This Week in Wrigley History (April 16–April 22)
April 16, 1972
Cubs rookie Burt Hooton throws a no-hitter in only his fourth big league start. He walks seven and strikes out seven Phillies on a cold and blustery Wrigley afternoon, throwing 120 pitches in the process.The Philadelphia lineup is no pushover. Among the good hitters Hooton has to face: Larry Bowa, Willie Montanez, Deron Johnson, Greg Luzinski, Don Money and Tim McCarver. The only time Hooton is even remotely in trouble is in the top of the 7th inning. He walks both Don Money and outfielder Mike Anderson before striking out Denny Doyle to end the inning. Like another future Cubs rookie phenom from Texas, Hooton has a flair for the dramatic. He strikes out the last two hitters he faces; Deron Johnson and Greg Luzinski. It is undoubtedly the highlight of his Cubs career. Unfortunately, Hooton is traded away just a few years later to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The players the Cubs get in return, Eddie Soloman and Geoff Zahn, have no impact whatsoever in Chicago. Hooton, on the other hand, goes on to win at least 10 games eight years in a row for the Dodgers (including two seasons with 18, and another with 19), and pitches in three World Series.
April 16: Home town boy Freddie Lindstrom is playing in his first game with the Cubs in 1935. He is so pumped up, he lines the first pitch he sees, and hits the pitcher’s ankle. That pitcher is Dizzy Dean.
April 17: It’s a big day in Wrigley history. In 1934 Lon Warneke throws the best game in Cubs opening day history, a one-hit shutout…In 1951, a ball is hit off the centerfield scoreboard for the very first time—a golf ball hit by Sam Snead…The Cubs pound the Cardinals in 1954, 23-13…And in his rookie season of 1962, Ken Hubbs goes 5 for 5 in a Cubs win…They also win in 1973 on a two-hitter by Fergie Jenkins…In 2015, Kris Bryant makes his long awaited Wrigley Field debut.
April 18: In 1962 Ernie Banks hits the 300th homer of his career. It also happens to win the game for the Cubs in the bottom of the 10th inning against the expansion Houston Colt 45s… In 2004, Sammy Sosa passes Ernie Banks with his 513th homer as a Cub.
April 19: The Cubs win their opener 5-0 in 1940. Larry French throws a six hit shutout and knocks in a run to help his own cause.
April 20: The Cubs play their first home game at Wrigley Field (then known as Weeghman Park) in 1916 and win the game with several players who had played for the Federal League Whales in the same ballpark during the 1914 and 1915 seasons, including starting pitcher Claude Hendrix… In 1946 the Cubs raised their NL pennant flag before the game. They lose 2-0…And in 1979, Dave Kingman clubs a monster grand slam in an 8-5 win. Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter records the save.
April 21: In 1950, Cubs pitcher Bob Rush shuts out the Cardinals 2-0…In 1959 Glen Hobbie did him one better, pitching a one-hitter over the same team. Stan Musial gets the only hit for the Cardinals.
April 22: In 1938, the Cubs play in Wrigley Field for the first time since the ivy has been planted on the outfield walls by Bill Veeck. They lose 6-5 to the Cardinals…In 1965, the Cubs win a game in dramatic fashion. Billy Williams knocks in Glenn Beckert with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth against the Reds, and Ted Abernathy strikes out the side in the ninth.
The first televised Cubs game airs. WBKB-TV broadcasts that first game with famous bowling announcer Whispering Joe Wilson (photo) behind the microphone. It’s a memorable day at the ballpark for a few other reasons too. It’s the 30th anniversary of the Cubs playing in Wrigley Field, and the National League Pennant is raised up the flagpole for the fifth time since the Cubs started playing there. As everyone who follows Cubs lore knows, it’s also the last time that happened. In addition, this game marks the first game back at Wrigley Field for returning soldiers Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter. Slaughter knocks in Musial for the only run the Cardinals would need that day, as the Cardinals beat star Cubs pitcher Hank Borowy. The defending NL champs will finish in 3rd place that year, 14 1/2 games out of first; a finish that wouldn’t be topped for another 20 years.