Sunday, January 12, 2014

JOBC Cubs Almanac--January 12

Today's Featured Cub: Paul Reuschel

On this day in 1947 Paul Reuschel was born in Quincy, Illinois. When he was called up to the Cubs in 1975, his little brother Rick was already the ace of the staff. Rick was a starting pitcher, but Paul was used almost exclusively out of the bullpen (he started two games for the Cubs in 1976).

The highlight of his career was undoubtedly August 21, 1975, during his rookie season. Brother Rick pitched a shutout for 6 1/3 innings before tiring, and Paul was brought in to finish off the Dodgers. He pitched the last 2 and 2/3 innings, and also didn't allow a single run. The Cubs won the game 7-0.

The Reuschel brothers remain the only siblings in Major League history to combine for a shutout.

Today's Featured Baseball Card: Paul Reuschel

(Topps 1978 Baseball Card)

While this baseball card was in the stores in 1978, Reuschel was traded to the Cleveland Indians, where he pitched the final seasons of his career.

His 1977 stats are on the back of the card, his best season in Chicago: 5 wins, 5 losses, 69 games, 107 innings, 105 hits allowed, 62 strikeouts, 40 walks, and a 4.37 ERA.

From the Pages of History: The Green Mill

On this day in 1902, future Chicago entertainer Joe E. Lewis was born. He became the headliner at the famous north side of Chicago jazz club, The Green Mill. The owner of the club was Machine Gun Jack McGurn.

As you might have guessed from his name, Machine Gun Jack McGurn was a Capone henchman. When his star attraction Lewis refused to renew his contract and went to a competitor (New Rendezvous) instead, McGurn wasn't a happy man. Each day that Lewis packed the house there, McGurn got angrier.

On November 27, three of McGurn’s men stormed into Lewis’ hotel suite, beat him up, and cut his throat from ear to ear. The comedian survived the attack, and was even able to recover his singing voice, but McGurn's boss--Al Capone, was very unhappy with his lieutenant's behavior. He advanced Lewis $10,000 so that the performer could get back on his feet.

What does this have to do with the Cubs, you ask?

Well, on the very day this story was making headlines in all the Chicago newspapers, the Cubs quietly acquired KiKi Cuyler from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cuyler would lead them to two National League pennants during his Hall of Fame Cubs career. He was such an exciting player, Al Capone even came out to see him play at Wrigley Field.

No word on whether Machine Gun Jack McGurn saw Cuyler play or not, but their Chicago careers lasted almost exactly the same length of time. Cuyler left the Cubs in 1935. McGurn left the earth in a hail of bullets in 1936.

Nickname of the Day: Shag

On this day in 1915, future Cub Roy Easterwood was born. It's safe to say that Roy wouldn't have made it to the big leagues if it wasn't for World War II. He played fifteen seasons in the minors, but only for the Cubs during the war season of 1944. Even on a war-depleted roster, Roy didn't get much playing time. His teammates called him Shag.

Easterwood died in Texas in 1984.

Other Cubs Birthdays

~George Brown 1876 (Cubs 1909)
George was a solid major leaguer for 12 seasons, but only played a portion of one of those seasons with the Cubs. He was a right fielder.

A/V Club
Joe E. Lewis, the object Machine Gun McGurn's ire in 1927, appeared as a mystery guest on "What's My Line" in 1955. (Lewis died in 1971)