All appears to be quiet on the North Side of Chicago as baseball executives take a break for the Holidays. Kenny Williams was on ESPN 1000 with Bruce Levine on Saturday morning and he stated he only takes Christmas Day off. In the age of email, Blackberries and iPhones, general managers are awarded with as much time away as the rest of the professional world.
Andy MacPhail let it be known on Saturday that Erik Bedard would likely be his Opening Day starter. Is MacPhail using the press to run up the price of Bedard? Or are the Orioles on the verge of announcing a new contract for Bedard? The right package will pry the talented southpaw away from Baltimore and the same goes for Brian Roberts….whether MacPhail is “in the office” or not. Remember last year, Jeff Suppan agreed to terms with the Brewers on Christmas Eve.
So, here are a few blasts from the past with only two days left before the jolly ole fellow makes his annual journey….
- Grover Cleveland Alexander became the first pitcher to earn his 300th career victory in a Cubs’ uniform. Alexander beat the Giants, 7-4 in a 12-inning performance on September 20, 1924.
- The Cubs won the NL pennant in 1906 with a record of 116-36.
- Hank Sauer was the first Cubs outfielder to win the MVP award. In 1952, the Mayor of Wrigley Field hit 37 home runs with 121 RBI’s.
- Sammy Sosa became the first Cub to hit two home runs in one inning when he cleared the wall twice in the 7th inning against the Astros on May 16, 1996.
- Mark Grace recorded the most hits for the Cubs in the ’90’s. Grace also had more base hits than any other player in the National League during the decade.
- On September 28, 1952, the final day of the regular season, the Cardinals’ Stan Musial made his only big league pitching performance. The lefty was a pitcher in the minor leagues and faced Frankie Baumholtz, who batted right handed for the only time in his career, grounded out to third base but reached on a throwing error.
- Lewis Wilson is the given name of Hack Wilson.
- Ed Reulbach and Rick Sutcliffe share the Cubs’ modern day record for most consecutive wins in a single season. Reulbach posted 14 straight wins in 1909 and Sutcliffe equaled the mark in 1984.
- The first game in franchise history was on April 25, 1876. Albert Spalding threw a shutout, the first in NL history, and collected the first hit for the Chicago National League Ball Club, Inc.
- Hack Wilson became the first Cub in the 20th century to hit for the cycle. Wilson accomplished the feat on June 23, 1930.
- Ron Santo holds the franchise record for most games played at third base – 2,102.
- The Cubs won 322 games from 1906 to 1908, a Major League record for most wins over three consecutive seasons.
- The Cubs stole home 17 times in 1911, a National League record.
- Only two players played for the Cubs in the National League, the White Sox in the American League and the Whales of the Federal League….Rollie Zeider and Dutch Zwilling.
- Wrigley Field was the first ballpark to allow fans to keep foul balls.
- The Cubs and Tigers played in the first tie game in World Series history. Game one was suspended in the 12th inning due to darkness. The game was also the first extra inning game in World Series history.
- Randy Hundley and Jody Davis are the only two Cubs’ catchers to win a gold glove. Hundley earned the award in 1967 and Davis in 1986.
- Pete LaCock hit a pinch-hit grand slam on September 3, 1975 off of Bob Gibson….the bases clearing round tripper was the last hit ever allowed by the future hall of famer.
- On April 20, 1946, the first regular season Cubs game was broadcast on television.
Source: John F. Turner and Company