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2016 Cubs Spring Training Countdown: 11 Days

An old favorite is our player of the day.

B Bennett/Getty Images

Ivan de Jesus came to the Cubs in one of the bigger deals of the mid-1970s. Rick Monday was sent to the Dodgers for de Jesus and Bill Buckner.

The Cubs won this deal handily, and it's not because of what de Jesus and Buckner did for the team. It's because de Jesus, after three decent years and one horrific one, was sent to the Phillies for Ryne Sandberg (and Larry Bowa). That gave value out of the 1977 trade well into the 1990s.

Monday, after having good years for the Cubs, became mostly a platoon outfielder in Los Angeles, though I'm guessing fans of the Montreal Expos wish he had never been there. Buckner gave the Cubs some good years before being swapped for Dennis Eckersley, who helped the Cubs to the playoffs in 1984.

De Jesus was a good defensive shortstop. He stole 40 or more bases twice for the Cubs (1978 and 1980). To give you an idea of how poor the Cubs were as a running team under the Wrigley regime, at the time de Jesus stole 44 in 1980, that was the most by any Cub in 73 years, since Johnny Evers stole 46 in 1907.

Further, in those years, when the stolen base was a much bigger part of the game than it is now, those didn't come close to leading the league (fourth in 1978, 10th in 1980). But only four Cubs have stolen more than 44 bases since de Jesus did it in 1980: Davey Lopes (47, 1985), Ryne Sandberg (54, 1985), Eric Young (54, 2000) and Juan Pierre (58, 2006).

Ivan de Jesus came back to the Cubs as a coach in 2010 and 2011.

Oh, and that other guy in the photo? He's also got a Cubs connection. That's Chris Speier, when he was with the Montreal Expos in 1977. Speier later played and coached for the Cubs.