Results tagged ‘ Andy Pafko ’

10/9 Andy Pafko

Former Cubs star Andy Pafko died Tuesday. He was 92.

A five-time All-Star who played 17 seasons and appeared in 24 World Series games, including the Cubs’ last trip to the Series in 1945, Pafko had a liftime .285 average with 213 home runs and 976 RBIs. He played for the Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers and Milwaukee Braves.

Nicknamed “Handy Andy” because of his versatility, Pafko broke into the Majors in 1943. He helped lead the Cubs to the World Series in ’45 by batting .298 with 12 home runs and a career-high 110 RBIs. He finished fourth in the National League Most Valuable Player balloting that year.

“I played during a great era of baseball,” Pafko told the Chicago Tribune in a 2004 interview. “I was fortunate to play in the World Series for three different teams in my career — the Chicago Cubs, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Milwaukee Braves. There have been so many great Cubs ballplayers like Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ron Santo who never got the chance to play in a World Series.”

The Cubs traded him to the Dodgers in the middle of the 1951 season in an eight-player deal.

7/22 Cubs 4, D-Backs 2

Junior Lake had his first four-hit night, and hit his first Major League home run, to lead the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Lake belted a two-run shot in the fifth, and added a RBI single in the ninth to back Chris Rusin, who made a strong bid for the vacancy in the Cubs rotation. Rusin was subbing for Matt Garza, traded to the Rangers earlier in the day. The lefty would like to stay. He gave up two hits, including a bloop double that landed between Lake and shortstop Starlin Castro, and walked two over five-plus innings. Dioner Navarro, who had been matched up with Garza over his last six outings, still got the start Monday, and the catcher delivered a solo home run with one out in the second.

Lake now has nine hits in his first four career games, the most by a Cubs player since Andy Pafko did so in 1943. Lake also is the first Cubs player with a four-hit effort within his first four Major League games since Steve Lake (no relation) did so April 26, 1983, against the Padres.

“He might have found his niche right now,” Dale Sveum said of Lake, who has been playing center.

When promoted, it was thought that Lake would stay until David DeJesus returned from a shoulder injury. DeJesus is close to returning. Will the rookie stay?

“Right now, I’d be pretty stupid to say, ‘No,'” Sveum said. “Hopefully, we don’t have to send him down.”

Said Lake: “I’m going to keep working hard to make it hard on the front office. If you keep working hard, something happens.”

Rusin will stay in the rotation, filling the spot vacated by Matt Garza’s departure.

— Carrie Muskat

8/22 D-Lee note

Derrek Lee played his first game for the Braves on Friday at Wrigley. He had played 924 games for the Cubs prior to that. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last player who appeared in at least 900 games for the Cubs and then played his first game as an ex-Cub at Wrigley was Andy Pafko. Pafko played 960 games for the Cubs from 1943-51. He was traded to Brooklyn as part of an eight-player deal on June 15, 1951, and made his Dodgers debut at Wrigley the next day. He homered in the Dodgers’ 6-4 loss.

— Carrie Muskat