Tonight’s festivities begin, as always, with Steve Goodman. The song is a repeat from a previous evening, but it’s a different version (played in front of a live audience, apparently) and the accompanying slide show is clearly someone’s labor of love. That’s good enough for me.
Reading from right to left, and in the order that they have appeared in the candlelight, are Dave Roberts, Sam Fuld, Ken Holtzman, Jason Marquis, Steve Stone, Adam Greenberg, and Andrew Lorraine. For this final evening’s post, we’ll look at the most recent Jewish player on the Cubs’ roster, John Grabow. His picture is a bit hard to see, but it’s there on the end, underneath the red candle on the end. Grabow pitched for Pittsburgh for a number of years, and was traded with Tom Gorzelanny to the Cubs for three players in the middle of the 2009 season.
There’s a baseball metric called WAR (it stands for Wins Against Replacement) that can measure how valuable a player is to his team. A positive number is good, and anything at or above a 2 is respectable. Grabow’s best year with Pittsburgh–the year before he was traded to the Cubs–was a 1.4. In his two full seasons with Cubs, he posted a -0.9 in 2010, and a -0.6 in 2011. Needless to say, he won’t be returning to the Cubs next season. He will be at spring training with the Dodgers, fighting to earn a spot on their pitching staff. Whether or not he makes it is still to be seen.
My thanks to Jewishmajorleaguers.org for maintaining the roster of players that inspired me to do this. There were some other Jewish Cubs players I was not familiar with because they played before my time, and I only wanted to do this with eight players from the past 30 to 35 years. Once I found out there were at least this many players, it was a matter of taking some photographs and doing some research on each player. It’s been enjoyable for me, and my thanks to you for reading.