Monday, June 27, 2016

RIP Jim Hickman

Sad news. Former Cub Jim Hickman has passed away at the age of 79.

Here's our write up of Jim from our Every Cub Ever Feature at Just One Bad Century...

~Jim Hickman 1937 (Cubs 1969-1973)
After eight forgettable seasons with three different teams, Jim Hickman was magically transformed from a perennial struggler to a powerful slugger. In 1970 at the age of 33, “Gentleman Jim” somehow batted .315, with 32 home runs, 115 runs batted in, and 102 runs scored for the Chicago Cubs. Not bad for a player whose previous career bests were a .257 average, 21 homers, 57 RBI and 54 runs scored. He also drove in a hard-charging Pete Rose with a 12th inning single in that season’s All-Star Game (probably the most famous moment in All-Star Game history). When asked to explain his surprising turnabout, Hickman replied, “I really don’t know. If I knew, I’d tell you.” His manager Leo Durocher loved him because he was a gentleman (hence the nickname) and because he would defend the boss against what Durocher considered the “trouble-making” faction of Milt Pappas and Joe Pepitone. (Photo: 1971 Topps Baseball Card)