It's Cubs Convention time again. I was having a difficult time getting tickets to this event after the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, but I was able to get a pass for 2019.
I'll be writing about this year's event and posting some links I find to some of the highlights of the event.
I like getting the autographs. In the past, I've gotten autographs from Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Tommy LaStella, Dave Kingman, Bob Dernier and others. Wish me luck getting more this year. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant would likely cost me some money so I think my reasonable targets this year are guys like Kyle Hendricks, Cole Hamels, Ian Happ, Pedro Strop and Cubs from years past like Ted Lilly, Steve Trout and others.
Some Great January Dates in Cubs History
The birthday of Cubs infielder (1960-1961) and manager (1988-1991), Don Zimmer.
He was an all-star in 1961 and played in the same Cubs infield as Ernie Banks.
In 1989, the Cubs won the NL East with 93 victories. Zimmer was named NL manager of the year.
January 11, 1977
The birthday of Cubs outfielder (1957-1959). He was an all-star with the 1958 Cubs hitting 24 home runs with 72 RBI.
Happy birthday to Bob Dernier. He won the Gold Glove for the 1984 Cubs team. His 45 stolen bases were the most for a Cubs player since 1906 (at that time) when Frank Chance stole 57 and Johnny Evers stole 49.
Happy birthday to Cubs third baseman (sometimes outfielder), Kris Bryant.
Bryant was NL Rookie of the Year in 2015 and NL MVP in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs team.
Happy birthday to Cubs outfielder (1978-1980), Dave Kingman. He led the NL in home runs (48) in 1979 and was known for hitting some very long home runs with the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Happy birthday to Bill Buckner. I remember hearing the stories about how much
treatment he needed for his bad knees everyday before playing.
Buckner played 8 seasons with the Cubs (1977-1984) before being traded in May of 1984. He was a career .289 hitter (.300 with the Cubs).
He was an all-star for the Cubs in 1981. Finished in the NL top ten for batting average 5 times with the Cubs, including a batting title in 1980 (.324 average).
Happy birthday to Fergie Jenkins (Cubs, 1966-1973, 1982-1983).
Fergie won 20+ games for the Cubs in 6 straight years. He was the first Cubs pitcher to win the NL Cy Young Award in 1971. He led the NL in complete games 3 times while with the Cubs (1967, 1970, 1971). He led the NL in wins (24) in
1971 and led the NL in strikeouts (273) in 1969.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991 (his 3rd year on the ballot) with Rod Carew & Gaylord Perry. Tony Lazzeri & Bill Veeck were elected the same year by the Veteran's Committee.
The birthday of Bill Nicholson (Cubs, 1939-1948). In 1943, Nicholson led NL in HR (29) & RBI (128). He finished 3rd in NL MVP voting.
In 1944, Nicholson led NL in HR (33), RBI (122) & Runs Scored (116). He finished 2nd in NL MVP voting.
Happy birthday to Paul Assenmacher (Cubs, 1989-1993). He was 22-16 with a 3.42 ERA and 33 saves in 331 innings in his 5 year Cubs career.
A very underrated relief pitcher. He has a career ERA+ of 118 in 14 MLB seasons.
Happy birthday to Kyle Hendricks. He won the NL ERA title in 2016 (2.13) when the Cubs won the World Series.
The birthday of Cubs great, Stan Hack. He played all 16 years of his MLB career with the Cubs, leading the NL in hits twice (1940, 1941). His 2,193 hits as a Cub is 6th in team history behind Cap Anson, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ryne Sandberg & Mark Grace.
December 5, 2012
Ron Santo is elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee. Santo was a 9-time All-Star, 5-time Gold Glove winner (3B) and led the NL in triples (13) in 1964, 4 times in walks (1964, 1966-1968) and OBP twice (1964, 1966).
Happy birthday to Lee Smith (Cubs, 1980-1987)
2017 was the last year that Lee Smith was on the Hall of Fame ballot. He received 151 out of 442 votes (34.2%). Hopefully, he can be elected
to the Hall one day from another committee.
