cubs starter Jaime Navarro and reliever Turk Wendell, to the tune of 12 runs on 13 hits, including 3 home runs.

The score was 12-2 when the first 2 Cubs were retied in the top of the eight. Shawon Dunston then doubled and Mark Grace walked, bringing up Sosa.

He propelled Roger Bailey's 3-1 pitch far over the fence in right-center for the Cubs' 10,000th home run in their 17,618 games -- an average of 1 every 1.72 games, or about every 16 innings, over 120 seasons.

It came in their 1,181st game since Leon Durham had hit No. 9,000 on April 12, 1988.



The Cubs hit 9,758 home runs between 1901 and 1999, an average of 99 per season.

Since 2000, they have hit 4,306, an average of 179, leading to much more frequent thousandth homers.

The first of those, No. 11,000, was hit by Matt Stairs at Milwaukee on Sunday, June 3, 2001.

It came in the top of the sixth inning, with 1 out and the bases empty, ending a shutout bid by Brewers pitcher Ben Sheets, who had been staked to a 3-0 lead and would gain a 4-2 victory.

The landmark homer was the Cubs' 61st of the season, in their 18,524th game since 1876.


They had played only 906 games since Sammy Sosa had hit their 10,000th at Colorado on Aug. 17, 1995. Never before had the Cubs gone from one multiple of 1,000 home runs to another in fewer than 1,000 games.

In fact, they never had done in fewer than the 1,053 -- nearly 150 more! -- it took them from No. 5,000 to No. 6,000.

The Cubs would need as many as 1,000 games only once en route to 12,000, then 13,000, then 14,000.



They needed only 836 more games to hit their 12,000th.

By the calendar, it took the Cubs just a month more than 5 seasons from No. 11,000 to No. 12,000.

The batter who hit it should not have come as a surprise: Aramis Ramirez, whose 188 home runs were the second most by any Cub in the 2000s, surpassed only by Sammy Sosa's 238.

In fact, those 188 are the ninth most by a Cub in ANY decade from the 1920s through the 2010s. And they are the fourth most by any Cub starting in the 1970s, behind only Sosa's 307 in the 1990s, his 238 in the 2000s and Anthony Rizzo's 217 in the 2010s.

Ramirez unloaded the Cubs' 12,000th homer on Saturday, July 1, 2006, at home against the White Sox.

It is the only thousandth home run that the Cubs have hit against an American League team and it was the first at home since No. 6,000, by Dick Bertell in 1964.

The 28-year-old third baseman launched a 3-run bomb off Javier Vazques with nobody out in the fifth inning, to give the Cubs a 5-3 lead. But the White Sox tallied 3 times in the ninth to wrest the victory away, 8-6.

Ramirez's home run came in the Cubs' 19,360th game since the start of 1876.



The Cubs lost their home run mojo between 2006 and 2012.

It took them 1,015 games before they hit No. 13,000 on Aug. 25, 2012.

That was 179 more games than the record-fewest 836 they had needed to go from 11,000 to 12,000 -- 21 percent more.

Brett Jackson, a 24-year-old center fielder, hit the 13,000th in the fourth inning of a game at home against the Rockies.

Alfonso Soriano opened the inning with a single and went to third on a hit by Starlin Castro.

Castro was thrown out trying to steal second, but Soriano scored when Wellington Castillo's grounder was misplayed by the third baseman. Jackson blasted Alex White's next pitch deep into the bleachers in left-center, giving the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

His historic home run came in the Cubs' 20,375th game since 1876.



The Cubs needed 890 games to go from 13,000 to 14,000 home runs, the second fewest between any of their thousandth homers, after the 836 between Nos. 11,000 and 12,000.

Ian Happ, their 23-year-old left fielder, walloped No. 14,000 in the second game of a doubleheader at Cincinnati on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

His solo blast off Sal Romano in the fourth inning gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. A 2-run double by Anthony Rizzo and a bases-loaded triple by Jason Heyward, both in the fifth, gave the Cubs a commanding 7-0 lead and they rolled to a 10-0 victory, earning a split for the day.

The game in which Happ hit the milestone homer was the Cubs' 21,265 since 1876.

They have played 813 more games since Happ homered, for a total of 22,078 through Wednesday.

With only 7 more homers needed to reach 15,000, the Cubs are almost certain to set a record for fewest games between thousandth homers.



1,000: Topsy Hartsel, May 8, 1901, vs. Pirates

2,000: Riggs Stephenson, July 29, 1927, vs. Giants

3,000: Gabby Hartnett, Sept. 8, 1937, vs. Cardinals

4,000: Bill Serena, July 26, 1950, vs. Phillies

5,000: Walt Moryn, Aug. 16, 1957, vs. Reds

6,000: Dick Bertell, June 28, 1964, vs. Colt .45s (now Astros)

7,000: Joe Pepitone, July 10, 1971, at San Diego

8,000: Mike Vail, June 25, 1980, at Los Angeles

9,000: Leon Durham, April 12, 1988, at St. Louis

10,000: Sammy Sosa, Aug. 17, 1995, at Colorado

11,000: Matt Stairs, June 3, 2001, at Milwaukee

12,000: Aramis Ramirez, July 1, 2006, vs. White Sox

13,000: Brett Jackson, Aug. 25, 2012, vs. Rockies

14,000: Ian Happ, May 19, 2018, at Cincinnati

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