Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kind-of Cubs Hall of Famer: Dennis Eckersley

From time to time I will look at the career of hall of famers who played on the Cubs, but are better known for their time with other teams.

Dennis Eckersley spent two and a half years with the Cubs. He came to the Chicago from the Red Sox in May of 1984 for Bill Buckner (how did that work out for you, Red Sox fans?). He went 10-8, helping pitch the Cubs to the NL East crown. Eck started game 3 of the NLCS and got rocked, giving up 5 runs in 5.1 innings. This was the beginning of the end for my boys in blue as they went on to blow a two games to none lead to the Padres, one of the many times the Cubs have crushed my heart.

Three From Topps, 1984 Update, 1986, and 1987. Notice the really bad airbrush job on the insert picture from the 1984 card. You may want to click on the card to get a larger view of it.

Eckersley came back in 1985 and was a decent 11-7, but was also hurt for part of the season. He really slumped in 1986 as he finished the year 6-11 with an ERA of 4.57.

Three more from Fleer, 1984 Update, 1985, and 1986

He was 31 years old and this very well could have been the end of his career. Instead, it was just the beginning of part 2. During the off-season, he went through alcohol rehab. In the spring of 1987 the Cubs traded him to the A's (how did that work out for you Cubs fans?) in a deal that netted the Cubs nothing to speak of.

Three from Donruss, 1985, 1986, and 1987 - they loved to show him in motion

You know the rest of the story. He becomes on of the best relievers in the history of baseball and is a first ballot hall of famer.

Although his time with the Cubs was not very memorable, his total career certainly was.


  1. I like "your" edit of his HOF plaque !

  2. After years of collecting Topps cards with bad airbrushing, I finally got to try my hand at it!