Saturday, April 20, 2019

April 20, 1946: Brecheen and The Birds Spoil The Cubs Opener at Wrigley

     On April 20, 1946, the Cardinals spoiled the Cubs' home opener at Wrigley Field with a 2-0 win.  That same day, the Cubs raised their 1945 National League pennant before the contest and televised their first regular season game in club history.  Harry "The Cat" Brecheen was on the bump for the birds from start to finish, allowing just six hits along the way.

     Lou Klein led the game off with a single, and was driven in on a sac fly by Enos Slaughter. Cubs starter Hank Borowy pitched into the eighth, down just 1-0, but he gave up another run that inning when Dick Sisler knocked in Stan Musial, giving the Cards and Brecheen a 2-0 lead and a little room to breathe.

     While Brecheen kept the Baby Bears off the board, he had help from his defense, particularly from Marty Marion, who had five putouts and five assists, including an inning-ending out with the bases loaded in the fifth. The Cubs may have come into the day celebrating a pennant winning club being televised for the first time, but at the end of the day, the Cardinals celebrated a win. There is no way to have known it then, but on that day the Cards were on the way to a pennant of their own. 1946 was quite a year.

Check out the box score here: