~Dick Radatz 1937 (Cubs 1967)
Dick Radatz was power-pitching reliever, and a former fireman of the year. His towering presence and 95-mile-per-hour fastball made him baseball’s most dominant relief pitcher in the mid-1960s and earned him the unforgettable nickname of “The Monster” when he was with the Red Sox. He also pitched for Cleveland, but by the time the Indians sent him to the Cubs, he didn’t have much left. He had lost the movement on his fastball, tried to become a finesse pitcher, and just couldn’t do it. His ERA with the Cubs was 6.56. He pitched one season for them in ’67, and was released before the season in 1968.
~Dave Rader 1948 (Cubs 1978)
Rader was a Cub for only one season (1978), and he hit only .203 that season, but all three Cubs catchers in 1978 sported tremendous mustaches (the other two were Tim Blackwell and Larry Cox).That’s a feat that may never be replicated. Rader also caught for the Giants, Cardinals, Phillies and Red Sox in his big league career. (Photo: Topps 1979 Baseball Card)
~Ken Raffensberger 1917 (Cubs 1940-1941)
Ken was a versatile lefty for the Cubs in 1940, starting and relieving. He won 7 games and saved 3 more. The Cubs traded him to the Phillies during the war, and it was probably a miscalculation. Raffensberger became an all-star and pitched another 13 seasons in the big leagues for the Phillies and Reds.
~Pat Ragan 1885 (Cubs 1909)
Ragan had a couple of good seasons as a starting pitcher in the National League, winning 15 games one year for the Dodgers, and 17 games for the Braves another. He spent just a fraction of one season with the Cubs–his rookie season. Ragan appeared in two games as a reliever.
~Steve Rain 1975 (Cubs 1999-2000)
Rain pitched exclusively out of the bullpen for the Cubs in parts of two seasons–the entirety of his big league career. He won three games and posted an ERA of 5.46. He pitched in the minors for the Cubs and Brewers a few years after that but never made it back up to the show.
~Chuck Rainey 1954 (Cubs 1983-1984)
Rainey was a 14-game winner for the Cubs in 1983, by far his best season in the big leagues. He started the 1984 season with the Cubs too, but was traded in mid-season to Oakland for Davey Lopes. It turned out to Rainey’s final season in the big leagues.
~Brooks Raley 1988 (Cubs 2012–2013)
Raley came up through the Cubs system and got a cup of coffee in parts of two seasons, but didn’t have a lot of success. In 2012 he came up as a starter and was rocked. He gave up seven homers and 33 hits in only 26 innings. In 2013 he came up a reliever and didn’t fare well in that role either. He is no longer in the Cubs organization.
~Bob Ramazzotti 1917 (1949-1953)
The Cubs got him from the Dodgers in the 1949 season, and the oft-injured hard-luck scrapper played the next few seasons in Chicago as a backup infielder.
~Aramis Ramirez 1978 (Cubs 2003-2011)
The Cubs acquired Ramirez during the playoff push of 2003, and he paid off in a big way that season. He hit 4 homers and knocked in ten runs during the playoffs. He also became the best third baseman the Cubs have had since Ron Santo. He was a two-time all-star, won a Silver Slugger award, and hit more than 25 homers in seven of his seasons in Chicago. Unfortunately, he disappeared when the Cubs needed him most in the 2007 and 2008 playoffs. He was only 2 for 23 in those two series. He signed as a free agent with Milwaukee before the 2012 season. (Photo: Topps 2008 Baseball Card)
~Neil Ramirez 1989 (Cubs 2014-2016)
Ramirez was one of four players acquired by the Cubs in the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Rangers (along with Justin Grimm, Mike Olt, and CJ Edwards). Initally, Ramirez was the best of the bunch. He had a breakout season in 2014, when he appeared in 50 games, struck out 53 batters, and posted an ERA of 1.44. He suffered through arm problems in 2015, however, and wasn’t the same pitcher. By 2016 it became obvious that he might never regain his previous form. The Cubs waived him in May. He pitched for the Brewers and Twins the rest of 2016.
~Domingo Ramos 1958 (Cubs 1989-1990)
He was a backup infielder for the Yankees, Blue Jays, Mariners, Indians, and Angels before coming to the Cubs in 1989. But Ramos proved be an invaluable member of that division winning Cubs team in 1989. He got the most extensive playing time of his career that year, hitting .263 while backing up Shawon Dunston at shortstop and Vance Law at third. He had another good year the following season, but the Cubs opted not to sign him for 1991, so Domingo retired. (Photo: 1990 Upper Deck Baseball Card)
~Willie Ramsdell 1916 (Cubs 1952)
He was known as “Willie the Knuck” because he threw a knuckleball. In fact, it was his only pitch. Everyone knew he would be throwing it, but he threw it well enough to pitch in the big leagues until he was 36 years old. The Cubs were his last team (after stints with the Dodgers and Reds), and they used him out of the bullpen. Willie the Knuck was released in mid-season and finished his career pitching in the minors in California.
~Fernando Ramsey 1965 (Cubs 1992)
The Panamanian centerfielder was a speedster in the Cubs system, stealing over 30 bases in four different seasons, but he couldn’t steal first base. His lifetime minor league average of .262 was hardly inspiring. He got a cup of coffee with the Cubs in September of 1992 and hit only .120. He never got another shot at the big leagues.
~Newt Randall 1890 (Cubs 1907)
Newt had a very good minor league career, but didn’t get his shot at the big leagues until 1907. He earned a shot by having a great spring training in New Orleans that year, and came north with the defending National League champs. He was the only rookie on the team. On June 20th of that year, he was traded to Boston in a pretty unusual way. The two managers decided to trade their right fielders as they exchanged lineup cards at home plate. Newt was sent to the Boston dugout, and Del Howard came over to the Cubs. Newt finished the season in Boston, his only season in the big leagues.
~Lenny Randle 1949 (Cubs 1980)
Lenny was known as the guy who had punched his manager (Frank Lucchesi) in the face when the Cubs acquired him. They knew they were taking a chance, but Randle had a pretty good season with an incredibly bad Cubs team in 1980. He signed with the Mariners as a free agent the following year, and that’s where he did the other thing he is most remembered for doing–he got on his hands and knees and tried to blow a slow roller down the line into foul territory.
~Merritt Ranew 1938 (Cubs 1963-1964)
In 1963 he had the best year in his career with the Cubs. He got over 150 at bats backing up catcher Dick Bertell and responded by hitting an astounding .338, almost a hundred points above his lifetime average. He returned to Earth the following year, and never hit higher than .247 again. Ranew was traded to the Braves in 1964 for Len Gabrielson.
~Cody Ransom 1976 (Cubs 2013)
He had played for the Giants, Astros, Yankees, Phillies, Diamondbacks, Brewers and Padres before he came to the Cubs in 2013. Cody was the very definition of the well-travelled journeyman. He had good few months in Chicago hitting nine homers in only 158 at bats, before slumping and being released just before the season ended.
~Clay Rapada 1981 (Cubs 2007)
Rapada made his major league debut with the Cubs on June 14, 2007. The Cubs were facing the Seattle Mariners in an interleague game at Wrigley Field. Rapada was called in from the pen in the top of the eighth inning to face Raul Ibanez. The Mariners were up 4-3 at the time and there were runners on first and second. Rapada induced a harmless lineout to the right fielder, and was pulled for Bobby Howry. Ibanez was the only batter Rapada ever faced in a Cubs uniform. He was sent back down to the minors after the game, and was traded to the Tigers later that season for Craig Monroe. He has since pitched for the Rangers, Orioles, Yankees, and Indians.
