Today’s Cubs Birthdays (May 21)
~Bob Molinaro 1950– (Cubs 1982)
He was a member of Baseball Digest’s all-rookie team with the White Sox in 1978, but by the time Bob Molinaro became a Cub in 1982 it was clear that he was merely a backup outfielder. In 66 at-bats for the Cubs he hit one home run, stole one base, drove in twelve runs, and hit a whopping .197. (Photo: 1983 Donruss Baseball Card)
~El Tappe 1927–1998 (Cubs 1954-1962)
El was a backup catcher with the Cubs in the mid-50s, but he is most remembered for being a faculty member in P.K. Wrigley’s infamous College of Coaches. The plan called for this baseball college faculty to be rotated from the low minors all the way to the majors and back again, taking turns as “head coach.” Like any well-respected college faculty, they had hoity-toity professorial names: El, Goldie, Harry, Verlon, Rip, Vedie, Charlie, and Bobby. In El’s turn as head coach in 1961, the Cubs won 42 games and lost 54.
~Moe Thacker 1934–1997 (Cubs 1958-1962)
Moe was also a backup catcher during the era El Tappe played and managed the Cubs. His best season was probably 1962 when he got over a hundred plate appearances. Unfortunately, Moe was really just a defensive catcher. In over 300 plate appearances, he hit only two homers, and hit a woeful .177 lifetime.
~Dick Ward 1909–1966 (Cubs 1934)
He pitched three games in relief during May of the 1934 season for the Cubs. In six innings, he gave up nine hits, two walks, and two earned runs. He later had a cup of coffee with the Cardinals. Ward died in 1966 at the age of 57. At the time of his death, another Ward was famous for portraying Batman’s sidekick Robin. Burt Ward’s character name was even Dick (Grayson).
~Jacob Turner 1991– (Cubs 2014)
Turner was the ninth overall pick of the draft in 2009 (Tigers), but by the time he came to the Cubs via trade in 2014, he was considered a disappointment. In six starts with the Cubs in 2014, he posted an ERA of 6.49. He has since pitched for the White Sox, Nationals, Marlins, and Tigers.
~Karl Spongberg 1884–1938 (Cubs 1908)
He pitched exactly one game in the big leagues, and it was for the last Cubs team to win a World Series title. On August 1, 1908, Spongeberg came in to relieve Carl Lundgren in the third inning. The Cubs were already behind 7-0 to Boston at the time. Karl finished the game for him, but he gave up another 7 runs. His final ERA was 9.00.