~Vic Saier 1891 (Cubs 1911-1917)Vic was one of the players who played in the last season at West Side Grounds, and the Cubs’ first season at Wrigley. The first baseman had huge shoes to fill on the Cubs–he replaced the Peerless Leader, Frank Chance. When he was healthy, Saier was a beast–a combination of speed, power, and clutch hitting. In 1913 he hit 21 triples, drove in 92 runs, stole 26 bases, and hit .289. He hit a career high 18 dingers the following season, and had another solid year in 1915. But that season he suffered a bad leg injury, and Vic was never the same. The injury robbed him of his speed–a key ingredient of his game. Saier was done by 1919 at the age of 28. (Photo: 1912 Tobacco Card)
~Pat Sajak 1946 (Cubs fan 1946-Present)
He grew up in Chicago (born in 1946), attended Columbia College (left in 1968 to join the military), and returns to the town of his birth often. He’s also a huge baseball fan, which begs the question: Is he a Cubs fan or a Sox fan. The Chicago Reader posed that question to him last year and he responded… “You know, I get asked that a lot. I’m a fan of both teams. I’ve never understood why I had to hate one or the other. I grew up close enough to Comiskey that I could hear the fireworks after games, but I watched the Cubs on TV.” He went into a little more detail in 2009 to the MLB network…”I think what drew me to the Cubs is that they did something in the 1950s that was unheard of at the time. They would televise all of their home games. I would come home from school and instead of watching a cartoon or Jerry Springer, I would watch a baseball game. I’m not sure if Mr. Wrigley was cheap and wanted more television dollars, or (was) a visionary, but I think he created a lot of Cubs fans like me who would come home to watch the games. It’s hard to realize that in this ESPN era, televised games were pretty rare and a home-televised game was unheard of.” Among his favorite Cubs players: Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams. His favorite year? 1969. “I tend to remember more odd moments,” he once said, “like being in Wrigley with 721 people attending. That was a highlight. I’ve seen the Cubs on the losing end of a lot of exciting games. To me the most exciting season in Cubs history was 1969 with Leo Durocher. It was such a heartbreaker because it really looked like it was their year (and) they deserved to win. Then this upstart team from New York got so hot and, well, (for the Mets to win) the Cubs had to go in the opposite direction.” Needless to say, Sajak has returned to Wrigley Field numerous times, has thrown out the first pitch, and once even got a chance to sit in the Cubs booth with Harry Caray. “I met Harry fairly late in his career and he could not have been sweeter,” he explained to the MLB network. “It was funny — as you know, Harry would spend the game talking about ‘Misses Johnson’ in the hospital in Cedar Rapids while occasionally sprinkling in some play-by-play, and I made a gentle joke about it and he got serious, not defensive, but in an explanatory way. He said that he considered those fans to be very important (saying), “if I can lift their spirits while they are in the hospital (then) I’m more interested in that than what the last pitch was.” Like many of the old-time broadcasters, he knew that it was television and fans could see the game, so he did a ‘TV show.’ (The viewer) saw the game and heard Harry’s version of it. Some loved it and some did not, but you cannot deny that baseball is far less rich when it loses people of that generation.” He has since been asked to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch, and he dedicated it to Harry. That’s a Cubs fan. That’s Pat Sajak.
~Angel Salazar 1961 (Cubs 1988)
The Venezuelan shortstop played for the Royals and Expos before joining the Cubs as a backup in 1988. He backed up Shawon Dunston, Vance Law, and even Ryne Sandberg occasionally. That was the last year of his big league career.
~Luis Salazar 1956 (Cubs 1989-1992)
He played against the Cubs in the 1984 playoff series vs. the Padres, but by the time the Cubs were back in the playoffs in 1989, he was a key member of the team. He hit .368 with a home run in the NLCS that year, and remained with the Cubs for three more seasons. He retired after the 1992 season. Luis is remembered for his versatility, his good attitude, a whisper campaign from Cubs locker room reporters that led to the ladies looking at him with a “large” amount of respect, and of course, his bold decision to keep his mustache well after the 1990s began. (Photo: Topps 1990 Baseball Card)
~Salty Saltwell 1924 (Cubs GM 1976)
His actual name was E.R. Saltwell, but everyone called him Salty. In 1975, after the long reign of General Manager John Holland ended, P.K. Wrigley replaced Holland with the only logical choice on the payroll: the team’s former concessions manager E.R. “Salty” Saltwell. P.K. was no longer just thinking outside of the box…he didn’t even know where the box was anymore. Salty was the GM of the Cubs for only one season (1976) but he made his mark. Who could forget his fleecing the Cardinals of Mick Kelleher? Or his stealing of Rick Stelmaszek from the Yankees? He also acquired big names like Mike Garman, Ramon Hernandez, Tim Ireland, Tom DeTorre, and reacquired the incredibly washed-up Randy Hundley. Salty’s deft touch in the draft was something to behold as well. In 1976, the Cubs had two first round draft choices. They selected Herman Segelke with the 7th overall pick, and Karl Pagel with the 20th pick. Salty knew better than to waste his time with the other future stars selected in that same first round: Steve Trout (White Sox), Mike Scoscia (Dodgers), Leon Durham (Cardinals), and Bruce Hurst (Red Sox). Salty’s crowning moment as general manager, however, had to be when he unloaded future slugging all-star Andre Thornton for reserve outfielder Larry Biitner (and Steve Renko). Renko won 10 games in his Cubs career, Biitner hit 12 homers in his Cubs career, and Andre Thornton hit more than 30 homers three times. In September 1976, Saltwell was confronted by pitcher Steve Stone. Stone had informed Saltwell of his impending free agency and attempted to get a contract. Saltwell responded by telling Stone that Mr. Wrigley was in the middle of a divorce and he would have to get back to him. Stone opted to leave the Cubs. Salty was demoted shortly after that. To this day, Salty Saltwell remains the only general manager in baseball history to rise from concessions manager to general manager and then back again to “Director of Park Operations.”
~Eduardo Sanchez 1989 (Cubs 2013)
The young Venezuelan got a cup of coffee with the Cubs in 2013, but he had control problems in his limited appearances. They let him go at the end of the season, and he signed with Detroit.
~Felix Sanchez 1981 (Cubs 2003)
The young Dominican reliever was only 22 when he was called up to the big leagues in September of 2003. Unfortunately for Felix, the Cubs were in a pennant race, and couldn’t afford to take too many chances. He pitched in three games, and had an ERA of over 10. That turned out to be his only shot at the big time. The Cubs traded him to Detroit the following April, and he never made it up to the Tigers big league team.
~Rey Sanchez 1967 (Cubs 1991-1997)
Sanchez was a slick fielding infielder; probably one of the best in the game during his 15 year big league career. He started out with the Cubs and was a key contributor for most of the 90s. He didn’t have much pop in his bat, and that limited his time in the lineup, but his glove kept him in the big leagues for a long time. Ironically, the most famous moment in his Cubs career involved an error. Sanchez dropped an easy pop up one day, leading Harry Caray to memorably retort that “you’d think a guy from Puerto Rico wouldn’t have trouble with the sun.”
Harry was just as happy when Sanchez did well…
~Ryne Sandberg 1959 (Cubs 1982-1994, 1996-1997)
He was destined to have a great nickname because he was named after the famous Yankees relief pitcher “Blind Ryne” Duren. Ryno was just a throw in to the Ivan DeJesus/Larry Bowa trade with the Phillies. The Phillies had two other second base prospects who were pretty good (Juan Samuel, Julio Franco), but needless to say, neither one of them had the career Ryno had. He is in the Hall of Fame. Nicknamed Ryno for obvious reasons (not his similarity to the horned beast), Sandberg held the record for home runs by a second baseman when he retired. He was an MVP (1984), a ten-time all-star, nine-time gold glover, seven time silver slugger, and the most popular Cubs player of his era. After his playing career, he went back to Single-A ball to manage, and worked his way up to Triple-A. When the Cubs didn’t give him the big league manager job, he left the team to coach the Phillies. (Photo: Topps 1991 Baseball Card)
Harry with the PBP during that famous Sandberg game….
~Scott Sanders 1969 (Cubs 1999)
Not to be confused with the outstanding starting pitcher Scott Sanderson, Sanders was a journeyman who pitched for seven big league seasons with the Padres, Mariners and Tigers before coming to Chicago. The Cubs were the last team to give him a shot. In 1999 he appeared in 67 games, but he was hit pretty hard. His ERA for the season was 5.52, and he gave up a whopping 19 dingers in just over a hundred innings.
~Scott Sanderson 1956 (Cubs 1984-1989)
The local kid (Northbrook) was acquired by Dallas Green before the 1984 season in the trade that sent Craig Lefferts and Carmelo Martinez to San Diego. Sanderson pitched very well for the Cubs that year. He was the fourth starter behind Sutcliffe, Trout, and Eckersley. Although, poor Harry Caray had a hard time differentiating him with Ryne Sandberg, often calling one Scott Sandberg and the other Ryne Sanderson. Sanderson’s only problem during his time with the Cubs was his inability to stay healthy. He only started more than 30 games three times, but two of those times were during years the Cubs went to the playoffs (1984 and 1989). He was the starting pitcher in the infamous Steve Garvey game (Game 4) in 1984, and pitched in relief of starter Greg Maddux in Game 4 of the 1989 NLCS. The Cubs lost both games. Sanderson left via free agency following that game and had a few more excellent seasons with the A’s and Yankees (including an all-star season in 1991). He finished his career with 163 wins. (Photo: Topps 1989 Baseball Card)
~Benito Santiago 1965 (Cubs 1999)
Santiago was a four-time all-star, three-time Gold Glover, a Rookie of the Year, and of course, none of that occurred during his time with the Cubs. He was signed to a one-year deal by the Cubs after a horrible automobile accident almost ended his career in 1998. It was considered a reasonable gamble because the price was right, and it was a short term deal. The Cubs brass was right about one thing: Santiago still had a few good seasons in that bat and arm. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen on the Cubs. Three years after leaving Chicago he led the Giants to the World Series, and was named the NLCS MVP. His big league career lasted an impressive twenty seasons.
~Ron Santo 1940 (Cubs 1960-1973, Cubs announcer 1990-2010)
He was the captain of that ill-fated (but incredibly talented) 1969 Cubs team–the man who clicked his heels after each Cubs victory. Santo was also the one who had the black cat cross his path while he stood in the on-deck circle in New York. Ron Santo is a Hall of Famer, something he wanted to be more than anything else in the world. Unfortunately, he wasn’t inducted until after his death. His credentials should never have been questioned. Santo was a nine-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glover at third base. He hit 342 homers, and was the dominant player at his position (in the National League) during his playing days. And he did it all despite suffering from diabetes. After his playing career he joined the Cubs radio broadcast booth, teaming up with the great Pat Hughes. He lost both legs to diabetes during his broadcasting days, and made an even stronger bond with Cub fans. He never complained about his medical misfortune, and he exhibited the same kind of raw emotion that Cub fans experienced: Incredible joy when they won, and pure agony when they lost. His number was retired in 2003 and a #10 flag now flies on the left field foul pole at Wrigley Field. (PHoto: Topps 1970 Baseball Card)
AUDIO: Santo explains why he chose to sign with the Cubs…
AUDIO: Santo hits 3 Homers in a game…
AUDIO: Santo and Harry talk about Ron’s toupee:
Our tribute shirt to four beloved greats from Cubs lore. All are missed tremendously. A portion of the proceeds from every shirt will be donated to Cubs Charities in honor of Ernie, Ronnie, Jack, and Harry. Click here.
~Dave Sappelt 1987 (Cubs 2012-2013)
He was obtained in the Sean Marshall trade but never really caught on as a fourth outfielder candidate for the Cubs.
~Ed Sauer 1919 (Outfielder, Cubs 1943-45)
Hank’s big brother Ed was a member of the last Cubs World Series team in 1945. He was in the Opening day starting lineup because of the holdout of Peanuts Lowrey and the injury to Frank Secory, remained on the roster all season, and even got two at-bats in the World Series. Unfortunately, he struck out both times.
~Hank Sauer 1917 (Cubs 1949-1955)
Hank had a great 15-year big league career, and he was wearing a Cubs uniform during his best seasons. In his seven years in Chicago, he hit 198 homers, thrilling the Wrigley Field crowd. In 1952 he led the league in homers and RBI and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. Hank was known for the big wad of chew he had in his mouth. Every time he homered, the left field faithful would shower him with his favorite brand. Sauer was so popular during his days in Chicago, the press referred to him as “The Mayor of Wrigley Field”. His teammates, however, called him “The Honker” because of his rather large schnoz. The Honker had a great Cubs career, but his was probably his most memorable game…(AUDIO)
The last batter Ronald Reagan (as Grover Alexander) strikes out in “The Winning Team” is Cubs star Hank Sauer (portraying a Yankee)…
~Ted Savage 1936 (Cubs 1967-1968)
Savage played for eight teams in the big leagues, including the Cubs. He was a fourth outfielder type, who never really claimed a full-time position. With the Cubs he hit .218 in 1967. They traded him early in 1968 and it turned out to be a great trade. In exchange for Savage and Jim Ellis, the Dodgers sent the Cubs Jim Hickman and Phil Regan. Both players were key contributors to the Cubs over the next few years.
~Carl Sawatski 1927 (Cubs 1948-1953)
Swats or Swisher, as he was known by his teammates, was a backup catcher for the Cubs. His time in Chicago was interrupted by military service during the Korean War, so he really only played parts of three seasons with the Cubs. He later played for the White Sox, Phillies, and Cardinals (always as a backup), and was a member of the 1957 World Champion Milwaukee Braves. After his playing career he became the president of the Texas League (minors).
~Gale Sayers 1943 (Bears in Wrigley, 1965-1970, Cubs fan ever since)
The greatest years of Gale Sayers football career were spent at Wrigley Field. He won the Rookie of the Year, scored six touchdowns in one game, and electrified the fans with his incredible open field moves. Sayers was a four-time Pro Bowler, a two-time rushing champion, the comeback player of the year, and his number 40 has been retired by the Bears. He also, unfortunately, badly hurt his knee–cutting his Hall of Fame career short. The movie about his relationship with Bears teammate Brian Piccolo “Brian’s Song” has made more grown men cry than any other movie ever made. He still appears at Wrigley Field every year to sing the 7th inning stretch. (Photo: Topps 1969 Football Card)
~Bobby Scales 1977 (Cubs 2009-2010)
Everyone was rooting for Bobby Scales when he came up to the Cubs in 2009. He was a 31-year-old rookie who had really paid his dues in the minors (14 seasons). He briefly played well in a part-time role in the big leagues, filling in at third base, second base, left and right field. He also had a few dramatic clutch hits that made the fans rally around him. Unfortunately for Bobby, he had maximized his potential. He made his last appearance as a big league player on the final day of the 2010 season.