~Dennis Rasmussen 1959 (Cubs 1992)
The 6’7″ lefty pitched for five teams in his 12-year big league career, including one month with the Cubs in the middle of the 1992 season. The Cubs picked up after the Orioles waived him, and gave him a few appearances to see if he could work out his problems. He couldn’t. His final Cubs ERA was over 10. Of course, lefthanders aren’t that easy to come by, so after the Cubs cut him the Royals gave him a shot too. He had a 1.43 ERA the rest of that season and pitched two more seasons for KC.
~Tommy Raub 1870 (Cubs 1903)
The jack-of-all-trades utility man played some catcher, first base, third base, and outfield for the Cubs in 1903; backing up the likes of Frank Chance and Johnny Kling. He hit .228 in 36 games.
~Bob Raudman 1942 (Cubs 1966-1967)
His Cubs teammates nicknamed him “Shorty” because Raudman was only 5’9″. He may have been short, but he was powerful. He hit 20 homers in the minors in 1966, which is the reason the Cubs called him up in September that year. They let him start eight games alongside Billy Williams and Adolpho Phillips, and Raudman performed pretty well. He made the opening day roster in 1967, but was sent down to the minors before the end of April. He came back up in September of that season for his last shot at the big leagues. Shorty hit only .154, and never made it back to the Show again. Despite his power in the minor leagues, Bob Raudman never managed to hit one out of the park in the majors. He became a professional motorcycle racer.
~Fred Raymer 1875 (Cubs 1901)
Raymer was a utility man for the Cubs, but his one season in Chicago didn’t yield such great results. Fred got lots of playing time, but didn’t get lots of hits. When the season was over, he was hitting only .233.
~Ronald Reagan 1911 (Cubs fan 1911-2004)
Reagan didn’t just grow up a Chicago Cubs fan. He owes much of his success to the team. Following college graduation, Reagan landed a job as a radio announcer at WOC in Davenport, Iowa and later at WHO in Des Moines. Radio was a brand new medium in those days and he discovered quickly that getting in on the ground floor was his ticket to the top. He began broadcasting Chicago Cubs baseball games he had never seen. His descriptions were largely improvised, and were based solely on telegraph accounts of games in progress. On June 7th, 1934, something dramatic happened. The telegraph went out. This is how Reagan described what happened next.
“There were several other stations broadcasting that game and I knew I’d lose my audience if I told them we’d lost our telegraph connections so I took a chance. I had (Billy) Jurges hit another foul. Then I had him foul one that only missed being a home run by a foot. I had him foul one back in the stands and took up some time describing the two lads that got in a fight over the ball. I kept on having him foul balls until I was setting a record for a ballplayer hitting successive foul balls and I was getting more than a little scared. Just then my operator started typing. When he passed me the paper I started to giggle – it said: ‘Jurges popped out on the first ball pitched.’”
Despite working in Iowa, he was voted as one of the top ten most popular baseball announcers in America. In 1937 his radio station sent him out to California to cover the Cubs in spring training. At that time they trained at Catalina Island. Reagan parlayed that trip into a screen test…and the rest, as they say, is history. One of his starring roles in his film career was playing Cubs great Grover Cleveland Alexander in “The Winning Team.” Reagan made one last stop at Wrigley Field the last year of his presidency (1988). He threw out the first pitch, and spent some time in the broadcast booth alongside Harry Caray.
Great behind the scenes video from WBBM newsradio on the day that Reagan came to Wrigley Field….
~Frank Reberger 1944 (Cubs 1968)
The tall righthander (6’5″) was nicknamed “Crane” by his teammates. He only appeared in three games for the Cubs as a rookie. The Padres selected him in the expansion draft the following spring, and he later pitched for San Diego and the Giants.
~Anthony Recker 1983 (Cubs 2012)
The Cubs acquired the catcher from Oakland at the end of 2012, but released him after the season. Recker caught on (no pun intended) with the Mets. He has served as their backup catcher ever since.
~Jeff Reed 1962 (Cubs 1999-2000)
Reed was a (primarily backup) catcher in the big leagues for 17 seasons, the last two of which were with the Cubs. During those two seasons he backed up Benito Santiago and Joe Girardi. He also caught for the Twins, Expos, Reds, Giants, and Rockies
~Phil Regan 1937 (Cubs 1968-1972)
Phil Regan wasn’t known as the Vulture until he was converted to a reliever by the Dodgers in 1966. He was given his nickname by Sandy Koufax for picking up (cheap) wins in short relief. He went 14-1 that year with a 1.62 ERA, and a National League leading 21 saves. That year he was named the Comeback Player of the Year and the Fireman of the Year. Regan became a Cub in April of 1968, picked up in one of the best trades the Cubs ever made. They got Regan and Jim Hickman in exchange for Jim Ellis and Ted Savage, neither of whom ever did much for the Dodgers, while Hickman had the best seasons of his ML career as a Cub, and Regan led the league with 12 relief wins and 25 saves in 1968. The Vulture was widely suspected of doctoring up the ball. In 1968 an umpire punished him for it, but Regan appealed to the league office, and the umpire was told that he shouldn’t have kicked him out of the game without solid evidence. That led umpires and opposing managers to have him searched countless times over the next few years. They never found a thing. Regan had a decent 1969 for the Cubs, but tired toward the end of the season, blowing leads in several key games. He pitched for the Cubs a few more years, but by 1972, he was done. (Photo: Topps 1970 Baseball Card)
The Vulture remembers his minor league days…
~Herman Reich 1917 (Cubs 1949)
Herman was the starting first baseman for the Cubs in 1949, and it’s safe to say they weren’t happy with his offensive production. In over 100 games played, he hit only three homers and drove in 34 runs. It was his only season in the big leagues.
~Hal Reilly 1894 (Cubs 1919)
Hal played exactly one game for the Cubs—on June 19, 1919. He played left field and batted seventh, going 0-3 against Brooklyn. Among his teammates that day; the infamous Fred Merkle, one of the greatest nicknames in the biz (Sweetbread Bailey), the pitcher accused of throwing a game (Claude Hendrix), and the goat of teh 1918 World Series (Max Flack). The Dodgers team that day featured Hall of Famer Zach Wheat. Reilly may have only played one game in the big leagues, but he had stories for the rest of his life.
~Josh Reilly 1868 (Colts 1896)
When he arrived in Chicago in 1896 from San Francisco, the Sporting News provided a little background information about the 27-year-old rookie, saying he had been “traded for a horse when he played in California some years ago.” Then, he created a new legend for himself right out of the box. In his first big league game he started a triple play. Though he started with a bang, he was more of a shooting star than anything. After eight games, Reilly contracted typhoid fever, and just like that, his big league career was over. He lived another forty-plus years, but he never played baseball again.
~Laurie Reis 1858 (Cubs 1877-1878)
Laurie was short for Laurence. The native Chicagoan pitched eight games for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) over two seasons, and all eight of them were complete games. To say he pitched in a different era is an understatement. Laurie gave up 42 runs in those eight starts, but only 16 of them we re earned.