I remember Smith pitched for the Cubs when relievers often pitched more than one inning so I went to Baseball Reference's Play Index to see who has the most 1 inning plus saves in MLB history.
Smith was 4th with 169 behind 3 Hall of Famers, Rollie Fingers (200),
Rich Gossage (193) & Bruce Sutter (188).
His 478 career saves still ranks 3rd in major league history, behind only Mariano Rivera (652) and Trevor Hoffman (601).
December 3, 1971
Cubs trade Jim Colborn, Earl Stephenson & Brock Davis for Jose Cardenal.
In 3274 plate appearances with the Cubs, Cardenal batted .296. His 129 stolen bases is 23rd in team history. His 9.7 WAR is 2nd among Cubs outfielders of the 1970's behind Billy Williams.
Happy Birthday to Javier Baez
A breakthrough year for Baez in 2018. He led the league in RBI's (111), won the NL Silver Slugger (2B) and finished 2nd in NL MVP voting to Brewers, Christian Yelich.
Some Great November Dates in Cubs History
November 25, 2003
After his Marlins team knocked the Cubs out of the playoffs and won the World Series, the Cubs trade for one of the players that helped beat them, Derrek Lee. The Cubs send Hee-Seop Choi and Mike Nannini to the Marlins.
Happy birthday to Rick Monday (Cubs, 1972-1976). One of the best Cubs OF's of the 1970's. His OPS+ for the Cubs was 125. His 124 WRC+ is 3rd best to Billy Williams & Dave Kingman. His 106 home runs was 2nd to Billy Williams (Cubs OF of the 1970s.
Happy birthday to Mitch Williams (Cubs, 1989-1990). He helped the Cubs get to the playoffs as the closer for the 1989 team.
Happy birthday to Willie Hernandez (Cubs, 1977-1983)
His 3.9 WAR for the Cubs is 7th among all Cubs relief pitchers since 1960 behind Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, Carlos Marmol, Pedro Strop, Sean Marshall & Paul Assenmacher.
In 1984, Hernandez was AL MVP and Cy Young Award for the World Series champion, Detroit Tigers.
November 13, 1984
Ryne Sandberg is named NL MVP. For the season, Sandberg was an all-star, won the gold glove and silver slugger awards at 2B. He led the NL in runs scored (119) and triples (19) and finished 2nd in total hits (200). His efforts helped the Cubs make the playoffs and just one win short of a World Series appearance.
Happy birthday to Jody Davis (Cubs, 1981-1988). Jody Davis managed the Double A Reds team in Pensacola Florida in 2018. I noticed that the Reds may not return to Pensacola, but I couldn't find any news that indicated that would affect his tenure with the team.
I wonder if we'll ever see him back in the majors as a manager one day.
Happy birthday, Dwight Smith
Dwight Smith combined with Jerome Walton in 1989 to capture all 24 first place votes for NL Rookie of the Year. Walton got 22 and won Rookie of the Year, but Smith had a very
good season in 1998, finishing 2nd in the ROY voting and helping the Cubs make it to the
Smith batted .324 with 9 home runs, 52 RBI and 9 stolen bases in 1989. It was his best season with the Cubs in 5 seasons with the team (1989-1993). For his Cubs career, he hit 32 HR's, stole 39 bases with a slash line of .285/.341/.433.
His son, Dwight Smith Jr. made his MLB debut with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017 and played with the team in 2018 as well.
Happy birthday, Darwin Barney
Darwin Barney played for the Cubs from 2010 to 2014 and won the Gold Glove at second base for the NL in 2012. He set the NL record for most consecutive errorless games at second base with 141 games from 4/18/2012 to 9/27/2012.
November 7, 1979
Congratulations to Bruce Sutter as he wins the NL Cy Young award going 6-6 with a 2.23 ERA with 37 saves
Happy birthday to Joe Niekro
Joe Niekro began his MLB career with the Cubs, but had most of his impact with the Astros in
1970's and 1980's. He won 221 MLB games and led the NL in wins (21) in 1979.
As a Cub, he pitched for the team from 1967 to 1969 before being traded early in the season to
the Padres along with Frankie Libran and Gary Ross. The Cubs received Dick Selma in return.
