Phil Cavarretta

Philip Joseph Cavarretta (July 19, 1916 – December 18, 2010) was an American Major League Baseball first baseman, outfielder, and manager. He was known to friends and family as "Phil" and was also called "Philibuck", a nickname bestowed by Cubs manager Charlie Grimm.[1]

Cavarretta spent almost his entire baseball career with the Chicago Cubs. He was voted the 1945 National League Most Valuable Player after leading the Cubs to the pennant while winning the batting title with a .355 average. His 20 seasons (1934–1953) played for the Cubs is the second-most in franchise history, behind Cap Anson. He managed the Cubs in his final three seasons with the club.

Phil Cavarretta
Phil Cavarretta 1953
Cavarretta in about 1953.
First baseman / Outfielder / Manager
Born: July 19, 1916
Chicago, Illinois
Died: December 18, 2010 (aged 94)
Lilburn, Georgia
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 16, 1934, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
May 8, 1955, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.293
Hits1,977
Home runs95
Runs batted in920
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Baseball career

Cavaretta attended Lane Tech High School in Chicago, and signed a professional contract with the Cubs before finishing high school. In his first professional game with Peoria at age 17 in 1934, Cavaretta hit for the cycle as a right fielder. That same year he was brought up to the Cubs to replace manager Charlie Grimm at first base. He first appeared in a major league game on September 16, 1934, less than two months after his 18th birthday, pinch-hitting unsuccessfully for the Cubs' shortstop Billy Jurges in the fifth inning of the first game of a doubleheader in Brooklyn. A week later, on September 25, in his first start and his first appearance at the Cubs' home park, Wrigley Field, Cavaretta hit a home run that supplied the winning margin in the Cubs' 1–0 win over Cincinnati.[2] In his 1935 rookie season, he batted .275 with 82 runs batted in, also leading the league in double plays, as the Cubs captured their third pennant in seven years by winning 21 straight games in September; however, he batted only .125 in the World Series loss to the Detroit Tigers. Over the next several seasons he provided solid play at first base, routinely batting between .270 and .291 every season but one through 1943, though he lost significant playing time from 1938 to 1940 due to a hip injury and an ankle broken twice while sliding. In the 1938 World Series against the New York Yankees, he batted .462 as the Cubs were swept.

Exempted from World War II service because of a hearing problem, in 1944 Cavaretta batted .321 with a league-high 197 hits, had career highs with 106 runs, 35 doubles and 15 triples, and earned his first of four straight All-Star selections (reaching base a record five times in the game) though the Cubs suffered their fifth consecutive losing season. But the team improved by 23 games in 1945, edging the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals by three games for the pennant as Cavaretta was named MVP. That season he also had a career-high 97 RBI, leading the NL in on-base percentage and finishing third in slugging average. He batted .423 in the World Series against the Tigers, though the Cubs again lost, in seven games. In Game 1, he singled and scored as the Cubs took a 4–0 lead in the first inning, singled and scored again in the third, and homered in the seventh as Chicago took the opener 9–0. He scored the Cubs' only run in Game 2, and in a 12-inning 8–7 win in Game 6 had a 2–RBI single and scored a run; he had three hits in Game 7, but the Cubs lost 9–3.

He made the All-Star team again in 1946 and 1947, batting .314 the latter year, as the Cubs again fell back in the standings. He was named manager in June 1951, succeeding Frankie Frisch. Continuing as manager for two more years, he compiled a record of 169–213. In 1953, his final season with the Cubs, he surpassed Stan Hack's modern team record of 1,938 games; Ernie Banks would eventually break his mark of 1,953 games in 1966. Cavaretta was fired during 1954 spring training after admitting the team was unlikely to finish above fifth place (they finished seventh), and in May he signed with the crosstown Chicago White Sox; he ended his career there in 1955.

Legacy

In his 22-year major league career, Cavaretta compiled a .293 batting average with 95 home runs and 920 RBI. He later managed in the minor leagues from 1956 to 1958 and again from 1965 to 1972, became a coach and scout with the Tigers, and was a New York Mets organizational hitting instructor.

Cavaretta was the last living player to have played against Babe Ruth in a major league game; he did so on May 12, 1935, against the Boston Braves.[3]

Death

On December 18, 2010, Cavarretta died of complications from a stroke. He was also battling leukemia at the time of his death.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Burns, Edward. "Cubs Beat Reds on Home Run by Rookie, 1 to 0." Chicago Tribune. September 26, 1934. p. 17.
  3. ^ New York Times May 13, 1935 (box score) p. 21
  4. ^ Phil Cavarretta, 1945 NL MVP with Cubs, dies at 94 Bay Ledger, December 18, 2010

External links

1934 Chicago Cubs season

The 1934 Chicago Cubs season was the 63rd season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 59th in the National League and the 19th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished third in the National League with a record of 86–65.

1935 Chicago Cubs season

The 1935 Chicago Cubs season was the 64th season for the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 60th in the National League and the 20th at Wrigley Field. The season saw the Cubs finish with 100 wins for the first time in 25 years; they would not win 100 games in another season until 2016. The Cubs won their 14th National League pennant in team history and faced the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, but lost in six games.

