2018 had no shortage of lists of impressive (and sometimes odd) Javier Báez feats of strength. On Thursday, it seemed like he picked up where he left off last season.
Here are five lists and/or facts from Javy’s dynamic season debut:
Báez is one of four Cubs shortstops to hit cleanup on Opening Day
And prior to 2019, the Cubs were 0-6 on Opening Day when a shortstop hit cleanup in an opener. Javy did his part to stop that trend.
Just as there are seven seasons in which a shortstop hit cleanup for the Cubs on Opening Day…
Báez is the seventh Cub to hit multiple home runs on Opening Day.
|1927||Earl Webb||2 HR|
|1936||Frank Demaree||2 HR|
|1950||Andy Pafko||2 HR|
|1969||Ernie Banks||2 HR|
|1994||Tuffy Rhodes||3 HR|
|2003||Corey Patterson||2 HR|
|2019||Javier Báez||2 HR|
The Cubs are 6-1 in those seven games listed above. The one loss was the one game on the list where the player hit three home runs – back when Tuffy Rhodes hit three off D. Gooden, MD.
By the way, Banks played first base in that 1969 opener, in case you were wondering.
Also by the way, none of the previous six players homered in the next game. Keep an eye on that.
One more thing in case you weren’t aware: Tuffy Rhodes went on to hit 464 home runs in Japan, including 50 or more twice.
Báez is the fifth shortstop since 1900 to hit multiple home runs on Opening Day
1969 Don Money, Phillies
2007 Edgar Renteria, Braves
2016 Trevor Story, Rockies
2018 Tim Anderson, White Sox
2019 Javier Báez, Cubs
And if you were wondering where the power went in Arizona this spring, worry no more:
Báez equaled his 2019 spring home run output in a single game.
|2019 spring training||18||50||2|
|2019 regular season||1||5||2|
Spring numbers don’t mean much, but still…
From the oddly obscure department:
Interleague games on Opening Day go back to only 2013, so there haven’t been many opportunities, but Báez is the first (and only) National League player ever to hit two home runs in an American League ballpark on Opening Day. So there’s that.
If 2019 is anything like 2018, there will likely be several more collections of Javier Báez feats throughout the season. Stay tuned.
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