Today’s Cubs Birthdays (June 9)
~Roy Smalley 1926–2011 (Cubs 1948-1953)
Roy had good pop for a shortstop, hitting 21 home runs one year, but his lifetime batting average was only .227, and he didn’t draw many walks either. In his first season, his on-base percentage was .265. That’s a pretty stunning total for a player with over 300 at-bats. As much as he swung and missed (he led the league in strikeouts one year), Roy Smalley was probably better known for his fielding (and not in a good way). His wild throws were legendary. Imagine Shawon Dunston’s arm with Steve Sax’s accuracy. In his first three seasons when he was still playing every day, he made 34, 39, and 51 errors. The running gag at Wrigley Field was the nickname of Cubs double play combination: Miksis to Smalley to Addison Street. (Photo: 1951 Bowman Baseball Card)
~Buck Coats 1982– (Cubs 2006)
Coats got a cup of coffee with the Cubs in August of 2006. He hit his only career home run during that time. Buck was an outfielder who was used primarily as a pinch hitter. Coats was one of those outfielders who hit well, but not well enough. He had some power, but not enough. The Cubs traded him to the Reds in 2007 for reliever Marcos Mateo. He later played briefly for the Reds and the Blue Jays.
~Mike Fontenot 1980– (Cubs 2005-2010)
Fontenot was acquired in the trade that sent Sammy Sosa to the Orioles. He quickly became a fan favorite. Cubs fans loved the way the little Fontenot (5’9″, 165 lbs.) delivered clutch hits with surprising pop. In their exciting 2008 season, Fontenot hit .305 for the Cubs and slugged nine homers, while forming a double play combination with his college teammate Ryan Theriot. Mike slumped a bit in 2009, and was traded to the Giants in 2010. That turned out to be a good trade for Fontenot — the 2010 Giants won the World Series.
~Tom Edens 1961– (Cubs 1995)
Edens had already pitched for the Mets, Brewers, Twins, Astros, and Phillies before he arrived in Chicago. He only appeared in five games for the Cubs, the last five of his big league career. His last appearance came in a 11-1 loss to the Cardinals on May 10, 1995. After the Cubs sent him down to the minors, he stuck it out for one more year before hanging up his spikes at the age of 35.
~Doug Clemens 1939– (Cubs 1964-1965)
Clemens got the biggest chance of his big league career with the 1965 Cubs. As the fourth outfielder for the Cubs that year, he got over 300 plate appearances for the first time in his career. Unfortunately for Clemens, he hit only .221, with four homers. The Cubs traded him to the Phillies for Wes Covington in the off-season.
~Sal Madrid 1920–1977 (Cubs 1947)
Sal got his only big league cup of coffee with the Cubs in the September of 1947. The shortstop didn’t take advantage of the opportunity. He played in eight games and only managed three hits. In his last game on September 28, 1947 (a 3-0 win against the Cardinals), Cubs pitcher Johnny Schmitz had a better batting average than Sal. He was a big leaguer for eleven days. He was in the minors from 1937-1949.
~Marty Callaghan 1900–1975 (Cubs 1922-1923)
The backup outfielder only had limited playing time with the Cubs in his two seasons in Chicago, but one of those days was the highest scoring game in baseball history. He set a big league record in that game (shared by a few others) when he batted three times in one inning on August 25, 1922. He had two singles and a strikeout during the fourth inning of a 26-23 win against the Phillies.
~Zac Rosscup 1985– (Cubs 2013-2015, 2017)
Rosscup has had a couple of shots in the big leagues with the Cubs as a situational lefty. In 2013 it went pretty well in ten appearances. In 2014, not so much. He posted an ERA of nearly 10 in 18 appearances. The Cubs kept the lefty for the 2015 season, and used him a bit more often (33 games), and he responded with an ERA of 4.39. His last cup of coffee with the Cubs came in 2017 when he pitched 2/3 of an inning. The Cubs traded him to Colorado in June.