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Happy Birthday to Alec Mills and Other Former Cubs

Alec Mills seems to have a knack for slipping noteworthy moments and days right by everyone, so let's give him the recognition he deserves.
Alec Mills Cubs

Photo: Cubs/Twitter

Lost among the free-agent frenzy and hot stove rumor mill are some important birthdays in Cubs history, including current pitcher Alec Mills. Today, Mills turns 30 years old. We here at Cubs On Tap would like to recognize Mr. Mills for being the crafty right-handed hurler that he is and wish him a Happy birthday!

For whatever reason, Mills always has a knack for slipping noteworthy moments and days right by everyone.

As you might recall, Mills threw his first and only (to this point) no-hitter on September 13, 2020, against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. The college walk-on threw the no-hitter one day shy of the 12th anniversary of Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter in 2008 at Miller Park against the Houston Astros. It was the 16th no-hitter in franchise history and became the first time both a White Sox and Cubs pitcher threw a no-hitter in the same season, following Lucas Giolito’s no-hitter on August 25, 2020, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Oddly enough, it happened during the shortest season in major league history, the pandemic season.

With such an incredible feat, you’d think it would be the talk of the town, right? That was partially true. Chicago fans gave Mills his fair share of love, but it was almost overshadowed by an incredible comeback win from another Chicago sports team. The Chicago Bears played their first game of the 2020 season that day, and they rallied back from a late 23-13 deficit to defeat the Detroit Lions 27-23. The Lions almost stormed back themselves and fell a D’Andre Swift touchdown drop short of victory.

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While Yan Gomes and Clint Frazier signing with the Cubs are not the same as a thrilling Bears victory in Week 1 of an NFL season, Mills’ day again seems to have taken a backseat. In 2021, Mills didn’t have his best season, finishing with a 5.07 ERA in 32 games (20 starts). However, he had a solid stretch of outings from June 20 to August 28. During that span, Mills made 12 starts, recording a 3.50 ERA. Moving forward, Mills might not have a rotation spot, but he could wind up being a solid bullpen arm for multi-inning purposes with a spot start here and there.

Mills isn’t the only one with a birthday today. He shares a birthday with some recognizable former Cubs and some that aren’t as well-known.

There are some interesting names on this list. Unfortunately, not all of them are still with us, but we should acknowledge them the same. It is sorted by most recently with the Cubs.

  • Luis Valbuena - deceased aged 33 - last with the Cubs in 2014
  • Rich Harden - age 40 - last with the Cubs in 2008
  • Matt Lawton - age 50 - last with the Cubs in 2005
  • Bob Tewksbury - age 61 - last with the Cubs in 1988
  • Steve Hamilton - deceased aged 63 - last with the Cubs in 1972
  • Ed Mayer - deceased aged 84 - last with the Cubs in 1958
  • Elmer Koestner - deceased aged 73 - last with the Cubs in 1914
  • Frank Killen - deceased aged 69 - last with the Cubs in 1900

Happy birthday to all of these former Cubs, and especially current Cubs pitcher Alec Mills! If I missed anyone, let me know.