~Gene Packard 1887 (Cubs 1916-1917)
Packard was an important part of the pitching staff in the Cubs’ first season at Wrigley Field. He won ten games as a combination starter/reliever. The following year he was sold to the Cardinals.
~Andy Pafko 1929 (Cubs 1943-1951)
Nicknamed “Handy Andy,” because of his incredibly dependable hitting and fielding, Pafko was one of the most popular Cubs, and a star of their last World Series team of 1945. “Handy Andy” was a five-time all-star during his Cubs career, the first three times as an outfielder (although one of those times, 1945, they didn’t play the all-star game because of the war). After legendary Cubs’ third baseman Stan Hack retired after the 1947 season, Pafko replaced him on the hot corner long enough to be named an All-Star there too, making him one of the few people to achieve All-Star status in both the infield and outfield. His 1950 season can only be described as “DiMaggio-esque”. That year Andy Pafko knocked the ball out of National League ballparks 36 times while only striking out 32 times. Only 14 players have ever accomplished that feat. Pafko’s 1950 season was so impressive that Reds’ president Warren Giles said if he could choose any player in the National League to help improve his team, he would choose Pafko. Naturally, Handy Andy was rewarded for that incredible season in true Cubs fashion. He was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was crushed when the Cubs traded him, and it was a trade that Chicago would forever regret. The players they got in return had almost no impact with the Cubs, while Pafko would go on to play in the 1952 World Series with the Dodgers and the 1957 and 1958 World Series with the Braves. He came back to his hometown of Chicago after his playing career was over, settling in the northwestern suburbs, and passed away in 2013 at the age of 92. (Photo: Bowman 1949 Baseball Card)
~Angel Pagan 1981 (Cubs 2006-2007)
Pagan came up to the big leagues with the Cubs and served as their fourth outfielder during his two years in Chicago. He got sick in his second season in Chicago, and lost a lot of weight. Cubs GM Jim Hendry didn’t think he would be able to contribute much, so he traded him before the 2008 season began. Bad move by the Cubs. They traded him to the Mets for two minor leaguers who never made it up to the big club. Meanwhile, Pagan turned out to be a very solid big league outfielder. He has a lifetime batting average over .280, has stolen over 150 bases, and was a key contributor to the 2012 & 2014 World Series champion Giants.
~Karl Pagel 1955 (Cubs 1978-1979)
Pagel was the first round pick of the Cubs in 1976, and unlike several of their top picks of that decade, he did make it to the big leagues. He got exactly three at bats for the Cubs, two in 1978, and one in 1979. He struck out all three times. In fairness to the Cubs, 1976 wasn’t a particularly strong draft. Only one player chosen in the top two rounds got extensive playing time in the majors–and that was Hubie Brooks. Pagel was traded to the Indians for aging slugger Cliff Johnson in 1980, and later played a bit for the Indians (1981-1983). He hit his only career homer for the Indians in 1981.
~Don Pall 1962 (Cubs 1994)
He grew up a Sox fan and pitched for them too, but he also pitched across town for the Cubs. His teammates called him “The Pope”.
~Rafael Palmeiro 1964 (Cubs 1986-1988)
Two incredibly bright prospects came up to the Chicago Cubs around the same time. Unfortunately, both Mark Grace and Rafael Palmeiro played the same position (first base). To get both of their bats into the lineup, Palmeiro was moved out to left field. His 1988 Cubs season was stellar. Palmeiro batted .307, slugged 41 doubles, and was named to the All-Star team. Naturally, the Cubs traded him after the season. They decided that Grace had better potential to develop power. It didn’t exactly turn out that way. Palmeiro was so upset he cried when he was traded along with another guy who wouldn’t amount to anything, Jamie Moyer, for Mitch Williams, Paul Kilgus, Steve Wilson, Curtis Wilkerson, Luis Benitez, and Pablo Delgado. Palmeiro had a Hall-of-Fame caliber career (granted–perhaps with the help of some illegal substances). He was a four-time all-star, three-time Gold Glover, and hit 569 career homers. Jamie Moyer was still pitching in the majors more than twenty years later. Not a good trade for the Cubs. (Photo: Topps 1988 Baseball Card)
Just a few months before he was busted using steroids…
~Erik Pappas 1966 (Cubs 1991)
Pappas a was local boy (Mt. Carmel High School) who came up as a catcher, and got a cup of coffee with the Cubs in April of 1991. He later went to the Cardinals, and they moved him to the outfield. Pappas is a coach in the Cubs minor league system.
~Milt Pappas 1939 (Cubs 1970-1973)
Pappas had some of his best seasons as a big league pitcher with the Cubs at the tail end of his career. In 1971 he became one of only ten pitchers in big league history to strike out the side on nine pitches. In 1972 he came just one out away from pitching a perfect game (and still hasn’t forgiven the umpire for calling ball four on the 27th batter). He did pitch a no-hitter in that game. One of his other claims to fame is that he pitched the last day Elvis Presley ever appeared in Chicago. Though he was a two-time all-star and won more than 200 games in his career, Pappas was often embroiled in controversy. While he was with the Orioles, he admitted to grooving one to Roger Maris during his quest for 61 homers. He was traded to the Reds for Frank Robinson–who went on to win the triple crown for the Orioles. Milt got into a fight with Reds teammate Joe Nuxhall and was traded to the Braves. His Cubs career wasn’t without controversy either. He was in the middle of the fight that may have led to Leo Durocher losing his team once and for all. The date was August 23, 1971. The Cubs were in the clubhouse before a game against the Cincinnati Reds. They were 11 games over .500 and only 4 1/2 games behind the first place Pittsburgh Pirates, but Leo was still upset with Milt. The previous game he had allowed the winning run in a 4-3 loss when Doug Radar hit an 0-2 pitch for a double. He called a club meeting and ripped Pappas for his stupidity. After his little speech he opened the floor for comments. Joe Pepitone was the first one to defend Milt. He said: “He didn’t want to do it. Why are you always blaming people?” Ken Holtzman and Pappas also spoke out, ripping Durocher. That’s when Leo lost it. He tore into every player on the team in a legendary expletive filled tirade. Among those he ripped was team captain Ron Santo. He said that Santo was a malingerer who played politics with the front office. Santo had to be physically restrained by his teammates. The Cubs somehow went out and won the game, but afterwards they spiraled into a deep losing streak. They lost 16 of their next 21 games. Durocher had lost the club forever. Milt Pappas passed away during the Cubs 2016 World Championship season. (Photo: Topps 1972 Baseball Card)
~Mark Parent 1961 (Cubs 1994-1995)
Parent was an excellent defensive catcher and parlayed that into a 13-year big league career. But because he couldn’t hit very well (lifetime average .214), he never really claimed a starting position. He was a solid backup for the Padres, Rangers, Orioles, Pirates, Tigers, Phillies, and the Cubs. Both years he played with the Cubs were strike-shortened seasons. He hit six homers in 56 games. Parent went into politics in his native Canada after his playing career.
