~Bad Bill Dahlen 1870 (1891-1898 Colts/Orphans)
Bill Dahlen played shortstop and third base for most of the 1890s. They called him “Bad Bill” because he had a violent temper and was a ferocious competitor. He is considered by some baseball experts to be one of the greatest players still excluded from the Hall of Fame. He certainly has the credentials. He once had a 42-game hitting streak, he hit over .350 twice, he had the record for games played when he retired, and still holds the record for total chances as an infielder. He was a great hitter, a great fielder, and he had a great nickname.
~Babe Dahlgren 1912 (Cubs 1941-1942)
This Babe will always be remembered as the player who took Lou Gehrig’s place when the Iron Man’s long streak finally ended in 1939. In 1941, rumors made their way around the league that Dahlgren had smoked marijuana. He demanded a drug test, and became the first big league player to have one. (He was clean) The Cubs picked up the ex-Yankee during the 1941 season and he had an immediate impact, slugging 16 homers and driving in 59 runs the rest of the season. When the Cubs got wind that Babe was going to be drafted the following year, they sold him to the Browns. Dahlgren never did have to serve in the miliatry, and wound up becoming an all-star with the Philadelphia Phillies.
~Con Daily 1864 (Colts 1896)
Daily was born before Abraham Lincoln was re-elected. Con (short for Cornelius) was a catcher, outfielder and first baseman and had a good big league career before he came to Chicago as a 32-year-old. He hit .074 in nine games for the Cubs (then known as the Colts), and that was it for his days in the big leagues. His brother Ed played in the majors too.
~Dom Dallessandro 1913 (Cubs 1940-1947)
His real name was Nicholas Dominic Dallessandro, but he went by his middle name of Dom. Despite the sound of it, his teammates didn’t call him Dim Dom because he was stupid. It was because of his diminutive height. He was only 5’6″. Dim Dom played outfield for some pretty mediocre Cubs teams in the early 40s, and had one good season in 1944 (hitting .304). Unfortunately for Dom, his timing wasn’t the best. After his best season, he was called into the military in early 1945, and missed the only Cubs World Series of the decade. He did return to play a few more seasons for the Cubs, but was shipped out to the minor league team in Los Angeles after the 1947 season. He finished his professional baseball career there.
~Abner Dalrymple 1857 (White Stockings 1879-1886)
Dalrymple was the starting leftfielder for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) when they dominated the National League in the 1880s. They won five championships during his seven years. Unfortunately, team owner Al Spalding didn’t like the way they did it. They were known as a bunch of rowdy hell-raisers and drinkers. After the 1886 championship season, Spalding dismantled the team, sending all the drinkers (including Abner) to other teams. They didn’t win another championship until 1907. Abner finished his career in Pittsburgh.
~Tom Daly 1866 (White Stockings 1887-1888)
His nickname was Tido, and he was a utility man during his time in Chicago, playing every position on the field except pitcher and third base. He managed to parlay that utility role into a 17-season big league career. His brother Joe also played.
~Tom Daly 1891 (Cubs 1918-1921)
The big Canadian was a backup catcher for the Cubs for four seasons. His best season was probably 1920 when he hit over .300 in nearly 100 plate appearances.
~Kal Daniels 1963 (Cubs 1992)
Daniels was a slugger with the Reds and the Dodgers (over 100 career homers) and had good speed, but he was at the tail end of his career when he came to the Cubs. In 1989 he had knee surgery, and was never the same player after that. Daniels hit his final four big leagues homers wearing a Cubs uniform. He was released after the season and retired. (Photo: 1993 Select Baseball Card)
~Alvin Dark 1922 (1958-1959 Cubs)
Dark had his best years with the Giants in New York, but as a member of the Cubs he was involved in one of the strangest plays in baseball history. It happened on June 30, 1959. It all started when a missed strike three got away from Cubs catcher Sammy Taylor. Taylor, thinking it was a foul ball, didn’t go after the ball. The bat boy, also thinking it was a foul ball, picked it up and tossed it to field announcer Pat Pieper. Pieper saw that the batter was running to first base, so he realized it was a live ball, and let it drop at his feet. Third baseman Alvin Dark ran over to grab it. Meanwhile, the umpire gave Sammy Taylor a new ball out of habit. In the confusion, the runner on first base, Stan Musial, made a run for second base. Cubs pitcher Bob Anderson took the ball out of Sammy Taylor’s catcher’s mitt and fired it to second base at the same time that third baseman Alvin Dark threw his ball to second base. Ernie Banks was covering second and caught one of the balls heading his way, while the other ball escaped into centerfield. Ernie tagged out Musial with one ball, while center fielder Bobby Thomson lobbed the other ball into the dugout. Thinking that “real” ball has been tossed into the dugout, Musial kept on running and scored. The umpires had a very long discussion about this play on the field before finally ruling that Musial was out because Ernie tagged him. The Cardinals were enraged by the call on the field and lodged an official protest. The protest wasn’t necessary. The Cardinals won the game anyway, 4-1. (Photo: 1959 Topps Baseball Card)
AUDIO: Play by play of that weird moment…
~Dell Darling 1861 (White Stockings 1887-1889)
Darling was a backup catcher for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) for a few seasons, but he bolted in the player revolt of 1890 along with many other players on his team. He later played for St. Louis.
~Bobby Darwin 1943 (Cubs 1977)
To say that Darwin was a free swinger is to understate the case. He led the AL in strikeouts three seasons in a row when he was with the Twins (1972-1974. His stay in Chicago was very short. In 1977 he got exactly twelve at bats.
~Doug Dascenzo 1964 (Cubs 1988-1992)
Dascenzo was one of the best fielding outfielders in the National League during his time with the Cubs. He started his career with a then record of 241 consecutive games without an error. Doug was an extra outfielder during the exciting Boys of Zimmer division champion season of 1989. He never really managed to claim a full-time starting position because his hitting was a little weak. His best hitting season with the Cubs was 1992, when he hit .255. While he was with the Cubs he also pitched when the Cubs ran out of pitchers or at the end of blowouts. He appeared in four games and didn’t allow a single run. Dascenzo returned to the Cubs as part of the coaching staff for the 2015 season.
~Bill Davidson 1887 (Cubs 1909)
He was a 22-year-old centerfielder when he came up with the Cubs at the very end of the 1909 season. He played in only two games, but he opened some eyes because of his speed. Brooklyn traded for him the following season (along with Happy Smith and Tony Smith), and let him play every day in 1910. Davidson responded by stealing 27 bases. He would have had more if he didn’t have such a difficult time getting on base. By 1911 his big league career was over, doomed by a lifetime batting average of .235.
~Brock Davis 1943 (Cubs 1970-1971)
Brock was a talented and speedy centerfielder who got the bulk of playing time for the Cubs there in 1971. Unfortunately for him, he never quite figured out how to translate his speed onto the basebaths, and he had no power at all. He stole zero bases and hit zero homers, and after the season the Cubs traded for Rick Monday to replace him. They then traded Davis to Milwaukee in the package that brought Jose Cardenal to the Cubs.
~Curt Davis 1903 (Cubs 1936-1937)
The Cubs were the defending National League champions when they traded future Hall of Famer Chuck Klein (a relative disappointment with the Cubs) back to the Phillies for Davis and a speedy left fielder near the end of his career; Ethan Allen. Davis was known as Coonskin, and he pitched for the Cubs for two seasons. He was an all-star in his first season with the Cubs, and then won 10 games the following year (1937). But the Cub traded him in 1938 for Dizzy Dean. How many players can say they were traded for Hall of Famers twice? It sounded like a good deal for the Cubs at the time, but the Cardinals surely got the better of the deal. Davis went on to win 100 more games (including 22 one year with the Cards), while Dean won only 22 more games in his entire career. Davis later pitched for Brooklyn during the war years, and became buddies with an author who lived near the Dodgers spring facility in Cuba…Ernest Hemingway.
