~Alberto Cabrera 1988 (Cubs 2012-2013)
Alberto pitched out of the Cubs bullpen for parts of two seasons. He appeared in 32 games and posted an ERA of 5.20. Cabrera spent the entire 2014 season with Triple A Iowa.
~Trevor Cahill 1988 (Cubs 2015-present)
The former 18-game-winner with Oakland was down on his luck when the Cubs took a flier on him at the end of the 2015 season. They put Cahill in the bullpen, and he rebounded with a tremendous season. Even during the 2015 playoffs, Trevor was a key contributor out of the pen. The Cubs outbidded Pittsburgh to re-sign him after the season. In 2016, he suffered through injuries and wasn’t able to repeat his 2015 effectiveness.
~Miguel Cairo 1974 (Cubs 1997, 2001)
Miguel had a very impressive 17-year big league career. He played for ten different teams, including six playoff teams, and amassed nearly 4000 at-bats. Two of his 17 seasons were played in Chicago. He backed up Ryne Sandberg during the Hall of Famer’s final season, and then played a bigger role during his second stint with the Cubs, backing up second base, shortstop, and third base. The closest he came to playing in the World Series was with the 2004 New York Yankees. That’s the team that had a 3-game lead to the Red Sox in the ALCS before blowing the series.
~Marty Callaghan 1900 (Cubs 1922-1923)
The backup outfielder only had limited playing time with the Cubs in his two seasons in Chicago, but one of those days was the highest scoring game in baseball history. He set a big league record in that game (shared by a few others) when he batted three times in one inning during that game on August 25, 1922. He had two singles and a strikeout during the fourth inning of a 26-23 win against the Phillies.
~Jimmy Callahan 1874 (Orphans/Colts 1897-1900)
The newspapers at the time liked to call him by his childhood nickname: “Nixey”. He was mainly a pitcher, and a good one at that, but he could also hit, and he had blinding speed, so the Cubs (then known as the Colts and Orphans) found ways to get him on the field even on days he wasn’t pitching. He played a little outfield, and a little third base. On the mound, though, is where Jimmy Callahan really made his mark. He was a two-time 20 game winner with the Cubs. When Jimmy went out there to pitch, the Cubs knew he was going to finish what he started. Out of 116 Cubs starts, 113 of them were complete games. When the American League was founded he jumped across town and finished his career with the White Sox. While pitching for the White Sox, he hurled the first no-hitter in American League history.
Johnny Callison 1939 (Cubs 1970-1971)
The Cubs acquired him in November of 1969, in a trade that they hoped would put them over the top. They traded pitcher Dick Selma (who had been a favorite of the Bleacher Bums because of his cheerleading routine from the bullpen) and a young prospect, to the Phillies for the former all-star outfielder. Unfortunately for the Cubs, that young prospect turned out to be Oscar Gamble. Gamble was only 19 years old at the time, but he had already gotten a taste of the majors with the Cubs. How did that trade turn out? Gamble played in the majors until 1985, hitting 200 home runs. Of those 200 home runs, only one of them came for the Cubs. He went on to play in the World Series for the Yankees, and hit .358 for them in 1979. Most horribly, his best season was with the Southside Hitmen 1977 Chicago White Sox. Callison had one semi-decent year in Chicago, then was done. Needless to say, he wasn’t the final piece to take them over the top. (Photo: Topps 1970 Baseball Card)
In 1964 Callison hit a walk-off homer in the all-star game…
~Dick Calmus 1944 (1967 Cubs)
Dick Calmus got into 21 games with the 1963 Dodgers but didn’t get back up to the big leagues until September 2, 1967. He was the starting pitcher for the Cubs that day in the second game of a double header against the Mets at Wrigley Field. The Cubs spotted him a 4-1 lead, but Calmus couldn’t hold it. He gave up two home runs to the Mets second baseman Jerry Bucheck, and was pulled in the fifth inning. It was his last big league appearance. He was 23 years old.
~Mike Cameron (Cubs author)
Mike wrote a great book about Fred Merkle, a baseball player who was nicknamed “Bonehead” because of one unfortunate play in 1908 (while he was with the Giants), that led to the Cubs winning the pennant. It’s available in the Just One Bad Century store.
~Dolph Camilli 1907 (Cubs 1933-1934)
After Cubs owner William Wrigley and team president Bill Veeck Sr. died, the club was handed to an inexperienced fish wholesaler named William Walker. He traded Dolph to the Phillies for Don Hurst. Camilli went on to hit over 200 home runs, made two all-star teams, and led the 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers to the World Series. He won the MVP that year too. Cubs fans might have been forgiven if they found themselves rooting for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1941 World Series. Seven ex-Cubs led that Brooklyn team to the National League pennant. Dolph Camilli played first base. Billy Herman played second. Augie Galan was an outfielder. Kirby Higbe won 22 games. Hugh Casey won 14 games. Larry French pitched valuable innings out of the bullpen, and Babe Phelps was a backup catcher. (Photo: Helmar Baseball Art Card Company)
~Kid Camp 1869 (Colts 1894)
They called him “Kid” because his big brother Lew was also on the team. Kid was a pitcher. He started two games for the Cubs (then known as the Colts) and completed both of those games, but he was hit pretty hard. He gave up more than two runners an inning, and registered an ERA of 6.55. He previously had a cup of coffee with the Pirates.
~Lew Camp 1868 (Colts 1893-1894)
Lew was a backup infielder for two seasons with the Cubs (then known as the Colts). His real name was Robert Plantagenet Llewallen Camp.
~Shawn Camp 1975 (Cubs 2012-2013)
Camp didn’t pitch in every game for the Cubs in 2012–it only seemed like it. He did lead the league in appearances that season with 80. And while he started off strong, that wear and tear eventually caught up with him. By the end of the season he was getting knocked around regularly, and the following season it was worse. When the Cubs released him in July of 2013, his ERA was north of 7.
~Tony Campana 1986 (Cubs 2011-2012)
The speedy Campana was a big hit with Cubs fans because of the excitement he stirred everytime he reached base. In limited opportunities, he stole 24 and 30 bases in his two years with the Cubs. He also once hit an inside-the-park home run–his only homer in entire career (minor and major leagues). Unfortunately for Tony, he couldn’t steal first, and he didn’t take walks. He was released before the 2013 season and signed with the Diamondbacks.
~Bill Campbell 1948 (Cubs 1982-1983)
Like anyone with the last name of Campbell, Bill was tagged with the nickname of Soup pretty early on in his career. He was an excellent relief pitcher for the Twins and Red Sox, playing in an all-star game as a representative of the Red Sox in 1977. With the Cubs, Soup led the league in appearances in 1982, but slumped a bit in 1983. Nevertheless, he played an important role in the Cubs 1984 division championship because he was part of the trade that brought Gary Matthews and Bob Dernier to the Cubs. (Photo: Topps 1984 Baseball Card)
~Gilly Campbell 1908 (Cubs 1933)
Gilly was a catcher, and had a cup of coffee as Gabby Hartnett’s backup during the 1933 season. He hit .280 in that limited capacity, and helped handle a pitching staff that included big-time pitching stars like Lon Warneke, Guy Bush, Charlie Root, and Pat Malone (all of them double digit winners that year). The following season he was sold to Cincinnati. Gilly was a big leaguer until 1938.
~Joe Campbell 1944 (Cubs 1967)
Joe was serving in the U.S. Marines when the Cubs took him from the Mets in the Rule V Draft. He finally arrived on May 3rd, and played his first and only game in the big leagues. He went 0 for 3 and struck out all three times. The Cubs returned him to the Mets after the game and he never made it back up the majors. In that one game, however, Campbell can say that he was in the same lineup as three Hall of Famers (Banks, Santo, and Williams), and that the other lineup included Felipe Alou, Joe Torre, Rico Carty, and one of the best hitters of all-time, Hank Aaron.
~Mike Campbell 1964 (Cubs 1996)
After stops in Seattle, Texas and San Diego, Campbell came to the Cubs in 1996 and had his best season in the big leagues. He went 3-1 with a 4.46 ERA. He went to Japan after that and developed shoulder problems. Campbell’s claim to fame was being part of the trade that brought Randy Johnson to the Mariners. He and Mark Langston went to the Expos in exchange for the future 300 game winner.
~Ron Campbell 1940 (Cubs 1964-66)
Ron was a backup infielder for the Cubs, but he did get one month as a starter. In September of 1964, he was the team’s starting second baseman. He hit fairly well (.272) and had several clutch hits (including six doubles, a triple, and a homer), but when 1965 began, the Cubs had a new second baseman in the starting lineup–Glenn Beckert. Campbell got a few tastes of the big leagues in ’65 and ’66, but he didn’t do as well. He played three more seasons in the minors after that, and retired from the game after the 1970 season at the age of 30. (Photo: Topps 1967 Baseball card)
~Vin Campbell 1888 (Cubs 1908)
He got his cup of coffee with the Cubs in their most momentous year, 1908. He got his chance only because the Cubs were decimated with injuries. Outfielder Jimmy Sheckard was out with an eye injury, reserve infielder Heinie Zimmerman was out because he was beaten up by his teammates for causing Sheckard’s eye injury, backup catcher Pat Moran was spiked, starting pitcher Chick Fraser was hit in his pitching hand with a line drive, starter Orval Overall had a bad back, and a flu bug was sidelining utilityman Solly Hofman, reserve Del Howard, and most importantly, first baseman Frank Chance & second baseman Johnny Evers. Campbell got only one at bat on June 6, 1908.
~Jim Canavan 1866 (Colts 1892)
Canavan was the starting second baseman for most of the 1892 season, but he had a hard time with the bat. He only hit .166 in 487 plate appearances–among the worst performances in Cubs history. He finished his career with Cincinnati.
~Jeimer Candelario 1993 (Cubs 2016-present)
The third baseman had a great season with Triple A Iowa in 2016, and when the Cubs suffered a few injuries, he briefly had a run with the parent club. In eleven at-bats he only recorded one hit. Nevertheless, he is considered a top prospect in the Cubs organization.
~Chris Cannizzaro 1938 (Cubs 1971)
Chris had been the starting catcher for the Padres before coming to the Cubs. Chicago acquired him because catcher Randy Hundley had gone down with an injury. Cannizzarro got extensive playing time during that 1971 season and caught Cy Young winner Fergie Jenkins, but his hitting was atrocious. In nearly 200 at bats, he hit a mere .213. The Cubs let him go after the season and he finished his career as the backup catcher in Los Angeles.
~Mike Capel 1961 (Cubs 1988)
The Cubs brought up the University of Texas product in 1988, and he appeared in 21 games for the team that year. After spending the 1989 season in the minors, he was released. Capel did make it back up to the big leagues with the Brewers in 1990, but he posted an almost unbelievable ERA of 135.00.