~Ken Reitz 1951 (Cubs 1981)
Ken Reitz was an all-star third baseman and gold glover for the St. Louis Cardinals when the Cubs acquired him along with Leon Durham for future Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter before the 1981 season. After arriving in Chicago, Reitz promptly forgot how to hit (.215). The Cubs released him after only one season, and he was out of the big leagues altogether just one year later. But he did have a very respectable mustache. (Photo: 1982 Topps Baseball Card)
~Mike Remlinger 1966 (Cubs 2003-2005)
Jim Hendry was big believer in signing veteran relievers, and Remlinger was one of the guys he brought in to help put that 2003 team over the top. He was in his eleventh season in the big leagues (having already pitched for Atlanta, Cincinnati, the Mets and the Giants) when he joined the Cubs. Remlinger had a decent year, but the Cubs bullpen overall was very shaky during an otherwise impressive year. The following year Remlinger was hurt while sitting in his La-Z-Boy chair. True story. Remlinger’s other claim to fame may have been that he picked up (and kept) a portion of Sammy Sosa’s infamous broken corked bat as a souvenir. Remlinger was traded to the Red Sox in 2005. (Topps 2003 Baseball Card)
~Jack Remsen 1851 (White Stockings 1878-1879)
Remsen was an outfielder with the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) who did whatever he could to get on base. One year he led the league in walks (with 17). At the time, pitchers were throwing it underhand and it took nine balls to get a walk.
~Laddie Renfroe 1962 (Cubs 1991)
Laddie was a 29-year-old rookie when he got his cup of coffee with the Cubs in 1991. He lasted exactly two weeks that summer (7/3/91 to 7/17/91). His ERA was 13.50, and he was O-1. His son now plays in the Boston Red Sox minor league system.
~Steve Renko 1944 (Cubs 1976-1977)
The Cubs paid a high price indeed to acquire Renko (and Larry Biitner). They gave up their slugging first baseman Andre Thornton. Thornton went on to become an all-star, while Renko won 10 games over two seasons. He was traded to the White Sox in 1977. (Photo: Topps 1977 Baseball Card)
~Rick Renteria 1961 (Cubs manager 2014)
Renteria was brought aboard to manage the Cubs in 2014 because he was renowned for working well with young and Hispanic players and the Cubs had a roster full of them. He actually did a pretty good job for the Cubs, and got career years out of Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, but it was his misfortune to be the manager when a better manager became available. The Cubs hired Joe Madden for the 2015 season, and said farewell to Ricky after only one year.
~Michael Restovich 1979 (Outfield, Cubs 2006)
He played six big league seasons (2002-2007), but only one year with the Cubs, and only got 12 at bats.
~Ed Reulbach 1882 (Cubs 1905-1913)
Big Ed Reulbach was one of the best players on the Cubs during their dynasty in the first decade of the 20th century. He had double digit wins every season with the Cubs, including 24 wins in 1908. And he was clutch. Big Ed pitched a one-hitter in the 1906 World Series, and pitched two shutouts in one day Sept 26, 1908 (three days after the Merkle boner game). Some say he is one of the best pitchers of all-time not to make the Hall of Fame. (His career ERA was 2.28 in more than 2600 innings pitched). The Cubs eventually traded him in the middle of the 1913 season, and he retired in 1917. During his playing days, Reulbach was always overshadowed by the other great pitchers on the Cubs (like Mordecai Brown and Orval Overall), but he was also overshadowed in death. He died on the same day as Ty Cobb (July 17, 1961).
~Paul Reuschel 1947 (Cubs 1975-1977)
When he was called up to the Cubs in 1975, his little brother Rick was already the ace of the staff. Rick was a starting pitcher, but Paul was used almost exclusively out of the bullpen (he started two games for the Cubs in 1976). The highlight of his career was undoubtedly August 21, 1975, during his rookie season. Brother Rick pitched a shutout for 6 1/3 innings before tiring, and Paul was brought in to finish off the Dodgers. He pitched the last 2 and 2/3 innings, and also didn’t allow a single run. The Cubs won the game 7-0. The Reuschel brothers remain the only siblings in Major League history to combine for a shutout. (Photo: Topps 1978 Baseball Card) While this baseball card was in the stores in 1978, Reuschel was traded to the Cleveland Indians, where he pitched the final seasons of his career.
This video is probably not Paul Reuschel’s highlight reel. He gave up the 4th homer of the game to Mike Schmidt at Wrigley Field…
~Rick Reuschel 1949 (Cubs 1972-1981, 1983-1984)
His real name was Rick Reuschel, but to his teammates he was Big Daddy. The nickname obviously had nothing to do with the Adam Sandler movie (because it didn’t come out until many years after he retired), and it had nothing to do with the Burl Ives character in the movie “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” because that came out fourteen years before his Cubs debut in 1972. He was dubbed Big Daddy by teammate Mike Krukow, because at 6’3″, 235 pounds, he didn’t much look like someone who could pass for a professional athlete, let alone be one. For the decade of the 1970s, Rick Reuschel was the best pitcher on the Cubs. He got 135 of his 214 career wins for Chicago, which is the second highest win total of any Cubs pitcher since World War II (behind only Fergie Jenkins). Big Daddy won 10 or more games for nine years in a row (1972-1980), and on August 21, 1975, he and his brother Paul became the first brothers to combine on a major league shutout. After an injury plagued stint with the Yankees, the Cubs re-signed him, and he pitched for them again in ’83 and ’84. Unfortunately, they let him go because they thought he was done. He wasn’t. He won 70 more games for the Pirates and Giants over the next seven seasons. (Photo: Topps 1976 Baseball Card)
~Jose Reyes 1983 (Cubs 2006)
Not to be confused with the stud infielder Jose Reyes (Mets, Marlins, Blue Jays), this Jose Reyes was a catcher who got a cup of coffee with the Cubs at the end of the 2006 season. He batted five times and struck out three of those times. He also got 2 RBI with his only big league hit. He was signed by the Mets the following year but never made it up to their big league club.
~Archie Reynolds 1946 (Pitcher, Cubs 1968-70)
Pitched in parts of three seasons for the Cubs, but didn’t get significant time in any of those seasons. Later pitched for Angels and Brewers.
~Carl Reynolds 1903 (Cubs 1937-1939)
He was a ten-year veteran of the big leagues when he joined the Cubs in 1937, and claimed a starting outfield spot on the 1938 pennant winners. But in the World Series he came up to bat thirteen times and only got on base once (via walk). He went back to fourth outfielder in 1939–his last season in the big leagues. (1933 Goudy Baseball Card)
~Bob Rhoads 1879 (Orphans 1902)
Like every other baseball player with the last name of Rhoads, Bob was nicknamed “Dusty”. He was a 22-year-old rookie with the Cubs (then known as the Orphans) and started 16 games for them in 1902. That team had six players who would eventually go on to win the World Series for the Cubs (Tinker, Evers, Chance, Slagle, Kling, and Lundgren). The Cubs traded Dusty to the Cardinals the following April and he pitched eight more seasons in the big leagues. His best years were with Cleveland, where he became a 20-game winner.
~Tuffy Rhodes 1968 (Cubs 1993-1995)
In 1994, the Cubs had a memorable home opener against the New York Mets. A little known player named Tuffy Rhodes hit three homers that day to power the Cubs to a victory. Cubs fans had delusions of grandeur after that game, but Tuffy hit only five more homers the rest of the season. 1994 was also the year that Major League Baseball canceled the World Series because the players were on strike. Not that the Cubs would have had a shot at winning it. When the league shut it down for the year in August, the Cubs were 15 games under .500 and 16 1/2 games out of first place. Tuffy left the Cubs the following season. He eventually played in Japan, where he finally realized his full potential. In 2001 he tied the Japanese League record for most home runs in a season, a record held by the immortal Sadaharu Oh since 1964. Tuffy easily could have broken the record, but after he tied Oh, Japanese pitchers intentionally walked him the rest of the year.
