Saturday, August 1, 2009

1969 One Cub At A Time - #225 Don Kessinger

#225 - Don Kessinger
Don is one of several Cubs in the set pictured at Shea Stadium. It brought no tears to my eyes to see that place taken down.

Kessinger was one of my favorite players on the 1969 Cubs. He was the leadoff man and the only semblance of speed in the lineup. His 11 stolen bases led the team, though they only swiped 30 altogether, last in the NL.

Kess won the Gold Glove in '69 and was an All-Star for the second straight season. But like many of the '69 Cubs, he wore out late in the season and hit only .186 in September.

Growing up, I had two different ways to imitate Don Kessinger. As a hitter, it was to stand with one foot in the batters box and move around the batting helmet. He always seemed to wiggle his helmet before getting set in the box. The fielding Kessinger move was more fun. You would go far to your right for a ball, pick it up then turn, leap, and throw the ball all at once. It was Kessinger's signature move and we all could do it.

I updated the '69 set and here is Kessinger's card: