Cubs Calendar: April 30, 1940

The Cubs topped the Boston Braves 8 to 7 before 4,808 fans. Bill Lee defeated Dick Coffman in this ten inning affair. Although he won 20 games in 1940, normally reliable Cubs’ starter Claude Passeau gave up seven runs before being chased in the fourth inning. Luckily, the Cubs’ offense exploded for eight runs, including four runs in the game’s final three innings. Hank Leiber went three for five with a home run and four runs batted in while Bill Nicholson added three hits and two runs batted in. The hero of the game was Cubs’ back-up catcher Al Todd who hit a walk-off home run in the tenth inning. Cubs’ player-manager Gabby Hartnett had taken himself out of the game after nine innings.

Side note: Todd was the Pittsburgh Pirate’s catcher in 1938 when Hartnett hit his famous ninth inning Homer in the Gloamin’ to help the Cubs win the pennant. Cubs’ first baseman Phil Cavarretta later insisted that, due to the low visibility, had Todd called for a fastball instead of a slider, Hartnett would have been unable to see the pitch and he would have struck out swinging. In that event, the game would have been suspended for darkness and replayed in its entirety the following day as part of a doubleheader. Instead, the Cubs won that game on a Hartnett home run and, a year and a half later, Todd (now a Cub) hit the game winning home run while filling in for Hartnett.

Photo by BPL [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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