~Doug Capilla 1952 (1979-1981 Cubs)
He was a big part of the Cubs bullpen in his seasons with the Cubs, but he had control issues.
~Chip Caray 1965 (Cubs announcer 1998-2004)
He was hired to work alongside his grandfather in the booth, but before Chip broadcast his first Cubs game, Harry Caray passed away. Chip was paired with Steve Stone for seven seasons and provided solid if unspectactular coverage of the team. He wasn’t asked back after a controversy erupted at the end of the 2004 season between players and the broadcasters—and Steve Stone followed him out of the booth. Chip now does Atlanta Braves games, just as his father did before him.
All three Carays did get to broadcast together once…
~Harry Caray 1914 (Cubs announcer 1982-1997)
Harry was more than just the announcer for the Cubs. He was the symbol of the team during his time on the North Side. He had some great moments in the division winning year of 1984, but Cubs fans truly got a taste of what it would be without him when he had a stroke in 1987 and had to miss some time. When Harry Caray finally returned to the broadcast booth in May of 1987, it was a big deal across the country. He had been out of commission for the first month of the year, and WGN’s Superstation trumpeted his return across the nation. It seemed that every baseball fan in America was tuning in that day Harry returned. It also happened to be in an era when the President of the United States was a big Cubs fan, and he even called into the booth to wish Harry well. Most people would have been thrilled, but Harry took the phone call in stride, even when President Reagan said: “I just wanted to welcome you back. The Cubs need you, the baseball world needs you, and the country needs you. You’re great for baseball.” President Reagan went on to talk about Nancy, and Chicago, and his broadcasting days. Harry didn’t really seem to be paying attention to what the President said. Instead, he cut him off by saying “Mr. President, Bob Denier just singled and I’ve got to let you go.” Then he hung up on the President. How many people can say they have done that? Obviously, Ronald Reagan didn’t take it personally. The following season he came to Wrigley Field and did an inning with Harry in the booth. Harry passed away in February of 1998. He was replaced in the Cubs broadcast booth by his grandson Chip. (The image of Harry Caray and Ronald Reagan is a work of an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.)
Our favorite Harry moment…
Our tribute shirt to four beloved greats from Cubs lore. All are missed tremendously. A portion of the proceeds from every shirt will be donated to Cubs Charities in honor of Ernie, Ronnie, Jack, and Harry. Click here.
~Jose Cardenal 1943 (Cubs 1972-1977)
Jose Cardenal was one of the most colorful players to wear a Cubs uniform. With his gigantic afro, his hat tucked into his back pocket, and his crouched batting stance and running style, he was easy to spot. But he was also an interesting guy, prone to some rather unusual on and off-the-field incidents.
*In 1972, Cardenal declared himself unfit to play because crickets in his hotel room had kept him awake all night.
*In 1973, he attempted to steal home and ran right into Cubs ace Fergie Jenkins who was batting at the time. Fergie was knocked to the ground, jammed an index finger in the process, and had to be removed from the game.
*On the opening day of the 1974 season, Jose said that he couldn’t play because his eyelid was stuck open. Apparently, he’d ‘slept funny and couldn’t blink’. That’s right, it was stuck open, not closed.
*In 1975, Jose was taken to the Jefferson Park police station and charged with resisting arrest after an altercation at O’Hare Airport. His wife had gone to the airport to pick him up after a road trip, and security had told her three times that she had to move the car because it was parked illegally. When Jose got there, his wife was having a heated argument with a cop. Jose took the cop’s nightstick and hit him in the head with it. (He later filed a $750,000 lawsuit against the city–charging police brutality, and it was settled out of court.)
*Though he left Cuba legally (in 1961, at the age of 16), he did not see his family again until 1979, after his 18-year major league career had ended. In the intervening years, Cardenal’s appearance changed so much that his own mother once bumped into him in an airport – and didn’t recognize him.
He may have been mercurial, but Jose Cardenal was a crowd favorite throughout his Cubs years. Though he played for other teams in other towns and coached for other teams in other towns, he always considered Chicago his American home. That’s not idle speculation. That’s backed up by this first person account. (Photo: Topps 1975 Baseball Card)
~Adrian Cardenas 1987 (Cubs 2012)
The Cubs acquired Cardenas from the Oakland organization, and he served as a pinch hitter and occasional spot starter during his one season in the big leagues. The highlight of that year was probably the hit he got to break up A.J. Burnett’s no-hitter in the 8th inning. Before the 2013 season, Cardenas abruptly retired at the age of 24. He wrote this piece in the New Yorker to explain what he was thinking. Cardenas is now pursuing a career as a writer.
~Don Cardwell 1935 (Cubs 1960-1962)
The Cubs acquired Cardwell from the Phillies in exchange for second baseman Tony Taylor. Taylor went on to play big league ball for 16 more seasons, but it looked like a great trade at the time. On May 15, 1960, in his first start in a Cubs uniform, Don Cardwell pitched a no-hitter. He won 15 games for the Cubs the following year, but fell off in 1962, and was traded to the Pirates after the season. In return the Cubs got future 20-game winner Larry Jackson (among others). Jackson was later the key part of the trade that allowed the Cubs to acquire Ferguson Jenkins. After leaving Chicago, Cardwell pitched for the 1969 Mets team that broke his former team’s heart. (Photo: Topps 1962 Baseball Card)
~Esmailin Caridad 1983 (Cubs 2009-2010)
The Dominican pitched out of the Cubs bullpen during parts of two seasons with mixed results. He pitched pretty well in 2009, but was lit up in 2010. He remains, however, the greatest Esmailin in Cubs history.
~Tex Carleton 1906 (Cubs 1935-1938)
Tex Carleton got his nickname because he hailed from Comanche Texas and attended Texas Christian University. His real name was James. He pitched for two Cubs pennant winners (1935 & 1938) and had a pretty good run for the team, averaging about 13 wins a season in his four years in Chicago. He pitched eight shutouts for the Cubs, but he was also known for his wildness. In his only start in the 1935 series, he walked seven men and lost to the Tigers. He had an even worse 1938 series. He faced three batters, gave up a hit, two walks, two earned runs, two wild pitches, and didn’t retire anyone, officially ending the series with an ERA of infinity. The Cubs got rid of him after that series, and he resurfaced in Brooklyn for one more year in 1940. That season he threw a no-hitter for the Dodgers. (Photo: 1935 Diamond Match Baseball Card)
~Don Carlsen 1926 (Cubs 1948)
He was just a 21-year-old rookie when he got his shot with the Cubs in 1948. He didn’t exactly seize the opportunity. Carlsen pitched one inning, gave up five earned runs, and was sent back down to the minors. He later re-emerged in the big leagues with the Pirates.
~Hal Carlson 1892 (Cubs 1927-1930)
Hal Carlson was a veteran starting pitcher acquired by the Cubs in 1927 from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He pitched for them for several seasons, and didn’t make much of an impact. He had a pretty high ERA, and his record was under .500, but in 1930, the Cubs were the defending NL Champs, and had an offense that would have made any pitcher happy to take the mound on their behalf. Carlson was having a very good season. But one night in late May, the 38 year old started having horrible stomach cramps. He had been suffering from ulcers for a couple of years, so he wasn’t too worried about it at first. But when the pain got worse, he called teammates Riggs Stephenson, Kiki Cuyler, and Cliff Heathcoate asking for them to come to his apartment and help. When they saw what kind of pain he was suffering, his teammates called the team doctor, but it was too late. By the time the doctor arrived at the apartment, there wasn’t anything he could do. Carlson died that night of a stomach hemorrhage. The Cubs dedicated the season to their fallen comrade, but just a few days after Carlson died, star second baseman Rogers Hornsby broke his leg. Still, the Cubs fought on.On September 6, they had a 4-game lead, with only 19 games to play. But third baseman Les Bell hurt his arm, and the team seemed to fall apart. They got swept in Brooklyn, and by September 12th, they had dropped out of first place, never to return. (Photo: 1928 Trading Card)
~Bill Carney 1874 (Cubs 1904)
The career minor leaguer was brought up to play in a double header on August 24, 1904. He played in right field and went 0 for 7 with four strikeouts. He was 30 years old at the time. He played another seven years in the minors after his brief cup of coffee with the Cubs.
~Bob Carpenter 1917 (Cubs 1947)
He was a local Chicago boy (Parker High School) who pitched for the Giants before and after the war, and finally got his shot at pitching for his hometown Cubs as a 29-year-old in 1947. Carpenter appeared in only four games, and posted an ERA of 4.91. It was the last stop of his big league career.
~Chris Carpenter 1985 (Cubs 2011)
Not to be confused with the great Chris Carpenter who pitched for the Cardinals, this Chris Carpenter was a reliever. The tall righthander showed some promise in his rookie season with the Cubs (2.79 ERA), but he was traded to the Red Sox during spring training in 2012, and developed arm problems shortly after the trade. He hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since.
~~Al Carson 1882 (Cubs 1910)
The 1910 Cubs went to the World Series, but Al only pitched for them twice during the regular season; May 6 and May 12. The right hander held his own. He finished two games for his hometown Cubs, with an ERA of 4.05. His nickname was Soldier.
~Joe Carter 1960 (Cubs 1983)
The Cubs had the second pick in the 1981 draft, and for once, they didn’t blow it. They chose Joe Carter. Carter would go on to be a five-time All-Star, hit nearly 400 career homers, steal more 200 career bases, and hit a walk-off home run to win the World Series. He did all of this, of course, for other teams. The Cubs traded Carter to the Indians in 1984. He was the key to the Rick Sutcliffe trade. In fairness to the Cubs, that trade did secure a division championship in 1984 (and 1989). Carter’s career totals on the Cubs (all in 1983) are as follows: one double, one triple, one RBI, one stolen base and a .176 batting average in 51 at bats. His career did come full circle, however. He made the last out in the 1998 one-game playoff against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, a popup to Mark Grace. That was the last at-bat of his career. Carter later also spent an unsuccessful year as a Cubs broadcaster. (Photo: Donruss 1984 Baseball Card)
AUDIO: Carter makes the last out, Cubs go to the playoffs…
~Paul Carter 1894 (Cubs 1916-1920)
Carter pitched for the Cubs in their first five seasons at Wrigley Field. His ERA was always solid. In 1916 & 1917 he was a spot starter, but in his final three seasons, including the pennant winning year of 1918, he pitched exlusively out of the bullpen. In five years he won 18 games and saved 7, with an ERA of 3.32. His nickname was “Nick”.
~Rico Carty 1939 (Cubs 1973)
Rico Carty was a great hitter with the Atlanta Braves. He was an all-star, won a batting title, had a cool nickname (“Beeg Boy”), and had an incredible on-base percentage one year (.454). Unfortunately, he hurt his knee, and by the time he came to the Cubs just a few years later, he couldn’t really play the outfield anymore. He was a Cub for exactly 30 days. They sold him to the A’s in September. Of course, 1973 was also the year the DH rule was instituted by the AL. Carty had a second career as a DH, hitting 90 of his 204 career homers in the last five years of his career. He finished with a lifetime average of .299.