~Doug Davis 1975 (Cubs 2011)
The Cubs always had a hard time beating the soft-tossing lefty when he pitched for Milwaukee and Arizona, so they took a flyer on him when he became of available in 2011. They gave him nine starts, and he went 1-7 with a 6.50 ERA. That was the end of his big league career.
~Jim Davis 1924 (Cubs 1954-1956)
The lefty started and relieved for the Cubs, posting four complete games, nine saves, and 23 wins over three seasons. Davis was a junkballer, who threw everything from a screwball to a knuckler. In his last season with the team, he struck out four batters in one innning. The Cubs traded him to the Cardinals after the 1956 season along with Hobie Landrith, Sam Toothpick Jones, and Eddie Miksus. This Jim Davis is no relation to the Jim Davis who draws the Garfield comic strip.
~Jody Davis 1956 (Cubs 1981-1988)
Jody was an outstanding player for the Cubs during the 1980s; a two-time all-star and Gold Glover. But even though he hit over 120 homers in his Cubs career (including six seasons in a row with double-digit homers), he was really made famous by Harry Caray who used to sing the following to the tune of “Davy Crockett” every time Jody did something notable…”Jody. Jody Davis. Catcher without a fear.” Jody was also part of the singing Cubs that came out with a country song in 1984. That song was called “Men in Blue”. (Photo: 1983 Topps Baseball Card)
Listen to it here…
~Ron Davis 1955 (Cubs 1986-1987)
Davis was an all-star reliever who saved more than a hundred games in his career, but none of those saves came with the Cubs. By the time Davis put on the Cubs uniform, his career was on the decline. He gave up eleven homers in only fifty innings, and was released. His son Ike currently plays in big leagues.
~Steve Davis 1953 (Cubs 1979)
Davis appeared in three games for the Cubs as a September call up in 1979. He played second base and third base, and didn’t record a single big league hit.
~Taylor Davis 1989 (Cubs 2017)
The Cubs rewarded their longtime farmhand with a call up to the big league club during September of the 2017 season. He got 13 at bats in limited action and didn’t make the postseason roster.
~Tommy Davis 1939 (Cubs 1970 & 1972)
Tommy Davis had an outstanding eighteen year big league career. He was a two-time All-Star, two-time batting champ, and won a World Series ring with the Dodgers, but his two stints with the Cubs were short and uneventful. By the time he came to Chicago, Tommy was no longer the dynamic outfielder he had been earlier in his career. When the Cubs traded him to the Orioles in 1972, it led to his final career resurgence…as one of the very first designated hitters. Davis amassed over 2000 career hits and his lifetime batting average was a very impressive .294.
~Wade Davis 1982 (Cubs 2017)
The Cubs acquired the closer from Kansas City for Jorge Soler before the 2017 season, and the veteran reliever had the best season of his career. He saved 32 games in 33 chances, struck out 79 batters in 58 innings, and was the lone Cubs representative in the 2017 All-Star game. By the end of the season Davis was pitching on fumes, however. He performed heroically in the NLDS against the Nationals, but had very little left in the tank during the 2017 NLCS. He did save their only win of the series, but he wasn’t the same pitcher that he was during the regular season. After the season ended, Davis became a free agent.
~Andre Dawson 1954 (Cubs 1987-1992)
Andre Dawson was a fan favorite with the Cubs from 1987-1992. Warren Cromartie, one of Andre’s teammates with the Expos, explained Andre’s nickname in his autobiography:
“Andre’s nickname was the “Hawk” because his facial features resembled a hawk’s. He had a body like one, too. We also called him “Cobra” because when he got mad, his shoulders would rise and spread out, just like a cobra, and he’d look even bigger than his 6′ 2′, 190 pounds.”
The Cubs only got him because the owners were colluding to keep salaries down before the 1987 season, and Dawson said he would play for the Cubs for any amount they wanted to give him because he wanted to play on the natural grass of Wrigley Field. The Cubs got him for the bargain basement price of $500,000 (he later recovered the salary he should have earned when the Players Association won a significant judgment against the owners for collusion.) Andre was MVP that year for a last place team; the first player ever to accomplish that feat. He was also an important part of the Cubs team that went to the playoffs in 1989, but he was hurt at the end of that year and had a horrendous playoff series…hitting only .105, and striking out six times. On May 22, 1990, he set a major league record for intentional walks received in one game when he got five in a 16-inning contest. Dawson tied for the NL league in intentional walks that year with 21 — half his walk total for the year. At the end of the 1990 season he stole his 300th base, making him a member of the exclusive 300/300 club. His stats are comparable to guys like Billy Williams and Al Kaline, and he absolutely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the hall in 2010 (Photo: 1989 Topps Baseball Card)
AUDIO: A song inspired by Andre called “He’s a Hero”…
~Boots Day 1947 (Cubs 1970)
If he had gone by his given name of Charles Day instead of using his childhood nickname, we probably wouldn’t remember the month-and-a-half that he was a member of the Cubs during the 1970 season. Boots wasn’t exactly one of the all-time great players, but he did kick around the majors for six seasons. The Cubs acquired him for pitcher Rich Nye, but he couldn’t crack the lineup often enough. They traded him just a month into the season to the Montreal Expos for backup catcher Jack Hiatt. Boots had a grand total of eight at-bats for the Cubs and got two hits.
~Brian Dayett 1957 (Cubs 1985-87)
On this day in 1957, future Cub Brian Dayett was born. The Cubs got him from the Yankees (for Henry Cotto) the December after their famous 1984 playoff collapse. He got tastes of big league action in September of 1985 and 1986, but got his big chance in 1987. That year he shared the left field job with Rafael Palmeiro. Palmeiro eventually beat him out, so after the season Dayett took his talents to Japan. He never played in the majors again.
~Charlie Deal 1891 (Cubs 1916-1921)
Charlie was the starting third baseman for the Cubs for five seasons, including their pennant winning season of 1918. He wasn’t a great hitter (lifetime average .257) and he didn’t have a lot of power (only 11 career homers), but he was a gamer who knew how to handle the bat. One year he led the league in sacrifices. Charlie also played an important role in the shortest game in Cubs history (played on September 21, 1919). With Grover Cleveland on the mound, Charlie knocks in two runs in the 6th with a double, and another in the 8th with a ground out, and Alexander did the rest. He induced nine little taps to the pitcher, struck out four, walked none, and gave up six harmless hits. In less than one hour (58 minutes), he shut out the Braves. The final score was 3-0.
