1 inning in RF: Odd Cubs career of Jim McAnany

Oct. 1 will be the 60th anniversary of the day that Roger Maris hit his record-breaking 61st home run at Yankee Stadium in New York.

It also will be the 60th anniversary of an obscure moment in Cubs history.

That Sunday was the final day of the season, the last of 62 in which the National League consisted of 8 teams.

The American League had expanded to 10 teams in 1961, adding the Los Angeles Angels and a new version of the Washington Senators, replacing the original team, which had moved to Minnesota and been renamed the Twins.

The National League would welcome 2 new members, the Houston Colt .45s and New York Mets, on Opening Day of 1962.



Only 4,325 turned out at Wrigley Field to bid farewell to the 1961 Cubs, who marked the occasion by losing their 90th game, 8-2, to the Dodgers.

They were shut out until the seventh inning, when 1-out singles by Moe Morhardt and Ed Bouchee, a forceout and a single by Danny Murphy made the score 5-1.

It was 6-1 when Ernie Banks led off the bottom of the eighth by popping up to the first baseman in foul territory.

Ron Santo, who had homered 23 times in his first full season, drew a walk. Nelson Mathews then hit a grounder that was mishandled by the second baseman, putting runners on first and second with 1 out.


Lefty-swinging Bob Will was up next. Lou Klein, the fourth of the Cubs' "College of Coaches," sent righty Jim McAnany to the plate instead.

McAnany swung and missed on a 1-2 pitch, then another pinch hitter, Andre Rodgers, flied to center, ending the inning.

Rodgers stayed in the game, taking over for Morhardt at first baseman.

So did McAnany, replacing Will in right field. It marked the first and only time that McAnany would appear on defense as a Cub.

He did not touch the ball, as the Dodgers added 2 runs on a 1-out walk, followed by a home run.

The Cubs loaded the bases with nobody out in their half of the ninth. After Billy Williams fouled out, Banks hit a sacrifice fly.

George Altman then pinch hit for Santo and was called out of strikes, ending the game.



McAnany had signed with the White Sox in 1955, when he was an 18-year-old sophomore at the University of Southern California. He played 55 games that year and 54 the next for Waterloo, Iowa, the Sox's Class B team, then finished 1956 at Colorado Springs of the Class A Western League.

In those 2 years, his batting average was .255 and he hit only 9 home runs. But in 1957, at Class B Davenport, he batted .303/.412/.486, with 17 homers.


A year later, between Colorado Springs and Class AAA Indianapolis, McAnany put up a gaudy slash line of .382/.462/.622, while homering 31 times and driving in 125 runs in 141 games.

He earned a Silver Slugger Award from the Hillerich & Bradsby Co. for the highest batting average at any level of the minor leagues.

He also earned a September call-up to the Sox, only to hitless in 13 at bats.



The Sox tried 4 different players in right field in April through late June of 1959. Finally, they summoned McAnany, who was hitting .315/.395/.476 at Indianapolis.

He started in his first game, on June 28, and led off the third inning with a single, his first big league hit, off Yankees ace Whitey Ford.

He got another hit when he played his second game 4 days later, then went 4 for 5, with 2 doubles, and 2 for 4 in a Fourth of July doubleheader.

On July 12, he hit a triple in each of 2 games against the Athletics. Then he went 2 for 4 and 3 for 3 to begin a series at Boston, raising his slash line to .432/.479/.614.


In the opener of a 4-game series at New York, the Sox were no-hit by Ralph Terry until McAnany singled to start the ninth inning. He beat the throw to second on a fielder's choice, both runners advanced on a bunt and both scored on a single, breaking a scoreless deadlock.

The next day, he doubled home the tying run as the Sox beat the Yankees again, 2-1. In 15 games, he had 13 RBI while batting .382/.424/.545.

He also had excelled on defense, throwing out 6 runners.

"They've been a real good ball club since that McSweeney come up," Yankees Manager Casey Stengel said of the Sox, mangling McAnany's name. "First time I see him, he throws one of my men out at the plate in Chicago. He makes catches, he runs, he hits good. You ain't had a bit of trouble in right field since he got there. Before that you had nothing but trouble."



Inevitably, McAnany's bat cooled off. From July 19 through the rest of the season, he slashed just .239/.310/.277, and ended the season at .276/.339/.348, with 58 hits in 210 at bats, including 9 doubles and 3 triples. He drove in 27 runs.

He was not in the starting lineup when the Sox hosted the Dodgers in their first World Series game in 40 years. He went 0 for 3 in Game 2, then 0 for 1 in both Games 5 and 6.