~Bob Scanlan 1966 (Cubs 1991-1993)
The Cubs acquired the tall (6’7″) righthander from the Phillies in the deal that sent Mitch Williams to Philadelphia. The Beverly Hills native was a highly regard prospect, who stuck around with the Cubs for several years. He filled just about every role on the pitching staff at one time or another, from starter to closer. In three seasons he won 14 games and saved 15 games. After the 1993 season he was traded to the Brewers. Scanlan pitched in the big leagues until 2001 with additional stops in Detroit, Kansas City, Houston, and Montreal.
~Germany Schaeffer 1876 (Orphans 1901-1902)
He was born in a town that boasted nearly 25% German heritage–Chicago, Illinois–and his parents were fresh off the boat immigrants. So naturally, he got the nickname Germany. He began his big-league career in his hometown, but really made a name for himself in Detroit. He was the starting second baseman for the Tigers in both of their World Series losses to the Cubs (1907 & 1908). Germany was known for his wackiness. He once stole second base to attempt to force a throw, allowing a teammate to score from home. When the catcher didn’t fall for it, Germany stole first base on the next pitch, so he could try it again. Here’s another colorful story from the Baseball Biography Project:
According to teammate Davy Jones in The Glory of Their Times, Germany announced to the crowd: “Ladies and gentlemen, you are now looking at Herman Schaefer, better known as ‘Herman the Great,’ acknowledged by one and all to be the greatest pinch-hitter in the world. I am now going to hit the ball into the left field bleachers. Thank you.” Facing Chicago’s Doc White, Schaefer proceeded to hit the first pitch into the left field bleachers for a game-winning homer. As he made his way around the diamond, Germany supposedly slid into every base, announcing his progress as if it were a horse race as he went around. “Schaefer leads at the half!” and so on. After hook-sliding into home, he popped up, doffed his cap, bowed, and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes this afternoon’s performance. I thank you for your kind attention.”
Germany Schaefer died way too young, from a hemorrhage at the age of 42. He had only been retired for about a year.
~Jimmie Schaffer 1936 (Cubs 1963-1964)
Schaffer was catcher Dick Bertell’s backup in his two years with the Cubs. 1963 was his best season; Jimmie slugged seven homers in his limited role. He never hit more than two homers in any other season in his eight year big league career. Jimmie became a coach after his playing career ended, and was on the staff of the 1985 World Champion Kansas City Royals.
~Joe Schaffernoth 1937 (Cubs 1959-1961)
Joe was a righthanded reliever for the Cubs over three seasons in the late 50s/early 60s. He won two games and saved three in over 50 appearances for the Cubs. He was sold to the Indians in the middle of the 1961 season, and finished his career there.
~Bob Scheffing 1913 (Cubs player 1941-1950, Cubs manager 1957-1959)
Scheffing was a Cubs catcher in 1941 and 1942, but was drafted into the military before the 1943 season. Unfortunately for him, he had to listen to his teammates make the 1945 World Series from afar, because he didn’t get out of the service until 1946. Bob remained with the Cubs until the 1950 season, starting most of the games during the 1947 and 1948 seasons. After he retired, he went into coaching, and eventually was named the manager of his old team in 1957. From 1957-1959, Scheffing managed the team to three sub .500 seasons, and during those years had plenty of reasons to live up to the nickname his players bestowed on him. They called him Grumpy. (Photo: 1949 Bowman Baseball Card)
~Hank Schenz 1919 (Cubs 1946-1949)
Hank was mainly a backup infielder during his time in Chicago, but he did get one shot at starting in 1948. That season, a really bad one for the team, Schenz hit .261 and played a servicable second base. The Cubs traded him to the Dodgers the following year for Bob Ramazzotti. Hank’s final big league at-bat came in the 1951 World Series, as a member of the New York Giants.
~Morrie Schick 1892 (Cubs 1917)
Schick was a local Chicago boy who could really pick it as an outfielder, but simply couldn’t hit big league pitching. He was 24 when played with the Cubs in 1917, and hit only .147. Morrie knocked around the minors for nine seasons after that but never made it back up to the big time.
~Nate Schierholtz 1984 (Cubs 2013-2014)
Nate was one of the budget free agent signings by the Epstein/Hoyer regime. He won a ring with the 2010 Giants, but he was never really given a chance to be a fulltime player until he arrived in Chicago. In his first season with the Cubs he hit more than 20 homers and played a very strong right field. It all fell apart in 2014, however, and by the end of the year, he was gone. (PHOTO: 2014 Topps Baseball Card)
~Calvin Schiraldi 1962 (Cubs 1988-1989)
The Cubs acquired Schiraldi in a lopsided trade that cost them their great closer Lee Smith. Calvin had been the Red Sox closer who helped blow the 1986 World Series, but the Cubs saw him as a starter. It didn’t go too well. He won only 9 games in 1988, was moved back to the bullpen in 1989, and was shipped off to San Diego before the end of that year. Meanwhile, Lee Smith closed for another ten years and retired with the all-time saves record.
~Larry Schlafly 1878 (Orphans 1902)
Larry played only one month with the Cubs (then known as the Orphans) at the end of the 1902 season. He appeared in ten games–but he shared a spot in the infield each time with three future Hall of Famers, Tinker, Evers & Chance. After leaving Chicago he became known as a fiery competitor who would do anything to get on base (he led the league in being hit by pitches). He was also one of the people who helped create the Federal League. Schlafly was considered the league’s best recruiter. He was only 40 years old when he passed away in 1919 of spinal meningitis.
~Brian Schlitter 1985 (Cubs 2010, 2014-2015)
The local boy from Maine South High School broke into the big leagues briefly with the Cubs in 2010, but didn’t fare well. After a few more seasons in the minors, he re-emerged in 2014 and became a key part of the bullpen. New Cubs manager Joe Maddon thought he would be a big part of the bullpen in 2015, but Schlitter was rocked hard early and often. In only ten appearances, his ERA was north of seven. He is known for his long floppy hair and 95 MPH fastball.
~Freddy Schmidt 1916 (Cubs 1947)
He came up to the big leagues during the war, and pitched in the 1944 all St. Louis World Series (Browns vs. Cardinals), but when the regular players came back from the service, Freddy had a much tougher time making rosters. His last stop in the big leagues was with the Chicago Cubs. He started exactly one game, on September 24, 1947 in Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, and was roughed up pretty badly by the Reds. He gave up four hits and five walks in only three innings pitched. The Cubs lost the game 6-5, but Freddy wasn’t charged with the loss. Cubs reliever Emil Kush threw exactly one pitch that game, and it was knocked over the fence in the bottom of the ninth by Grady Hatton for a walk-off home run.
~Johnny Schmitz 1920 (Cubs 1941-1951)
He was nicknamed Bear Tracks because of his lumbering shuffle to the mound. Schmitz was only twenty when he was called up to the majors, and pitched two seasons for the Cubs, but was drafted to serve in World War II in 1942. Bear Tracks was one of the rare players who returned from the war an even better player. He led the National League in strikeouts in 1946, and was named to the All-Star team. He had another great year two years later, finishing with a 2.64 ERA and an 18-13 record for a last place team. During his Cubs years he was known as a fierce competitor. How many pitchers have been ejected from a game for wearing illegal spikes? Only Bear Tracks Schmitz, who did it to further intimidate the batters. A noted Dodger-killer during his career (he beat them 18 times), he was later traded to the Dodgers in the deal that also put Andy Pafko in a Brooklyn uniform. By then he was no longer an all-star caliber pitcher. He pitched for the Dodgers, the Senators, the Red Sox and the Orioles before retiring after the 1956 season. Bear Tracks passed away in Wisconsin in October of 2011. (Photo: 1949 Baseball Card)
~Ed Schorr 1892 (Cubs 1915)
He only pitched in two games for the 1915 Cubs (in the last homestand of their final season at West Side Grounds), but one of them was in Grover Cleveland Alexander’s 30th win of the season. Schorr pitched the final two innings in relief of Cubs starter Karl Adams.
~Paul Schramka 1928 (Cubs 1953)
Schramka was a speedy outfielder who played in the Cubs minor league system from 1949-1954 (including a military stint during the Korean War), but he did get a cup of coffee with the Cubs in April of 1953. He appeared in two big league games. He pinch ran for catcher Clyde McCullough one game, and replaced outfielder Gene Hermanski for one inning during another game. That was it. He was interviewed by the Baseball Biography project in 2007 about his time in baseball, and recalled it this way. “The Cubs had seven outfielders at the time. I was number seven. I knew my place.”
~Pop Schriver 1865 (Colts 1891-1894)
Pop was a catcher and first baseman who got quite a bit of playing time with the Cubs (then known as the Colts). Cap Anson considered Pop his starting catcher during the 1892 season, but Schriver only hit .224. He played 14 seasons in the big leagues with Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St. Louis.
~Al Schroll 1932 (Cubs 1960)
His nickname was “Bull”, but he wasn’t the one that let a groundball through his legs in the 1984 NLCS. This “Bull” was a pitcher. The Cubs got the big Louisiana kid from the Red Sox for Bobby Thomson, but he didn’t exactly turn out to be the pitcher they had hoped. His Cubs career lasted 2 2/3 innings, and in those innings he posted an ERA of 10.13. Schroll got one more cup of coffee with Twins the following season (1961), and during that season he made history along with fellow Twins pitcher Jack Kralik. For more than forty years it was the last time that two pitchers on the same team had hit a homer in the same game. Schroll hit his off Al Fowler, who later became Billy Martin’s pitching coach with the World Champion Yankees. Bull Schroll passed away in Louisiana in 1999 at the age of 67. (Photo: Topps 1960 Baseball Card)
~Art Schult 1928 (Cubs 1959-1960)
Art’s heritage was German, so of course his teammates called him Dutch. He was mainly a pinch hitter and backup first baseman/outfielder in his five year big league career, the last two of which were with the Cubs. He also played with the Senators, Yankees, and Reds.
~Wildfire Schulte 1882 (Cubs 1904-1916)
Wildfire (real name Frank) didn’t get his nickname for his style of play (although he stole home 22 times), or his tendency to hit the town (although Frank Chance used to chide him for that in the press). He got it because he named his favorite pony after his favorite Broadway show “Wildfire” (starring Lillian Russell), and soon it became his nickname too. Schulte was known as a bit of a flake, but his teammates loved him for it. Joe Tinker once said: “I doubt whether a quainter or more original character ever existed in the National Pastime”. One of his more bizarre eccentricities was that he had a thing for hairpins. He thought they were good luck, so he would search the streets looking for them. The bigger the hairpin, the better the luck. Wildfire wasn’t just a character, he was also a great player for the Cubs from 1904-1916, an era that spanned four NL pennants. He had a 13 game hitting streak in the World Series (and hit .321 overall in 91 World Series at bats). He was the MVP of the league in 1911. He led the league in homers, triples, and RBI. In short, he was a superstar. Many years later, when Ty Cobb was an old man, he was asked what he remembered about Wildfire Schulte, his opponent in the 1907 and 1908 World Series. He said simply, “Schulte was one of the all-time greats.” Wildfire passed away in 1949 at the age of 67. (Photo: 1910 Tobacco Card)
~Johnny Schulte 1896 (Cubs 1929)
Not to be confused with superstar outfielder Wildfire Schulte (no relation), this Schulte was a backup catcher for the Cubs (and the Browns, Cardinals, Phillies, and Braves). His one season in Chicago just happened to be a pennant winning year, although Johnny didn’t get to play in the World Series against the A’s. After his playing career he became a coach, and was on the staff of many World Series champions with the Yankees. He also worked as a scout for ten years. (Photo: 1933 Goudy Baseball Card)
~Barney Schultz 1926 (Cubs 1961-1963)
Barney had the misfortune of pitching for the Cubs during the College of Coaches era. He was not a young pup either. The journeyman who had never spent a full season in the majors was 34 years old in 1961. His teammates called him “Mr. Old Folks”. The Cubs used him pretty extensively out of the bullpen that year (41 appearances), and even more the following year. The Cubs traded him to the Cardinals in 1963, and Barney went on to become a key member of the 1964 World Series champs (although he did give up a gargantuan homer to Mickey Mantle in his only pitch at Yankee Stadium). After his playing career ended, Schultz became a pitching coach for the Cardinals and the Cubs. (Photo: Topps 1963 Baseball Card)
~Bob Schultz 1923 (Cubs 1951-1953)
Schultz was a spot starter and reliever for three seasons. He had a respectable 9-11 record, but he gave up a ton of baserunners. As a member of the Cubs, Schultz walked almost twice as many batters as he struck out (113 BB/61 Ks). He later pitched for the Pirates and the Tigers.
~Buddy Schultz 1950 (Cubs 1975-1976)
Buddy also set a college record. He struck out 26 batters in a game for Miami of Ohio. Schultz was a lefthanded reliever for the Cubs for parts of two seasons, but didn’t have a tremendous amount of success. His ERA in his Cubs years was over 6 (although he did get two saves). After the Cubs traded him to the Cardinals, he blossomed and had a few very good seasons with St. Louis.
~Joe Schultz 1893 (Cubs 1915)
Schultz’s nickname was Germany, and the German-American played in the big leagues for eleven seasons, including briefly with the Cubs during their last season at West Side Grounds. He batted only eight times for Chicago, got two hits, and drove in two runs. Germany’s appeal was that he was a jack of all trades. The utility man parlayed his versatility into stints with the Braves, Dodgers, Pirates, Cardinals, Phillies, and Reds (every National League team at the time, except for the Giants). After his playing career ended he became the farm director for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He died of hepatitis at the age of 47.
~Don Schulze 1962 (Cubs 1983-1984)
Schulze was a local high school hero (Lake Park High School in Roselle) when he was drafted in the first round (11th overall pick) by the Cubs in 1980. (Future Cubs manager Ricky Renteria was picked later in that round, as were fellow current managers Terry Francona and John Gibbons, and Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane). The Cubs brought him up to the big leagues at the end of the 1983 season and it didn’t go well. He started three games and was roughed up to the tune of an ERA over seven. The following season he got another start and was hit even harder (ERA over 12). That’s probably why Dallas Green didn’t mind including Schulze in the deal that brought Rick Sutcliffe to the Cubs. Schulze pitched for the Indians, Mets, Yankees, and Padres in his big league career, but never experienced prolonged success. His lifetime record is ten games below .500, and his lifetime ERA is over five. He later pitched three seasons in Japan, and is now a pitching coach in the Oakland farm system.
~Wayne Schurr 1937 (Cubs 1964)
The Cubs drafted Schurr out of the San Francisco Giants system as a Rule V draft choice, and Wayne pitched for the Cubs for a good portion of the 1964 season. The righthanded reliever appeared in 26 games and registered an ERA of 3.72. He retired from baseball after his eighth minor league season in 1966.
