Saturday, August 30, 2014

There's an App For That, Pt. 1

It today's technology driven world, it truly does seem that there is an App for everything.  Your smart phone can do more tricks than Evel Knievel all jacked up on Mountain Dew.

However, did you know that while your phone can tell you your exact location, how many calories you've consumed or where to find the best deals, it can also create baseball cards?

My what a long way the world has come.

While surfing the internet, I cam across an App called Rookies that allows users to create custom baseball cards from a nice selection of templates inspired by classic card designs of years gone by.  they aren't exactly the same because, y'know, lawsuits; but, they are close enough to evoke that feeling of nostalgia.

 The Rookies App icon

The best part?  You can download the thing for free from Apple. The Android version will be coming out soon.

Be careful though; I wasted many more hours than I should have playing around with it.  

If you really like the cards that you design, you can order a wax pack containing 20 of your creations for around $12.99 plus shipping.  Not cheap, but 65 cents per card ain't terrible and they turn out pretty cool too.

Pretty convincing packaging job and I love that tagline!

So, of course I splurged on buying a pack.  I created a bunch of cards of guys whom I cannot find any product for or that is prohibitively expensive for my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection.

If I'm able to acquire any "real" cards of the following players, I'll probably bump these customs - but I'm certain that most of these are safe.

Without further ado, today I will present to you half of my Rookies App wax pack and save the rest for tomorrow.  I don't want to bore you to death after all.

We'll start off with a couple of players that even predate the name "Cubs."

Davy Force was a "force" to be reckoned with in the days before the NL.  The diminutive (5"4') shortstop was known for hopping teams regularly, including a brief 59 games stint in Chicago in 1874 when they were part of the old National Association.

St. Vrain's pitching career from was rather unremarkable and lasted only one season - 1902.  That is, except for the time when he forgot which way to run the bases.

One day, the righty batter was convinced by manager Frank Selee to bat from the opposite side.  When he surprisingly made contact, he got caught up in the excitement and took off towards third base by mistake.  Needless to say, he was easily thrown out at first.

 Bill Hanlon got into 8 games at first base for the 1903 Cubs and produced a whopping .095 batting average in 30 PA's  Needless to say, there's reason for why his name quickly faded into obscurity.

Walter "Pop" Williams was Bill's teammate that season, but his tenure in Chicago started the previous year.  As a regular in the rotation in 1902, he went 11-16 with a fine 2.49 ERA for a mediocre squad.  He was sold to Philly halfway through the next season.

There weren't a lot of photos of Pop to chose from - I couldn't find any from his Chicago tenure.  So, these shots of him with the minor league Toronto Canucks will have to do.

Bo knows an awful lot, but does he know about Harry "Pud" McChesney?  "Pud" was one of the earliest players to star on the gridiron and on the diamond.  Although, I'm using the term "star" pretty loosely here.

Prior to coming to the Cubs, "Pud" played halfback in 1902 for the Pittsburgh Stars of the original National Football League as well as the Masillon Tigers of the Ohio League from 1903-04.  He was also considered one of the best punters of his era.  Although, I can find no stats to back that up.

All the while, he was still playing minor league baseball and the Cubs came calling in September of 1904.  As a rightfielder, "Pud" hit .261 in 92 PA's over 22 games - pretty decent stats in the Deadball Era.  Despite that, he never saw further big league action, be it baseball or football.

Hooks Cotter came up for exactly one plate appearance during the 1922 season and he was able to slug a double in an 8-3 loss in the third game of the season.  He was soon sent back down to the minors, where he would stay until 1924.  That season, he was given the starting role at first base and produced a .261 batting average with lackluster power (4 HR) and on-base skills (.338).

The next season, he was supplanted by a young Charlie Grimm and his name was never again written in a major league lineup.

Carroll Yerkes pitched in 25 total games during his big league career and only 3 of them were for the Cubs from 1932-33.  Coming out of the bullpen, he gave up 4 runs in 11 innings.

We'll wrap up today's portion of my Rookies goodies with Mr. Cvengros here.

Mike was a journeyman hurler throughout the 1920's, known mostly for spending three years as a swing man for the White Sox from 1923-25.  He also spent time with the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates.

He came to Chi-Town in 1929 to play out his sunset season in big league ball.  He made 32 appearances, all but 4 out of the bullpen, where he went a mediocre 5-4 with a 4.64 ERA with the eventual NL Pennant winners. His performance was not good enough to make the World Series roster.


There you have it; we're about halfway through my Rookies goodies.

While today's grouping focused on players from the early days of baseball, tomorrow's post will lean towards the more recent history of the Cubs franchise.

So, I'll be back tomorrow to show them off - same bat-time, same bat-channel

To be continued....


  1. Man, I've been waiting for the App to come out for Android almost a year now. Tick... tick... tick...

    My favorite is Pud McChesney. That card is fantastic!

    1. Wow, I didn't realize it has been that long. Patience is a virtue, I guess? That's still way too long.

      I do like that Pud card; however, my favorite of the set will be in tomorrow's post.

  2. Looking forward to seeing more of these!

  3. Those are neat.. If it ever came/comes out for Android and available in Canada, this may be fun to use...