Category Archives: Birthdays & Anniversaries

1973 HEADLINE: Fergie Jenkins Traded To The Texas Rangers

1973 HEADLINE: Fergie Jenkins Traded To The Texas Rangers

On this date in 1973, Fergie Jenkins was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers, of the American League.

The trade was a 2-for-1 deal with Jenkins going to the Rangers in exchange for Bill Madlock and Vic Harris.  At this point, the Cubs were in a major re-building phase as Ernie Banks was retired and their core of Billy Williams, Ron Santo, and Jenkins were all considered as being ‘too old’.

1994 HEADLINE: Greg Maddux Wins Third Straight Cy Young Award

1994 HEADLINE: Greg Maddux Wins Third Straight Cy Young Award

On this day in 1994, Greg Maddux won his third straight Cy Young award.  He was the first pitcher in major league history to earn the award in three consecutive seasons.

Being one of the best pitchers in the sport over that length of time is a major accomplishment.  And when some of your greatest competition is coming from your teammates, I am sure that the pride of being the ‘Ace’ of the staff gave Maddux even more gratification.

Here is a look at Maddux’s numbers from those three seasons:

1992 – 20-11, 2.18 ERA, 9 complete games, All-Star, Gold Glove

1993 – 20-10, 2.36 ERA, 10 complete games, Gold Glove

1994 – 16-6, 1.56 ERA, 10 complete games, All-Star, Gold Glove

Oh, and it should be noted that Maddux went on to win the Cy Young award in 1995 too – setting an all-time record with four consecutive wins!!

Happy Anniversary Mr. Maddux!!!

1993 HEADLINE: Joe Carter’s Dynamic Home Run Captures The World Series For Toronto!!!

1993 HEADLINE: Joe Carter’s Dynamic Home Run Captures The World Series For Toronto!!!

On this day in 1993 Joe Carter hit one of the most recognizable home runs in World Series history.  On baseball’s biggest stage, he rose to the occasion and secured his spot as one of the game’s biggest heroes.

I remember watching this game and seeing the joy in Joe’s eyes, smile, and body language as he rounded the bases after blasting this huge World Series winning home run.  As kids, we all dream of this exact spot that Joe Carter was in on that night in October.  His boyhood dream became reality right in front of our eyes and it was an amazing sight to witness.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Carter!!

Billy Williams Has Been Traded?? – You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me!!!

Billy Williams Has Been Traded?? – You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me!!!

Sad but true.  On this day back in 1974 Billy Williams was traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics for Darold Knowles, Bob Locker, and Manny Trillo.

It was a sad day in Chicago as one of the Cub’s all-time greatest players was shipped away during a rebuilding process.  The man that had occupied left field for the Cubs for the last 16 seasons was gone.  Billy Williams’ 16 year career as a Chicago Cubs player was over!!!

Williams played the final 2 years of his career with Oakland and still put up respectable numbers for the A’s.  He batted just .230 but was able to hit 34 home runs and drive in 122 runs.  It wasn’t until this trade to the A’s that Williams was able to make the post-season.  In 1975 the A’s lost to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS while Billy Williams went 0-for-7 in the series.

Personally for me, it is very hard to see Williams wear anything other than ‘Cubbie Blue’.  Although I never got to see him play live, I have seen plenty of highlights and have read books and articles about his amazing career and it always feels strange to me that his career ended in Oakland and not in Chicago.

But, as we all know, baseball is a business and players are treated as assets and not humans.  So, although I am saddened by how his career ended I am happy that Billy Williams was able to finally make it to the playoffs.

But this does look a little strange to me still…

Happy Birthday Ichiro!!!

Happy Birthday Ichiro!!!

Ichiro turns 41 years old today!!

Easily one of the best hitters of the last 15 years, Ichiro Suzuki has proven to be an extremely talented contact hitter, maybe one of the best ever.

In 14 professional seasons in major league baseball, Ichiro has collected 2,844 hits.  In ten of fourteen years, he has accumulated 200 or more hits in those seasons.

For his birthday, I wish Ichiro perfect health.  And I want that health to hold until he gets into the 3,000 hits club.  Based on his average he will need just 2 more years to accomplish that task.  And while that means he will be 43 years old when that time comes, I do believe that he is conditioned to reach that mark with relative ease if he wants it.  He just needs to find a team that will use his talents and let him get the at-bats required to connect for another 156 hits.

I eagerly await the chase!

Happy Birthday Ichiro!!!

Happy Birthday George Bell!!!

Happy Birthday George Bell!!!

George Bell turns 55 years old today.

One of the sport’s biggest sluggers during the late 1980’s, George Bell was a hitting machine during his time with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Seen primarily as a slugger, Bell did have a knack for delivering the longball and driving in runs, but he was also a very talented contact hitter.  During his playing days, Bell amassed 1,702 career hits along with a batting average of .278.  He won three Silver Slugger awards and had two seasons (1986 & 1987) in which he batted above .300.

As for his power numbers, Bell crushed 265 homers in 12 seasons while also driving in 1,002 runs.  His numbers were so impressive in 1987 that he won the AL MVP award.  The numbers from that year were unreal – .308/47/134.

George Bell was a 3-time All-Star.  He competed in the postseason twice, but never advanced to the World Series.

Happy Birthday Mr. Bell!!!

Happy Birthday Ed ‘Whitey’ Ford!!!

Happy Birthday Ed ‘Whitey’ Ford!!!

Hall of Famer Whitey Ford celebrates his 86th birthday today.

One of the most celebrated and valued member of the New York Yankees franchise had a career like no other.  A pitcher on a team full of sluggers, Ford made his presence known with his command on the mound.

Ford spent his entire 16-year career in pinstripes, and he started in 438 contests.  During that time, he compiled a record of 236-106, good for a 69% winning percentage.

Ford won the Cy Young award in 1961 largely in due to his amazing 25-4 record.  He was an 8-time All-star, while also finishing in the Top 20 for the MVP award 6 times.

In his 16 seasons, Ford made it to the World Series 11 times.  He ended winning 6 championships along the way, and he has a 10-8 record in the Fall Classic.

Happy Birthday to a true legend, Mr. Whitey Ford!!!