Opening Day Facts

Believe it or not, the Cubs have a chance to do something for the first time in over 50 years Monday.

It isn't quite the same as winning a World Series, but with a victory over the Cincinnati Reds Monday, the Cubs will be winners of four straight Opening Day contests. That hasn't happened since 1953, when the Cubs won a total of six consecutive regular season openers from 1950-55.

The Cubs beat the Mets in a 15-2 bloodbath at Shea Stadium to open the 2003 season, edged the Reds, 7-4, in Cincinnati the following year and then slaughtered the Diamondbacks, 16-6, a season ago at Bank One Ballpark.

Flash back to 1950. The Cubs beat Cincinnati during four straight openers from ‘50-53, then beat the Cardinals on Opening Day in 1954 before downing the Reds again in '55 for their sixth straight Opening Day win.

The last time the Cubs won four straight openers prior to that? Try the 1930's (1933-36) in Charlie Grimm's stay as both Cubs skipper and first baseman. On Opening Day of '34, Cubs pitcher Lon Warneke threw a one-hitter against the Reds in a 6-0 shutout victory at Cincinnati's Crosley Field.

The Cubs will open the 2006 season against Cincinnati at 1:10 p.m. CDT at Great American Ballpark. President Bush will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The game can be seen on WGN with Carlos Zambrano making his second straight season-opening start against Cincinnati's Aaron Harang.

The Cubs are 72-56-2 all-time on Opening Day against 25 different teams, including 43-36 on the road – where they have begun every regular season since 1997 with the exception of 2001.

All-time against the Reds on Opening Day, the Cubs are 18-15 and winners of eight of their last 11 openers against Cincinnati. They hold a lifetime mark of 1,048-1,022 against the Reds since the year 1883.

Twice on Opening Day, the Cubs tied arch-rival St. Louis: in 1911 and 1965 – both times in Chicago.

(Information from the Cubs' media relations office was used in this report.)

E-mail Steve Holley: staff@insidetheivy.com.


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