~Bill Schuster 1912 (Cubs 1942-1945)
The New York native was known as “Broadway Bill” to his teammates. Schuster was a second baseman and shortstop who got quite a bit of playing time his first few seasons in Chicago. By his last year, the pennant winning year of 1945, he wasn’t playing much. He did, however, get into two of the World Series games. He was a pinch runner, and scored the winning run in Game 6, in the bottom of the 12th inning at Wrigley Field. He remains the final player in Cubs history to score a game winning run in a World Series game.
~Kyle Schwarber 1993 (Cubs 2015-present)
The Cubs top draft pick in 2014 wasn’t supposed to make it to the majors this quickly, but he absolutely crushed minor league pitching and the Cubs couldn’t resist bringing him up to the big leagues. They weren’t disappointed. In only 273 ABs, Kyle slugged 16 homers–and none of them were cheapies. In the playoffs he added five more–setting an all-time Cubs post season record in his very first season. One of them will remain a fixture in Cubs lore. Against the hated Cardinals, Schwarber put a homer ON TOP of the video board in right field. In his third game of the 2016 season, unfortunately, Schwarber severly injured his knee and was ruled out for the season. It appeared he wouldn’t be able to participate in their World Series winning season. But somehow, miraculously, he was activated right before the World Series began and served as the DH in Cleveland. Schwarber didn’t just show up, he inspired his entire Cubs team. He hit over .400, knocked in two runs, and even stole a base in the decisive Game 7 victory.
~Rudy Schwenck 1884 (Cubs 1909)
Schwenck was a lefty from Kentucky who got a brief taste of the big leagues during the 1909 season. He came to Chicago at the very end of the season when the Cubs were already out of it. It was their first year since 1905 that they weren’t playing in the World Series. Schwenck bounced around in the minors for a few years after that, before coming back home to Kentucky.
~Dick Scott 1933 (Cubs 1964)
The Cubs traded a very good prospect (pitcher Jim Brewer) to get the 30-year-old Scott in December of 1963. It’s one of the biggest head-scratching deals in Cubs history. While Brewer went on to have a very productive big league career including an All-Star season with the Dodgers, Scott struggled mightily. He wasn’t even pitching well in the minors when they brought him up to the big club in July. They couldn’t possibly have been shocked when it didn’t go well. Scott was rocked hard. He pitched four innings, and gave up ten hits, including two homers. His final Cubs ERA was 12.46.
~Gary Scott 1968 (Cubs 1991-1992)
Gary was the opening day third baseman in 1991 as a 22-year-old rookie. The second round draft choice was billed simply as the best Cubs third baseman since Ron Santo. It didn’t turn out that way. After less than a hundred at bats, it was clear that Scott couldn’t hit big league pitching. He hit .165. They gave him another shot in 1992, and Gary responded with a .156 average. After the season the Cubs traded him to Miami for lefthanded starting pitcher Greg Hibbard. Hibbard won 15 games for the Cubs. Scott never played in the majors again. (Photo: 1991 Upper Deck Baseball Card)
~Milt Scott 1861 (White Stockings 1882)
Milt Scott was a 21-year-old kid when he was signed to play one game for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) on September 30, 1882. The team had already clinched the championship and Cap Anson didn’t feel like playing the last game of the season against Buffalo, so Mikado Milt (as he was known) got a shot. He went 2 for 5 and scored a run. He never played another game with the Cubs.
~Pete Scott 1897 (Cubs 1926-1927)
He was a part-time first baseman/outfielder for the Cubs for two seasons, but he paid huge dividends for them. Scott and teammate Sparky Adams were traded to the Pirates for future Hall of Famer Kiki Cuyler.
~Rodney Scott 1953 (Cubs 1978)
The Cubs acquired Rodney (known as “Cool Breeze”) during spring training of 1978 for pitcher Pete Broberg, and he did play an important role on that 1978 Cub team. Rodney played second, third, short, and center, and provided some much needed speed to the lineup. In only 78 games, Rodney stole 27 bases and batted .282 (with a .403 OBP). Why the Cubs traded him to the Expos (along with Jerry White) for Sam Mejias remains a mystery. Rodney had a few very good seasons with the Expos. One year he led the league in triples and stole 63 bases.
~Frank Secory 1912 (Cubs 1944-1946)
Secory was a reserve outfielder for the last Cubs team to make the World Series. He was a friendly guy that was well-liked by his teammates. They didn’t just like him because he was nice. They liked him because he had a habit of getting big hits in big games. He only got nine hits and six RBI for the 1945 Cubs, but a few of those managed to defeat the defending champion Cardinals. Frank got another cup of coffee with the Cubs in 1946, the last gasp of his big league career as a player. However, he became an umpire after his playing career and had a very distinguished career. He umpired nine no-hitters, four World Series, and six all-star games. He retired after the 1970 season.
~Herman Segelke 1958 (Cubs 1982)
In 1976, three future Cubs were drafted in the first round by other teams drafting after the Cubs (Steve Trout, Leon Durham, and Pat Tabler) while the Cubs picked Herman Segelke. If Herman hadn’t been the seventh overall pick of the draft, he probably never would have gotten a cup of coffee in the big leagues. His lifetime minor league ERA was over 5. He pitched in three games for the 1982 Cubs and was lit up. He gave up six hits, six walks, a homer, and four runs in only four innings pitched.
~Kurt Seibert 1955 (Cubs 1979)
Kurt was a third round draft choice of the Cubs who showed a lot of speed in the minors (one year he stole 37 bases), but the second baseman only made it up to the big leagues once–and that was as a September call up. The Cubs used him mainly as a pinch runner that September. He appeared in seven games and scored two runs.
~Frank Selee 1859 (Cubs manager 1902-1905)
Selee was already a 5-time pennant winning manager (with Boston) before he came to the Cubs, but the Hall of Famer really made his mark in his short time in Chicago. He was more than just the manager—he put the team together. Among his moves: acquiring Three Finger Brown, Joe Tinker, and Johnny Evers. Unfortunately for Frank, he got very ill after the 1905 season, and had to give up baseball, just as his team was about to blossom. He was replaced by his favorite player—Frank Chance—who led the Cubs to four pennants over the next five years. Selee died during that championship run at the far too young age of 49. He was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1999.
~Dick Selma 1943 (Cubs 1969)
He was nicknamed Mortimer Snerd by his teammates after Edgar Bergen’s famous dummy. Selma was a key member of the 1969 Cubs. He won 10 games for them and led the staff in strike outs per nine innings after being acquired from the Padres. Selma became a fan favorite almost instantly because he led the Bleacher Bums in cheers from the bullpen. But 1969 was his only year with the Cubs. He was a part of the much lamented trade that brought Johnny Callison to the Cubs. The trade isn’t lamented because Johnny Callison was pretty much done (which he was) or because Dick Selma pitched pretty well for the Phillies for a few more years (which he did), but because the Cubs threw young slugger Oscar Gamble into the deal, and Gamble went on to become a star. Selma passed away in 2001 at the way too young age of 58.
~Mike Sember 1953 (Cubs 1977-1978)
Sember was a local boy (Hammond, Indiana) who got a cup of coffee with the Cubs in the late 70s. He was mainly a defensive replacement at shortstop and third base. Sember had a grand total of seven career big league at bats (all with the Cubs), and got two hits (both singles).
~Manny Seoane 1955 (Cubs 1978)
Manny was mostly a career minor-leaguer, but he did get a cup of coffee with the Cubs in 1978. He was a September call up and pitched in seven games, mainly out of the bullpen. He was acquired from the Phillies for Cubs fan favorite Jose Cardenal, in a trade that appears to have been a salary dump. Manny’s story doesn’t end well. After his cup of coffee with the Cubs, he never pitched in the big leagues again, and was out of baseball entirely by 1982. That year he and fellow former big leaguer Mark Lemongello were arrested for the kidnapping and robbery of Lemongello’s cousins. He was sentenced to seven years probation.
~Dan Serafini 1974 (Cubs 1999)
Dan had a rough go of it pitching in the big leagues (6.04 lifetime ERA, 1.71 lifetime WHIP), but managed to hang on for parts of seven seasons.
~Bill Serena 1924 (Cubs 1949-1954)
Serena played his entire major league career with the Cubs. In 1950 he finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting after starting all season at third base and hitting 17 homers. Unfortunately, Serena missed most of the 1951 season, and was moved to second base the next two seasons. He always had good pop for an infielder (48 homers in six big league seasons), but was eventually replaced by more talented players (Gene Baker and Randy Jackson).
~Scott Servais 1967 (Cubs 1995-1998)
Born on the same day as the man he was traded for (Rick Wilkins), Servais immediately became the starting catcher for the Cubs. He had several good seasons as the Cubs backstop, especially 1995 and 1996 when had double-digit home run totals. His last year with the Cubs ended with his only career playoff apearance. He went 2 for 3 in the 1998 NLDS against Atlanta. Servais signed with the Giants the following season, and later played with the Rockies and Astros. After his playing career, he took front office positions with the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels. (Photo: Topps 1996 Baseball Card)
~Tommy Sewell 1906 (Cubs 1927)
Tommy had exactly one big league at bat. It came on June 21, 1927 at Sportsman Park in St. Louis. Tommy pinch hit for Cubs pitcher Percy Jones in the seventh inning against Cardinals pitcher Flint Rehm. Unfortunately for Tommy, Flint was a 20-game-winner that season. Sewell didn’t get on base and never got another chance in the big leagues. After that he played in the minor leagues for another four years before hanging up his spikes. Tommy couldn’t even brag about his big league experience when he came home to Alabama. His brother Joe was a Hall of Famer, another brother Luke also played in the big leagues, and so did his cousin Rip.
~Orator Shafer 1851 (White Stockings 1879)
His real first name was George, but he was pegged with the nickname Orator, and that’s what everyone called him. Orator played 13 seasons in the big leagues, including the 1879 season for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings). He was their starting right fielder and batted over .300.
~Art Shamsky 1941 (Cubs 1972)
Shamsky was part of the Miracle Mets team that kept the Cubs out of the playoffs in 1969, but just a few years later he was wearing a Cubs uniform. The outfielder/first baseman was used in only 15 games, almost exclusively as a pinch hitter. He hit only .125 in that role before being released.
~Red Shannon 1897 (Cubs 1926)
The bulk of Red’s big league career was from 1915-1921, but he did re-emerge after five years in the minors to get in 60 more games with the Cubs in 1926. He was mainly a defensive replacement for the Cubs infielders that season.
~Bob Shaw 1933 (Cubs 1967)
Shaw was an important part of the Go-Go White Sox of 1959, winning 18 games and shutting out the Dodgers in the World Series, but by the time he came to the Cubs he was at the tail end of his career. Shaw won over 100 games in his big league career, but none of those came for the Cubs. He was released on September 11, 1967. After his playing career ended he became a big league pitching coach.
~Sam Shaw 1863 (Colts 1893)
Sam was a little guy, only 5’5″, 140 pounds, and the 30-year-old had bounced around the minors for several seasons before arriving in Chicago during the 1893 season. He started two games for the Cubs (then known as the Colts) in June of that year, and won one of them. He also walked thirteen batters in only sixteen innings, which wasn’t good enough to cut it in the big time. Shaw finished up his baseball career in the southern leagues, before hanging up his spikes for good after the 1896 season.
~Marty Shay 1896 (Cubs 1916)
Shay played for the Cubs during their first season at Wrigley. The young shortstop played in exactly two games and went 2 for 7 (both singles). He was only 20 at the time. By the time he returned to the majors with the Boston Braves, he was 28.
~Stuart Shea (Cubs author)
Stuart was a contributor to the great book “Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Until Next Year”, and he has contributed to this website too with this excellent post (10 Cubs To Forget), but his biggest contribution to Cubs lore was undoubtedly his book “Wrigley Field: The Long Life and Contentious Times of the Friendly Confines,” which should be in every Cub fan’s library.
~Al Shealy 1900 (Cubs 1930)
He pitched in 24 games for the 1930 Cubs, but this was the year of the batter, and Shealy got lit up for an 8.00 ERA.
~Dave Shean 1883 (Cubs 1911)
The Cubs acquired Shean from Boston to fill in for Johnny Evers, who suffered a nervous breakdown during the 1911 season. Shean was known as a solid second base glove, and he shared the position with well-known defensive butcher Heinie Zimmerman. Zimmerman was a great hitter, however, so he got the bulk of the playing time. 1911 was Shean’s only season in Chicago. The following year he went back to Boston.
~Jimmy Sheckard 1878 (Cubs 1906-1912)
Sheckard was one of the first players Frank Chance had acquired when he took over the Cubs in 1905/06. He gave up four players and $2000 (a high price) to Brooklyn to acquire him—but he knew that Brooklyn was mad at Sheckard for playing in the American League one season, and he knew that Sheckard was a great outfielder. Sheckard was more than a good ballplayer. He was a character. Thanks in large part to the writings of Ring Lardner, who was a beat reporter covering the Cubs, Sheckard became well-known for his horseplay with Solly Hofman and pitcher Lew Ritchie, with whom he formed three-quarters of a barbershop quartet (Jimmy sang baritone). One of Jimmy’s most memorable moments on the field also involved his trademark sense of humor. After Pittsburgh Pirate hitters sprayed the ball all around him, a frustrated Sheckard stopped in the middle of left field, whirled several times, threw his glove up in the air, and went to the spot where it landed. Orval Overall, pitching for the Cubs, couldn’t figure out why Sheckard was standing only a few feet from the left-field foul line and motioned for him to reposition himself. Sheckard refused. The next batter, Fred Clarke, hit a screaming line drive that went straight into Sheckard’s glove. Jimmy told his teammates that the scheme changed his luck in the field from that day forward. He was a member of all four pennant winning teams during the Cubs dynasty (1906-1910), but his best season was probably 1911. He led the league in runs scored that year. Jimmy’s game was speed. In his 17-year big league career, he stole 465 bases. (Photo: 1909 Baseball Card)
Sheckard is honored long after his death…
~Tommy Shields 1964 (Cubs 1993)
Shields was a late season callup for the Cubs in 1993. The backup infielder got 36 plate appearances to show the brass what he could do. Unfortunately for Tommy, he didn’t show much. He struck out ten times and only got six hits.
~Clyde “Hardrock” Shoun 1912 (Cubs 1935-1937)
Clyde Shoun was called “Hardrock” because he threw one—a great fastball. Hardrock was a wild pitcher that was knocked around a bit when he was with the Cubs for parts of 1935 and 1936. He became a part of the rotation in 1937, and the league knocked him around even more. His ERA that season was 5.61. The Cubs didn’t think they were losing too much when they traded him to the Cardinals as part of the famous Dizzy Dean trade, but they were wrong. The Cardinals turned him into a reliever, and Clyde led the league in appearances in 1939 and 1940, and tied for the league lead in saves. He even won nine more games for the Cardinals than Dean won for the Cubs. Hardrock had two more good seasons as a starter with Cincinnati (14 wins and 13 wins) during the war. On May 15, 1944 he pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Braves. His only blemish in that game was a walk to the opposing pitcher, Jim Tobin.