~Bob Caruthers 1864 (1893 Colts)
The very fashionable “Parisian Bob” was a great pitcher (two-time 40-game winner), but unfortunately that was for other teams. When he came to Chicago he only played a handful of games in the outfield.
~Doc Casey 1870 (Cubs 1903-1905)
Casey was the switch-hitting third baseman who played alongside Tinker, Evers, and Chance in their formative years. By 1905, however, he was starting to lose his skills, and the Cubs traded him to Brooklyn while he still had some value. The player they got in return, outfielder Jimmy Sheckard, became a key member of the Cubs dynasty (1906-1910).
~Hugh Casey 1913 (Cubs 1935)
Hugh T Casey pitched 13 games for the Cubs during their NL Pennant winning season of 1935, then spent the next four years in the minors. In the minors they tried to get him to harness his wildness to no avail. One of his friends, Whitlow Wyatt, described Casey this way: “He was a real good friend,the nicest guy you would ever want to meet. But on that mound, Hugh Casey had a mean streak. He just as soon knock down a hitter as look at him.” The Cubs shipped him off to Brooklyn, and he eventually made it back to the big leagues with the Dodgers. Casey even won 15 games for them in 1939—and made the all-star team. But the war came along shortly thereafter and Uncle Sam came a calling. Casey served in the military during the war, and when he returned, they converted him into a reliever in 1946. That’s where he got his nickname “Fireman.” On July 3, 1951, less than two years after his last appearance in the majors, he committed suicide following years of heavy drinking and womanizing. He was just 37 years old.
~Andrew Cashner 1986 (Cubs 2010-2011)
Cashner was a Cubs first round pick in 2008, and came up to the big club just two years later. He appeared in 53 games as a reliever and showed flashes of brilliance, mixed with a few really bad appearances. There was little doubt, however, that he was a key piece of their pitching future. That is, until the new braintrust came aboard. They traded him to San Diego shortly after they took the reigns, and that was a trade few Cub fans will regret. In return for Cashner, the Cubs got Anthony Rizzo.
~Terry Cashman (Cubs songwriter)
Cashman has written and re-written a version of this song for virtually every big league team, including the Cubs. It’s called Talkin’ Baseball…
~Larry Casian 1965 (Cubs 1995-1997)
The reliever had two pretty good seasons as a situational lefty for the Cubs in the mid-90s, posting ERAs under 2 in both of those seasons. After he got off to a rough start in 1997, he was released, and finished his career with the White Sox.
~Frank Castillo 1969 (Cubs 1991-1997)
Castillo had a couple of very productive seasons as a starting pitcher for the Cubs. He was never blessed with a blazing fastball, but Castillo utilized a devasting change-up. His best season was 1995, when he won 11 games for the Cubs and posted a sparkling 3.21 ERA. On September 25th of that year, he was only one strike away from throwing a no-hitter against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Bernard Gilkey tripled to ruin the day. Castillo was working as a minor league pitching instructor for the Cubs when he drowned while boating with his family in Arizona. He was only 44 years old.
~Lendy Castillo 1989 (Cubs 2012)
Castillo was a Rule V pick from the Phillies, and he pitched with the Cubs for part of the 2012 season, but was hit hard in limited action. In 13 appearances, his ERA was 7.88. He spent the entire 2013 season pitching in the lower minor leagues for the Cubs (Kane County and Daytona). The Phillies filed a grievance with the league because the Cubs didn’t keep Castillo on their big league roster long enough, and won the grievance. That cost the Cubs a chance to make a Rule V pick in 2014.
~Welington Castillo 1987 (Cubs 2010-2014)
The young Dominican was the starting catcher for the Cubs from 2012-2014. He showed some glimpses of power, but he mainly started for the Cubs for his defensive abilities. He led NL catchers in errors in 2013, but he also threw out 28 baserunners trying to steal–second best in the league. The Cubs traded him early in the 2014 season after signing free agents Miguel Montero and David Ross.
~George Castle (Cubs author)
Castle is a local journalist (Times of NW Indiana) who has written many books about the Cubs, including “The Million to One Team: Why The Chicago Cubs Haven’t Won a Pennant Since 1945”, “Entangled in Ivy”, “Sweet Lou and the Cubs”, “The I-55 Series”, “Chicago Cubs”, “Where Have All Our Cubs Gone”, and more.
~Starlin Castro 1990 (Cubs 2010-2015)
The Dominican shortstop burst onto the scene as the youngest player in the big leagues (age 20) in 2010, and was an immediate smash. He hit .300 as a rookie, became an all-star and led the league in hits in his second year, and improved his power numbers and made the All-Star team again in his third year. But in 2013, the train went off the tracks. The Cubs tried to tinker with his approach at the plate to get him to take more pitches, and Castro suddenly looked lost. His play at shortstop, which had already been inconsistent, got worse. Then in 2014, he suddenly rediscovered his hitting stroke, and once again was named to the all-star team. His 2015 season was a microcosm of his Cubs career. His first half was so terrible, he was replaced as the starting shortstop. After being moved to second base, he hit over .400 during August. The roller coaster ride finally came to end when the Cubs traded him to the Yankees after the 2015 season. (Photo: Topps 2013 Baseball Card)
~Bill Caudill 1956 (Cubs 1979-1981)
The Cubs were mesmerized by Bill Caudill’s strikeout potential. He came up through the system as a starting pitcher, and never seemed able to put it all together. In his rookie season of 1979 he won only one of his twelve starts. It wasn’t until they moved into the bullpen that they saw a glimmer of what he could be. He had a great 1980 setting up for Bruce Sutter (2.19 ERA), but the following year they moved him back into the starting rotation. It was a disaster. Needless to say, the Cubs gave up on him. They dumped him off in a trade for Pat Tabler. Another very bad trade for the Cubs. Tabler didn’t do much of anything in his time in Chicago, but Bill Caudill became an all-star closer in the American League. The Seattle Mariners wisely put him back in the bullpen, and he saved over 100 games the next four seasons. (Photo: 1982 Donruss Baseball Card)
~Phil Cavarretta 1916 (Cubs 1934-1954)
Philabuck, as he was known, had a tremendous career for the Chicago Cubs. The local Chicago boy (Lane Tech High School) wore a Cubs uniform for twenty seasons, including the last few when he was a player/manager. Phil was Mr. Cub before Ernie Banks. He was the heart and soul of the last pennant winning Cubs team in 1945, a year he won a batting title and the MVP, and hit over .400 in the World Series. That was his 3rd World Series for the Cubs–he had been an integral member of the 1935 and 1938 teams as well. Unfortunately, his great Cubs career didn’t end well. He was the Cubs manager in the spring of 1954, when he was called into Phillip Wrigley’s office. The boss asked him what he thought of that year’s prospects. Speaking honestly, Phil told him he only liked a few players on the team, including rookie shortstop Ernie Banks, and said he was still upset about the trades which had depleted his roster (like trading Andy Pafko and Johnny Schmitz to the Dodgers for four stiffs). Wrigley responded by firing him…during spring training. He and the Cubs never made amends. Cavarretta passed away in 2010 at the age of 94. (Photo: Bowman 1949 Baseball Card)
~Art Ceccarelli 1930 (Cubs 1959-1960)
The Korean War veteran pitched in parts of five big league seasons, but his best season came with the Cubs in 1959. That season he went 5-5, hurling four complete games, and two shutouts. Unfortunately for Art, he was nearly 30 years old at the time, and when he got off to a slow start the following season, the Cubs released him. He pitched in the minors a few more years, but never made it back up to the big leagues.
~Ronny Cedeno 1983 (Cubs 2005-2008)
Ronny filled in nicely for Nomar Garciaparra when he was called up as a rookie, and got the starting job the following season, but he couldn’t get on base. He managed only 17 walks in over 500 at bats in 2006, the worst ratio in the entire league. He has managed to stay in the big leagues thanks to his glove, however.
~Ron Cey 1948 (Cubs 1983-1986)
Ron Cey earned his nickname because of the way he waddled when he walked. One look at his stocky build, short legs, and choppy running style was all it took to see that “The Penguin” was a perfect nickname. Cey was one of the first “star” players (not affiliated with the Phillies) acquired by Dallas Green. He was a 6-time all-star and a World Series MVP with the Los Angeles Dodgers. (The Cubs got him for Vance Lovelace and Dan Cataline, which has to qualify as a rare good trade.) When Cey joined the Cubs they offered him an incentive they’ve probably never offered since…a bonus for increased attendance. That little clause paid off nicely for the Penguin. Even though Cey was definitely on the downside of his career, he had a few good years left in him. He hit 25 HR and 97 RBI (which led the team) in the Cubs playoff year of ’84. He also hit a home run in the ’84 NLCS. Unfortunately, in that series another former Dodger stuck a dagger in the heart of Cub fans everywhere.
When he was with the Dodgers, Cey actually recorded a “song”…
~Cliff Chambers 1922 (Cubs 1948)
Cliff got his big league start with the Cubs in 1948, but had a pretty rough season (2 wins, 9 losses, and a 4.43 ERA). The Cubs traded him to Pittsburgh after the season, and he had a few solid seasons with the Pirates. On May 6, 1951 he pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Braves.
~Frank Chance 1876 (Cubs 1898-1912)
His real name was Frank Chance, but even his teammates called him “The Peerless Leader.” (Sometimes they just shortened it to “PL”). He was the undisputed leader of the best Cubs team in history, the Cubs of the ’00s. With the Peerless Leader at the helm, they won four pennants and two World Series titles. He allowed the boys to have their fun (he usually bought drinks and played cards with them), but in exchange he expected them to shut down the festivities at midnight the night before games, and to play their hardest during the games. He led by example. Anyone who wondered how to perform merely needed to watch the way Chance fiercely defended his turf and teammates. He was known as a brawler, and he was so unafraid in the batter’s box he was beaned more times than any player of his era. (Complications from those beanings eventually ended his career, and probably shortened his life). One time after a loss he was brooding at home after a loss and wouldn`t eat or talk. His wife said, “Don`t worry, dear, you still have me,” and he replied “Many a time this afternoon, I`d have traded you for a base hit.” James J. Corbett, heavyweight champ, called him: “one of the best amateur fighters I`ve ever seen.” One time he provoked a riot by punching out Giants pitcher Joe McGinnity at the Polo Grounds. Another time he threw a bottle into the stands at fans in Brooklyn. He was just as fierce as a manager and general manager. He once acquired a pitcher (Jack Harper) who beaned him one too many times, just so he could cut his salary (by 2/3), and refuse to pitch him, thereby effectively ending his career. His superstitions were just as legendary. He always insisted on berth 13 in a train—and if he couldn’t get it, he’d write it on the door. Before every game, he looked for four leaf clovers. Chance and his doubleplay mates (Tinker & Evers) were inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1946. Unfortunately for Frank, he had already been dead for 22 years. (Photo: 1909 Tobacco Card)
Footage of Frank from the 1910 World Series…
~Aroldis Chapman 1988 (Cubs 2016)
Chapman was acquired mid-season by the Cubs, and it cost them a pretty penny to acquire him. Four top prospects, including the Cubs top prospect (shortstop Gleyber Torres) went to the Yankees in the deal. Chapman became the final piece to the World Series puzzle. He was dominant as the Cubs closer, saving 16 games with a 1.01 ERA in the regular season, before saving four more in the playoffs–including one in the World Series. Though he left the Cubs after the season as a free agent, he will always be remembered for his performances down the stretch (including, unfortunately for him, the homer he gave up in the bottom of the 8th in Game 7). He is the only pitcher in Cubs history to regularly throw the ball over 100 miles an hour.
