Today’s Cubs Birthdays (September 10)
~High Pockets Kelly 1895 (Cubs 1930)
Kelly was a member of the legendary 1930 Cubs team that blew the pennant in the last few days of the season. Tall for his time (6’4″), Kelly was nicknamed Highpockets and Long George by the press; but to his teammates he was Kell, a reserved and even-tempered Derrek Lee-type, and one of the best fielding first basemen of all time. He is a Hall of Famer, although not because of his years with the Cubs. Like many of the Hall of Famers who wore a Cubs uniform, he only wore it after he was washed up. He was in his 15th big league season. Kelly hit .331 in 39 games for the Cubs. He isn’t considered a Hall of Famer by many baseball experts, including Bill James, who calls him “the worst player in the Hall of Fame.” He was elected into the Hall by a veterans committee consisting of ex-teammates (with the Giants).
~Kameron Loe 1981 (Cubs 2013)
Loe pitched in the big leagues nine seasons for the Rangers, Brewers and Mariners before arriving in Chicago during the 2013 season. A starter earlier in his career, Loe was strictly a reliever for the Cubs. He appeared in seven games and posted a 5.40 ERA. The Cubs let him go and he signed with Atlanta for the rest of the year. Loe was hard to miss on the mound. He is 6’8″ tall.
~Chad Hermansen 1977 (Cubs 2002)
Hermanson was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Darren Lewis. He didn’t get a lot of playing time with the Cubs (35 games), but he did play enough to catch the eye of the Dodgers. Hermanson was included in the Todd Hundley trade, which brought Eric Karros and Mark Grudzielanek from the Dodgers to the Cubs.
~Joe Kraemer 1964 (Cubs 1989-1990)
Kraemer was brought up for one spot start near the end of the division winning season of 1989, and then made the team the following year. The lefty pitched in eighteen games out of the bullpen before being sent back down to the minor leagues for good. His lifetime ERA was 6.91.
~Mike Lynch 1875 (Orphans 1902)
Lynch was a little centerfielder who started the season with the 1902 Cubs (then known as the Orphans). Unfortunately he couldn’t even hit his weight…and he only weighed 155 pounds. His .143 batting average didn’t cut it in the big leagues, and he was released in May of that year. He played 13 more seasons in the minors.
~Marty Krug 1888 (Cubs 1922)
Krug was a German immigrant who came to this country as a child. He was a pretty good hitter, but was such a bad fielder that it kept him out of the big leagues for most of his baseball career. He came up for a cup of coffee in 1912, and didn’t return for an entire decade. The Cubs gave him lots of playing time in 1922 because they wanted his bat in the lineup. The infielder hit .276 and drove in 60 runs in 127 games. He also committed 21 errors, third worst total in the league. After his playing career, Krug went into coaching and scouting. He famously missed badly on one prospect. A kid he called “too fragile” eventually made it to the big leagues and did OK for himself. His name was Ted Williams.
~Kid Durbin 1886 (Cubs 1907-1908)
They called him Kid, because he was only 20 when he joined the Cubs. Frank Chance used him as a pitcher and an outfielder, although he didn’t give him much playing time in either spot. Durbin only played in 25 games over two seasons, but was a member of the first two World Series champion teams in Cubs history. He became a baker after his playing career ended.