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OTD in Cubs History: Ernie Banks Joined the 500-Homer Club and Much More

On this day in baseball history, Ernie Banks hit his 500th home run and much more.
Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs

Photo: Louis Requena/MLB Photos

A lot more has happened on May 12 in Chicago Cubs history than I initially realized.

On this day in 1970, Cubs legend and Hall of Famer Ernie Banks became the eighth member of the 500-home run club by smoking a line drive over the left-field basket off Pat Jarvis of the Atlanta Braves. The late great Banks would hit a few more bombs before finishing his career with 512 home runs. Mr. Cub ranks eighth all-time among shortstops in JAWS.

Banks felt like the most appropriate headline because he's the most well-known and one of the most beloved Cubs. After all, he is Mr. Cub. Also, 500 home runs used to be the benchmark number that stamped a player's ticket to the Hall of Fame.

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However, 15 years earlier, another milestone was reached. Coincidentally, Ernie Banks was also on the field for this one and went 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI.

First Black Pitcher to Throw No-Hitter

On this day in 1955, Cubs pitcher "Toothpick" Sam Jones became the first Black pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter.

After Jones walked three straight batters in the ninth inning, Cubs manager Stan Hack was one batter away from pulling him out of the game. Impressively, Jones struck out three batters in a row (Dick Groat, Roberto Clemente, and Frank Thomas) to preserve the no-hitter. Along with being the first African American to throw a no-no, it was the first no-hitter thrown at Wrigley Field in 38 years.

18-Pitch Battle for a Home Run

As you might recall, during the first full capacity game at Wrigley Field since 2019 last season, Anthony Rizzo blasted a home run to conclude an incredible 14-pitch at-bat. It was one of the loudest and best moments at Wrigley.

After the game, manager David Ross spoke about being on the Dodgers when Alex Cora had an 18-pitch at-bat against Matt Clement of the Chicago Cubs, which ended in a home run. In 2004, that battle between Cora and Clement took place on this day.