Chris Jaffe, inspired by the death of Virgil Trucks, who was the second-to-last guy on the 1945 Tigers team, wanted to know something:
This got me wondering, who are the last survivors of various pennant-winning teams? Who was the last man left who could say he personally played in the Fall Classic? So I did the digging and looked it up.
He’s a historian by trade, so he does that a lot. In this case he looked at all World Series teams before 1949 — after 1949 there are multiple survivors for each team — and wrote up the results. Sadly: every single man who played in a World Series prior to 1945 is now in Baseball Valhalla. Stan Musial was the last pre-1945 fall classic participant to shuffle off this mortal coil. Also: last man from the 1947 Dodgers team, recently immortalized in “42” is Ralph Branca.
This stuff fascinates me. If I were a billionaire I’d hire a guy like Jaffe just to give me a report of weird random crap he thought to look up. He or she would have coffee with me each morning and just fill my head with this kind of thing.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.