That Tuffy Rhodes game is actually a part of the Wrigleyville murder mystery “Lost in the Ivy” by Randy Richardson, available in the Just One Bad Century store…
~Del Rice 1922 (Cubs 1960)
Rice was a big league catcher for 17 seasons, including an all-star season with the Cardinals in 1953, and two championship seasons (Cardinals 1946, Braves 1957). By the time he came to the Cubs he was strictly a backup. He hit .231 in limited opportunities. Rice went into coaching after his playing days were over, culminating in one season at the helm of the Angels in 1977
~Hal Rice 1924 (Cubs 1954)
Hal’s nickname was “Hoot” and he was an outfielder and pinch hitter for seven big league seasons, including his last one with the Cubs. He was probably best known as Stan Musial’s backup in St. Louis, and as you might imagine, didn’t get a lot of playing time in that capacity. The Cubs brought him aboard to pinch hit, but when you hit only .153, it’s usually enough to end your career. That’s what happened to “Hoot” in Chicago.
~Len Rice 1918 (Cubs 1944-1945)
Len was one of the backup catchers on the last Cubs team to win the pennant. He appeared in 32 games that season, and hit .232 in just over a hundred plate appearances. When the regulars came back from the war, Rice’s time in the big leagues was up. He played another four years in the minors before retiring from baseball.
~Clayton Richard 1983 (Cubs 2015-2016)
The former White Sox wunderkind arrived from the Pirates during the summer of 2015. At first it was thought he could fill the fifth starter role, but he eventually emerged as an important lefthander out of the Cubs bullpen. He was a part of the postseason roster, and pitched in six postseason games without allowing a run. The Cubs re-signed him after the playoffs, but 2016 was not a good year for Clayton. He suffered an injury, struggled when he returned, and was released by the Cubs in August. He finished the 2016 season with the Padres.
~Fred Richards 1927 (Cubs 1951)
His teammates called him “Fuzzy”. The 23-year-old first baseman played the last two weeks of the 1951 season and batted .296 with four RBI, but that was the extent of his big league career. He played in the minors for another eleven years.
~Randy Richardson (Cubs fan since the late 60s/Cubs author)
Randy really proved his Cubs cred when he wrote the Wrigleyville murder mystery Lost in the Ivy (which is available in the Just One Bad Century store), and he continues to prove it as a regular contributor at Wrigleyville Nation. Of course, Randy is much more than a Cubs-lover. He’s an attorney and award-winning journalist, and a founding member and first president of the Chicago Writers Association. His essays have been published in the anthologies Chicken Soup for the Father and Son Soul, Humor for a Boomer’s Heart, The Big Book of Christmas Joy, and Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year, as well as in numerous print and online journals and magazines. His second novel, Cheeseland, came from Eckhartz Press in 2012.
~Lance Richbourg 1897 (Cubs 1932)
Richbourg (photo) was a backup outfielder on the 1932 pennant winning Cubs. It was the last season of his eight-year big league career (spent mostly in Boston). He was 34 years old at the time, and backed up all three starting outfielders: Kiki Cuyler, Johnny Moore and Riggs Stephenson.
~Lew Richie 1883 (Cubs 1910-1913)
Richie was a starting pitcher in the big leagues for eight seasons, but he had the best two seasons of his career with the Cubs. He won 15 games and 16 games in 1912 & 1913. Nine of his teammates were veterans of the last Cubs world champs.
~Beryl Richmond 1907 (Cubs 1933)
Beryl was a lefthander who worked out of the bullpen for the 1933 Cubs. He was a 25-year-old rookie who gave up a lot of hits. He pitched briefly for the Reds the following season, and then finished up his career in the minor leagues. Some of his minor league seasons were legendarily bad. For instance in 1935, he won 3 games and lost 18.
~Reggie Richter 1888 (Cubs 1911)
Reggie (real first name–Emil) was born in Dusseldorf, Germany and came over to America around the turn of the century. Reggie was a pitcher who worked mostly out of the bullpen for one big league season. He pitched a few more years in the minors before hanging up his spikes at the age of 27. Richter passed away in Winfield, Illinois at the age of 45.
~Marv Rickert 1926 (Cubs 1942-1947)
His teammates called him “Twitch”. He began his career with the Cubs, served in the Coast Guard during the war for three years, and then came back to play two more seasons in Chicago. He later played with the Reds, Braves (including in the World Series), Pirates, and White Sox. Twitch had two memorable Cubs moments, one good and one not so good. In spring training in 1946, he tried to steal second base…with the bases loaded. He attoned for that miscue later that year when he and Eddie Waitkus hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs.
~The Ricketts Family (Cubs owner 2009-present)
Tom is the main owner, and was the one who got to hold up the 2016 World Series trophy. But his siblings are also part of the team. One of them, little brother Todd, was once on the show “Undercover Boss”…
~Jim Riggleman 1952 (Cubs manager 1995-1999)
Riggleman came to the Cubs from San Diego, where he had led the hapless Padres to several last place finishes. The Cubs must have seen something in him, despite that record, because they handed the managing reigns to him. In his 4+ seasons with the Cubs he had some bright spots (the 1998 wild card season), and so low-lows (the 0-14 start in 1997). He was fired in 1999 after the Cubs finished in last place yet again.
~George Riley 1956 (Cubs 1979-1980)
The lefty came up with the Cubs but didn’t pitch well. His ERA over two seasons was over five. He later pitched for the Giants and Expos.
~Allen Ripley 1952 (Cubs 1982)
Ripley was a starting pitcher for a few seasons in the late 70s and early 80s. His last season in the big leagues was with the Cubs. The righthander went 5-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 19 starts. He also pitched for the Red Sox and the Giants.
~Rene Rivera 1983 (Cubs 2017)
The Cubs picked up the veteran backstop in August when they needed some veteran help. He filled in admirably for the injured Willson Contreras. The 34-year-old also had some big hits, including a grand slam to win a game. After the season he was granted his free agency.
~Roberto Rivera 1969 (Pitcher, 1995 Cubs)
He was a September call up for the Cubs, but also later pitched out of the bullpen for the Padres.
~Anthony Rizzo 1989 (Cubs 2012-Present)
Rizzo was one of the first young studs acquired by new Cubs president Theo Epstein after taking over the Cubs. The very highly regarded prospect had been drafted by Epsetin and company in Boston, and was acquired from Jed Hoyer’s previous team San Diego for Cubs prospect Andrew Cashner. He burst onto the scene in the middle of 2012 and hit 15 homers the last few months of the season. In 2013, he regressed a bit, and only hit .233 with 23 homers. But in 2014, he bounced back with an all-star season, and followed that up with an all-world 2015, leading the Cubs to the NLCS. He slugged 31 homers and drove 101, was named an all-star, and finished fourth in the MVP voting. In 2016 he carried the Cubs to a World Series championship. He set career highs in average, homers, and RBI, won a Silver Slugger Award, and his first Gold Glove. In fact, he won the Platinum Glove award for being the best defensive player in the National League. He followed up that incredible 2016 season with another stellar year in 2017. Rizzo slugged 32 homers, drove in 109, scored 99, and walked more often than he struck out (91BB, 90K). After leading the team in RBI in the NLDS, he was ineffective in the NLCS, going only 1 for 17. (Photo: Topps Retro Baseball Card)
~Donn Roach 1989 (Cubs 2015)
Roach was called up on June 27, 2015 for an emergency start against the Cardinals in St. Louis. It didn’t go well. He gave eight hits in 3.1 innings and posted a 10.80 ERA. The Cubs sent him back down to Iowa after the game, and released him a few weeks later.
