A native of Chicago, Cavaretta became a hometown hero in his 20 consecutive seasons with the Cubs.
Phil Cavaretta joined the Cubs near the end of the 1934 season and became their starting first baseman the following year. He led the National League with 197 hits in 1944 and in hitting with a .355 average in 1945, when he was named the league MVP.
The Cubs won the pennant in 1945, and Cavaretta hit .423, with 7 runs scored and 5 RBIs in the World Series, but the Detroit Tigers beat his team in seven games. Cavaretta remained with the Cubs through 1953, becoming the team’s playing manager during the 1951 season.
After compiling a 169-213 record, he was fired during ’54 spring training by Cubs owner Phil Wrigley for predicting a Second-Division finish for the team, and spent his two final seasons as a part-time player with the White Sox.
In 22 seasons, Cavaretta had a .293 batting average on 1,977 hits, including 347 doubles, 99 triples and 95 home runs. He scored 990 runs and drove in 920. He was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1979.