~Dizzy Dean 1910 (Cubs 1938-1941)
He was colorful, exciting, cocky, and the best pitcher in baseball. Unfortunately, that last description only applied to his years before he joined the Cubs in 1938. His best years were with the Cardinals, where he led the league in strikeouts 4 times, wins twice (including 30 wins one year), innings pitched three times, complete games three times, and even saves once. In 1934, he won the Most Valuable Player award when he led the Cardinals to the World Championship. During those years he was undoubtedly the cockiest player in the game. (Photo: 1934 Goudy Baseball Card) He suffered an arm injury, however, and by the time Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley ordered his scouts to acquire Dean at any cost, he was just an ordinary pitcher. They signed him for $185,000 in 1938, which was a huge contract for the time. Dean helped the Cubs win the 1938 National League pennant, and pitched pretty well in Game 2 of the World Series before losing to the New York Yankees in what became known as “Ol’ Diz’s Last Stand.” After that, he was done. He tried to pitch for the Cubs until 1941, but he just couldn’t do it anymore. He retired after that season. That’s when he started his second popular career: radio broadcaster. His malapropisms were legendary, and fans loved it. In 1950 he began doing baseball’s Game of the Week on national television. He remained in sportscasting for more than 20 years. (Photo: 1934 Goudey Baseball Card)
AUDIO: The 1938 World Series…
~Wayland Dean 1902 (Cubs 1927)
Wayland Dean was one of those tragic stories that pepper baseball history. He was deeply troubled; a chronic alcoholic that suffered from depression. But he had a live fastball and made his way up to the majors in 1924 with the New York Giants. The Giants under John McGraw were known to take chances on troubled players. McGraw didn’t care what his players did off the field, only on it. Unfortunately for Dean, he could never harness his fastball. He was as wild on the mound as he was in the speakeasies at night. He did pitch for the Giants in the 1924 World Series (a loss to the Senators), and won ten games in 1925, but they could no longer tolerate his off the field antics, and sent him packing to the Phillies in 1926. It didn’t take the Phillies long to figure out what they had, and they sent him to the Cubs in 1927. When Dean arrived in Chicago, he told the team he had a sore arm. He pitched in a total of two games for the team (2 IP, 2BB, 2K, 0.00ERA), before disappearing during a trip to New York. He went on a drinking binge, was released by the Cubs, and was dead three years later at the age of 28.
~George Decker 1866 (Colts 1892-1897)
Decker was nicknamed Gentleman George. He was the steady understudy to Cap Anson at first base (and eventually succeeded him there), but he was also a jack-of-all-trades utility man, helping out the team wherever they needed him. Unfortunately, Decker reportedly went insane in 1900, and never played in the big leagues again. By 1909, Gentleman George was dead at the age of 43.
~Joe Decker 1947 (Cubs 1969-1971)
Decker was considered one of the Cubs best prospects when they brought him up during the September collapse of 1969. He pitched well that season, so they thought he would be ready to assume the role of fifth starter in 1970. He started 17 games and won only two. He did eventually win 16 games in a season, but that was after the Cubs traded him to the Twins (along with Bill Hands) for reliever Dave LaRoche.
~David DeJesus 1979 (Cubs 2012-2013)
DeJesus was signed as a free agent in the fall of 2011. The veteran outfielder was considered a placeholder until some of the young talent came up through the system. He played hard in Chicago and became a fan favorite. He was an above average defender at all three outfield positions, and had a good on-base percentage as a hitter. The Cubs traded him to the Nationals in the fall of 2013.
~Ivan de Jesus 1953 (Cubs 1977-1981)
Ivan de Jesus was born in Puerto Rico. The Cubs made a rare good trade after the 1976 season when they sent Rick Monday to the Dodgers for Bill Buckner and a little known prospect named Ivan de Jesus. Ivan had a few very good years with the Cubs, especially in the field. In his first season in Chicago he made 595 assists, which is still the fifth best season in baseball history for a shortstop. He could hit a little too…at least in his first few seasons. He even scored more than a hundred runs during the 1978 season, which led the league that year. But his 1981 season is among the worst in history. He hit only .194 in over 400 at bats, and drove in only 13 runs. The Cubs traded him after the year. It was probably their best trade in history, because in return for their .194 hitting shortstop the Cubs got a future Hall of Famer (Ryne Sandberg) and a gritty veteran starting shortstop (Larry Bowa) to keep the position warm until their star minor leaguer Shawon Dunston was ready to play in the big leagues. (Photo: 1978 Topps Baseball Card)
~Jim Delahanty 1879 (Cubs 1901)
The infielder played his rookie season for the Cubs, batting .190 in 70 plate appearances. The Cubs let him go after the year, but Delahanty managed to play another 12 seasons in the big leagues for the Giants, Braves, Reds, Browns, Senators, and Tigers. Along the way he certainly learned how to hit. In 1911 with the Tigers, Jim hit .339 with 94 RBI. Four of his brothers also played in the big leagues: Ed (a Hall of Famer who played for the Phillies), Frank (who was nicknamed Pudgie), Joe (who played for the Cardinals), and Tom (who played for four different teams). All of the brothers were infielders except for Pudgie. Jim was the second youngest brother.
~Bobby Del Greco 1933 (Cubs 1957)
Del Greco was a well traveled veteran. During his nine year big league career, he played for six different teams. One of those teams (for a portion of the 1957 season) was the Cubs. Del Greco was mainly a centerfielder who was known for his ability to cover a lot of ground. He wasn’t much of a hitter (career .229 average), however, so he never really managed to claim a full-time job. With the Cubs he only got into twenty games and hit .200 before the Cubs traded him to the Yankees in September. The Yankees used him to fill in for Mickey Mantle late in games, so the Mick could rest those ailing knees.
~Fred Demarais 1866 (Colts 1890)
The French-Canadian pitched in one game at the big league level, and it happened on July 26, 1890. The Cubs (then known as the Colts) were playing at home against Brooklyn. Chicago lost the game 10-4. but Demarais pitched two scoreless innings.
~Al Demaree 1884 (Cubs 1917)
Not to be confused with Cubs outfielder Frank Demaree (no relation), this Demaree was a righthanded starting pitcher for the Cubs. He was a 19-game winner with the Phillies when Chicago acquired him 1917 (in exchange for Jimmy Lavender), but he got off to a slow start with the Cubs, and was traded to the Giants before the season was over.
~Frank Demaree 1910 (Cubs 1932-1938)
Frank had a very unusual upbringing growing up in California to deaf-mute parents, but he managed to thrive in both school and athletics. Demaree became an important cog for a very strong Cubs team in the 1930s. The outfielder appeared in three World Series (’32, ’35, & ’38), and two all-star games (’36 & ’37). Demaree was a very good hitter. He came exactly one hit short of hitting .300 for his career, and his best seasons were with the Cubs. He batted .350 in 1936, and knocked in over a hundred runs in 1937. The Cubs traded him to the Giants after a disappointing 1938. He played another six seasons in the big leagues but never again put up the kind of numbers he did in Chicago. (Photo: 1938 Goudy Baseball Card)
~Harry DeMiller 1867 (Colts 1892)
Harry was a lefthanded pitcher who got two starts for the Cubs (then known as the Colts) in the summer of 1892. He won one and lost one and posted an ERA of 6.38.
~Gene DeMontreville 1873 (Orphans 1899)
The Cubs (then known as the Orphans) got him in the Bad Bill Dahlen trade with the Orioles, and DeMontreville had big shoes to fill. Luckily, he came to Chicago with some credentials on his resume, including a 36-game hitting streak. Apparently the Cubs were not satisfied with his performance, however, because he was traded back to the Orioles just a few months later. Gene’s brother Lee also played in the big leagues, for the St. Louis Cardinals.
~Ryan Dempster 1977 (Cubs 2004-2012)
Dempster was one of the most popular Cubs during his time in Chicago. He had a soft touch with the fans, and really seemed to embrace the idea of being a Cub. When the Cubs signed him he was coming off arm surgery. The longtime starting pitcher was used out of the bullpen while his arm recovered. For a few years, Dempster was a respectable closer. He saved 85 games between 2005–2007. The following year he was put back into the rotation and responded with the best season of his career. Dempster was 17-8, with an ERA under three, and was named to the All Star team. Unfortunately, he also started Game 1 of the NLDS playoffs, and the nerves seemed to get to him. Dempster walked the bases loaded and gave up a grand slam to Dodgers first baseman James Loney, and the Cubs never recovered. In 2012 Dempster was traded to the Rangers for promising prospects Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks. In 2013 he won his first World Series as a member of the Boston Red Sox. He is now officially retired as a player and working for the Cubs.
