Chicago Cubs: Looking back on Keith Moreland on his birthday

Keith Moreland / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Keith Moreland / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Happy birthday to Keith Moreland! A Chicago Cubs outfielder, infielder and catcher from 1982-1987 and a Cubs broadcaster from 2011-2013.

Prior to Keith Moreland‘s 12-year MLB playing career that included a stint with the Chicago Cubs, he played for the University of Texas. During his college career, he racked up quite the list of accomplishments while holding down the hot corner for the Longhorns. He was a three-time All American, led the team to three College World Series berths, was co-captain of the Longhorns’ 1973 National Championship Team, and batted .410 over a 62-game season in 1975.

After his college playing days were over, the Philadelphia Phillies drafted Moreland in the seventh round of the 1975 MLB draft. While on the Phillies, he appeared in 138 games, totaling 118 hits, 74 RBI and a .291 batting average. He was also a member of the 1980 World Series champion Phillies ball club. After a four-year run with the Phils, Moreland came to Chicago in a trade, along with Dan Larson and Dickie Noles for Mike Krukow and cash.

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In 1982 Keith Moreland began his six-year stint with the Chicago Cubs. In the 1982 season, Moreland began to earn more playing time, appearing in 138 games that season.  He piled up 124 hits and had a batting average of .261. He stepped it up a notch the next year, tallying 161 hits while hitting .302.

Of course, in 1984, Moreland and the Cubs advanced to the National League Championship Series. This marked the franchise’s first postseason appearance since the 1945 Fall Classic. But, as we all know, Chicago came up short, dropping the series three games to two in heartbreaking fashion.

But in that fateful 1984 season, Moreland showed promise. At 30 years old, the veteran won the NL Player of the Month Award in August, and drove in 80 runs – the most in his career as a pro ballplayer up to this point.

The 1985 season was definitely Keith Moreland’s best season of his career. Only missing one game of the regular season, Moreland played 161 games, ranking third in the National League for games played. He also finished in the top ten in the National League for hits, runs batted in, plate appearances, times on base, runs created, sacrifice flies, singles and batting average. He was one of the best players in the league that year and he even got some way-down-ballot MVP votes.

After the 1985 season, Moreland played two more seasons with the Cubs which were comparable to his first two, nothing outstanding but a great middle of the lineup hitter. This led to him being traded in February of 1988. He was traded with Mike Brumley to the San Diego Padres for Rich Gossage and Ray Hayward. He then played one season with the Padres before being traded to the Tigers later that year. Then in July 1989, he was traded to the Orioles and released to free agency in November ultimately ending his MLB career as a player.

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After his playing career concluded, he decided to stay around the game and begin a broadcasting career. He worked a bit as a radio broadcaster for his alma mater for football and baseball. In 2011, it was announced that he would be taking over the late Ron Santo‘s position as the Chicago Cubs full-time radio analyst for WGN 720 AM. Moreland held that position until 2013 when he stepped down to spend more time with his family.

Happy Birthday Keith Moreland!