Chicago Cubs 
April Birthdays

Frank Castillo (Cubs, 1991-1999), Born: 4/1/1969 Died: 7/28/2013

Frank Castillo was part of the Cubs rotation for most of the 1990's.  The only Cubs pitcher with more games started and innings pitched in the 90's is Steve Trachsel.  The only Cubs pitcher with a higher WAR in the 1990's than Castillo was Greg Maddux (Maddux 17.9, Castillo 12.2).  Castillo had a 13-year MLB career and his best seasons were with the Cubs.  His best season appears to be 1995.  Castillo's record was 11-10 with a 3.21 ERA (8th best in the NL).  He was one out away from pitching a no-hitter on September 25, 1995.  

Tragically, Castillo died at the age of 44 in a swimming accident.

Frank Castillo article

Jon Lieber  4/2

Jon Lieber was a very consistent starting pitcher for the Cubs. His ERA+ in his Cubs career was 108.  He joins Jake Arrieta (2015) as the only Cubs pitchers to win 20 games in a season for the Cubs since the year 2001.  

Phil Regan  4/6

Phil Regan spent 5 of his 13 seasons in the major leagues as relief pitcher/"closer" with the Cubs. His best season was 1968 when Regan posted a 10-5 record, 25 saves and a solid 2.20 ERA.  

Don Elston   4/6/1929  died 1/2/1995

Don Elston began his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers, pitching just one game before being traded to the Cubs where he played the rest of his career as one of the early Chicago Cubs dedicated relief pitchers/closer. Elston finished 241 of the 450 major league games he pitched in. In these days, the closer role wasn't set up as it is today when every save situation is primarily dedicated to the specified "closer" on that team so Elston's save totals don't tell the story of how well he pitched for the team. Elston saved 63 games in his 9-year career, saving a career high 13 in 1959. His career ERA is a respectable 3.69 and for the most part, he was a consistent performer year in, year out, but 1958 appears to  be his best season when he posted a record of 9-8 win/loss record with a 2.88 ERA appearing  in NL best 69 games (he also led the league in games pitched in 1959 with 66). Elston saved 10 games in 1958, pitching 97 innings striking out 84 batters and walking 39 batters.

Alex Gonzalez   4/8

Alex Gonzalez (2002-2004)   Alex Gonzalez was a solid shortstop for the few years he was with the Cubs. It's unfortunate that he is probably most known for a defensive play he did not make in the 8th inning of Game 6 of the 2003 playoffs a few batters after the infamous "Bartman" incident. His 2003 season was a great one for the Cubs as he hit 20 HR's and drove in 59 runs. For a short period of time, Gonzalez hit multiple walk off HR's. I remember one that he hit against the Rangers and John Rocker.

Hippo Vaughn, (Cubs, 1913-1921), Born: 4/9/1888 Died: 7/9/1921

Hippo Vaughn won 20 games in a season for the Cubs 5 times.  He won the pitching triple crown  in 1918 leading the NL in Wins, ERA, and Strikeouts.  He helped lead the team to the 1918 World Series.  

Walt Moryn (Cubs, 1956-1960),  Born 4/12/1926  Died 7/21/1996

Walt "Moose" Moryn was an all-star once with the Cubs.  In his 5 years with the team, Moryn batted .272 with a .344 OBP and a 112 OPS+.  He hit 84 home runs and drove in 291 runs.  

Claude Hendrix, (Cubs, 1914-1920), 4/13 

Born: 4/13/1889 Died: 3/22/1944 

the birthday of Cubs pitching great, Claude Hendrix (Cubs, 1914-1920).  He led NL in Wins/ERA in 1914 with 29/1.69 and was part of a strong 1918 Cubs rotation that went to World Series vs Red Sox and Babe Ruth.  

Kyle Farnsworth, (Cubs, 1999-2004)  4/14

Farnsworth began his 16-year MLB career with the Cubs.  His first season with the team, he did start 21 games, but he quickly became an important part of the Cubs bullpen.  His breakout season with the Cubs was 2001 when he struck out 107 batters in 82 innings with a 2.74 ERA.  He was also an important late inning bullpen guy for the 2003 Cubs that came within one win of going to a World Series.  

