Back by popular demand (my wife likes this series)…
#16—Steve Lake and Aramis Ramirez: A-Ram has looked more like the weak-hitting Lake lately. Here’s hoping he gets back on track in 2011. I think Anthony Young, the one-man loss machine, wore #16 as well.
#17—Of course we all remember Cub great Mark Grace, but my favorite 17 has to be Bump Wills. There aren’t enough people named “Bump” in the world.
#18—Richie Hebner, Dwight Smith, Jose Hernandez, and Moises Alou come to mind. Of course, Geo Soto sports it these days.
#19—Spike Owens’ little brother Dave wore this number in 1984, my all-time favorite Cubs season. If memory serves, Owens helped turn the famous double play off Lee Smith’s back. After that lucky play, Harry uttered the famous line, “The Good Lord wants the Cubs to win!”
#20—Bob Dernier, Jerome Walton, and Corey Patterson: I guess you have to be a speedy CF who doesn’t like to walk.
#21—“Sammy, Sammy, Sammy, Sammy!” And don’t forget the great Scott Sanderson. “Sandy, Sandy, Sandy, Sandy!”
#22—A tear forms in my eye as I fondly recall the days of Billy Buck. A different kind of tear forms in my eye as I painfully remember Mark Prior. What might have been?
#23—How lucky we were to watch the amazing career of Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. The only other 23 I could think of was Pete LaCock. I believe he’s related to Peter Marshall from “The Hollywood Squares.” I’ll take Paul Lynde to block.
#24—Jerry Morales, Gary Varsho, and Bobby Scales: Another run of crappy Cubs.
#25—D-Lee is a no-brainer. My favorite player from this bunch was Rafael Palmeiro. I was crushed when the Cubs traded him in the Mitch Williams deal. I was embarrassed by how his career ended. Honorable mention goes to Gary Woods and Tuffy Rhodes.
#26—Billy Williams (number retired). For some reason, 26 doesn’t seem to be a popular number in MLB. Who am I missing?
#27—Who could forget the great Mel Hall, who was packaged with Joe Carter in the Rick Sutcliffe deal? Others include Derrick May (ugh) and Thad Bosley.
#28—Ladies and gentlemen, Randall Kirk Myers. Easily my favorite Cubs closer.
#29—Now here’s a depressing list: Tom Veryzer, Chico Walker, Doug Dascenzo, Jeff Huson, and Rey Ordonez. Sometimes I think it wouldn’t be that difficult to be a general manager.
#30—Chuck Rainey and Ozzie Timmons: Speaking of Chuck Rainey, he started 1984 as a member of the Cubs rotation. Fortunately, he didn’t finish. With apologies to the Rainey family, the best thing you can say about Chuck is that he brought Davy Lopes (#15) to Chicago in a trade with the Oakland A’s.
Stayed tuned for part 3, numbers 31-45. Mike Proly and George Frazier are right around the corner!