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The Famous "Green Box"

What's a green box and why is it so famous? Well, just like a baseball dugout, that's where the stories are told. The "Green Box" appeared on the Baseball Historian web site during our inception back in 1999 and has been holding kangaroo court ever since. Enjoy the stories...

Cubs, Williams assault Phillies 11-3... April 10, 1969
Billy Williams lashes four doubles!

By Jerome Holtzman, "Chicago Sun-Times" Newspaper clipping - Actual Wording:

Billy Williams the quiet man on the Cubs had a few words to say Wednesday. He spoke up by lashing out four doubles to tie a major league record and was easily the individual star as the Wrigleys cruised to their second victory, an 11-3 waltz over the Philadelphia Phillies.

A crowd of 6,297 watched in Wrigley Field as the unbeaten Cubs socked it to the Phillies for the second day in a row. The Chicagoans did it behind the steady pitching of Bill Hands with a 16-hit assault that included seven doubles.

Four Cubs drove in two runs apiece, and old Ernie Banks drove in one with the first of his three singles to give him six RBI for the new season.

It was, after Tuesday's exciting opener, somewhat of a quiet game. The Cubs leaped out in front 2-0 in the third, broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth and wrapped it up in the seventh with a seven-run rally that included three successive doubles.

In the third inning, Cubs' shortstop Don Kessinger legged out a bunt and went to third on Glenn Beckert's hit-and-run single off Phils' second baseman Cookie Rojas' glove.

Williams promptly smashed a double into the right field corner, Kessinger scoring. After Ron Santo hit into a fielder's choice, the second Cub run came in on Banks' single.

A Philly error helped the Cubs get two more in the fourth. With no outs and Al Spangler on first, Phils' first baseman, Richie Allen, made a wild throw on Don Young's bunt.

Pitcher Bill Hands bunted both runners into scoring position, and a sacrifice fly by Kessinger and an RBI single by Beckert followed.

Chicago had only one scoring inning thereafter but it was the same inning. The Cubs batted around in the seventh at the expense of pitchers' Gary Wagner and Lou Feraza and got seven hits, four of them doubles. Another Philly error by pitcher Wagner, also on a sacrifice bunt, helped the Cub cause.

This rally included singles by Banks and Spangler, a two-run double by center fielder Don Young, Hands' second bunt, and three doubles in a row by Kessinger, Beckert and Billy Williams. Santo also had a hit in this rally and picked up his first RBI with a solid single.

At the finish, the Cubs showed 16 hits for 37 times at bat. Added to Tuesday's opening-day total of 11 for 38 gives the Wrigley's a team batting average of .360.

Who knows? It might be both the year of the Cubs and the year of the hitter.

Billy Williams became the 29th major leaguer to knock out four doubles in one game and was astonished when he heard he had tied the record. He said he thought someone, somewhere might have had five doubles.

It had been 15 years since a National Leaguer, Jim Greengrass of the Cincinnati Reds, wacked out four doubles in one game. The last American Leaguer was Billy Bruton in 1963 when he was finishing his career with the Detroit Tigers.

"That's a lot of doubles," Williams said. Then he laughed, "Doubles for Abner Doubleday."

Williams came to the plate five times and drew one walk in the fourth. When someone mentioned it was too bad he had walked and that he might have had a fifth double, he was his usual modest self. "Naw," Williams said. "I might have skied it. Might have popped up."

Bill Hands, a 16-game winner last year (1968), was an outstanding pitcher. He gave up seven hits, but four of them came in the last two innings when he was safely ahead and there was no sweat.

He had only one tough inning, the fourth, when the Phillies rallied for a brief 2-2 tie after Hands hit Larry Hisle with a pitch with one out.

The next batter, rookie Ron Stone, followed with the longest hit of the day, a triple into the right-center field alley. When Glenn Beckertthrew the relay over the head of third baseman, Ron Santo, Stone followed Hisle across the plate.

Two more Cub errors in the ninth by Santo let in the Phils ast run, but Ron had done his bit with the glove earlier, when there was pressure and when it was still a scoreless game.

Almost by himself, Santo helped Hands out of a second inning jam with the grab of a pop foul and figuring as the pivot man in an unusual double play.

Richie Allen, the Phillies' big slugger, opened the second with a line double to center. Santo then fell to the slippery turf while going for Johnny Callison's foul, but made the catch while on his back.

The next batter, Cookie Rojas hit a hopper to Don Kessinger at shortstop, Allen foolishly tried to advance but was out, Kessinger to Santo. Santo fell on Allen while making the tag but got untangled in time to throw out Rojas trying for second.

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