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The 2,000th Cubs Player Debuts Tonight. Who Was No. 1,000?

We're reaching a milestone in team history. The last similar milestone came more than 55 years ago.

Photo: Getty Images. Photo illustration: Mike Bojanowski

When Donn Roach made his Cubs debut last Saturday it was noted that he was the 1,999th different player in team history. Last Tuesday, I asked the question:

In the poll attached to that post, 40 percent of you voted for "Someone else NOT currently in the Cubs organization" as the player who would be the milestone 2,000th Cub.

Those of you who voted that way are correct, as Clayton Richard will become the 2,000th Cub when he starts Saturday night's game against the Marlins.

That got me to thinking, "Who was the 1,000th Cub?" I asked Mike Bojanowski to look into this.

Here's what he sent me:

Working from the roster list in the media guide, I get 987 debuts through 1958. There were 14 debuts in 1959, so the penultimate debut in '59 is the one. This assumes the accuracy of the Cubs media guide (and myself). Here are the 1959 debuts, the first two are alphabetical, both debuted in the field at the same time:

 988. George Altman 4/11
 989. Earl Averill 4/11
 990. Joe Schaffernoth 4/15
 991. Morrie Martin 4/18
 992. Don Eaddy 4/24
 993. Bob Smith 4/29
 994. Erwin Porterfield 5/17
 995. Seth Morehead 5/19
 996. Irv Noren 5/21
 997. Art Ceccarelli 7/12
 998. Art Schult 7/14
 999. Ed Donnelly 8/1
1000. Billy Williams 8/6
1001. Ben Johnson 9/6

Mike concluded his email to me: "I rather like this result." So do I. In Billy's debut game, August 6, 1959, he went 0-for-4, but did drive in a run on an RBI groundout in the first inning, his first big-league at-bat. He also grounded to second, flied to center and struck out. He had just turned 21 about two months earlier. The rest of his career, shall we say, was better than that.

One final note on Richard's Cub debut: He will become the 178th player to play for both the Cubs and White Sox. Here are the 177 others.