Today’s Cubs Birthdays (May 8)
~Ross Barnes 1850–1915 (White Stockings 1876-1877)
Barnes was an integral member of that first National League Cubs team (then known as the White Stockings). He was one of three players brought over from Boston by Al Spalding to stock that original National League team. Barnes was already a four time champion in the National Association in Boston. As the leadoff man, he was the first Cub to ever hit in a National League game. In 1876 he won the first ever NL batting title, hitting .429, and hit the first ever homer in National League history–on May 2, 1876. That year he also had the best OBP (.462), the best slugging percentage (.590), the best OPS (1.052), the most total bases (190), the most doubles (21), triples (14), walks (20), singles (102), and had the best fielding percentage of any 2B in the league. Not too shabby. But Barnes got sick the following season (they called it ague, which was a fever of some sort), and he lost his explosiveness and strength. He was merely ordinary after that. Ross still finished his nine year career with a lifetime average of .360. (Photo: Upper Deck Baseball Card)
~Bill Powell 1885–1967 (Cubs 1912)
If you would like to travel back in time to watch Bill Powell pitch for the Cubs, you’ll have to set the wayback machine to 1912. Big Bill, as he was known, pitched in exactly one game for them that season. He lasted two innings. Powell got one more taste of the big leagues after that, in April of 1913 with the Cincinnati Reds. He previously pitched for the Pirates.