This Week in Wrigley History (May 7–May 13)
His record setting streak began in 1961, when he was still with the Milwaukee Braves. That year he got a whopping 4 hits in 60 at bats, and struck out 30 times. But he really took it up a notch when he joined the Cubs in 1962. That year he went the entire season without getting a single hit. He went 0 for 70 and struck out 36 times. He didn’t get another hit until May 8, 1963, when he slapped a single off Pirates pitcher Al McBean, who probably was razzed about it by his teammates the rest of his career.
Buhl’s record still stands today; 88 consecutive at bats without getting a hit. Luckily for Buhl, he was a pretty good pitcher. He pitched in the big leagues for 15 seasons and won 15 or more games five times, including once with the incredibly lousy 1964 Cubs. Buhl even managed to do something completely foreign to his Cubs teammates. He won a World Series ring (with the 1957 Milwaukee Braves). (Photo: 1964 Topps Baseball Card)
May 7: In 1934, Cubs pitcher Bill Lee takes the mound for his first big league start and throws a four hit shutout against the Philadelphia Phillies. Future Hall of Famers Chuck Klein and Gabby Hartnett knock in the runs of the 2-0 victory. In 1992, Sammy Sosa hits his first homer as a Cub. Cubs beat the Astros 9-2.
May 8: In 1990, Andre Dawson ties the game with a homer in the bottom of the ninth, and then hits a walk off homer in the 11th inning in a dramatic Cubs win.
May 9: Dick Ellsworth pitches a two-hitter in 1963 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It isn’t a shutout, however, because an Ernie Banks error leads to an unearned run. Ernie later atones for this mistake by driving in an insurance run to secure the 3-1 victory. In 1967, Ron Santo goes 5 for 5 in a 10-2 drubbing of the Giants. Ray Culp gets the win for the Cubs.
May 10: In 1970 Billy Williams becomes the first Cubs player to hit a home run that lands in the basket, but it isn’t enough to make up for the two-run homer that Pete Rose hit in the top of the inning. The Cubs lose 7-6. Fergie gives up four homers that day (Johnny Bench, Lee May, Bernie Carbo, and Pete Rose).
May 11: Ernie hits one of his record (at that time) five grand slams of the 1955 season in the first inning of a game against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Ex-Cub pitcher Russ Meyer doesn’t make it out of the second inning, and the Cubs win 10-8. In 1988, Greg Maddux pitches a ten-inning complete game shutout.
May 12: The wind is blowing out at Wrigley in 1930. The Cubs fall behind 13-0, but launch a furious comeback. In the seventh inning they hit four home runs. Cliff Heathcote, Hack Wilson, Charlie Grimm, and Clyde Beck all hit one out. It still isn’t enough as the Cubs lose 14-12.
May 13: In 1958, Stan Musial makes history by coming in as a pinch hitter and stroking a double for his 3000th career hit. The St. Louis fans were hoping he would wait to do it in their ballpark. In 1969, the Cubs feast on Padres pitching and beat San Diego 19-0. Ernie Banks drives in seven runs with two homers, Don Young hits a three run homer, and Nate Oliver drives in four more with three hits, including a homer. In 1996, Steve Trachsel gives up a hit to the first batter, then doesn’t give up another, for a 1-hit 6-0 complete-game shutout.
May 12, 1955
Cubs pitcher Sam Jones is working on a no-hitter. In the top of the ninth, Sam walks the bases loaded. Even though the Cubs have a 4-0 lead, the heart of the Pirates order is coming up with a chance to tie the game with one swing of the bat. Manager Stan Hack clearly has thoughts of pulling Jones out of the game, but he doesn’t leave his spot in the dugout. “Let’s see if he can do it,” Stan says.
Jones focuses on the task at hand. Dick Groat gets the first shot, and Sam strikes him out. Future Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente is next, and Sam strikes him out too. That brings up the Pirates slugging left fielder (and future Cub) Frank Thomas. Sam Jones strikes out him out too, finishing up with a no-hitter, and securing his place in history. (Photo: 1956 Topps Baseball Card)