Chicago Cubs Opening Day Countdown

The 1960's

There were many great Chicago Cubs opening day games in the 1960's. "Popeye", Don Zimmer made his Cubs debut in 1960, an extra-inning victory in 1964, a tie game, Leo Durocher begins his Cubs career with a victory and Willie Smith hits a walk-off home run to start the Cubs off right in 1969.

Chicago Cubs Opener

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.

Pop-Eye Don Zimmer, 
Holding my sign in 1984

April 14, 1964
The Cubs defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-4 in 10 innings (in Pittsburgh). Andre Rogers had a home run and 2 doubles.

April 12, 1965
I've heard of no crying in baseball and I thought there were no ties in baseball also, however this opening day game ended in a 10-10 tie in a game called by darkness at Wrigley Field. An exciting ninth inning as the Cubs trailed 9-6 with 2 outs and no one on base. Ron Santo proceeded to walk, George Altman singled and Ernie Banks tied the game 9-9 with a 3-run homerun. Because the game ended in a tie and another game also during the season ending in a tie, Billy Williams and Ron Santo set a major league record for playing in all 164 games that year.


April 14, 1966
Leo Durocher gets his first victory as Cubs manager and Ty Cline gets 5 hits in 5 at bats as the cubs beat the Giants in San Francisco 9-4. Cline had only 6 hits in his career with the Cubs.

April 8, 1969
Willie Smith hits a 2-run, pinch-hit walk off home run to help the Cubs defeat the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field

Bleed Cubbie Blue recounts Willie Smith's 1969 Walk Off Home Run