Keith Moreland

Keith Moreland

A useful player who played five different positions in his 12-year career, Keith Moreland thrived at Wrigley Field much to the delight of Cubs fans for whom he performed for six seasons, from 1982-1987.

Moreland hit 100 homers as a member of the Cubs, 67 of them coming during the daytime at the north side at Wrigley. He had a career .279 average and .411 slugging percentage, but those figures vaulted to .292 and .471 at the Cubs home park. A right-handed batter with good power, especially against left-handed pitching, Moreland was a key figure on the 1984 team that won the NL East division and became the first Cubs club to go to the post-season in nearly four decades.

Moreland was one of the many players who came to the Cubs from the Phillies after Dallas Green left Philadelphia to go to the Windy City. There were certain ballplayer who Green liked, and Moreland was one of the role players he knew could play a role in his planned revitalization of the Cubs. In Philly, Moreland had been the backup catcher to All-Star Bob Boone, but once he came to the Cubs in 1982 he was used all over the diamond. He hit 15, 16, and 16 homers in his first three seasons with Chicago, proving himself as a reliable run producer. His RBI totals increased in each of his first four years as a Cub, from 68 all the way to 106 in 1985 when he batted .307 in 161 games. By that time, Moreland was a favorite of manager Jim Frey, who knew he could pencil Keith;s name in at right field, first base, third base, and even catcher when needed. Regardless of what glove he used, Moreland brought his thunderous bat with him to the plate.

After hitting a career-best 27 homers as primarily a third baseman for the Cubs in 1987, Moreland was traded to the San Diego Padres in a deal that brought Goose Gossage to Chicago. Moreland never warmed to playing baseball in sunny southern California, and he was off for stops in Detroit in Baltimore in 1989. Though he seemed perfect for the role of utility man/designated hitter, he retired after that year.

Moreland had an excellent batting record in the post-season, hitting .364 with 16 hits, a homer, and seven RBI in 14 games for the Phillies and Cubs.