~Blake Parker 1985 (Cubs 2012-2014)
Parker was a Cubs draft choice who got a lot of action of out the bullpen during the 2013 season. He appeared in 49 games for the Cubs that year and pitched fairly well, registering an ERA of 2.72, while striking out 55 batters in 46.1 innings. He began the 2014 season with the club too, was sent back down to Iowa after a rough start, and then returned to finish the season with the big league club. The Cubs designated Blake for assignment in May of 2015. (Photo: 2013 Topps Emerald Baseball Card)
~Doc Parker 1872 (Colts 1893-1896)
Parker only appeared in 18 games for Chicago, but they were in three different seasons. He was a pitcher by trade, but he wasn’t a particluarly good one. His lifetime ERA was 5.90, and that was in the deadest of deadball eras. On the other hand, he was a pretty good hitting pitcher. His lifetime batting average was .274. The Cubs (then known as the Colts) even tried him in the outfield one game to take advantage of his bat. Doc later became a big league umpire.
~Roy Parmelee 1907 (Cubs 1937)
Parmelee came to the Cubs in the ill-considered trade that sent Lon Warneke to St. Louis in 1937. The ’37 Cubs sure could have used Warneke. He finished with 18 wins for the Cardinals, and won 77 games for them over the next four years. Parmelee was gone the next year, and the other player the Cubs acquired (Rip Collins) lasted two years. Parmelee’s final record for the Cubs was 7-8, with an ERA over 5. On the other hand, he had a great nickname. Parmelee is one of three Cubs in history who were nicknamed “Tarzan”.
~Jiggs Parrott 1871 (Colts 1892-1895)
One of the great names in baseball history, Jiggs started at second base one year for the Cubs (then known as the Colts) and as a third baseman another year. Jiggs wasn’t too popular with the fans for some reason. By the end of his time in Chicago, his manager only played him on the road so that the crowd didn’t get upset. His brother Tom also played for the team. The Parrott brothers were professional musicians.
~Tom Parrott 1868 (Colts 1893)
Tacky Tom, as he was known, got his big league start in Chicago pitching for the Cubs (then known as the Colts). His brother Jiggs was on the team already, so it seemed like a natural choice, but the Cincinnati Reds claimed they had the rights to him. He didn’t fare too well in Chicago (0-3, with a 6.67 ERA) before being ruled to be Cincy property. Tacky Tom then went to the Reds and performed much better, winning ten games for them that year. Tacky Tom ended up having more success in the field as a first baseman/outfielder. In 1896 he finished in the top ten in the league in home runs. They called him Tacky Tom because he was a flake and a free spirit, often doing and saying outrageous things. In his spare time, he also played the cornet. He scheduled his gigs around the team’s roadtrips. He also, it must be noted, sported a world class mustache.
~Dode Paskert 1881 (Cubs 1918-1920)
His real name was George Henry Paskert, but everyone called him Dode. No one knows for sure the origin of Paskert’s nickname, but more than likely it was a dig at his perceived low intelligence. The English Dialect Dictionary, published in 1900, describes a “dode” as a “slow [witted] person,” and a scattering of press accounts confirm that Paskert was considered stupid. He was a pretty good player for the Phillies when the Cubs acquired him in 1918, but he came at a high price. Cy Williams, who they traded for him, became a big star for Philadelphia–one of the best players of the era (he won three home run titles for Philly). Dode Paskert, on the other hand, didn’t do much. He did start in centerfield and had a good year in 1918–when the Cubs made it to the World Series. (Although he only hit .190 in that series). But Dode didn’t have much left in the tank after that. He retired after the 1920 season.
~Claude Passeau 1909 (Cubs 1939-1947)
Claude Passeau was the ace of the Cubs staff for several years. From 1940-1942 he pitched in the all-star game every year. Just before the pennant-winning 1945 season started, Cubs doctors discovered that he had a chipped humerous from an old high school football injury. They told Claude that he’d be fine after four days of X-ray therapy, and boy were they right. He recovered nicely to have another very good year, tossing five shutouts, wining 17 games, and pitching the second greatest game in World Series history, a 1-hitter. Passeau toughed out one more 9 win season in 1946, but it was all be over for him before the end of the 1947 season.
AUDIO: Play by play of that 1-hitter in the World Series
~Bob Patterson 1959 (Cubs 1996-1998)
Patterson was a journeyman reliever who pitched for the Pirates, Rangers and Angels before coming to the Cubs. He was 5-10 for the Cubs in his three seasons, and was released during July of his pretty dreadful 1998, when he had a 7+ ERA. The Cubs won the wildcard that season.
~Corey Patterson 1979 (Cubs 2000-2005)
The third overall pick of the 1998 draft, Corey was a can’t miss 5-tool prospect. He had power, speed, and played an outstanding centerfield. He certainly had flashes of greatness in a Cubs uniform, including an opening day when he drove in eight runs, but he also disappeared for weeks at a time, and had a very hard time mastering the strikezone. In 2003, he was having an all-star season when he got hurt. His injury forced the Cubs to go out and acquire Kenny Lofton–who arguably was the MVP of the Cubs the rest of that season. In 2004, Corey clubbed 24 homers and stole 32 bases, and it looked he had finally arrived. But in 2005, it all fell apart for him. Patterson hit a woeful .215 and had more strikeouts than hits. The Cubs shipped him off to Baltimore after the season for two minor leaguers who never made it up to the big club. Patterson played another six seasons in the big leagues for the Orioles, Reds, Nationals, Brewers, Blue Jays and Cardinals. His career numbers were very respectable (118 homers, 218 stolen bases, .252 average), but he never quite lived up to the lofty expectations. (Corey’s brother Eric later played for the Cubs too, and his father Don played in the NFL for the Giants and Lions)
~Eric Patterson 1983 (Cubs 2007-2008)
Corey’s little brother was a utility man who got a small taste of the big leagues with the Cubs at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008 before being shipped off to Oakland in the trade that brought Rich Harden to the Cubs. He has since played for the A’s, Red Sox, and Padres. He spent the 2013 season in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
~Ken Patterson 1964 (Cubs 1992)
Patterson was a lefthanded reliever acquired in the trade that brought Sammy Sosa to the Cubs (for George Bell). Unfortunately for Ken, his Cubs career wasn’t quite as decorated as his fellow ex-White Sox teammate. He went 2-3, with a 3.89 ERA in 32 appearances. After the season he was granted free agency and finished his career with the Angels.