~Harry Chapman 1885 (Cubs 1912)
His debut game in the big leagues on October 6, 1912, was also the last game of the season for the Cubs. The catcher caught Larry Cheney, went 1 for 4 with an RBI and a stolen base, and the Cubs won the game 4-3 over St. Louis at West Side Grounds. It was his only game in a Cubs uniform. Harry later caught for Cincinnati and St. Louis.
~Jaye Chapman 1987 (Cubs 2012)
He appeared in 14 games in 2002, and had a 3.75 ERA, but he walked 10 in only 12 innings of work. The Cubs got him in the trade that also brought Arodys Vizcaino from the Braves for Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm and cash. But after getting crushed in Iowa during the 2013 season, he was let go by the Cubs. He’s now back in the Braves organization.
~Virgil Cheeves 1901 (Cubs 1920-1923)
Cheeves was part-Cherokee, and in the politically incorrect 1920s, his teammates nicknamed him “Chief”. To be fair, nearly every Native-American to ever play the game was given the same nickname. Virgil’s best season was 1922 when we won 12 games and posted an ERA of 4.09.
~Larry Cheney 1886 (Cubs 1911-1915)
Cheney was a great pitcher for the Cubs, winning twenty games or more three seasons in a row. As a rookie he led the league with 26 wins. The following season the Cubs began using him as a closer too. He saved 11 games in 1913, and led the league in appearances. He logged over 300 innings three seasons in a row. If Cheney had a weakness as a pitcher, it was that he didn’t field his position well. He led the league’s pitchers in errors four times. He also led the league in wild pitches six times. The year after he left the Cubs, Cheney got his only shot at the World Series. He and his Brooklyn teammates lost the 1916 series to Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox.
~Rocky Cherry 1979 (Cubs 2007)
Blessed with one of the great names in baseball history, Cherry was a journeyman pitcher who pitched out of the bullpen for the Cubs during their playoff year of 2007. Unfortunatly for Rocky, he wasn’t around anymore when the team made it to the playoffs. He was traded in August for Steve Trachsel.
~Scott Chiasson 1977 (Cubs 2001-2002)
Chiasson was mainly a minor league pitcher; toiling in the minors for 13 seasons. But he did get a few tastes of the big time with the Cubs at the end of the 2001 season and beginning of the 2002 season. In ten overall appearances, the righthanded reliever posted an ERA of 11.12. He gave up four homers in only 11 innings pitched
~Cupid Childs 1857 (Orphans 1900-1901)
Cupid was a very tough out. The second baseman retired with a lifetime on base percentage of .416, which was tremendous even for his era. He had a great career for Cleveland, but was coming off a bout of malaria when he signed with the Cubs (then known as the Orphans), and it affected his hand-eye coordination. He was never quite the same player again. After his playing days, Cupid Childs did something that a lot of unskilled laborers did–he went to work in the coal business. He died at the age of 45 in his native Baltimore. His obituary in the Baltimore Sun (1912) described him this way: “Childs was considered the fastest second baseman and one of the heaviest hitters in the major leagues. He was the idol of baseball fans and although never playing on the old Oriole team in Baltimore, he was always given a warm welcome because he was a Baltimore boy.” (h/t the Baseball Biography Project) (Photo: Goodwin & Company baseball card)
~Pete Childs 1871 (Orphans 1901)
Pete was the starting second baseman the second half of the season with the 1901 Cubs (then known as the Orphans), replacing Cupid Childs (no relation). He hit only .229 and was released.
~Bob Chipman 1918 (Cubs 1944-1949)
The Cubs traded their young second baseman Eddie Stanky for Chipman, who was really just a journeyman pitcher. Stanky went on to play in three World Series, was named to three All-Star teams, led the league in on-base percentage twice, and most famously started the ninth-inning rally that culminated in Bobby Thomson’s pennant-winning home run. Chipman pitched for the Cubs for five seasons, never winning more than nine games. (Photo: 1949 Bowman Baseball Card)
~Harry Chiti 1932 (Cubs 1950-1956)
Harry was a backup catcher for the Cubs during most of his time in Chicago. He missed two full seasons (1953-1954) because he was serving in the military. Harry’s best season was 1955, when he hit 11 homers and caught over 100 games. He later also caught for Kansas City, Detroit, and the Mets (in their inaugural season).
~Hee Seop Choi 1979 (Cubs 2002-2003)
The Cubs were convinced he was their first baseman of the future. Choi was an impressive physical specimen, 6’5″, 230 pounds, and displayed tremendous power in the minor leagues. He hit 26 homers and drove in 97 runs at Triple-A Iowa in 2002, and was the opening day first baseman at Wrigley Field in 2003. He was off to a decent start but suffered a concussion when he crashed into Kerry Wood while chasing a pop fly in June of that year. The Cubs went on to the playoffs, but Choi was not a part of that run. He never reclaimed his starting job. Choi was traded before the 2004 season to the Florida Marlins for Derrek Lee.
Ben Christensen 1978 (Cubs minor leaguer)
The Cubs were coming off a playoff season in 1998, and were off to a good start in 1999, when the wheels suddenly came off the bus. Is it possible that this was some sort of karmic punishment from above? Ordinarily we would say that’s ridiculous. But on June 2, 1999, with the Cubs firmly entrenched in first place, seemingly on their way to a repeat playoff run, the Cubs drafted a pitcher out of Wichita State named Ben Christensen, probably the most controversial draft pick in Cubs history. Why was it so controversial? Ben Christensen had just been suspended for the season by the NCAA for an act so egregious, that it shocked the nation. He was warming up on the mound and felt that the batter in the on-deck circle was timing his pitches. This is, for some reason, considered bad baseball etiquette. So, Ben did what anyone would have done in the same situation. He fired one of his 90-plus mile an hour fastballs directly at the head of the batter…in the on-deck circle. He hit him flush, and severely injured him. The player he hit was never able to play baseball again because of severe vision issues that arose from the incident. Now, it’s true that Ben was considered a stud pitcher at the time, and had been pegged to go at the very top of the draft. And it’s also true that the Cubs were picking low in the first round because they were coming off a playoff season. But there was a good reason every team passed on Ben. He was nitroglycerin. The Cubs received a lot more than bad publicity from the incident. The team immediately fell apart on the field, and Beanball Ben, as the fans called him, never made it to the big leagues.
~Steve Christmas 1957 (Cubs 1986)
The journeyman backup catcher got into a grand total of three games for the Cubs at the beginning of the 1986 season. He got one hit in nine at bats before being sent down to the minors, never to return.
~Loyd Christopher 1919 (Cubs 1945)
Loyd got exactly one at bat for the Cubs during their 1945 pennant-winning season. He was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox that year. Christopher spent most of his career in the minor leagues, where he hit .283 over 16 seasons. He also had a cup of coffee with the White Sox in 1947.
~Bubba Church 1924 (Cubs 1953-1955)
Church was a Southern boy through and through–born in Birmingham, attended school at LSU and Mississippi State–so it was only natural that his teammates called him Bubba. Bubba burst onto the scene with a 15 win season for the Phillies in 1951, but he never came close to repeating that performance. He was hit in the face with a batted ball (off the bat of Ted Kluszewski), had some arm problems, and struggled the rest of his career. As a Cub, he was knocked around pretty hard. In just over 120 innings over three seasons, the righthanded swingman gave up 25 home runs.
~Len Church 1942 (Cubs 1966)
Church pitched in the Cubs minor league system for nearly a decade, but the Lane Tech grad got only one cup of coffee with the big club in August and September of 1966. Church pitched out of the bullpen for the last place team, and it didn’t go well. In six innings, he walked seven men and gave up a long ball. His final big league ERA was 7.50.
~John Churry 1900 (Cubs 1924-1927)
Churry was with the Cubs for four full seasons but only appeared in 12 games during that time. He was the third-string catcher behind Gabby Hartnett and Bob O’Farrell (and later Mike Gonzalez).
~Mark Clark 1968 (Cubs 1997-1998)
Clark was acquired along with Lance Johnson during the woeful 1997 Cubs season in exchange for Brian MacRae, Mel Rojas, and Turk Wendell. It actually turned out to be a good trade for the Cubs because both Clark and Johnson were key contributors during the playoff year of 1998. Clark started Game 1 of the NLDS against John Smoltz and the Atlanta Braves. He pitched a solid game but the bullpen exploded after he left the game in the seventh inning. The Braves won 7-1. Mark finished his big league career with the Rangers.
~Dad Clark 1873 (Orphans 1902)
Clark was a lefthanded first baseman who got a cup of coffee with the 1902 Cubs (then known as the Orphans). He didn’t hit well (.186 in 48 plate appearances), so he returned to his native West Coast for the rest of his career. He played in the minor leagues out there for the next decade
~Dave Clark 1962 (Cubs 1990, 1997)
Clark was a fourth outfielder for the Cubs during two different stints. The first time he shared left field with Dwight Smith. The second time he backed up both Doug Glanville and Sammy Sosa. Clark was a pretty good hitter (he hit .300 in his second stint with the Cubs), but he never really nailed down a full-time job in the big leagues. Nevertheless, he managed to play for 13 seasons, mostly with Pittsburgh.
~Dad Clarke 1865 (1888 White Stockings)
Not to be confused with the other Dad Clark who played a decade later, this Clarke (with an e at the end) was a pitcher who eventually pitched seven years in the big leagues, but his stay in Chicago lasted only two games at the age of 23.
~Henry Clarke 1875 (Orphans 1898)
Clarke had two short cups of coffee in the big leagues while he was on summer break from college. He attended both the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan, and eventually became an attorney, but on July 5th, 1898, he got a chance to start a game for the Cubs (then known as the Orphans), filling in for the injured future Hall of Famer Clark Griffith. He pitched a complete game, gave up two earned runs and eight hits, and won the game.
