He Was a Cub?
Last week I
wrote a short post about Bobby Thomson after his passing. You can read it here.
At the end was a picture of his 1959 Topps card which depicted him in a Chicago uniform. One of
the commenter’s mentioned never seeing Thomson in a Cub hat before and a friend
also told me he was surprised to find out that Bobby Thomson had been a Cub at
one time during his career.
comments made me think about other players that once played for the Cubs but
were better known as having played for or making their mark in baseball with
organizations other than Chicago. So I’ve decided to present a semi-regular
post called ‘He Was a Cub?’, which will talk about players that at some point
during their career played for the Cubs but are remembered for being with another
1 – Terry Francona
Baseball has been a part of Terry Francona’s life since his birth in 1959. His
father, Tito Francona, played 15 seasons in the major leagues with 7 different
teams from 1956 to 1970.
was a standout athlete in high school and was drafted in 1977 by the Chicago
Cubs in the second round of the amateur draft. However, Francona did not sign
with the Cubs and instead played college baseball at the University of Arizona
where he was an All-American and won the Golden Spikes Award as the best
college baseball player in the nation. In the June 1980 amateur draft he was
selected in the first round, 22 overall, by the Montreal Expos.
just over a year in the minors before being called up to play with the Expos.
His first game was Aug 19, 1981. His first action was as a pinch hitter in the
eighth inning against Houston right-hander Dave Smith. The left-hand hitting
Francona grounded out to the first baseman unassisted.
Terry was never able to fully live up to his great college career and rapid
rise through the minors. After 5 decent but uneventful seasons with Montreal
where he hit a combined .290 with just 7 HR’s and 88 RBI’s in 951 AB’s, he was
released on April 1, 1986.
where the Cubs again come into Francona’s life. Chicago quickly signed Terry
and after a couple weeks with the Cubs AAA team in Iowa Francona made his Cub
debut on May 2nd. Terry started at first base batting second in the
Cub lineup against Juan Berenguer and the SF Giants. He went 1 for 5 with an
played 86 games that year with the Cubs, starting 16 and getting 133 PA’s. He
hit .250 with 2 HR’s and 8 RBI’s.
season was over, Terry was granted free agency. The next spring he signed with
the Cincinnati Reds.
parts of three more seasons with the Indians and Brewers before playing his
final game on April 19, 1990.
career numbers are; 1731 AB’s, .274 BA,
16 HR, 143 RBI, 12 SB
Today, Francona is the manager of the Boston Red Sox.