Thursday, September 17, 2009

1969 One Cub At A Time - #347 - Randy Hundley

Here is the original Topps card from 1969 and my updated version. The original would be ok if it wasn't the exact photo used on Hundley's 1967 card. Lazy bums!

Hundley was the ironman catcher for the Cubs. From 1966 (when he set a rookie record for most games as a catcher) through 1969, he played in a whopping 612 out of 648 games, an average of 153 games a year. That makes me sore just thinking about it. But Hundley never complained, he just went out and played.

He had a good season in 1969, making the All Star team for the only time in his career. He hit .255 with 18 home runs and 64 RBI's. He was the general on the field. And he was also known for never swearing. He argued alot, but it was always with "golly gee" type words. His most noted arguement in 1969 was over this play against the Mets. This picture seems to show him tagging Tommy Agee out, but the ump ruled otherwise. Randy went nuts, but the call stood...and the collapse continued.

A native of Virginia, he was also known as "The Rebel" or "Reb." Bleacher Bums brought confederate flags to wave when he hit a home run. I'm pretty sure in today's PC world that they wouldn't be able to do that today.

As the season wore on, it seems like all the catching he did over the past four season was finally catching up with him. In 27 games in September and October, Randy hit only .151 and had only 4 RBI's. Was he tired, was it the pressure, or a combination of both? Regardless, the numbers don't lie; he had a huge drop off.

1969 was Hundley's last season as a full-time catcher. He was injured in both 1970 and 1971, getting into only 81 games over the two years. He was healthier in '72 and '73, averaging 119 games, but his hitting was down. He was traded to the Twins after the '73 season, and spent time with them and the Padres, before finishing his career with the Cubs in '76 and 77.

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