Today in Chicago Cubs’ history isn’t as exciting as yesterday, but a few notable things happened, including milestones reached by both opposing players and North Siders. Working in chronological order, let’s take a look back in time.
Jim Tobin Destroys the Cubs
Long before Shohei Ohtani, there was former All-Star and World Series Champion Jim Tobin. His playing days spanned from 1937 to 1945, during which he was mostly used as a pitcher. Tobin finished his nine-year career with a 3.44 ERA in 287 games pitched. However, he had some success as a batter and was used as a pinch hitter from time to time.
On this day in 1942, Tobin carried the Boston Braves to a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs. He hit three consecutive home runs at the plate, becoming the first pitcher in modern baseball to hit three bombs in a game. On top of that, Tobin pitched a complete game while striking out zero batters. Truly incredible stuff.
Stan Musial Collects 3,000th Hit
As easy as it is to root against the St. Louis Cardinals, Stan Musial’s excellence is undeniable. Unlike Yadier Molina, he was a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame and far from an overrated player. Musial finished his career with three MVP awards, three World Series rings, seven batting titles, and 24 All-Star appearances.
On this day in 1958, Musial recorded his 3,000th career hit against Chicago Cubs pitcher Moe Drabowsky at Wrigley Field. Reaching 3,000 hits further solidified Musial’s already impeccable Hall of Fame resume. Musial ranks fourth all-time in hits with 3,630.
Ernie Banks Reaches Another Milestone
In yesterday’s article, I highlighted Banks for joining the 500 homer club. Today is another important day for Banks, as many of them were during his illustrious playing career.
On this day in 1969, Banks reached 1,500 career RBIs by driving in seven runs in a 19-0 Cubs victory over the San Diego Padres. That RBI total tied a single-game career-high for Mr. Cub. He had two other games with seven RBIs — Aug. 4, 1955, and May 1, 1963.
Cubs Win No. 8,000 in Team History
On this day in 1982, the Chicago Cubs won their 8,000th game in team history by defeating the Houston Astros 5-0. Allen Ripley pitched six innings of shutout ball, allowing only two hits. Lee Smith picked up a three-inning save with only one hit and no runs allowed.
Alfonso Soriano Ties Franchise Leadoff Home Run Record
To some Chicago Cubs fans, Soriano is a polarizing figure. Although he produced at an above-average level for most of his seven years on the North Side, many believe he didn’t live up to his $136 million contract. That said, eight years for $136 million looks like a steal compared to Jason Heyward’s eight-year, $184 million deal.
Ultimately, while Soriano might not have lived up to his big contract at the time, he was Dexter Fowler before Fowler. Joe Maddon used to tell Fowler, “You go, we go,” before every at-bat. That was largely true, and he was a big reason why the Cubs won a World Series in 2016. His leadoff home run in Game 7 of the Fall Classic was one of the all-time greatest Cubs moments. But Soriano hit plenty of leadoff bombs as well.
On this day in 2009, Soriano tied Craig Biggio, who he would later pass, for second-most leadoff home runs of all time. No one has come close to Ricky Henderson’s 81 leadoff homers, but Soriano finished his career with 54, one ahead of Biggio.
The homer hit on this day in 2009 was Soriano’s 21st of that variety as a Cub, and it put him past Jimmy Ryan for the franchise record. Soriano also holds the record and is tied for second with Brady Anderson and George Springer for the most leadoff homers in a single season (13 in 2003, New York Yankees, and 12 in 2007, Chicago Cubs).
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