Gary Matthews came to the Cubs in a trade before the 1984 season. His addition to the club was one of the main reasons the team made it to the postseason for the first time since 1945. Matthews, a natural born leader, showed the team how to win. An aggressive hitter with a keen eye, Matthews knew when to attack and when to take a pitch. As the Cubs’ batting coach, he has a lot of wisdom to impart to his pupils. Whether they listen or not is another matter.
Outside of Wendell Kim, perhaps no one has been under the gun this season more than new Cubs trainer Dave Groeschner. While he has a huge role in the fate of the team, few fans know his name or would recognize him on the street. We caught up with the man who might just be the hardest working trainer in the business.
Back in 2004, The Heckler had a great conversation with Cubs legend Ron Santo. Here's the transcript.
The Heckler: How did you become a Cubs fan? Lin Brehmer: I was born in Queens and I was a Yankees fan. My best friend had moved to Queens from Oak Park, so when we’d play stickball, we’d take turns being the Cubs and Yankees. We even had the Cleo James fan club. With guys like Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo, and Ernie Banks, the Cubs were one of the coolest teams in the 1960s. No matter where you lived, you knew the Cubs.
For two decades, Wayne Messmer has been the voice of Wrigley Field, serving as the Cubs’ public address announcer and singing countless renditions of the National Anthem. Ten years ago, Messmer made a courageous comeback after being shot in the throat during an attempted carjacking. He regained the distinctive singing voice that was a longtime part of Chicago Stadium’s famous “roar” and kicked off games for the Blackhawks, White Sox, Bulls, and Sting, as well as the Wolves hockey franchise Messmer helped launch. We got our pencils and scorecards ready and asked Messmer about his career, his comeback, and the Cubs.
After taking nearly two months to hit his 10th and 11th homers of the season Sammy Sosa has been asked by his manager to dramatically adjust his approach at the plate.
"I've got his number," said the 23-year-old hurler. "Unless he can somehow figure out the pitches I'm going to throw ahead of time -- which is impossible -- I don't see any reason we won't be headed to the World Series."