~Mel Roach 1933 (Cubs 1961)
Roach played eight years in the big leagues, including part of the 1961 season with the Cubs. He missed two full seasons of his prime baseball years because he was serving in the military.
~Skel Roach 1871 (Orphans 1899)
Roach was born in Germany, and if his name doesn’t sound German to you, there’s a good reason for that. His given name was Rudolf Weichbrodt. His teammates in semi-pro baseball couldn’t (or didn’t want to) pronounce his name. His manager thought he was skinny, so he called him Skeleton (or Skel for short). Another teammate gave him his last name Roach. Thereafter he went by Skel Roach. He only pitched one big league game, filling in for injured HOFer Clark Griffith. He won the game, but couldn’t come to contract terms with Chicago to stay with the team. He never got another chance.
~Fred Roat 1867 (Colts 1892)
Fred was such an obscure player for the Cubs (then known as the Colts), that there’s not even a record of whether he batted right or left-handed. He played second base for eight games and hit .194. After his short stint in the big leagues, he played another eleven seasons in the minors.
~Kevin Roberson 1968 (Cubs 1993-1995)
In his rookie year of 1993, Roberson did get a fair amount of playing time (180 at bats) and did deliver some power (9hrs, 27RBI), but his lifetime batting average was .197. (Photo: Topps 1994 Baseball Card)
~Dave Roberts (Cubs 1978)
How can you tell the difference between the utility man Dave Roberts who played for the Padres, Rangers, Astros and Phillies during the same era (the 70s), and our Dave Roberts, the pitcher? Simple. Our Dave Roberts had the courage to grow a big bushy mustache. Roberts got knocked around pretty good during his year with the Cubs (1978), but he also won a World Series championship the following year with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Roberts is in the top five of several career categories for Jewish pitchers, behind only the likes of Sandy Koufax, Ken Holtzman, and Steve Stone. His other claim to fame was giving up the very last hit and RBI of Hank Aaron’s career.
~Robin Roberts 1926 (Cubs 1966)
He is a Hall of Famer, a seven time all-star, a six-time 20 game winner, a man that led his team to the pennant as a 23-year-old, made the cover of Time Magazine, and ended up with 286 career wins. Roberts led the league in wins 4 times, strikeouts twice, and complete games five times. Of course, none of that happened during his short stint with the Cubs. The Cubs thought they should give him one last chance. Unfortunately, he was the oldest player in the majors (39) when he was picked up by the Cubs in 1966, and he didn’t have anything left in the tank. The head and heart were willing, but the arm wasn’t. In his nine starts with the Cubs, his ERA was over 6, and he gave up 8 home runs. Those just added to his record setting total. Roberts has given up more home runs than any other pitcher in history. One of his teammates on the 1966 Cubs is now second place on the all-time home run list: Ferguson Jenkins. The Cubs released Roberts after the season, on October 4, 1966. He never played in the majors again. (Photo: Baseball card created by Cardsthatneverwere.blogspot.com)
~Daryl Robertson 1936 (Cubs 1962)
Daryl got a very brief trial with the Cubs in 1962 during the College of Coaches era. He came to the Cubs in the Moe Drabowsky trade, and got into nine games in May of 1962. In 19 at bats, he managed only two hits. That was his only shot at the big leagues. The Cubs traded him to the Cardinals in June, and they kept him in the minor leagues. Daryl may not have had a long big league career, but he did play alongside three Hall of Famers: Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Billy Williams.
~Dave Robertson 1889 (Cubs 1919-1921)
The Cubs got Robertson from the Giants in exchange for troubled starting pitcher Shufflin’ Phil Douglas. Robertson became their starting leftfielder in 1920, and hit .300 with 50 extra base hits and 17 stolen bases. The Cubs sold high. They traded him to the Pirates the following season. He was out of baseball by 1923.
~Don Robertson 1930 (Cubs 1954)
The local boy (Thornton High School in Harvey) played with the Cubs the first month of the 1954 season, along with fellow rookies Ernie Banks and Gene Baker. Unlike his two teammates, Don didn’t last. He was used mainly as a pinch runner, appearing in 14 games. He played a grand total of nine innings in right field, and made one putout. He batted six times, and didn’t get a hit. It was his only taste of the big leagues.
~Jeff Robinson 1960 (Cubs 1992)
Jeff pitched nine years in the big leagues, mostly as a reliever, although he did occasionally start. His final season was with the Cubs. He won four games and saved another in 49 appearances. Robinson also pitched for the Giants, Pirates, Yankees, and Angels.
~Norman Rockwell 1893 (Cubs cover 1948)
How bad were the Cubs in 1948? They finished in last place, 27 ½ games out of first place. Their hitting was atrocious (fewest home runs, fewest walks), their pitching staff was brutal (fewest shutouts, second most walks), their speed was non-existent (fewest stolen bases), and their fielding was embarrassing (second worst in the league). It must have been tough to watch, even for cheerful Jolly Cholly Grimm, the team’s manager that year. That must have been what inspired this cover from artist Norman Rockwell on the September 4, 1948 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. The Cubs manager, the one in the middle who looks like his wife just left him, bears a remarkable likeness to Charlie Grimm.
~Andre Rodgers 1934 (Cubs 1961-1964)
Andre was the first player from the Bahamas to play in the big leagues. He was a great cricket player in his homeland who heard about baseball and came to America to give it a shot. It took him a few years to make it, but the talented athlete eventually played for the Giants, Cubs, and Pirates over an 11-year career. With the Cubs he took over the shortstop job when Ernie Banks was moved to first base. He and Ken Hubbs made a great double play combination. In 1962 they set a record (along with 1B Ernie) for most double plays in a season. His best year with the bat was probably his final year in a Cubs uniform, when Andre hit 12 homers. The Cubs traded him to the Pirates after the season because they had another shortstop in the pipeline ready to take over–Don Kessinger. (Photo: Topps 1964 Baseball Card)
~Fernando Rodney 1977 (Cubs 2015)
The Cubs picked up the former all-star closer from Seattle at the end of August to augment their bullpen for the playoff run. Though clearly on the downside of his career, Rodney did provide a few important bullpen innings for them, and posted a sterling 0.75 ERA in the last month of the season. In the playoffs it didn’t go quite as well. He was one of four Cubs pitchers to serve up a long ball to Daniel Murphy of the Mets in the NLCS.
~Freddy Rodriguez 1924 (Cubs 1958)
Poor Freddy. Somewhere along the way he got on Mike Royko’s bad side. Every year in the 60s and 70s, Royko would print a Cubs Quiz making fun of some of the lesser Cubs of his lifetime, and Freddy was nearly always featured. Royko liked to say that Freddy was undefeated as a rookie, which was true, but he followed that up with a notation that Freddy also didn’t win a single game, which was also true. Freddy was a Cub in April and May of 1958. His ERA was bad (over 7), but he saved two games before the Cubs cut him loose. In fairness to Rodriguez, the Cuban right-hander was a 33-year-old rookie who had pitched 18 seasons in the minors. Surely the team didn’t expect a lot from him.
