Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas from the CCO!

Merry Christmas from everyone here at the CCO!

In between opening all of the presents the jolly old elf brought down your chimney and celebrating the Christmas Holiday, here is another look inside the Cubstory book.

Did you ever wonder when the Wrigley marquee was painted red? Or the number Ron Santo wore when he made his debut in 1960? Maybe, which two players own the Cubs’ record for games played in a single-season? Or, who was the first athlete to hit a ball off the centerfield scoreboard?

‘Tis the season for a stocking full of Cubs trivia …

  • A Ladies Day crowd of 51,556 made its way into Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 7-5 on June 27, 1930 … the largest crowd ever to watch the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
  • Wrigley Field West was the home of the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League. The Angels were a farm club of the Cubs at the time. Wrigley Field West was also the home for several episodes of “Home Run Derby.”
  • Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game on May 6, 1998 was only the fifth start of Wood’s career.
  • Doug Dascenzo not only roamed the Cubs outfield between 1988 and 1992 but he also tossed five shutout innings during his career.
  • Eric Young tied a pair of Cubs records on June 30, 2000 when he reached base seven times, five times on walks.
  • On Opening Day in 1951, Sam Snead became the first athlete to hit a ball off the centerfield scoreboard at Wrigley on Opening Day in 1951. The links legend hit a golf ball off the landmark 14 years after the scoreboard moved from beyond the left field wall to it’s place in centerfield.
  • Ferguson Jenkins hit his first big league home run off of Don Sutton on April 23, 1966.
  • When Leo Durocher was hired to manage the Cubs following the 1965 season, he immediately declared the Cubs were not an eighth place team. Durocher was right, the Cubs finished 10th in the NL in 1966 with a 59-103 record.
  • Sammy Sosa has caught the most fly balls in the outfield in Cubs’ history. Sosa snagged 3,749 balls during his time with the Cubs.
  • Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis once reprimanded Gabby Hartnett for having his photograph taken with Al Capone.
  • Ryne Sandberg has only one big league hit in a uniform other than the Cubs. Sandberg singled off of the Cubs’ Mike Krukow on September 27, 1981. Sandberg wore number 37 during his 13-game stint with the Phillies in 1981.
  • The Chicago National League Ball Club became the first ever National League team to forfeit a game. The White Stockings walked off the playing field in the ninth inning on August 21, 1876 in a game in St. Louis in protest of an umpire’s call.
  • Billy Herman tied a Major League record on August 21, 1935 by appearing at the plate 13 times during a doubleheader.
  • Bill Madlock hit over .300 in each of his three seasons with the Chicago Cubs.
  • Todd Hundley and So Taguchi are the only two players in Cubs’ history to wear number 99.
  • Kevin Foster was the winning pitcher in the first regular season game between the Cubs and White Sox on June 16, 1997. The Cubs beat the Southsiders 8-3.
  • The Cubs’ infield in the late 19th Century was nicknamed the “Stonewall Infield” and consisted of Cap Anson (1B), Fred Pfeffer (2B), Ned Williamson (SS) and Tom Burns (3B).
  • Ferguson Jenkins and Greg Maddux recorded the 3,000th strikeout of their careers in a Cubs’ uniform. Jenkins accomplished the feat on May 25, 1982 and Maddux collected number 3000 on July 26, 2005.
  • The Cubs began wearing numbers on their uniforms in 1932.
  • Andre Dawson received a Major League record five intentional walks during a 16-inning game against the Reds on May 22, 1990. The Cubs beat Lou Piniella and the Reds 2-1.
  • In 1962, the Cubs hired John “Buck” O’Neil as Major League Baseball’s first African-American coach.
  • The famous Wrigley Field marquee was first painted red in 1960 … it was originally fern green.
  • Ron Santo and Billy Williams each appeared in 164 regular season games in 1965. The duo was able to set the franchise mark for games played in a single season due to two tie games.
  • Ron Santo wore number 15 when he made his Major League debut on June 26, 1960 against the Pirates. Sammy Taylor wore number 15 at the time, but was on the DL when Santo made his debut.
  • Phil Cavarretta made his Wrigley Field debut at the age of 18 … and hit a home run in his first game in front of the home crowd.
  • The construction on the second deck at Wrigley began in 1926 and was completed by the start of the 1928 season.
  • Edward “Dutch” Zwilling (1916) and Rollie Zeider (1916-1918) are the only two players to have played on three professional baseball teams in Chicago … the Cubs, the White Sox and the Whales of the Federal League. The Chicago Whales were the first team to play at what is now known as Wrigley Field.
  • The Cubs bullpen in 1975 was nicknamed “Gasoline Alley.”
  • Chicago’s National League club was so unbeatable during the 1880s that the expression “Chicagoed“, meaning badly beaten or shutout, was a common part of sports lexicon until the early 1900s.
  • On October 2, 1972, the Cubs had eight rookies in their starting lineup. The Cubs beat the Phillies 4-3 at Wrigley Field.
  • In 1916, the Cubs became the first Major League team to allow fans to keep foul balls hit into the stands. The practice did not become universal for another 10 years.

