Two days after 24-year-old Don Cardwell was traded from Philadelphia to Chicago the right-hander tossed a no-hitter against the rival Cardinals at Wrigley Field on May 15, 1960. It marked the first time in major league history a pitcher spun a no-no in his first start after being traded.
Aside from a first inning walk to Alex Grammas, Cardwell retired the final 26 batters with the help of two splendid defensive plays in the ninth inning. The first a fine snag by right fielder George Altman on a line drive, and the second coming from left fielder Moose Moryn who made a shoe string catch to end the game.
It was one of the few Cubs highlights in a season that saw the arrival of rookie Ron Santo and the hiring of Lou Boudreau to replace Charlie Grimm as manager after just 17-games. Nonetheless, the team sank to an overall
(60-94) record with Cardwell struggling through the campaign (8-14, 4.37) in his 32 starts with the Cubs.
In the following season, however, Cardwell bounced back with the best season of his career posting 15-wins in a league high 38 starts. But the success was short lived as Cardwell slumped again in 1962 going (7-16, 4.92). Ironically, the Cubs later traded him to St. Louis following the season in October.
Funny enough, it was Cardwell who later helped the Mets overtake the Cubs in the NL East late in the summer of 1969. He won five games (four as a starter) heading into August allowing one run, including a 28 scoreless innings streak.
The Mets of course went on to win the World Series against Baltimore as Cardwell made one relief appearance in the Fall Classic pitching a single scoreless inning.
“He was a tremendous mentor to the young guys on our staff, when he said something, you listened. He was the ultimate professional.” -Tom Seaver
If you don’t have time to view the entire video I’d recommend joining the action at the 13:30 mark to see the final out of the game!
Cubs transactions January 24, 1994
The Cubs signed Chicago, Illinois native Dave Otto. It was the tall (6’7") left-hander’s last of eight seasons in the majors. He pitched in 36-games, all in relief, going (0-1, 3.80).
After being selected by Oakland in the 2nd round of the 1985 Draft, Otto spent the majority of his career with the A’s in the minor leagues. He pitched in just 9-games over four seasons with Oakland before signing as a free agent with the Indians in 1991.
In two seasons with Cleveland Otto appeared in 36-games making 30 starts with an overall record of (7-17, 5.49). The Pirates selected him as part of the minor league draft in 1992 where he was transitioned to a reliever going (3-4, 5.03) in 28-games before being released in August of 1993.
Otto was a standout athlete at Elk Grove High School and later attended the University of Missouri where he excelled as a DH and pitcher. In 2000 Otto was inducted into the Tiger’s Hall of Fame.
Although Otto’s professional career is far from memorable, when have grown familiar with him as a fill-in member of the Cubs’ broadcast teams. First working alongside Chip Caray in replacement of Steve Stone and then filling in for the late Ron Santo on WGN Radio. Otto is still visible as a fill-in commentator for Comcast SpotsNet on Cubs pre and post game broadcasts.
Here’s a list of 10 noticeable players who have suited up for both the Cubs and the White Sox during their playing careers.
Ron Santo, Sammy Sosa, Steve Stone, Goose Gossage, Juan Pierre, George Bell, Kosuke Fukudome, Neal Cotts, Lance Johnson & Darrin Jackson.
Tony Campana nearly joined the list last summer, but the Cubs declined a White Sox’s trade proposal for the scrappy speedster.
Ron Santo, however, wrapped up his 15-year career on the South Side in 1974. He spent the majority of the season as the DH hitting .221, 5 HR, 41 RBI–the lowest totals of his entire career.
Santo’s move south was actually part of a trade that brought Steve Stone to the Cubs in December of 1973. Stone spent three rather mediocre seasons on the North Side compiling a (23-20, 4.04) record before rejoining the White Sox for 1977-78, where he won 27-games total during the following two seasons.
Ten years later the Rangers traded Sammy Sosa to the White Sox in July of 1989. He played another two seasons for the White Sox hitting .227, 28 HR, 113 RBI all totaled before being shipped to the North Side for George Bell in March of 1992.
