Historical Events (July 10-16): Where were the Cubs?
July 13, 1977
The New York City Blackout of 1977 was an electricity blackout that affected most of New York City from July 13, 1977 to July 14, 1977. New York was already feeling tense because the economy was tanking and the unsolved Son of Sam murders were taking place, and the blackout seemed to open the floodgates. Widespread looting, arson and mayhem were happening all over the city. It affected nearly everyone. Because of the power failure, LaGuardia and Kennedy airports were closed down for about eight hours, automobile tunnels were closed because of lack of ventilation, and 4,000 people had to be evacuated from the subway system.
It also affected the Chicago Cubs. They were playing against the Mets at Shea Stadium. When the lights went out (at 9:31 PM), the Cubs were leading 2-1. Future Cub Lenny Randle was batting for the Mets. An auxiliary generator kept the PA system working, and lit up parts of the stadium, but not nearly well enough to continue playing the game. They waited about an hour and a half for the lights to come back on, before suspending the game just before 11:00 PM.
Cubs and Mets players showered and dressed in the pitch black locker rooms. The Cubs were staying at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and they encountered even more difficulties there. For one thing, the elevators weren’t working, so they had to walk up 17 flights of stairs to their rooms. The air conditioning also wasn’t working, so they roasted in the unseasonably hot weather.
The next day they carried their luggage down 17 flights of stairs and once again tried to dress in the dark Shea Stadium dressing rooms. Everyone was hopeful that the lights would be coming back on at any moment. It didn’t come on, and that game was postponed as well.
By the time the lights came back on, the Cubs were in Philadelphia, playing a double header against the Phillies. They lost both games.
The suspended game against the Mets wasn’t replayed until two months later (September 16th). They picked it up where the game left off, with the Cubs leading 2-1 in the 6th inning. Ray Burris, who had been pitching when the lights went out, took the mound and was credited with a complete game. It took 66 days to earn that complete game victory.
The Cubs won the game 5-2.
July 10, 1999. The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team wins the World Cup, punctuated by Brandi Chastain ripping off her shirt in celebration. The Cubs beat the White Sox 10-2 at Comiskey Park, beating former Cub Jamie Navarro. GlenAllen Hill and Jose Hernandez homer for the visiting Cubs.
July 11, 1979. Skylab, America’s first space station, comes crashing down to Earth disintegrating into bits and pieces over the Indian Ocean and Australia. The Cubs are in Atlanta, losing 6-5 to the Braves. Mike Vail grounds out with the tying run standing on third base.
July 12, 1984. Presidential candidate (and former VP) Walter Mondale nominates the first female to run for Vice President, Geraldine Ferraro. The Cubs beat the Dodgers in extra innings at Wrigley Field. Ryne Sandberg’s homer in the bottom of the 10th is the margin of victory.
July 13, 1985. Live Aid, the biggest concert event since Woodstock, takes place simultaneously in Philadelphia and London. Dave Anderson leads off the game with a homer off Larry Gura and Fernando Valenzuela throws a 5-hitter in a Dodgers rout of the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
July 14, 1881. Billy the Kid is shot dead by Sheriff Pat Garrett in New Mexico. The first place Cubs (known then as the White Stockings) are en route from Worcester to Buffalo to play the second place Bisons.
July 15, 1964. Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona is nominated by the Republican Party to run for president against sitting president (but not yet elected in his own right) Lyndon B. Johnson. The Cubs beat the Mets 3-2 at Wrigley Field. Pitcher Lew Burdette’s homer is the margin of victory for the Cubs.
July 16, 1951. “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger is published by Little Brown. The Cubs are in Boston for a double header against the Braves. Warren Spahn shuts them out in the first game, but Hank Sauer clubs a home run to lead the Cubs to victory in Game 2.