Today’s Cubs Birthdays (June 14)
~Hal Manders 1917 (Cubs 1946)
Hal pitched for the Tigers before being drafted into military service during World War II. When he returned, he pitched briefly for them again before being sent off to the team they beat in the previous year’s World Series. He got one start in September for the Cubs and was hit pretty hard. It was his last hurrah in baseball. In all, Manders pitched three seasons in the big leagues, which under normal circumstances would have given him bragging rights at family gatherings. Unfortunately for Hal, his cousin was Bob Feller.
~Jerry Spradlin 1967 (Cubs 2000)
Spradlin was a journeyman righthander who lasted seven big league seasons, including his last one with the Cubs in 2000. He appeared in eight games and was rocked hard (15 ERs in 15 innings). The Cubs released him after the season, and he never pitched in the big leagues again. Spradlin’s career highlight probably came on July 22, 1999 when he struck out four San Diego Padres in one inning (as a member of the Giants). He is one of only seventy pitchers in big league history to pull off that feat.
~Bud Hardin 1922 (Cubs 1952)
A veteran of World War II, Hardin made the club out of spring training as a 29-year-old rookie 2B/SS. He backed up Roy Smalley and Eddie Miskus for a few weeks before being sent back down the minors. Hardin appeared in a grand total of three Cubs games, and registered one hit. He played in the minors until he was 35 years old.
~Doc Parker 1872 (Colts 1893-1896)
Parker only appeared in 18 games for Chicago, but they were in three different seasons. He was a pitcher by trade, but he wasn’t a particluarly good one. His lifetime ERA was 5.90, and that was in the deadest of deadball eras. On the other hand, he was a pretty good hitting pitcher. His lifetime batting average was .274. The Cubs (then known as the Colts) even tried him in the outfield one game to take advantage of his bat. Doc later became a big league umpire.