In Boston, the third Monday in April is known as Patriot’s Day. We don’t generally celebrate the holiday in Chicago, but this year we’ll make an exception by honoring two Cubs who shared names with our Founding Fathers…
~George Washington “Zip” Zabel 1891 (Cubs 1913-1915)
When the Zabels had their little boy in Kansas around the time of George Washington’s birthday, they named him George Washington Zabel. But no-one ever called him George. His teammates called him Zip. Zabel pitched for the Cubs during their last three seasons at the rickety firetrap known as West Side Grounds (1913-1915). On June 17, 1915 he set a record there that will never be broken. He came in to spell Cubs starter Bert Humphries in the first inning, and went on to pitch the next 18 and 1/3 innings in relief. He faced 78 batters in those innings, and only gave up two runs. The Cubs finally won the game 4-3 in the bottom of the 19th.
~Earl John Adams 1894 (Cubs 1923-1927)
His real name was Earl John Adams, and he was an energetic little guy, just like President Adams; he stood only 5’5″. Adams never went by his given first name Earl or the middle name he shared with the 2nd president. Adams was known as Sparky. He spent 1923 and 1924 as the Cubs’ semi-regular shortstop, but came into his own when he was switched to second base for 1925 after second baseman George Grantham was traded to Pittsburgh for shortstop Rabbit Maranville. He was the Cubs leadoff batter during those years and led the league in at bats, but his real long term value to the Cubs may have been as trade bait. Pittsburgh sent Kiki Cuyler to the Cubs for Adams and Pete Scott in 1927. Cuyler led the Cubs to two National League pennants (1929 & 1932), and is enshrined in the Hall of Fame. (Photo: 1933 Goudy Baseball Card)