Players on the 1908 World Champion Chicago Cubs In High Definition Photographs
For the moment it seems all of America is talking about the Chicago Cubs. As everyone now knows it has been 108 years since the Chicago Cubs won the World Series four games to one against the Detroit Tigers.
But what do you know of the 1908 Cubs team?
Maybe you’ve heard of Tinker to Evers to Chance the famous Cubs double play combination immortalized in a newspaper poem by the once legendary Franklin P. Adams. It should be noted that off the field Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers refused to speak to one another. Besides the trio of Cubs Hall-of Famers, you probably know little of the 1908 Cubbies.
The 1908 Cubs are comprised of forgotten names. Their achievements are just dusty remnants that reside only in the record books. There is no one alive today who actually saw the 1908 Chicago Cubs play.
They were a hardened lot, these players. They usually had to work at other jobs in the off-season. It was a time when baseball players scrambled for a job on one of 16 ball clubs. They had to be constantly looking over their shoulder because there was always some youngster trying to take their $2,000 a year baseball job.
At least we can see what they looked like. We’re bringing the Chicago Cubs of 1908 back to you in high definition photographs. All photographs are from the Library of Congress and can be clicked on for enlargement in great detail.
With their heavy flannel uniforms, small fingered gloves, heavy bats and grizzled looks, here are some of the 1908 Chicago Cubs:
Mordecai “Three Fingered” Brown, really only had three fingers, his index finger was a stump that was the result of catching his hand in a corn shredder when he was seven-years-old. That accident gave Brown an odd spin on his fastball which confounded hitters. He won 239 games while losing only 130 in his career. His ERA was 2.06, the third lowest in history for pitchers with over 2,000 innings.
In the 1908 World Series Brown was one of two star pitchers, winning two games against the Detroit Tigers. Brown was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1949.
You would think anyone named Orval Overall would be remembered just because of his name. A short career doomed Orval to obscurity despite a 108-71 lifetime record with a 2.23 ERA. There was no Tommy John surgery when Overall hurt his arm and his career was over in 1913 at age 32. Overall won the other two games for the Cubs in the 1908 World Series.
Johnny Evers was considered one of the scrappiest and smartest players to ever play the game. Evers batted .300 in 1908 and .350 in the World Series. If you enlarge the photograph you will see a man who had lived quite a bit. This photograph of Evers is from 1913 when he was only 32. Continue reading