On this Earth Day, we celebrate the Cubs career of the man they called “Dirt”, and another one called Mudrock…
~Dick Tidrow 1947 (Cubs 1979-1982)
His teammates called him “Dirt”. His odd nickname reflected his basic, simple approach to the game. His real name was Richard William Tidrow, and he was the setup man for the Cubs (for Bruce Sutter) in the late 70s and early 80s. The Cubs got him from the Yankees for Ray Burris, one of the rare trades they never regretted. Tidrow had two great years (’79 and ’80), one terrible year (’81), and one average year (’82) for the Cubs, before he went to the White Sox in the Steve Trout trade, and pitched in the playoffs for the Sox that year. That turned out to be another good trade for the Cubs. Trout started for the Cubs the next five years (and won Game 2 of the ’84 playoffs), and Tidrow was out of baseball after the ’84 season. The Cubs should have signed him after his playing career ended. He went into scouting, eventually becoming the Scouting Director for the San Francisco Giants. Among the pitchers he nurtured through their farm system: Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. (Photo: Topps 1981 Baseball Card)
~Phil Mudrock 1937 (Cubs 1963)
If you want to go back in time to see Phil Mudrock pitch, set the wayback machine to April 19, 1963 and go to Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Mudrock came in to relieve Cubs ace Larry Jackson in the 8th inning. He faced only five batters in his big league career, but listen to who those batters were: Jim Davenport, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, and Felipe Alou…Three Hall of Famers in a row (Mays, McCovey, Cepeda). He gave up a double to Davenport and a single to McCovey (who he later balked to third), but Mudrock got out of the inning. He watched from the bench in the top of the 9th as his teammates Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, and Lou Brock hit against Juan Marichal…Three Hall of Famers in a row against another Hall of Famer. Phil Mudrock’s career was only one inning long, but it sure must have been memorable.