We re less than a month from Opening Day, so it s time to start previewing the season. Inspired by an old feature on The Black Table, we re going team-by-team and distributing Four Things You Don t Know about them. If you have suggested oddities on your team, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Today: The Chicago Cubs.
• 1. Their Relatives Are Better Singers Than Your Relatives, Probably. Meet Rubby Perez, the brother of backup shortstop Neifi Perez. Rubby is a popular singer, or so we are told.
• 2. It's Been Eight Years Since Harry Caray Passed Away. Among broadcaster Harry Caray's quotes during his last game, on September 21, 1997, were: "Here s Lieberthal WOAH! Danny Alexander lost the ball in the sun. We ve seen some guys get hit in the head, when the sun wasn t shining, but this time, the sun was shining. Heh heh heh." And "Ya know, when you strike out 10, think of it this way. There s 27 outs. When you strike out 10, that s 10 outs that you ve taken care of out of the 27 required to end the game." Caray also once called Chan Ho Park "Shang Hei Shek" and referred to Andre Dawson and "Andrew Jackson."
• 3. Jerry Hairston Was Destined For This. Jerry Hairston's grandfather, Sam Hairston, was the first African American to play for the Chicago White Sox, in 1951. Hairston's family is just one of three to have three generations of major leaguers (joining the Boones and Bells). His uncle John played with the Cubs in 1969, his father Jerry played for the White Sox and Pittsburgh (1973-1989).
• 4. They Have Been Known By Many Names. Beginning as the White Stockings in the 1870s, they were also called the Colts (1890s), Orphans (1898 after the firing of longtime manager Cap Anson), the Remnants (1901) and finally the Cubs, when, in 1902, manager Frank Selee arrived and rebuilt the club with young, inexperienced players. The Chicago Tribune tried to call the team the Spuds around this time, but that name didn't stick.
(Tomorrow: The Oakland A's)