24 Oct

cubs nation

Ole Miss alum Chris Coghlan, a Chicago Cubs outfielder these last three years, took part in the madness at Wrigley Field on Saturday night, a joyous celebration that reverberates in the Magnolia State. If Cubs Nation embraces everyone who ever played for the team, then the upcoming World Series means – or would have meant – a lot to a long list of Mississippians. Aberdeen native Guy Bush and Waynesboro’s Claude Passeau, both deceased, actually pitched in World Series games for Chicago but never celebrated a championship. Of course, no Cub has since 1908. Former Ole Miss star Donnie Kessinger was a fixture at shortstop for the Cubs for 12 years in the 1960s and ’70s but never even played in a postseason game for the team. Rafael Palmeiro, the ex-Mississippi State slugger, came up with the Cubbies in 1986 but didn’t make the playoffs in three years with them. John Stephenson (William Carey), Steve Dillard (UM), Jeff Fassero (UM) and Greg Hibbard (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) also wore the C during the 71-year World Series drought. Adopted Mississippian Dizzy Dean pitched for the Cubs and made it to the Series in 1938 only to leave empty-handed, swept by those damn New York Yankees. Mississippi natives who’ve passed through Wrigleyville during the protracted period of woe include Harry Walker, Billy Cowan, Cleo James, Matt Lawton, Laddie Renfroe, Joey Gathright, Roosevelt Brown, Eli Whiteside and Paul Maholm. And then there’s Dave Clark, the former Shannon High and Jackson State star who is now a coach for Detroit. He spent a couple of seasons with the Cubs — but he came up with Cleveland and played four years for the Indians. He can’t lose.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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