Today’s Cubs Birthdays (August 31)
~Ramon Hernandez 1940 (Cubs 1968, 1976-1977)
Ramon was known for his herky-jerky deceptive delivery that worked like a charm while he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but not so much as a member of the Cubs. His lifetime ERA was 3.03, but those very good stats (including 46 career saves) benefited our divisional rival Pittsburgh. In his two stints with the Cubs (1968 & 1976-77), Ramon pitched a grand total of 18 innings. In those 18 innings, he gave up 16 earned runs. But in a Cubs locker room stuffed to the gills with quality mustaches, the stash on the face of Ramon Hernandez took second place to no-one. (Photo: Topps 1977 Baseball Card)
~Ray Mack 1916 (Cubs 1947)
Mack was an all-star second baseman with the Indians in the early 40s, but by the time he came to the Cubs, he was on fumes. He hit only .218 in 21 games.
~Duke Farrell 1866 (White Stockings 1888-1889)
Duke came up with Cubs (then known as the White Stockings). He left during the player revolt of 1890, and had his greatest success in subsequent stints with Boston and Washington. The catcher/third baseman/outfielder played 18 seasons in the big leagues.
~Boots Day 1947 (Cubs 1970)
If he had gone by his given name of Charles Day instead of using his childhood nickname, we probably wouldn’t remember the month-and-a-half that he was a member of the Cubs during the 1970 season. Boots wasn’t exactly one of the all-time great players, but he did kick around the majors for six seasons. The Cubs acquired him for pitcher Rich Nye, but he couldn’t crack the lineup often enough. They traded him just a month into the season to the Montreal Expos for backup catcher Jack Hiatt. Boots had a grand total of eight at-bats for the Cubs and got two hits.
~Cleo James 1940 (Cubs 1970-1973)
James was one of the parade of centerfielders who came through Chicago in the years before Rick Monday stabilized the postion. James had decent speed and hit .287 one year (1971), but he didn’t have the complete package. His last gasp in the majors was with the 1973 Cubs. By then he was 33 years old. He played another season in the minors before retiring.