He had a 24-18 record with the Cubs and a 3.83 ERA. He pitched in the same Cubs rotation as Fergie Jenkins, Rick Nye, Ken Holtzamn, Ray Culp, Curt Simmons, & Bill Hands.
His brother is Phil Niekro, a Hall of Fame pitcher who spent most of his MLB career with the Braves.
November 4, 2016
A Cubs Parade!!!! So many of us have waited so long for this day!!
The Cubs have won the World Series!!
November 2, 2016
Game 7, World Series
Cubs 8 Indians 7, 10 innings
The Cubs win the World Series!!!!!!!
Dexter Fowler leads off the game with a home run. Javier Baez homers. David Ross hits his final home run of his MLB career. A rain delay, a Jason Heyward speech and a great 10th inning. 108 years of waiting is over!!!!!!!
November 1, 2016
Cubs stay alive in and tie the World Series 3 games to 3 with a 9-3 win over the Indians in Cleveland. Kris Bryant homered and Addison Russell hit a grand slam, becoming the 2nd youngest MLB player (Mickey Mantle) to hit a grand slam in a World Series game.
Some Great October Dates in Cubs History
October 30, 2016
World Series, Game 5
Cubs stay alive in the 2016 World Series behind strong pitching by Jon Lester, Carl Edwards Jr. & Aroldis Chapman. Kris Bryant homers and the series goes to Cleveland for games 6 and 7.
October 28, 2016
World Series, Game 3
Indians 1 Cubs 0
Wrigley Field hosts a World Series game for the first time since 1945, but the game doesn't go very well. Josh Tomlin pitched a great game against the Cubs although, he did not go very far into the game.
The Indians bullpen has had an incredible run this postseason and the Cubs saw that first hand as for the third series in a row this postseason, the Cubs have a 1-0 game. This win going to the Indians as Coco Crisp drives in the only run of the game with a pinch hit single in the 7th inning.
October 26, 2016
Game 2, World Series
Cubs win their first World Series game since 1945 behind Jake Arrieta's pitching and Kyle Schwarber's hitting.
October 26, 1971
Fergie Jenkins receives 16 of the 24 1st place votes to win NL Cy Young Award. He is the
1st #Cubs pitcher to win award.
Fergie went 24-13 in 39 starts with 30 complete games. His ERA was 2.77. Along with leading the NL in wins, games started and complete games, he also led the league in innings pitched with 325.
October 23, 1984
After traded to the Cubs, Rick Sutcliffe goes 16-1 to help the team to the playoffs. He earns 24 out of 24 first place votes to win the NL Cy Young Award.
October 22, 2016
NLCS, Game 6
Cubs 5 Dodgers 0
Cubs go to the World Series for the first time in 71 years (1945). Kyle Hendricks pitches a great game to defeat the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw.
The Cubs got started early, scoring a run after just hte 2nd batter of the game when Kris Bryant drove in Dexter Fowler.
Kyle Hendricks gave up a single to Andrew Toles on the first pitch of the game. But when Javy Baez made a great play to tag Toles and turn a double play, Hendricks was really at the top of his game. Hendricks only gave up one more single in the game before being taken out of the game by Cubs manager, Joe Maddon in the 8th inning. Aroldis Chapman was able to finish up allowing just a walk. When the batter that walked was retired on a double play to end the game, it meant that Hendricks & Chapman had faced the minimum of 27 batters in the game.
It is just the 2nd time in postseason history that a team has done this, the only other time was Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
The Cubs put an end to the Curse of the Billy Goat and go to the World Series.
The birthday of one of the Cubs greatest pitchers, Bill Lee. He won 20 games in 1935 and 1938,
helping the teams get to the World Series.
He led the NL in ERA (2.66) and Wins (22) in 1938 and finished 2nd in the MVP voting to Cardinals,
Catcher, Ernie Lombardi. Major League Baseball did not have the Cy Young Award in 1938.
October 20, 2016
NLCS, Game 5
Cubs 8 Dodgers 4
Jon Lester pitches for the Cubs in a critical game 5, the final game of the NLCS in Los Angeles. The winner goes up 3-2 in the Series. Lester follows up a great pitching performance in Game 1 and pitches a solid 7 innings for the Cubs, giving up just one run.