~Henry Rodriguez 1967 (Cubs 1998-2000)
At the turn of last century, an insane asylum was located just past the left field fence at the Cubs old ballpark; West Side Grounds. The asylum patients would literally scream crazy things out of open windows during the game. Thanks to that odd auditory ambiance at West Side Grounds, the phrase “that came out of left field” was coined. True story. 80 years later, unfortunately, the Cubs began to take the phrase literally. Between Gary Matthews who started in left field for three years in the mid-80s and Henry Rodriguez who started in left a few seasons in a row beginning 1998, the Cubs had more left fielders than anyone in baseball. During that 13 year stretch, 13 different men manned the position on Opening Day. Henry started in 1998, 1999, and 2000, and became a fan favorite. The leftfield bleacher bums would throw “Oh Henry” bars at him when he returned to his position after hitting a homer. He hit 75 of them in his three seasons in Chicago. The Cubs traded him to the Marlins for Ross Gload. (Photo: Fleer 2000 Baseball Card)
~Henry Rodriguez 1987 (Cubs 2013)
Not to be confused with the Henry Rodriguez who played left field for the Cubs in the late 90s, this Henry Rodriguez (no relation) is a pitcher with a dynamite fastball. Unfortunately, he can’t control it. In his five big league seasons (through 2013), he has 36 wild pitches in only 148 innings pitched. He signed with the Miami Marlins in 2014.
~Roberto Rodriguez 1941 (Cubs 1970)
The Venezuelan was one of the relievers in a very shaky Cubs bullpen in 1970. He saved two games for the Cubs, but he was routinely rocked. His final ERA for the season was 5.82. The Cubs tried to convert him into a starter in the minors the next season, and he stayed in their system for the next four years. He never made it back to the big leagues.
~Billy Rogell 1904 (Cubs 1940)
The local boy (Fenger High School) played thirteen big league seasons for the Red Sox and Tigers before he finally got his chance to play for his hometown Cubs. He had been the starting shortstop of the Tigers team that beat the Cubs in the 1935 World Series. Billy was known as a slick fielder–he led the league in assists, putouts, doubleplays, and fielding percentage in the American League. With the Cubs he was the backup to Billy Herman, Bobby Mattick, and Stan Hack. It was his final season in the big leagues.
~Jesse Rogers (Cubs reporter)
Jesse got his start in radio as a producer during the early days of the Score (WSCR), but moved over to ESPN radio (AM 1000) and has become a respected reporter. He currently serves as the Cubs beat reporter for both ESPN radio and ESPNChicago.com and consistently provides excellent and informative reports.
~Dan Rohn 1956 (Cubs 1983-1984)
He was a mostly used as a pinch hitter, and in his rookie season of 1983 he was a pretty good one, hitting .387.
~Mel Rojas 1966 (Cubs 1997)
The Cubs signed Mel to be their closer after back-to-back 30 save seasons for the Expos. Something must have happened to him on the flight from Montreal to Chicago because he was lit up as the Cubs closer. Rojas gave up 11 homers and contributed greatly to the 0-14 start that year. He was so bad that the Cubs traded him before the season was over to the Mets in a bad contract for bad contract trade. And they considered themselves lucky. Possibly the worst free agent signing in Cubs history.
~Hector Rondon 1988 (Cubs 2013-2017)
The Venezuelan was a Rule 5 pick for the Cubs, and made their opening day roster in 2013. He pitched in 45 games for a team that people simply stopped watching. In 2014 he became the team’s closer after Jose Veras couldn’t handle the job and Hector saved 29 games. He followed that up with a 30-save season in 2015. Around the trade deadline in 2016, the Cubs thought they needed a bullpen upgrade, so they traded for Aroldis Chapman and moved Hector into the set up role. He never really thrived there. First he suffered an injury, and when he returned, he never could quite put it all together. He pitched in the World Series for the Cubs, but unfortunately surrendered a home run. Hector had a very uneven 2017, and by the time the playoffs arrived, his manager didn’t have much faith in him. Rondon surrendered two homers in the NLCS including a crucial shot in Game 1 that led to the Cubs loss. After the season the Cubs let him go. He signed with the Astros.
~Rolando Roomes 1962 (Cubs 1988)
Rolando was born and raised in Jamaica, and it took him quite awhile before he got his cup of coffee (16 at bats) with the 1988 Cubs. He was 26 years old at the time. The Cubs traded him to the Reds for Lloyd McClendon after the season. While McClendon was an important part of the 1989 division winning Cubs, Roomes was out of baseball by 1990.
~Charley Root 1899 (Cubs 1926-1941)
In 1969 he was named the all-time greatest Cubs righthander, but despite all his accomplishments, he’ll always be most remembered for something that never happened…Babe Ruth’s called shot during the 1932 World Series. Root always denied that Ruth really did it. “He was just saying he had one strike left,” Root insisted. The man that gave up the supposed “called shot” had a reputation as a headhunter, which is why it’s doubtful Ruth actually called the shot. How much of a headhunter was he? One time Charley was hit in the elbow by another pitcher (Adolpho Lugue). When he got back to the mound, he knocked down all nine guys on Lugue’s team. One after another, bang, bang, bang. He was going to keep going but the umpire finally stepped in after he got every guy once. How much of a headhunter was he? His nickname was “Chinski” because he wasn’t afraid to throw the ball right at your chin. Root pitched in four different World Series for the Cubs, but never won a post season game (0-3, 6.75 ERA in the WS). He did, however, win over 200 games for the Cubs (the only pitcher who ever did). When he retired in 1941, he was given a station wagon, a desk clock, a casting rod, $50 in gas coupons, and a live pig.
Charlie’s daughter talks about the called shot…
~Dave Rosello 1950 (Cubs 1972-1977)
The Cubs really thought Dave Rosello was their shortstop of the future when they traded away fan favorite Don Kessinger to open the position for him. Unfortunately, Rosello didn’t quite live up to expectations. His fielding left a lot to be desired (he made 12 errors in only 80 plus games), and hit only .242 with no power at all. The Cubs had seen enough. The next season, they acquired Ivan DeJesus to take his place.
~David Ross 1977 (Cubs 2015)
Ross was in his 14th big league season when he was acquired by the Cubs. He had previously caught for the Dodgers, Pirates, Padres, Reds, Braves and Red Sox. The Cubs mainly got him because of his relationship with their new ace pitcher Jon Lester. Ross had served as Lester’s personal catcher in Boston. He didn’t hit well for the Cubs, but he did provide an important veteran voice in the clubhouse, and was one of the team’s undisputed leaders. He even pitched in a few blowouts, posting a perfect ERA. In 2016, Grandpa Rossy, as he was known by his teammates, announced that this would be his last season. He made the most of it, slugging ten homers, catching a no-hitter (by Jake Arietta), and winning the World Series. His teammates seemed to dedicate that World Series win to Ross–easily the most popular player in the Cubs clubhouse.
~Gary Ross 1947 (Cubs 1968-1969)
Ross came up to the big leagues with the Cubs, and contributed as a member of the bullpen for parts of two seasons. He was traded to the Padres along with Joe Niekro in the Dick Selma trade, and pitched another eight seasons in the majors. Unfortunately for Ross, he pitched for some truly bad teams (Padres and Angels), and ended his career with a 25-47 record. One year with the Angels (1976), he pitched 225 innings with a 3.00 ERA, and finished with an 8-16 record.
~Zac Rosscup 1985 (Cubs 2013-2015, 2017)
Rosscup has had a couple of shots in the big leagues with the Cubs as a situational lefty. In 2013 it went pretty well in ten appearances. In 2014, not so much. He posted an ERA of nearly 10 in 18 appearances. The Cubs kept the lefty for the 2015 season, and used him a bit more often (33 games), and he responded with an ERA of 4.39. His last cup of coffee with the Cubs came in 2017 when he pitched 2/3 of an inning. The Cubs traded him to Colorado in June.