~Reggie Patterson 1958 (Cubs 1983-1985)
Patterson was a highly touted pitching prospect the Cubs got from the White Sox, but he never quite could put it together in the big leagues. His big claim to fame was giving up the hit that allowed Pete Rose to tie Ty Cobb for the all-time hits record. It happened in Wrigley Field.
~David Patton 1984 (Cubs 2009)
Patton was a Rule V draft choice, who pitched in the Cubs for part of the 2009 season. He made twenty appearances and won three games, but also registered an ERA of 6.83. He never made it back up to the big leagues.
~Spencer Patton 1988 (Cubs 2016)
The Urbana-born Patton, a former Texas Ranger, pitched out of the bullpen for a few different stints during the 2016 season. Unfortunately he couldn’t find his control. In only 21 innings pitched, he walked 14 men, which sealed his fate. After the season the Cubs released him.
~Josh Paul 1975 (Cubs 2003)
The local product (Evanston) was released by the White Sox after a few years on the south side and was picked up by the Cubs. If you blinked, you missed his time with the Cubs. He had exactly six plate appearances that year and didn’t get on base. He made his mark in history when he rolled the ball to the mound after a strikeout by A.J. Pierzynski in the 2005 playoffs. The umpire blew the call and allowed Pierzynski to run to first base. Without that bad call, the 2005 Sox probably wouldn’t have won the World Series. Historians will forever put an asterisk next to that World Series title. That’s this reporter’s completely unbiased report.
~Mike Paul 1945 (Cubs 1973-1974)
The Cubs acquired Paul from the Texas Rangers for Larry Gura during the 1973 season. He pitched pretty well out of the bullpen at the end of the 1973 season, but the Cubs released him in April of the following season. Larry Gura, on the other hand, went on to become a two-time 18-game winner in the American League. Paul pitched in the Mexican Leagues until 1982. (Photo: Topps 1974 Baseball Card)
~Dave Pavlas 1962 (Cubs 1990-1991)
Pavlas was a 28-year-old rookie when he joined the Cubs in 1990. The 6’7″ righthander pitched out of the bullpen in 14 games for the Cubs over two seasons, and did a respectable job. It was a nice reward for his very long (15 years) minor league career.
~Ted Pawelek 1919 (Cubs 1946)
They called him Porky, and the Chicago Heights native and former U.S. Marine played in exactly four games with the Cubs. His only career hit came in his last at bat with the Cubs on September 26, 1946. Porky doubled off Pirates pitcher Jack Hallet in a 5-3 Cubs win at Wrigley Field. After his playing career ended he became a scout with the Detroit Tigers. He died in a car crash at the age of 44.
~Charlie Pechous 1896 (Cubs 1916-1917)
Charlie was the backup third baseman and shortstop for the Cubs in their first year at Wrigley Field, and stuck around to help a bit in 1917, but played his last game in the big leagues on September 30, 1917. He was only 20 years old at the time. He played six more seasons in the minors before hanging up his spikes at the ripe old age of 26.
~Jorge Pedre 1966 (Cubs 1992)
Jorge was a September call up for the Cubs in 1992, and got a grand total of four at-bats. He didn’t get a hit. Jorge was a catcher who played eight seasons in the minors, mostly in the Kansas City organization.
~Chick Pedroes 1869 (Orphans 1902)
His real name was Pedro, but the Americanized Chick was 32 years old when he played for Chicago for two games in 1902. He was born in Cuba, which would make him the first Latin-American player who ever played for the Cubs. For some reason, he is not acknowledged as such.
~Carlos Pena 1978 (Cubs 2011)
Carlos was a former All-Star, Gold Glover, and Silver Slugger award winner when he signed with the Cubs as a free agent in 2011. Both sides knew it would be a short term arrangement. Pena held up his side of the bargain by hitting 28 homers and knocking in 80 runs. But he also hit only .225. When the season ended, the two sides agreed to part ways. Pena is also known for being an incredible humanitarian. He gave food and medical supplies after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, and was nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award. Carlos was forever immortalized in the film “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt. In that movie, an actor portraying Pena is told that he has been traded. Turns out, despite his great skills, Pena was the anti-Moneyball player.
~Felix Pena 1990 (Cubs 2016-2017)
The hard throwing Dominican right hander came up through the Cubs system and made his big league debut during their World Series championship season. He was recalled from Iowa in August and actually pitched some meaningful innings for the Cubs during the home stretch. Pena appeared in 25 games for the Cubs in 2017, but he struggled with his control (18 walks in just over 30 innings) and he gave up the longball eight times. The Cubs traded him to the Angles after the season.
~Roberto Pena 1937 (Cubs 1965-1966)
Pena was a backup infielder with the Cubs…and even though he was a 27-year-old rookie, he was nicknamed “Baby”. Pena wasn’t much of a hitter (.245 lifetime average), but his glove kept him in the big leagues until he was 34.
~Ken Penner 1896 (Cubs 1929)
When Penner joined the Cubs in 1929, he hadn’t been in the big leagues since 1916, one of the longest such streaks in baseball history. Ken was essentially a minor league lifer. He pitched 27 seasons in the minor leagues, and didn’t hang up his spikes until he was 47 years old. After that he became a scout in the Cardinals organization.
~Joe Pepitone 1940 (Cubs 1970-1973)
On July 29, 1970, the Cubs traded their top prospect, shortstop Roger Metzger (who went on to play a decade in Houston) to the Astros for a player that had just walked out on his team because they tried to give him a roommate on the road—Joe Pepitone. Pepitone was a great glove man with power, but he also had one of the worst attitudes in Cubs history. The fans loved him though, because he was flamboyant, and showy, and everything else the Cubs had always lacked. He hung out at the Playboy club, he wore his hair long (and wore wigs), he wore his shirt open to show his hairy chest and gold chains, and he was the first player in baseball to bring a hair dryer into a clubhouse. On his first day as a Cub he arrived in a limo. He was so deep in debt he owed the team half his salary before the year began. He bought a club on Division Street and called it “Joe Pepitone’s Thing.” He opened a hair salon and started selling Joe Pepitone wigs. He parked his Harley inside Durocher’s office so that kids wouldn’t bother him after the game. And while things were going well for the Cubs, Joe Pepitone was not a problem. On the other hand, manager Leo Durocher—who recognized a young version of himself in Pepitone—knew it was just a matter of time. In his autobiography “Nice Guys Finish Last,” this is how he referred to him. “If you’re thinking that Pepitone was sent to me in just retribution…I have to admit there were times that the thought crossed my mind.” When things starting going bad, Pepitone was always in the middle of it. He had a real problem with authority figures and he incited some of his teammates to feel likewise. The relationship with Durocher soured, and became toxic. It all blew up in 1972. He walked out on the team on May 2, 1972 and asked to be put on the voluntary retirement list. He was sick of baseball and wanted to concentrate on his nightclub, but as usual, the money sent him crawling back. Unfortunately for Pepitone, being placed on the list made him ineligible for sixty days. He returned the very first day he legally could, but he was rusty and just couldn’t hit anymore. A year later the Cubs sent him packing, trading him to the Atlanta Braves.