The birthday of Cubs pitching great, Mordecai "3 Finger" Brown.
He led the NL in ERA in 1906 (1.04) and Wins (27) in 1909. In 10 seasons with the Cubs, his record was 188-86 with a 1.88 ERA.
His 7-hit shutout in the 1907 World Series was the victory that gave the Cubs the World Series championship.
In 1908, he pitched a 4-hit shutout to give the Cubs a 3-1 series lead in game 4.
October 3, 1976
Bill Madlock goes 4 for 4 to win the batting title for 2nd consecutive yr. Ken Griffey Sr was leading .337 to .333 going into final day. Griffey did not play forcing Madlock to get 4 hits for the batting title which he was able to do finishing with a .339 average.
October 1, 1932
Babe Ruth's "Called Shot" at Wrigley Field.
September 28, 1938
The greatest home run in Cubs history? I have to say yes considering all of the circumstances.
The Cubs were 1/2 game behind the Pirates for the NL lead to go to the World Series. Gabby Hartnett was facing one of the league's best pitchers, Mace Brown in the ninth inning with the score tied 5-5 and darkness was coming to Wrigley Field before lights were installed.
Hartnett hits a walk-off home run that will be known as the "Homer in the Gloamin". The Cubs do go on to make it to the World Series in 1938.
September 27, 1935
At Sportsman's Park, Cubs clinch NL title with a 6-2 victory over Cardinals. Bill Lee wins his 20th game of season.
September 25, 1995
At Wrigley Field, Frank Castillo is so close to a no-hitter, giving up the first hit with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth, a triple to Bernard Gilkey. Castillo finishes with a 1-hit complete game shutout. His game score of 96, calculated by ESPN is tied for MLB best in 1995 (Chuck Finley, May 23, 1995).
September 24, 1975
Both Tom Seaver & Rick Reuschel pitch 10 scoreless innings before the Cubs load the bases in the bottom of the 11th inning and the game ends when Skip Lockwood walks Bill Madlock scoring Rick Monday with the walk-off walk. Cubs defeat the Mets 1-0 in 11 innings at Wrigley Field.
September 21, 1965
At Wrigley Field, Ron Santo & Ernie Banks hit back to back 1st inning
home runs and Santo's 2nd home run in the 8th inning, off Phillies rookie, Fergie Jenkins, wins it for Cubs 7-5. Santo drives in 6 of the 7 Cubs runs.
For Fergie, it is the first run he gives up in his MLB career, his first
career loss in his first and last game he ever pitched against the Cubs.
September 20, 2014
At Wrigley Field, Chris Coghlan leads off the game with a home
run and wins it for Cubs with a 2-run home run in the 8th inning
as Cubs defeat the Dodgers 8-7.
September 19, 1955
Ernie Banks hits his 5th grand slam of the 1955 season off Lindy McDaniel of the Cardinals in the 7th inning.
The slam gives the Cubs a 5-0 lead that they will lose as the Cardinals defeat the Cubs 6-5 in 12 innings. Bank's 5 grand slams in a season remain an NL record (Albert Pujols tied the record in 2009). Don Mattingly and Travis Hafner hold the MLB record with 6 grand slams in a season (1987 and 2006).
Happy Birthday to Ryne Sandberg
September 16, 2016, 10 innings
The day after clinching the NL Central, Miguel Montero gives Cubs a walk-off victory with a 10th inning home run.
And the first of many 2016 celebrations begin!!!!
September 13, 1931
In game 1 of a doubleheader, Cubs player/manager, Rogers Hornsby hits the first extra-inning, pinch-hit, grand slam in MLB history as the Cubs beat the Braves 11-7 in 11 innings at Wrigley Field.
In game 2, Guy Bush pitches a complete game 1-hitter as Cubs sweep the doubleheader with an 8- victory.
September 8, 1984
At Shea Stadium, Rick Sutcliffe wins his 12th consecutive decision in a 6-0 Cubs win over the Mets. Sutcliffe pitches a 4-hit complete game shutout with 12 strikeouts and at the plate has 2 hits & 2 RBI.
