Thursday, April 24, 2014

Where Have You Gone, Gene Krug?

Ok, perhaps that doesn't sound as poetic as Simon & Garfunkel's original musings, but, we actually knew where Joe DiMaggio was.  However, the same cannot be said for short-time Cub Gene Krug.

Twice drafted by the Mets, the Cubs finally came in and swooped the slugging first baseman out of Lamar College in the 29th round of the 1977 amateur draft.  Sorry New York!


Gene Krug in his Wichita Aeros garb


Krug did nothing but hit at every step of the minor league ladder in the Cubs system and quickly obtained prospect status.  He had a career .317 avg in the bush leagues with 45 homers and 305 RBIs in parts of five seasons.  The kid could rake.

Unfortunately Gene's only Major League action came during the strike-shortened 1981 season with one of the worst Cubs teams in franchise history.  So, maybe that's why he's hiding.


 The 1981 Cubs - But you won't find Gene Krug's face here


Regardless, Krug just kept on hitting.  In 6 plate appearances, all pinch hitting, he singled twice and walked once for a .400 avg.  I'd take that coming off of the bench.

Krug never took the field though and was sent back down to the minors late that May, where he finished up the year playing in Iowa.  This is where the paper trail ends though.

1981 was the last season of Krug's professional baseball career.  I cannot find any indication of whether this was caused by injury, personal problems or if he just flat out had enough.  At any rate, I have to believe that the Cubs (or another team for that matter) would have kept him around if he wanted to stay.

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So, why does this matter?  Well, since my goal is to collect at least one baseball card of every guy who has played so much as 1/3 of an inning for the Cubs, Gene Krug is on my "to acquire" list.  Not to mention my goal within a goal to obtain a card of every Cubs player since 1980.

Unfortunately, since his big league career was so brief and his minor league career came in a time before minor league cards were produced for pretty much every team, Gene Krug never had a baseball card issued in his honor.  None.  At least by my research.

That said, I knew when I set this collecting goal that it was unobtainable.  The Cubs franchise history dates back to the 1870's; research hasn't even turned up the first names of some of their early players. I truly thought that I would have to go further back in history than 1981 to hit my first snag like this. 

So, I've developed a little plan to get around this unexpected issue.  

TheAutographCard.com has these nifty little blank trading cards meant for signatures.  One can even order them for a particular team:



If I can get Gene to sign one of these, it will lend a sense of legitimacy; I feel like a signature would make it an official baseball card.  However, I have no idea how to go about getting one of these to Mr. Krug.

So, all you autograph hounds out there - with your databases and what not - does anybody know if Gene Krug will sign autographs?  If so, does anyone have a method of communication?

My Cubs All-Time Roster Collection depends on you; any help would be greatly appreciated!



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