Happy Christmas!

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  • Searse

    Very nice neal thank you for that. I’m also glad the site is once again mobile compatable it was having some issues there.

    Merry christmas cubs nation

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      You’re welcome … and yes, the CCO is fully mobile now.

  • http://twitter.com/JMattWeaver Matt Weaver

    What number did So Taguchi wear during his stint on the north side? I’m seeing pictures (Spring training???) with him in a 99 Cub jersey.

    • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

      You are correct….So Taguchi did wear 99 in the 2009 season.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Matt, you got me … I guess I tried to forget. I have corrected the post.

      • http://twitter.com/JMattWeaver Matt Weaver

        You’re cool. =)

        I’m just happy to have one over you! Merry Christmas Neil. Thanks again for the CCO!

        This makes five Christmases here for me. It’s telling a lot more about you than about me. One dedicated man. Enjoy this one!

  • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

    Merry Christmas Neil…and to the entire CCO faithful….Be SAFE and enjoy!!!

  • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

    How about….Mitch Williams hit his only career home-run in 1989…a 3 run shot with both Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg on base.

    Jim Tracy was the last Cubs player to wear #23 before Ryne Sandberg; Fritz Connally was the last player to wear #26 before it was retired for Billy Williams; Paul Schramka was the last player to wear #14 before Ernie Banks; and Terrell Lowery was the last player and Bruce Kimm was the last coach to wear #10 before it was retired for Ron Santo. Also Mark Guthrie was the last player other than Greg Maddux or Fergie Jenkins to wear #31.

    The last Cubs player to wear Jackie Robinsons #42 before it was retired was Dave Smith.

    We all remember the dramatic “Sandberg Game”: when he hit two game tying homeruns off of Bruce Sutter. But, do you remember that it was Dave Owen who had the game winning hit that day!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Joe, great stuff and Merry Christmas!

      Did you know that Steve Trout was the starting pitcher in the “Sandberg Game”?

      • JoeS_SanDiego

        I did not remember that…and in fact I looked and noticed that he started and got his butt kicked..lol 1 1/3 innings and 7 runs allowed. I also remember that NBC jumped the gun and named Willie McGee the Player of the Game after he had a pretty good game himself….he hit for the cycle and had 6 RBI’s.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Yes, McGee had a great game. Thankfully, Sandberg made him an answer to a trivia question.

          • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

            Here;s another tidbit from that game….Sutter was the goat for giving up the two homeruns to Sandberg….but he should also be remembered for another homerun at Wrigley….as a member of the Cubs he gave up the winning home run to Mike Schmiidt in that wacky 23-22 game against the Phillies.

    • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

      Also in regards to Mitch Williams….his other “famous” moment as a hitter came in 1993 with the Phillies when in the second game of a double header he came up in the bottom of the 10th inning (after pitching the 9th and 10th) and lined a single into left for a game winning RBI. This hit came at 4:41AM…the lastest conclusion ever for a major league game. The first game had been delayed by rain so long it didnt finish until 1:00AM. The players were suprised when the umpires decided to keep going with the second game which started at 1:20AM.

  • The Maven

    Merry Christmas to Neil and everyone at the CCO.

    Ken Holtzman was the last pitcher to throw a no-hitter without recording a strikeout. It was his first no-hitter, in 1969, with the Cubs’ runs comming on a 3 run homer by Ron Santo.

  • Scott McMeekan

    Merry Christmas Neil! I’ve been pretty much non-existent the past few months, but I read almost everyday and hope to join the fray again soon.

    Take care everyone!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Good to hear from you Scott, Merry Christmas.

  • Agustin_Rexach

    Super Cool Nei! Merry Christmas to All of My CCO pals!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZHTMAIGK4MF65LJQK54NZL62JI Jim

    Merry Christmas CCO! Thanks for the tidbits….

  • Dorasaga

    Here’s a trivia for the believers, Q: What do Steve Bartman and Bill Buckner have in common?


    A: They both had painful memory at Wrigley Field as they turned 27 years old.

    Merry Christmas, fella!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Merry Christmas Dorasaga!

    • paulcatanese

      come on give us a hint,been racking my brain,cannot come up with it. If I remember correctly you gave me the answer to what Waitkus and Redford had in common. Good question. Happy Holidays to you.

  • Chuck

    Merry Christmas CCO and all die-hard Cub fans. I was 2 rows behind the guy in the left field bleachers that caught Mitch Williams’ homerun. I was also at the Ryne Sandberg game and seeing Billy Williams hit four doubles in a game, a club record.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Merry Christmas Chuck!

  • Steven Petty

    Merry Christmas to all. May you all have a wonderful day today. Christmas is the time for giving. So why doesnt Tampa Bay just give us Garza for Silva!!!! Remember, Christmas is not about receiving Tampa Bay!!! I love my idea.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Steven, I like your way of thinking. Merry Christmas!

  • Steven Petty

    I got the best christmas ever!!! The CCO is now mobile ready for my blackberry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Santa Neil….

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      You are welcome … I’m glad it is working.

  • Brandon

    Merry Christmas everyone!!!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Brandon, good to hear from you. Merry Christmas!

  • paulcatanese

    Neil, Merry Christmas. You know us old timers like this format. Love to read about the quirky things that have happened. As I had said before I saw the Cubs put two balls in play at the same time, thanks to the umpire and Alvin Dark. Wild pitch,umpire thought it was a foul ball put a ne one to Bob Scheffing , he threw to second,Dark back to the screen threw the other ball to second also.very unusual ,but then it was the Cubs. This i is from memory

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Paul, Merry Christmas and I knew you would like this.

      • paulcatanese

        Neil, thanks for the acknowledgement. I also was at Wrigley when I saw the toughest attempt to catch a fly ball to center. Hal Jeffcoat went straight back at full speed and crashed into the bricks knocking himself silly. I don’t remember if he caught the ball or not but he was out. I don’t think he rememberd if he caught it either. Haven’t seen as many adventures in the outfield until Soriono started playing left,very entertaining.

  • paulcatanese

    paul catanese. One more, As Andy Pafko is still around and you get a chance, ask about the time he was in center,caught a line drive,shoestring catch,called no catch by the ump and the base’s cleared as Pafko ran in with the ball protesting the call. I saw that play. Glad Andy is still around. Again Happy Holidays everyone. I loved those guys.

  • OttawaBob

    just a test

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R65T7II7FYX7HGQW2XLHDDWJRQ Agustin


    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Did I pass?

  • jw

    Great fun here tonight! Merry Christmas to all!

