Icons of the Ivy: Charlie Grimm
Instead of listing off all the jobs Charlie Grimm filled for the Cubs franchise, it might actually be easier to list off the roles he didn’t hold.
Grimm was a first baseman, manager, broadcaster and executive for the organization, including a 5-year stretch from 1932-36 where he served as both a player and manager.
The left-handed hitter made his MLB debut in 1916 with the Philadelphia Athletics at age 17. He played only 12 games with the team and reemerged in the big leagues in 1918 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
He spent the next 6 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates before being traded to the Cubs, where he 12 seasons.
Grimm racked up 10.2 WAR in Chicago, earning National League Most Valuable Player votes in 3 separate seasons. In 1925, his first year with the Cubs, Grimm hit .306 with a .793 OPS, 10 homers and 76 RBI.
He once again reached the 10-homer plateau in 1929, driving in a career-high 91 runs that season. Two years later, he tallied a .331 AVG and .851 OPS with 53 walks against only 29 strikeouts.
“As a player, he hit .296 over 12 seasons and was among the league’s best defensive first basemen, leading the league in fielding 7 times — 4 times as a Cub,” team historian Ed Hartig said.
Grimm retired as a player in 1936 but stayed on as manager of the Cubs for another 2 seasons. He also returned to fill the managerial seat for another 6-year stretch from 1944-49.
He won 3 NL pennants as skipper (1932, 1935, 1945) and boasted a 946-782 record as Cubs manager.