Cubs Home Opener Rewind – Willie Smith Walks It Off In '69

Today (April 8, 2019) the Chicago Cubs make their 2019 debut at Wrigley Field against the Pittsburgh Pirates. This year, the team limps home with a 2-7 record.

Fifty years ago, April 8 marked the season opener for the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Willie Smith won the game for the Cubs in the 11th inning in front of nearly 41,000 fans with a walk-off home run.

Chicago Tribune photographers even caught where Smith’s winning home ball run landed in the right field bleachers.

Ernie Banks launched a pair of home runs in the season opening win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Fans were eager for the start of the 1969 season, lining up for bleacher seats at 8 a.m.

Here is the box score from the April 8, 1969 game that the Cubs won over the Phillies, 7-6, in 11 innings.

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