~Joel Peralta 1976 (Cubs 2016)
The Cubs were looking for bullpen help during the summer of 2016, so when the 40-year-old Peralta was released by the Mariners, the Cubs gave him a chance. After giving up two homers in only four innings of work, the Peralta experiment ended.
~Mike Perez 1964 (Cubs 1995-1996)
Perez was another reliever who pitched very well for the Cardinals. He won 18 games and saved 19 in his three seasons before joining the Cubs. It didn’t go quite as well in Chicago. He won two and saved three and was released.
~Neifi Perez 1973 (Cubs 2005-2006)
Perez was a journeyman infielder when he arrived in Chicago, but for some reason he became Dusty Baker’s favorite player. Perez played a steady shortstop, but his on-base percentage was among the worst in the league. Despite having some promising rookies behind him (like Ronnie Cedeno), Perez got the bulk of the playing time. He was traded to the Tigers late in the 2006 season.
~Yorkis Perez 1967 (Cubs 1991)
Yorkis was a September call up for the Cubs in 1991, but only appeared in three games. Despite pitching fairly well, the Cubs let him go after the season. It took Perez a few years to make it back up to the big leagues, but he eventually pitched 8 more seasons for the Marlins, Mets, Phillies, Astros and Orioles.
~Harry Perkowski 1922 (Cubs 1955)
Harry was acquired along with Ted Tappe and Jim Bolger for Johnny Klippstein after the 1954 season. He had had a few double digit win seasons with the Reds, but he didn’t have a great season with the Cubs. He won three games and saved two in 25 appearances.
~Jon Perlman 1956 (Cubs 1985)
Perlman made his big league debut for the Cubs in their injury ravaged year of 1985. He didn’t fare well. In six outings he allowed more than two runners an inning and posted an 11.42 ERA. He was 28 years old at the time. Perlman got a few more cups of coffee in his 30s with the Indians and the Giants.
~Pat Perry 1959 (Cubs 1988-1989)
The Cubs got Perry in the trade that sent Leon Durham to the Reds. He was a member of the division champion 1989 Cubs team, but he was used sparingly out of the bullpen (19 appearances), and didn’t make the post-season roster. They released him in December of that year. He did manage to win two games and save two games during his tenure with the Cubs.
~Scott Perry 1891 (Cubs 1916)
Scott was a righthanded pitcher, and part of the Cubs staff in the first season they played at Wrigley Field. He won 2 games toward the end of the season as a starter. The following year he was pitching in Cincinnati, with limited success. It wasn’t until he joined the Philadelphia Athletics that Perry came into his own. In the war-shortened year of 1918, Scott Perry became a twenty game winner.
~John Peters 1850 (White Stockings 1874-1879)
Peters was a second baseman/shortstop in the days before players even used gloves. He was the starting shortstop on the inaugural National League 1876 championship team and hit .351. In the field, he made quite a few errors (including a league leading 71 in 1879), but have we mentioned this was a time before players even wore gloves?
~William Petersen 1953 (Cubs fan 1953-present)
He was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1953 and grew up a Cubs fan. The Cubs of his youth were some of the worst teams imaginable, yet Wrigley Field was always one of his favorite destinations. But he didn’t just watch the Cubs there, he also watched the Bears. When he was 9 years old his dad took him to a bar to watch the 1963 Championship game. “Hey! The game was blacked-out in Chicago,” he explained. “We had to watch it somewhere. It’s one of my favorite childhood memories.” After college he performed with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and was a co-founder of the Remains Theater Ensemble which also included other prominent Chicago actors Gary Cole and Ted Levine. And he attended Cubs games. His big break in the movies came in 1986 in the film “To Live and Die in LA.” He continued working in films (“Manhunter,” “Young Guns II”) and television mini-series like “The Kennedy’s” and “Lonesome Dove,” but he really hit the jackpot in 2000 with his starring role (he was the producer as well) in the mega-hit TV show “CSI.” But even during those heady Hollywood days, he longed for Chicago. “Oh God, I don’t know how long I can stick with this,” he said. “I’d be in Chicago right now if it wasn’t for this show. L.A.’s not my style. Just the other day, I had some friends in from Chicago and we went to see the Cubs beat the Dodgers out here. I was telling them there’s no community here. You can’t walk across the street from the stadium to the bar. I think that’s a microcosm for the whole city.” He still comes back to Chicago at least once a year to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Wrigley Field.
Petersen also recommends this Eckhartz Press novel, co-written by Just One Bad Century’s editor-in-chief, Rick Kaempfer…
“…a hell of an old-fashioned read. It brings to life ‘the city of broad shoulders’ and makes me homesick. I want a Billy Goat cheesborger and a shot of whiskey.”
– William Petersen, Chicago-bred film/TV/stage actor, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
~Billy Petrick 1984 (Cubs 2007)
Petrick was a big righthander (6’6″, 240 pounds) from Kankakee who worked his way through the Cubs system after being drafted in 2002. He got his one chance at the show in June and July of 2007, but appeared a bit overmatched by big league hitters. In only nine innings pitched, he gave up three homers, and had an ERA of 7.45. He pitched in the minor leagues until 2012.
~Bob Pettit 1861 (White Stockings 1887-1888)
Pettit was a utility man for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings). He played in the infield (second and third base) as well as the outfield in a backup role. His lifetime batting average was .240
~Jesse Petty 1894 (Cubs 1930)
Jesse was known as “The Silver Fox” because he didn’t really make it in the big leagues until his 30s. He was a 35-year-old reliever on the Cubs team that blew the pennant in the last few weeks of the 1930 season, costing Joe McCarthy his job. Don’t blame Jesse for that. His ERA was a respectable 2.97 in a year that was very friendly to the hitter (the same year Hack Wilson got 191 RBI).
~Fred Pfeffer 1860 (White Stockings 1883-1889, 1896-1897)
Fred was one of the premier sluggers in the league during his years with the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings), finishing in the top ten in homers every season during his first stint in Chicago. He played mostly second base, but he also played all other infield positions if needed, occasionally played in the outfield, and even pitched a few times (he saved two games). Pfeffer jumped to the Players League (along with several of his teammates) after the 1889 season. He returned to play for the Cubs for the last two seasons of his career. He retired with 94 career homers (a very high total at the time), and 383 stolen bases.
