This Day in Chicago Cubs History

Only 2 Cubs pitchers have won their opening day starts since 2010.  Can you name which 2 Cubs pitchers earned the win on Opening Day?  

  1. Jake Arrieta & Ryan Dempster
  2. Jeff Samardzija & Carlos Zambrano
  3. Jake Arrieta & Jeff Samardzija
  4. Ryan Dempster & Carlos Zambrano

The Answer and more Cubs trivia 

Some Great March Dates in Cubs History

Jake ArrietaJake Arrieta

March 6 

Happy birthday to Jake Arrieta.  He's only the 2nd Cubs pitcher (after 1900) to pitch 2 no-hitters for the team (with Ken Holtzman).  He was an all-star, silver slugger, and helped the Cubs win the 2016 World Series.  

March 5

Happy birthday to Kyle Schwarber.  It was a nice celebration in 2015 when he hit a grand-slam in a spring training game on his birthday.  

Link to Schwarber's birthday grand slam in 2015

Some Great February Dates in Cubs History

Ron SantoRon Santo

February 25

The birthday of Cubs Hall of Famer, Ron Santo.  He won 5 Gold Glove awards (3B) and was a 9-time All-Star.  

February 25

The birthday of Cubs great, Andy Pafko (Cubs, 1943-1951).  A member of the 1945 World Series team.  5-time all-star (1945, 1947-1950).  He won the World Series in 1957 with the Milwaukee Braves.  

February 15

Happy birthday to Ron Cey (Cubs, 1983-1986).  He helped the Cubs get one win short of a World Series in 1984.  His 84 home runs in the 1980's is 6th among all Cubs players behind Ryne Sandberg, Leon Durham, Jody Davis, Keith Moreland and Andre Dawson.  

Burt HootonBurt Hooton

February 7

Happy birthday to Burt Hooton.  His Cubs career started off incredibly well.  In late September of 1971, he pitched 2 complete games, one a 3-hit shutout and the other a 15 strikeout game.  He topped both in his first start of 1972, pitching a no-hitter at the age of 22.  

Travis WoodTravis Wood

February 6

Happy birthday to former Cubs pitcher, Travis Wood (2012-2016).   He hit 7 home runs as a Cubs pitcher, the same amount that Kerry Wood hit for the Cubs.   

He shares a birthday with another great hitting pitcher, Babe Ruth.  

January 17

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.  

Bill BucknerBill Buckner

January 11, 1977

Cubs trade Rick Monday, Mike Garman & Jeff Albert to the Dodgers for Bill Buckner & Ivan Dejesus

Bob DernierBob Dernier

January 5

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.  

Kris BryantKris Bryant

January 4

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.  

December 21

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.  

December 14
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). 

December 13

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. 

December 11

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.

December 7

Happy birthday to Kyle Hendricks.  He won the NL ERA title in 2016 (2.13) when the Cubs won the World Series.  

December 6

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).  

December 4

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).  

Jose CardenalJose Cardenal

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.  

December 1

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.  

Rick MondayRick Monday

November 20

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.  

Mitch WilliamsMitch Williams

November 17

Happy birthday to Mitch Williams (Cubs, 1989-1990).  He helped the Cubs get to the playoffs as the closer for the 1989 team.  

November 12

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.

Joe NiekroJoe Niekro

November 7

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. 

Fergie JenkinsFergie Jenkins

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.  

Rick SutcliffeRick Sutcliffe

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 19
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.

Gabby HartnettGabby Hartnett

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.

Bill LeeBill Lee

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.

Frank Castillo

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).

Rick ReuschelRick Reuschel

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.

Fergie JenkinsFergie Jenkins

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).

Rogers HorsnbyRogers Hornsby

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.

September 6

Happy birthday, Derrek Lee (Cubs, 2004-2010)

September 6, 2004
At Wrigley Field, Cubs hit 5 home runs, 2 by Aramis Ramirez, 1 each by Derrek Lee, Mark Grudzelanek & Michael Barrett.

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
& 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. 

August 8

Happy birthday, Anthony Rizzo


Cubs schedule first night game at Wrigley Field.  Mother Nature must prefer day games.  It is rained out.  

August 9,

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.

Awards season

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:

Most Valuable Player

Cy Young

Rookie of the Year

Manager of the Year

Gold Glove & Silver Slugger


Ben Zobrist's big 10th inning hit in Game 7

Mike Montgomery gets the final out.
Cubs Win the World Series!!! *****************************************************
David Ross being carried off the field after Cubs victory in Game 7


Fan Duel

2015 Cubs Walk-off victories