Saturday, December 18, 2010

Phil Cavarretta, 1945 NL MVP with Cubs, dies at 94

Phil Cavarretta was my first Cubs Hero. He was a local Cub player who went to Lane Tech High School in the early 1930's. From the first Cubs game I attended in 1945, I liked the Cubs first sacker, with a big numbered 44 on his back. The Cub's radio announcer(WIND) Bert Wilson, had a nickname for him "Philabuck" . In 1946, when I was 9 years old, I recall walking home after (Hibbard) School, by way of Lawrence Avenue, and in the window of Little Al's Radio and Phonograph Store... who's slogan was "Where the Customer was always Wrong! I witnessed the first time I ever saw a tv image. On the 10 inch black and white RCA Victor table model, I noticed a baseball game was being televised, and there on the screen was a batter with the number 44 on his back, and I knew at once it was Cavarretta! He then grounded out to end the game, and in my young mind, I thought the game had ended a short while before, because it must of took time for the image to go from Wrigley Field, to WBKB, Chicago's only tv station, and then into that TV in the store window! I have an old Saturday Evening Post magazine ad, With Cavarretta, that was sponsored by Wheaties, the "Breakfast of Champions,"with Phil, and his family. I made my mom go out and buy some! I also recall when Phil was traded to the White Sox, and being interviewed live by Bob Elston , and Commander Elston, asking Phil if he had any regrets leaving the Cubs, and he responded "SHIT NO!" I remember many ballplayers wearing # 44, including Hall of Fame members, Hank Aaron and Willie McCovey... but for me, there will always be only one #44, Phil Cavarretta!

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