Wednesday was the 100th Anniversary of the first game at Wrigley Field, but it was 138 years ago that the first game in franchise history was played.
On April 25, 1876, the Chicago National League Ball Club, Inc. played and won its first game. The Cubs were called the White Stockings then and beat the Louisville Grays 4-0. Albert Spalding led his White Stockings over the Grays and Spalding not only won the first game in franchise history, he also tossed the first shutout in the National League history.
Albert Spalding and the White Stockings went on to win the National League pennant that season with a record on 52-14 in 66 games. Spalding tossed 53 complete games that season and finished with a 47-12 record in 61 games, 60 starts, with a 1.75 ERA but struck out only 39 batters with 26 walks in 528 2/3 innings. Albert Goodwill Spalding and his brother Walter started a sporting goods store in Chicago two years earlier. Spalding was one of the early pioneers of the game and was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 1939.
The White Stockings would change its nickname to the Cubs 26 years later.