~Terry Shumpert 1966 (Cubs 1996)
Shumpert had a 14-year big league career with stops in Kansas City, Boston, Colorado, San Diego, Tampa, and of course, the Cubs. He didn’t get a great deal of playing time with the Cubs. He appeared in 27 games and served as a backup infielder and pinch hitter. He really blossomed with Colorado after leaving Chicago. His best season in the big leagues was 1999. He hit 10 homers, stole 14 bases, and hit .347.
~Ed Sicking 1897 (Cubs 1916)
Ed was a member of the Cubs team that played their first season at Wrigley Field in 1916, but just barely. He was only 19 years old on August 26th when he got his one chance to hit. He was called on to pinch hit for relief pitcher Gene Packard, but Ed didn’t reach base. The pitcher he faced was Lefty Tyler, who would become an important part of the pennant winning Cubs of 1918. Sicking later played for the Giants, Phillies, Reds, and Pirates. The infielder had more than 650 plate appearances in the big leagues but never hit a home run.
~Walter Signer 1910 (Cubs 1943, 1945)
Walter was a minor-leaguer in the 1930s, but when war broke out, and many big leaguers were drafted into the military, Walter made a comeback–hoping to finally make it to the Major Leagues. His plan worked. He got two very brief shots with the Cubs. He made ten appearances and posted an ERA of 3.00. In his 33 innings pitched, Walter only struck out five batters.
~Carlos Silva 1979 (Cubs 2010)
Silva was picked up in a bad-contract-for-bad-contract trade with the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners took the troubled Milton Bradley, and the Cubs took Silva. It’s safe to say the Cubs got the better of the deal, even if there were no real winners here. Silva won his first eight decisions with the Cubs before developing arm problems. The Cubs cut ties with him during spring training 2011.
~Charlie Silvera 1924 (Cubs 1957)
Charlie (known as Swede) was a backup catcher in the big leagues for ten years, mostly with the Yankees. As the understudy to Yogi Berra, Swede didn’t get a lot of playing time. He was in his 30s when he was traded to the Cubs. In his last season in the bigs, he played in only 26 games and hit .208.
~Curt Simmons 1929 (Cubs 1966-1967)
He was a three time all-star that led his team to a World Series title, but of course, that team was not the Cubs. Curt Simmons was only two seasons removed from taking the Cardinals to the 1964 World Series when the Cubs acquired him in 1966. They hoped they were getting the pitcher that started two games in that memorable ’64 series against the Yankees, after winning 18 games in the regular season. They weren’t. They were getting a 37-year-old pitcher at the end of a very nice career. Simmons won 193 games during his 20-year baseball career, but only seven of those came with the Cubs. He started 24 games for the Cubs in 1966 and 1967, but the man who had a 3.54 career ERA, never sniffed an ERA south of 4 for the Cubs. He also allowed 17 home runs in those starts, prompting the team to sell him to the Angels. He retired shortly thereafter.
~Randall Simon 1975 (Cubs 2003)
The Cubs acquired Simon from the Pirates to bolster their lineup during their division champion season of 2003. He shared the first base position with Eric Karros, and got several clutch hits during the pennant drive. He even hit well in the 2003 playoffs. In the two postseason series, he hit .333 with a homer and six RBI. After the season he signed up with Pittsburgh again. Simon will always be remembered for something that had nothing do with baseball. During the famous “sausage race” in Milwaukee, he once hit the Italian sausage with a bat and knocked her over.
~Scott Simon 1952 (Cubs fan 1952-present)
Scott Simon ia an author and NPR radio host, but he’s also a Cubs fan. How big of a Cubs fan is he? This is from official bio…”Scott is a native of Chicago and the son of comedian Ernie Simon and Patricia Lyons Simon. His hobbies are books, theater, ballet, British comedy, Mexican cooking and ‘bleeding for the Chicago Cubs.'” Simon also wrote a book that tells all about his Cubs love (in addition to his love of the other Chicago sports teams) called “Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan”. It was published in the spring of 2000, and topped the Los Angeles Times nonfiction bestseller list for several weeks. One of the best passages of that book was about the 1969 Cubs. Scott Simon is no longer based here, and he is not really a Chicagoan any more, but can there ever be a doubt how deeply the Cubs virus has bored its way into his system?
~Duke Simpson 1927 (Cubs 1953)
His real name was Tom Simpson, and he was a multi-sport star at Notre Dame (and in the army after he was drafted in ’45). This is what Who’s Who Magazine wrote about Simpson after his rookie season for the Cubs in 1953: “Right-handed – throws a slider and a hard-curveball. A highly-rated rookie, he came on in relief in 29 games in ’53, was 1-2 W/L in 45 innings, striking out 21 batters, walked 25 but had a disappointing 8.00 ERA.” You read that last part right. His ERA was 8. The Cubs had purchased his contract before the 1953 season after he had pitched a no-hitter in the minor leagues. “The Cubs, with their typical luck, got themselves a sore-armed pitcher,” Simpson later said. He never made it back to the majors.
~Harry Sinclair 1876 (Cubs minority owner)
Sinclair was a wealthy industrialist, and one of the men who bankrolled the Federal League. When the league folded, Sinclair made $2 million on the deal, part of which was the merging of the Federal League and National League teams in Chicago. The Cubs began playing in the Federal League park (now known as Wrigley). Unfortunatelyfor him, Harry is not most remembered for his time in baseball. Harry was at the heart of Warren G. Harding’s biggest scandal, Teapot Dome. In 1922, Albert B. Fall, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, leased, without competitive bidding, the Teapot Dome fields to Sinclair. When the Senate got wind of this, they investigated. It was found that in 1921, Sinclair also “loaned” Secretary Fall a large amount of money. Fall was indicted for conspiracy and for accepting bribes. He was sentenced to a year in prison and fined $100,000. Sinclair was acquitted, but was subsequently sentenced to prison for contempt of the Senate and for employing detectives to shadow members of the jury. After he served his six months in prison, he simply resumed his life as a wealthy industrialist. He retired as the CEO of Sinclair Oil in 1949, and died in 1956.
~Gary Sinese 1955 (Cubs fan 1955-present)
He was born in Blue Island, but he grew up in Highland Park. As a young man he was one of the founders of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, but he really rose to fame playing the character Lt. Dan in the film Forrest Gump. But while we all knew he was from Chicago, with a birthplace like Blue Island, we couldn’t be sure if he was a Cubs fan or a Sox fan. The record over the past decade seems to have ended that speculation once and for all. In 2003, Gary was interviewed for the Cubs documentary “Chasing October,” and admitted something that surprised no one: He’s a die-hard Cubs fan. In 2004, Gary participated in the film “This Old Cub,” which told the gut-wrenching story of Ron Santo’s struggle with diabetes and his hopes for entry into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Sinise recounted his memories of watching good ol’ #10 patrolling 3B for the Cubs in the sixties and early seventies. In 2009, he agreed to narrate the Cubs film “We Believe.” We believe, Gary. You are a true blue Cubs fan.
~Elmer Singleton 1918 (Cubs 1957-1959)
One of three Cubs named Elmer born on this day, Singleton was a pitcher who was nicknamed “Smoky”. He came to the Cubs from Cincinnati in the trade that also brought Don Hoak to Chicago. His best season with the Cubs was his last year in the big leagues, 1959. Smoky pitched in 21 games for the Cubs, and registered a 2.72 ERA.
~Bob Sirott 1949 (Cubs fan 1949-Present)
Bob Sirott is not just a legendary Chicago broadcaster, he’s a huge Chicago Cubs fan. In his role as a disc jockey and talk show host on the radio, he often talked about his favorite moments at Wrigley Field and his favorite players. As a television journalist, he interviewed countless Cubs. When Harry Caray had his stroke in 1987, Bob was one of the people who filled in for him for a day. When Ernie Banks passed away, Bob wrote a beautiful tribute for the Chicago Tribune. He remains a constant presence at the Friendly Confines, and he’ll be a true-blue Cub fan to the very end. (Audio from Bob’s many interviews with Ernie has been posted on the WGN website)
~Judd Sirott (Cubs announcer 2008-2014)
Bob’s nephew Judd was the fill-in announcer for Pat Hughes during Cubs games (when Pat took his inning-long break) for several years, in addition to hosting the pre and post-game shows on the radio. We interviewed him a few years ago, and he had this to say: “To work with Pat and Ron the past few years was incredible. To be able to do play by play for the Cubs—c’mon, that’s beyond my wildest dreams…With Ronnie (Santo) in the past, it was a treat. He was so much fun to work with. It’s really just a matter of being a conduit to the game. Do it accurately, descriptively, and provide some banter. Every game is different. I used to joke that nobody could call three up and three down like me, but then all of a sudden it would go the other way, with an eight run inning and three pitching changes. I think the key is that I always prepare myself as if I am doing the entire game…I think what I enjoy the most is the play by play. That’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid, and what I’m doing now has exceeded all of my wildest expectations. That’s at my core. But at the same time, I enjoyed all the other jobs too. I still do a fair share of anchoring, and I still do reporting, but the play-by-play job—that’s special. It really is.”
~Ted Sizemore 1945 (Cubs 1979)
He was the Rookie of the Year in 1969 with the Dodgers, and played a scrappy second base for the Cardinals and the Phillies after that, but his Cubs career was rather brief. In 1979 he played most of the year for the Cubs. On August 2nd of that year he was involved in a little altercation at a Montreal restaurant. Cubs management treated the players to dinner that night, but they put a limit of two bottles of wine per table. Sizemore was incensed at the limit, and stormed out of the restaurant. He complained on the bus ride the next day, and he complained on the plane ride. The Cubs traded him to the Boston Red Sox two weeks later. When Herman Franks resigned as Cubs manager at the end of the year, one of the reasons he said he quit was because of the whiny players; specifically naming Sizemore, Bill Buckner, Barry Foote and Mike Vail.
~Bobby Skafish (Cubs fan since late 1950s)
Bobby was the afternoon drive disc jockey at 97.1 FM The Drive (and before that WXRT and the Loop) but he’s also a big Cubs fan. How big? This video explains it…
~Roe Skidmore 1945 (Cubs 1970)
He played in exactly one game for the Cubs in 1970, and his lifetime batting average is 1.000. The New York Times wrote a piece in 1999 about him and other players who only made it into one game. This is what they wrote about Skidmore:
Robert Roe Skidmore had been riding the bench for the Chicago Cubs for weeks when, in September 1970, Leo Durocher sent him up to pinch-hit. He hit the second pitch from Jerry Reuss over the head of Joe Torre, then the Cardinals’ third baseman, for a single. The ball was then retrieved — the ball which still sits on his mantelpiece, the one on which his wife wrote ”1st Big League hit,” not knowing she could have written ”last” or ”only” too. Why? He thinks Durocher had it right about nice guys finishing last. ”I didn’t whine,” said Skidmore, now a businessman in Decatur, Ill. Every spring training, he said, a certain hollow feeling grabs his gut. ”I’ll go two or three weeks where I don’t even want to pick up the paper,” he said. ”I just kind of ignore the fact that it’s starting.”
~Jimmy Slagle 1873 (Cubs 1902-1908)
One of the wily old veterans on the last Cubs team to win the World Series (1908), Slagle was 35 when the Cubs won their last championship. He was known as Rabbit (because of his speed), and Shorty (because of his height—5’7″), but most of his teammates referred to him as the “Human Mosquito” because he was such a pest. Slagle was the starting centerfielder for the entire Cubs dynasty. He took over the job in 1902, and was the first player in World Series history to accomplish a straight steal of home plate (1907), but by 1908, Jimmy was just hanging on. When the 1908 World Series began, Solly Hofman had claimed the starting job. Slagle played his last game for the Cubs on October 3, 1908. He retired after the last out was recorded in the 1908 World Series clinching game. (Photo: 1909 Tobacco Card)
~Cy Slapnicka 1886 (Cubs 1911)
Cy pitched pretty well for the Cubs, but went back to the minor leagues after the season, and didn’t return to the big leagues until he got a cup of coffee with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1918. But that was not the end of Slacknicka’s baseball career by a long shot. He stayed in the game for fifty years, working mainly as a scout for the Cleveland Indians. Among the players he discovered and signed; Hall of Famers Bob Feller and Lou Boudreau. In both cases there were some shenanigans involved in the signing. Feller was only sixteen years old–and Slappy got called in to see Commissioner Landis about that. (The Indians had to pay a fine) In Boudreau’s case, his mom received a $100 a month allowance while Lou was playing at the University of Illinois. Boudreau was banned from college sports when the news got out, and had no choice but to sign with the Indians. Those two players signed by Slapnicka led the Indians to a World Series championship in 1948.
~Sterling Slaughter 1941 (Cubs 1964)
One of the all-time great names in Cubs history, Slaughter was a 22-year-old rookie pitcher with the Cubs in 1964. In his first start he combined on a one-hitter with Lindy McDaniel. His second start was a six hitter. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a tease, because the youngster didn’t win another game in his entire big league career. He developed arm problems and his rookie season was also his last. He is a member of the Arizona State University Baseball Hall of Fame. (Photo: Topps 1965 Baseball Card)
~Lefty Sloat 1918 (Cubs 1949)
He was born just a few weeks after World War I ended, and his baseball career was interrupted by World War II. By the time Lefty made it to the big leagues, he was 30 years old. He appeared in five games for the Cubs, including one start. Lefty was knocked around. His ERA was 7, and he never appeared in the big leagues again.
~Heathcliff Slocumb 1966 (Cubs 1991-1993)
Slocumb was an important part of the Cubs bullpen during his rookie season of 1991, appearing in more than fifty games. He tailed off a bit, however, the following season, so in early 1993, they traded him to the Indians for Jose Hernandez. Slocumb really blossomed a few years later. In 1995 the Phillies made him their closer, and he responded with an all-star season. Over the next four years Slocumb closed for the Phillies, Red Sox, and Mariners. His trade to the Mariners is often cited as one of the reasons the Red Sox won the World Series. In return for Slocumb, the Red Sox got Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek.