    Speaking of memories I was in the bleachers with the Bums in 68 or 69 holding up beer cups that were stacked 8 feet high and the game went to extra innings…Ernie hit a walk off and before the ball landed one of the Bums leaped over the wall and caught up with Ernie before he got to even got to third hugging him as he rounded the bags… no security guards like today. I think that’s why they put up the baskets and the peaks on top of the bleacher walls.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      JW, you are right. Not only to help keep people off the field but to help keep debris from falling from the top of the wall onto the field.

  • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

    Couple other cool MLB moments that dont directly involve a Cubs player but have Cubs connections….

    In 1982 Joel Youngblood became the only player to get a hit for two different teams in two different cities on the same day. Game one was with the Mets against the Cubs. He singled in the third inning and then was taken out as he was traded to the Expos. He left the park and headed to Philly where the Expos had a night game against the Phillies. He made it in time to pinch hit in the seventh inning and got a single. Interestingly enough both hits came against hall of fame pitchers….Fergie Jenkins of the Cubs and Steve Carlton of the Phillies.

    In 1986 Bob Brenly had quite a year for the Giants. He broke up a perfect game by Don Carman with a leadoff double in the 9th inning. He also led NL catchers in fielding percentage that season. Though a regular catcher, he started 36 gamkes at Third Base that year. And one start turned into a nightmare before a miraulous comeback. BB set a major league record with 4 errors in one inning. three fielding and one on a throw after one of his fielding errors. But then he decided to take care of the offense himself. He hit a solo homerun to get the Giants on the scoreboard. Then he hit a two run single to tie the game in the seventh. Finally after moving back behind the plate in a defensive switch, he then hit a walk off homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning. The pitcher who surrendered the walk off homer? Future Cub Paul Assenmacher. Interesting note, Joel Youngblood–mentioned above–played in this game for the Giants!

  • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

    In 1988 Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser set a record with 59 straight scoreless innings. (Amazing 6 straight complete game shutouts). In the final game, he pitched a 10 innings of shutout baseball against the San Diego Padres to set the record. The final out of the game which allowed him to break the record? San Diego Padre…..Kieth Moreland……

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Joe … excellent stuff.

  • paulcatanese

    Boy,this one is really testing my memory. 48 series Cleaveland and Boston,I was watching with a TV that had an enlarger to make the screen bigger. Feller pitching runner on second Boudreau cut behind and in my eyes he was picked,but not the umpires. Runner scored,Feller lost 1-0.Can’t remember runners name. I think I had this right ,if not someone correct me,its been haunting me for years.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,the only thing I remember about Leo Durocher was his wife, the beautiful Lorraine Day. As Cub mgr he didnt do well.

  • paulcatanese

    Wrigley fld west. Saw home run derby many times. The most famous of the players from Wrigley West was non other than Chuck Conners who had a cup of coffee with the Cubs and then asked the Cubs if he could go back to LA and the rest is history,someone gave him a rifle and a horse.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      ‘The Rifleman’ … good stuff Paul!

      • paulcatanese

        Thanks Neil. I got a million of them,I hope it dosen’t get boring. Again I was at Wrigley under the scoreboard watching the Cubs and Dodgers. As a young kid I was amazed at the betting going on with every pitch,not much just quarters but a lot of it. As for the game Borowy was pitching for the Cubs and in the first Gene Hermansky got a single and then was thrown out stealing. To the best of my memory that was the last baserunner for the Dodgers. I think it was 1945 or 1946.

  • paulcatanese

    Used to go to Comiskey to see the Sox(get beat of course) only when the Yankees or the Red Sox were there. On one afternoon,no large crowd, Dimagio hit a home run so hard to left that he tore the back of the seat in the empty stands,it echoed throu the park. Again I saw Williams hit one to center that had to be no more than fifteen feet off the ground. It cleared the bullpen and hit off of the old wall (440)ft. Saw Piersall in right,saw Dom,Joes brother in center,what great thrills those were for me.