I love history. Especially when it comes to local history, and especially Chicago Cubs history. The 1970’s is a fascination as it was the decade before my birth (1982).
The local newspaper near my hometown has begun digitizing old issues, and is now updated through 1979 and on occasion I’ll pass the time by reading a few old issues. Recently, I came across a July 1978 issue with a Cubs headline in the sports section.
Cardenal was traded by the Cubs to the Philadelphia Phillies on October 25, 1977 for Manny Seoane (Seoane appeared in 7 games for the Chicago Cubs in 1978). There was no love lost between Cardenal and his former manager Herman Franks when the Phillies visited Wrigley Field in early July, 1978.
“I have no respect for him. He called me a hot dog and a trouble maker,” Cardenal told reporters after he hit a 2-run home run against his former team to lead the Phillies to a 6-5 win on July 2, 1978. “Only dirty people say things like that about players,” Cardenal added.
Cubs manager Franks didn’t back down either telling reporters, “He’s right about my calling him a hot dog and trouble maker. That’s the only thing we agree about. He’s been ripping me every day since they got here. I should have listened to Alvin Dark (Cubs coach) when he told me in the spring of 1977 to trade him. I said, No. He’ll help us. I was wrong.”
Jose Cardenal is one of my favorite Cubs of the 1970’s. This was another great story that I hadn’t heard about before stumbling on this article. One Cardenal story that is widely known is when he missed a game due to his eyelid being stuck open.
Cardenal was also the favorite player of Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder, who grew up watching him play in Vedder’s youth. He also appeared on stage with Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field in 2016.
Cardenal has some great Cubs baseball cards, most of which are in my collection. It begins with the 1973 Topps, one of my favorite Topps sets.
And 1974 Topps.
The 1975 Topps Cardenal.
In 1976, we start to see Cardenal on a few different releases other than the standard Topps card.
Along with Topps he had a Crane disc. This is one of my favorites in my collection. Several years ago I purchased a lot of about 25 of these discs joining the others I already had.
And here is the 1977 Hostess. Cardenal was also on some Kellogg’s oddballs, and other Hostess issues.
One Cardenal card not in my collection, but has been added to my want list is a 2013 Topps Archives season ticket holder card. There are a few different sets out there that are season ticket holder giveaways, as well as an Archives set that was a Wrigley Field giveaway.
I wish I could have watched Cardenal play. I was fortunate to meet him at the Cubs Convention last year, and have a couple signed baseballs.