~Roy Smalley 1926 (Cubs 1948-1953)
Roy had good pop for a shortstop, hitting 21 home runs one year, but his lifetime batting average was only .227, and he didn’t draw many walks either. In his first season, his on-base percentage was .265. That’s a pretty stunning total for a player with over 300 At Bats. As much as he swung and missed (he led the league in strikeouts one year), Roy Smalley was probably better known for his fielding (and not in a good way). His wild throws were legendary. Imagine Shawon Dunston’s arm with Steve Sax’s accuracy. In his first three seasons when he was still playing every day, he made 34, 39, and 51 errors. The running gag at Wrigley Field was the nickname of Cubs double play combination: Miskus to Smalley to Addison Street. Roy Smalley passed away in October 2011 at the age of 85. (Photo: 1951 Bowman Baseball Card)
~Aleck Smith 1871 (Cubs 1904)
They called the New Yorker “Broadway Aleck” and Broadway had been around before he joined the Cubs in 1904. He had played for Brooklyn, Baltimore, Boston and the Giants. Smith only played in ten games for the Cubs, but in one of them he knocked in the game winning run to lead the Cubs to a 1-0 victory. Aleck was mainly a catcher, but he also played a little outfield and first base.
~Bob Smith 1895 (Cubs 1931-1932)
One of three Bob Smiths to play for the Cubs, this one has the distinction of being the first. He had a very unusual career. After coming up with Boston as a shortstop, Smith was moved to pitcher in his third big league season. That’s where he found himself as a ballplayer. Smith pitched in the big leagues for thirteen seasons, and posted double-digit wins six years in a row. His last time doing it was for the 1931 Cubs. In that tumultous year (Hack Wilson and his manager Rogers Hornsby were at war all season), Bob won 15 games. The following year he was moved to the bullpen, and pitched for the Cubs in that capacity in the 1932 World Series. The team traded him the following year as part of the package used to acquire slugger Babe Herman.
~Bob “Riverboat” Smith 1927 (Cubs 1959)
One of three players in Cubs history with the name, this Bob Smith is differentiated from the others by his great nickname. They called him Riverboat because he grew up in Missouri, along the Mississippi River. He was acquired by the Cubs from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for future manager Chuck Tanner during spring training of 1959 (Photo: 1959 Cubs team). He had had a decent season for the Red Sox in his rookie season of 1958, but with the Cubs, he stunk up the joint. Although in all fairness to Riverboat, he didn’t get much of a chance. He pitched in exactly one game for the Cubs, faced nine batters, and gave up 5 hits, 2 walks, 6 ER, and a wild pitch in 2/3 of an inning. The Cubs traded him shortly after the game to Cleveland for former Cubs favorite Randy Jackson. Both players were toast. Riverboat finished out the season with Cleveland with a 5.22 ERA in 12 appearances. Jackson had the last 74 at bats of his career, and hit one home run. Neither player played a single MLB game in the 1960s.
~Bobby Smith 1934 (Cubs 1962)
One of three different Cubs in history with the name Bob Smith, this one was an outfielder who spent a few weeks with the very bad 1962 Chicago Cubs. How bad were they? The expansion Houston Colt 45s had a better record. The only team that was worse was the worst team in big league history–the 1962 New York Mets. Unfortunately for Bobby Smith, he also played for them.
~Bull Smith 1880 (Cubs 1906)
Smith was a member of the winningest team in baseball history (the 1906 Cubs), but he only played in one game. He later became a minor league manager. He also played football–which is where he got his nickname. He was the halfback on the Canton Bulldogs.
~Charley Smith 1937 (Cubs 1969)
No relation to the Charlie Smith who played for the Cubs 50 years earlier, this Charley was a third baseman/shortstop who played in two games during the 1969 season. He was 0 for 2 in two pinch hitting appearances in April. Charley had a pretty good big league career in the 60s. He had stints with the White Sox, Dodgers, Phillies, Mets, Cardinals and Yankees before finishing his career with those two at-bats with the Cubs. The highlight of his career probably came in 1966, when the Cardinals traded him to the Yankees straight up for Roger Maris.
~Charlie Smith 1880 (Cubs 1911-1914)
Smith hooked up with the Cubs just as their dynasty was beginning to fall apart. Frank Chance would retire as a player during this era, Johnny Evers would suffer a nervous breakdown, and the once proud Cubs team would not win the National League. Smith was a pitcher for the Cubs, pitching mainly out of the bullpen his first few years, before becoming a starter in 1913. He won 7 games that season; his best season in the big leagues. Charlie went into the horse business after his baseball career and owned a livery stable when he died of pneumonia in 1929. His brother Fred also big league baseball.
~Dave Smith 1955 (Cubs 1991-1992)
He was a great relief pitcher for the Houston Astros for ten years. He was a two-time all-star, and is second on the all-time Astros team save list. He came to the Cubs at the end of his career, and quickly developed arm problems. He struggled through two seasons for the Cubs 1991-1992, before retiring. When Smith died unexpectedly in 2008 at the age of 53, it hit his ex-teammates hard. “He was probably one of the most giving people I ever met,” former Astros reliever Charlie Kerfeld told the Houston Chronicle. “He was probably known around the league as the best tipper around the league. (The news of his death) is a tough one. You ain’t supposed to go this early.”
~Dwight Smith 1963 (Cubs 1989-1993)
He made an immediate impact with the Cubs after he was called up in May of 1989, finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting behind teammate Jerome Walton. Dwight hit .324 that year. Unfortunately for the Cubs, he never really came close to repeating those numbers, and he was brutal in the outfield. He stayed with the Cubs through 1993, and had flashes of rookie self, but for the rest of his career he was essentially a journeyman outfielder and occasional pinch hitter. He filled that role magnificently with the World Champion Atlanta Braves in 1995. Smith is remembered in Chicago for his great rookie season, his singing voice (he sang the National Anthem), and his stubborn reluctance to give up on that fashion statement above his lip…the rare 1990s mustache. (Photo: Topps 1989 Baseball Card)
~Earl Smith 1891 (Cubs 1916)
He got his cup of coffee with the Cubs in their first season at their current ballpark. During that 1916 season, the corner outfielder got only twenty-seven at-bats, all of them in the month of September. He did manage seven hits, including a double and a triple, but the Cubs released the 25-year-old after the season. He later resurfaced with the Browns and the Senators. (This photo is from 1919)
~Greg Smith 1967 (Cubs 1989-1991)
Smith was one of those rub-some-dirt-in-it gritty infielders the Cubs hoped would develop into a starter. It just didn’t quite work out. He got a taste of the big time in September of 1989 at the tender age of 22, and then made the club out of spring training in 1990. Unfortunately he had some fielding problems that April, and they sent him back down to the minors. Smith was later traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jose Viscaino. After his playing career was over, he became a scout for the Indians and Rangers, and is now a special assistant to the Rangers’ general manager.
~Harry Smith 1856 (White Stockings 1877)
Harry got into only 24 games with Chicago in their second National League season, before moving on mid-season to play with Cincinnati. He played second base, center field, and catcher in the era before players wore gloves. Among his teammates in Chicago were Hall of Famers Al Spalding and Cap Anson. He died before the turn of the century (in 1898) at the way too young age of 42.
~Jason Smith 1977 (Cubs 2001)
Smith was an infielder who was drafted by the Cubs and came up through their system, but only got one at-bat in a Cubs uniform. He was part of the trade that brought Fred McGriff to Chicago. After leaving the Cubs, Smith was a backup infielder for the Rays, Tigers, Rockies, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Royals, and Astros.
~Joe Smith 1984 (Cubs 2016)
The Cubs acquired the submariner at the trading deadline, but Smith never really clicked in Chicago. He appeared in 16 games and gave up four long balls. When the playoffs rolled around, it appeared pretty obvious that he would not be making the postseason roster. After the season, the Cubs granted him free agency.
Lee Smith 1957 (Cubs 1980-1987)
When Big Lee came up with the Cubs in 1980, he was a starting pitcher. They moved him to the closer role after they floundered in 1981 after the trade that sent Bruce Sutter to the Cardinals. Big Lee turned out to be one of the most consistent closers in Cubs history. From 1982-1987 he saved an average of 30 games a year. He led the league in 1982, was named to the All-Star team in 1983 and 1987, and led the Cubs to the playoffs in 1984 (although he did give up that heartbreaking homer to Steve Garvey that postseason). The Cubs traded Lee for Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi after the 1987 season; one of the worst trades in their history. Nipper pitched one season for the Cubs and won 2 games. Schiraldi lasted 1 ½ seasons, and won 12 games. Lee Smith saved 300 more games in his career, while the Cubs floundered at the closer position for years. In the next seventeen years, the Cubs had 15 different closers. (Photo: Topps 1982 Baseball Card)
It may be considered the greatest moment in Padres history, but it was the exact opposite for the Cubs…
~Paul Smith 1931 (Cubs 1958)
Smith was acquired from the Pirates during the 1958 season, and got a cup of coffee with the Cubs. He was mainly used as a pinch hitter, although he did log some time at first base as well. Unfortunately for Paul, he didn’t hit well (.150), and was sent to the minors in June. He stayed in the game another six years, but never returned to the big leagues.
~Willie Smith 1939 (Cubs 1968-1970)
Willie’s greatest day as a Cub happened on April 8, 1969. He hit a pinch-hit 2-run walk off home run to win the game on Opening Day. That began a year long love affair between the Cubs and their fans. On September 4, 1969, with the Cubs still holding onto a 5-game lead over the Mets, Willie and teammate Nate Oliver released a parody of the Righteous Brothers hit “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling”. Unfortunately for Willie, Nate and Cubs nation, they weren’t “going, going, going, all the way” like the song predicted.
AUDIO: Pennant Feeling…
~Steve Smyth 1978 (Cubs 2002)
Steve was a highly regarded prospect in the Cubs farm system who was brought in as one of the desperate attempts at finding a fifth starter in 2002. Smyth got seven starts and pitched a grand total of 26 innings. Do the math. He didn’t even average four innings a start. It was his only shot at the big leagues. The Cubs traded him to Atlanta in 2004. Smyth pitched in the minor leagues for ten full seasons.
~Brad Snyder 1982 (Cubs 2010-2011)
Snyder was a first round pick of the Indians, so the Cubs gambled that his pedigree would pay off when they got him on waivers. It didn’t. In parts of two seasons with the Cubs, the outfielder hit .167.
~Miguel Socolovich 1986 (Cubs 2012)
The Venezuelan righthander appeared in only six games for the Cubs in 2012; his only big league season. He has been pitching in the minor leagues since 2004.
~Jorge Soler 1992 (Cubs 2014-present)
Soler was signed after he defected from Cuba. He had a rough start in the minors and had trouble staying healthy, but he put it all together in 2014. At each step of the minors he dominated, until he was brought all the way up to the big leagues. In his first at bat with the Cubs, Soler hit a homer (against Mat Latos). He finished the year as the club’s starting right fielder. He battled through more injuries in 2015, but when the playoffs arrived, so did Jorge. He hit an astounding .474 in the postseason and slugged three homers. At one point he reached base a record nine consecutive times. The injury bug bit him again 2016, and he missed quite a bit of time. He did hit 12 homers, but he was really a non-factor in the Cubs World Series run.
~Marcelino Solis 1930 (Cubs 1958)
The Mexican-born lefthander was nearly 28 years old when he made his big league debut in 1958. He pitched the second half of the season for the Cubs that year, and registered an ERA of over six in fifteen appearances. He stayed in the farm system for a few seasons before returning to Mexico to finish his career in his homeland.
~Eddie Solomon 1951 (Cubs 1975)
The Cubs traded stud pitcher Burt Hooton to the Dodgers to get Eddie, but they found out pretty quickly that he wasn’t their type of guy. He was considered a bad apple by Cubs management, and they didn’t waste any time getting rid of him. Eddie was with the Cubs for only two months, but he did manage to pitch in the big leagues until 1982 with the Cardinals, Braves, Pirates, and White Sox. Just four years after his last big league game, he died in a car accident in Macon Georgia at the age of 34.
~Andy Sommers 1865 (White Stockings 1889)
Not to be confused with the lead guitarist of The Police, this Andy Sommers was a catcher/outfielder for the first half of the 1889 season with the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings). He got into twelve games and hit .222 before being released in July. Sommers also played for New York, Boston, Indy, and Cleveland.
~Rudy Sommers 1887 (Cubs 1912)
Sommers appeared in one game for the Cubs on September 8, 1912 against the Reds in Cincinnati. He gave up four hits and one run in three innings, and the Cubs lost the rain shortened game 10-8.
~Lary Sorensen 1955 (Cubs 1985)
Lary (spelled with one ‘R’) pitched for seven teams in an eleven season big league career including the Cubs in 1985. He was an all-star with Milwaukee when he won 18 games for them in the 1978 season, but by the time he came to Chicago he wasn’t the same pitcher. With the Cubs, Sorenson was converted into a reliever, pitching in 46 games. He was 3-7 with a 4.26 ERA and was released after the year.
~Alfonso Soriano 1976 (2007-2013 Cubs)
When he signed an eight year contract with the Cubs, he was heralded as a huge signing. After all, he had a rare combination of power and speed (40 homers and 40 steals). Unfortunately, that speed left him pretty quickly after he joined the team, and it wasn’t long before he heard the boo birds. In fairness he did have several good seasons with the team, and by the end of his time here, the fans were almost sad to see him go.
~Rafael Soriano 1979 (Cubs 2015)
The Cubs took a flier on the former all-star closer after he released by the Washington Nationals in July of 2015. Turns out the Nationals released him for a reason. In only five innings with the Cubs, Soriano gave up two long balls in crucial situations. The Cubs released him in September.
~Sammy Sosa 1968 (Cubs 1992-2004)
Sammy was a phenomenon during his time with the Cubs. He holds the all-time record for homers hit in a Cubs uniform (545), and most of them were hit in dramatic fashion. His chase of the Roger Maris record (along with Mark McGwire) captivated the world in 1998. During his time with the Cubs, Sammy was an MVP, a seven time all-star, won two home run titles, two RBI titles, led the league in runs three times, and hit more than 60 homers in a season a record setting three times (although he didn’t win the HR title in any of the seasons he did so). The fans loved the way he ran to his right field spot, raising his hat in the air as a tribute to the bleacher fans each day. They loved his home run hop, his post-home run dugout routine done for the cameras, his ever-present smile, and they chanted his name when he came up to bat: SAMMY, SAMMY, SAMMY. He received a great reception around the rest of the league too; many of the NL fans saw Sammy as the entertainer he clearly felt he was. President Clinton even invited Sammy to attend the State of the Union message one year. The fans didn’t seem to notice or care that his teammates didn’t seem to feel the same way. They dismissed the anonymous grumbling, and the accusations of “me first-ism” as jealousy. That all began to change in the summer of 2003. In an inter-league game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Sammy’s bat exploded and Rays catcher Toby Hall picked up the portion of the bat that remained on the ground. He and the umpire immediately noticed the cork, and Sammy was tossed out of the game. In a post-game press conference he swore he accidentally grabbed the wrong bat. The league supposedly checked the other bats (after the game, after Sammy and/or the Cubs had plenty of time to get rid of any suspicious bats) and found no evidence against him. That year he didn’t make the All-Star team for the first time since 1998. Although after Sammy hit .308 with two home runs in the 2003 NL-Championship Series vs. the Marlins, Cub fans seemed ready to forget all about that little corking incident. But it went downhill fast during the 2004 season. The league instituted new testing for steroids, and suddenly Sammy’s was doing his home run hops on balls barely hit to the warning track. During that summer, Sammy sneezed in the clubhouse and injured himself so badly he missed nearly a month of games. The Cubs fans didn’t officially desert him, however, until the team collapsed the last week of the 2004 season. In the final game of the year, Sammy left in a huff before the game was over. His teammates took that opportunity to bash his boombox into pieces with a baseball bat, an ignominious end to his Cubs career. The Cubs traded Sammy to Baltimore, and he got the last 35 home runs of his major league career with the Orioles and the Rangers. His 600th career home run came against the Cubs in an inter-league game, but the love affair with Chicago was long gone. Will the all-time home run king of Chicago have his number retired by the Cubs? Will he return one more time to hear the chants of SAMMY, SAMMY, SAMMY? Will he be voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame? Or will he forever remain a tarnished hero; a symbol of baseball’s steroids era? (Photo: Topps 1992 Baseball Card)
AUDIO: Sammy Sosa day at Wrigley…
~Geovany Soto 1983 (Cubs 2005-2012)
He was the Rookie of the Year and an all-star for the Cubs in 2008, but never even came close to living up to those numbers again. It all started going downhill for Geo when he tested positive for pot in the 2009 World Baseball Classic when he was playing for his native Puerto Rico. The Cubs traded him to the Rangers in 2012.
