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2016 Cubs Spring Training Countdown: 16 Days

Not who you expected, is it?

Otto Gruele/Allsport

The Cubs' current No. 16 is first-base coach Brandon Hyde. Not too many stories to tell there -- about the only thing notable about him is that before games on most summer days, he plays catch with his son in the outfield. The kid looks like he's about eight or nine -- has a pretty good arm, incidentally. But that's about it for Hyde.

I've written quite a bit about the Cubs' most famous No. 16, Aramis Ramirez, so I figured I didn't need to add anything to that.

That's why you see a photo of Anthony Young, who was a Cub in 1994 and 1995, at the top of this post.

But the story I'm going to tell you about him happened when he was a Met, although it involves the Cubs as well.

You likely know that Young holds the all-time major-league record for most consecutive losses by a pitcher: 27. Young lost his last 14 decisions in 1992 and his first 13 in 1993, though he wasn't nearly as bad a pitcher as the W/L record would have indicated, and in those days a pitcher's W/L record meant more than it does now.

But that record should never have been set by Young, and here's why.

On June 1, 1993, Young started for the Mets against the Cubs in Wrigley Field. He'd lost his first five decisions in 1993, and his losing streak stood at 19. He was still short of what was then the record: 23, set by Cliff Curtis of the Boston Braves in 1910-11.

Young was magnificent that night. He allowed just three singles and three walks and struck out four in six shutout innings. He'd thrown just 84 pitches.

The Mets led 1-0 going into the bottom of the seventh and Mets manager Dallas Green (a Cubs connection!) lifted Young for a pinch-hitter (Chico Walker, another Cubs connection!), figuring he'd save Young's victory and end the losing streak.

Well, I'm sure you can guess what happened net. The Cubs scored eight runs off the Mets' bullpen and won 8-3. Young got a no-decision, but wound up losing eight more times before finally breaking the streak -- in a game where he gave up the lead run in the ninth inning of a 3-3 tie, only to see the Mets win it for him in a walkoff.

Just an amusing story for you as we continue the countdown to Cubs pitchers and catchers reporting -- two weeks from Friday.