Cleat Geeks

Last Cub to Play in a World Series Passes Away

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Lennie Merullo has passed away at the age of 98 on Saturday, May 30th in Reading, Massachusetts. Lennie was honored by the Chicago Cubs at a June 2014 game, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and leading the crowd with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch.cubs_historic_2020__800x600

He spent seven seasons as a Cubs infielder, playing mostly during the World War II years. Merullo played shortstop for the 1945 Cubs, the franchise’s last Lennie-Merullo-620x400pennant winner and was the last surviving ballplayer to have worn a Cubs uniform in a World Series. Lennie had a career average of .240 with a six home runs and 152 RBIs and he appeared in three games in the 1945 World Series. His son, Rick said he died from complications following a stroke. He was Chicago’s starting shortstop for most of the 1945 season, but played behind Roy Hughes in the World Series.

He retired after the 1947 season then spent more than half a century as a scout for the Cubs and other major league teams. “We were saddened to hear the news our oldest living Cub 4502362441Lennie Merullo passed away earlier today,” Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said Saturday in a statement. “While I have experienced many joys as owner of this great franchise, one of the most memorable was meeting Lennie last season.

When the Cubs last appeared in a World Series in 1945, Lennie was a 28-year-old shortstop. Nearly 70 years later, he brought the same youthful spirit and excitement, as he threw out the first pitch and led the entire ballpark in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame’” joined by family and friends.  If there was any doubt Wrigley Field does make dreams come true, you could look into Lennie’s eyes beaming with joy as he visited his beloved ballpark for what would be the last time. He told everyone he would never forget that day. To his family, friends and loved ones, our organization will never forget him.”

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