~Albert Spalding 1850 (White Stockings player 1876-1877, owner 1878-1891)
He was a star pitcher for Chicago in 1876 & 1877, but he was always a little ahead of his time. For instance, while he was still playing, he became the first “sissy” that insisted on wearing a glove. And he did it because he wanted to sell them at his sporting goods store. It worked. His business mind eventually took over, and he bought the team. There was simply more money to be made in ownership than in playing the game. He came up with several innovations (other than the glove), including Spring Training (in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1886), and night baseball (which didn’t catch on in 1883). But he was also known as being very cheap. During a barnstorming world tour with the Cubs, one of his best players Ned Williamson was hurt in London. Spalding not only left him there, he refused to pay for his medical bills or his return passage to America. He also created the world’s first league-wide salary cap, an idea that lives on today in many other sports, but ironically, not in baseball. Spalding is a Hall of Famer and a visionary, but clearly he was not a popular man because of the horrible way he treated his players. After the 1886 season, a season in which they lost the 19th century version of the World Series, Spalding decided that he had identified the problem. Spalding believed that alcohol was evil, and felt that his team simply had too many drunks. He was right about that. The Cubs certainly did have their share of drunks, and none was more obvious than their biggest star King Kelly. Kelly was known to show up drunk, drink during the game, and then get drunker still after the game. So, to clean up the team, King Kelly was the first player Spalding jettisoned. Kelly was sold to Boston for an unheard of sum of money…$10,000. But Spalding was just getting started. Next, he got rid of the rest of the outfield. George Gore, a perennial .300 hitter was traded to New York. Abner Dalrymple, their lead off man and left fielder for their many pennant winners, was traded to Pittsburgh, along with one of their best pitchers, 31-game winner Jim McCormick. Only one “drunk” remained on the team, a future Hall of Fame pitcher named John Clarkson. He was sent away the following off-season. So how did the team fare after the drunks were moved out and the team was purified? They didn’t sniff the pennant for another nineteen years. It got so bad that the entire team quit to form a new league in 1890 (other than three players…Anson, Burns, and Hutchison). That signaled to Spalding that it might be time to step away from the game, which he did shortly after that.
A tale about Spalding’s 1888 world tour…
~Al Spangler 1933 (Cubs 1967-1971)
Spanky, as he was known by his teammates, had some clutch hits for the Cubs over his five seasons as a backup outfielder and pinch hitter, but Spangler never had the kind of power necessary to start in the big leagues. He got his most extended playing time during Chicago’s ill-fated 1969 season. In over 200 plate appearances he hit four homers and knocked in 27 runs. He also, unfortunately, only hit .211. That was the beginning of the end of his 13-year big league career. He later went into coaching.
~Bob Speake 1930 (Cubs 1955,1957)
His real name was Robert Speake, and he went by Bob, but his nickname was Spook. Spook was an outfielder/first baseman for the Cubs during the ’55 and ’57 seasons, and had decent pop in his bat (12 and 16 home runs), but his average was terrible (.218 and .232). The Cubs traded him to the Giants after the ’57 season for Bobby Thompson, and Speake drifted away. He only hit three more homers in his career and was out of baseball after the ’59 season. (Photo: Topps 1956 Baseball Card)
~Chris Speier 1950 (Cubs 1985-1986)
Long before he was arrested for DUI as a coach for the 2006 Cubs, Chris Speier was a very respectable backup infielder for the 1985 and 1986 Cubs. He backed up Sandberg at second, Dunston at shortstop, and Ron Cey at third, and in 1986 hit .284 for the year, the best he ever hit in a season during his 19-year major league career. He was a three-time all-star shortstop early in his career with the San Francisco Giants.
~Justin Speier 1973 (Cubs 1998)
Chris Speier’s son was drafted by the Cubs and made his big league debut for them just a few years later. The righthanded reliever was included in the trade package that brought Felix Heredia to the Cubs in July of 1998. Heredia was a bust with the Cubs, but Speier went on to make more 600 big league relief appearances for the Marlins, Braves, Indians, Rockies, Blue Jays and Angels over a stellar 12-year career.
~Rob Sperring 1949 (Cubs 1974-1976)
The jack of all-trades played every position with the Cubs except first base, catcher, and pitcher. He never hit much (career average of .211), but he was a valuable backup. He was later included as a throw in to the Bill Madlock for Bobby Murcer trade with the Giants.
~Karl Spongeberg 1884 (Cubs 1908)
He pitched exactly one game in the big leagues, and it was for the last Cubs team to win a World Series title. On August 1, 1908, Spongberg came in to relieve Carl Lundgren in the third inning. The Cubs were already behind 7-0 to Boston at the time. Karl finished the game for him, but he gave up another 7 runs. His final ERA was 9.00.
~George K. Spoor 1872 (Cubs fan)
Spoor was born in Highland Park and ran the only business in Chicago that was more glamorous than the famous Cubs. Not many people realize that Chicago was once the movie capitol of the world. That title lasted exactly one decade (1907-1917), and it was thanks to the movie studio known as Essanay Studios. The studio was located on Argyle Street in the Uptown neighborhood. The name “Essanay” comes from the initials of the studio’s founding partners: George Spoor and Bronco Billy Anderson. (Photo: Spoor on the left, Anderson on the right). At that time there was still quite a bit of open space to film in that neighborhood, and Essanay preferred to shoot outdoors if possible. They also built an indoor studio at that location. On the day the studio was opened (in 1907), the Cubs were in the midst of a magical season, on their way to their first World Series title. As the Cubs built one of the greatest dynasties in baseball history, Essanay was doing the same on Argyle Street. They had the world’s number one box-office star ( Charlie Chaplin), a glamor queen ( Gloria Swanson) and the most famous cowboy star in the world (“Bronco Billy” Anderson). Spoor was the businessman. He had run a news-stand and a film projector company. Two of his employees went on to start the Bell & Howell company, which made movie projectors. Chaplin left Essanay in 1916, which dealt a death blow to the company. A year later, the rest of the movie making world had moved to southern California for better weather (and year-round filming possibilities), and Essanay died a quick and painful death. By 1917, only the plain brick building on Argyle remained as a reminder of this era. Essanay studios was only operating in Chicago for eleven years, but in those years, the Cubs were in the World Series three times, and began playing their games in what is now known as Wrigley Field. It was a critical era in Cubs and Chicago history.
~Jerry Spradlin 1967 (Cubs 2000)
Spradlin was a journeyman righthander who lasted seven big league seasons, including his last one with the Cubs in 2000. He appeared in eight games and was rocked hard (15 ERs in 15 innings). The Cubs released him after the season, and he never pitched in the big leagues again. Spradlin’s career highlight probably came on July 22, 1999 when he struck out four San Diego Padres in one inning (as a member of the Giants). He is one of only seventy pitchers in big league history to pull off that feat.
~Charlie Sprague 1864 (White Stockings 1887)
Charlie was a lefthanded starting pitcher who started three games for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) in the summer of 1887. He completed two of those games, and posted a 4.91 ERA. He later also pitched for Cleveland and Toledo.
~Jack Spring 1933 (Cubs 1964)
He pitched for seven teams in his eight big league seasons, and for exactly one month that team was the Cubs. They acquired Jack in May of 1964, and he pitched in seven games over the next few weeks. But then on June 15, 1964, Spring was called into the manager’s office and told he had been traded again. This time he was the throw-in in the trade that sent Lou Brock to the Cardinals. In St. Louis, Spring won a ring (although he didn’t make the postseason roster that year). Not sure what happened to that Brock character. One of the most miraculous stats of Jack’s career is this little tidbit: He once went 19 consecutive outings without recording a strikeout. That’s the longest streak since 1957.
~DeWayne Staats 1952 (Cubs announcer 1985-1989)
Staats was part of the Cubs broadcast team during the mid-to-late 80s. Among his highlights during that time was broadcasting the first night game at Wrigley Field (in 1988) and their division winning season of 1989. Since leaving the Cubs he has been the broadcaster for theYankees and the Tampa Rays.
~Eddie Stack 1887 (Cubs 1913-1914)
Eddie pitched for Chicago two seasons while they were still at the old West Side Grounds ballpark. The righthander appeared in eighteen games over those two seasons, and won 4. After he retired from baseball, Eddie settled in the Chicago area, and is buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside.
~Tuck Stainback 1911 (Cubs 1934-1937)
His real name was George Tucker Stainback, so it seemed obvious to call him Tuck…but it also just happened to create one of the all-time great names. Say it out loud: Tuck Stainback. It’s positively poetic. Stainback was a backup outfielder for the Cubs from 1934-1937 probably best known for his ejection from the Cub bench for riding umpire George Moriarty during the 1935 Chicago-Detroit World Series. His taunting led to the entire dugout being thrown out, which came back to haunt the Cubs in the ninth inning, when the pitcher had to bat in a tied game because no one was left to pinch hit. Tuck was later a throw-in in the Dizzy Dean trade, one of the Cubs worst. After he retired, he helped organize Major League Baseball’s first pension for players in 1947. (Photo: 1934 Diamond Stars Baseball Card)
~Matt Stairs 1968 (Cubs 2001)
Stairs was brought in to play first base for the Cubs, even though he had previously only played a handful of games at that position. It didn’t work out. The Cubs traded for Fred McGriff at the trading deadline to take his place. Nevertheless, Stairs did hit 16 homers in a Cubs uniform, and got several clutch hits during that 2001 season. That was his only year in Chicago, but he did play ten more seasons in the big leagues, and won a ring with the Phillies in 2008.
~Gale Staley 1899 (Cubs 1925)
He played at the tail end of the ’25 season (Sept/Oct). That was the first year the Cubs ever finished in last place. In his first at bat, Staley lined a single and drove in a run in the bottom of the 9th inning. A week later he got his first start at second base and batted seventh in the lineup, between Charlie Grimm and Gabby Hartnett. He went 2 for 3, and started a few double plays. He played there the rest of the season, including Pete Alexander’s last start. By his fourth game he was batting second in the lineup behind Sparky Adams (who had shifted over to SS to replace Rabbit Maranville). Staley got at least one hit in every game he played, but he spent the rest of his career in the minor leagues.
~Pete Standridge 1892 (Cubs 1915)
Pete pitched for the Cubs in 1915 during the last season of the rickety old West Side Grounds. He went 4-1 in 29 appearances with a 3.61 ERA. He would never make it back to the bigs, despite being only 23 years old at the time. He pitched in the minor leagues until 1920, and later managed in Canada.
~Eddie Stanky 1916 (Cubs 1943-1944)
They called him the brat because he was a professional irritant. Leo Durocher pegged him with his nickname when he said: “Look at Mel Ott over there [in the Giant’s dugout]. He’s a nice guy, and he finishes second. Now look at The Brat (Stanky). He can’t hit, can’t run, can’t field. He’s no nice guy, but all the little SOB can do is win.” Branch Rickey described Stanky the same way: “He can’t hit, he can’t run, he can’t field, he can’t throw, he can’t do a goddamn thing…but beat you.” The ultimate rub-some-dirt-in-it gritty second baseman started out as a Cub (1943), but was traded to the Dodgers half way through his second season for a journeyman pitcher named Bob Chipman. The Cubs thought they had a better second baseman to replace him: Don Johnson. Johnson did start at 2B for the last Cubs World Series team in 1945, but Stanky went on to play in three World Series, was named to three All-Star teams, led the league in on-base percentage twice, and most famously started the ninth-inning rally that culminated in Bobby Thomson’s pennant-winning home run. After his playing career was over he managed the White Sox (in ’66 and ’67—while Durocher was managing the Cubs), and for one game in 1977, the Texas Rangers. He quit after one day because he couldn’t stand the modern ballplayers.
~Joe Stanley 1881 (Cubs 1909)
Stanley was only 16 years old when he got his first taste of the big leagues with the Washington Senators in 1897 and struck out in his only at bat. But he hung in there and eventually played for the Boston Braves for several seasons. He came to the Cubs in his final year in the big leagues as a grizzled 28-year-old veteran. He hit .135 in limited time in the Cubs outfield that year, but played alongside the stars that comprised the Cubs dynasty.
~Tom Stanton 1874 (Cubs 1904)
Stanton played in exactly one game for the Cubs. It happened on April 19, 1904. The catcher went 0 for 3 with a strikeout, while catching for future World Series champ Carl Lundgren. The Cubs lost 9-3 in St. Louis.
~Ray Starr 1906 (Cubs 1945)
Ray Starr earned the nickname Iron Man by pitching both ends of more than 40 minor league doubleheaders during his 20-year career. One of his memorable quirks? Each season he pitched fastballs and curves for two hours on the first day of spring training. (Modern Day pitching coaches faint at the mention of this ritual). As a wartime pitcher with the Reds, Starr won 15 games in 1942, and made the All-Star team. But that was really his only good year. The Cubs picked him up from the Pirates during their pennant winning 1945 season, but Iron Man didn’t exactly pitch well. His ERA was 7.42. Starr gave up 17 hits and 7 walks in just 13 innings with the pennant winning Cubs. He retired after the 1945 season.
