Wednesday, November 25, 2009

1969 One Cub At A Time - #535 Phil Regan

Topps had nothing with Regan in a Cubs uniform, so we get a hatless picture from his Dodger days, taken at Shea Stadium.

My update shows him at Wrigley Field. I couldn't find any action shots, so I was stuck with the pose. But at least he's in the home uniform in a picture from 1968 (the patch on his right sleeve was only worn that season). If you look behind his head, you'll notice there are no baskets on the outfield wall. Those were added in 1970.

Phil Regan was the fireman for the 1969 Cubs (they didn't call them "closers" back then). He came to the Cubs in April of 1968 from the Dodgers. The Cubs made a great deal, getting Regan and Jim Hickman off of the LA scrapheap in exchange for Jim Ellis and Ted Savage. It was a real steal.

Regan went 10-5 with 25 saves for the Cubs in '68. His 1969 numbers look just as good, a 12-6 record with 17 saves in 71 games. The Cubs bullpen was pretty thin, and Durocher was the kind of manager who would go with what works, so Regan got a lot of work. Overwork is one of the main reasons cited for the Cubs collapse, and a closer look at Regan's numbers would indicate that his arm was worn out.

In August, he made 13 appearance and had a 5.48 ERA. September was even worse, though he made only nine appearances. His ERA in the final month was 6.23. The fireman was pouring gas on the fire instead of water.

Another Cub, another weak August and September. Another reason for a collapse.

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