This Week in 1945 (June 28–July 4)
This week (June 28-July 4) during the last year the Cubs went to the World Series (before 2016)…
World War II
*Germany is divided between the Allied occupied forces.
*The Polish Provisional Government of National Unity is set up by Soviets.
*The Chicago Board of Trade Building at 141 W. Jackson Boulevard is the tallest building. It’s 44 floors, and more than 600 feet tall. (It will remain the tallest building until 1965 when the Daley Center is built. Now it’s the 37th tallest building in Chicago, though it remains the Tallest Art Deco building in the world outside of New York City.)
*PRICE CHECK: Wieners are 55 cents per pound, and Gas is 19 cents per gallon.
*The Cubs enjoy one of the most lopsided victories in team history, beating the Braves 24-2. Phil Cavarretta and Don Johnson each reach base five times, Andy Pafko has four hits, and catcher Mickey Livingston has three–one of which is a three run homer–the only homer of the game for the Cubs. It gets so bad, that the Braves send their second basemen Whitey Wietelmann to the mound in the ninth. He gives up only six of the twenty four runs.
In Pop Culture
*A 17-day newspaper strike in New York begins. Mayor LaGuardia takes to the radio to read kids the funny pages…
*“The Naughty Nineties” is released, starring Abbott & Costello and featuring their classic “Who’s on First” routine…
*Mel Brooks turns 19 in the Army. He is still known as Melvin Kaminsky.
*Little Gerald Riviera celebrates his second birthday in New York. He will later choose to go by Geraldo.
*Two musical babies are born. One of them, Eva Boyd, will have a hit record by her thirteenth birthday. The other, Deborah Harry, will wait until her twenties.
Cub of the week: MICKEY LIVINGSTON
The Cubs acquired Mickey from the Phillies in exchange for our one-time pitching ace Bill Lee. Mickey was slated to be the Cubs starting catcher after Clyde McCullough was drafted. But Mickey’s draft board decided to reclassify his medical status, and drafted him too.
After boot camp, they discovered that their initial ruling was correct. He was experiencing horrible headaches because of a previous concussion. So, he was reclassified once again, and reported for duty with the Cubs instead. He was very lucky. Mickey’s Army company fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Only 300 of the 5000 men in his company survived.
Mickey had a pretty good year for the Cubs in 1945 as their primary catcher. He only struck out six times in over 200 at bats, and in the World Series he hit .364 and drove in four runs.
Livingston played with the Cubs until 1947, and in the big leagues until 1951.