Bill Hands passed away today. Bill pitched seven years for the Cubs from 1966 through 1972, winning 20 games in 1969.
Bill was traded to the Cubs, along with Randy Hundley, by the San Francisco Giants in December of 1965. Obviously, one of the better trades in Cubs history. Hands became a full-time starter in 1968 and won 66 games over the next four years. He averaged 266 innings pitched over those years, and his ERA was never above 3.70. (His career ERA was 3.35.)
“When he attended a Cubs game at Shea Stadium in 1985, equipment man Yosh Kawano wanted to bring Hands into the clubhouse to meet the players.
‘No, don't do that,’ Hands replied. ‘These guys don't want to meet a ghost from the past.’”
Fortunately, he lived long enough to see those ghosts go away. According to Bill Fish, golf pro at Islands End in Greenport, New York, “No one hated the Mets more than Billy Hands. … He was ecstatic about [the Cubs winning the World Series], that’s for sure. He stuck around long enough to see it. We were all happy about that.” So am I.
Here is his 1969 baseball card: