Thursday, May 8, 2008

New feature: Cup of Coffee

I got this e-mail the other day, and I think it's an intriguing idea...


How about a column about "somewhat known but maybe almost forgotten players from Cubs teams of the past" or a similar name. Contents to include, but not be limited to:

Ed Bouchee, Cuno Barragan, Elvin Tappe or any other backup catcher, any 3rd baseman between Santo & Cey.........insert your own name here!

Thomas Filip
Moorpark CA

I like this idea Tom. I'm going to feature one obscure player a week on this blog (every Thursday) in a feature called "Cup of Coffee."

Let's start with one of your suggestions...

Cuno Barragan's real name, by the way, was Facundo Anthony Barragan. On September 1st, 1961, the Cubs catcher became one of the few players in baseball history to hit a home run in his first major league at bat. He did it at Wrigley Field in front of 5,427 fans against the San Francisco Giants in a 4-3 12-inning loss. The pitcher was Dick LeMay, who later became his teammate. Among the Cubs starters that day; centerfielder Richie Ashburn, second baseman Don Zimmer, shortstop Ernie Banks, and a few youngsters by the names of Williams and Santo.

That home run turned out to be the only home run he would hit in the majors. He hung around with the Cubs for two more seasons as a backup catcher, and got a total of 163 at bats, before being traded to the Dodgers along with pitcher Jim Brewer in exchange for pitcher Dick Scott. Scott turned in a stellar 12.46 ERA in his 4 1/3 innings for the Cubs, while Jim Brewer became a star reliever.

Cuno never played in the majors again.

If anyone else has someone they'd like me to report on, let me know. E-mail me at