Have the Cubs Had a Three-Fingered Player as Well as a Six-Fingered Player In Their Team History?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about baseball and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the baseball urban legends featured so far.

BASEBALL URBAN LEGEND: A baseball team had a “three-fingered” player as well as a six-fingered player in their team history!

One of the most famous players in Chicago Cub history is Mordechai “Three-Fingered” Brown, the Hall of Fame pitcher who had suffered a series of accidents to his fingers in his youth, including losing most of his index finger in a farming accident and then having his middle finger and ring finger broken while recovering from the original injury.

The result gave him a mangled hand that was basically three fingers and a thumb (and messed up fingers at that). That gave him an interesting grip on the baseball, though, that allowed him to throw pitches from odd angles, helping to make him a baseball Hall of Famer.

Years later, though, the Cubs would have a player who went the whole other direction entirely!

Reliever Antonio Alfonseca debuted for the Cubs in 2002 (after coming over in a big trade from the Florida Marlins, along with pitcher Ryan Dempster in a trade that sent Dontrelle Willis to the Marlins).

Alfonseca has the “disease” polydactyly, which basically just means that he has six fingers and six toes.

Check ’em out…

Unlike Brown, though, this did not affect Alfonseca’s delivery, as the sixth finger would not touch the ball.

Alfonseca’s last season in the Big Leagues was 2007, leaving the current Major League leader in “fingers on each hand” as a massive tie for first with five.

The legend is…


Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is [email protected]

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