Kenneth Douglas Hubbs
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 175 lb.
- School Brigham Young University
- High School Colton High School
- Debut September 10, 1961
- Final Game September 29, 1963
- Born December 23, 1941 in Riverside, CA USA
- Died February 13, 1964 in Provo, UT USA
Hubbs was born in 1941, the same year as Pete Rose, and played in the 1954 Little League World Series for the Colton Lions. In the finale, he went 2 for 4 with two runs and a RBI as their shortstop but Colton lost to the Schenectady, NY team that had Jim Barbieri and Bill Connors. He was signed by the Cubs in 1959 and came up for a cup of coffee in 1961, at age 19. The next year, he became a regular and was named National League Rookie of the Year. He was noted for his stellar defense and excellent range and set major league records for consecutive games without an error (78) and consecutive chances accepted (418) without an error. He won a Gold Glove, interrupting a streak by Bill Mazeroski, who had won in 1961 and would win again in 1963 and several times thereafter. While Hubbs' batting average was modest, it was 7 points above the team average. Hubbs had a tendency to strike out a lot (led the National League in 1962) and didn't receive many walks. He led the team in triples, and was second on the team in runs scored (90) and doubles (24) in 1962.
In 1963, Hubbs' average dropped to .235. The Cubs as a team hit only .238, and the league hit .245. His home run total went up to 8, which was fifth on the team. Although he didn't win the Gold Glove away from Mazeroski that year, his range was even better than the previous year.
A triple play was once started by Hubbs as follows: Joe Pignatano hit a fly ball to short right field. Hubbs ran with his back to the plate, caught the ball, turned, and threw to Ernie Banks at first who caught the runner off first. Banks then threw to Andre Rodgers covering second to catch the runner off second.
Hubbs was killed in 1964 when the plane that he was piloting crashed shortly after take-off. He was in Utah to participate in a basketball program sponsored by Brigham Young University and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His plane was recovered from Lake Utah, just outside of Provo, UT. He had only recently obtained his pilot's license at the time of the crash. Baseball had lost one of its brightest young stars.
|NL Rookie of the Year|
|Billy Williams||Ken Hubbs||Pete Rose|