~Joe Start 1842 (White Stockings 1878)
Joe was known as Old Reliable. He was 35 years old when he started at first base for the 1878 Cubs (then known as the White Stockings). He was the meat in the Cubs first baseman Hall of Fame sandwich. The man who started there the year before was Al Spalding, and the man who started there the year after was Cap Anson. Of course both Spalding and Anson were still part of that 1878 team (Spalding as owner, Anson as outfielder), but Old Reliable hit incredibly well for the White Stockings that year. He led the team in hitting with a .351 average. Start played in the big leagues another eight seasons (mainly for Providence) and didn’t retire until he was 43 years old.
~Jigger Statz 1897 (Cub 1922-1925)
His real name was Arnold John Statz, and he was a local boy—born in Waukegan, around the same time as Jack Benny. When he was little the folks called him “chigger bug” because he was so small. That was spelled incorrectly by his parents, and voila, the name stuck. For many years Jigger held the all-time record for professional baseball games played, although most of his (18 years) were played in the minors in Wrigley Field (the one in Los Angeles). He did play 8 seasons in the big leagues, and was the starting centerfielder for the Cubs in the early 20s (1922-1925). Only five players have more than 4000 career hits in professional baseball…Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron…and Jigger Statz. He played in the minors until he was 44 years old.
~Ed Stauffer 1898 (Cubs 1923)
He pitched in only one game for the Cubs on April 26, 1923. Ed pitched two innings and gave up five hits and three earned runs in a 7-5 loss to the Pirates. His final ERA in the NL is 13.50. Among the Pirates he faced that day: future Cub Charlie Grimm, and future Hall of Famers Rabbit Maranville and Pie Traynor. Stauffer later got a little longer shot with the 1925 St. Louis Browns (20 games).
~John Stedronsky 1850 (White Stockings 1879)
Stedronsky was an unlikely big league ballplayer. He was born in the Czech Republic, and didn’t pick up baseball until later in life. John was a 29-year-old rookie third baseman who got into the last four games of the 1879 season. He got exactly one hit, which in fairness to Stedronsky is one more big league hit than you or I ever tallied.
~Kennie Steenstra 1970 (Cubs 1998)
Kennie pitched for the Cubs for two weeks at the end of May/beginning of June in 1998. It didn’t go too well for him. In four appearances covering 3.1 innings, he gave up two homers and posted an ERA north of 10. He pitched eleven seasons in the minor leagues, but this was his only taste of the bigtime.
~Morrie Steevens 1940 (Cubs 1962)
The lefty reliever made the Cubs out of spring training in 1962, and debuted against his favorite childhood team the Cardinals in April. Steevens gave up a two-run double to Bill White. He was only 21 years old at the time. He pitched a few more times before the Cubs sent him down to the minors. They didn’t bring him back up until September. All told, the rookie appeared in twelve games and had a respectable ERA of 2.40. That was it for his Cubs career. He later also pitched for the Phillies.
~Ed Stein 1869 (Colts 1890-1891)
Ed was a starting pitcher for the Cubs (then known as the Colts) and had a few fairly good seasons, but it wasn’t until he got to Brooklyn that Stein really showed what he could do. He won 27 games and 26 games in two different seasons for Brooklyn.
~Randy Stein 1953 (Cubs 1982)
Randy pitched for the Brewers and Mariners before finishing up his career with the Cubs. He went out in style, however. In his last big league appearance on September 22, 1982, he pitched three scoreless innings against the Mets in Wrigley Field. He didn’t have many appearances like that. His career ERA was 5.72.
~Harry Steinfeldt 1877 (Cubs 1906-1910)
Harry was the forgotten man in the Cubs infield that also included Hall of Famers, Tinker, Evers, and Chance, but he was every bit as important to that Cubs dynasty as any of them. If only his last name were a little more poetic—Franklin Adams may have included him in his famous poem. (In fairness to Adams, you try rhyming Steinfeldt.) Frank Chance considered Harry the final piece to the puzzle when he acquired him before the 1906 season, and boy was he right. Harry led the team in hits and RBI and batted .327 as the Cubs posted the best record in baseball history. The following year, Steinfeldt was the star of the 1907 World Series. He hit .471 to lead the Cubs to their first World Series championship. He was also the starting third baseman for the Cubs in the 1908 and 1910 World Series. Harry played briefly the next season with Boston, but his skills were obviously waning. After not being able to cut it even in the minor leagues, he admitted defeat and retired. Harry Steinfeldt passed away of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1914 at the age of 36. (Photo: 1909 Tobacco Card)
~Rick Stelmaszek 1948 (Cubs 1974)
The local Chicago boy (Mendel Catholic High) played his final season in the big leagues with the Cubs, serving as one of the team’s backup catchers. His claim to fame with the Cubs was allowing a third strike to drop, which enabled an Expos runner to reach base. Pitcher Bill Bonham struck out four batters that innings thanks to Rick’s error.
~Jake Stenzel 1867 (Colts 1890)
Jake was an exile from the Player’s League when Cap Anson convinced him to play a few games for the Cubs (then known as the Colts). Even though Anson couldn’t convince Stenzel to stay in Chicago, it was obvious that he had a good eye for talent. Stenzel later played for Pittsburgh, Baltimore, St. Louis and Cincinnati and finished his nine year big league career with a .338 lifetime average. He opened a bar after his playing days, and sold it during World War I, just before Prohibition kicked in.
~Earl Stephenson 1947 (Cubs 1971)
Earl made his big league debut with the Cubs in April of 1971 and made sixteen appearances before returning to the minors. He also had a cup of coffee with the Brewers and the Orioles, but spent most of his 11-year baseball career in the minor leagues.
~Joe Stephenson 1921 (Cubs 1944)
Joe languished in the minor leagues for ten years, but did get a few very brief tastes of the big time during World War II, including his very short stint with the Cubs. The catcher appeared in only four games and managed to get one hit in eight plate appearances. But Stephenson’s baseball career is more notable for what he did after he retired as a player. He worked as a scout for the Red Sox and discovered the likes of Fred Lynn, Rick Burleson, Dwight Evans, and Bill “Spaceman” Lee.
~John Stephenson 1941 (Cubs 1967-1968)
When you’re a decent defensive catcher, they’ll find a place for you in the majors. Stephenson was Randy Hundley’s backup for two seasons, which means that he didn’t get a lot of playing time. He also served as a backup catcher for the Mets, Giants, and Angels in a ten year big league career. One of his claims to fame: making the final out in Jim Bunning’s perfect game in 1964.
~Phil Stephenson 1960 (Cubs 1989)
He played his college ball at Wichita State and set a hitting streak record (47 games) that was later broken by Robin Ventura. Stephenson came up with the Cubs as a 28-year-old rookie in 1989, but the lefthanded first baseman/outfielder didn’t get a lot of playing time before being sent to San Diego as the player to be named later in the Darrin Jackson/Calvin Schiraldi for Marvell Wynne/Luis Salazar trade. He got a lot more playing time with the Padres in 1990, but didn’t respond well, hitting only .209 for the season. Phil is now a college coach in Kansas.
~Riggs Stephenson 1898 (Cubs 1926-1934)
Stephenson was a former All-American football player, and his nickname Old Hoss fit his build. Old Hoss was a great hitter, one of the best in Cubs history. He still holds the Cubs record for hitters with more than 2000 ABs, with a .336 lifetime average. In the Cubs’ 1929 pennant-winning year, he combined with Hall of Famers Hack Wilson and Kiki Cuyler to form the only outfield in National League history with 100 RBI players at each spot. (Stephenson 110, Wilson 159, Cuyler 102). He had his problems in the outfield, however. Old Hoss threw like an Old Hoss thanks to an old football injury. He had major arm problems which hampered him, and eventually shortened his career. (Photo: 1933 Goudy Baseball Card)
~Walter Stephenson 1911 (Cubs 1935-1936)
Stephenson was from a small North Carolina mountain town, and he only played in twenty two games for the Cubs in 1935 and 1936. Nicknamed Tarzan for his impressive physique (He was about 6’, 180 pounds), he didn’t get to play much because he was a backup catcher to Cubs ironman catcher Gabby Hartnett. Tarzan was a memorable character though, known for his toughness and temper. In 1935, he and Billy Jurges got into a fist-fight in the dugout at Forbes Field because Jurges made a crack about the south losing the Civil War (Jurges was from Brooklyn). Tarzan Stephenson later played ten more games for the Philadelphia Phillies before drifting off into the minors.
~David Stern 1963 (Just One Bad Century)
David is the marketing director of Just One Bad Century, but he’s also a published author. His self-described spiritual masterpiece is called “The Balding Handbook: 5 Stages of Grieving for Your Hair Loss”. When asked to pick his all-time favorite Cubs he effortlessly ticks off a few: “Ryne Sandberg-when he takes his hat off–and of course, Mike Quade.” The Balding Handbook is available at Eckhartz Press.
~Dave Stevens 1970 (Cubs 1997-1998)
Stevens pitched for the Twins, Indians and Braves in addition to the Cubs. With the Cubs he pitched strictly out of the bullpen. He posted a 9.64 ERA in 1997, and then did a bit better during the wildcard season of 1998 (4.74 ERA). The Cubs released him after that season.
~Jeff Stevens 1983 (Cubs 2009-2011)
Stevens got three shots to show his stuff with the Cubs, but never quite managed to seize the opportunity. In 33 appearances over three seasons, he posted an ERA of 6.27. In only 37 innings, he gave up 25 walks and seven homers.
~Justice John Paul Stevens 1920 (Cubs fan 1920-present)
He was a moderate Republican when he was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Gerald R. Ford in 1975, and is now considered the most liberal member of the Supreme Court, but Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has other interests besides the law and politics. Namely Baseball. More specifically; Cubs baseball. Judge Stevens was born in Chicago in 1920. His father built the famous Stevens Hotel (which is now the Hilton), and John and his brothers posed as models for the bronze sculptures by the grand stairway. In 1932 at the age of 12, Stevens, who had become a huge Chicago Cubs fan, remembers sitting at Wrigley Field and watching Babe Ruth, in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the World Series, gesturing with his bat toward center field and hitting his famous “called shot” home run. He went to college in Chicago, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago in 1941. During those years, he was a frequent visitor to Wrigley Field. During the 1950s and 1960s while he practiced law in Chicago, he continued to follow his favorite team. Starting in 1975, however, after becoming a Supreme Court Justice, his visits to Chicago became less frequent. He now lives in Washington & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. But every now and then, he’ll still stop by the favorite place of his youth. In 2005, at age 85, he threw the first pitch at a Cubs-Reds game at Wrigley Field and got it right over the plate. (Photo by AP Photos/Jeff Robertson)
~Ace Stewart 1869 (Colts 1895)
Ace wasn’t given that nickname because of his stellar play, his real first name was Asa, and Ace was just a shortened way of saying that. The Indiana native (Terre Haute) was a second baseman for Chicago in his only big league season, and was a bit of a butcher in the field. He made 52 errors. Even though he never made it back to the bigs, he did play professional baseball in the minor leagues until 1907. Oh, and he also had a tremendous mustache. (Photo: 1895 Colts. Ace is standing in the back row. Furthest mustache on the right)
~Ian Stewart 1985 (Cubs 2012-2013)
Stewart was one of the first players Theo Epstein acquired after being named Cubs president. Stewart cost the Cubs Tyler Colvin and D.J. LeMahieu, but Epstein figured that Ian had the talent to become the Cubs starting third baseman. Unfortunately, Stewart’s wrist never seemed to heal, robbing him of his best attribute–his power. Without the power, his low batting average was a major liability. Still, Stewart wasn’t officially let go by the Cubs until he posted some critial tweets. That’s what sealed his fate.
~Jimmy Stewart 1939 (Cubs 1963-1967)
Not to be confused with the movie star of the same name, this Jimmy Stewart was a utility man who played every position for the Cubs except first base, catcher, and pitcher. His biggest shot came in 1964, when he played a lot of second base after the shocking death of Ken Hubbs, and hit .253 in over 400 plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, he slumped badly the following year, and was used less and less by new manager Leo Durocher. Stewart later played for the White Sox, Reds, and Astros.
The other Jimmy Stewart…
~Mack Stewart 1914 (Cubs 1945)
Mack Stewart got into eight games in the summer of 1944, and pitched fairly well. He also started the 1945 season with the Cubs, but wasn’t very effective, so they sent him down to their single A team in Nashville at the end of June. He had a couple more solid seasons in Double-A, but never made it back up to the big leagues. Stewart was already in his 30s when the season began and more than likely never would have made it on the Cubs if their team hadn’t been so badly depleted during the war.
~Tuffy Stewart 1883 (Cubs 1913-1914)
The second most popular Tuffy in Cubs history was a local boy who wasn’t really a boy anymore when he made his big league debut for his hometown Cubs. He was 30. In parts of two seasons he played in eleven games and got only one big league hit (a double that drove in two runs). Most of his appearances came as a late-inning defensive replacement in the outfield.
~Tim Stoddard 1953 (Cubs 1984)
In college he played in a national championship game in both basketball and baseball for North Carolina State University. He was basketball teammates with superstar David Thompson, and had to cover Bill Walton in their Final Four game. But he chose baseball over basketball and never looked back. He had a very successful 13-year big league career, including two seasons as the closer in Baltimore. Stoddard only pitched one season for the Cubs, but it just happened to be their division-winning season of 1984. He was the primary setup mustache for Lee Smith that year, saving seven games and winning ten in 58 appearances. After the season he was granted his free agency, and signed with the team that beat the Cubs in the playoffs, the San Diego Padres. The Cubs got a first round pick as compensation and selected Rafael Palmeiro.
~Steve Stone 1948 (Cubs 1974-1976)
Of course we all remember Steve Stone’s long run as the TV color man for the Cubs, but he also pitched for them three seasons in the mid 70s (74-76). The Cubs acquired him from the White Sox (along with catcher Steve Swisher) for Ron Santo, who toiled away painfully on the South Side in his last big league season. Stone’s best season with the Cubs was 1975 when he won 12 games. He became a free agent after the 1976 season and had two more good seasons (winning 15 games with the South Side Hitmen White Sox in 1977, and the Cy Young award with the Baltimore Orioles in 1980.) He became a broadcaster shortly thereafter, and still broadcasts baseball games somewhere. (It’s too painful to say where). We salute him for his years with the Cubs, and specifically for those years in the mid-70s when he and his fine mustache took the mound at Wrigley Field. (Photo: Topps 1975 Baseball Card)
~Bill Stoneman 1944 (Cubs 1967-1968)
Stoneman was a local Chicago-area boy (Oak Park) the Cubs drafted in 1966. By July of ’67 he was up with the big club, and pitched pretty well out of the bullpen. He saved four games and nearly struck out a man an inning. The following year the Cubs sent him to the minors to become a starter. Unfortunately, they left him unprotected in the expansion draft of 1968, and the Expos nabbed him. All Stoneman did for the Expos was throw two no-hitters (against the Phillies in April of 1969, and againt the Mets in October of 1972) and pitch in the All-Star game (1972). After his playing career, he became the general manager of the Angels. He still works for that organization as a consultant. (Photo: Topps 1968 Baseball Card)
~Dan Straily 1988 (Cubs 2014)
Straily was acquired in the trade that sent Jeff Samardizja and Jason Hammel to Oakland. He appeared in only seven games for the Cubs in 2014 and was hit pretty hard (11.25 ERA). He won 10 games for the A’s in 2013.
