Cubs uniform number 3 has been worn by very few players since 1960:
Kiki Cuyler (1932-35), Gene Lillard (1936), Ripper Collins (1937-38), Phil Cavarretta (1939-40), Walt Lanfranconi (1941), Frankie Frisch (manager, 1949-51), Hal Jeffcoat (1953) , Ray Blades (coach, 1953), Gale Wade (1955), Owen Friend (1955-56), Jim Bolger (1957-58), Harry Craft (coach, 1960), Lou Klein (coach, 1960), Freddie Fitzsimmons (coach, 1966), Joe Becker (coach, 1967-70), Al Spangler (coach, 1971, 1974), Larry Jansen (coach, 1972-73), Jack Bloomfield (coach, 1975-76), Herman Franks (manager, 1977-79), Gene Clines (coach, 1980-81), Billy Connors (coach, 1982-86), Herm Starrette (coach, 1987), Jose Martinez (coach, 1988-94), Mako Oliveras (coach, 1995-96), Dan Radison (coach, 1997-99), Gene Glynn (2000-02), Chad Hermansen (2002), Wendell Kim (coach, 2003-04), Jeromy Burnitz (2005), Ryan Theriot (2006), Cesar Izturis (2006-07), Eric Patterson (2007), Alan Trammell (coach, 2008-10), Jeff Baker (2012), David Bell (coach, 2013), Bill Mueller (coach, 2014)
So when thinking about who to feature in today's installment of the countdown series, I had decided on third-base coach Wendell Kim, who was on Dusty Baker's coaching staff for his first two years managing the team.
I'd known that Kim had been suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's Disease for several years; here's an article written by someone who took her sons to a baseball clinic run by Kim in Arizona in 1996 and has some great stories about Kim, a baseball lifer.
It's an odd coincidence, then, that I have to report sad news on this day. Kim passed away Sunday at age 64:
Known for his aggressiveness in sending runners home, Kim was nicknamed "Windmill Wendell" and "Wave ‘em in Wendell." Kim reportedly started suffering short-term memory loss while with the Cubs, and his situation worsened as he was taken care of by his family in Arizona.
I know we all remember Kim as that aggressive third-base coach, known by Cubs fans as "Wavin' Wendell." Alzheimer's Disease is a tough thing to deal with -- my paternal grandmother died from complications from that, but she was in her late 80s at the time. Robbing a man from his mind and eventually his life when he's only in his 60s is tremendously sad.
My condolences to Kim's family and friends at this sad time. Let's remember the good things about his life, many of which are detailed at the first link above.