~Sumpter Clarke 1897 (Cubs 1920)
If you want to go back in time see Clarke play for the Cubs, simply set the wayback machine to September 27, 1920. It was his only game in a Cubs uniform. The outfielder went 1 for 3 against Cardinals pitcher Ferdie Schupp in a 16-1 Cubs loss at Wrigley Field (then known as Cubs Park). Clarke’s brother Rufe also played in the big leagues briefly with the Detroit Tigers.
~Tommy Clarke 1888 (Cubs 1918)
Clarke had a nine year run as the catcher of the Reds before coming to Chicago. To say his playing time in Chicago was brief would be an understatement. He only got in one game (defensively) for the Cubs in 1918, but didn’t get an at-bat. It came on August 21, 1918. Tommy replaced backup catcher Bob O’Farrell, and caught the last few pitches of Lefty Tyler’s 17th win of the season.
~John Clarkson 1861 (White Stockings 1884-1887)
John Clarkson would have several Cy Young Awards if he wasn’t a contemporary of Young. He started 70(!) games for the Cubs in 1885 and won 53(!) of them, easily the most in the league. 10 of those wins were shutouts. In 1887 he led the league in wins and strikeouts while starting 60 games. Those two seasons were definitely worthy of the award. The rest of his career wasn’t so bad either. He finished with 328 career wins. In 1963, 54 years after his death, John Clarkson was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
~Fritz Clausen 1869 (Colts 1893-1894)
Fritz pitched well during his first season with the Cubs (then known as the Colts), but when he got off to a slow start in 1894 (a really slow start–14.54 ERA) the Cubs pulled the plug. He later got up to the big leagues with Louisville, but didn’t have much more luck with them. If it bothered him, Fritz didn’t show it. He was 90 years old when he passed away in 1960.
~The Cleaning Ladies (Cubs Song)
The Cleaning Ladies are a local Chicago band who did this original song about their beloved…”When the Cubs Win the World Series”. They may need to re-write it now…
~Clem Clemens 1886 (Cubs 1916)
Clemens was known as the Count. He got his start with the Chi-Feds in the very first season at what is now Wrigley Field. The backup catcher was considered valuable enough to remain with the team when the Cubs took over the ballpark in 1916. He got 15 at bats for the Cubs and zero hits.
~Doug Clemens 1939 (Cubs 1964-1965)
Clemens got the biggest chance of his big league career with the 1965 Cubs. As the fourth outfielder for the Cubs that year, he got over 300 plate appearances for the first time in his career. Unfortunately for Clemens, he hit only .221, with four homers. The Cubs traded him to the Phillies for Wes Covington in the off-season.
~Matt Clement 1974 (Cubs 2002-2004)
Clement was an excellent starting pitcher during his three years as a Cub. He inspired a fan craze with his soul patch tuft of hair, and people began to wear fake ones on the days he started. In 2003 he was a 14 game winner. Unfortunately for Cub fans, he wasn’t used in Game 7 of the NLCS against the Marlins. Manager Dusty Baker opted to go with bad relievers like Dave Veres instead of the fully rested and ready to go Clement, because he was saving Matt for a World Series game that never happened.
~Steve Clevenger 1986 (Cubs 2011-2013)
Steve was the team’s backup catcher at the beginning of the 2012 season and got off to a hot start. He was hitting .500 with 5 doubles (a few them game-winners) when he got hurt at the end of April. He came back later in the season, but the magic was gone. He ended the year hitting only .201. The Cubs included him in the Scott Feldman trade to the Orioles, which brought Jake Arietta and Pedro Strop to the Cubs. In 2016, as a member of the Mariners, during the hotly contested presidential campaign, he engaged in a series of racist Tweets, which caused him to be suspended for the rest of the season. (Photo: 2012 Bowman Baseball Card)
~Ty Cline 1939 (Cubs 1966)
Cline was a journeyman outfielder who played 12 seasons in the big leagues for seven different teams, including the Cubs at the beginnning of the 1966 season. He was sold to the Braves in July of that season.
~Gene Clines 1946 (Cubs 1977-1979)
Clines was an excellent hitter, hitting .334 for the 1972 Pirates. But Gene was never too slick with the glove, and that hampered his playing time. When he joined the Cubs he was more or less a fourth outfielder. He hit well (.293 his first season), but never got more than 250 at bats. The Cubs turned out to be his last big league team. After his playing career, Clines became a well respected hitting coach–even logging some time on the staff of the Chicago Cubs.
~Billy Clingman 1869 (Orphans 1900)
He was the backup shortstop during his one year with the Cubs (then known as the Orphans), but he also saw action with Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Washington and Cleveland in his ten year big league career.
~Hillary Rodham Clinton 1947 (Cubs fan 1947-Present)
She grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois, an unabashed Cubs fan. Even though she later claimed to have been a Yankees fan, there is documentary evidence to prove her Cubs love. In 1993, when she was the First Lady, she accepted induction into the Emil Verban society, the Washington-based Cubs Fan Club. Bruce Ladd, who is the founder of the Emil Verban Society, recently revealed the content of her letter accepting induction. If this isn’t a Cubs fan, there is no such thing. She wrote:
“I am pleased to accept your generous offer of membership into the Emil Verban Memorial Society. In accepting I must say that the Tribune Co.’s decision to let Messrs. Dawson and Maddux go does not increase my optimism for 1993. This could be a truly grievous example of false economy, unless, of course, the Tribune uses the savings to acquire better editorial writers. I have been following the Cubs for over 35 years and have developed a set of expectations that will probably be met. However, hope springs eternal.”
The following year Mrs. Clinton was even more obvious about her loyalties; she appeared at Wrigley Field on opening day 1994 to throw out the first pitch. She later sat in the booth with Harry Caray and sang “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” with him. At one point, Harry grabbed her and gave her a big kiss. Only a Cubs fan could have survived that.
~Otis Clymer 1876 (Cubs 1913)
Otis played six years in the majors, including part of the 1913 season for the Cubs. He hit .229 as a backup outfielder.
~Andy Coakley 1882 (Cubs 1908-1909)
He only played one month with the Cubs during their championship year, but he did make three crucial starts during that month (September), winning 2 games, and finishing with an ERA of 0.89. With the Reds before he came to the Cubs on 9/2, he was 8-18, with a 1.86 ERA. Andy only had two more starts in his major league career, one the following year with the Cubs (he got rocked), and one in 1911 with the Highlanders (Yankees). He ended his career as a three time World Series champ (A’s in ’02 and ’05, and Cubs ’08), and is 20th on the Major League baseball all-time ERA list (2.35).
~Buck Coats 1982 (Cubs 2006)
Coats got a cup of coffee with the Cubs in August of 2006. He hit his only career home run during that time. Buck was an outfielder who was used primarily as a pinch hitter. Coats was one of those outfielders who hit well, but not well enough. He had some power, but not enough. The Cubs traded him to the Reds in 2007 for reliever Marcos Mateo. He later played briefly for the Reds and the Blue Jays.
~Kevin Coffman 1965 (Cubs 1990)
The Cubs got him in the Jody Davis trade, and things never really worked out in Chicago. His 11.26 ERA in 18.2 innings pretty much sums it up.
~Dick Cogan 1871 (Orphans 1899)
Cogan started exactly five games for the Cubs (then known as the Orphans) in the last year of the 19th century, but he completed all five of those starts. He won 2 games and posted an ERA of 4.30. Among his teammates that year, future Hall of Famers Frank Chance and Clark Griffith.
~Frank Coggins 1944 (Cubs 1972)
Frank appeared in six games for the Cubs in 1972. In his last appearance with the Cubs (and in the big leagues) on July 30, 1972, he came in during the 8th inning to pinch hit for catcher Ken Rudolph. Coggins managed to coax a walk. He scored the tying run on a Glenn Beckert double, and Jim Hickman scored behind him for the winner, as the Cubs beat the Cardinals 5-4.
~Chris Coghlan 1985 (Cubs 2014-present)
Coghlan was the Rookie of the Year for the Marlins in 2009 when he .321, but he suffered through a series of injuries over the next few years. In 2014 with the Cubs, he finally got another chance to start, and he responded with a great season. He had a .352 OBP, hit 9 homers, stole 7 bags, and clubbed 43 extra base hits. In some ways, his 2015 season was even better. For a time, he was serving as the #3 hitter in the lineup, and starting every day at second base. Despite setting career records for homers (16) and stolen bases (11), he slumped badly at the end of the year and lost his starting job. During the 2015 playoffs, he served mainly as a pinch hitter. The Cubs traded Chris to the A’s after the season, but reaquired him in 2016. He got a start in the 2016 World Series.
~Hy Cohen 1931 (Cubs 1955)
The big righthander (6’5″, 220 lbs) pitched in exactly seven games for them that year, between April and June. He was 24 years old at the time. He got his first action on April 17, 1955 when the Cubs starting pitcher Harry Perkowski couldn’t record an out in the first inning. Cohen pitched seven innings of relief to save the bullpen that day. But he was hit hard. He gave up 13 hits and 7 earned runs against the Cardinals. Ken Boyer doubled. Stan Musial tripled. Wally Moon homered. It was ugly. The final score was 14-1. In his final game on June 2nd, he entered under simliar circumstances in the second inning, and got hit hard again–this time by the Phillies. Hy never made it back to the big leagues. He pitched three more seasons in the minors before hanging up his spikes.
~Phil Coke 1982 (Cubs 2015)
The Cubs picked up the lefthanded reliever late in spring training in 2015 as a free agent. Coke had previously pitched for the Yankees and the Tigers, and had appeared in a World Series for each team. His 2009 Yankees won the championship, and his 2012 Tigers lost to the Giants. His Cubs career lasted almost exactly one month. He was designated for assignment in May.
~Jim Colborn 1946 (Cubs 1969-1971)
Colborn couldn’t crack the Cubs rotation during his formative big league years, but he broke out in a big way when he arrived in Milwaukee. In 1973 he was an all-star, won 20 games, and had a sparkling 3.18 ERA. Colborn could never quite recreate that success, but he did win another 50+ games, including 18 with the 1977 Kansas City Royals. Cub fans shouldn’t be too upset about Colborn’s success. The player the Cubs acquired in exchange for Colborn was fan favorite Jose Cardenal.
~Dave Cole 1930 (Cubs 1954)
Cole was a righthanded starting pitcher the Cubs acquired from the Braves for Roy Smalley. He started 14 games for the 1954 Cubs, but was hit pretty hard. His 5.36 ERA was very high for that era. He also walked almost twice as many men as he struck out (62/37); a recipe for disaster. The Cubs sold him to the Phillies the following spring training.