~Big Jeff Pfeffer 1882 (Cubs 1905, 1910)
Big Jeff was a college boy (from the University of Illinois) during a time very few MLB players went to college. The downstate native got his crack at the big leagues after he graduated, the year before the Cubs set the record for most wins in a season. The 1905 version of the team was just a few players short…they hadn’t yet acquired Orval Overall, Harry Steinfeldt, or Jimmy Sheckard. Pfeffer was essentially an extra starting pitcher, and occasional reliever. Unfortunately for Big Jeff, he left the best team in baseball to pitch for the worst (the Boston Braves), but returned to Chicago for their pennant winning 1910 season. He pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen that year. If he had only been a bigger star, surely Jeff Pfeffer would have inspired a tongue twister. Here’s mine: Jeff Pfeffer’s Heifer Heather Left a Leather Sweater.
~Jack Pfiester 1878 (Cubs 1906-1911)
Jack was an important member of the starting rotation during the Cubs dynasty. The team went to the World Series four of his six seasons. He won 20 games for the 1906 team that won a record setting 116 games before losing the World Series to the White Sox. He lost two games in that Series. The following year, Jack led the league with an astounding 1.15 ERA, and won Game 2 of the World Series. The Cubs won it all that year. Pfiester started the 1908 season by injuring his thumb when he couldn’t get it unstuck from a bowling ball, and had several other injuries during the season. He only managed to win 12 games that season, but a few of those wins came in crucial games against the arch rival New York Giants. That’s why Pfiester was known as “Jack the Giant Killer.” Success began to elude him at the end of that season, however. He had to be removed after 2/3 of an inning in the one-game playoff against the Giants, and was the only Cubs pitcher to lose a World Series game in 1908. He also appeared in the 1910 World Series for the Cubs, but by then he was being used primarily in relief. (Photo: 1909 Tobacco Card)
~Art Phelan 1887 (Cubs 1913-1915)
Art was the starting third baseman for the Cubs in their last season at West Side Grounds, but when the season ended, and the rosters of the Cubs and the Federal League Whales were combined, Art was not invited to come along to the new ballpark on Addison and Clark.
~Babe Phelps 1908 (Cubs 1933-1934)
His real name was Ernest Phelps, but he was known as Blimp when he played for the Cubs; a tribute to the hefty 225 pounds he carried on his frame. Phelps was a rarely used backup catcher for the Cubs in the early 30s, biding his time on the bench behind Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett. The Cubs didn’t think they needed Blimp, so they released him after the 1934 season. The Brooklyn Dodgers snatched him up pretty quickly, and the Blimp turned into the Babe.”Babe” Phelps went on to become a 3-time all-star catcher for the Dodgers. His .367 average in 1936 was the highest ever for a catcher who qualified for the batting title. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, he was also a hypochondriac, and had a horrible fear of flying. Those two factors contributed to ending his major league baseball career prematurely. Phelps retired at age 34 with a lifetime batting average of .310.
~Adolfo Phillips 1941 (Cubs 1966-1969)
His nickname was the Panamanian Flash. The Cubs thought they were acquiring their next superstar when they got Panamanian outfielder Adolpho Phillips from the Phillies in 1966. That turned out to be true…but it was the pitcher that was thrown in on the deal, Ferguson Jenkins. Phillips showed flashes of greatness for the Cubs, but he never quite managed to put it together. He had one good season for the Cubs in 1967, when he hit 17 HR, knocked in 70 runs, and stole 24 bases, but manager Leo Durocher never quite thought he could trust him and rode him pretty hard. After a disappointing 1968, and a slow start in 1969, Phillips was traded to the Expos. Fergie later wrote about him: “People did not find out what was the matter with Adolfo until after he had been traded from the Cubs to Montreal in 1969. The following year he had to undergo an operation for a stomach tumor. He also had an ulcer caused by worry, pressure that had been put on him by his teammates and Durocher. Adolfo was extremely sensitive. He had to take tranquilizers to settle his nerves.” Phillips lasted parts of 8 seasons in the big leagues, and ended up hitting 46 of his 59 career home runs for the Cubs. (Photo: Topps 1969 Baseball Card)
~T-Bone Phillips 1933 (Cubs 1958-1959)
He went by Taylor, but to his Cubs teammates, Taylor was always known as T-bone. Phillips was a lefty starter for the ’58 Cubs and while he won only 7 games that year, it was probably the best season of his career. Hard-throwing and wild (he was among the league leaders in wild pitches—with 8), Phillips ranks as the fourth worst-hitting pitcher (minimum 100 at-bats) in ML history, going 6-113 (.053). He was one of three Taylors on the ’58 Cubs (Tony and Sammy), and a sportswriter joked that they “couldn’t have enough tailors to fix all the holes in this team.” The Cubs traded him after a rocky start in 1959 for Seth Morehead. T-bone pitched a few more seasons for the Phillies and White Sox before retiring.
~Tom Phoebus 1942 (Cubs 1972)
Unlike Bill Stoneman (above) who threw a no-hitter after leaving the Cubs, Phoebus tossed one before he came to the Cubs (against the Red Sox in April of 1968). He was a member of the very impressive Baltimore Orioles starting rotation of the late 60s. Phoebus was a star right out of the gate. He threw shutouts in his first two big league starts and was named Sporting News Rookie of the Year in 1967. He won 15 and 14 games the next two years as well, and won a game in the 1970 World Series, but was traded to the Padres the following year, and never recaptured his former touch. By the time he came to the Cubs in 1972, he was primarily a relief pitcher. He struggled with his control in Chicago, and the Cubs traded him to the Braves after the season for a career minor leaguer named Tony LaRussa. Not sure what happened to that LaRussa kid.
~Bill Phyle 1875 (Orphans 1898-1899)
Phyle pitched a shutout in his major league debut for the Cubs (then known as the Orphans), but didn’t quite live up to that the rest of his career. He only pitched in limited games for Chicago. His best season was in 1901 with the Giants when he won 7 games, and pitched 16 complete games.
~Charlie Pick 1888 (Cubs 1918-1919)
Charlie was the starting second baseman in the 1918 World Series for the Cubs. During the regular season he had split time at 2B with Rollie Zeider, but he played every game against the Boston Red Sox during the World Series. He batted sixth, and hit .389 for the series, including an impressive 2 for 2 against Babe Ruth in Game 4. The Cubs traded him the following season (along with Les Mann) to the Boston Braves for Buck Herzog. (Herzog was later banned from the game amid a gambling controversy)
~Eddie Pick 1899 (Cubs 1927)
Eddie was a third baseman and outfielder who got a few cups of coffee in the big leagues with the Reds, but his biggest opportunity came with the 1927 Cubs. That year he got 181 at-bats as the Cubs utility man, logging playing time at 2B, 3B and right field. Unfortunately, he didn’t take advantage of the opportunity, hitting only .171. Pick played another six seasons of minor league ball before retiring from the game at the age of 34.
