Monday, Aug. 23, 2010
By Luke Stuckmeyer
Who was the first baseball player's career that you remember following closely?
Santo, Williams, Banks, Sandberg, Dawson, Sosa and Wood are common answers. For me, it wasn't that simple. For some reason, I loved the way Ivan DeJesus used to slide head first. I admired hall of famers Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson. But the FIRST player that I really watched closely was Mt. Prospect native Mike Quade.
The Quades' were close friends of the family. I remember their son being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates after starring at my future high school. We'd get weekly updates on his progress as a player in the Pirates minor league system, but he peaked at triple-A and quickly switched to coaching.
Now, after nearly 20 years of managing in the minors he's finally getting his chance. There's something to be said for paying your dues and he's certainly done that: 2,378 games as a minor league manager. Twice he was named Minor League Manager of the Year. He won 2 World World Series. He's been a first base coach for the Oakland A's and third base coach for the Cubs.
No matter what happens this off-season, he will always be the 51st manager in Cubs franchise history. That's called sticking with it.For more on Mike Quade's journey check out the story I did before his Major League Managerial debut in Washington...