Thursday, July 3, 2008

Cup of Coffee: Mark Koenig

Every Thursday the JOBC blog features stories about players who only got a "cup of coffee" with the Cubs. If you'd like anyone featured, by all means, drop me a line at rick (at) justonebadcentury (dot) com.

This week our Tale from a Bad Century was the story of Billy Jurges. It seems only fitting that we also tell the tale of the player who had a cup of coffee with the Cubs to replace Jurges after he was shot.


He began his career playing for the Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig Yankees, but the Cubs got him during the 1932 season to temporarily replace Billy Jurges who had been shot by a crazed fan. He hit .353 during his time with the Cubs that year, but after the Cubs won the pennant, they voted not to give Koenig a full share. Billy Jurges led the charge, saying that the guy was only warming his position for him.

This move really angered Koenig's former teammate Babe Ruth. Unluckily for the Cubs, they had to face Ruth in that 1932 series. He called them cheapskates and penny-pinchers in the newspapers, which led the Cubs player to yell obscenities at Ruth when he came up to bat. The Babe was pointing at the Cubs players yelling at him when he supposedly called his shot.

Koenig played only one more season for the Cubs as their backup infielder in 1933. Despite only having a cup of coffee with the team, he certainly made an impact, thanks to angry Babe.