Sam Fuld, the Hitless Cubs Club, and "Law & Order"

In the Comments last week, loyal TCR reader The Joe asked which Major Leaguer had the most at-bats without ever getting a hit. (The question stemmed from the fact that Cubs CF candidate Sam Fuld currently has the roundest of lifetime batting averages, .000, after his 0-for-6 showing last season.)

According to the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index, the answer is Mets pitcher Randy Tate, who had 41 at-bats in 1975 without once hitting his way on base. Among non-pitchers, the more interesting record, I think, Mike Potter ('76-'77) and Larry Littleton ('81) share the mark with 23 hitless at-bats for the Cards and Indians, respectively.

But what about the Cubs? I figured that an organization which has fielded so many craptacular teams with roster spots filled by so many never-developed young players and over-the-hill old players would have some worthy entries in a category like this one.

So I waded back into the B-R Play Index and changed the original search parameters a bit to find the 10 non-pitchers who accumulated the most AB's for the Cubs without getting a hit. Note: the players listed may have hit safely before or after they wore the Cub uniform; the point is, they were hitless while they were ours.

Anyway, here are the Top Ten Members of the Hitless Cubs Club:

 

#10. Herb Hunter, 2B-3B; 0/7 (7 plate appearances) for the 1916-'17 Cubs

In August of 1916, Hunter, then a Giant, became one of still relatively few players in Major League history to hit a home run before his 20th birthday. Two weeks later, he was traded to the Cubs. He went 0-for-4 in the remaining weeks of the 1916 season, then 0-for-3 in 1917, before leaving to fight in World War I. Hunter returned to the bigs in 1920, playing just a handful of games for the Red Sox and Cardinals. He only collected one hit--and no more home runs.

Hunter did eventually manage to leave his mark on baseball, however, becoming a pivotal figure in spreading the game to the Far East. Between the 1922 and '23 seasons, he arranged for a group of American big leaguers to play an exhibition tour in Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines. The group included eventual Hall of Famers Casey Stengel, Herb Pennock, and Waite Hoyt. Nine years later, Hunter returned to Japan with another contingent that included Lou Gehrig, Mickey Cochrane, and Frankie Frisch. And in 1932, he arranged for three American players to travel to Japan and give baseball seminars in universities. Among the three was a player who would ultimately achieve notoriety away from the diamond--catcher turned spy, Moe Berg.

#8(t). Ed Glenn, Shortstop; 0/7 (8 PA) for the 1902 Cubs

#8(t). Bill Carney, Outfielder; 0/7 (8 PA) for the 1904 Cubs

#7. Mario Encarnacion, Outfielder; 0/7 (9 PA) for the 2002 Cubs

"Super Mario" was once a highly regarded prospect, even more highly regarded than his close friend and fellow Dominican, Miguel Tejada. Originally signed by the A's, Encarnacion spent seven years in the minors before his rookie year with the Rockies in 2001. He was placed on waivers by the Rox and picked up by the Cubs at the beginning of the '02 season, playing in just three games before he was out of the majors for good.

Three years later, Encarnacion, playing for a professional team in China, failed a steroids test and was suspended for two weeks. Late that same season, when he failed to show up for a team practice, club officials found Encarnacion dead in his hotel room. Encarnacion's death was never directly tied to the drug use (at least, not that I could find).

#6. Harry Wilke, 3B; 0/9 for the '27 Cubs

Wilke deserves a special place in the Hitless Cubs Club since he is the only player on this list whose entire hitless career was as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Congrats, Harry!

#5. Al Glossop, 2B-SS; 0/10 for the '46 Cubs

#4. Ike Van Zandt, Outfielder; 0/11 for the 1904 Cubs

Another happy tale: Van Zandt played in four games for the Cubs in '04, finishing his unremarkable Major League career the next season with the St. Louis Browns. Three years later, while he was playing for a town team in North Adams, New Hampshire, Van Zandt helped fix a game. When news of the fix got out, Van Zandt shot himself in the heart. (No more tragic deaths on this list--I promise.)

#3. Ed Mickelson, 1B; 0/12 for the '57 Cubs

Mickelson had several things to be proud of in his baseball career. He got his first Major League hit as a St. Louis Cardinal while subbing for the great Stan Musial; the hit came off Braves Hall of Famer Warren Spahn; and in 1953, Mickelson recorded the last RBI in the history of the St. Louis Browns. As a Cub, however, he was just hitless.

