Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Other 26s Update

I'm still looking for a picture of Fritz Connally wearing #26 in 1983.

But I at least tried to find asking Fritz himself.

He didn't have one.

No, I'm not a personal acquaintance of his. But during my search for a picture I found his work email address. Figuring that I had nothing to lose, I wrote to him on Tuesday night:

I'm a big Cub fan and was wondering if you have a picture that shows you wearing #26 with the Cubs. You were the last active player to wear that number before it was retired in honor of Billy Williams in 1987. I've searched the internet and Chicago Tribune archives for a picture but came up empty. Billy Williams was my favorite player and I'm trying to put together a photo montage of all the players that wore #26.
Thanks for any help.

I got a reply the next morning, which impressed me. He could have just as easily trashed my email. Here's his reply:

I’m sorry but I do not have anything showing me wearing #26. In fact, your email to me is new news, I thought I wore something in the 40’s. Maybe the Cubs have a resource for you to follow up on?
Best of luck.

Interesting that he forgot what number he wore. I guess no one told him that he was given the number of one of the greatest Cubs of all time. That doesn't surprise me because Dallas Green was doing his best to purge the organization of any memory of the '69 Cubs.

My quest for a picture of Fritz Connally wearing #26 continues.


  1. "Something in the 40s" compared to 26 - quite the difference when you look at the number.

  2. That really surprised me that he didn't remember his number. I thought players would remember every detail about their first call-up to the majors.

  3. FRITZIE LEE CONNALLY only appeared in 8 games / 10 AB / .100 BA with the Cubbies so most likely he was thinking more of those numbers he wore coming up through Cubs minor league system ...

    Did you think to contact Cubs PR directly as would feel they should have some photos in their files where you might just luck into him wearing something where the number 26 might appear ...

    Additionally, the team might be able to put you in touch with some of their still living photographers from that time as often players are shot from all angles for various purposes like media guide, yearbook, team card sets, TOPPS, etc. ...

    In over 50 years of working Spring Training we always shot players both back and front for identification purposes and saw many others doing same ...

    Hope you are able to locate something in this regard.