~Jeff Pico 1966 (Cubs 1988-1990)
He pitched a shutout in his Major League debut, but won only 12 more games, all of them with the Cubs. He was a member of their 1989 division champion team.
~Felix Pie 1985 (Cubs 2007-2008)
He was supposed to be the next big star in Chicago, a five tool outfielder with dazzling talent. Like Corey Patterson before him, Pie never quite put it together. They handed him in the starting center field job in 2008, but he lost it by May. The Cubs signed Jim Edmonds and sent Felix back to the minors. One thing many male Cubs fans will never forget about him is an injury he suffered during his time with the Cubs. It was called “testicular torsion” or twisted testicle. Some of us still have nightmares. The Cubs traded Felix to the Orioles in 2009.
~Pat Pieper 1886 (Cubs P.A. announcer/1916-1974)
He was known for his trademark opener…”Tention! Attention Please! Get your pencils and scorecards ready and I will give you the correct lineups for today’s game.” He got the job in 1916 when the Cubs first started playing in what is now known as Wrigley Field, and he kept the job until his death in 1974–an incredible streak of 59 years. When he first began, he had to do his job with a gigantic megaphone (this was before a public address system had been invented.) He said the starting lineups to the crowd from third base, and then did the same thing on the other side of the field from first base. In 1932, the Cubs finally installed a public address system. Pieper was the PA for 6 World Series, but he also handled those chores for the twenty consecutive seasons the Cubs finished in the bottom half of the league (1946-1966). When he died shortly after the 1974 season (October 22nd), the Cubs had just finished their most successful stretch since their World Series days.
AUDIO: Pieper announces the 1932 Cubs starting lineup…
~George Pierce 1888 (Cubs 1912-1916)
He pitched six years in the big leagues–five of those with the Cubs–including the team’s first season in what is now known as Wrigley Field.
~Ray Pierce 1897 (Cubs 1924)
Pierce was a lefty pitcher who got his first taste in the big leagues with the Cubs in 1924. He got knocked around a bit, so the Cubs thought he needed a little more seasoning. The Phillies chose him in the Rule V draft and gave him a shot in 1925, and he pitched for them a few seasons. But Pierce didn’t really have a strikeout pitch (only 38 in 182 innings), and without that, he struggled mightily against big league pitching. His nickname was Lefty.
~Andy Piercy 1854 (White Stockings 1881)
Andy appeared in only two games for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings). He hit two singles in eight plate appearances. Andy was a second baseman/third baseman.
~Bill Piercy 1896 (Cubs 1926)
His nickname was Wild Bill. He was 30 years old by the time he got to the Cubs, and had been in the minors for a whole season. He went 6-5 with a 4.48 ERA in 90 innings during the 1926 season. Among his teammates that year: Gabby Hartnett, Charlie Grimm, Sparky Adams, Jimmy Cooney, Riggs Stephenson, Hack Wilson, Mike Gonzales (the first Latin American Cub), Charlie Root, Guy Bush, and Pete Alexander.
~Juan Pierre 1977 (Cubs 2006)
He was named after Hall of Famer Juan Marichal, but this Juan also had a great career. Chicago fans knew him well before he played for them thanks to his impressive series against the Cubs in the 2003 NLCS. He hit .300, got ten hits, and scored five runs as the Marlins broke the hearts of Cub fans everywhere. One of Pierre’s trademarks was his incredible work ethic. He played all 162 games five seasons in a row, including his only season with the Cubs. That year he led the league in at bats (699) and hits (204), stole 58 bases, and hit .292. But because of his weak arm, Pierre had become a liability in the outfield, and he didn’t walk enough for a leadoff man. After the season, he was allowed to leave via free agency. By the time his career ended, Pierre had 631 stolen bases, 2217 hits, and a lifetime batting average of .295. Yet he never played in a single all-star game. (Photo: Topps 2006 Baseball Card)
~Jim Piersall 1929 (Cubs coach)
Jimmy was a two-time all-star and gold glover during his 17 year playing career, but he never played for the Cubs. He was also a great announcer after his playing career, but he never announced for the Cubs. The Cubs did, however, hire him as an outfield coach. He worked for them for several seasons until he they didn’t like his cranky assessment of their star prospect’s outfield play. Turned out that Jimmy was correct.
~Carmen Pignatiello 1982 (Cubs 2007-2008)
The lefthanded reliever got two very brief cups of coffee with the Cubs, at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008. He appeared in only six games, and had an ERA of 6.75. Carmen was a local boy (Providence High School in New Lenox) who pitched in the minors for ten seasons. He hung his spikes for good when the Twins released him from their Triple-A team early in 2009.
~George Piktuzis 1932 (Pitcher, Cubs 1956)
He was a local Chicago boy from Morgan Park High School, but served in the military at the height of his baseball career, and only pitched in two games for the Cubs.
~Horacio Pina 1945 (Cubs 1974)
The Mexican-born Pina was acquired from the Oakland A’s for Bob Locker in November of 1973. He was only two years removed from his most productive season in the big leagues, when he saved 15 games for the Rangers, and a month removed from contributing to the 1973 World Series Champion Oakland A’s, but he was a total bust for the Cubs. In 59 innings pitched, he allowed an astounding 89 baserunners. Not the kind of numbers you need from someone you expect to be a key member of your late inning bullpen. The Cubs traded him to the Angels by the end of July. After the season, Horacio went back to his native Mexioo. He pitched a no-hitter there in 1975, and a perfect game in 1978. (Photo: 1974 Topps “Traded” Baseball Card)
~Lou Piniella 1943 (Cubs manager 2007-2010)
Piniella arrived in Chicago with one of the most impressive resumes of anyone who had ever managed the club. He won a World Series as the manager of the Reds, and had led the Seattle Mariners to multiple division titles—including one year they had one of the best records of all-time. In addition to that, Sweet Lou had fire in his belly in those previous jobs, starting fights with umpires and even his players. Surely if anyone could finally lead the Cubs to the promise land, it was Lou. Unfortunately, the Piniella that arrived in Chicago was almost twenty years older than the World Series champ, and age had mellowed him almost beyond recognition. The only fire in his belly was caused by indigestion. Lou did lead the Cubs to two division titles (2007-2008), but he won exactly as many playoff games as you did. By 2010, he was completely phoning it in. Towards the end of the year, Piniella resigned—saying that he just wanted to be closer to his family.
~Marc Pisciotta 1970 (Cubs 1997-1998)
Marc was a righthanded reliever for the Cubs for a few seasons, and actually got into quite a few games. He won four games over two seasons, and appeared in a Cubs uniform 67 times. He later pitched for the Kansas City Royals.
