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CHICAGO CUBS
April 10, 1961
In revolt against Cubs' futility, Phil Wrigley beefed up his coaching staff, dispensed with his manager. Some live hitters and pitchers would help this team more
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April 10, 1961

Chicago Cubs

In revolt against Cubs' futility, Phil Wrigley beefed up his coaching staff, dispensed with his manager. Some live hitters and pitchers would help this team more

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1960 TEAM PERFORMANCE

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

7

60

94

35

1960 INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES

BATTING

PITCHING

Ashburn

.291

Hobbie

16-20

Banks

.271

Anderson

9-11

Altman

.266

Elston

8-9

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

Banks

41

Banks

117

Thomas

21

Thomas

64

Altman

13

Will

53

ANALYSIS OF THE CUBS

STRONG POINTS
There are just three: Ernie Banks, one good starting pitcher, one good reliever. Banks has had more than 40 homers and 100 RBIs in five of last six seasons. No Aparicio in field, he nevertheless handles everything he gets to, throws well to first. Adequate fielding and superlative hitting add up to best shortstop in major league history after Honus Wagner. Rest of Cub power not what it was three years ago (when it was first in NL in homers, second in runs scored), but still a club asset. Frank Thomas, now a low-average batter, remains consistent home run hitter; Ron Santo hit nine homers as mid-season rookie, and Cubs expect many more. Right-hander Glen Hobbie ranked high in NL in complete games and shutouts, won 16 times. Don Elston has relieved 60 times three straight seasons, kept ERA around 3.40 mark.

WEAK SPOTS
Other pitchers, catching, lack of high-average hitters. Cub staff as whole gave up 80 runs more than any other in NL. There are no significant additions to staff this year, and gap in quality between Hobbie and other starters, Elston and other relievers, is likely to grow. Sam Taylor catches adequately, throws poorly, can't hit. Top Cub batting average last year was Richie Ashburn's .291; Banks was second at .271. Most averages were below .250.

THE BIG IFS
The novel coaching staff (see page 46). Everyone will be watching to see whether it makes sense or dissolves into a farce. Perennial question marks are Dick Drott and Moc Drabowsky, 1957 sensations who have been sore-armed ever since. Dodger discard Don Zimmer played well at second during last half of '60 and in spring training. New choked-up swing and first-string status may bring more improvement.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
Last spring's rookie sensation was Right Fielder Lou Johnson. This year it was Right Fielder Billy Williams, who Cubs hope will fare better than Johnson (.206 in 34 games). Al Heist, 33-year-old rookie who joined Cubs last July after six straight seasons with Sacramento, is fast runner, fine outfielder. Only new pitcher expected to make grade is Mel Wright, 31-year-old two-time loser with Cardinals. Wright had good year with Dallas, may beef up undermanned bullpen.

OUTLOOK
To improve, Cubs need much better pitching, more men on base ahead of sluggers. Despite admirable efforts of new coaching board, they figure to get neither, and will again battle Phils for seventh place.

EASYGOING ERNIE BANKS

While his teammates warmed up in conventional style, Ernie Banks got ready for the day's game in his own manner: a little pitching, a little jogging and a lot of standing. Banks and rookie Outfielder Billy Williams took one ball and no bat into deep center field. Williams played catcher while Banks played at pitching, especially pitching with men on base. First a long, languid stretch. Then a subtle peek over the shoulder at the imaginary base runners. Finally a slow, high kick and three-quarter turn, and a loose-armed delivery. Off Ernest Banks of Dallas, no one ever got a hit.

Banks has a special exercise which he does off and on throughout practice. He bends over at the waist and touches his fingertips half a dozen times to the grass in front of his toes. Then he straightens up, hands on the back of his hips and stretches chest and shoulders backward. The whole thing lasts about 10 seconds, and may be repeated 10 times in 10 different places. It is doubtless more reflex than conscious effort, like Berra's pendulum sweep of the bat or Colavito's shoulder contortions and constant checking of the back of the cap.

When Banks is in the dugout he is often apart and introspective, silently watching the activity on the field. One day a visitor asked him how the new American League teams would fare.

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