• EveryCubEver

    Every Cub Ever (C)

    By Rick Kaempfer
    Jan 14th, 2015

    Extra Entries beginning with C…

    ~Mike Cameron (Cubs author)
    Mike wrote a great book about Fred Merkle, a baseball player who was nicknamed “Bonehead” because of one unfortunate play in 1908 (while he was with the Giants), that led to the Cubs winning the pennant. It’s available in the Just One Bad Century store. Cameron passed away in 2017, but not before getting to see his beloved Cubs win the World Series.

    ~Terry Cashman (Cubs songwriter)
    Cashman has written and re-written a version of this song for virtually every big league team, including the Cubs. It’s called Talkin’ Baseball…

    ~George Castle (Cubs author)
    Castle is a local journalist (Times of NW Indiana) who has written many books about the Cubs, including “The Million to One Team: Why The Chicago Cubs Haven’t Won a Pennant Since 1945”, “Entangled in Ivy”, “Sweet Lou and the Cubs”, “The I-55 Series”, “Chicago Cubs”, “Where Have All Our Cubs Gone”, and more.

    Ben Christensen 1978 (Cubs minor leaguer)
    The Cubs were coming off a playoff season in 1998, and were off to a good start in 1999, when the wheels suddenly came off the bus. Is it possible that this was some sort of karmic punishment from above? Ordinarily we would say that’s ridiculous. But on June 2, 1999, with the Cubs firmly entrenched in first place, seemingly on their way to a repeat playoff run, the Cubs drafted a pitcher out of Wichita State named Ben Christensen, probably the most controversial draft pick in Cubs history. Why was it so controversial? Ben Christensen had just been suspended for the season by the NCAA for an act so egregious, that it shocked the nation. He was warming up on the mound and felt that the batter in the on-deck circle was timing his pitches. This is, for some reason, considered bad baseball etiquette. So, Ben did what anyone would have done in the same situation. He fired one of his 90-plus mile an hour fastballs directly at the head of the batter…in the on-deck circle. He hit him flush, and severely injured him. The player he hit was never able to play baseball again because of severe vision issues that arose from the incident. Now, it’s true that Ben was considered a stud pitcher at the time, and had been pegged to go at the very top of the draft. And it’s also true that the Cubs were picking low in the first round because they were coming off a playoff season. But there was a good reason every team passed on Ben. He was nitroglycerin. The Cubs received a lot more than bad publicity from the incident. The team immediately fell apart on the field, and Beanball Ben, as the fans called him, never made it to the big leagues.

    ~Dave Cihla (Cubs fan)
    Dave became known to all Cub fans through his famous SHAWON-O-METER sign during the summer of 1989. The sign tracked the batting average of the Cubs shortstop. Original versions of that sign are now kept in the Smithsonian, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Chicago History Museum. During the World Series year of 2016, Cihla returned with the SCHWARB-O-METER. In real life he is a real estate agent in Chicago.

    ~The Cleaning Ladies (Cubs Song)
    The Cleaning Ladies are a local Chicago band who did this original song about their beloved…”When the Cubs Win the World Series”. They may need to re-write it now…

    ~Hillary Rodham Clinton 1947 (Cubs fan 1947-Present)
    She grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois, an unabashed Cubs fan. Even though she later claimed to have been a Yankees fan, there is documentary evidence to prove her Cubs love. In 1993, when she was the First Lady, she accepted induction into the Emil Verban society, the Washington-based Cubs Fan Club. Bruce Ladd, who is the founder of the Emil Verban Society, recently revealed the content of her letter accepting induction. If this isn’t a Cubs fan, there is no such thing. She wrote:

    “I am pleased to accept your generous offer of membership into the Emil Verban Memorial Society. In accepting I must say that the Tribune Co.’s decision to let Messrs. Dawson and Maddux go does not increase my optimism for 1993. This could be a truly grievous example of false economy, unless, of course, the Tribune uses the savings to acquire better editorial writers. I have been following the Cubs for over 35 years and have developed a set of expectations that will probably be met. However, hope springs eternal.”

    The following year Mrs. Clinton was even more obvious about her loyalties; she appeared at Wrigley Field on opening day 1994 to throw out the first pitch. She later sat in the booth with Harry Caray and sang “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” with him. At one point, Harry grabbed her and gave her a big kiss. Only a Cubs fan could have survived that.

    ~Billy Corgan 1967 (Cubs fan 1967-present)
    The founder and lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins has the same disease we all do…Cubs-itis. He grew up in Chicago watching the Cubs with his grandmother (also a devoted fan). With Billy Corgan, that personal connection to the Cubs began there, and continued with a love he developed for their ballpark. He discussed the way he felt about Wrigley Field in the Chicago Tribune a few years ago.

    “Wrigley Field should never, ever be closed! EVER!!!That link to the past has everything to do with the traditional strong support of the Cubs fans … win, or lose … that should never be underestimated by the Cubs brass. Wrigley Field represents something even more important than any individual player … not even winning can change that”

    Billy Corgan was there for Game 7 in 2003. He sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” that night, after the Marlins had just added a few insurance runs. The entire ballpark was in a state of shock, and Billy was just as shocked…”It was like a funeral or an Irish wake. People were crying. It was horrible. Absolutely horrible. There are times in life when you think God is punishing you. That was one of those times.” Now that’s a Cubs fan. True Blue all the way. We feel your pain, Billy. We have the disease too.

    ~John Cusack (Cubs fan 1966-present)
    He acquired a reputation as a Chicago sports hanger-on during his embrace of the White Sox during the 2005 World Series. Was that a fair charge? Only in that one isolated incident. (In his defense, he may have had a fever or something). Anyone who knows John says that he has been, and always will be, a Cubs fan. When the Huffington Post debuted their Chicago page, he pretty much confirmed those suspicions by writing this…

    “Wrigley Field and all-things-Cubs, when Jose Cardenal was the only player who could really play. When it was Mick Kelleher and Larry Biittner and George “the Baron” Mitterwald — and Pete LaCock on first base and “Tarzan” Joe Wallis in centerfield. And Bruce Sutter with that unhittable split-fingered fastball… Ride the El up from Evanston, change on the Howard line and take the train to Wrigley — which I did as many times as I could scrape together $2.50 for a one-way kamikaze mission, and another $1.75 for bleacher seats, then steal hot dogs and Cokes from the vendors before taking the train home after the game…Through the ’80s, with Gary ‘The Sarge’ Matthews hitting third, taking us to our first division title in 7 million years. The great Andre Dawson and Sammy Sosa, getting us to the playoffs but never all the way…From Jack Brickhouse and Billy Williams to Harry Caray, liquored up on a hot summer day, down by seven runs and loaded for bear, most of my childhood was at least partially centered on this Mecca of baseball, this civic shrine that is home to the Chicago Cubs. Every visit to Wrigley Field adds six months back onto one’s life expectancy — doctors have proven this many times.”

    Videos and audio beginning with C…

    In 1964 Johnny Callison hit a walk-off homer in the all-star game…

    Tony Campana

    All three Carays did get to broadcast together once…

    Our favorite Harry moment…

    AUDIO: Joe Carter makes the last out, Cubs go to the playoffs…

    When he was with the Dodgers, Ron Cey actually recorded a “song”…

    Footage of Frank from the 1910 World Series…

    Hee Sop Choi

    John Clarkson

    AUDIO: Harry talks about Marla Collins:

    Chuck Connors

    You can see Kiki Cuyler taking batting practice before the 1934 All Star game on this video…

    Rick’s favorite baseball card beginning with C…

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