Monday, January 27, 2014

JOBC Cubs Almanac--January 27

Featured Cubs Trainer: Andy Lotshaw

On this day in 1880, future Cubs trainer Andy Lotshaw was born. Andy was the Cubs trainer from 1922 to 1952 and also served in the same capacity for the Chicago Bears. Why are featuring a Cubs trainer on a day when Cubs greats like Otis Clymer, Bob Barrett, Jessie Hollins, and Bob Borkowski were born? (Cough)

Well, Andy actually played an important role in the career of Cubs pitching great Guy Bush. Bush was one of the mainstays of the Cubs pitching staff during most of the 1920s and the early 1930s. He won double digit games in nine seasons in a row (including 20 wins one year), but was really best known for his incredible endurance.

He was always among the league leaders in games pitched, and often served as the closer between his starts. During his Cubs years he pitched an amazing 2201 innings and completed 127 games. The rest of the league wanted to know what his secret was, but Guy Bush would never reveal it. There was a very good reason for that--he didn't know what it was.

Cubs trainer Andy Lotshaw applied a "secret dark liniment" to Guy's arm, and Guy was convinced that liniment was what kept his arm loose. Andy wouldn't even tell Guy what it was. It wasn't until the Cubs traded Bush to the Pirates in 1935 that Lotshaw finally admitted the ingredients of the secret dark liniment to the pitcher.

It was Coca-Cola

Today's Featured Baseball Card: Ryne Sandberg

(1983 Topps Baseball Card)

On this day in 1982, the Cubs acquired veteran shortstop Larry Bowa from the Philadelphia Phillies for Ivan DeJesus. The Phillies also threw in a minor league infielder to sweeten the deal. (Photo)

His name escapes me at the moment. I need to check how his career turned out. It looks like the Cubs played him at third base.

The stats on the back of the card are from the 1982 season, his rookie year: 635 at bats, 103 runs, 172 hits, 33 doubles, 5 triples, 7 homers, 54 RBI, 32 stolen bases, and a .271 batting average.

Nickname of the Day: Jumbo

His real name was Bob Barrett, and he was born on this day in 1899. Barrett was mainly a backup infielder in his three seasons with the Cubs, and he wasn't a particularly big man. He stood at 5'11" and weighed 175 pounds, but his teammates all called him "Jumbo". He may have been nicknamed after the grocery chain Holland & Barrett, which sold a Jumbo Roll.

Cup of Coffee

Jesse Hollins was born on this day in 1970. His cup of coffee with the Cubs came in 1992. He made four appearances for the Cubs out of he bullpen after being called up in September, and was hit hard. He hurt his arm the next season and never made it back to the big leagues. On July 9, 2009, Jessie passed away at the age of 39. His body was found floating in a lake, apparently the victim of a fishing accident.

Other Cubs Birthdays

~Otis Clymer 1876 (Cubs 1913)
Otis played six years in the majors, including part of the 1913 season for the Cubs. He hit .229 as a backup outfielder.

~Bob Borkowski 1926 (Cubs 1950-51)
The son of Cubs scout was an umpire in an Army pickup game during the war and recommended Borkowski to his pop. Bob played quite a bit as a reserve outfielder in his rookie season of 1950, and was traded to the Reds along with Smoky Burgess in 1951. The Cubs lived to regret that trade. Burgess played in the big leagues until the late 60s.

A/V Club
I checked into that trade throw in from 1982. Apparently he turned out to be pretty good. At least according to this Hall of Fame video...