Saturday, April 29, 2017

My Cubs-Red Sox Mashup Starting Lineup

Yesterday, Wrigley Wax had a post about Bill Buckner. I started to say in my comment to his post that he would make my Cubs-Red Sox Mashup Starting Lineup. But I was just pulling that out of my rear.

Would he really?

Is that even a thing?

Did I have a Cubs-Red Sox Mashup Starting Lineup?

No, I didn't.

But I do now!

And maybe I'll come up with one of these for each series this year. Since I'm not adding many cards to the collection these days, it's a good way to dig out and show off some stuff I already have.

The following players have played for both the Red Sox and Cubs. Off the top of my head, I could think of about 6-7 guys that could make the team. After a little research, I was able to fill out a starting lineup. I tried to stick to guys that were mostly known for having played for one of the two and had "significant" time with both. But what does that mean? Fifty games? A full season with each? I don't know. Completely arbitrary. Let's see how it goes.

Position #1 in the box score is the pitcher so we'll start there. A few players came to mind but two jumped out at me most because they have won a World Series with both teams. I'll pull a Topps All-Star Rookie team move and name a LHP and RHP. Taking the hill is either Jon Lester or John Lackey.

And if Jon Lester is your pitcher, you have to have his favorite batterymate behind the plate. The catcher position goes to fan favorite (seemingly everywhere he played, despite being mostly a backup) David Ross.

As I mentioned, Billy Buckner was kind of the inspiration for this post. Did he end up making the team?

I am going to give him the nod over Jimmie Foxx, which may seem odd when you compare the two head to head. However, Foxx spend more time with Philadelphia than he did with the Red Sox and Cubs combined and played in about 300 games fewer than Buckner's time with the two teams. Plus I don't have a Jimmie Foxx card in a Cubs uniform to show.

There is a lot less star power at second base in Todd Walker. He played in a combined 477 games for the two teams.

His double play partner was an actual double play partner. Nomar Garciaparra fills the shortstop spot. Known more for his time in Boston, he brings a ROY award, 5 All-Star game appearances and a Silver Slugger to this mashup lineup.

The hot corner is manned by Bill Mueller. He was a World Champ with the Red Sox as well as a Silver Slugger and AL Batting Champ.

I thought the outfield would be easier than it was. Andre Dawson came to mind immediately. Hall of Famer, and an MVP season with the Cubs makes him a no-brainer. By the time he came to Chicago, he was mostly done with center field but that's where I'm going to put him based on the others.

After that....crickets. A few other guys came to mind, but upon a little more research the next two guys were better fits.

Troy O'Leary gets a spot in left field. Despite just one season as a 4th/5th outfielder with the Cubs in 2003, he managed to make their postseason roster. He also accumulated 962 games with the Red Sox.

The final starting lineup spot goes to admittedly somebody I'm barely familiar with, Earl Webb. The rest of the lineup played during my lifetime. My ATCRCS cards and research generally don't go back that far but according to my Cubs collection spreadsheet, I did have a Conlon card. Unfortunately, it isn't scanned and for the quick turnaround time on this post, I'll settle for a borrowed image.

Webb played for the 1927-28 Cubs and for the BoSox from 1930-1932 for a combined total of 494 games. Not a whole lot, but in that time he batted .311 with 52 HRs and 271 RBI's.

As a bonus, I'll throw a closer out there too. This team would have a pretty solid bullpen but in a Save situation, I'm going to none other than Lee Smith.

I don't know that I'll be able to come up with a manager for each of these mashup teams I'll do but as an extra extra bonus, Don Zimmer is the obvious choice here.

If I was looking to fill out my starting rotation, I can throw out names like Dennis Lamp and Fergie Jenkins. Would Dennis Eckersley make the rotation (like he did when with these teams) or would he end up in the bullpen where he earned his HOF credentials? Ryan Dempster filled both roles adequately as well. Off the bench you have some nice utility guys like Rey Sanchez and Mark Bellhorn.

It gets a little dicier after that, otherwise I'd try for a full 25-man roster.

Pretty interesting that as long as these storied franchises has been around, most of these guys are pretty recent. Is that a bias on my part? What do you think? Did I overlook anybody?


  1. Very interesting lineup and I love this concept for a recurring series - I hope to see more! Also, I had no idea Earl Webb had a cubs card, so now I have something new to add to the wantlist.

    1. Seems like a pretty normal lineup. Some hall of pretty gooders/famers, a few minor stars, some fillers. Phillies and Yankees next, I can probably keep this going.

      I actually have the regular black Conlon version of the Webb card, not the burgundy.