#2. Clem "Count" Clemens, Catcher: 0/15 for the '16 Cubs

A basketball player at Notre Dame before turning pro in baseball, Clemens eventually landed with the Chicago Whales of the Federal League--the original tenants in Weeghman Park, now Wrigley Field--before joining the Cubs in 1916. Following his baseball career, Clemens became an attorney and was active in Chicago political and legal circles, even running (unsuccessfully) for alderman.

As far as I know, he never crossed paths with Tony Rezko.

#1. George Moriarty, 3B; 0/18 for the 1903-'04 Cubs

Moriarty's brief, hit-free time as a Chicago Cub was just a blip in his colorful, 37-year career as a Major League player, manager, and umpire.

Born in Chicago and raised near the Union Stock Yards, Moriarty had an undistinguished playing career with the Cubs, New York Highlanders, Detroit Tigers and White Sox, which ended in 1916. He then worked as an American League umpire until 1940, with a brief interruption in 1927 and '28 to manage the Tigers.

As an ump, it sounds like Moriarty was a first-class bastard. He reportedly challenged members of the Cleveland Indians to a fistfight beneath the stands in the middle of a game in 1932. He is also the butt of a probably apocryphal story involving Babe Ruth, who, between pitches of an at-bat, allegedly stepped away from the plate and asked home-plate ump Moriarty how he spelled his last name. Moriarty spelled it, after which Ruth is said to have replied, "Just like I thought. Only one I."

Moriarty's final claim to fame has nothing to do with baseball, but very much to do with one of television's greatest shows. He was the grandfather of actor Michael Moriarty, who, among his many roles, played Ben Stone, the original Assistant District Attorney on "Law & Order."

 

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Comments

Loupa thinking of moving DLee and FBomb in the lineup-

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/83753...

Nut, how long did this take you? In any case, I'm grateful - interesting research topic!

Thanks, glad you found it interesting. It actually only took a couple hours to dig up the back stories. The B-R Play Index, of course, did the hard work...in about 4 seconds. If anyone hasn't played with it, I heartily recommend it. Just amazing. It's a lot more fun than work.

Anyone planning on going to see the Cubs play Seattle in Las Vegas?

I need to take a trip to see them this spring, and I can either go this coming weekend in AZ or the end of the month in Vegas. Wondering if we might have some TCR critical mass...

I'll be in Vegas for both the Friday & Saturday games against the Mariners. It's the only days I could manage to take off during the Spring.

Hmmm, the only days you could take off to see your beloved cubs play in spring training was a weekend when they were in Vegas.

Coincidence, I'm sure.

That RH hitting Cfer that we dumped in January is leading all of ST in hits, Hitting .429, Looks like he made the Mets

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/20...

Mentioned in a post! Hells yeah.

Your contribution was invaluable. : )

According to WSCR George Off-man Orioles scouts in Tucson watching Juan Uribe.

~snicker~

Sounds like punishment of some sort.

CHICAGO (AP) — The chairman of Chicago-based Wrigley says the gum maker hasn’t decided whether to make a bid for the naming rights of Wrigley Field if they become available.
The historic ballpark got its name while owned by the Wrigley family, which sold the Cubs decades ago.
Bill Wrigley Junior is chairman of the confectioner. During a morning shareholder meeting, he said his family has “great passion” for the Cubs and baseball.
But Wrigley says the company promotes its individual brands, not the Wrigley name. And he says Wrigley would “evaluate it like we would any other opportunity” if naming rights become available.
Tribune Company is selling the team, and chairman Sam Zell says he’d consider selling the stadium’s naming rights.

Juicy Fruit Field?

A little gem to y'all from Kenny Williams:
"Our fans don't care about injuries and other things that happened last season. It's all about what you do on the field. There's only one sports team in Chicago that will get a pass. I won't name them. But it ain't us."

While there is some truth to that, I would say it has become less since 2003. With all the money spent and the close call in 2003, I think diehard Cubs fans are really itching and getting a bit agitated. But keep in mind this team hasn't won in 100 years and they still get big attendance numbers and advertising numbers, so there is some truth to what he says.

Chicago Fire?

Fun article...impressive background info as well.

And I second the endorsement of BR Play Index...

