From SABR member Frank Jackson at The Hardball Times on June 18, 2019:
The phrase “face of the franchise” is relatively new in sports lingo, but baseball teams have always had hometown faves, faces recognizable above all others. Unquestionably, one such face belonged to Phil Cavarretta of the Chicago Cubs.
Cavarretta was born in Chicago on July 19, 1916. Growing up a few miles from Wrigley Field, he led Lane Technical High School to a city baseball championship. At age 18, after a brief stay in the minors, he was called up to the Cubs in September 1934. He remained with the Cubs through 1953. Upon the firing of manager Frankie Frisch in July 1951, he became player-manager.
After two decades with the Cubs, Cavarretta had played in more games than anyone else in franchise history. His resume included a batting title and MVP award (both in 1945), plus three All-Star appearances (1944, 1946, and 1947). While playing for the Cubs, he amassed 1,927 hits (.292/.371/.416). For good measure, he was the last major leaguer who had played against Babe Ruth. If anyone was Mr. Cub in those days, Cavarretta was surely the man. At least until spring training of 1954.
Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/three-generations-of-mr-cub/
Originally published: June 20, 2019. Last Updated: June 20, 2019.