~Jack Rowan 1886 (Cubs 1911)
Rowan pitched in the big leagues for seven seasons, but only made one appearance for the Cubs in 1911. He gave up four runs in two innings and was released. Rowan’s claim to fame is that he pitched nearly 700 innings in the big leagues and only gave up eight home runs.
~Wade Rowdon 1960 (Cubs 1987)
Rowdon was a backup third baseman who played only eleven games for the Cubs in 1987. He hit .226 in 34 plate appearances. Before being called up to the big league club, he hit homers in four consecutive at bats for Iowa.
~Dave Rowe 1854 (White Stockings 1877)
Rowe eventually played seven years of big league baseball, but it all began with his stint in Chicago. He played in exactly two games in the outfield for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings), and batted seven times (two singles). He also pitched one inning of one of those games. The 5’9″ righthander gave up two runs–for an ERA of 18. His brother Jack also played in the bigs, although never with the Cubs.
~Henry Rowengartner (Fictional Cub Character 1993)
Henry was a 12-year old boy who became a big leaguer in the film “Rookie of the Year” and took the Cubs to the fictional championship. The character was played by Thomas Ian Nicholas, but other stars of the movie included Daniel Stern, John Candy, and Gary Busey.
~Luther Roy 1902 (Cubs 1927)
Roy was a reliever for the 1927 Cubs, and pitched pretty well in his limited appearances with the club. He also pitched for the Indians, Phillies and Dodgers in his four year big league career.
~Mike Royko 1932 (Cubs fan 1932-1997)
Few Chicagoans were more closely associated with the Chicago Cubs than Mike Royko. As a columnist for the Daily News, The Chicago Sun Times, and the Chicago Tribune, he often wrote about his favorite team; bleeding Cubbie blue right onto the page. Other than a brief period when he became a Sox fan to protest the grotesque buffoonery of Dave Kingman, (one year–1980–he swore his allegiance on Bill Veeck’s wooden leg), Mike Royko was a Cubs fan from cradle to grave. On October 25, 1972, the day that Jackie Robinson died, Royko recalled witnessing Jackie’s first game at Wrigley Field. He was merely a boy then, but his recollections were chilling. Here’s a brief taste of that column…
“Robinson played first, and early in the game a Cub star hit a grounder and it was a close play. Just before the Cub reached first, he swerved to his left. And as he got to the bag, he seemed to slam his foot down hard at Robinson’s foot. It was obvious to everyone that he was trying to run into him or spike him. Robinson took the throw and got clear at the last instant. I was shocked. That Cub, a hometown boy, was my biggest hero.”
But Royko also got a souvenir that day…
“Late in the game, Robinson was up again, and he hit another foul ball. This time it came into the stands low and fast, in our direction. Somebody in the seats grabbed for it, but it caromed off his hand and kept coming. There was a flurry of arms as the ball kept bouncing, and suddenly it was between me and my pal. We both grabbed. I had a baseball.”
He sold it for $10. How did the die-hard Cub fan feel about the 1969 Cubs?
“New York didn’t need that 1969 pennant…all Cub fans wanted was that one measly pennant. It would have kept us happy until the twenty-first century. But New York took that from us and I can never forgive that.”
In 1984, when the Cubs needed to win only one more game in San Diego to clinch their first pennant since World War II, Royko taunted the Padres and their fans in his column. Needless to say, that didn’t work out so well. Yet he remained a die-hard fan. After Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray had a heart attack in the late 1980s, Rokyo took a turn in the team’s booth as guest announcer. He constantly tracked the team and everything associated with them. Just prior to the 1990 World Series he wrote about the findings of another fan, Ron Berler, who had discovered a correlation called the “Ex-Cubs Factor”. He predicted that the heavily-favored Oakland Athletics would lose the Series to the Cincinnati Reds. The accuracy of that unlikely prediction, in stunning fashion (four game sweep) propelled the Ex-Cubs Factor theory into the spotlight. Royko is often associated with that theory because he helped popularize it. (By the way, it was proven incorrect by the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks) His last column in the Chicago Tribune appeared in March 1997, a month before his death. His memorial service was held at the only fitting place for such an event; a sunny day in Wrigley Field.
AUDIO: Royko explains what it means to be a Cubs fan…
~Vic Roznovsky 1938 (Cubs 1964-1965)
Vic was a backup catcher for the Cubs for two seasons on two very bad teams. Just as they were showing signs of turning the corner, Vic was traded to the Orioles. His first year with Baltimore, they went to the World Series.
~Jacob Rubenstein 1911 (Cubs fan 1911-1967)
Cub fan Jacob Rubenstein was one of eight children of Jewish parents who had immigrated from Poland. He didn’t have a happy childhood. His parents divorced when he was 11. By the time he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental institution, and he was on his own. Despite his hardscrabble life, Jacob followed the Cubs. In fact, they brought him his first real chance at earning a living. Jack made it through eighth grade, then “found himself on Chicago streets attempting to provide for himself and other members of his family,” as a famous government report put it. He earned money by scalping tickets to sporting events and by selling sports-related novelties, such as Cubs banners. He remained in Chicago until 1947. During his years as a Cubs fan/entrepreneur, the Cubs appeared in six World Series. But Jacob isn’t really known for his days in Chicago. He’s better known for his days in Dallas, Texas, and for one particular day at that; the day after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. That famous government report was called “The Warren Commission Report” and by the time he was mentioned in it, Jacob Rubenstein was known the world over by the name he adopted in adulthood; Jack Ruby.
~Dutch Rudolph 1882 (Cubs 1904)
Dutch played in exactly two games for the Cubs in July of 1904. He went 1 for 3, and played right field. His only other cup of coffee came the previous season with the Philadelphia Phillies.
~Ken Rudolph 1946 (Cubs 1969-1973)
Ken served as the backup catcher to Randy Hundley for several seasons, beginning with the memorable 1969 season. He was only 22 years old when he broke camp with the Cubs that year. His best season in a Cubs uniform was probably 1973. He appeared in 64 games for the Cubs that year, although he hit only .206. Ken was traded to the Giants during spring training of 1974. He later also played for the Cardinals and Orioles. (Photo: Topps 1970 Baseball Card)
~Dutch Ruether 1893 (Cubs 1917)
He was just a rookie pitcher when the Cubs sold him to the Reds. How could they have known that he would go on to win over 130 major league games (three seasons were great 21, 19, and 18 wins), and lead two teams to the World Series (1919 Reds and 1926 Yankees). He won a game in the 1919 World Series for the Reds, but then again, the White Sox threw that series. After his playing career ended, Dutch came back to the Cubs and worked for them as a scout. Among the players he signed; Peanuts Lowrey and Joey Amalfitano.
~Justin Ruggiano 1982 (Cubs 2014)
The idea was platoon Ruggiano, because he hit lefthanders much better than righties, but the Cubs didn’t face many lefties Then Ruggiano was injured. He only appeared in 81 games and hit six homers. The Cubs traded him to the Mariners after the season.
~Donald Rumsfeld 1932 (Cubs fan 1932-present)
He was born in Evanston, grew up in Winnetka (went to New Trier High School) and got his start in politics as Congressman from the North Shore, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that Donald Rumsfeld developed a love for the Chicago Cubs. He is a member of the Emil Verban Society (a group of Washington-based Cubs fans). In the book “The Zen of Zim,” Don Zimmer tells the story about the day he met Rumsfeld when the Yankees were invited to Washington.
