Friday, January 24, 2014

JOBC Cubs Almanac--January 24

Today's Featured Cub: Tim Stoddard

Tim Stoddard was born on this day in 1953. In college he played in a national championship game in both basketball and baseball for North Carolina State University. He was basketball teammates with superstar David Thompson, and had to cover Bill Walton in their Final Four game.

But he chose baseball over basketball and never looked back. He had a very successful 13-year big league career, including two seasons as the closer in Baltimore. Stoddard only pitched one season for the Cubs, but it just happened to be their division-winning season of 1984. He was the primary setup mustache for Lee Smith that year, saving seven games and winning ten in 58 appearances. After the season he was granted his free agency, and signed with the team that beat the Cubs in the playoffs, the San Diego Padres.

The Cubs got a first round pick as compensation and selected Rafael Palmeiro.

Today's Featured Baseball Card: Cliff Heathcote

(1933 Goudy Baseball Card)

Cliff Heathcote was born on this day in 1898. He became a Cub in 1922 when he was traded to them between games of a double header with the Cardinals. The Cardinals got Max Flack in return, and both players played for both teams that day. Cliff was an excellent defensive outfielder and played with the Cubs until 1930. On 8/25/22 he was part of the highest scoring game in baseball history. He reached base seven times during that 26-23 win. Cliff died tragically at the way too young age of 40 in 1939 from a pulmonary embolism.

The stats on this card are from his final season in the big leagues, 1932, with the Philadelphia Phillies: 33 at bats, 11 hits, 2 doubles, 0 triples, 1 homer, 5 RBI, and a .282 batting average.

Nickname of the Day: Bunk

He was born William Millar Congalton in Canada on this day 1875, but his Chicago teammates all called him "Bunk". He was 27 years old when he finally made the show in 1902 and the outfielder hit .239 in his one season in Chicago. He later had a few better seasons with Cleveland. Read Bunk's full story at the Baseball Biography Project.

He died in 1937 at the age of 62 after suffering a heart attack at a Cleveland Indians game.

Other Cubs Birthdays

~John Briggs 1934 (Cubs 1956-58)
He was a righthanded pitcher for the Cubs who saw limited duty over three seasons in the 1950s. His best year was '58 when he won 5 games in 17 starts.

~Ron Dunn 1950 (Cubs 1974-75)
Dunn was a backup infielder for the Cubs for two seasons. He had a total 112 at bats, and hit 3 homers.

A/V Club
On this day in 1916, Hall of Fame Cubs broadcaster Jack Brickhouse was born. Jack was the man that had to describe the play of play of a Cubs team that went twenty seasons in a row without being in the upper division. There were bright spots, though, and Jack was always able to find them. Just like his favorite player on the Cubs during that era, Ernie Banks...