This Month in Wrigley History (November)
November 2, 2016
It didn’t happen at Wrigley, but who cares. We have to chronicle this forever…
November 7, 1928
The Cubs acquired the greatest right handed batter in baseball history; Rogers Hornsby.
He had one of the greatest seasons in Cubs history in 1929, got hurt in 1930, was named the manager of the team. After ticking off his whole team, borrowing money from everyone to sustain his gambling addiction, and turning the city against him, Hornsby was run out of town in the middle of the 1932 season. The Cubs went to the World Series that year and didn’t even vote him a share of the playoff money.
There’s no doubt Hornsby wasn’t a people person, but he sure could hit. Here he is explaining how he did it…
November 1, 2004: Moises Alou becomes free agent, leaves Cubs
November 7: In 1928 Cubs trade for Rogers Hornsby (See full write up above). In 1973, Cubs trade Glenn Beckert for Jerry Morales
November 9, 2004: Cubs sign Bob Brenly
November 12, 2007: Cubs trade Jacque Jones to Detroit for Omar Infante
November 13: In 1940, the Cubs fire Gabby Hartnett. In 1987, Jim Frey named GM.
November 14, 1954: Cubs trade Ralph Kiner for Sam Jones
November 15: In 1983, Charlie Grimm dies. His ashes are spread at Wrigley Field. In 2002, the Cubs hire Dusty Baker.
November 16: In 1923, plans announced to double-deck Wrigley Field, increasing the seating to 40,000. In 1981, Cubs hire Harry Caray. In 2015, Kris Bryant wins the 2015 National League Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award by a unanimous first place vote; the first Cub to win the award since catcher Geovany Soto in 2008.
November 17 In 2015, Manager Joe Maddon wins the Manager of the Year Award. In 2016, Kris Bryant wins MVP.
November 18 In 2015, Jake Arrieta wins the 2015 NL Cy Young Award, becoming first Cub to win the award since Hall of Famer Greg Maddux in 1992.
November 20, 1987: Don Zimmer named manager
November 21, 1933: Cubs trade for Chuck Klein
November 22: In 1934, Cubs trade Guy Bush, Babe Herman for Larry French, Freddie Lindstrom…In 1991, Jim Lefevbre named manager
November 24, 1976: Salty Saltwell reassigned/Bob Kennedy hired as GM (See full write-up below)
November 25, 2003: Cubs trade for Derrek Lee
November 28, 1927: Cubs trade for Kiki Cuyler
November 29, 1971: Cubs trade Ken Holtzman for Rick Monday
November 30, 1932: Cubs trade for Babe Herman
November 24, 1976
The Cubs demoted their general manager,
In 1975, after the long reign of General Manager John Holland ended, P.K. Wrigley had 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.”