He never started another game after leaving the Cubs, but he became a very widely regarded late inning relief pitcher.  His best year may have been 2011 with the Rays when he saved 25 games and had a 2.18 ER

Greg Maddux  (Cubs, 1986-1992, 2004-2006) , 4/14

Maddux's career record with the Cubs is 133-112 with a 3.61 ERA (112 ERA+).  With the Cubs only, Maddux won 5 gold gloves, was an all-star twice and won the NL Cy Young in 1992.  

He ended his career as one of the best pitchers in MLB history, won 300 games, a World Series with the Braves, and has been elected to the MLB Hall of Fame.  The Cubs have retired the number 31 in honor of  both Maddux & Fergie Jenkins.  

Jeromy Burnitz (Cubs, 2005) 4/15

Burnitz performed very well in his one year with the Cubs towards the end of his 14 year career.  He hit 24 home runs and drove in 87 runs in his only year with the Cubs (2005).  

For his career, Burnitz hit 314 home runs, was an all-star with the Brewers in 1999 and was NL player of the month in June of 1999.  His 38 home runs in 1998 was 6th best in the NL and his 37 home runs was 8th best in 2004.  

Hack Wilson, (Cubs, 1926-1931), Born: 4/16/1900 Died: 11/23/1948

Hack Wilson hit 56 home runs with 191 RBI (still an MLB record) in 1930.  He led the NL in home runs in 4 of his 6 seasons with the Cubs.  He led the NL in RBI twice.  He was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame.  

Cap Anson  (1876-1897)  4/17/1852  died 4/14/1922

The Society for Baseball Research Association refers to Anson as "baseball's first superstar".  He played for the team before they were even known as the Cubs.  In his years, the team was called the Chicago White Stockings.   

He is the only player in team history with over 3,000 career hits (3435).  He won 4 batting titles (1879, 1881, 1887 & 1888).  He just missed .400, finishing with a .399 batting average in 1881.  He led the NL in RBI in 8 seasons (1880-1882, 1884-1886 & 1891).  

Cap Anson-SABR

Claude Passeau, (Cubs, 1939-1947),  Born: 4/19/1909 Died: 8/20/2003

Claude Passeau was a 3-time all-star with the Cubs.  He won 20 games in 1940.  He pitched a 1-hit shutout in game 3 of the 1945 World Series.  In his 9 seasons with the Cubs, Passeau had a record of 124-94 with a 2.96 ERA (ERA+ of 120).  

Todd Hollandsworth  (Cubs, 2004-2005)  4/20

Hollandsworth played for the Cubs late in his 12 year MLB career and was an effective bench player and pinch-hitter.  Hollandsworth was a broadcaster on local Chicago stations from 2008 to 2016.  

For Hollandsworth's career, he was rookie of the year for the Dodgers in 1996.  Hollandsworth helped the Marlins win a World Series championship in 2003.  He was 3 for 3 against the Cubs in the 2003 NLCS.  

Les Lancaster  4/21  (Cubs, 1987-1993)

Les Lancaster was a top relief pitcher for the Cubs in their 1989 playoff year. He had a 4-2 record with 8 saves and a 1.36 ERA in 1989.

Jacques Jones   4/25

Happy birthday to Jacques Jones (Cubs, 2006-2007).  He hit 27 home runs and drove in 81 runs for the 2006 Cubs.

Rogers Hornsby (Cubs, 1929-1933), Born: 4/27/1896  Died: 1/5/1963

As a Cub, Hornsby was MVP his first year with the Cubs in 1929 and helped lead the team to the World Series.  Hornsby batted .380 with 39 home runs, 149 RBI and scored a NL leading 156 runs.  His WAR for the season (11.1) 

is the best single season WAR figure in Cubs history (after 2020 season).  He was than player-manager for the team from 1930 to 1932, leading the team to 1932 World Series as well.  Hornsby was primarily a manager in 1932 with the Cubs and did not play in that Series.  Rogers Hornsby is widely regarded as one of the best players in MLB history, however most of his career was spent with the rival, St. Louis Cardinals.