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Former Cubs Pitcher Glen Hobbie Dies

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When guys you remember playing for the Cubs when you were a kid are passing away... that's a sobering reminder of the realities of life.

Glen Hobbie, a righthanded pitcher with some promise, pitched for the Cubs from 1957-64. He passed away about a week and a half ago in downstate Illinois:

Former major league baseball player Glen F. Hobbie, 77, of Ramsey, died at 3:10 p.m. Aug. 9 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. 

He was born in Witt in 1936. The funeral was Tuesday in Vandalia.

Hobbie pitched for the Chicago Cubs from 1957-64 and for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964. After retiring from the major leagues, he was a supervisor for the Roller Derby Association in Litchfield.

A week before the famous Lou Brock-for-Ernie Broglio trade between the Cubs and the Cardinals on June 15, 1964, the two teams made a less-ballyhooed deal. The Cubs sent Hobbie to the Cardinals for Lew Burdette, and in his St. Louis debut on June 5, 1964, Hobbie hit a home run in his first at-bat with the Cardinals.

Hobbie had two decent seasons for the Cubs, 1958 and 1959, though he lost 20 games (leading the National League) in 1959. He threw a ton of innings those two years, 234 in 1958 and 258⅔ in 1959, at age 23 and 24, and as was common for many young pitchers in that era who did that, his effectiveness quickly declined. After the trade to the Cardinals -- where the Cubs acquired former World Series hero Burdette, in a typical past-his-prime acquisition of that era -- Hobbie pitched in a handful of games and was done as a major-league pitcher at age 28.

Yet another part of my childhood, gone. Hobbie's post-playing-career occupation is certainly interesting, if nothing else. As did many players of that era, Hobbie returned to the area where he grew up, central Illinois, to live after he played in the major leagues.

The linked article above also notes that former Cub Ryan O'Malley, who you might remember from his spectacular major-league debut in 2006, is now the pitching coach for the High-A Hickory Crawdads in the Texas Rangers organization.