In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees. By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues. Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.
Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #7. 88 different players have donned #7 while playing in Chicago, 43 for the White Sox and 45 for the Cubs.
After wearing #12 when he was first called up to the big leagues, Tim Anderson switched to #7 starting with his second season in 2017. Showing that he was still a work in progress, Anderson slashed .257/.276/.402 in 2017, with a 2.1% walk rate, the lowest in the major leagues. Defensively, he led the major leagues in errors, with 28, as well as fielding errors (16) and throwing errors (12). He showed slight improvements in 2018, with slight improvements in his OBP and slugging percentage, while reducing his overall errors.
2019 was Anderson’s coming out party. He led the major leagues with a .335 average while raising his OPS to .865, setting career highs with 167 hits, 32 doubles, and 81 runs. He still had some issues on defense, leading all major league players with 26 errors, leading to the lowest fielding percentage amongst all shortstops. His hot bat continued into the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, notching a .322 average and an .886 OPS. He won his first Silver Slugger award while leading the White Sox to their first post-season appearance since 2008. He thrived in the Wild Card series against the A’s, going 9-14 in the three-game series.
Anderson continued to prove that he his offensive improvement wasn’t a fluke when baseball returned full time in 2021. He was named to his first All Star team and, on the game’s biggest stage, he hit a walk-off home run against the Yankees in the inaugural Field of Dreams game in the cornfields of Iowa. Overall, he hit .309 and posted an .807 OPS while hitting 17 home runs and driving in 61 RBIs. Continuing where he left off the previous October, Anderson hit .368 in the ALDS against the Astros.
On the north side of town, Peoria-native and Northwestern graduate Joe Girardi made his Major League debut for the Cubs on April 4, 1989 wearing #7. He batted .248 with a home run and 14 runs batted in (RBIs) in 59 games as the surprising Cubs took home a division title. Getting more consistent playing time in 1990, he hit .270 with a home run and 38 RBIs. Limited to only 21 games in 1991, he managed just a .191 average with only 6 RBIs. In 1992, he rebounded to play in 91 games, hitting .270 with a home run and 12 RBIs. Following the season, he was left unprotected in the expansion draft and was selected by the Rockies.