After the Series, McAnany joined the Army Reserves and went through basic training in snowy Missouri, where he injured his shoulder and was not released from duty until late in spring training.

He made the Opening Day roster for the Sox, but after appearing 3 games, 2 as a pinch hitter and 1 as a pinch runner, he was sent to the team's Pacific League farm club in San Diego, and there he remained for the rest of the season.


On Dec. 14, 1960, the 2 new AL teams took turns drafting players left unprotected by the existing teams. McAnany was the 49th player picked, by the Angels.

But on April 1, just 10 days before the season was to begin, the Angels swapped McAnany to the Cubs, for fellow outfielder Lou Johnson.

McAnany was assigned to the Cubs' AAA team in Houston, where he batted .318/.364/.489 in 80 games before being promoted to Chicago in late July.



On July 30, the Cubs trailed the Reds, 5-4, with 2 outs in the ninth inning and a runner on first. Bob Will was announced to pinch hit for Bob Will, but when the Reds replaced righty Sherman Jones with lefty Jim O'Toole, McAnany batted instead of Will.

His single kept the Cubs' hopes alive, but only until another pinch hitter, Jerry Kindall, struck out.

In and around further Army duty, McAnany appeared in 9 more games through Sept. 16, each as a pinch hitter. He had a single at home against the Pirates on Sept. 7 and a double at St. Louis a week later.

He flied out at San Francisco on the 16th, then was idle until the Oct. 1 finale in which he made his debut in the outfield.



When the 1962 season began, McAnany once again was in a military uniform instead of a baseball uniform. He did not rejoin the Cubs until Aug. 4, when he pinch hit at Los Angeles and grounded out to end the eighth inning.

The next day, he flied out to end the 11th.

On Aug. 10, with the Cubs behind 4-0 in the third inning, he grounded out to first.

On the 14th, he hit into a forceout in the fifth.

A day later, in the fourth, with 2 out and runners on second and third, he struck out.

A week went by before he batted again, in the bottom of the ninth, with the score tied at 5, 1 out and a runner on first. The runner stole second, then McAnany drew a walk. The Cubs eventually loaded the bases but could not score, then Eddie Kasko of the Reds blasted a grand slam in the 10th.


McAnany was idle for 10 days, until Saturday, Sept. 25. The Cubs were behind the Braves, 7-0, when Dick Bertell began the bottom of the sixth with a single. McAnany was told to pinch hit for pitcher Don Cardwell, who had given up his second homer of the game, a 3-run shot, in the top of the inning.

McAnany was no match for future Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, who fired a called third strike past him.


That turned out to be McAnany's last appearance as a Cub.

Over 2 years, he played in 18 games, pinch hitting in each. He went 3 for 16, with 2 walks, striking out 5 times.



Following the season, McAnany was assigned to the Cubs' farm team in Salt Lake City. Then he was traded to Seattle, a Red Sox affiliate, for an infielder named Curt Jenson.

McAnany played in 5 games, going 1 for 7, then retired, at age 26.

In the years that followed, he sold insurance and played golf. His son played in the College World Series for Loyola Marymount, was drafted by the Angels and played 271 games in the minors.

McAnany became a regular participant in reunions of the 1959 White Sox. He reportedly was wearing a Sox jersey when he died, of complications following minor surgery, at age 79, on Dec. 16, 2015.



Remarkably, 1 player had even more plate appearances in his time with the Cubs than McAnany's 18 without ever playing in the field.

Harry Bright was 35 when he pinch hit 26 times in 1965, his only season with the Cubs and the last of his 8 in the big leagues. Bright was 7 for 25, including a double.

His 26 plate appearances fell 1 short of tying the team record for most without playing the field in a single season. Player-manager Phil Cavarretta pinch hit 27 times in 1953, at age 36.


Moe Morhardt had 18 PA and never needed his glove in 1962, going 2 for 16 with 2 walks as a pinch hitter. A year earlier, he had come to the plate 21 times, all in 7 games while playing first base.

After Gene Clines played 128 games in the outfield for the Cubs in 1977-78, he made only 10 pinch hit appearances in 1979.

Heinz Becker had 8 PA without playing in the field in 1946, his second stint as a Cub. He had played 46 games at first base in addition to pinch hitting 45 times in 1943 and 1945.


Frank Ernaga matched Becker's 8 PA, all as a pinch hitter, in 1958, as did George Freese in 1961.

Ernaga had played 10 games in the outfield in 1957. Freese never played on defense for the Cubs, but had played 50 games at third base during his previous Major League stint, with the Pirates, in 1955, fully 6 years earlier.

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