This week (January 11-17) during the last year the Cubs went to the World Series...
World War II Rages On...
*Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis, is arrested by the secret police in Hungary.
*German forces in Belgium retreat in Battle of the Bulge...
*Cubs pitcher Bill Fleming reports for military service. He won nine games for the Cubs in 1944 pitching as a starter and reliever. The 1945 Cubs will miss him.
*The fifth tallest building in Chicago is the Pittsfield building (photo). The Pittsfield Building, is a 38-story skyscraper located at 55 E. Washington Street. It was the city's tallest building at the time of its completion in 1927, but four buildings in Chicago are now bigger.
(At the turn of the 21st century, it will be the 65th tallest building in Chicago)
*Chicago 23rd ward alderman Jake Arvey is serving as a colonel in the US Army in the Pacific, a judge advocate of the 33rd Infantry.
*Price check: Pork Loin Roast us 45 cents per pound, Nylon Hose is 20 cents
*Art Linkletter's House Party (1945-1967) debuts on CBS radio.
*Ray Manzerek turns 2 in Chicago on January 12.
*Martin Luther King Jr. turns 16 on January 15th in Georgia, and is already attending Morehouse College.
*Robert Stack is serving in the Navy on his 26th birthday (Jan 13) as a gunnery instructor.
*Andy Rooney celebrates his 26th birthday the same day (Jan 13), and is also serving in the Army as a reporter for the Stars & Stripes. Rooney will be on hand to witness the liberation of German concentration camps in a few months.
*Al Capone has been released from prison for extreme syphilitic symptoms, so it's not clear if he understands that his 46th birthday is this week. He is living in Florida.
Cub of the week
*Roy Hughes completed one of the all-time great comebacks to be a part of the Cubs in 1944. He played for the Indians, Browns and Phillies from 1935-1940, but was injured badly in a collision at second base in 1940. The doctors told him that he had to give up the game. While he was working around the house, he was injured again in a tar explosion. But this time, the tar somehow rebuilt the previously injured muscles, and he was suddenly able to play baseball again. He had a great comeback year with the Cubs in '44 (at age 33), hitting .287, and stealing 16 bases (third in the league). He relinquished the starting 3B job when Stan Hack un-retired, but he was still an important backup infielder.
As he prepares for 1945, Hughes is tending to his dying father. He already informed the team that he may not be able to make it to spring training.
(Click here to see a photo of Hughes sliding into third base during the 1945 World Series)