Sosa was 23 when he arrived with the Cubs and of course went on to hit 545 home runs with the club to become the franchise’s all-time homerun leader.
I once heard Ernie Banks say he’ll listen to Jack Brickhouse’s call of his 500th home run when he’s down on his luck.
“Jarvis fires away (crack!)…that’s a fly ball deep to left – back, back…that’s it, that’s it, Hey Hey!…he did it, Ernie Banks got number 500…a line drive shot into the seats in left…the ball tossed to the bullpen…everybody on your feet…this is it!…here’s one of the great moments in baseball history and the United States of America, particularly in Chicago!”
The Cubs won 4-3 vs. the Braves on that Tuesday afternoon of May 12, 1970. Ron Santo played third and Billy Williams hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning.
Puts a smile on my face, too.
The Cubs are still searching for a starting third baseman in 2013 and there’s plenty of speculation as to who that player will be.
The bigger question, however, is how long before the Cubs find a long-term solution at third?
It took the Cubs 30-years to bridge the gap from Ron Santo to Aramis Ramirez…and 13-years to find Santo after Stan Hack. Next season marks the second campaign without A-Ram, who was a staple at the hot corner for nine-seasons.
History doesn’t appear to be on the Cubs side. But does that mean Chicago can’t close the gap more quickly that it has in years past?
Josh Vitters isn’t knocking the door down at Triple-A the way Team Theo would like him to. So perhaps one of the Cubs’ brightest prospects, shortstop Javier Baez, could make the transition to third and play alongside Starlin Castro in a season or two–although early indications of the move suggest otherwise.
Additionally, highly touted prospects Christian Villanueva (acquired in the Dempster trade) and Jurickson Profar could be the next Anthony Rizzo at third…or the next Gary Scott.
Either way, determining if the above prospects are the long-term solution will take precious time, possibly 2 or 3 more years.
And if the Cubs fail to develop a third baseman from within, they’ll be left to look via trade or free agency. But of course, you have to give to get, and there’s no counting on a quality third baseman hitting the FA market before passing his prime, either.
I wouldn’t fault the Cubs for not having its long-term answer at third solved by 2014 or even 2015. But it goes without saying the answer to Aramis needs to come much sooner than it did after Santo and Hack.
Congratulations to Tommy Grafton for being the first to Tweet back Ron Santo.
Stay tuned for future give-a-ways. I’ll be tweeting away the chance to win Cubs tickets in May.
Thanks for all your responses. Truly appreciate your readership.
Nationally renowned sports artist, John Hanley, is releasing a Ron Santo HOF Limited Edition Print this week.
Even better, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Ron’s memory.
Hanley worked directly with the Santo family in capturing the gritty, dirty uniform style of play that became so memorable of Ron’s brilliant career on the field.
Santo was a 9 time All-Star, won 5 consecutive Gold Gloves, hit 342 HRs and led the NL in assists and total chances 8 years in a row.
Prints are available on Hanley’s website or by visiting the Cubs Clubhouse stores. Only 1,010 prints exist in the edition.
I’ll send out one free print via Twitter. Be the first to tweet ‘Ron Santo’ to @bullpenbrian.
Cubs Opening Day is just 10 days away!
In honor of this countdown let’s take a look at the men in blue who wore No.10 for the Cubs–in addition to the great Ron Santo!
FIRST CUBS PLAYER TO WEAR No.10:
-Al Todd (1940)
NOTABLE CUBS TO WEAR No.10:
-Bob Scheffing (1946-50)
-El Tappe (1958-59)
*Ron Santo (1960-73)
-Dave Kingman (1978-80)
-Leon Durham (1981-88)
-Lloyd McClendon (1989-90)
MOST RECENT CUBS TO WEAR No.10:
-Bruce Kimm (2002)
CUB CURRENTLY WEARING No.10:
-The Cubs fittingly retired Ron’s No.10 in 2003.
Shame on MLB if Ron Santo is elected to the HOF in December, which is under consideration by the Hall’s Golden Era Committee.
To let this man pass before awarding him the game’s highest honor, of which he’s deserving no less, is ridiculous.
What a sham. What a disgrace. Damn you HOF, voters and players alike.