Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Original Big Daddy

You know who I admired when I was a young lad? Rick Reuschel. Or, as he is known to Cub Fans of a certain age, Good Ol' Number Forty-Eight.

If memory serves correctly, Reuschel had a decent sinker. I recall a lot of ground balls in his starts (he once tied the record for the most putouts by a pitcher in one inning with three). He didn't strike outs tons of batters, but he worked quick and kept the ball around the plate.

He won twenty games for a decidedly average Cub team, making him the only Cub twenty-game winner between Fergie Jenkins and Maddux.

His brother Paul saved one of his starts back in the day, making the Reuschels the first brother combo to score the win and save in a Major League game. Paul had a relatively nondescript career, but one thing I will remember about him is that he wore number 47, the jersey that Yosh Kowano affectionately refers to as "The Tent."

Rick's last appearance at Wrigley Field was a start in Game 2 of the 1989 NLCS. It was probably not the way he wanted to go out, as my heroes roughed him up en route to our only win in the series. But Cub Fans cheered him as he walked off the field. I like to think it's because they remembered what he meant to the team during those years we didn't have a lot to cheer about.

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