~King Cole 1886 (Cubs 1909-1912)
His real name was Leonard Leslie Cole. He started his baseball career as a pitcher with the Cubs in 1909. By 1910, he was the ace of the staff. He led the National League that season with a record of 20-4 and helped win a National League Pennant for the Cubs. His 20-4 record is the best winning percentage (.866) for a Cubs pitcher in the twentieth Century. He was immortalized as “King” Cole by Ring Lardner, who no doubt, got it from the children’s nursery rhyme ‘Old King Cole.’ King Cole didn’t stay with the Cubs very long. He won 18 games for them in 1911, and was traded (along with fan favorite Solly Hofman) to the Pirates for Tommy Leach early in the 1912 season. He later landed in the American League, where Cole gave up Babe Ruth’s first ever hit in the majors (a double on October 2, 1914). But this King Cole would not live to be a merry old soul. In 1915, he contracted a disease that knocked him out of baseball. Some sources say it was malaria, others say tuberculosis, and still others speculate it was syphilis, but whatever the disease, it took Cole’s life. He died on January 6th, 1916, a few months shy of his 30th birthday. (Photo: 1910 Tobacco Card)
~Casey Coleman 1987 (2010-2012)
The son of former big league pitcher Joe Coleman (who also pitched briefly for the Cubs in 1976) and grandson of former big league pitcher Joe Coleman (an all-star with the Athletics in the 40s), Casey was a starting pitcher for the Cubs for several seasons. He mostly bounced between Iowa and the Cubs, serving as a sixth starter when needed or filling in for injured members of the starting rotation. He won 7 games over three seasons.
~Joe Coleman 1947 (Cubs 1976)
He pitched in the big leagues for 15 seasons and won 142 games, but only 2 of those came for the Cubs. His father (also named Joe) pitched ten years in the big leagues too, and his son Casey made it to the show as well (with the Cubs).
~Bill Collins 1882 (Cubs 1911)
He was acquired in the trade that sent Johnny Kling to Boston in 1911. Collins didn’t get many opportunities with the Cubs. The outfielder was mainly a defensive replacement. He only batted three times wearing a Cubs uniform.
~Bob Collins 1909 (Cubs 1940)
Born in Pittsburgh the year after the Cubs won their last championship, Collins was a not so youthful 30 years old when he got his first chance at the big leagues. He was one of three catchers who backed up starter Al Todd. His .208 average didn’t exactly wow his manager–one of the other backup catchers–Gabby Hartnett. Collins later got a very brief cup of coffee with the 1944 Yankees and that was the extent of his big league career.
~Marla Collins (Cubs ballgirl 1980s)
Her name was Marla Collins. While it’s true that Marla was a ballgirl, she wasn’t exactly a kid. She was “all grown up in all the right places” as Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray used to say. She dressed in a skimpy Cubs outfit and ran the balls out to the umpire, and Harry talked about her quite a bit. The cameramen at WGN also were known to focus their cameras on Marla more than they did for a typical ballgirl. The result was that Marla became one of the most popular attractions in Wrigley. At the peak of her popularity, she was so famous that she got her own shoe contract. But on this day in 1986, Marla’s 15 minutes of fame came to a crashing end. That’s the day the Cubs discovered that their innocent young ballgirl Marla (whom Harry and the WGN cameramen had turned into a sex object for several seasons) had posed nude for Playboy. The Cubs were shocked (SHOCKED!), and fired her immediately. She appeared in the September issue of Playboy, but she never again appeared in her cute little outfit on her cute little metal folding chair at Wrigley Field. And she has never been adequately replaced.
AUDIO: Harry talks about Marla:
~Fidgety Phil Collins 1901 (Cubs 1923)
He was a local Chicago boy named Phil Collins, and he got his nickname because he constantly fidgeted on the mound, fingering the rosin bag, tugging at his trousers, and tramping around the mound. He got his start with the Cubs in 1923, and pitched exactly one game. He started the game, lasted five innings, and got the win. Unfortunately for Phil, he never pitched another game for his hometown team. Fidgety Phil fidgeted around the minor leagues for six years after that, and didn’t re-emerge in the big leagues until 1929. He eventually became the ace of the worst team in the league (The Philadelphia Phillies) and even won 16 games for them in 1930, but he always stunk against the Cubs. In 1930, he gave up five home runs and nine runs to the Cubs in two innings.
–Ripper Collins 1904 (Cubs 1937-1938)
His real name was James Anthony Collins, but everyone called him “Rip” or “Ripper.” He said he got his nickname when, as a boy, he hit the team’s only ball and snagged it on a fence nail, ripping its cover. Collins was a star with the Cardinals, and to be fair, he got off to a good start with the Cubs too. Ripper was an all-star for the Cubs in ’37, and played on the pennant winner in 1938, but he hit only .133 in the Series, and with Phil Cavarretta on the team, Collins was no longer wanted or needed. The Cubs released him before the 1939 season…on his 35th birthday. (1934 Goudey Baseball Card)
~Jackie Collum 1927 (Cubs 1957)
Jackie was part of the worst single inning in Cubs history…an inning in which Cubs pitchers gave up a record 9 walks. He came into the game after Moe Drabowsky walked the first four batters of the inning. Collum walked three more batters, before being relieved by Jim Brosnan, who walked the final two of the inning. Jackie was traded a few months later to the Brooklyn Dodgers for Don Elston, in a rare good trade for the Cubs. Elston anchored the Cubs bullpen for the next seven seasons, and Collum only pitched a few more games in the majors after the trade.
~Tyler Colvin 1985 (Cubs 2009-2011)
Colvin was a first round pick for the Cubs in 2006, and made it up to the big leagues just a few years later. He got extensive playing time for the Cubs in 2010, and hit 20 homers, but his season ended in a very scary way. He was a runner on third base when a jagged piece of a broken bat flew in the air and stabbed him in the chest. He had to miss the rest of the year. The following year, Colvin never quite got in the flow of things. He hit only .150 and was sent back to the minors. When the Epstein era began in 2012, Colvin was traded to the Rockies (along with DJ Lemahieu) for Ian Stewart.
~Jorge Comellas 1916 (Cubs 1945)
They called Jorge “Pancho” after the character in The Cisco Kid, a story by O’Henry. It was turned into a popular radio program in the 1940s, about a Mexican crime fighter in the Wild West and his trusty sidekick Pancho. At the end of each episode, Cisco would say “Oh Pancho” and Pancho would reply “Oh Cisco.” Jorge Comellas wasn’t Mexican, but in the politically incorrect 40s, he was close enough. He was a pitcher the Cubs signed out of Havana Cuba, and they had high hopes he could contribute in the 1945 season because he won 18 games with a 2.44 ERA for their minor league club in Los Angeles in 1944. Unfortunately, Comellas didn’t win a single game for the Cubs in seven appearances, and was hit pretty hard. At the end of May they sent him back to the minors, from which he never returned. His short stint on the 1945 Cubs comprises his entire major league career.
~Clint Compton 1950 (Cubs 1972)
Clint was a lefthanded reliever who pitched in exactly one game for the Cubs. It came on October 3, 1972. Clint relieved Larry Gura. In two innings he walked two, and gave up two hits and two earned runs. The Cubs lost 11-1 to the Phillies. It was his only appearance in the big leagues, but Clint can always say that he faced two Hall of Famers in that game; Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt. Carlton grounded out to first and Schmidt singled to right.
~Bunk Congalton 1875 (Cubs 1902)
He was 27 years old when he finally made the show in 1902 and the outfielder hit .239 in his one season in Chicago. He later had a few better seasons with Cleveland. He died in 1937 at the age of 62 after suffering a heart attack at a Cleveland Indians game.
~Gerardo Concepción 1992 (Cubs 2016)
The Cuban born Concepcion worked his way through the Cubs minor league system beginning in 2012, but didn’t get his shot in the big leagues until a one week stint at the end of June during the Cubs World Series year. He pitched OK in the big leagues, but was sent back down before July. His AAA season with Iowa went very badly after that. He finished the year with an ERA over seven.
~Fritzie Connally 1958 (Cubs 1983)
Fritz is one of eight players in big league history named Fritz. He got ten at-bats for the Cubs in 1983 and got one hit. There’s an outside chance that the name Fritz will make a comeback, but until it does, Connally will remain the final big league Fritz. He was a third baseman.
~Jim Connor 1863 (Orphans 1897-1898)
Not to be confused with tennis star Jimmy Connors, this Jim (not Jimmy) Connor (no s) played three seasons with the Cubs (then known as the Orphans). He hit .291 in 1897, and was rewarded with more playing time in 1898 (505 At Bats), but slumped to .226. He hit only .205 in his last season, 1899.
~Billy Connors 1941 (Cubs 1966, Cubs pitching coach 1982-1986, 1992-1993)
Billy Connors was a highly touted pitcher in the Cubs system, who never quite made it. He did pitch in 11 games for the Cubs in 1966, and later also got a cup of cofee with the New York Mets, but his pitching career was over by 1968. After his playing days, he became a well-respected pitching coach. He oversaw the Cubs staff that led the Cubs to the playoffs in 1984, but when they were injured the next few years, Dallas Green decided to pull the plug on Billy. He did it while Connors was in the hospital recovering from hip replacement surgery. According to the book “Cubs Journal”, Green pulled up to the hospital, left the car running, went up to Connors’ room and fired him, and then came back down to his car and drove away. Believe it or not, Billy later agreed to come back to the Cubs. He was also the pitching coach for Royals, Mariners, and Yankees. His last job in baseball was working in the front office for the New York Yankees.
~Chuck Connors 1921 (Cubs 1951)
The physically imposing 6’5″ Connors played first base for the Cubs in 1951 and hit a whopping two home runs in 200 at bats, not exactly the kind of power you want from a big first baseman. That performance earned him a trip back to the minors. Luckily for him, the Cubs minor league team at the time was in Los Angeles. While he was playing in the Cubs minor league system he got a bit part in the movie “Pat & Mike” (starring Spencer Tracy–1952). That led him to quit baseball for good and become a full-time actor. By 1958, he was starring in “The Rifleman,” which aired until 1963. He also starred in Old Yeller, Soylent Green, and Roots, and is arguably the greatest Cubs actor of all-time (other than Sammy Sosa during his “corked bat” press conference). (Photo: Topps 1952 Baseball Card)
~Willson Contreras 1992 (Cubs 2016-present)
Willson began the season as the Cubs top prospect, but it wasn’t until an injury to one of the big league Cub catchers that he was brought up to the Cubs. He started off with a bang, hitting a homer on the first pitch he ever saw in the bigs. Contreras didn’t slow down from there. His energy was contagious, and before the season was over he was the team’s starting catcher. The rookie catcher hit over .600 in the NLDS, slugged a homer in the NLCS, and knocked in a run in the World Series clinching Game 7.
~Jim Cook 1879 (Cubs 1908)
The University of Illinois product got one shot in the big leagues with the 1903 Cubs, and it didn’t work out too well. He hit only .154 in his two weeks with the Cubs. After that he played nine seasons in the minors.
