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.