Thursday, May 20, 2010

#23 - Jim Brosnan

Future author Jim Bronsan is our next #23. Jim wore three different numbers during his four seasons with the Cubs, including #23 during the 1958 season. After spending two seasons as a swingman in the bullpen, Brosnan became a full time starter with the 1958 Cubs. I wonder if that's why he switched uniform numbers?

But it was a short stay in the rotation. He made eight starts and posted a 3-4 record with a 3.14 ERA. That doesn't seem too horribly bad, especially for someone wearing #23. On May 18, he only went 3 2/3 innings against the Giants, giving up four runs. Two days later he was traded to the Cardinals and #23 went back into storage.

Brosnan is more well know for a couple of books he wrote. The Long Season detailed his 1959 season, which saw him again traded mid-year, this time to the Reds. It was the first "inside" look at baseball, though is was very "aw, shucks" when compared to Jim Bouton's Ball Four, which came out ten years later.

He also wrote The Pennant Race, which chronicles the Reds 1961 pennant-winning season. After he retired in 1963, he continued writing.

As a kid, I had this book of his, Little League to Big League, which had chapters on several professional athletes who played Little League as kids. Cubs Ron Santo and Rich Nye were among the featured players. Da Coach Mike Ditka also had a chapter.

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