~Ron Coomer 1966 (Cubs 2001, Cubs announcer 2014-present)
Coomer was brought in as a free agent as a 34-year-old in 2001. He played third base and first base for the Cubs, but didn’t quite live up to his former all-star status. The Cubs let him go after the year and he finished his big league career with the Yankees and Dodgers. Ron was named the radio color commentator for Cubs games in 2014, and has been working alongside Pat Hughes ever since.
~Jimmy Cooney 1865 (Colts 1890-1892)
One of two Jimmy Cooney’s to play for Chicago. This Jimmy Cooney is not the one that recorded an unassisted triple play in the 1920s. This Jimmy Cooney was also a shortstop, but he played in the 1890s. In his rookie season of 1890 he led the league in plate appearances and fielding percentage. His success dwindled every year after that. By the time he left Chicago in 1892, he was hitting only .171.
~Jimmy “Scoops” Cooney 1894 (Cubs 1926-1927)
Cooney was already 32 years old when he joined the Cubs in 1926, but he had only played parts of four major league seasons (two with the Cardinals, one each with the Red Sox and Giants). But the Cubs had no one else to play shortstop when they acquired him, so he was given the full-time job. During that 1926 season, he hit only .251, his on-base percentage was a woeful .288, and he had a whopping 24 extra base hits in more than 500 at bats. Still, his glove kept him in the lineup. The following season (1927) he was still the starting shortstop when that glove made major league history. On May 30, 1927, in the fourth inning of a game against the Pirates, Cooney caught Paul Waner’s liner, stepped on second to double Lloyd Waner, and tagged Clyde Barnhart coming down from first, to record an unassisted triple play. No other National Leaguer would do it for the next 65 years. In 1992, future Cub Mickey Morandini finally broke the streak by recording an unassisted triple play for the Philadelphia Phillies. How did the Cubs reward Cooney for his miraculous play? They traded him to the Pirates eight days later. (Photo: 1926 Baseball Card)
~Mort Cooper 1913 (Cubs 1949)
He was a four-time all-star and former NL MVP (Cardinals 1942) before he came to the Cubs, but he clearly had nothing left in the tank in Chicago. He pitched exactly once for the Cubs on May 7, 1949. He faced three batters in the fourth inning that day (in relief of Bob Rush). He walked the first batter, Pee Wee Reese. He then threw a wild pitch to Gene Hermanski, before eventually giving up a single to him. His last batter was Duke Snider, and the Duke took him out of the ballpark. Mort was yanked and never pitched again. Despite a very good MLB career (128 wins, 33 shutouts, and a 2.97 lifetime ERA), Cooper’s final ERA with the Cubs was infinity.
~Walker Cooper 1915 (Cubs 1954-1955)
He played 17 seasons in the big leagues, caught two no-hitters, and was a World Series champ…before he came to the Cubs.
~Wilbur Cooper 1892 (Cubs 1925-1926)
Cooper is one of the most successful left-handed pitchers in baseball history. He was a four-time 20-game winner, and won over 200 games in his big league career. The Cubs got him along with Charlie Grimm and Rabbit Maranville after the 1924 season. He had just won 20 games for the Pirates, and was not happy to be traded to the Cubs. He felt the Pirates were on the verge of winning it all, and he was right. The trade robbed him of his only chance to pitch in the World Series. (The Pirates won it all in 1925). His time in Chicago was disappointing. He went 12-14 for the last place 1925 Cubs, and was released in June of the following year. At that time he had the career record for most innings pitched and games started as a left-handed pitcher; records that have since been broken.
~Larry Corcoran 1859 (White Stockings 1880-1885)
In 1880 and 1881, Larry Corcoran was clearly the best pitcher in all of baseball. He was ambidextrous; once pitched both left handed and right handed in a game. But the diminutive Corcoran (only 5’3″, 127 pounds), dominated the rest of the National League. In 1880, his rookie season, he won a whopping 43 games, and led the league in strikeouts with 268, while registering a 1.95 ERA. The next season he was even better. His 31 wins led the league. Corcoran would have won the Cy Young Award if it existed yet. (Young wouldn’t pitch in the majors until 1890). Larry was great the next three years too (winning 27, 34, and 35 games respectively), but he was no longer quite as dominant as he was those first two years. During his time in Chicago, Corcoran threw three no-hitters, which would remain the record for most no-hitters until 1965 (when Sandy Kofoux pitched his fourth…and it was against the Cubs). Corcoran died at the age of 32 of Bright’s Disease. (Photo: Goodwin & Company Baseball Card)
~Mike Corcoran 1858 (White Stockings 1884)
Mike was the older brother of fellow Cubs pitcher Larry Corcoran (a 30-game winner), and somehow found his way to the mound on July 15, 1884. He pitched exactly one big league game; a complete game 16-hitter, in which the opponents (Detroit) scored an astounding 10 unearned runs. The Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) lost the game 14-0. Larry pitched the day before and the day after with much better results. Mike never pitched again.
~Billy Corgan 1967 (Cubs fan 1967-present)
The founder and lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins has the same disease we all do…Cubs-itis. He grew up in Chicago watching the Cubs with his grandmother (also a devoted fan). With Billy Corgan, that personal connection to the Cubs began there, and continued with a love he developed for their ballpark. He discussed the way he felt about Wrigley Field in the Chicago Tribune a few years ago.
“Wrigley Field should never, ever be closed! EVER!!!That link to the past has everything to do with the traditional strong support of the Cubs fans … win, or lose … that should never be underestimated by the Cubs brass. Wrigley Field represents something even more important than any individual player … not even winning can change that”
Billy Corgan was there for Game 7 in 2003. He sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” that night, after the Marlins had just added a few insurance runs. The entire ballpark was in a state of shock, and Billy was just as shocked…”It was like a funeral or an Irish wake. People were crying. It was horrible. Absolutely horrible. There are times in life when you think God is punishing you. That was one of those times.” Now that’s a Cubs fan. True Blue all the way. We feel your pain, Billy. We have the disease too.
~Manny Corpas 1982 (Cubs 2012)
Manny was the closer for the only Rockies team to ever go to the World Series (2007), but the young Panamanian developed arm problems after that. When the Cubs took a flyer on him in 2012, he was coming off arm surgery. He did appear in 48 games for the Cubs that season, but he was largely ineffective. His ERA was over 5. After the season, he went back to the Rockies.
~Frank Corridon 1880 (Cubs 1904)
Frank is known as the father of the spitball. He is said to have invented the pitch that was eventually outlawed by baseball in 1920. Unfortunately for Frank, it didn’t help him too much. He was sickly and developed arm problems. He won 70 games in his five-year big league career. The first five wins came for the 1904 Chicago Cubs. His nickname was “The Fiddler” because of the way he fiddled with the ball–not because he could play the violin.
~Red Corriden 1887 (Cubs player 1913-1915, Cubs coach 1930s)
John “Red” Corriden was a controversial pickup by the Cubs in 1913. At that time, the shortstop and third baseman was probably best known for the way he helped Nap Lajoie win the batting title in 1910 over the universally hated Ty Cobb. Corriden played back on purpose, and allowed Nap to get enough bunt singles to win the title. He was mainly a backup as a player for the Cubs, but he returned to the team during their heyday in the 1930s as a coach. He was on the staff of the teams that went to the 1932, 1935, and 1938 World Series. Red later managed the White Sox. How much of a baseball man was he? He died at the age of 72 while watching a crucial Milwaukee Braves-LA Dodgers game on television at the end of the 1959 season. Red got his nickname the same way every other player named Red got his. He was a redhead.
~Jim Cosman 1943 (Cubs 1970)
Though Cosman is listed as a “Rookie Star” on this Topps baseball card, he pitched briefly for the Cardinals in 1966 and 1967 before coming to the Cubs. The big right-hander (6’5″) had control problems throughout his pitching career. With the Cardinals he walked 24 men in 31 innings in 1967. He didn’t make it back to the majors until the Cubs gave him a shot three seasons later. The date was April 30, 1970, and the Cubs were facing the Atlanta Braves. Chicago was already down 6-2 when Cosman came in to start the seventh inning. The first batter he faced was Hank Aaron and Aaron took him deep. Cosman didn’t make it out of the inning, and never pitched in another big league game. After leaving baseball he became a successful executive in the waste management business. He passed away in January of 2013. (Photo: Topps 1970 Baseball Card)
~Dick Cotter 1889 (Cubs 1912)
The Cubs acquired Dick before the 1912 season for Peaches Graham. Cotter played catcher for the Cubs in their old home field West Side Grounds. In his one season in Chicago, he appeared in 26 games, and batted .278.
~Hooks Cotter 1900 (Cubs 1922-1924)
He only had one AB in 1922 (and hit a double), but he had an extended look in 1924 at first base, and hit .261 filling in for injured Cubs first baseman Ray Grimes.
~Henry Cotto 1961 (Cubs 1984)
He was only with the Cubs for one season, but he was a key sub on that team. He got a hit in his only at-bat in the NLCS.
~Ensign Cottrell 1888 (Cubs 1912)
Ensign wasn’t his rank in the Navy, it was his given first name. The Hoosick (NY) native pitched one game for the 1912 Cubs. That team still had eight players from the last World Series champion, but several of them were near the end of the line, including Frank Chance. Cottrell had a strange big league career. He pitched only one game for the Pirates, two for the A’s, one for the Braves (during their miracle year), and seven for the Yankees. 12 games in 5 big league seasons.
~Neal Cotts 1980 (Cubs 2007-2009)
Cotts was a key member of the White Sox bullpen during their World Series year (2005), but he wasn’t the same pitcher with the Cubs. He was used most often during 2008, mainly against left-handed batters. After he left the Cubs in 2009, he didn’t make it back up to the big leagues until 2013 (with the Rangers). (Photo: 2009 Upper Deck Baseball Card)
~Roscoe Coughlin 1868 (Colts 1890)
Roscoe’s ten-year baseball career was spent mostly in the minor leagues, but he did get a few tastes of the big time, including part of the 1890 season with Chicago. The Cubs (then known as the Colts) discovered him in the California leagues, and added the righthander to the staff at the beginning of the season. He started ten games and completed all of them, but he didn’t wow anyone. The Colts released him in June. He got one more shot the following year with the New York Giants, but that was the extent of his big league career.
~Wes Covington 1932 (Cubs 1966)
Covington roamed the same outfield as Hank Aaron in Milwaukee for several years, including a few years Wes posted some pretty strong numbers (over 20 homers twice). He was part of the Milwaukee Braves team that won the World Series in 1957, and hit .330 the following year. In the early to mid 60s he also had three good years for the Phillies. But by the time he arrived in Chicago, he was considered strictly a pinch hitter. He started the 1966 season with the Cubs, but after going 1 for 11, they gave up on him and released him. Covington resurfaced with the Dodgers, and his last big league at bat came in the 1966 World Series. There was no joy in Mudville. The mighty Wes struck out.
