Friday, June 19, 2009

World Champion Chicago Cubs...The Rest of the Team...And the Entire Team

The 1908 Cubs featured four Hall of Fame players, Tinker, Evers, Chance, and Brown. I've already shown you cards of them. The player I have left, the outfielders and catcher, are probably the least known of the team. I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable Cubs fan and these six are names I barely recognize.

Johnny Kling was the team's catcher. He spent 11 years with the Cubs. In 1908 he hit .276. He took the 1909 season off as he won the Pocket Billiards World Championship and spent the year playing billiards. He returned to baseball in 1910.

The outfielders were probably the weakest link on the team, with Frank Schulte's .236 average being the highest. But then again, when you start for a team that wins three pennants and two World Series in a row, you can't be that bad. All three were of German descent and were known for yelling plays to each other in German.

Frank "Wildfire" Schulte was the team's left fielder. Although he hit only .236 during the regular season, he was huge in the World Series, batting .389

Jimmy Slagle, center fielder, was known for his strong arm (27 assists in 1905) and his speed (he stole 6 bases in the 1907 World Series, a record that stood until Lou Brock broke it in 1968). His hitting fell off so much that he was released by the Cubs in August, 1908.

RIght field was patrolled by Jimmy Sheckard. Sheckard came to the Cubs from the Dodgers in 1906 in exchange for four players. He missed 40 games during the '08 season when a bottle of amonia exploded and damaged his eyes. His hitting fell off due to the accident and he hit only .231.

Two bench players saw significant playing time.

Solly Hofman took over in the outfield when Jimmy Slagle was released.

Del Howard played 80 games in the outfield, picking up the slack for Slagle and Sheckard.

And the final card in the set, the team card.

It was fun creating cards for the World Champion Chicago Cubs. My source for the original black and white photos was the Chicago Daily News photographs archives. There are a ton of pictures of players from almost every team in there. Search for a team and see what you find. If you are a fan of a team that played before 1930, you may find enough players to create a set of cards of your own.


  1. These are just great, great cards. The 1915 Phillies team set is now officially on my to-do list. (It's a long list!) Thanks for sharing these!

  2. Truly awesome. Did I miss a manager card in there anywhere?

  3. Thanks for all the kind words!

    Jim - Good luck with the Phillies

    Rod - First baseman Frank Chance was the teams player-manager.

  4. I like the tobacco cards. They have the most character of all baseball cards in my opinion. Or maybe its just the mystique of the old card.

  5. Great Blog. I am in the process of reading the book about the 1908 Pennett Race (Crazy 08' I believe)and loving it. Kling was supposely the best fielding catcher of his era. It is a great book, if you have not read it.