~Pinky Pittenger 1899 (Cubs 1925)
Pinky was a back up third baseman and shortstop for a Cubs team that made history–they were the first Cubs team to ever finish in last place. After that blip year of 1925, the Cubs didn’t finish in last place again for another 23 years. Pinky’s real name was Clark Alonzo Pittenger, and he was one of the most educated players on the team…he had gone to dental school at Ohio State University. Of course, that didn’t stop him from getting involved in an altercation along with his manager (the instigator) Rabbit Maranville, after which both of them wound up in jail. Pinky only played with the Cubs for one season (1925), and he hit .312 in limited action, but the Cubs released him after that season. He played parts of 7 seasons in the majors (3 with the Red Sox, 3 with the Reds, and 1 with the Cubs) and in more than 1000 Major League plate appearances he managed to hit exactly one home run.
~Jeremy Piven 1965 (Cubs fan 1965-present)
Jeremy Piven grew up in north suburban Evanston, and he grew up a Cubs fan. After he became a famous actor in Hollywood, he often returned to his home town, and made stops at the north side shrine. He befriended several of the Cubs, including Kerry Wood, and appeared at Wood’s annual charity bowling tournament. But Piven’s most famous Cubs moment occurred when he performed “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field on Father’s Day, 2006. Piven gave the cue to Chicago Cubs fans by saying, “Let’s hug it out, you little bitches”, a line he made famous as his character Ari Gold on the hit HBO show Entourage. He apologized on WGN-TV, and later claimed it was an accident during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Piven has since claimed, on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, that the Cubs management asked him to say his catch phrase from Entourage, not knowing what it was. He has been invited back to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” since then, so apparently, all is forgiven.
~Juan Pizarro 1937 (Cubs 1970-1973)
He was a two-time All-Star for the White Sox (1963-1964), and came to the Cubs from the Angels in the middle of the 1970 season. Pizarro had periods of brilliance with the Cubs, and often those happened when Tom Seaver was on the mound for the Mets. In September of 1971 he shut out the Mets in Shea Stadium 1-0, and the one run came off the bat of Juan himself, a solo homer against Seaver. But those moments didn’t happen too often. Pizarro was never really more than a spot-starter for the Cubs during his time with them, and never won more than seven games in a season.
~Dane Placko 1961 (Cubs fan 1968-present)
Placko is an award winning investigative reporter for Fox 32 in Chicago, but he’s also a die-hard Cubs fan. In this video he tells the story of his most memorable day at the ballpark…
~Whitey Platt 1920 (Cubs 1942-1943)
When your real first name is Mizell, you’re bound to get a nickname. Platt’s blonde hair gave him that nickname. He played for the US Team under former Cub Les Mann, who was trying to make baseball an international sport. Whitey later was an outfielder who got a little bit of playing time with the Cubs in ’42 and ’43 before going into the service. When he came out he played for the White Sox and St. Louis Browns. His best season was 1948, when he was the starting left fielder for the Browns and knocked in 82 runs. Platt was only 49 years old when he passed away in 1970.
~Dan Plesac 1962 (Cubs 1993-1994)
Plesac was a very effective reliever with the Brewers (a three-time all-star), and he was a workhorse out of the bullpen during his two seasons in his hometown of Chicago (he’s actually from Crown Point, Indiana). After his career ended he moved into broadcasting. For a few years (2005-2008) he was the studio analyst for Comcast in Chicago, but he has been with the MLB network since 2009.
~Bill Plummer 1947 (Cubs 1968)
Bill was a 21-year-old rookie catcher when he made the Cubs team in spring training of 1968 (as a Rule V pick), but he got almost no playing time during his month-long Cubs stay. He didn’t resurface in the big leagues until two years later, with the Reds. He became Johnny Bench’s backup there, and played in Cincinatti for eight seasons in that role. After retiring as a player, he became a manager. In 1992, he managed the Seattle Mariners, but the rest of his managing career (21 seasons in all) has been spent in the minor leagues.
~Tom Poholsky 1929 (Cubs 1957)
Poholsky pitched in the big leagues with the Cardinals for several seasons before the Cubs acquired in 1957. He had a very bad year in Chicago, winning only one game and losing seven, with an ERA of nearly five. For his career, Poholsky was more than 20 games under .500.
~Howie Pollet 1921 (Cubs 1953-1955)
The Cubs acquired Pollet in the trade that also brought Ralph Kiner and Joe Garagiola to Chicago. Pollet was a former 20-game winner (twice) and all-star (three times), but was toward the end of his career by the time the Cubs got him. He won 17 games in his three full seasons with the Cubs. (Photo: 1955 Topps Baseball Card)
~Elmer Ponder 1893 (Cubs 1921)
The first Cub named Elmer born on this day, Ponder was a pitcher for the 1921 Cubs. The righthander didn’t miss many bats. He gave up 117 hits and 7 homers in only 89 innings. He was part of the package of players the Cubs gave up to get Jigger Stats. Ponder never pitched in the big leagues again.
~Tom Poorman 1857 (White Stockings 1880)
Poorman was part of the 1880 champs. He played in right field for seven games, and hit .200. He later pitched Toledo, Boston, and Philadlephia.
~Paul Popovich 1940 (Cubs 1964-1967, 1969-1973)
Popovich was a key sub during the Cubs resurgence of the late 60s and early 70s. He was an infielder who backed up Beckert, Kessinger, and Santo. Paul wasn’t a great hitter (only 14 homers and a .233 average in nearly 2000 career plate appearances), but he was such a steady glove man, he played eleven big league seasons. After he left the Cubs (in 1974), he even got a taste of post-season baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went 3 for 5 in the NLCS. (Photo: Topps 1970 Baseball Card)
~Bo Porter 1972 (Cubs 1999)
Porter was mainly a minor league outfielder, but he did get a few cups of coffee in the big leagues, including 1999 with the Cubs. He got only 25 plate appearances and hit .192. He later got similar tastes with Texas and Oakland. After his playing career he went into coaching. He has now been in the big leagues longer as a manager (with the Astros) than he was as a player.
~Bob Porterfield 1923 (Cubs 1958)
Porterfield was a former 20-game winner and all-star with the Washington Senators, but he was at the tail end of his career when he signed with the Cubs after being released by the Pirates. He appeared in four games and was rocked. After the Cubs cut him loose, the Pirates picked him up again and gave him one last chance.
~Bill Powell 1885 (Cubs 1912)
If you would like to travel back in time to watch Bill Powell pitch for the Cubs, you’ll have to set the wayback machine to 1912. Big Bill, as he was known, pitched in exactly one game for them that season. He lasted two innings. Powell got one more taste of the big leagues after that, in April of 2013 with the Cincinnati Reds.
