• EveryCubEver

    Today’s Cubs Birthdays (January 1st)

    By Rick Kaempfer
    In Today's Cub Birthday
    Jan 1st, 2023

    Ethan Allen 1933~Ethan Allen 1904 (Cubs 1936) (Photo: 1933 Goudy Baseball Card)
    The Cubs were a strong team throughout the 1930s, including the 1936 season. They were the defending National League champions that May when they traded future Hall of Famer Chuck Klein (a relative disappointment with the Cubs) back to the Phillies for pitcher Curt Davis and a speedy left fielder near the end of his career; Ethan Allen. Allen anchored left field for the rest of the season–his last year in the majors as a regular. The lifetime .300 hitter did manage to hit .295 for the Cubs, and he stole 12 bases, but it was obvious that he wasn’t in the long-term plans for the team. They sold him to the Browns after the season.

    But the Ethan Allen story doesn’t end there, and it doesn’t end with the end of his playing days in 1938. Allen may have had a bigger impact in the world than any other member of the 1936 Cubs. (No, he wasn’t the founder of Ethan Allen furniture.)

    Three years after he retired from baseball, former Cub Ethan Allen invented the Cadaco-Ellis board game All Star Baseball, which remains the best-selling baseball board game of all time.
    Boys who grew up in the 40s, 50s, and 60s surely have fond memories of playing All-Star Baseball. The annual versions of the game were released every year between 1941 and 1993, the year Allen passed away. It wasn’t discontinued until shortly thereafter because of competition from new computer games and greatly increased player licensing costs.

    Allen wasn’t just an entrepreneur after his playing days. He also became a college baseball coach; coaching the mens varsity team at Yale University. Among his players was a skinny first baseman who would go on to become the President of the United States: George Herbert Walker Bush. He might not have had a big impact on the 1936 Cubs, but Ethan Allen made his mark on America.

    ~Hugh Nichol 1858 (Infielder/Outfielder 1881-1882 White Stockings)
    Hugh was born in the UK.

    ~Ned Garvin 1874 (Pitcher, 1899-1900 Orphans)
    Ned was kicked out of the National League for attacking the team’s traveling secretary.

    ~Tom Downey 1884 (Infielder, 1912 Cubs)
    Tom had a good career with other clubs, most notably the Cincinnati Reds)

    ~Hack Miller 1894 (Outfielder, 1922-1925 Cubs)
    Hack Miller (Cubs 1922-1925) got his nickname because of he looked like a famous Russian wrestler of the era, Hackenschmidt. His real first name was Lawrence. He was a short squat guy, about 5’9, 200 pounds, but he was tough as nails and strong as can be. His father was a circus strongman (Sebastian the Strongman), and Miller used to entertain his teammates by bending iron bars, smashing large stones and hammering nails through 2-inch thick boards with his fist. After he retired from baseball, which happened pretty quickly—he was amazingly slow, he became a longshoreman. He only played six seasons in the majors, but his career batting average was .323.

    ~Teddy Kearns 1900 (First Baseman, 1924-1925 Cubs)
    Teddy only played in seven games for the Cubs over two seasons.

    ~Randy Bobb 1948 (Catcher 1968 Cubs)
    Randy got exactly one hit in the big leagues on August 21, 1968, a single against pitcher Ron Reed. He got into three more games in September the following season (during the epic 1969 collapse), and was traded to the Mets before the 1970 season for veteran catcher J.C. Martin. He never made it back to the big leagues. He was 21 years old at the time. Randy Bobb died in a car accident in 1982.

    ~Roberto Rivera 1969 (Pitcher, 1995 Cubs)
    He was a September call up for the Cubs, but also later pitched out of the bullpen for the Padres.

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