Top 25 Games @ Wrigley Field
May 12, 1970: Ernie Banks 500th Home Run
This is an event that I had a tough time adding this high on the list because there really isn't anything significant about the game except for Banks home run. I added it because it's 500 home runs by one of the greatest, if not the greatest Cub of all-time. And this home run is one that is shown more often than many other moments in Cubs history. Those factors make it an honorable mention on this list of greatest games at Wrigley. Jack Brickhouse's call of this shot off Pat Jarvis is also a classic!!
#25 October 3, 1976
Bill Madlock wins a batting title on the last day of the season
Bill Madlock was one of the greatest right-handed hitters of his era (mid 70's throught the 1980's) and in his last game as a Chicago Cub (Madlock was traded to the Giants prior to the 1977 season), Madlock had a .333 batting average while Ken Griffey Sr. of the Reds was batting .337.
Catching up 4 points on another player so late in the season is very difficult. Most at bats will only raise or lower your average by one point since the more at bats a player has, their batting average stabilizes and won't change much.
The Reds benched Griffey which would seem like the best option to let him win the title, essentially putting the pressure on Madlock to have a big game. Well, the Cubs defeated the Expos 8-2 behind Rick Reuschel and Madlock had a perfect day going 4 for 4 in the game, scoring 2 runs and driving in another. And in case you wonder whether his hits were significant in the game or not, the Cubs scored all 8 runs in 3 innings and Madlock contributed with either a Run scored, RBI or both in each of these innings.
In some ways, this performance brings to mind Ted Williams race for .400 batting average back in the 1940's. Some thought Williams should sit out the final game as his average coming in to the game rounded up to .400 exactly. Williams had a great game, ended with a .407 batting average-the last major league baseball player to bat .400 in a season.
Madlock's great final day brought his average up to .339 and Griffey did pinch hit but made an out in his only at bat leaving his 1976 batting average at .336. This was Madlock's 2nd batting title of the 4 that he earned in his major leage career.
#24 August 25, 1922
The Highest Scoring Game in Major League History
The highest scoring game in major league history as Cubs defeat the Phillies 26-23. Even more amazing, the Cubs scored 24 of the 26 runs in 2 innings, scoring 10 in the 2nd inning and 14 in the 4th inning.
Honorable Mention game for the very next day: The Cubs and Phils play 10 full innings without scoring a run, the Phils score 3 in the 11th to defeat the Cubs.
#23 August 29, 1918
The Cubs Sweep a Double-header to Clinch the Pennant & World Series Appearance
Since the Cubs haven’t been to the World Series that much, I would say a double-header sweep to clinch a World Series appearance is a big day in Cubs history. In game 1, Bill Killefer drove in the only Cubs run and Lefty Tyler threw a 5-hit shutout for a 1-0 Cubs victory. The second game was the division clincher as Claude Hendrix picked up his 20th victory of the season. The game was an exciting one as the Cubs trailed 4-2 into the bottom of the 7th inning and scored 3 runs in that inning to take the lead and added another run in the 8th inning to complete the 6-4 victory.
#22 October 3, 1984
The Cubs Take a 2-0 Series Lead, One Victory Short of a World Series
As I was reviewing games in Cubs history, I realized myself that this game has gone way under the radar, however this Game 2 victory in the 1984 playoffs had the Cubs just one game away from their first World Series since 1945. Steve Trout pitched a great game giving up just 5 hits and 2 runs against the Padres and nearly pitched a complete game, getting 1 out in the ninth before being replaced by Lee Smith after walking Kevin McReynolds. Lee Smith got the final 2 outs to give the Cubs a 2-0 Series lead. Unfortunately, we know how this one ends as the Padres went back to San Diego and won 3 games straight to face the Detroit Tigers in the 1984 World Series. Once again, the Cubs are so close, but yet so far from the World Series.
#21 April 20, 1916
Cubs Play Their First Game @ Wrigley Field (Weeghman Park)
Joe Tinker managed the Cubs in their first game ever at Weeghman Park (Wrigley Field) in an exciting Cubs victory 7-6 over the Reds in 11 innings. All-time great Cubs Pitcher, Claude Hendrix starts the game, but leaves the game with the Cubs trailing 5-3. The Cubs will score 2 in the 8th and 1 in the ninth to send the game into extra innings and than win the game in the 11th inning on a walk-off Sacrifice Fly by Vic Saier. Gene Packard pitches the final 3 scoreless innings for the Cubs not allowing a run while giving up 5 hits and 2 walks.
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