Today’s Cubs Birthdays (October 3)
~Dennis Eckersley 1954– (Cubs 1984-1986)
Dennis was a 2-time All-Star as a starting pitcher, and a 4-time All-Star as a relief pitcher in 24 big league seasons. He was one of the rare pitchers who was a superstar in both roles. Eck won 20 games in a season and threw a no-hitter as a starting pitcher, and then as a reliever won a Cy Young, an MVP, and a World Series title while saving an astounding 390 games in eleven seasons. As you might have guessed, very little of that happened in Chicago. He was acquired by the Cubs from the Red Sox in exchange for Bill Buckner and contributed greatly to their 1984 division-winning club. The next two seasons were a nightmare, however. He later admitted he was struggling mightily with an alcohol problem at the time. In 1986, he managed to win only 6 games in 32 starts for the Cubs. Of course, he rediscovered his magic touch as soon as he was traded to Oakland for four minor leaguers who never made it to the show. Dennis got sober and became one of the greatest closers of all-time. Eckersley was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.
~Matt Murton 1981– (Cubs 2005-2008)
Murton was acquired in the trade that also brought Nomar to the Cubs in 2004. He had a few pretty good seasons, hitting .321 and .297 in his first two years with the club. He didn’t however, quite have the pop the Cubs were looking for from a corner infielder. Early in the 2008 season he was part of the package (along with future superstar Josh Donaldson) that was needed to acquire Rich Harden from the Oakland A’s. Murton later went to Japan and starred there for six seasons. He came back to the Cubs and tried to make their roster in 2016, but was cut in spring training. He was hired by the Cubs front office in 2018. He still shares the Cubs record for most doubles in a game with four (2006).
~Jack Lamabe 1936–2007 (Cubs 1968)
The Cubs were the last stop of the big league tour for Jack. The right-hander pitched seven seasons for seven teams in the bigs, and won a World Series with the 1967 Cardinals. With the 1968 Cubs, he appeared in 42 games, and posted an ERA of 4.30. The Cubs included him in the trade with the Expos (along with Adolpho Phillips) that brought Paul Popovich to Chicago, but Lamabe never pitched for Montreal. After his playing career he went into coaching, including a stint as head coach at LSU.
~Bob Bowman 1910–1972 (Cubs 1942)
Bowman pitched in exactly one game as a Cub. It happened on May 25, 1942: a Monday afternoon game at Wrigley Field. Bowman came in to pitch the top of the ninth in a blowout 10-2 loss to the Cardinals. He gave up one hit and no runs. Johnny Schmitz was the loser that day, failing to record a single out in the first inning.
~Jen-Ho Tseng 1994– (Cubs 2017-2018)
After spending most of the 2017 season in Triple A, Tseng got his chance to start for the Cubs during the closing days of the season. The Taiwanese hurler didn’t fare too well, but at 22 years of age, he had gotten a taste of the show. In 2018, he got one more start with the Cubs. It only lasted two innings. His nickname is Catfish.
~Dom Dallessandro 1913–1988 (Cubs 1940-1947)
His real name was Nicholas Dominic Dallessandro, but he went by his middle name Dom. Despite the sound of it, his teammates didn’t call him Dim Dom because he was stupid. It was because of his diminutive height. He was only 5’6″. Dim Dom played outfield for some pretty mediocre Cubs teams in the early 40s, and had one good season in 1944 (hitting .304). Unfortunately for Dom, his timing wasn’t the best. After his best season, he was called into the military in early 1945 and missed the only Cubs World Series of the decade. He did return to play a few more seasons for the Cubs, but was shipped out to the minor league team in Los Angeles after the 1947 season. Dim Dom finished his professional baseball career there.