Paul Erickson

This 6’2″ product of smalltown Zion, IL, was called “Li’l Abner” after Al Capp’s hillbilly comic strip character. A fireballer who walked as many as he struck out, he both started and relieved. His most famous appearance was his pennant-clinching victory in relief for the Cubs in 1945. He entered the game with two on and two out, and a one-run lead. With the count 0-1, he threw a wild fastball from which Pittsburgh batter Tommy O’Brien ducked – but the ball hit the bat for a foul. Expecting another fastball, O’Brien looked at a sweeping curve for strike three.