“Roger Clemens arranged for Joe Torre, me, and a half-dozen other Yankee people to go to the Pentagon after the September 11 attacks. I remember we were sitting in the dining room where they were about to serve lunch when all of a sudden one of the Marine guards shouted ‘ATTENshun!’ I look behind me and into the room in walks Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense. Everybody stiffened up. We all got in line to introduce ourselves to him, but when I got up to him he said: ‘Oh I know who you are! I know you from Chicago!’ He told me he lived in Chicago when I was managing there and he watched all the games on TV.”
In 2003, when the Bush Administration shuffled the chain of command regarding Iraq’s reconstruction, and Rumsfeld was asked why he wasn’t consulted about that decision, he replied: “With the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs, we can find something more important than that.”In 2004, Rumsfeld appeared on US-99 radio (with John Howell & Ramblin Ray Stevens) and talked about his favorite team, the Cubs. Here’s an excerpt from the Department of Defense transcripts:
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, it’s just glorious in Chicago.
JOHN: Don’t you wish the Cubs were home today? You could slide by there, see the 7th inning stretch?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I checked to see if they were. [Chuckles] JOHN: [Chuckles] So as a Cubs fan, let’s ask you quickly about the Cubs. I now we have limited time with you, but it’s a big subject in this town. And since you’re a lifelong Cubs fan. Now we’re talking to you on Friday. We’ll replay this interview on Monday. Do you think Greg Maddux is going to win his 300th this weekend?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Absolutely. He’s due. He’s ready. [Chuckles]
We don’t get into politics in this feature, we only report who loves the Cubs. Agree or disagree with him about his decisions in office, that’s up to you. But obviously our former Secretary of Defense has the same disease that we have: He is stricken with “Cubsitis”.
~Glendon Rusch 1974 (Cubs 2004-2006)
The soft-tossing lefty found a spot in the Cubs rotation for a few seasons, including a nine win ’05 season, but he never really put more than an isolated streak together. In his final Cubs season he was 3-8, with a 7.46 ERA. He pitched in the World Series for the Mets in 2000 in the Subway Series versus the Yankees.
~Bob Rush 1925 (Cubs 1948-1957)
The big righthander was a two-time all-star for some pretty bad Cubs teams. He won over 100 games in a Cubs uniform, including a 17-win year in 1952, and four different seasons with 13 wins. The Cubs traded him to the World Champion Milwaukee Braves after the 1957 season, and the veteran finally got a chance to pitch for a winner. He won 10 games for the 1958 pennant winners, and started Game 3 of the 1958 World Series against the Yankees. He and the Braves lost the game 4-0. (Photo: 1953 Bowman Baseball Card)
~Chris Rusin 1986 (Cubs 2012-2014)
Rusin started 20 games for the Cubs over three seasons as a fill-in/spot starter. He had a 4-9 record with an ERA of 4.97, and was released in late September of 2014.
~Addson Russell 1994 (Cubs 2015-present)
The prize prospect was picked up in the trade with Jeff Samardizja/Jason Hammel trade with Oakland. It was thought that he would be spending the 2015 season in Iowa, but the disappointing play of the big league second basemen forced an earlier callup. When he took his first at bat in April, Addison was the youngest player in all of baseball. Russell had a tremendous rookie season, eventually wrestling away the starting shortstop position from Starlin Castro. He hit 13 homers, knocked in 54 runs, and played a dazzling shortstop. It wasn’t a coincidence that the Cubs didn’t play as well in the NLCS when Russell was out with a strained hamstring. With a healthy Russell in 2016, the Cubs won it all. Addison was named the starting shortstop in the All-Star game, and hit 21 homers and knocked in 95 RBI in his first full season. In the 2016 playoffs he came up big again, hitting three homers and knocking in 14 runs–including 9 in the World Series. The 2017 season, on the other hand, was a disappointment. Addison struggled with injuries and was limited to less than 400 at bats. He did manage to hit 12 homers in the regular season and another in the NLCS.
~Jack Russell 1905 (Cubs 1938-1939)
Russell was a two-time saves leader and an all-star with the Senators before coming to the Cubs. The reliever pitched pretty well for the Cubs during their 1938 World Series year. He even got into two games of that series and was one of the rare Cubs pitchers who performed well. In all he pitched 15 years in the big leagues, and was an incredible 56 games UNDER .500 (85-141).
~James Russell 1986 (Cubs 2010-2014, 2015)
A key left-handed arm out of the Cubs bullpen for several seasons, and son of former big league closer Jeff Russell. He was traded to Atlanta in 2014, but it didn’t work out for him there. The Cubs reacquired him after he was released by the Braves in 2015, but he didn’t pitch well. The situational lefty did appear in 49 games, but his ERA of 5.49 was ugly. After the season he was signed as a free agent by the Phillies.
~Rip Russell 1915 (Cubs 1939-1942)
He real first name was Glen, but Rip Russell was known for being able to rip line drives. He also came to the Cubs just after another first baseman named Rip Collins played for the team, so it was only natural that his teammates started calling him Rip. Russell played for the Cubs for four seasons, but his best season was definitely his rookie year of 1939. Filling in for the injured Phil Cavarretta on the defending NL champs, Rip knocked in 79 runs, good enough for second best on the team. He spent the rest of career as a bench player, first with the Cubs in 1940-42, then after a stint in the military, with the Boston Red Sox in 1946 and 1947. Rip died in 1961. R.I.P. Rip. (Photo: Rip in 1939)
~Dick Ruthven 1951 (Cubs 1983-1986)
Dick was a Dallas Green favorite. He was a member of the 1980 World Series team managed by Green, and shortly after Green took over the Cubs, Ruthven was one of the first players he acquired. Unfortunately, Dick never really clicked with the Cubs. In 1984 he began the season as the Opening Day starter, but the time the season ended, he was #5 (behind Sutcliffe, Trout, Eckersly, and Sanderson), and he didn’t pitch in that tragic NLCS against the Padres. Ruthven stayed with the Cubs another season and a half, but after posting similarly mediocre numbers, he was released in early 1986. It was the end of his baseball career.
~Jimmy Ryan 1863 (White Stockings/Colts/Orphans 1885-1900)
Jimmy played for the Cubs so long, the team was known by three different names during his time (although, ironically, not the Cubs). He was mainly an outfielder, but that’s not what Jimmy was known for–he was known for hitting. His lifetime batting average was over .300, he led the league in hits, doubles, homers, and total bases. He also stole more than 400 bases in his career. Ryan was one of the players that left the Cubs to jump to the Players League in 1890, but unlike most of his teammates, he returned to the Cubs the following year. In 1893 while the Columbian Exposition was showing in Chicago, Jimmy and his teammates were involved in a train crash. Jimmy was hurt the most profoundly of any of the players–jagged glass got stuck in his leg, and he had to miss the rest of the season. He recovered and played another seven seasons. He still holds the club record for most career triples (142).
~Jae Kuk Ryu 1983 (Cubs 2006)
Ryu pitched in ten games for the Cubs and got pounded pretty hard. His Cubs ERA was 8.10. He later pitched for the Rays too. But Ryu is probably best remembered for what he did in the minor leagues. He threw a ball at an Osprey, a protected bird in Florida, and it died a few days after he hit it. Shortly after that incident Ryu returned to his native Korea.