Wednesday, January 29, 2014

JOBC Cubs Almanac--January 29

Today's Featured Cub: Big Ed Reulbach

On this day in 1915 one of the best pitchers of the Cubs dynasty, Big Ed Reulbach, hung up his MLB spikes so he could sign with the new upstart Federal League. After starring in the Federal League, he came back to the National League with the Boston Braves (1916 and 1917), but wasn't nearly the pitcher he once was.

During his years with the Cubs, Ed was a superstar. It seemed that Ed always saved his best performances for the most crucial games. He pitched a one-hitter in the 1906 World Series against the White Sox (one of only 5 one-hitters in World Series history). In 1907 he won another World Series game for the Cubs. In 1908 he did something truly remarkable; he pitched two shutouts in one day! Those late September games against Brooklyn were crucial to the Cubs pennant hopes. He was rewarded for his heroic performance by being given the ball for Game 1 of the 1908 World Series, which he also won.

His final World Series appearance for the Cubs came in Game 3 of the series against the Philadelphia Athletics in 1910. Big Ed's luck run out that day, as the A's beat the Cubs 12-5 at West Side Grounds.

Ed was the last surviving member of the last World Series Champion Cubs team when he passed away at age 79 in 1961.

Today's Featured Baseball Card: Big Ed Reulbach

(1909 Tobacco Baseball Card)

These cards are very small. This photo here is close to it's actual size.

The back of the card doesn't have any stats. It simply has an ad for "Piedmont: The Cigarette of Quality"

If it did have his 1908 stats, they would be impressive: 24 wins, 7 losses, 297.2 innings pitched, 227 hits allowed, 133 strikeouts, 106 walks, and a 2.03 ERA.

Nickname of the Day: Ninety Six

Bill Voiselle was born on this day in 1919. "Ninety Six", as he was called, pitched in the big leagues through most of the 1940s, and landed with the Cubs in 1950. By the time he arrived he had already been an All-Star, National League pitcher of the year, and led the league in strikeouts. As you might have guessed, that wasn't the type of pitcher he was when he arrived in Chicago. In 19 appearances, including seven starts, he didn't win a single game. When he was finished with the Cubs, he was finished with baseball. He got the nickname "Ninety Six" because Voiselle went to Ninety Six High School in Ninety Six, North Carolina. He passed away in 2005.

Cup of Coffee

Hy Cohen was born on this day in 1931. He got his cup of coffee with the Cubs in 1955. The big righthander (6'5", 220 lbs) pitched in exactly seven games for them that year, between April and June. He was 24 years old at the time. He got his first action on April 17, 1955 when the Cubs starting pitcher Harry Perkowski couldn't record an out in the first inning. Cohen pitched seven innings of relief to save the bullpen that day. But he was hit hard. He gave up 13 hits and 7 earned runs against the Cardinals. Ken Boyer doubled. Stan Musial tripled. Wally Moon homered. It was ugly. The final score was 14-1. In his final game on June 2nd, he entered under simliar circumstances in the second inning, and got hit hard again--this time by the Phillies. Hy never made it back to the big leagues. He pitched three more seasons in the minors before hanging up his spikes.

Other Cubs Birthdays

~Bill Krieg 1859 (White Stockings 1885)
He played one game with Chicago, got three at bats, struck out twice, and made two errors as a catcher. Believe it or not, he did play another two years in the big leagues with Washington after that.

~Jim Tyrone 1949 (Cubs 1972-75)
The outfielder saw limited playing time with the Cubs during three different seasons. His brother Wayne also played in the Cubs organization at the same time, but somehow never played on the same team as his brother.

~Kevin Roberson 1968 (Cubs 1993-1995)
In his rookie year of 1993, Roberson did get a fair amount of playing time (180 at bats) and did deliver some power (9hrs, 27RBI), but his lifetime batting average was .197.

A/V Club
In 2008 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Bill Ed Reulbach's clutch performances. But Just One Bad Century's Tom Latourette had a funny feeling things weren't going to work out despite the best record in the National League. He put pen to paper, and wrote and recorded this song. Needless to say, he was right.