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Former Cub With Spectacularly Long Name Dies At 84

Former major league pitcher Cal McLish, who pitched for the Cubs in 1949 and 1951 before they let him go in one of the typically amazing bad decisions they made in that era (he went on to make an All-Star team and be a solid starter for several seasons, including 1961 with the White Sox), died yesterday in his native Oklahoma at the age of 84.

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This normally wouldn’t rate a mention, but McLish had more than just a first name and a middle name. His full moniker:

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Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish

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The article linked above explains the name:

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His father chose the name after McLish’s mother told John McLish he could name their son.

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“There were eight kids in the family, and I was No. 7, and my dad didn’t get to name one of them before me. So he evidently tried to catch up,” Cal McLish told The Oklahoman in 1999.

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Calvin Coolidge was President of the US when Cal McLish was born; the reasons Julius Caesar and Tuskahoma (a Choctaw tribal word meaning “red warrior”) were chosen are lost to the mists of time.

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For me personally, this ends an era. Cal McLish was the visiting pitcher at the very first game I attended at Wrigley Field on July 6, 1963. Pitching for the Phillies, he threw a three-hit shutout against the Cubs.

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Most remarkable thing about that game: the Cubs were in contention at the time, entering the day in second place, three games out of first. Attendance: 16,348.

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It was a different time.