Happy birthday, Derrek Lee (Cubs, 2004-2010)
September 6, 2005
At Busch Stadium, the Cubs defeat the Cardinals 5-2. Derrek Lee goes 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, a home run & 2 RBI.
September 6, 2006
Trailing 2-1 into the 8th inning, Derrek Lee's grand slam highlights
a 6-run inning as the Cubs defeat the Pirates 7-2 at Wrigley Field.
September 6, 2007
At Wrigley Field, Alfonso Soriano homers twice and drives in all 4
Cubs runs in a 7-4 loss to the Dodgers. Derrek Lee goes 2 for 3 with a walk.
September 6, 2008
At Great American Ball Park, Alfonso Soriano homers 3 times, Mark
DeRosa & Jason Marquis homer as well. Derrek Lee has 4 hits and 3 RBI
in a 14-9 win over the Reds.
September 5, 1972
At Shae Stadium, Rick Reuschel pitches a 3-hit complete game shutout as the Cubs defeat the Mets 3-0.
Rick Monday and Jim Hickman homer for the Cubs.
September 3, 1945
Cubs sweep a doubleheader against the Reds at Wrigley Field.
Game 1: Cubs 7 Reds 2
Andy Pafko hits a grand slam and Paul Derringer pitches a 7-hit shutout.
Game 2: Cubs 7 Reds 1
Pafko goes 3 for 4 in this win. Hank Wyse is removed in the 1st inning after giving up 3 hits and a run. Hy Vanderberg relieves him and pitches all 9 innings and gives up just 6 hits and no runs to earn the win.
Some Great August days in Cubs History
Happy birthday, Anthony Rizzo
Cubs schedule first night game at Wrigley Field. Mother Nature must prefer day games. It is rained out.
Happy birthday, Jason Heyward
Cubs play their first night game at Wrigley Field.
August 8, 1980
Cliff Johnson hits a walk-off grand slam in the 14th inning for an 8-4 Cubs win over the Expos at Wrigley Field.
August 30, 1993
Rick Wilkens walk-off grand slam gives Cubs a 10-6 victory over the Phillies in 11 innings at Wrigley Field.
August 21, 1970
Ken Holtzman comes just 5 outs short of a no-hitter. He ends up with a one-hitter in a 15-0 Cubs win over the Giants at Wrigley Field.
August 9, 1931
In St. Louis, Guy Bush pitches a 1-hit shutout in a 1-0 Cubs victory. Vince Barton drives in only Cubs run with a home run.
August 17, 1916
Hippo Vaughn pitches a 1-hit shutout as the Cubs defeat the Giants 1-0 at Weeghman Park (Wrigley Field).
August 30, 1945:
Stan Hack gets his 2,000 career hit.
August 17, 1971
Billy Williams 2000 hit in a 5-4 loss to Braves in Atl.
August 18, 1989
Andre Dawson collects his 2,000 career hit
August 19 3 No-hitters in Cubs History
1880: Larry Corcoran pitches first no-hitter in Cubs team history
1965: Jim Maloney no-hits the Cubs, 1-0.
1969: Ken Holtzman pitches 9th no-hitter in Cubs history
August 21, 1975
Rick & Paul Reuschel shuts out the Dodgers 6-0. It is the first shutout by brothers in MLB history.
August 29, 1918
Cubs clinch pennant with a 1-0, 6-4 doubleheader sweep of the Reds. Lefty Tyler throws the shutout and Claude Hendrix's victory is his 20th of the season.
In 1918, MLB shortened the season due to the War effort. The Cubs will face the Red Sox (and Babe Ruth pitching) in the World Series.
July 27, 2009
Cubs & Astros go into extra innings with score tied 1-1 and win it when Alfonso Soriano's 13th inning walk-off grand slam for a 5-1 Cubs victory at Wrigley Field.
Jason Heyward joined Soriano this year as the only Cubs players to hit walk-off grand slams in the 21st century (Rick Wilkens did it in 1993).
