Today’s Cubs Birthdays (November 15)
~Franklin P. Adams 1881–1960 (Cubs hater/immortalizer)
He wrote the most famous poem ever written about the Cubs, “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon”, and it was so memorable it probably got Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance elected into the Hall of Fame. The poem went as follows…
These are the saddest of possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
“Tinker and Evers and Chance.”
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are weighty with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
He wrote it in 1910, and it was published in the New York Evening Mail. Adams was, of course, a Giants fan. And Giants fans had seen just about enough of Tinker, Evers and Chance. After all, the Cubs had won four of the previous five pennants–and each time the Giants were their biggest rival. 1910 also marked the end of the Tinker to Evers to Chance era of dominance. They played their final game together early in the 1912 season. Adams got the last laugh. He may have immortalized the Cubs double play combination, but in the next fourteen years the Giants were in the World Series seven times. Adams was immortalized himself as a regular at Dorothy Parker’s Algonquin Round Table.
~Mickey Livingston 1914–1983 (Cubs 1943-1947)
The Cubs acquired Mickey from the Phillies in exchange for our one-time pitching ace Bill Lee. Mickey was slated to be the Cubs starting catcher after Clyde McCullough was drafted into the military, but Mickey’s draft board decided to reclassify his medical status at the last second, and drafted him too. After enduring boot camp, the Army discovered that their initial ruling was correct. He was experiencing horrible headaches because of a previous concussion. So, Mickey was reclassified once again, and reported for duty with the Cubs instead. He was very lucky. His Army company fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Only 300 of the 5000 men in his company survived. Mickey had a pretty good year for the Cubs in 1945 as their primary catcher. He only struck out six times in over 200 at-bats. He also hit .364 and drove in four runs in the World Series. Livingston played with the Cubs until 1947, and in the big leagues until 1951.
~Pat Ragan 1885–1956 (Cubs 1909)
Ragan had a couple of good seasons as a starting pitcher in the National League, winning 15 games one year for the Dodgers, and 17 games for the Braves another. He spent just a fraction of one season with the Cubs. It was the second stop of his rookie season (he debuted with the Reds), and pitched in two games as a reliever.
~Pete Childs 1871–1922 (Orphans 1901)
Pete was the starting second baseman the second half of the season with the 1901 Cubs (then known as the Orphans), replacing Cupid Childs (no relation). He hit only .229 and was released.