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Wednesday with the Smashing Pumpkins & the 1979 Quad City Cubs

“Shakedown 1979. Cool kids never have the time.”

There isn’t anything in common (that I know of) between the 1979 Quad City Cubs and the Smashing Pumpkins, other than the Pumpkins greatest hit is titled after the

Year.

My mailday contained the 1979 Quad City Cubs team set, and this post was delayed a day because I went to see the Smashing Pumpkins in concert Wednesday night for the kickoff to their 30th anniversary tour.

While the Pumpkins do look a bit older, they sound amazing. It sounded just like they did when I was locking myself in my bedroom in the 1990’s during my awkward teen years jamming to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

They played the hits: “Tonight, Tonight,” “1979,” “Cherub Rock,” “Zero,” and slipped in a cover of The Cure’s “Friday, I’m in Love.” The Pumpkins also played “Dross” for the first time live since 2000, and made their live debut performance of “Knights of Malta.”

The Sylvee in Madison, Wisconsin was the venue and is a really cool, intimate venue (capacity is just over 2,000). Going into the show I wouldn’t have ranked Smashing Pumpkins in my top five bands, but it was definitely my favorite live show even trumping a pair of Pearl Jam shows (my all-time favorite band) at Wrigley Field (my all-time favorite place).

Anyway, back to baseball cards and the mailman delivered one package Wednesday. It was an eBay purchase for a team set of 1979 Quad City Cubs. I grew up going to Quad City Angels games as a kid, but was a little too young to have seen the Midwest League franchise as a Cubs affiliate (I was born in 1982, and the affiliation changed from Cubs to Angels after the 1984 season).

The 1979 squad was the first year of Quad City’s affiliation with the Cubs sandwiching stints as an Angels affiliate. Not many players from this 27-card set reached the big leagues.

Only Mark Gilbert from this set reached “the show.” Gilbert had a cup of coffee with the 1985 White Sox. He appeared in seven games and had six hits. Dave Owen was the only other member of the 1979 Quad City Cubs that appeared in MLB.

For sets like this, I love reading the back stories on players, or finding funny names. This team featured both an Ed Mohr and an Ed Moore.

I found Norm Churchill on Twitter. He’s now a high school pitching coach in Colorado.

Joe McClain’s father (also Joe McClain) pitched in the big leagues for the Washington Senators in the 1960’s.

J.W. Mitchell had two daughters play collegiate softball: Emma at Virginia and Paige at James Madison.

Joe Hicks is now a chiropractor in Indiana. Hicks reached AAA with the Iowa Cubs and made the Cubs 40-man roster in 1985, but didn’t get the call to Wrigley Field.

Craig Kornfeld was a member of the 1970 Little League World Series championship team, and after his playing days worked as a scout for the Mets, Pirates, Reds, and Nationals.

John Bargfeldt has been the head softball coach at the University of Tulsa since 2006.

And one of the Cubs coaches was Gene Oliver, a Quad Cities native (born in Rock Island, IL). Oliver played in the big leagues from 1959 to 1969, his final two seasons with the Chicago Cubs. TCMA made a pretty big mistake by naming him “Bob” on this card.

Even though this squad didn’t graduate many players to the parent club, the 1979 Quad City Cubs were a talented group, and won the Midwest League championship.

One Million Cubs Project Stats

Wednesday’s (11/28/2018) Cards: 27

Wednesday’s (11/28/2018) Packages: 1

Weekly Count: 822

Total Count: 225,598

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