Thursday, March 01, 2012

Cubs 365, March 1

Every day in 2012, the Just One Bad Century blog will feature a story about this day in Cubs history. We're calling it Cubs 365.

On this day in 1918, future Cubs pitcher Hank "Hooks" Wyse was born. They called him Hooks because his best pitch was a devastating curveball. Hank Wyse was an important part of the Cubs starting rotation during the war years. In 1944 he won 16 games for the Cubs.

But Wyse had his best season in the Cubs pennant winning year of 1945. He won 22 games, posted a 2.68 ERA, and was named to the All-Star team. His results in the World Series, however, did not quite live up to the rest of his outstanding year. He lost the game he started (Game 2), and relieved in two other losses. Nevertheless, unless the Cubs ever manage to return to the World Series, Hank Wyse will remain the last Cubs player to throw a pitch in the Fall Classic. He recorded the final Detroit Tigers out in the top of the 9th inning in Game 7 at Wrigley Field.

Unlike many war players that never duplicated their success after all the stars returned, Wyse did have one more good year, but in 1947 his famous curveball lost its bite, and Wyse lost his spot in the Cubs rotation.