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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Cubs’

The Baseball World mourns the death of “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks (photo by Scott R. Anselmo via wikipedia commons)

The baseball world was disappointed Friday when the Chicago Cubs had to announce that their beloved “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks had passed away at the age of 83.

Fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posted photos of Banks with a note of how he had affected their life. Whether a Cubs fan or not, Ernie Banks was well-liked by anyone connected with baseball.

Despite many years of playing on losing teams in Chicago, the always-smiling, upbeat Banks always had enthusiasm for the game and was its best ambassador next to Hank Aaron and Yogi Berra

He was famous for always saying, “It’s a great day for baseball. Let’s play two”!

The two-time National League MVP in a 19-year career with the Cubs, had a .274 average with 2,583 base hits, 512 homers, 1,636 RBI’s in a Hall of Fame career. He played from 1953-1971. He hit 40 or more homers in a season five times. Other career highlights and awards include: 14-time All-Star, a 1960 Gold Glove winner, 2-time NL Home Run and 2-time NL RBI champion, Cubs retired his #14 jersey  and he was a member of the MLB Century All-Star Team.

He started his career as a shortstop and ended it as a first baseman.

Ernie Banks in 1955 on Bowman Baseball Card (Public Domain via wikipedia commons)

The one sad fact about his career, he never reached the postseason. Which is mind-boggling considering the Cubs in those days had some great players in Ron Santo, Ferguson Jenkins, Glenn Beckett, Don Kessinger, Billy Williams, Kenny Holtzman, Randy Hundley, Bill Hands and Phil Regan.

He reached the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility of 1977.

One fact that most fans don’t realize about Banks is that he was the Cubs’ first black player on 1953.

Banks signed with the Cubs in the fall of 1953. He made his major league debut at Wrigley Field on September 17 at age 22, and played in ten games. He became one of a handful of former Negro league players who joined MLB teams without playing a single minor league game.

In 1954, Banks’ double play partner during his official rookie season was Gene Baker, the second Cubs black player. Banks and Baker roomed together on road trips and became the first all-black double-play combination in major league history.

Alfonso Soriano remains hot at the plate since trade to Yankees

When Alfonso Soriano was with the Chicago Cubs, everybody felt that he was not living up to his potential. But he was happy playing in the Windy City.

Playing on a losing team, even the top players sometimes can’t play up to their own standards more less those of fans and the media.

Alfonso Soriano (courtesy MLBpressbox.com)

Since his return to the New York Yankees in a trade recently, he has eight home runs with 26 RBI’s, 18 in his past four games with 13 hits and has won several games with his bat.

Soriano always said he liked playing for the Yankees and never wanted to be traded to Texas in 2004 by New York.

Friday night in a 10-3 waxing of the Boston Red Sox, Soriano collected four RBI’s as the Yankees won for the fifth time in six games.

 

Former pitching phenom Mark Prior making comeback with Reds

Mark Prior with Cubs (photo by UCinternational via wikipedia commons)

For the fourth straight Spring Training, former MLB pitching phenom, Mark Prior is trying to make a comeback.

Now 32 years old, the righthanded Prior has signed a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

Prior was fantastic with the Chicago Cubs from 2002-2006. He had a won-lost record of 42-29 with an ERA of 3.51 with 757 strikeouts. The San Diego, California native was an All-Star in 2003.

His MLB career ended when he endured various injuries totaling 12 trips to the disabled list.

Prior has not pitched in the major leagues since 2006.

He pitched in the minor leagues last season with the Boston Red Sox at Triple-A Pawtucket, appearing in 19 games with a 3.96 ERA.

 

Info compiled from Cincinnati Reds, MLB news

 

Slumping Bruce getting a couple days off by Dusty Baker

 

Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker saw his rightfielder Jay Bruce have a tough night on Thursday at the plate against the Chicago Cubs and decided a change was needed.

Bruce hit .213 in July and has not done any better by batting .200 in August. He’s hitless in his last 12 at-bats with seven strikeouts. And that means Baker will give him a rest for the next two days.

Jay Bruce (courtesy of MLBpressbox.com)

Xavier Paul started in rightfield on Friday with Justin Germano pitching. With Travis Wood, a lefty throwing on Saturday, Chris Heisey should get the start.

Even with Bruce in a slump and the Reds star player, Joey Votto out of the lineup since July 16 with a knee injury, the team is still controlling the National League’s Central Division by 2.5 over Pittsburgh and 4 games over St. Louis.

 

Info compiled from Cincinnati Reds, Radio & TV news

Orioles release Jamie Moyer at his request

Jamie Moyer (file photo)

The request of Jamie Moyer, the Baltimore Orioles released the 49-year-old left-handed pitcher.

Moyer started the season with the Colorado Rockies, where he set the record for becoming the oldest pitcher to win a game in Major League Baseball. He had a record of 2-5 before the Rockies designated him for assignment on May 30.

He then signed a minor-league contract with Baltimore on June 6. The agreement called for three starts for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides and after that, the Orioles would have to promote him or grant his release.

Moyer has also pitched for the Chicago Cubs, Texas, St. Louis, Baltimore, Boston, Seattle and Philadelphia in his career.

His career totals include a 269-209 record, with a 4.25 ERA and 2,441 strikeouts.

 

Info compiled from Baltimore Orioles, MLB, Radio & TV news

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