Thursday, April 29, 2010
#23 - Nelson Matthews
Outfielder Nelson Matthews played in bits of four seasons with the Cubs, from 1960 - 1963. He wore #23 during the last three seasons. His only Topps card with the Cubs was this rookie card from 1963. None of the four featured did much, though one of the guys had a pretty decent NBA career.
It looks like Matthews was another of the many players the Cubs rushed to the majors, only to see them flop. He made his MLB debut in September, 1960, at the age of 18. The next two seasons saw him have September call ups also, and with these, he was wearing #23. His only full season with the Cubs was 1963. He started 35 games in the first half of the season, but hit only .156. His playing time was limited the second half, probably the result of that .156 average. He ended the year with a .155 average, 4 home runs, and 10 RBI's.
After the 1963 season, he was traded to the A's, where he would spend the last year and a half of his big league career. His final game was July 18, 1965, and he went out with a bang, going 2-4 with a home run.
Bobby Gene Smith also wore #23 in 1962. He was with the team for only 1 1/2 months, played in 13 games, and hit .172. The Cubs were the second of three teams he played for in 1962, and no Cubs card of him was made.