~Chris Denorfia 1980 (Cubs 2015)
Denorfia was a ten-year veteran when he signed with the Cubs before the 2015 season, having previously roamed the outfield for the Reds, Padres, A’s and Mariners. The righthanded batter was considered mainly a platoon player or fourth outfielder at this stage of his career, and that’s the role he served with the Cubs. He did have a few glorious moments, however. In the last home game of the regular season, he hit a dramatic extra-inning walk-off home run to break a 0-0 tie against the eventual World Champion Royals. Denorfia left via free agency after the season.
~Roger Denzer 1871 (Colts 1897)
Denzer had one of the greatest nicknames of all-time. His teammates called him “Peaceful Valley”. He was a righthanded pitcher for the Cubs (then known as the Colts) for one season, and compiled a 2-8 record with a 5.13 ERA. He later also pitched for the Giants.
~Bob Dernier 1957 (Cubs 1984-1988)
He was the lead-off man for the 1984 Cubs; the first Cubs team to make the playoffs in 39 years. He and #2 hitter Ryne Sandberg were dubbed the Daily Double by Cubs announcer Harry Caray. Both Dernier and Sandberg got on base a lot, played great defense up the middle (Dernier was the centerfielder), and stole bases (45 in ’88). Unfortunately injuries got the best of Bobby and by the time this baseball card came out, he wasn’t getting on the field enough to contribute as he could.
~Mark DeRosa 1975 (Cubs 2007-2008)
DeRosa played 16 seasons in the bigs, the best two of which were with the Cubs. He was an important part of the first back-to-back playoff teams for the Cubs in a century. DeRosa played wherever the Cubs needed him (OF, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B), and seemed to get all the clutch hits. He can’t even be blamed for the collapse in both of those playoff series because he hit over .300 each time, although he did make a key error in Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS. The Cubs traded him after the season for pitcher Chris Archer. Before retiring, DeRosa won a World Series ring as a member of the 2010 San Francisco Giants.
~Claud Derrick 1886 (Cubs 1914)
Deek, as he was known by his teammates, was a utility infielder for most of his big league career. His final season in the majors was with the Cubs. He hit .219. Deek played in the minors for another seven seasons before hanging up his spikes at the age of 35.
~Paul Derringer 1906 (Cubs 1943-1945)
To say that Derringer was a colorful personality is to understate the case.
*He once woke up from an operation in the recovery room, swung at a nurse, and knocked her out cold.
*In 1936 he got into a fight at the Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. He knocked on the door of a party in a nearby room, angry that he hadn’t been invited. He was drunk and wasn’t wearing a shirt. Among the party guests; the Secretary of War, and an envoy (Robert Condon) that had been sent to confer with the Secretary of War by New York Mayor LaGuardia. After being told to go away, Derringer attacked Condon, putting him in the hospital for eight weeks.
*In 1939, Derringer and Dizzy Dean got into a fistfight on the field before a game at Crosley Field. They wrestled each other to the ground right on home plate and exchanged punches before being separated by teammates.
*In 1946, while pitching in the minors for Indianapolis, he tried to bean Jackie Robinson on two different occasions. The second time he narrowly missed Robinson’s head–and Jackie hit a triple on the following pitch. After that Paul told Branch Rickey that Robinson “will do.”
Derringer won over 200 games in his career, was an all-star, and has the distinction of winning the first night game in baseball history (for the Reds in 1935), but he only pitched for the Cubs the last three seasons of his career. His very last game in the majors was the last World Series game in Cubs history for 71 years. He came in to relieve Hank Borowy in the first inning of Game 7 against the Detroit Tigers. Derringer pitched 1 2/3 innings, walked five, gave up two hits and three earned runs. (1940s wire photo)
~Jim Deshaies 1960 (Cubs announcer 2013-present)
Deshaies replaced Bob Brenly in the Cubs broadcast booth, and has developed a pretty good chemistry with play by play man Len Kasper. Before coming to Chicago, Deshaies was a big league pitcher (1984-1995) for the Astros, Padres, Twins, Giants and Phillies, and a long-time announcer for the Houston Astros.
~Delino Deshields 1969 (Cubs 2001-2002)
Delino DeShields had a very respectable big league career. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting with the Expos in 1990, and had two great years with Montreal after that. They were so good, in fact, the Dodgers traded Pedro Martinez to get him. Whoops. By the time Delino came to the Cubs, he was at the end of his career.
~Tom Dettore 1947 (Cubs 1974-1976)
Detorre started and relieved for the Cubs in the mid-70s with varying degrees of success. In 1974 he managed to post an ERA of 4.18 while appearing in 16 games. That was by far the best season of his big league career.
~Blake DeWitt 1985 (Cubs 2010-2012)
The Cubs got DeWitt from the Dodgers in the trade that sent playoff favs Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to Los Angeles. He was the Dodgers starting second baseman at the time. DeWitt played second base and third and had a couple of good stretches with Chicago, but they let him go after the 2012 season. He finished his career with the Atlanta Braves.
~Charlie Dexter 1876 (Orphans 1900-1902)
Charlie played three seasons in Chicago as a catcher/infielder/outfielder. He played everywhere on the field for the Cubs (then known as the Orphans) except shortstop and pitcher. His best season was 1901 when he drove in 66 runs and stole 22 bases. His average dropped to .227 the following year, however, and the Cubs cut him loose. Charlie finished his career with the Boston Braves.
~Thomas Diamond 1983 (Cubs 2010)
Diamond was a first round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2004, but he was a 27-year-old journeyman by the time he came to Chicago. The Cubs gave him his only shot at the big leagues, but Diamond wasn’t quite up to the task. He started a few games and came in out of the bullpen a few times, but he didn’t succeed in either role (6.83 ERA). When he also got lit up in Triple A the following season, the Cubs cut him loose.
~Mike Diaz 1960 (Cubs 1983)
Diaz only played six games for the Cubs in September of 1983 (backing up Jody Davis). The following spring training he was part of the trade that brought Bobby Dernier and Gary Matthews to the Cubs. He later went to Japan and played there for a few years. He did something in Japan that foreigners are almost never allowed to do: he played catcher. When he did it, he was the first foreigner in twelve years to do so.
~Lance Dickson 1969 (Cubs 1990)
The Cubs picked Lance one pick before Rondell White in the first round of the draft in 1990. Dickson tore up the minor leagues, and made his big league debut in September of that year. It didn’t go well. Lance was rocked hard in his three September starts–which turned out to be the only three appearances of his big league career. The following year he suffered a stress fracture, and then he hurt his arm. By 1995, Dickson was out of baseball.
~Mike Difelice 1969 (Cubs 2004)
Difelice was a well-traveled backup catcher, logging big league time with the Cardinals, Rays, Diamondbacks, Royals, Tigers and Mets in addition to the Cubs. He was the Cubs for the shortest amount of time. He went 0 for 3 in 2004, and caught parts of four games in September of that season, the month of their infamous collapse. After his playing career, he became a minor league manager.
