Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Cubs Fact: U2

No, Bono never played for the Cubs, though right now he is on the DL!

But, in the 134 year history of the Cubs, there have been only two players with a last name that begins with the letter U. That's a grand total of two out of 1,872 players that have played in at least one game for the Cubs.

John Upham: This is the only card from Upham's brief career. Upham was the second Canadian pitcher on the Cubs roster in 1967 and 1968, though he wasn't quite as good as the other, some guy named Jenkins.

Upham did have an interesting path to the mound at Wrigley. He was signed by the Phillies as an outfielder in 1959. By 1965 his career had stalled in the minor leagues and he was selected by the Cubs in the minor league draft. As a last-ditch effort to save his career, Upham switched to pitching, something he had done as an amateur. He did well enough to make the Cubs roster in 1967 and saw action as both a pitcher and an outfielder / pinch-hitter. In early June he was sent back to the minors and spent the rest of the season there. The next year he came back to the Cubs in August and September, spending most of his time as an outfielder (11 games) while making only two appearances on the mound.

Bob Usher: His time with the Cubs was about as short as possible; it was Moonlight Graham short. Usher played in one game for the Cubs, April 26, 1952. He had one plate appearance, and he walked. After that, it was back to the minors, where he would spent the next five seasons, before making back to the bigs with the Indians in 1957.

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