A chat with Mike Cubbage
Michael Lee Cubbage was born on July 21, 1950 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After attending the University of Virginia, Cubbage was drafted in the second round by the Washington Senators in 1971. Mike signed and started his pro baseball career. The 6’ 180 pound left handed batting Cubbage played A ball in 1971 and 1972 before advancing to AA in 1973. In the spring of 1974 “Cubby” made the Texas Rangers team out of spring training but ended up splitting his time between the Rangers and AAA in 1974 and in 1975. In 1976 Cubbage was in the majors to stay but ended being traded to the Minnesota Twins along Jim Gideon, Bill Singer, and Roy Smalley and in turn Minnesota sent Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson to the Rangers. Cubbage never really attained regular status with Minnesota between 1976 and 1980 but he did play 555 games in a Twins uniform splitting his time at 3B, 2B, 1B, and DH. After the 1980 season Cubbage became a free agent and signed with the Mets where he finished his career playing for the Mets in 1981 and for Tidewater, the Mets AAA team in 1982.
In his 8 big league seasons, Mike played in 703 games, had 1,951 at bats, hit 34 homeruns, and finished with a career batting average of .258. Immediately after leaving the game as a player, Cubbage put on the manager’s hat in the Mets minor leagues where he managed between 1983 and 1989 leading his teams to a 539-376 won/lost record (.589 winning percentage). Each of the minor league teams that Cubbage managed ended up finishing above .500. Cubbage joined the Mets as a 1B coach in 1990 and in 1991 he served as the Mets 3B coach, hitting coach, and finally as their interim manager when Buddy Harrelson was let go by the team with about a week left in the season. Cubbage was expected by many to be named the new Mets skipper but unfortunately for Mike that was not to be when the Mets organization decided to go with Jeff Torborg instead. Mike stayed with the Mets for 5 more seasons as their 3B coach before heading out for Houston where he again served as a 3B and a bench coach between 1997 and 2001. The next stop in “Cubby’s” coaching career was with the Red Sox in 2002 and 2003 before he hung up his uniform to move into scouting. Today Mike Cubbage still lives in Charlottesville, Virginia and is a scout for the Tampa Rays organization. In his spare time Mike enjoys his grandchildren and playing a little golf. I really enjoyed my conversation with Mike and he was a lot of fun to talk with, I hope that our paths cross again.
The interview with Mike is 60 minutes in length and took place in February 2010.