Monday, January 20, 2014

JOBC Cubs Almanac--January 20

Today's Featured Cub: Ron Cey

On this day in 1983, Cubs general manager Dallas Green acquired a player that he thought would be the cornerstone of a Cubs World Series team. His name was Ron Cey, and he holds the distinction of being the last Cub to sign a contract that included an attendance clause. (It's hard to believe that was ever necessary, but those of us who lived through those dark days remember it well)

He had a couple of good years with the Cubs in the mid 80s (including 97 RBI in the division winning season of '84), but he really didn't have much range anymore at 3B. By this stage of his career, his squatty body and bushy mustache got in the way of any ball hit directly at him, but anything else was ticketed for left field.

After the 1986 season he was traded for a lesser bat with a lesser mustache, Luis Quinones.

Today's Featured Baseball Card: Ron Cey

(Topps 1986 Baseball Card)

Cey started to decline in 1985, and the stats on the back of this card back that up. He had 500 at bats, 64 runs, 116 hits, 18 doubles, 2 triples, 22 homers, 63 RBI, and a .232 batting average.

From the Pages of History: Weeghman buys the Cubs

On this day in 1916, a partial eclipse of the moon was visible on Earth. It looked a little bit like this. On the same day, Charles Weeghman and nine investors purchased the Chicago Cubs from Charles Taft, the former president's brother. The Cubs would begin playing in Weeghman's Park (now known as Wrigley Field) a few months later.

Nickname of the Day: The Penguin

Ron Cey had one of the greatest nicknames in baseball history. He earned it because of the way he waddled when he walked. One look at his stocky build, short legs, and choppy running style was all it took to see that "The Penguin" was a perfect nickname.

Cup of Coffee

Earl Smith was born on this day in 1891. He got his cup of coffee with the Cubs in their first season at their current ballpark. During that 1916 season, the corner outfielder got only twenty-seven at-bats, all of them in the month of September. He did manage seven hits, including a double and a triple, but the Cubs released the 25-year-old after the season. He later resurfaced with the Browns and the Senators.

Earl Smith passed away in Ohio in 1943.

Other Cubs Birthdays

~Geovany Soto 1983
He was the Rookie of the Year and an all-star for the Cubs in 2008, but never even came close to living up to those numbers again. It all started going downhill for Geo when he tested positive for pot in the 2009 World Baseball Classic when he was playing for his native Puerto Rico. The Cubs traded him to the Rangers in 2012.

A/V Club
This song has to be heard to be believed. Before he came to the Cubs, Ron Cey was a 6-time all-star third baseman with the Los Angeles Dodgers. During his time in LA, he recorded this song called "Third Base Bag". Hard to believe, but it never quite caught on...