~Billy Cowan 1938 (Cubs 1963-1964)
The mid-60s Cubs had several players who whiffed more than they made contact. In 1964, Billy Cowan was the Cubs regular centerfielder. Cowan had some pop in his bat, he hit 19 homers that year, but he also had a habit of swinging and missing. In more than 400 at bats that season, Cowan struck out 128 times, while managing to get only 120 hits. He also led all National League centerfielders in errors that season. The Cubs traded him to the Mets for George Altman before the 1965 season. (Photo: 1965 Topps Baseball Card)
~Larry Cox 1947 (Cubs 1978)
One of the three catchers for the 1978 Cubs, Larry Cox hit .281 in just over a hundred at-bats. In a combined 450 at-bats, starter Dave Rader and his backups Larry Cox and Tim Blackwell managed to hit only five home runs. After his playing career ended, Cox coached for the Cubs. He was on the coaching staff of the division winning 1989 Cubs. Unfortunately, he died of a heart attack after the season at the very young age of 42.
~Harry Craft 1915 (Cubs Manager/College of Coaches 1961)
Harry was a centerfielder nicknamed “Wildfire” for the Reds during his playing days (late 1930s-early 1940s) before going into coaching. He was Mickey Mantle’s first coach in the minor leagues. He became a big league coach with Lou Boudreau on the Kansas City A’s, and eventually replaced Lou as the manager when he was fired. Lou is also responsible for bringing Harry to the Cubs when he was their manager in 1960. But in 1961, Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley decided to go with the strange coach-by-committee approach known as the College of Coaches. Harry was asked to stay on as one of those coaches. Each of them got a chance to manage the team for a few weeks. Harry got two different stints that season. The Cubs went a combined 7-9 in games managed by Harry Craft. When the expansion Houston Colt 45s asked him to manage their team in 1962, Harry jumped at the chance. In their inaugural season under Harry’s direction, the Colt 45s finished ahead of the Cubs. (Photo: Topps 1962 Baseball Card)
~Doug Creek 1969 (Cubs 1999)
He had already pitched for the Cardinals and Giants, and was coming off a season in Japan when the Cubs signed him before the 1999 season. He didn’t make the club coming out of spring training, but after a decent half season in Iowa, the Cubs brought him up in June. It didn’t work out. After six appearances and a 10.50 ERA, he was sent back to Iowa. They released him in September of that year. Creek later pitched for the Rays, Mariners, Blue Jays and Tigers until 2005.
~Chuck Crim 1961 (Cubs 1994)
Crim was a righthanded reliever who pitched for the Cubs during the strike-shortened 1994 season. He picked up two saves that year–his final season in the big leagues. He previously had pitched for the Brewers and the Angels.
~Harry Croft 1875 (Orphans 1901)
Croft started three games for the Cubs (then known as the Orphans) in September of 1901. He batted twelve times, got four hits (all singles), and drove in four runs. He played a few more seasons in the minors after that, before retiring to his hometown of Chicago. He passed away in 1933 in Oak Park.
~George Crosby 1857 (White Stockings 1884)
How obscure was George Crosby? There’s no record of whether he was right-handed or left-handed. He was a pitcher who appeared in 3 games. All of them were complete games and he won one of them.
~Ken Crosby 1947 (Cubs 1975-1976)
The Canadian righthander pitched parts of two seasons with the Cubs at the end of 1975 and the beginning of 1976. In ’75, it went pretty well. He posted an ERA of 3.24 in nine appearances, despite having some control issues. The Cubs figured he could contribute to the team the next year as well. Bad call. He was lit up in 1976 to the tune of 12.00 ERA, and was sent back down to the minors never to return.
~Jeff Cross 1918 (Cubs 1948)
Cross played shortstop and third base in sixteen games. It was his last year in the big leagues.
~Hector Cruz 1953 (Cubs 1978,1981-1982)
Heity, as he was called by his teammates, came from a baseball family. His older brother Jose was a star for the Astros, his cousin Tommy got a cup of coffee with the White Sox, and his nephew Jose Jr. had a 12-year big league career. Hector had a few good years with the Cardinals in the mid-70s, but by the time he came to Chicago, he was a mainly a backup. His best year in Chicago was probably 1981 when he hit seven homers. When Cruz was inducted into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, he was working as a mailman on the north side of Chicago.
~Juan Cruz 1978 (Cubs 2001-2003)
Cruz came up in the wave of good young arms in the first few years of the century, along with Carlos Zambrano and Mark Prior. Many scouts thought Cruz might be the best of all of them. He wasn’t very good for the Cubs, but he did have a very solid 12-year big league career. Cruz pitched for the Braves, A’s, Diamondbacks, Royals, Rays and Pirates (mostly out of the bullpen), and posted a 4.05 career ERA. He pitched for the Cubs in 2003 playoffs and against the Cubs in the 2007 playoffs (as a member of the Diamondbacks).
~Dick Culler 1915 (Cubs 1948)
He was a slick fielding infielder for eight big league seasons, but just one with the Cubs. He was primarily a backup in Chicago; his second-to-last season in the bigs.
~Ray Culp 1941 (Cubs 1967)
Ray Culp was already a two-time 14-game winner when the Cubs acquired him before the 1967 season, and they gave up former 20-game winner Dick Ellsworth to get him from the Phillies. But in his only season with Chicago, Culp was mediocre, managing only 8 wins. He also didn’t hit it off with the manager of the team. Leo Durocher felt he couldn’t trust Culp to be a big contributor, so the Cubs shipped him off the Boston Red Sox after the 1967 season in exchange for minor league outfielder Bill Schlessinger. This turned out to be one of the worst trades of the Durocher era. Schlessinger never played in a single game for the Cubs, while Ray Culp became one of the best pitchers in the American League. He won 16 games in 1968, 17 games in 1969, 17 games in 1970, and 14 games in 1971. During those same years, the Cubs always seemed to be one starting pitcher short of competing for a title. (Photo: Topps 1967 Baseball Card)
~Will Cunnane 1974 (Cubs 2002)
Will had already pitched in the big leagues for five years (with the Padres and Brewers) before joining the Cubs in 2002. He pitched out of the bullpen and didn’t have a tremendous amount of success in Chicago. The following year, as a member of the Atlanta Braves, he pitched against the Cubs in the National League Divisional Series. That’s the only playoff series the Cubs have won since 1908.
~Bert Cunningham 1865 (Orphans 1901-1902)
He was small even by 19th century standards (5’6″), but he pitched in the big leagues for 12 years. The last stop of his career was Chicago. He was not exactly overpowering. Bert only struck out nine batters in 73 innings pitched for the Cubs (then known as the Orphans).
~Clarence Currie 1878 (Cubs 1903)
The last six big league appearances of the Canadian pitcher’s career came in a Cubs uniform. He started three games, and completed two of them. He also recorded a save. But the well-stocked Cubs pitching staff didn’t have any room for him in 1904. Currie went back to Canada and pitched there.
~Cliff Curtis 1881 (Cubs 1911)
Cliff was a very mediocre pitcher about a hundred years ago. One year with the Boston Braves he had an incredible record of 6 wins and 24 losses. With the Cubs he was 1-2, with a 3.86 ERA.
~Jack Curtis 1937 (Cubs 1961-1962)
He was in the Cubs starting rotation in 1961 but was hit pretty hard; giving up 23 homers and finishing with 4.89 ERA. They traded him to Milwaukee for Bob Buhl in 1962.
~John Cusack (Cubs fan 1966-present)
He acquired a reputation as a Chicago sports hanger-on during his embrace of the White Sox during the 2005 World Series. Was that a fair charge? Only in that one isolated incident. (In his defense, he may have had a fever or something). Anyone who knows John says that he has been, and always will be, a Cubs fan. When the Huffington Post debuted their Chicago page, he pretty much confirmed those suspicions by writing this…
“Wrigley Field and all-things-Cubs, when Jose Cardenal was the only player who could really play. When it was Mick Kelleher and Larry Biittner and George “the Baron” Mitterwald — and Pete LaCock on first base and “Tarzan” Joe Wallis in centerfield. And Bruce Sutter with that unhittable split-fingered fastball… Ride the El up from Evanston, change on the Howard line and take the train to Wrigley — which I did as many times as I could scrape together $2.50 for a one-way kamikaze mission, and another $1.75 for bleacher seats, then steal hot dogs and Cokes from the vendors before taking the train home after the game…Through the ’80s, with Gary ‘The Sarge’ Matthews hitting third, taking us to our first division title in 7 million years. The great Andre Dawson and Sammy Sosa, getting us to the playoffs but never all the way…From Jack Brickhouse and Billy Williams to Harry Caray, liquored up on a hot summer day, down by seven runs and loaded for bear, most of my childhood was at least partially centered on this Mecca of baseball, this civic shrine that is home to the Chicago Cubs. Every visit to Wrigley Field adds six months back onto one’s life expectancy — doctors have proven this many times.”
~Jack Cusick 1928 (Cubs 1951)
Cusick made it up to the big leagues with the Cubs in 1951 at the age of 23. The shortstop backed up Roy Smalley, but his batting average was about the same as his weight (.177), and he didn’t last long. After the season the Cubs traded Jack to the Boston Braves for outfielder Bob Addis. Cusick played one more season with the Braves. When no-one offered him a big league job after the 1952 season, Cusick retired at the age of 24.
~Kiki Cuyler 1898 (Cubs 1928-1935)
His real name is Hazen Shirley Cuyler. Cuyler was called “Cuy” by his school teammates. It was while winning the MVP title of the Southern Association with Nashville in 1923 that he acquired the Kiki nickname. Fans heard the players shout for him to take the ball when he rushed in on a short fly. The shortstop would yell, “Cuy,” and the second baseman would echo the call. In the pressbox the writers turned this into “Kiki.” (It’s the long “i” sound, although it doesn’t look like it.) Older fans wince when they hear him called “Keekee,” but they shouldn’t be too harsh on younger fans who have only seen this name associated with singer Kiki Dee. (That Kiki sang “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Elton John and pronounced her name with the “e” sound). Kiki was a great player. He led the league in stolen bases four times, runs twice, doubles once, and had an incredible lifetime batting average of .321 (although he never won a batting title–he finished in the top ten five times). He was part of the Cubs pennant winners of 1929 and 1932, although his teammates didn’t like him much. They thought he was a bit of a fancy lad because he used to put suntan powder on his face. Kiki Cuyler was elected into the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee in 1968, eighteen years after his death. (Photo: 1933 Delong Baseball Card)
You can see Kiki taking batting practice before the 1934 All Star game on this video…
~Mike Cvengros 1900 (Cubs 1929)
He was a lefthanded reliever for the pennant winning 1929 Cubs. Mike appeared in 32 games, and in a big year for hitting, he gave up his fair share of hits. On the other hand, Cvengros won five games and saved another. It was the last stop of his big league career. He had previously pitched for the Pirates (pennant winners in ’27), the White Sox, and the Giants.