December 2010 Archives for Agony & Ivy
(Editor's Note: Sixth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
Greg Maddux is my all-time favorite Cub.
I watched Maddux grow up before my eyes, from a green rookie to the best pitcher of my generation. Maddux, besides being great, was reliable, modest, never made excuses when he failed, and was a great teammate. The team always came first. What was there not to admire about the guy?
(Editor's Note: Fifth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
Just 9,583 hearty souls ventured to Wrigley Field on a cool drizzly Sunday afternoon to watch the Cubs host the Philadelphia Phillies on April 16, 1972 in the second game of the season. They were rewarded for their dedication with an unforgettable day as Burt Hooton pitched a no-hitter in the North Siders' 4-0 triumph.
(Editor's Note: Fourth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
The Cubs didn't provide their fans with much to cheer about for much of the 1960s, but an extraordinary effort by starting pitcher Bob Buhl and three relievers on May 23, 1965 was one of those rare occasions as the North Siders fell behind early but rallied for a thrilling 3-2 victory over the eventual world champion Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.
(Editor's Note: Third in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
Cubs outfielder Earl Averill Jr. was sitting on his couch watching Lew Burdette pitching for the Milwaukee Braves against the New York Yankees in the 1958 World Series and noticed that the right-hander was using his fastball to set up his breaking stuff instead of the other way around, as is customary.
(Editor's Note: Second in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
(Editor's Note: First in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
Rick Monday had a solid 19-year major league career, including five terrific seasons with the Cubs, but he will always be remembered for his courageous and patriotic feat during the Cubs' game against Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium on April 25, 1976.
I would guess that I am not the only Chicago boy who, while attending a game at Wrigley Field, has imagined what it would be like to play for the Cubs.
Phil Cavarretta, who grew up not far from the Friendly Confines and attended Lane Tech High School, was fortunate enough to live that dream.
Cavarretta, who put together a terrific 20-year career with the Cubs from 1934-53, died Saturday in Lilburn, Ga. at age 94.
Consider me among those who has been underwhelmed by the Cubs' offseason activity up to this point, but it seems that every piece of less-than-exciting news has been surrounded by a silver lining.
Life has thrown me more than a fair share of curveballs, but throughout my many trials and tribulations, I have tried my best to maintain my optimism and to reflect on my many blessings.
And I could not have a better role model in regards to having a sunny disposition in the face of adversity than former Cubs star and longtime radio broadcaster Ron Santo.
It was very sad to learn Friday morning that Santo, the greatest third baseman in Cubs history, had died at age 70 from complications of bladder cancer.
Santo was one of my father's favorite ballplayers and I was very familiar with the nine-time All-Star's playing exploits long before he joined the Cubs broadcast team in 1990. Say what you will about Santo's on-air style ("Who's this guy pitching, Pat?"), but understand that listening to a Cubs game on the radio will never be the same.