Today’s Cubs Birthdays (April 30)
~Bob Hendley 1939– (Cubs 1965-1967)
Hendley only won 10 games in his two and a half seasons with the Cubs, but he had a few moments of shining glory. His most memorable game in a Cubs uniform came on September 9th, 1965 at Dodgers Stadium. The Dodgers scored without the benefit of a hit in the 5th inning, and Hendley didn’t give up a hit until the 7th inning. That harmless double was the only hit he allowed all game. It was a truly incredible pitching performance by Hendley, but it wasn’t good enough. The other pitcher was just a little more incredible. His name was Sandy Koufax, and all he did was pitch a perfect game. (Photo: Topps 1967 Baseball Card)
~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.
~Jumbo Brown 1907–1966 (Cubs 1925)
When Brown came up with the Cubs as a rookie, he immediately set a record. He was the heaviest player to ever play in the big leagues at that time; tipping the scales at 295 pounds. He may be remembered for his size, but Jumbo was actually a trailblazer in the big leagues. He was one of the first pitchers who was kept on a roster strictly as a relief pitcher. In the first three and last four seasons of his big league career, he didn’t start a single game.
~Tony Murray 1904–1974 (Cubs 1923)
Murray was a local Chicago boy who played the last two games of the 1923 season for the Cubs at the tender age of 19. He went 1 for 4. In his first game he played right and left field, and got his only career hit against Cardinal pitcher Eddie Dyer. He filled in for starting centerfielder Jigger Statz in the last game of the year, and made two catches in the outfield, but he went 0-2 at the plate against Johnny Stuart. The Cubs lost that game too. Even though he only played in those two games, he could always claim that he shared the field with a Hall of Famer (Gabby Hartnett). Murray became an attorney after his playing career ended. He died in 1974 at the age of 69, and is buried in the same cemetery as his old teammate Gabby Hartnett (All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines).
~Charley Jones 1852–1911 (White Stockings 1877)
When Jones retired from baseball in 1888, he was the all-time home run champion with 56 homers. By the turn of the century he wasn’t even in the top ten. Jones, who was nicknamed Baby, didn’t hit any of those homers for the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings). Chicago was just a temporary stop for the notorious trouble-maker (he only played two games) before he returned to the Reds. Baby could have hit a few more homers. He was banned from baseball for two seasons in the middle of his career (1881-1882).
~Dave Eggler 1849–1902 (White Stockings 1877)
Eggler was not a home run hitter (he didn’t hit a single one in 11 big league seasons). The center fielder hit .265 in his one year with the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings). He died in 1902 in Buffalo, New York, when he was hit by a train.