Today’s Cubs Birthdays (July 11)
~Jimmy Slagle 1873 (Cubs 1902-1908)
One of the wily old veterans on the last Cubs team to win the World Series (1908), Slagle was 35 when the Cubs won their last championship. He was known as Rabbit (because of his speed), and Shorty (because of his height—5’7″), but most of his teammates referred to him as the “Human Mosquito” because he was such a pest. Slagle was the starting centerfielder for the entire Cubs dynasty. He took over the job in 1902, and was the first player in World Series history to accomplish a straight steal of home plate (1907), but by 1908, Jimmy was just hanging on. When the 1908 World Series began, Solly Hofman had claimed the starting job. Slagle played his last game for the Cubs on October 3, 1908. He retired after the last out was recorded in the last World Series clinching game in Chicago history.
~Hank Griffin 1886 (Cubs 1911)
Pepper Griffin, as he was known, pitched in exactly one game for the Cubs in 1911. Actually he only pitched one inning. To say it didn’t go well is probably a kind way of saying it. He walked three men and gave up a homer. He later had a cup of coffee with the Boston Braves and it didn’t go much better there.
~Harry Wolter 1884 (Cubs 1917)
Harry played six seasons in the big leagues before he came to the Cubs, including a stint playing for former Cubs manager Frank Chance in New York. The Cubs loved his smart approach to the game, calling him “the brainiest outfielder in baseball.” He went back to his native California during the war years and played in the minors there instead of accepting a cut in pay. He never returned to the big leagues.
~Pop Schriver 1865 (Colts 1891-1894)
Pop was a catcher and first baseman who got quite a bit of playing time with the Cubs (then known as the Colts). Cap Anson considered Pop his starting catcher during the 1892 season, but Schriver only hit .224. He played 14 seasons in the big leagues with Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St. Louis.
~George Meakim 1865 (Colts 1892)
Pop Shriver (above) caught George Meakim’s only game in a Chicago uniform. George had the sort of pitching line that would give today’s pitchers nightmares: 9 IP, 18 hits, 11 earned runs, 2 walks, and no strikeouts. Even in 1892 it was bad enough to ensure he would never get another start for the Cubs (then known as the Colts). He later pitched for Cincinnati and Louisville with similar results.