The 1935 season is largely remembered for the Cubs' 21-game winning streak. The streak began on September 4 with the Cubs 2.5 games out of first place. They would not lose again until September 28. The streak propelled the Cubs to the National League pennant. The 21-game winning streak tied the franchise and major league record set in 1880 when they were known as the Chicago White Stockings.

1945 Chicago Cubs season

The 1945 Chicago Cubs season was the 74th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 70th in the National League and the 30th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the National League pennant with a record of 98–56, 3 games ahead of the second-place St. Louis Cardinals. The team went on to the 1945 World Series, which they lost to the Detroit Tigers in seven games. It would take 71 years before the Cubs made it to another World Series.

1945 Major League Baseball season

The 1945 Major League Baseball season. There were 16 teams, eight in both the American League and the National League respectively.

1945 World Series

The 1945 World Series matched the American League Champion Detroit Tigers against the National League Champion Chicago Cubs. The Tigers won the Series four games to three, giving them their second championship and first since 1935.

Paul Richards picked up four runs batted in in the seventh game of the series, to lead the Tigers to the 9–3 game win, and 4–3 Series win.

The World Series again used the 3–4 wartime setup for home field sites, instead of the normal 2–3–2. Although the major hostilities of World War II had ended, some of the rules were still in effect. Many of the majors' better players were still in military service. Warren Brown, author of a history of the Cubs in 1946, commented on this by titling one chapter "World's Worst Series". He also cited a famous quote of his, referencing himself anonymously and in the third person. When asked who he liked in the Series, he answered, "I don't think either one of them can win it."

In a similar vein, Frank Graham jokingly called this Series "the fat men versus the tall men at the office picnic."

One player decidedly not fitting that description was the Tigers' slugger Hank Greenberg, who had been discharged from military service early. He hit the only two Tigers homers in the Series, and scored seven runs overall and also drove in seven.

The Curse of the Billy Goat originated in this Series before the start of Game 4. Having last won the Series in 1908, the Cubs owned the dubious record of both the longest league pennant drought and the longest World Series drought in history, not winning another World Series until 2016.

The Series was a rematch of the 1935 World Series. In that Series' final game, Stan Hack led off the top of the ninth inning of Game 6 with a triple but was stranded, and the Cubs lost the game and the Series. Hack was still with the Cubs in 1945. According to Warren Brown's account, Hack was seen surveying the field before the first Series game. When asked what he was doing, Hack responded, "I just wanted to see if I was still standing there on third base."

1947 Chicago Cubs season

The 1947 Chicago Cubs season was the 76th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 72nd in the National League and the 32nd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished sixth in the National League with a record of 69–85.

1951 Chicago Cubs season

The 1951 Chicago Cubs season was the 80th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 76th in the National League and the 36th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 62–92.

1952 Chicago Cubs season

The 1952 Chicago Cubs season was the 81st season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 77th in the National League and the 37th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fifth in the National League with a record of 77–77. Starting from this season, WGN was the exclusive television broadcast partner of the Cubs franchise with the transfer of WBKB ownership to CBS.

1952 Major League Baseball season

The 1952 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 15 to October 7, 1952. The Braves were playing their final season in Boston, before the team relocated to Milwaukee the following year, thus, ending fifty seasons without any MLB team relocating.

1953 Chicago Cubs season

The 1953 Chicago Cubs season was the 82nd season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 78th in the National League and the 38th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished seventh in the National League with a record of 65–89.

1953 Major League Baseball season

The 1953 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 13 to October 12, 1953. It marked the first relocation of an MLB franchise in fifty years, as the Boston Braves moved their NL franchise to Milwaukee, where they would play their home games at the new County Stadium.

The New York Yankees won their fifth consecutive World Series championship. A MLB record, as of 2019.

1954 Chicago White Sox season

The 1954 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 54th season in the major leagues, and its 55th season overall. They finished with a record 94–60, good enough for third place in the American League, 17 games behind the first place Cleveland Indians.

1955 Chicago White Sox season

The 1955 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 55th season in the major leagues, and its 56th season overall. They finished with a record 91–63, good enough for third place in the American League, 5 games behind the first place New York Yankees.

1975 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1975 followed the system in place since 1971.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Ralph Kiner.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected three people: Earl Averill, Bucky Harris, and Billy Herman.

The Negro Leagues Committee also met in person and selected Judy Johnson.

Chicago Cubs award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Chicago Cubs professional baseball team.

Pat Pieper

Frank "Pat" Pieper (1886-1974) served as the Chicago Cubs field (public address) announcer from 1916 to 1974, a span of 59 years.

Reno Silver Sox

The Reno Silver Sox were a minor league baseball team that existed on and off from 1947 to 1992. The team name is derived from the nickname of Nevada, the "Silver State". There was another baseball team known as the Reno Silver Sox who played in the Golden Baseball League. From part of the 1955 season to 1992, they played their home games at Moana Stadium. The 1961 Silver Sox were recognized as one of the 100 greatest minor league teams of all time.

Salinas Spurs

Several minor league baseball teams have been based in Salinas, California and played in the California League.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.