~Phil Powers 1854 (White Stockings 1878)
Powers had one of the great nicknames in Cubs history. They called him “Grandmother”. He played for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) as a rookie in 1878. That was only the third season in National League history. Powers didn’t do much for Chicago, hitting only .161 in 32 plate appearances. The catcher played another six seasons in the big leagues after that, but never did quite master the art of hitting. His lifetime batting average was .180.
~Willie Prall 1950 (Cubs 1975)
Willie was a September call up in 1975, and was absolutely pounded by the National League. In fourteen innings pitched he gave up 21 hits and 14 runs. He remained in the Cubs organization a few more years but never returned to the big leagues. Some Willie Prall trivia: In the television series “Prison Break”, one of the characters claimed that Willie Prall was his favorite player as a boy (in a flashback scene).
~Johnny Pramesa 1925 (Cubs 1952)
The Cubs sent Smoky Burgess to the Reds to acquire Pramesa in a catcher for catcher swap. Burgess became an all-star and played in the big leagues for 16 more seasons. Johnny backed up starting catcher Toby Atwell in 1952, and only appeared in 22 games for the Cubs. It was his last year in the big leagues.
~Andy Pratt 1979 (Cubs 2004)
Andy was acquired in the trade that sent Juan Cruz to the Braves. Pratt pitched in four games for the Cubs in 2004, and didn’t give up a hit. Good, right? Um, not so much. He walked seven men in 1.2 innings and finished his Cubs career with an ERA of 21.60.
~Todd Pratt 1967 (Cubs 1995)
Pratt was a catcher in the National League for fourteen seasons, but he couldn’t have picked a worse one to be with the Cubs. The summer of 1995 is still considered the hottest summer in Chicago history. On July 13th and 14th, the two hottest days in the city’s hottest summer (106 degrees and 102 degrees), Todd Pratt caught all nine innings of both games. The second one was a day game. The Cubs lost both games.
~Mike Prendergast 1888 (Cubs 1916-1917)
He was on the Chicago Federal Whales roster the day Wrigley Field opened. He pitched well in the two seasons that the Federal League was around–well enough to be asked to stay when the Cubs took over the ballpark in 1916. In two seasons in a Cubs uniform, Prendergast won 9 and lost 17, but his real value to the Cubs came in the trade market. Prendergast and teammate Pickles Dillhoefer were traded to the Phillies for Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander and his catcher Bill Killefer.
~Tot Pressnell 1906 (Cubs 1941-1942)
His real name was Forest Charles Pressnell, but Forest’s brothers were much older, and people around his home town of Findlay Ohio knew Forest as the “tot” who always tagged along with his siblings. The nickname stuck to Forest for the remainder of his life. It was an ironic nickname in the majors, because Tot was a 31-year-old rookie for the Dodgers in 1938, and was a decent starting pitcher. He was traded to the Cubs before 1941, and turned into a reliever. Tot was a knuckleball pitcher, and like many knuckleballers, couldn’t find his control. After the ’42 season, at the age of 36, Tot went back to his crib in Ohio.
~Ray Prim 1906 (1945 Cubs)
Prim was nicknamed “Pop” by his Cubs teammates for good reason; he was nearly 39 years old when he pitched on the 1945 Cubs. Pop was a classic war time player. He had been out of the big leagues for quite awhile before the war began, and saw an opportunity to return when so many players were drafted into the military. He made the most of his opportunity. In 1945 he won 13 games and posted a sterling 2.40 ERA (best in the National League that season). Unfortunately, when all the big leaguers returned in 1946, Pop was put out to pasture. He passed away in 1995 at the age of 88.
~Don Prince 1938 (Cubs 1962)
Prince’s entire big league career consisted of exactly one inning pitched. He did it for the Cubs on September 21, 1962. The Cubs were playing the Mets at the Polo Grounds. Don faced four batters. He walked one, hit another one, and then faced future Cub Jim Hickman. Hickman grounded into a doulbe play. The last batter Prince faced was Sammy Drake. He was easily retired, and Prince escaped with a perfect lifetime 0.00 ERA.
~Mark Prior 1980 (Cubs 2002-2006)
Prior was considered the franchise. He was the second overall pick of the draft, and he pitched like it initially. He finished in the top ten in Rookie of the Year voting in 2002, and then put it all together in 2003. He won 18 games, struck out 245, and looked virtually unbeatable. He was on the mound during the infamous Steve Bartman moment, five outs away from securing the Cubs a spot in the World Series. We all know what happened then. Prior got hurt, and try as he might to rehab, other than occasional flashes of his old self, he became a middle-of-the-rotation starter. By 2006 his injuries were serious enough to require surgery, and Prior hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since. (Photo: Bazooka 2005 Baseball Card)
~Mike Proly 1950 (Cubs 1982-1983)
Proly pitched pretty well for some pretty bad Cubs teams. He won six games and saved two more in over 100 appearances with the Cubs. His ERA in 1982 was a very respectable 2.30. Proly also pitched for the White Sox, Phillies, and Cardinals. (Photo: 1983 Fleer Baseball Card)
~Ed Putman 1953 (Cubs 1976-1978)
Putnam was the third overall pick of the 1975 draft by the Cubs. It was a pretty weak draft. Of all the first rounders, only Bump Wills (chosen two picks later) had anything resembling a good big league career. Putman was a catcher/first baseman, and the USC product played in exactly 22 games for the Cubs over two seasons (1976, 1978). He laterhad a cup of coffee for the Detroit Tigers.
~Zach Putnam 1987 (Cubs 2013)
Putnam pitched for four teams in the big leagues, including the Cubs in 2013. His stint with the Cubs is probably not on his highlight reel. In five games he registered an ERA of 18.90. He has had a much better run on the south side of Chicago since leaving the Cubs.
~John Pyecha 1931 (Cubs 1954)
If you want to go back in time to see John pitch, set your wayback machine for April 24, 1954 and go to Cincinnati’s Crosley Field for his big league debut. He was brought in from the bullpen in the 7th inning with the Cubs down 3-2. The Cubs took the lead 5-3 and Pyecha was in line for his first career win. Unfortunately, the bottom of the ninth didn’t quite go the way he envisioned it. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and two runners on base, he gave up a walk-off three-run homer to Wally Post. He never pitched in the big leagues again
~Shadow Pyle 1861 (White Stockings 1887)
One of the all-time great names–Shadow Pyle–only appeared in four games for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings). Shadow Pyle (we just like saying the name) only won one of his four starts, and had terrible command–walking 21 batters in 26 innings. Shadow Pyle never pitched in the big leagues again. (As far as we know, he was not Gomer’s grandpappy).