Northside Archives: A Wacky September
With expanded September rosters and playoff chases come all sorts of weird stat lines, matchups, and general oddities. Here’s a quick glimpse back at a smattering of September days in Cubs’ history.
September 2, 1972 – Milt Pappas throws a no-hitter against the Padres. He retires the first 26 hitters; home plate umpire Bruce Froemming allows the 27th to “earn” a walk. Pappas retires the 28th to preserve his no-hitter.
September 3, 1970 – Billy Williams requests the day off breaking his then-NL record of 1,117 consecutive games played.
September 8, 1998 – Steve Trachsel serves up Mark McGwire’s 62nd home run of the year. Big Mac celebrates his new record with a big hug from his ‘roid buddy Sammy Sosa.
September 9, 1965 – Sandy Koufax throws a perfect game against the Cubs. No pitcher has thrown a perfect game or no-hitter against them since.
September 10, 1969 – The Cubs lose at Philadelphia 6-2. The loss puts them into 2nd place behind the Mets; the Mets never look back en route to their first World Series title.
September 11, 1968 – Fergie Jenkins loses 1-0 to the Mets, his fifth 1-0 loss of the year. He compiled a 20-15 record that year; but in nine of those loses the Cubs were shutout by their opponent.
September 14, 2008 – Carlos Zambrano tosses the first no-hitter for the Cubs since 1972. The game is against Houston and played in Milwaukee; it’s moved because of a hurricane threatening the Texas coast.
September 15, 1946 – The second game of a doubleheader at Ebbets Field ends with the Dodgers securing a 2-0 victory when gnats take over the field and force the players to take cover. Gnats.
September 16, 1975 – The Pirates hand the Cubs the most one-sided shutout loss in major league history, 22-0. Rennie Stennett goes 7-for-7 for the Pirates; it’s a nine inning game.
September 17, 1953 – Ernie Banks makes his debut (he commits an error). He is the first black player to play for the Cubs – more than seven years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.
September 18, 1999 – Sammy Sosa becomes the first player in history to have two 60-homer seasons. He’ll need to buy a ticket if he ever wants to be in the Hall of Fame, however.
September 19, 2010 – Welington Castillo’s bat breaks into pieces, one of which winds up in the chest of Tyler Colvin. Colvin scores on the play but hasn’t been the same since.
September 23, 1908 – Fred Merkle fails to touch second base on what should have been a walk off by Al Bridwell for the Giants. Johnny Evers alertly calls for the ball and steps on second base preserving a 1-1 tie. The game is called due to darkness. When the two teams end the season tied atop the standings, the game is replayed. The Cubs win the replayed game and go on to win their most recent World Series title. The play is unfortunately referred to as Merkle’s Boner.
September 24, 1984 – Rick Sutcliffe tosses a two-hitter to clinch the Cubs’ first playoff appearance since 1945. The Cubs will grab a 2-0 series lead over the Padres in the NLCS and then completely collapse.
September 27, 1935 – The Cubs win their 21st consecutive game and in doing so clinch the NL pennant. They would go on to lose the World Series to Detroit.
September 28, 1998 – At Wrigley Field the Cubs beat the Giants 5-3 in a one-game playoff to secure the NL wild card berth. Mark Grace caught the final out of a wild ninth inning that saw the Cubs surrender 3 runs.
September 29, 1986 – Rookies and brothers Greg and Mike Maddux are the first siblings to start games against each other. Greg and the Cubs get the best of Mike and the Phillies, 8-3. The game takes place in Philly – where else – the City of Brotherly Love.