See this glove?
It was my dad's.
I just called him - he told me he wasn't much into little league, but you know, look at that thing.
That's alot of sandlot ball.
He was a kid in the '40s, and his favorite player was Phil Cavarretta, so he got the Cavarretta glove (you can barely make out the HUTCH logo in the upper right).
I have a book called "The Complete Chicago Cubs" written by Derek Gentile with "statistical information provided by STATS inc." It's got every player who ever played for the Cubs (up to whenever I bought the book) and their stats and stuff.
And once in awhile there's a little photo and a couple paragraphs about the really memorable ones.
Right between Cassidy, John P. (played EVERY position for the Cubs between 1876 and 1885), and Cey, Ronald Charles (you may remember came from the Dodgers and played 3rd from '83 to '86) is Philip (Phil) Joseph "Philabuck" Cavarretta.
I'll paraphrase from the book: he was born in Chicago in 1916, dropped out of highschool a couple weeks before he was to graduate and signed with the Cubs. Within a year he was the starting first baseman at 18 years old (what you think about that, Starlin Castro?). He was a line drive hitter, and didn't hit alot of homers but when he did "they always seemed to make a difference".
So... a clutch hitter.
And a "darling" of the fans because he always gave 110%.
Exempted from The War because of an inner ear problem, he was an All-Star from '44 to '47, and in 1945 "his .355 average led the league and he was named the National League MVP as he let the cubs to their last World Series" where he hit .423.
It also casually mentions that he had a "shaky 1935 World Series" but "shone in the 1938 Fall Classic".
It's so WEIRD to think about a Cub who played in THREE WORLD SERIES!!!
Anyway, the story wraps up with "Cavaretta is 5th all-time with the Cubs in triples (99), 6th in games played (1,953), 9th in both hits (1,927) and at-bats (6,592), 10th in runs scored (968) and RBIs (896) and 11th in doubles (341).
And in today's Trib you'll find that he passed away at the age of 94.
Anyway, what a life he had.
And you never know - maybe 70 some years from now, somebody will write a similar story about Starlin Castro or Tyler Colvin.
Man I love baseball.