Chicago Cubs Greatest All-Time Players: No. 11 – Rick Reuschel
Before Jake Arrieta, Jon Lieber and Greg Maddux, can you guess the most recent Cubs’ 20-game winner? That’s right, Rick Reuschel – the team’s third-round pick in the 1970 MLB Draft out of Western Illinois University.
The big right-hander made his big league debut two years later – and proceeded to post double-digit wins annually until Chicago traded him to the Yankees mid-season in 1981. Reuschel helped carry the load, making at least 35 starts from ’73 to ’80, easily surpassing 235 innings on the bump each year.
His best season came in 1977, his 20-win showing, when he finished third in NL Cy Young voting, thanks to a 3.03 FIP, 2.79 ERA and league-best 0.5 HR/9. He followed that up with several more strong showings, including an 18-win 1979.
Strangely enough Reuschel was a weak spot for the 1984 Cubs, as he turned in his worst season during his time in the Windy City. That was enough to spell the end of his tenure with the club. The righty signed with Pittsburgh the next offseason and spent the rest of his career in the Steel City and San Francisco before retiring after the 1991 season.
Accomplishments & Awards
- Three-time All-Star
- Two-time Gold Glove Winner