The Comeback Kids: An all-time Cubs team of players who left and returned


Ronald Torreyes is back. Well actually, he never played in a Major League game for the Cubs (he made his debut with the Dodgers), but at the very least it’s an excuse to roll out the all-time* team of Cubs who left the team, played elsewhere^ and returned. Here we go... 

*1900 to present. Apologies to Fred Pfeffer.

^The term “played elsewhere” disqualifies Ryne Sandberg, who didn’t play at all in 1995.

Catcher: Randy Hundley (1966-73, 1976-77)

Fan favorite Hundley caught 160 games in 1968 (!!), spent 1974 with the Twins and 1975 with the Padres before playing a combined 15 games for the Cubs to close out his career in 1976-77.

First Base: Frank Thomas (1960-61, 1966)

The Frank Thomas whose final career MLB game DID come in a Chicago uniform (for the Cubs in 1966). He played for the Braves, Mets, Phillies, Astros and Braves again before rejoining the Cubs for a handful of games.

Second Base: Manny Trillo (1975-78, 1986-88)

The Venezuelan second baseman was an All-Star for the Cubs in 1977. He played for the Phillies, Indians, Expos and Giants before returning to Chicago.

Shortstop: Joe Tinker (1902-12, 1916)

He of the famed double play combination. He was player-manager for the Reds in 1913, then served in the same capacity for the Chicago Federal League team in 1914-15. Since Wrigley Field (then known as Weeghman Field) was originally built for the Federal League team, Tinker was the first Chicago manager in ballpark history.

Third Base: Randy Jackson (1950-55, 1959)

His full name was Ransom. His nickname was Handsome Ransom. He played for the Dodgers (Brooklyn and Los Angeles) and Indians before returning to the Cubs partway through the 1959 season.

Left Field: Dave Martinez (1986-88, 2000)

He returned to the Cubs yet again in 2015 to serve as Joe Maddon’s bench coach.

Center Field: Doug Glanville (1996-97, 2003)

Glanville could also make the list of Phillies who left and returned.

Right Field: Jerry Morales (1974-77, 1981-83)

After his 1977 All-Star campaign for the Cubs, he was traded to the Cardinals for 1978, then played for the Tigers and Mets before coming back to Chicago.

Pitcher: Mordecai Brown (1904-12, 1916)

“Three Finger” Brown left for Cincinnati in 1913, then tried his hand in the Federal League in 1914-15 before returning to the Cubs in 1916. In his final Major League game he started opposite the great Christy Mathewson in his final Major League game in a farewell matchup.

Pitcher: Fergie Jenkins (1966-73, 1982-83)

Went to Texas, Boston and Texas again in between his stays in Chicago. By the way, he completed 30 of 39 starts in 1971. Pitchers don’t do that anymore.

Pitcher: Greg Maddux (1986-92, 2004-06)

Appropriately, as Jenkins made this list, so does Maddux. The Cubs retired No. 31 for both men.

Pitcher: Rick Reuschel (1972-81, 1983-84)

“Big Daddy” compiled an impressive 69.7 Wins Above Replacement for his career. He made only 12 appearances (11 starts) for the Yankees after a midseason 1981 trade to the Yankees. He missed all of 1982 with a rotator cuff injury and after being released by the Bronx Bombers in June 1983 returned to the Cubs.

Pitcher: Kerry Wood (1998-2008, 2011-12)

Wood signed a free agent deal with the Indians on the heels of an All-Star 2008 season for the Cubs where he posted 34 saves. He was brilliant for the Yankees after a midseason 2010 trade (0.69 ERA in 26 innings) then returned home to the North Side to finish his career in 2011-12.

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