Today’s Cubs Birthdays (August 9)
~Steve Swisher 1951 (Cubs 1974-1977)
Swisher was acquired by the Cubs from the White Sox in the trade that sent Ron Santo over to the south side of the city. For most of his time with the Cubs, Swisher shared the catcher job with George Mitterwald. But in 1976, he had his best season in Cubs uniform and was named an all-star. That all star selection, however, may be more of a statement about the 1976 Cubs than an endorsement of Swisher. He hit only .236 that season. It was just that nobody else on the Cubs was worthy of making the team. Swisher was an outstanding defensive catcher, who played in the big leagues for nine seasons. His son Nick is a big leaguer too. Both father and son were first round draft picks. (Photo: Topps 1977 Baseball Card)
~Ben VanRyn 1971 (Cubs 1998)
Ben started the 1998 season with the Cubs, but after only nine appearances, the lefthanded reliever was traded to the San Diego Padres for Don Wengert. He pitched for four teams in the big leagues, including the Angels and the Blue Jays.
~Pat Mahomes 1970 (Cubs 2001)
Mahomes was a well-traveled journeyman pitcher who lasted eleven seasons in the big leagues. He pitched for the Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, Pirates, and Cubs. His lifetime ERA was over five, and he never registered double digits in either wins or saves, but he pitched in over 300 big league games. With the Cubs, Mahomes was 1-1, with a 3.86 ERA.
~Jason Heyward 1989 (Cubs 2016)
When the Cubs signed the 3-time Gold Glover to an eight-year contract after the 2015 season, Cub fans were beyond excited. St. Louis Cardinals fans (where he had played the previous season) didn’t feel the same way. (Click on this link to see some of their reactions, but don’t do it unless you can handle incredibly salty language. Wow.) But he had a rough first season in a Cubs uniform, hitting only .230 and driving in a measely 49 runs. On the other hand, he is credited with firing up his teammates with a crucial pep talk during a rain delay in the 7th game of the World Series after the Indians tied the game in the 8th inning. Heyward also won another Gold Glove for his incredible defensive skills in right field.
~Bob Scanlan 1966 (Cubs 1991-1993)
The Cubs acquired the tall (6’7″) righthander from the Phillies in the deal that sent Mitch Williams to Philadelphia. The Beverly Hills native was a highly regard prospect, who stuck around with the Cubs for several years. He filled just about every role on the pitching staff at one time or another, from starter to closer. In three seasons he won 14 games and saved 15 games. After the 1993 season he was traded to the Brewers. Scanlan pitched in the big leagues until 2001 with additional stops in Detroit, Kansas City, Houston, and Montreal.
~Junior Kennedy 1950 (Cubs 1982-1983)
Kennedy was a utility infielder in the big leagues for seven seasons, the last two of which were with the Cubs. He actually got a substantial amount of playing time in his first season in Chicago, getting over 240 at bats. Unfortunately for Junior, he didn’t take advantage of the situation, batting only .219.
~Bill Campbell 1948 (Cubs 1982-1983)
Like anyone with the last name of Campbell, Bill was tagged with the nickname of Soup pretty early on in his career. He was an excellent relief pitcher for the Twins and Red Sox, playing in an all-star game as a representative of the Red Sox in 1977. With the Cubs, Soup led the league in appearances in 1982, but slumped a bit in 1983. Nevertheless, he played an important role in the Cubs 1984 division championship because he was part of the trade that brought Gary Matthews and Bob Dernier to the Cubs. (Photo: Topps 1984 Baseball Card)