Wednesday, January 8, 2014

JOBC Cubs Almanac--January 8

Today's Featured Cub: Bruce Sutter

On this day in 1953, future Cubs Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter was born. He's a Hall of Famer, but of course, he's not wearing a Cubs hat even though he had his best and most dominating seasons on the North Side of Chicago.

*He was a six-time All-Star including four times with the Cubs.

*He won the Cy Young Award in 1979 for a very mediocre Cubs team.

*He led the league in saves 5 times.

*And he won the World Series with the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals.

Bruce Sutter was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006; his 13th season on the ballot.

Today's Featured Baseball Card: Bruce Sutter

(Topps 1977 Baseball Card)

In 1977 the Cubs had a resurgent season and were in first place into August but faded badly down the stretch. Their fade just might have had something to do with their incredible closer suddenly being shelved with an injury.

This particular card has his 1976 stats on it (his rookie year with the Cubs), and they read as follows: 6 wins, 3 losses, 83.1 innings pitched, 63 hits allowed, 73 strikeouts, 26 walks, and a 2.70 ERA. (He also had ten saves, but they didn't print that on the card)

From the Pages of History: Elvis Comes to Town

Elvis Presley was born on this day in 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. You'd think the King of Rock and Roll would have made a lot of appearances in Chicago, but he only came here four times.

On March 28, 1957 Elvis appeared at the International Amphitheater wearing a gold-leaf suit. The Cubs were in Mesa Arizona conducting spring training. On June 16, 1972 Elvis played at the Chicago Stadium. On that same day, Billy Williams homered in his fourth game in a row and Burt Hooton tossed a shutout against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field. On October 14, 1976 Elvis played the Stadium again and the Cubs were scattered across the country licking their wounds from a very disappointing season. And finally, on May 1, 1977 he came back for his final shows. The first place Cubs were in Cincinnati beating the Big Red Machine like a drum. Elvis died only three months later.

Nickname of the Day: Twitch

Marv Rickert was born on this day in 1926. His teammates called him "Twitch". He began his career with the Cubs in 1942, served in the Coast Guard during the war for three years, and then came back to play two more seasons in Chicago. He later played with the Reds, Braves (including in the World Series), Pirates, and White Sox.

Twitch had two memorable Cubs moments, one good and one not so good. In spring training in 1946, he tried to steal second base...with the bases loaded. He attoned for that miscue later that year when he and Eddie Waitkus hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs.

Marv "Twitch" Rickert passed away in 1978. You can read his full profile at the Baseball Biography Project.

Other Cubs Birthdays

~Walker Cooper 1915 (Cubs 1954-1955)
He played 17 seasons in the big leagues, caught two no-hitters, and was a World Series champ...before he came to the Cubs.

~Geremi Gonzalez 1975 (Cubs 1997-1998)
He won 11 games for the Cubs as a rookie and later pitched for the Rays, Red Sox, Mets and Brewers. He was hit by lightning and killed in 2008 at the age of 33.

~James Russell 1986 (Cubs 2010-present)
A key left-handed arm out of the Cubs bullpen for several seasons, and son of former big league closer Jeff Russell.

A/V Club
The Bruce Sutter Hall of Fame biography video features a few shots of him pitching for the Cubs...