July 29, 2014
Remember when John Baker pitched for the Cubs? He got the win and also walked in the 16th inning and scores on a sacrifice fly by Starlin Castro
June 23, 1984
The Sandberg Game
Ryne Sandberg hits game tying home runs in both the 8th and 9th innings off the Cardinals, Bruce Sutter. Dave Owen gets the walk-off single in the 11th inning as Cubs defeat the Cardinals 12-11.
June 24, 2014
Jake Arrieta retires 18 straight Reds until Billy Hamilton singles. Cubs defeat the Reds 7-3 at Wrigley Field.
June 20, 2007
Sammy Sosa hits 600th career HR vs Cubs & Jason Marquis who was wearing the same number (21).
June 19, 2003
Kyle Farnsworth in one of the more memorable fights in Cubs history
May 6, 1998
At the age of 20 years old and in just his 5th MLB start, Kerry Wood strikes out 20 Houston Astros to set a NL record at the time and to this day is still tied as the most strikeouts in a game in MLB history.
His Game Score for this game is 105. Into the 2018 season, this game score remains the best Game Score for a nine inning game in MLB history.
May 7, 2010
What a great debut for Starlin Castro. The 20 year old shortstop begins his career with a 6 RBI game at Great American Ballpark against the Reds. Cubs win 14-7 as Mike Fontenot also hits a Grand Slam.
May 12, 1970
It doesn't get much better in Cubs baseball than Jack Brickhouse calling an Ernie Banks home run, especially Bank's 500th career home run!!
May 15, 1960
In his first start for the Cubs, Don Cardwell makes a good impression throwing a no-hitter against Stan Musial and the St. Louis Cardinals. Check out Moose Moryn's catch to end it!!!!!
A few Cubs opening days that I really like. Enjoy!!
April 12, 1960
This one was a Cubs loss, but an exciting and historic game as the Dodgers defeat the Cubs 3-2 in 11 innings on a walk off pinch hit home run by Chuck Essegian off Don Elston. Don Drysdale pitched a complete game and struck out 14 batters. And Don Zimmer hit a home run in his first at bat as a Cub.
April 6, 1971
In a battle between future Hall of Famer's, Fergie Jenkins outduels Bob Gibson as the Cubs defeat the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field 2-1 in ten innings. Another future Hall of Famer, Billy Williams hits a walk off home run off Gibson to defeat the rival, Cardinals. Ernie Banks does not start his first cubs opening day game since 1953
April 5, 1988
In a wild season opener in Atlanta, the Cubs defeat the Braves 10-9, the teams combined for 7 home runs in the game, Jody Davis, Leon Durham and Shawon Dunston homered for the Cubs. The Cubs came from behind to score 2 runs in the ninth inning and won the game in the 13th inning on a sacrifice fly by Manny Trillo.
April 4, 1994
Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes hits 3 home runs, but it is not enough to help the Cubs win the game as the Cubs lose to the New York Mets 12-8 in a day when the wind was blowing out at Wrigley Field. Hillary Clinton throws out the first pitch. Rhodes only hits 5 more home runs in his career with the Chicago Cubs.
April 4, 2005
The Cubs defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 16-6 led by Derrek Lee who was 4 for 6 with a home run, 2 double and drove in 5 runs on his way to a great season that saw him win his first batting title.
Add 2nd year in a row with 16 runs
April 5, 2015
Wrigley Field opens the season with a night game for the first time in team history. The team also unveils their new video boards. The renovations also had many fans waiting in lines to the restrooms. I know-I was one of them. It was also the first opening day at Wrigley after the death of Cubs great Ernie Banks and the team had pictures of Banks all over the bleachers that were being renovated as well. It is also the Cubs debut of free agent pitcher, Jon Lester. Lester pitched alright, but Cardinals pitcher, Adam Wainwright was better as he shut out the Cubs for a 3-0 Cardinals victory. Jason Heyward has 3 hits in his Cardinals debut and Matt Holliday drives in 2 runs for the Cardinals.
Well, there shouldn't be a lot of off-season awards for the Cubs this season. Jason Heyward did get his 2nd straight Gold Glove with the Cubs and his 5th overall.
Check out past Cubs award winners: