Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Opening Day Cubs of the 1970s

I spent some time browsing my Cubs media guide and built a tile of the Cubs' opening day lineups from the 1970s.  It was an interesting exercise to see how the lineup evolved over the decade.

I used the players' first available Topps card from when they first made an appearance in the opening day lineup.  I then used that same card each additional time they cracked the lineup so it would be easy to see the changes.

The top row of the tile is the 1970 opening day lineup.  Each year following is on the next row.  The players are shown by position, 1st base - 3rd base, catcher, left, center, and right fielder, and pitcher.

Here's what I ended up with:

You can see some relative consistency early on with the '69 team, and then as they were jettisoned, several changes came each year.

Shortstop and third base have the fewest changes, with three players, while first base saw the most changes, with seven different players.  Jose Cardenal and Don Kessinger tied for making the most appearances, six each.

The two biggest surprises for me were the 1971 starting centerfielder, Jose Ortiz, and the 1974 first baseman, Billy Williams.


  1. Interesting!

    The only person I can think of that could have been the opening day starter since for an entire 0-9 decade is Grace in the 90s, and that's if he didnt happen to be hurt one of those seasons.

  2. I see you needed a couple custom cards to fill in. I'm glad you picked one of mine. Sizemore did, however, have one of those classic O-Pee-Chee cards in 1979. Shown on the Cubs but in a Phillies uniform, "Traded 2-23-79" printed on the photo.

    Ortiz on the other hand had no MLB cards at all, as far as I know.