~Joe Strain 1954 (Cubs 1981)
Joe was one of the second basemen on the truly awful 1981 Cubs team. He arrived via the San Francisco Giants in the Jerry Martin trade. Strain didn’t get a lot of playing time, and hit a mere .189. The Cubs pulled the plug on him on June 2nd of that year. He stuck it out in the minors for a few more seasons before hanging up his spikes for good.
~Sammy Strang 1876 (Orphans 1900, 1902)
Strang had one of the best nicknames of all-time. They called him the Dixie Thrush. The native of Tennessee was a backup middle infielder for the 1900 Cubs (then known as the Orphans). He jumped to the upstart American league in 1902 (with the White Sox), although he did finish up that season with the Cubs. His best years came with the Giants, including the 1906 season when he led baseball with a .423 on base percentage.
~Doug Strange 1964 (Cubs 1991-1992)
Strange was a backup infielder for the Cubs for two seasons, and hit under .200 in about a hundred at bats. Still, Doug managed to have a nine-year big league career. He also played for the Tigers, Mariners, Expos and Pirates.
~Scott Stratton 1869 (Colts 1894-1895)
Stratton was a two-way player. He was mainly a pitcher, but his hitting was so good, he often played in the outfield on days he didn’t pitch. By the time he came to the Cubs (then known as the Colts) he was getting hit pretty hard. He won 10 games in two seasons, but he also posted ERAs of 5.89 and 9.60. That was the last hurrah of his big league career.
~Lou Stringer 1917 (Cubs 1941-1942, 1946)
Lou became the starting second baseman after the Cubs made the ill-advised Billy Herman trade in 1941, and started there in 1942 too. He was known more for his glove (a decent double play man) than his bat, although he did have two pretty good offensive seasons with the Cubs before being drafted into the military. He missed three seasons of his big league career serving in the Army Air Corp. When he came back from the war he had another cup of coffee with the Cubs before they traded him to the Boston Red Sox. He finished his career in Boston in 1950. Lou passed away in 2008, just a few weeks after the Cubs disastrous post season collapse.
~Pedro Strop 1985 (Cubs 2013-present)
Strop was acquired along with Jake Arrieta in the trade that sent Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger to the Orioles. The Dominican reliever has pitched well out of the bullpen for the Cubs since they acquired him. In 2015 he was the primary setup man to Hector Rondon and posted a sterling 2.91 ERA in 68 appearances, striking out 81 batters and saving three games. He had another pretty good season in 2016 (2.85 ERA), but he was hurt in September, and Maddon was hesitant to use him in his old role during the playoffs. He did pitch in every playoff series, and pitched well in three World Series appearances, but during crucial moments, his manager didn’t call Strop’s number.
~George Stueland 1899 (Cubs 1921-1925)
George and Rip Wheeler (above) were teammates, and pitched out of the same bullpen. Stueland’s best season was 1922, when he won 9 games. But he wasn’t fooling anyone. His career ERA with the Cubs (his entire big league career) was 5.73.
~Bobby Sturgeon 1919 (Cubs 1940-1947)
Legend has it that Cubs manager Gabby Hartnett wanted his management to get him a young shortstop. The Cubs checked with the Dodgers about Pee Wee Reese, and thought they were asking for too much in return, so they asked the Cardinals. St. Louis offered them a choice between Marty Marion (a future MVP and seven time all-star) or Bobby Sturgeon. The Cubs picked Sturgeon. Bobby was given the starting job as a 21-year-old in 1941, and while he did an admirable job in the field, his batting was never very good. He didn’t hit for power or average, and he didn’t have a lot speed. 1941 was his only season as a starter. The rest of Bobby’s career was spent on the bench.
~Tanyon Sturtze 1970 (Cubs 1995-1996)
The 6’5″ Sturtze came up with the Cubs, but only pitched in eight games over two seasons. He went on to have a pretty solid big league career, pitching for the Rangers, White Sox, Rays, Yankees, and Dodgers over twelve big le ague seasons.
~Jim St. Vrain 1871 (Orphans 1902)
St. Vrain had a fair amount of success on the mound for the Cubs (then known as the Orphans), but he is probably best remembered for running to the wrong base during an at-bat that season. Cubs manager Frank Selee convinced him to bat left-handed instead of right-handed, and when he hit the ball, he got confused and ran to third base instead of first. Needless to say, he was out.
~Chris Stynes 1973 (Cubs 2002)
He had a couple of really good seasons as a third baseman for the Reds before coming to Chicago, but with the Cubs he hit only .241. He’s more remembered for his goggles than his hitting stroke.
~Bill Sullivan 1853 (White Stockings 1878)
Sullivan was an Irish immigrant who played in only a two games for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) on August 9 and August 10 in 1878. He got one hit. Not much is known about him. There is no record of whether he batted righthanded or lefthanded, only that he played leftfield. He died at the age of 31.
~John Sullivan 1890 (Cubs 1921)
Sullivan was an outfielder for the Cubs in 1921, and had a very good season as a bench player, hitting .329 in 250 at bats. But after the season was over, Sullivan was shipped off to the Pacific Coast League so that the Cubs could acquire west coast minor league star, Jigger Statz. Sullivan played another five years of minor league ball, but never made it back to the big leagues.
~Marty Sullivan 1862 (White Stockings 1887-1888)
Marty had a great rookie season with the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) in 1887. The leftfielder drove in 77 runs and batted .284. Although he played another four seasons in the big leagues with various different clubs, he never really approached those numbers again. In January of 1894, only two years after he played his last big league game, Marty passed away at the age of 31.
~Mike Sullivan 1866 (Colts 1890)
Big Mike, as he was called, pitched for the Cubs (then known as the Colts) early in his career. He went on to pitch in the big leagues for ten seasons for Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, and Boston. In his one season in Chicago, he was 5-6 with a 4.59 ERA. Mike died only a few years after he retired, at the way too young age of 39.
~Champ Summers 1946 (Cubs 1975-1976)
Summers received his nickname “Champ” from his father: “Dad took one look at me when I was born and said, He looks like he’s just gone 10 rounds with Joe Louis.'” His real name was John Junior Summers, and he played two of his eleven major league seasons with the Cubs. He didn’t make it to the majors until he was 28 because he had served in Vietnam. Champ was a backup corner outfielder and first baseman with no power and a batting average in the low .200s with the Cubs, but he later had a couple of good seasons for the Detroit Tigers (hitting 20 and 17 home runs). The last at bat of his career was in the World Series with the San Diego Padres, who had just knocked the 1984 Chicago Cubs out of the playoffs. Champ died in 2012 at the age of 66.
~Billy Sunday 1862 (White Stockings 1883-1887)
One of the most famous players in Chicago baseball history. The story of his fame began in the summer of 1886. Sunday was out carousing in Chicago with his fellow players Mike King Kelly, Ned Williamson, and Silver Flint on Van Buren Street, nearby the many famous decadent State Street saloons (in the Levee section of town). They were totally drunk, sitting in a gutter, and the sun was coming up. While they tried to rouse themselves, a gospel wagon drove up and conducted a service. Sunday recognized the songs from his childhood in Ames, Iowa and saw the light at that moment. He said to his buddies: “Boys, it’s all off; we have come to where the roads part.” He swore off booze forever, and dedicated himself to God. He would later be one of the leading voices in favor of Prohibition. He still played baseball a little longer, but he now he was playing with God on his shoulder. When he became one of the most famous evangelists in America, he would tell the story of the day God helped him in the field. “I saw the ball coming out to right field like a shell out of a mortar, and it was up to me. There were thousands of people out in the field, for the grandstand the bleachers had overflowed. I whirled and went with all my speed. I was going so fast that day you couldn’t see me for the dust. I yelled to the crowd ‘Get out of the way!” and they opened up like the Red Sea for the rod of Moses. And as I ran I offered my first prayer, and it was something like this: ‘God I’m in an awful hole. Help me out, if you ever helped mortal man in your life; he me get that ball. And you haven’t much time to make up your mind. I am sure the Lord helped me catch that ball. It was my first experience with prayer.” But not his last. After he quit baseball he toured the country as an evangelist—using incredible theatrics to get his point across. He was a friend to Presidents, and one of the most famous people in America. The song “Chicago Chicago” includes a line about him: “The town that Billy Sunday could not shut down.” Some say the ice cream sundae was even named after him. But it all began with a bunch of ballplayers sitting in a Chicago gutter in 1886.
~Jim Sundberg 1951 (1987-1988)
He was the backup catcher for the Cubs in 1987, catching 57 games behind Jody Davis. He hit only .201. He was 36 at the time. He was with the Cubs again In 1988, but only for a few months. But that doesn’t begin to tell the Jim Sundberg story. Before he came to Chicago Sundberg was a six time Gold Glover, three time All-Star, and caught a Hall of Famer’s no hitter in 1977 (Bert Blyleven). He also won a World Series as a member of the 1985 Kansas City Royals.
~Rick Sutcliffe 1952 (Cubs 1984-1991)
The nickname “The Red Baron” was given to Rick Sutcliffe by Harry Caray, because of intimidating presence (he was 6’7″) and red beard. 82 of his 171 career wins came with the Cubs, including 16 in his Cy Young winning season of 1984. He was almost unhittable that year as he led the Cubs to the NL East Division Championship. In 150 innings with the Cubs he struck out 155, walked only 39, had a 2.69 ERA, 7 complete games and three shut outs. Among his wins; the division clincher, and Game 1 of the NLCS. After his great season in ’84, he struggled through arm problems the next few years before bouncing back from ’87-’89. In ’87 he made the all-star team, led the league in wins, and finished second in the Cy Young voting. In ’89, he made another all-star appearance and helped lead the Cubs back to the playoffs. He finished his career with the Orioles and Cardinals, and won 32 more games, but he was doing it on guile alone by then. Among his many accomplishments, the Red Baron holds the record for the most times facing Barry Bonds without letting up a home run. (Photo: 1988 Topps Baseball Card)
~Sy Sutcliffe 1862 (White Stockings 1884-1885)
He’s the other Sutcliffe in Cubs history. When Sy played for the Cubs they were known as the White Stockings, and they were a powerhouse. Sy played catcher and outfiled in Chicago, although he was just a part time player. He later got more playing time for St. Louis, Dayton (yes, Dayton), Cleveland, Washington, and Baltimore. Unfortunately for Sy, he lived in a time when high blood pressure wasn’t fully understood. He died at the age of 30 from “Bright’s Disease”, which is now basically known as kidney failure, brought on by hypertension.
~Bruce Sutter 1953 (Cubs 1976-1980)
Bruce Sutter is a Hall of Famer, but of course, he’s not wearing a Cubs hat even though he had his best and most dominating seasons on the North Side of Chicago. He was a six-time All-Star including four times with the Cubs. He won the Cy Young Award in 1979 for a very mediocre Cubs team. He led the league in saves 5 times. And he won the World Series with the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals. Bruce Sutter was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006; his 13th season on the ballot. (Photo: Topps 1977 Baseball Card)
~Dale Sveum 1963 (Cubs manager 2012-2013)
Dale was the first manager hired by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer after they took over the club. He introduced the team to various statistical analyses that they hadn’t previously used, and implemented drastic infield shifts for certain hitters. In both seasons he was at the helm, the Cubs finished at the bottom of the division, but he probably would have remained on the job if young stars like Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo had responded to him. Both phenoms regressed under Sveum’s tutelage. He was let go after the 2013 season.
~Dave Swartzbaugh 1968 (Cubs 1995-1997)
The Cubs used him as a spot starter his last two seasons, but it didn’t turn out so well. He started seven games and didn’t win a single one of them.
~Bill Sweeney 1886 (Cubs 1907, 1914)
Sweeney played the first season and the last season of his big league career with the Cubs, and his timing couldn’t have been worse. When he came to the big leagues he was part of the best team in baseball. The Cubs were on their way to their first World Series title. Sweeney filled in for Joe Tinker when the shortstop was hurt, but he didn’t exactly take advantage of the opportunity. He played in three games and made six errors. He also hit .100. So the Cubs traded him to Boston. He went from the best team in baseball to the worst team. Boston finished an average of 50 games a season behind the Cubs over the next few years. But Sweeney played well for Boston and claimed their starting job at second base. By 1912 he was one of the best players in their lineup. Sweeney hit .344 and drove in a hundred runs. But just as Boston was getting good, he was traded back to the Cubs for Johnny Evers in 1914. Evers led the Braves to the title, while Sweeney played for a lousy Cubs team. He retired after the season at the age of 29, and moved back to Boston, where he ran a successful insurance company.
~Ryan Sweeney, 1985 (Cubs 2013-2014)
Sweeney was a high draft pick of the White Sox, but he has travelled around quite a bit since he was drafted. The Sox traded him to the A’s as part of the Nick Swisher deal, then the A’s traded him to the Red Sox in the Josh Reddick deal. The Cubs signed him as a free agent just before the 2013 season. He probably would have started the whole season in centerfield, but he was injured. The Cubs signed him to a two-year deal before the 2014 season, but released him after spring training 2015
~Les Sweetland 1901 (Cubs 1931)
Les was a starting pitcher for the Cubs in 1931. In that hitter friendly year he won 8 games, completed 9, and posted an ERA of 5.04. That was his last taste of the big leagues.
~Steve Swisher 1951 (Cubs 1974-1977)
Swisher was acquired by the Cubs from the White Sox in the trade that sent Ron Santo over to the south side of the city. For most of his time with the Cubs, Swisher shared the catcher job with George Mitterwald. But in 1976, he had his best season in Cubs uniform and was named an all-star. That all star selection, however, may be more of a statement about the 1976 Cubs than an endorsement of Swisher. He hit only .236 that season. It was just that nobody else on the Cubs was worthy of making the team. Swisher was an outstanding defensive catcher, who played in the big leagues for nine seasons. His son Nick is a big leaguer too. Both father and son were first round draft picks. (Photo: Topps 1977 Baseball Card)
~Matt Szczur 1989 (Cubs 2014-present)
Szczur (pronounced “Caesar”) got his first crack at the big leagues in 2014. The former Villanova star was a backup outfielder and pinch hitter for the Cubs, and produced a .226 average in limited opportunities. He also got a few short shots in the big leagues during the 2015 season, serving in the same role. In 2016, he spent the entire season with the big league club and was an important bat off the bench. He hit 5 homers and knocked in 24 runs in 107 games.