~Steve Dillard 1951 (Cubs 1979-1981)
Dillard may have only been a backup infielder for the Cubs from 1979-1981, and he may have only hit .225 and .218 in two of those years, but Steve Dillard’s mustache didn’t take a back seat to anyone. He once pulled the hidden ball trick by hiding it in his mustache. Not really, but he could have. His mustache was that spectacular. (Photo: Topps 1981 Baseball Card)
~Pickles Dillhoefer 1894 (Cubs 1917)
His name was William Martin Dillhoefer, but everyone called him Pickles. During his rookie season in 1917 (his only season with the Cubs), he was the third string catcher behind Art Wilson and Rowdy Elliot. It’s safe to say that he wasn’t going to challenge Ty Cobb in the batters box. Pickles only batted .126 that year, and the Cubs finished 5th out of eight teams. Pickles was a throw-in to the trade that brought Grover Cleveland Alexander to the Cubs in 1918, and he played for the Phillies and Cardinals the next four seasons. His best year was probably 1920, when he batted a whopping .263 in 200+ at bats. Unfortunately, tragedy struck just as he was experiencing his greatest happiness. Pickles died at the young age of 27 from typhoid fever on February 23, 1922 just a few weeks after his wedding. He left behind a young bride, a colorful personality, and one of the best nicknames in baseball history. When the Sporting News did an article in 2001 about the best nicknames of all time, Pickles was named #1.
~John Dillinger 1902 (Cubs fan 1902-1934)
He was Public Enemy #1–so hounded and hunted by the FBI that he underwent drastic plastic surgery to change his appearance. The surgery left him disfigured, but didn’t do a very good job of disguising his appearance. Other bank robbers and gangsters tended to lay low while they were “on the lam,” but die-hard Cubs fan Dillinger couldn’t stay away from Wrigley Field. In the weeks before he was shot, in June and July of 1934, Dillinger attended several games. He went to Wrigley on June 8th, and again on June 26th. He was convinced his new face was fooling everyone. At that June 26th game against the Brooklyn Dodgers, a fan in the stands (Robert Volk from Crown Point) couldn’t keep his eyes off the man sitting two seats away from him. There was something familiar about him, but he just couldn’t put his finger on it. Was it possible? Was that…no, it couldn’t be. It looked like it could have been him. He introduced himself to the man, who shook his hand and introduced himself as Jimmy Lawrence. A reward was being offered for Dillinger’s capture dead or alive, so Volk considered turning him in, but he couldn’t be sure. Would John Dillinger really take a chance by going to a Cubs game? Nah, it couldn’t be him. On July 8th Dillinger went to his final Cubs game. Jim Weaver was on the mound for the Cubs. He was the fifth starter on the team that year, an 11-game winner at season’s end. But it wasn’t the Cubs pitching that drew fans to the ballpark that year; it was their hitting. Future Hall of Famers KiKi Cuyler and Gabby Hartnett paced the most feared offense in the league. They pounded the Pirates that day, 12-3. The next day the Cubs left on their longest road trip of the season.
They were only three games out of first place on July 22, 1934. (Photo: The Biograph in 1934) That afternoon they played an extra inning game against the Phillies in Philadelphia. Dillinger probably didn’t know that the Cubs had blown it in the bottom of the 12th inning because he was in one of the only cool places in Chicago–the Biograph Theater. He was watching the movie “Manhattan Melodrama” with his girlfriend. When he emerged from the theater and back into the scorching heat (it was over 90 degrees that day), he felt a different kind of heat. FBI Agent Purvis related what happened next. “I was about three feet to the left and a little to the rear of him. I was very nervous; it must have been a squeaky voice that called out, ‘Stick ’em up, Johnnie, we have you surrounded.'” Dillinger ran to the alley and allegedly reached for his gun, but he was cut down quickly by the agents on the scene. Agent Purvis was among the first ones to examine the body. “Probably I will never forget, although I would like to, the morbidness displayed by the people who gathered around the shooting. Craning necks of curious persons, women dipping handkerchiefs in Dillinger’s blood. Neighborhood business boomed temporarily. The spot where Dillinger fell became the mecca of morbidly curious.” Cubs fan John Dillinger went to his grave thinking that 1934 might be “the” year for the Cubs. Needless to say, it wasn’t. They ended the season in third place, eight games out of first.
~Miguel Dilone 1954 (Cubs 1979)
Dilone was a speedster. In the year before he joined the Cubs, Miguel stole 50 bases for Oakland despite getting less than 300 plate appearances. He stole 15 bases for the Cubs in only 38 plate appearances in 1979. The year after he left Chicago he stole 61 bases and hit .340 for Cleveland. Unfortunately for Dilone, that season was a complete fluke. His lifetime batting average was .265 thanks to that one year, but in ten of his twelve big league seasons he couldn’t crack .235.
~Joe DiMaggio 1914 (Offered to the Cubs 1934)
He was never a member of the Chicago Cubs, but he could have been. That’s right: The Chicago Cubs passed on Joe DiMaggio. Is there anything that sums up a bad century better than that sentence? The sad part of the story is that it was even worse than it sounds. In the off-season between the 1934 and 1935 seasons, the Chicago Cubs were offered Joe DiMaggio by his minor league team, the San Francisco Seals. DiMaggio had a minor knee injury at the time (he banged his knee stepping out of a cab), and the Cubs were scared off by that injury. They didn’t want to commit any money to someone who might have been damaged goods. Understandable, right? It was even understandable to the owner of the Seals. That’s why he upped the offer. He told the Cubs they could have Joe DiMaggio for spring training in 1935, and if he wasn’t 100% recovered, and he wasn’t 100% the player the owner promised he was, the Seals would gladly take him back and refund every dime the Cubs paid for him. P.K. Wrigley had just finished his third season as the owner of the Cubs and thought he understood the game better than his baseball guys. He looked at his outfield (Chuck Klein, KiKi Cuyler, and Augie Galan) and decided that the Cubs didn’t need another outfielder. He passed on the offer. The Yankees did not. They signed him in December of 1934 for $25,000. While it’s true that the Cubs made the World Series in 1935, one of those outfielders Wrigley was counting on (KiKi Cuyler) was released before the season was over. Another one, Augie Galan, was a converted infielder with a weak arm. He made a crucial error in the 1935 World Series that cost the Cubs a game. The third one, Chuck Klein, was traded the following season; 1936. That was DiMaggio’s rookie year with the Yankees. All he did that season was lead the Yankees to a World Series championship. The following year he did it again. In 1938, he not only led the Yankees to the another championship, he beat the Cubs with a ninth inning home run at Wrigley Field to seal Game 2 of the World Series. Before he was through playing in New York, DiMaggio was a 13 time all-star, a nine-time World Series champion, a two-time batting champ, a two-time home run and RBI champ, a three time MVP, and the holder of the all-time hitting streak record of 56 games. Oh, and he married Marilyn Monroe. But at least the Cubs saved $25,000.
And you wonder why our logo is a crying Cub? Wear it on your chest.
~Frank DiPino 1956 (Cubs 1986-1988)
The Cubs got DiPino in a trade with the Astros for aging speedster Davey Lopes. Ironically, DiPino looked even older. The prematurely gray reliever was called upon quite often during his time with the Cub. In 2 1/2 years he appeared in over 150 games for Chicago. He won 7 games, saved 10, and gave up 20 homers. A little known tidbit about Frank: He was the loser of the game played on the day Geraldo opened Al Capone’s vault.
~Alec Distaso 1948 (Cubs 1969)
In 1967, the Chicago Cubs had the first pick in the amateur draft. Most of the teams in the league agreed the top two picks were outfielder Ken Singleton and catcher Carlton Fisk. The Cubs disagreed with most teams. They chose a pitcher instead; an 18-year-old high schooler from California. His name was Al Distaso. The Cubs considered him the second coming of Don Drysdale. He didn’t have Drysdale’s size or fastball, but he did resemble him physically. And at first, he showed some promise. In his first two minor league seasons he struck out 225 in just over 300 innings. But he also hurt his elbow, and by the time spring training rolled around in 1969, he wasn’t the same pitcher. Leo Durocher took a chance he could rediscover the magic, and named him the 10th man on the pitching staff going into the season. Al debuted on April 20th against the Expos and pitched two scoreless innings. He came in again on April 22nd, but this time he wasn’t facing the Expos. He was facing the fearsome Pittsburgh Pirates. Richie Hebner, Matty Alou, Roberto Clemente, and Willie Stargell all got hits against Al in what turned out to be his final major league appearance. He was sent down to the minors after that and never returned. But Al found a higher calling after leaving baseball for good in 1970. He became a police officer; a decorated homicide detective in the roughest neighborhood of Los Angeles. Al retired from the force in 1994, and as a gift for the other guys in his unit, he presented all of them with a copy of his 1969 Cubs Rookie card. Al Distaso passed away in 2009.
~John Dobbs 1875 (Cubs 1902-1903)
Dobbs hit over .300 as the Cubs starting centerfielder the last half of the 1902 season, but when he slumped at the beginning of 1903, they cut him loose. He later played with Brooklyn. After his playing career ended Dobbs went into coaching. He managed in the minor leagues until the year before his death (1934).
~Jess Dobernic 1917 (Cubs 1948-1949)
Like many of his contemporaries, Jess lost a few key years of his baseball career to the war. It took him two full seasons to return to big league form, but he finally joined the Cubs in 1948. He had an excellent season that year, pitching in 54 games. He won 7 games, saved another, and posted a very respectable ERA of 3.15. The next season was a different story, unfortunately. Jess was rocked in his four appearances and was traded to the Reds.
~Cozy Dolan 1872 (Orphans 1900-1901)
Cozy was actually named Patrick Henry Dolan after the founding father, and became one of two Cozy Dolans to play in the big leagues (no relation). He played for the Cubs at the turn of the century. The outfielder/first baseman was sold to Brooklyn during the 1901 season, and had significantly more success with the Superbas (as they were known at the time). In spring training of 1907 he got sick, and died of typhoid fever. Cozy was only 34 years old at the time.
~John Dolan 1867 (Colts 1895)
Dolan started exactly two games for the Cubs (then known as the Colts) in September of 1895. He lost one and had a no-decision in his other outing
~Tom Dolan 1855 (White Stocking 1879)
He got his first taste of the big leagues in Chicago (4 at bats in 1979), but later played seven big league seasons elsewhere. (Photo: Old Judge Cigarette Card, 1888)
~Rafael Dolis 1988 (Cubs 2011-2013)
The Cubs allowed him to leave via free agency after the 2013 season. He never managed to overcome his control problems.
~Tim Donahue 1870 (Orphans/Colts 1895-1900)
His teammates may have nicknamed him “Bridget”, but Donahue was one of the toughest men in the league when he played for the Cubs (then known as the Orphans and Colts). He was so tough, he once caught an entire game with two splints on broken fingers. Donahue was known as a good catcher (he caught Walter Thornton’s no-hitter in 1898), but a weak hitter. He was quick to anger and fought with opponents and teammates regularly. His time with the club ended in 1900, and Tim’s departure was not a classy one. Here’s an excerpt from a note he wrote to his teammates when he was let go (as reported by the Baseball Biography Project): “Former Comrades: Ye called me knocker, and ye did well to call me such. Upon the West Side grounds I made you look like soiled deuces in a clean deck. I beat you all in batting, fielding, and base running. None of you had any edge on me. I was too good for you.” Donahue also owned a saloon and was a successful gambler during his time with Chicago, and became a wealthy man. Unfortunately for him, he contracted Addison’s Disease and died at the age of 32.
~Ed Donnelly 1932 (Cubs 1959)
In his only shot at the big leagues, Ed appeared in 9 games for the Cubs. He had trouble with his command, walking 10 and giving up 18 hits in 14 innings. His grandson Jarred Cosart is currently pitching in the big leagues.
~Frank Donnelly 1869 (Colts 1893-1894)
How long ago did Frank Donnelly pitch for the Cubs (then known as the Colts)? There is no record of whether he was a righthander or a lefty. What is known is that he wasn’t very good. In eight appearances his ERA was over 6.
~Mickey Doolin 1880 (Cubs 1916)
“Doc”, as he was known, was part of the first Cubs team to play at Wrigley Field. The previous season Doolin had also called the ballpark home–as a member of the Federal League Whales. When team owner Charles Weeghman merged the Whales/Cubs teams, he cherry picked the best of each club to form the 1916 Cubs. Mickey was 36 years old, but he had established a reputation as a slick fielding shortstop (mostly with the Phillies). He led the league in assists six times, double plays seven times, and fielding percentage twice. Mickey’s glove is what kept him in the big leagues for 13 years, but it didn’t keep him on the Cubs roster the entire 1916 season. They released him in June. (Photo: 1909 Tobacco Card)
~Brian Dorsett 1961 (Cubs 1996)
The backup catcher played for six different teams in his big league career, the last of which was the Cubs in 1996. After his playing career ended, he moved back home to Terre Haute Indiana and opened up a car dealership.
~Herm Doscher 1852 (White Stockings 1879)
Herm was born a month after Franklin Pierce was elected president. The youngster from New York grew up to be a big league third baseman. He played in three games for the 1879 White Stockings and managed only one hit in eleven at bats. He also played for Brooklyn, Washington, Troy (yes, Troy was a big league team), and Cleveland.
~Jack Doscher 1880 (Cubs 1903)
Doscher was a pitcher in the big leagues for five seasons, yet he only managed to win two games. Neither of those came for the Cubs. He pitched in exactly one game for Chicago, on July 2, 1903. He started the game for the Cubs that day and was knocked out of the game in the fourth inning.
~Félix Doubront 1987 (Cubs 2014)
The Venezuelan lefty was an important part of the Red Sox pitching staff that won the 2013 World Series, but he got off to a rough start in 2014, and was acquired by the Cubs. In limited action at the end of the 2014 season, he pitched fairly well for the Cubs (3.98 ERA). He didn’t make the roster out of spring training in 2015, and was released.
~Phil Douglas 1890 (Cubs 1915-1919)
They called him “Shufflin’ Phil” Douglas because he sort of shuffled his feet when he walked, but he was one of the best pitchers on the Cubs-a starter in their 1918 pennant winning rotation. Unfortunately, Douglas was also a notorious drunk. The Cubs manager at the time was Fred Mitchell, who actually had a soft spot for him. “There’s no harm in the fellow,” he said in 1919, “it’s just that I never knew where the hell he was or if he was fit for work.” His drinking was so bad that the Cubs shipped him off to the New York Giants. There he would disappear for days at a time, and people were constantly sent to his hotel room to wake him or sober him up. Shufflin’ Phil’s story doesn’t end well. After Douglas was caught sending a letter to an ex-teammate offering to “not show up” in exchange for some money, Commissioner Landis banned him for life. He applied for reinstatement many times, and was turned down every time. Phil Douglas never pitched another game in the big leagues.
~Taylor Douthit 1901 (Cubs 1933)
Taylor was the starting centerfielder for the 1926 St Louis Cardinals championship team, and had a few very good seasons in St. Louis, hitting over .300 and playing an outstanding centerfield. He still holds the record for best range factor for a centerfielder, and he also set the record for most outfield putouts in a season in 1928. By the time he came to Chicago in 1933, he was strictly an extra outfielder. The Cubs were the last stop on his baseball tour. Taylor ended his career as .291 lifetime hitter.
~Dave Dowling 1942 (Cubs 1966)
Dowling pitched in one game for the Cubs. He started the game on September 22nd of that year and got a complete game victory. He gave up two runs in the first to the Reds, and shut them out the rest of the way.
