Today’s Cubs Birthdays (September 13)
~Rabbit Warstler 1903–1964 (Cubs 1940)
His real name was Harold Burton Warstler, but they called him Rabbit because of his quickness in the field. He was a backup infielder for 11 seasons, and his last team was the Cubs in 1940. When Rabbit was in the American League, Connie Mack called him “the best defensive infielder in the American League.” Babe Ruth complained that Warstler played so deep and had such a strong arm that he stole hits from him. But Rabbit could never hit much, and that’s why he never claimed a starting job. And though he was nicknamed Rabbit because of his quickness, he never stole more than nine bases in a season.
~Dutch Ruether 1893–1970 (Cubs 1917)
He was just a rookie pitcher when the Cubs sold him to the Reds. How could they have known that he would go on to win over 130 major league games (three seasons were great — 21, 19, and 18 wins), and lead two teams to the World Series (1919 Reds and 1926 Yankees). He won a game in the 1919 World Series for the Reds, but then again, the White Sox threw that series. After his playing career ended, Dutch came back to the Cubs and worked for them as a scout. Among the players he signed: Peanuts Lowrey and Joey Amalfitano.
~Wade Miller 1976– (Cubs 2006-2007)
The former 16-game winner (for the Astros) was coming off an arm injury when the Cubs gave him a chance to win the 5th starter job. Unfortunately for Miller, he was a shell of his former self. He started eight games for the Cubs over two seasons and didn’t win a single game.
~Greg Hibbard 1964– (Cubs 1993)
Hibbard was drafted away from the White Sox by the Marlins in the 1992 expansion draft, who promptly turned around and traded the left-hander to the Cubs before the 1993 season. Greg had the best season of his career with the Cubs, winning 15 games and posting an ERA under four. He signed a big free agent deal with the Mariners the next year, but blew out his arm early in the year and never pitched in the big leagues again.
~John Kelleher 1893–1960 (Cubs 1921-1923)
Kelleher was a backup infielder for the Cubs for three seasons, filling in at every infield position. He got a lot of playing time too, because two of the infielders from that era (Grimes and Hollocher) were oft-injured. Luckily for the Cubs, Kelleher was also a good hitter. He hit over .300 two of his three years. After his playing career, he became a college coach, first for Harvard, and later for Brown.