Saturday, February 13, 2010

Reviewing From Decades Past: 1970 - Pitchers

Starting pitching for the 1970 Cubs was decent, but the bullpen was a major weakness. There were cards for only seven Cubs pitchers. The team actually had 18 different hurlers make an appearance, which means lots of trades and rookies. That's not a good sign for a team that is supposed to contend for the division crown.


Fergie Jenkins
was the ace of the staff and had another outstanding season. He won at least 20 games for the fourth consecutive season, going 22-16. He also led the league with his 24 complete games.

Bill Hands followed up his 20 win 1969 season by going 18-15 in 1970. With Jenkins, he gave the Cubs a pretty decent 1-2 punch.

Ken Holtzman had a good season too, posting a 17-11 record. Between the top three starters, there were 114 starts and a 57-42 record. That means the rest of the staff was 27-36 and that, boys and girls, led to the demise of this team.

Rookie Joe Decker started the season as the fourth starter, but proved ineffective (2-7, 4.64 in 17 starts). In late June the Cubs purchased Milt Pappas from the Braves and put him into the #4 spot. He did a decent job, going 10-8 with a nice 2.68 ERA.


Ted Abernathy, with his submarine style motion, was traded in late June to the Cardinals for utility infielder Phil Gagliano.

Hank Aguirre made only 17 appearances and was released on July 6th. He never pitched in the majors again. He returned to the Cubs as a coach in 1972. His title was "Information and Services Coach," whatever that means!

Phil Regan was still the team's closer, but he was 9-12 with a 4.76 ERA. That is not good!

Jim Cosman got his own post here last year. He gave up three runs in his only appearance of the season, good enough for an ERA of 27.00. But I still like the guy!

Other players with Topps cards who pitched for the 1970 Cubs included these three veterans nearing the ends of their careers. Their records with the Cubs show just how near the end they were:

Steve Barber: 0-1, 5.93

Bob Miller: 0-0, 5.00

Hoyt Wilhelm: 0-1, 8.92

And there were a bunch of guys with no card:
Jim Colborn: 3-1. 3.59
Joe Decker: 2-7, 4.64
Jim Dunegan: 0-2, 4.73
Larry Gury: 1-3, 3.79
Juan Pizarro: 0-0, 4.60
Archie Reynolds: 0-2, 6.60
Roberto Rodriguez: 3-2, 5.82


  1. What a sad end to a great, long career for Wilhelm.

  2. I actually met Jim Dunegan a few times. He was working in a contstruction job in the Phoenix area in the late 70s. He was friends with my little league coach. Dunegan came out to a few of our practices. I didn't interact with him much -- he mostly talked with our pitchers. I had his 1971 Topps card. I wish I would have had him autograph it.