October 2010 Archives for Agony & Ivy
Right Fielder, 1977-79
.270 BA, 43 HR, 175 RBI with Cubs
(Editor's Note: Second in a series identifying the 100 worst Cubs of all-time.)
Bobby Murcer was a five-time All-Star and the best player on the New York Yankees during the early 1970s, but by the time he arrived to the Cubs in 1977, his best days had passed him by.
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry made the right call Tuesday in announcing that Mike Quade would manage the team in 2011.
Third Baseman/Second Baseman/Shortstop, 1907-16
.304 BA, 48 HR, 561 RBI with Cubs
(Editor's Note: First in a series identifying the 100 worst Cubs of all-time.)
I was in a sour mood when I woke up on the morning of Oct. 5, 1989. I was still in distress over the Cubs' 11-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants the previous night in the opening game of the National League Championship Series. Coal gray skies and a steady rain did not help my frame of mind.
While I was sitting in my freshman year world history class on the morning of Oct. 3, 1984 - while my teacher, Mr. Kelly, discussed the Hammurabi Code - my mind far too easily wandered from the subject matter ("an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth") to how I would be spending my afternoon.
Babe Ruth's "Called Shot" is one of the great legends in the history of baseball and Wrigley Field - but I'm sorry to report that it never happened. It's a case in which sportswriters refused to let the facts get in the way of a great story and as the years have passed, fiction has evolved into fact.
Only twice in my lifetime have the Cubs come out on top in a tight regular season race that wasn't decided until the final weekend.
The 1998 Cubs will never be mentioned when the greatest teams in franchise history are discussed.
The 2007 Cubs Convention at the Hilton Chicago featured a panel discussion of the 1989 NL East champion Cubs. The panel consisted of seven members of that team: Mike Bielecki, Doug Dascenzo, Mark Grace, Les Lancaster, Ryne Sandberg, Dwight Smith, and Jerome Walton. The quote that sticks with me from that discussion came from Grace.
"1989 was my favorite year in a Cubs uniform," said Grace, who that year as a 25-year-old led the team in RBI, played first base superbly, and went an incredible 11-for-17 with five extra-base hits in the North Siders' disappointing loss to the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series.
It was perhaps the most dramatic moment in Cubs history and was once considered one of the clutch hits in baseball history. Old-timers like my grandfather have always enjoyed sharing with me their recollections of Gabby Hartnett's 1938 "Homer in the Gloamin'," but unfortunately there aren't many people around anymore who can share their firsthand recollections of the event.