On a completely unrelated note, the guy just can't seem to catch a break healthwise: 

Rocco Baldelli will be sidelined indefinitely due to metabolic and/or mitochondrial abnormalities that leave him feeling extremely fatigued after even brief workouts. 
Baldelli was on the verge of tears several times while discussing the details of what he called a life-threatening condition. "As far as my baseball career I'm not here to stand in front of you telling you I'm retiring,'' Baldelli said. "We're still going pursue any avenue that we can to try to figure out what is going on and have a better understanding of what is going on. But at this time throughout all of the extensive testing that we've done, we don't have a concrete answer." He'll be placed on the disabled list to start the season, and his career seems in jeopardy if Doctors can't diagnose the problem.

That sucks.

you were harping on HEndry to make the deal on Baldelli?

STAND UP!

Me?

I was saying that we could trade Marquis for Baldelli.

There were lots of people who were saying that we should trade for Baldelli to play center last off season because he had a pretty good half year in 2006. I believe I was one of the people who pointed out that his 2006 seemed a bit fluky and he's a good bet to get injured a lot.

Regardless, gloating over someone being in a life threatening condition sure doesn't make you a class act.

To whit:

http://mvn.com/mlb-cubs/2007/11/03/daryle-ward-bac...

http://mvn.com/mlb-cubs/?comments_popup=1214

VA Phil, Mike C and Ryno are the Baldelli fans from what a quick web search tells me.

http://blogs.tampabay.com/rays/2008/03/baldelli.html

Rocco Baldelli will be sidelined indefinitely due to metabolic and/or mitochondrial abnormalities that leave him feeling extremely fatigued after even brief workouts.

He says he's not retiring, but the condition could be life-threatening if the cause is not found.

The only difference between his current condition and retirement is the loss of amazing health benefits. [/cynic]

But to be serious, all the best to Rocco. I like any and all ballplayers from Rhode Island.

That is sad for Rocco. Hope he figures out what's going on and can get better.

Fuld's got a pretty good shot at #3. Lets hope if he does break it, it's in September.

This is one of the dumber trade rumors I've heard, but Tim over at mlb trade rumors reports that WFAN out of NY claims the Red Sox and Mets either have made a deal involving Coco Crisp for Angel Pagan, or are working on it. I didn't hear the report myself.

Both teams denying they've even talked...

It was ever thus:

KFFL, CA - Mar 10, 2008
MLB.com's Corey Brock reports San Diego Padres SP Mark Prior (illness) was allowed to go home after he felt ill Sunday, March 9, after working out earlier in the morning.

illness?!!

"Mr. Manager, my allergies are killing me and I don't want to blow my nose in front of the other guys. Is it alright if I go home?"

Ok I will start it...

menstral cramps?

Please stop referring to Prior in this way. It's very degrading to women, who have heart and accomplish much everyday.

Please stop referring to Prior in this way

In what way?

In what way?

Umm... how about calling him a pussy? Or saying that it may be menstrual cramps?

It is ignorant and sexist.

Big low:
"Umm... how about calling him a pussy? Or saying that it may be menstrual cramps?

It is ignorant and sexist."

Oh brother watch out, the PC police are out.

ignorant and sexist.

Puuuhhlllleeeezeee!

Women bitch about their periods all the time and use it for every excuse. I'll stop believing in male superiority as soon as women give me a reason to.

quit hanging around weak willed women, then.

if you hang out with nothing but passive, excuse making, weirdos you'll hear nothing but passive excuses from weirdos.

If you think that women who complain about their periods are 'weirdos' then every woman is a weirdo. They all complain about it.

the point is they dont "all" complain about it and a lot that i know sure dont use it as an excuse (unless we're going swimming).

like most superiority claims that are not based solely on direct comparison of individuals this one doesnt hold water. i sure as hell dont surround myself with these kind of women. sorry you have to. and yeah, that's weird to me that you do have so many of these women in your life. sounds like a lifestyle choice to me.

You're kidding yourself, you know that right?

actually, im well aware of my surroundings and the people in them.

that's part of why i don't understand where you find huge groups of these kind of women and why you'd want to be around them.

Yea... I agree with crunch. I don't know that I hang out with any women that act like Chad things all women act.

You guys are right. Women never complain about their periods. Female comedians just don't relate to real women with their menstrual jokes. Maybe that's why they're not funny.

how about calling him a pussy?

Main Entry: pus·sy
Pronunciation: ps-
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): pus·si·er; -est
: full of or resembling pus

Big Pussy--I think that describes Mark Prior to a tee.
: )

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