~Tom Downey 1884 (Infielder, 1912 Cubs)
Tom had a good career with other clubs, most notably the Cincinnati Reds)
~Red Downs 1883 (Cubs 1912)
He was already well known to the Cubs when he joined the team in 1912. He had been on the Detroit Tigers team the Cubs beat in both the 1907 and 1908 World Series. Red was a pretty slick fielder, so the Cubs brought him in to back up a few other slick fielders, future Hall of Famers Johnny Evers and Joe Tinker. “Jerry Downs is proving a good substitute for Johnny Evers,” wrote The Sporting Life on August 3, 1912. “The lad can bat some.” But after the 1912 season was over, so was his major league career. He played six more seasons in the minor leagues out west, but never quite made it back to the show. After he retired Red became a hero to the old timers because he founded the Professional Ballplayers of America, which was an organization dedicated to helping retired ballplayers that had fallen on hard times, either through illness or poverty or both. He ran the organization himself until 1925. But when the Great Depression hit, Red became one of those needy ex-ballplayers. He started drinking heavily, couldn’t find a job, and then he became desperate. In 1932, Red and a friend, armed with pistols, entered the jewelry store in Los Angeles’ swanky Biltmore Hotel, and made off with $52,000 in merchandise. It didn’t take the police too long to find him. A week later he was captured and arrested. The former major leaguer received a sentence of 5 years-to-life for that armed robbery. He was a model citizen in prison, organizing the prison baseball team, and because he was promised a job by his uncle in Iowa, he was released on probation three and a half years later. Unfortunately, after he was released, Red slowly drank himself to death. He died of cirrhosis of the liver just three years later.
~Scott Downs 1976 (Cubs 2000)
Scott wasn’t considered a great prospect during his time in Chicago, so the Cubs were excited that they could get Rondell White in exchange for him in 2000. They had no way of knowing that Downs would still be pitching in the league fourteen years later. He has been a steady and reliable lefty out of the bullpen for the Expos, Angels, Blue Jays and Braves.
~Jack Doyle 1869 (Cubs 1901)
He was born in Ireland, and in 1901, the Cubs acquired the catcher/infielder/outfielder known as Dirty Jack Doyle. Why did they call him Dirty Jack? Because he was a gritty rugged baserunner who always got his uniform dirty. He was known as someone who always played the game hard. Doyle only played one season with the Cubs (then known as the Orphans), but his big league career lasted 17 years. In over 6000 career at bats, Dirty Jack only struck out 281 times.
~Jim Doyle 1881 (Cubs 1911)
Doyle was the starting third baseman for the Cubs the year after they appeared in the 1910 World Series (versus the Philadelphia A’s). He hit .282, knocked in 62 runs, and stole 19 bases. His future looked bright, but in February of 1912, he had horrible pain in his stomach. Before he could make it to the hospital, his appendix burst, killing him at the age of 30.
~Larry Doyle 1886 (Cubs 1916-1917)
The Cubs acquired ‘Laughing Larry’ at the end of their first season at Wrigley. Doyle was widely respected and admired in the league. He had been the captain of the Giants, and had both speed and power for the era. The Cubs got him for Heinie Zimmerman and put him right in the starting lineup. Doyle was excited to be playing alongside his old Giants teammate Fred Merkle (the Cubs first baseman.) Even though Doyle had just won the batting title, he didn’t hit well in Chicago, batting only .254. The Cubs traded him back to the Giants before the 1918 seaon for Lefty Tyler. Tyler was a key starter for the Cubs in that pennant winning season. Doyle retired soon after returning to New York. He ended his career with a .290 lifetime average in 14 big league seasons.
~Moe Drabowsky 1935 (Cubs 1956-1960)
Moe was born in Poland, and was a hot young gun pitcher for the Cubs in the late 50s. His best season with the Cubs was probably 1957, when he won 13 games as a 22-year-old for a very bad Cubs team. He never lived up to that in the proceeding years, so the Cubs eventually gave up on him. He later pitched for the Braves, Athletics, and Reds in the early 60s, but really found a home in Baltimore. Moe became a key part of the bullpen for two World Series champions Orioles teams in 1966 and 1970. He beat Don Drysdale to win Game 1 of the 1966 World Series. Moe ended up pitching 17 years in the big leagues.
~Sammy Drake 1934 (Cubs 1960-1961)
Drake was a speedster who used mainly as a pinchrunner by the Cubs in parts of two seasons. Unfortunately for Drake, he wasn’t much of a hitter. He only got one hit as a Cub.
~Solly Drake 1930 (Cubs 1956)
Solly got a lot of time in centerfield for the 1956 Cubs. He showed some speed on the basepaths (9 stolen bases), and played decently defensively, but didn’t really hit enough to keep his spot in the lineup. Drake later played for the Dodgers and Phillies. Both of his career homers were hit while wearing a Cubs uniform. Solly’s brother Sammy played for the Cubs too. (Photo: 1957 Topps Baseball Card)
~Tom Dreesen 1945 (Cubs fan 1945-present)
Does Tom Dreesen really need to give his credentials anymore as a true blue Cubs fan? If you question his ivy cred, consider the following…
*When Harry Caray had his stroke in 1987, Tom was one of the celebrities brought into the booth to fill in for him. He was already Harry’s friend at the time.
*In George Castle’s book “I Remember Harry Caray,” Dreesen told some of his favorite Harry Caray stories. This one is my favorite: “I saw Harry before the game and he told me he hadn’t had a drink in two years…He said ‘You know all that stuff, that people tell you can have just as much fun not drinking as you can have drinking? They’re full of s***. I’ve never been so bored in all my life.'”
*He has sung “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” more than ten times.
*One of those times he threw a hundred one dollar bills into the crowd and yelled “Have a beer on Harry Caray.” Tom relates what happened next: “The next day, some radio guy said I’d been throwing 20s and 50s, and sure enough, people started calling in saying they’d gotten one of the fifties. I wasn’t about to tell anyone I hadn’t been that charitable.”
*He wrote the introduction to the book “Cubbies: Quotations and the Chicago Cubs”
*He has spoken openly of the hardship of being a Cubs fan that grew up on the South Side of Chicago (actually Harvey).
*He has been on hand to help lead rallies when the Cubs won their division.
*And finally, my favorite Tom Dreesen quote about the Cubs. He said this in 2006: “Our hope is always that this is the year. I have two thoughts on this. First of all, there are less suicides among Cubs’ fans than any other fandom in America because we always think well maybe this will be the year. So I worry that if the Cubs ever win the World Series the following day 20,000 people will leap off of the top of the Tribune Tower. There are Cubs fans everywhere.”
Now that’s a Cubs fan.
~Paddy Driscoll 1895 (Cubs 1917)
Paddy Driscoll is a football hall of famer, but he also got a cup of coffee in Major League Baseball thanks to the Cubs. In 1917, the team’s second season at what is now known as Wrigley, he played in 13 games and got 32 at bats. Unfortunately, he only managed three hits. Among the games he played in was the famous double no-hitter on May 2, 1917, featuring Hippo Vaughn and Fred Toney.
~Dick Drott 1936 (Cubs 1957-1961)
Drott burst onto the scene as a 20-year-old in a way that was eerily similar to a certain kid pitcher who arrived in Chicago in 1998. He struck out batters with abandon, was given a great nickname (Hummer), and finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting, with a record of 15-11. Like Kerry Wood, he also blew out his arm. Unfortunately for Drott, the medical profession wasn’t nearly as advanced in 1957 as it was thirty years later. Drott never reclaimed that former glory. Over the next six years he won fewer games combined than he did in his rookie season. By the time he was 26, his career was over. (Photo: Topps 1960 Baseball Card)
~Monk Dubiel 1918 (Cubs 1949-1952)
After the 1948 season the Cubs decided they needed to boost their pitching staff, so they traded their popular first baseman Eddie Waitkus to the Phillies for two aging starting pitchers (Dutch Leonard and Monk Dubiel). Eddie Waitkus was shot by a deranged fan in his first trip back to Chicago. Monk won a total of 14 games in his four seasons with the Cubs.
