Cubs HOF

Icons of the Ivy: Rick Sutcliffe

6 months agoTony Andracki

It’s hard to imagine a trade paying off better — and quicker — than the deal the Cubs and Indians struck on June 13, 1984.

Chicago GM Dallas Green was looking for a stabilizing force in the rotation and acquired Rick Sutcliffe on that mid-June evening.

All the “Red Baron” did was win 16 of his 20 starts in a Cubs uniform. He earned the National League Cy Young for his efforts but more importantly, etched his name into Cubs history by putting the team on his back and earning a trip to the playoff tournament.

“Acquired by the Cubs midseason in 1984, Rick Sutcliffe went 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA to help lead the Cubs to the Eastern Division title, earning the team the first postseason appearance in 39 seasons,” team historian Ed Hartig said.

In the NLCS that fall, Sutcliffe won 1 of his 2 starts against the Padres and had a 3.38 ERA.

Sutcliffe spent the next 7 years in Chicago, tallying a total of 82 wins and a 3.74 ERA in 193 games (190 starts). He led the NL with 18 victories in 1987 and was named the league’s Roberto Clemente Award winner that same season.

The current Marquee Sports Network analyst notched trips to the All-Star Game in 1987 and 1989 and finished as the Cy Young runner up in ’87.

Sutcliffe also pitched for the Dodgers, Indians, Orioles and Cardinals in his career. In total, he amassed nearly 2,700 big-league innings and 171 victories with a 4.08 career ERA.

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