~Jason Dubois 1979 (Cubs 2004-2005)
Jason showed lots of power potential, and hit nine homers in limited at bats with the Cubs in 2004. Unfortunately, he also struck out quite a bit (74 Ks in 187 ABs). The Cubs gave up on him 2005 and traded him to the Indians for Jody Gerut. DuBois played in the minors until 2010 before finally calling it quits.
~Jimmy Dudley 1904 (Cubs announcer 1938-1941)
Dudley was a radio announcer for the Cubs before the war, but when World War II broke out, he enlisted and served in the military. After the war ended he came to broadcasting, but this time with the Cleveland Indians. He remained there for the next twenty years, and was given the Ford Frick award, and inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
~Hugh Duffy 1866 (White Stockings 1888-1889)
Duffy was a little guy (only 5’7″), but he was a great hitter. Sir Hugh, as he was known, was coming off a great season (12HR, 89RBI, .312 average) when he joined the player revolt and fled to the player’s league. When he returned to the National League, it wasn’t with Chicago. He played the rest of his career in Boston, where he was one of the best hitters in all of baseball. He had over 100 RBI seven seasons in a row, led the league in homers twice, won two batting titles, stole 574 bases, and won a Triple Crown. His lifetime batting average was .326. Duffy was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1945.
~Nick Dumovich 1902 (Cubs 1923)
Dumovich was just a 21-year old kid when he got his chance, but in his only season in the bigs, the young pitcher was hit hard and didn’t have good control.
~Brian Duensing 1983 (Cubs 2017)
After a successful career as a reliever in Minnesota and Baltimore, Duensing joined the Cubs bullpen in 2017 and became a key lefthander for the team. He made 68 appearances and posted a 2.74 ERA.
~Courtney Duncan 1974 (Cubs 2001-2002)
Duncan was a righthanded reliever who initially experienced some success when he first came up the big leagues. Unfortunately, the hitters in the National League eventually caught up with him. In his rookie season he appeared in 36 games, and posted a 3-3 record, but by the end of the season his ERA had climbed over 5. He got another short taste the following season, but that was the extent of his big league career. (Photo: 1998 Bowman Baseball Card)
~Jim Dunegan 1947 (Cubs 1970)
Dunegan was a high draft choice of the Cubs (2nd round-1967) who pitched in seven games for the Cubs in 1970. The converted outfielder had all sorts of control issues. Dunegan walked 13 batters in 13 innings and gave up two long balls. In six minor league seasons he never managed to harness his control, so he didn’t get another shot at the big leagues.
~Sam Dungan 1866 (Orphans/Colts 1892-1894)
Dungan was an outfielder/first baseman who got quite a bit of playing time in Chicago during his three years in a Cubs (then known as the Colts and Orphans) uniform. He was known as one of the toughest men in the league to strike out. He finished in the top ten in that category in three different seasons. His lifetime batting average was over .300.
~Ron Dunn 1950 (Cubs 1974-75)
Dunn was a backup infielder for the Cubs for two seasons. He had a total 112 at bats, and hit 3 homers.
~Shawon Dunston 1963 (Cubs 1985-1995, 1997)
He was the first overall pick in the amateur draft, and had one of the greatest arms of any shortstop in baseball history. He was also a fan favorite (fans kept track of his batting average with the Shawon-O-Meter), and had a successful 17-year major league career. Although he didn’t have a “first pick in the draft” kind of career, Dunston was a two-time All Star with the Cubs (1988 & 1990). He finally got a chance to play in the World Series in his final big league season in 2002 (with the Giants). That team, led by Dusty Baker, choked away the championship to the Angels in the closing innings of Game 6, and then lost decisively in Game 7. (An eerie preview of what awaited the Cubs the following year.) Shawon’s son now plays in the Cubs minor league system. (Photo: Topps 1991 Baseball Card)
~Todd Dunwoody 1975 (Cubs 2001)
Todd was one of the top prospects in baseball coming up in the Marlins organization, but he lacked the plate discipline to stay in the starting lineup. After a farily uneventful rookie season in Florida, he bounced around to the Royals, and then to the Cubs. In the 2001 season, Dunwoody backed up all three Cubs outfielders (Gary Matthews Jr, Sammy Sosa, and Rondell White), but he hit only .213 and was allowed to leave via free agency after the season.
~Kid Durbin 1886 (Cubs 1907-1908)
They called him Kid, because he was only 20 when he joined the Cubs. Frank Chance used him as a pitcher and an outfielder, although he didn’t give him much playing time in either spot. Durbin only played in 25 games over two seasons, but was a member of the first two World Series champion teams in Cubs history. He became a baker after his playing career ended.
~Leon Durham 1957 (Cubs 1981-1988)
Of course, his real name was Leon, but it was hard to be named Durham without getting the nickname Bull. No Cubs fan will ever forget him. Durham had a pretty good career with the Cubs, making the all-star team twice, hitting more than 20 homers five times, and stealing more than twenty bases twice, but he will always be remembered for Game 5 of the 1984 NLCS. The Cubs were eight outs away from going to the World Series, leading the game 3-2. A ground ball by Tim Flannery went through Leon’s legs, and opened the floodgates. The Padres scored three more times, including two runs on a fluke double that should have been a double-play, but took a weird hop over Ryne Sandbergs head instead. A whole new generation of Cubs fans built up scar tissue that remains inside their bodies today. (Photo: Topps 1985 Baseball Card)
~Leo Durocher 1905 (Cubs manager 1965-1972)
How did people really feel about Leo Durocher? A quote from Jack Brickhouse: “In the early days Leo was an SOB, but a sharp SOB. By the time he finished in Chicago he was just an old SOB.” A quote from Vin Scully after it was announced Durocher took a job in Japan. “It took the US 35 years to get revenge for Pearl Harbor.” Suffice it to say, Leo was not beloved. When he was a player, he once gave Babe Ruth a black eye. He was such a taunter, that he was thrown at by Cubs pitchers…while he was in the dugout. And he didn’t suddenly become Mr. Nice guy when he became the Cubs manager. He punished players that beat him at Gin Rummy (especially Ken Holtzman). He once ripped the phone out of the dugout in Houston and threw it onto the field because he was upset at a scoreboard cartoon (1965). He set up a folding chair in the dugout in 1967 so his buddy Frank Sinatra could watch the game from there. His third base coach walked out on him in the middle of a game (Pete Reiser). He left the team in June 1969 for his bachelor party, and blew off two more games to visit his new wife’s (Lynne Walker Goldblatt) kids in Wisconsin. Leo was fired in July of ’72. He was fired for the same reason he was fired everywhere else he had ever worked. He couldn’t zip his ever famous lip. If ever a person deserved a nickname, it was Leo ‘The Lip’ Durocher. These audio clips better describe what we mean…(Photo: Topps 1970 Baseball Card)
~Frank Dwyer 1868 (White Stockings 1888-1889)
Dwyer won 16 games at the tender age of 21 with the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) in 1889, but he joined the player revolt and followed several teammates to join the new league founded by the players in 1890. When the league folded, Dwyer came back to the majors (1892), and joined St. Louis. He stayed in the big leagues until 1899 and won 177 career games.