By The Numbers – 24

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 #24.  104 different players have donned #24 while playing in Chicago, 49 for the White Sox and 55 for the Cubs.

Joe Crede earned a September call-up from Double A in 2000, and, wearing #24, made his major league debut on September 12, replacing Herbert Perry and going 0-1 in the Tigers 10-3 victory at Comiskey Park.  Crede appeared in 7 games, making the most of his 14 at bats, and finished with a .357 average.  Crede got another cup of coffee with the big league club in September of 2001, earning a little more playing time, but he was less successful, finishing with a .220 average in 50 at bats over 17 games.  Crede returned to the White Sox for good in July of 2002.  On August 12, he hit his first major league home run off of former teammate James Baldwin and he finished with 12 home runs, 35 RBIs, and a .285 average.  Crede established himself as the starting third baseman in 2003.  He appeared in a career high 151 games and launched 19 home runs with 75 RBIs while posting a .261 average.  He struggled in 2004, seeing his average drop to .239 while hitting 21 home runs with 69 RBIs.

In 2005, Crede started to come in to his own.  While he improved his average to .252 and hit 22 home runs with 62 RBIs, he came alive in the second half, culminating with a game winning, and possible season saving, home run in the 10th inning against the Indians on September 20, which pushed the White Sox to a 3.5 game lead and propelled them into the playoffs.  Crede had a rough series in the ALDS against the Red Sox, getting only 1 hit in 9 at bats, but rebounded in the ALCS and World Series, hitting .368 and .294 respectively, with 2 home runs in each series.  2006 was Joe Crede’s breakout season.  He hit .283 with career highs in home runs, with 30, and RBIs, with 94, winning his first, and only, Silver Slugger award.  A back injury in 2007 limited him to 47 games and only 4 home runs.  He returned with a bang in 2008, hitting a grand slam on opening day against the Twins and parlayed a good first half into his first All Star selection, but the back injury recurred and kept him out for most of the second half of the season, including the playoffs, thus ending his White Sox career.

On the north side of town, Dexter Fowler joined Cubs via trade prior to the 2015 season.  Donning #24, he ended the year with a .250 average, 102 runs scored, 46 RBIs, 17 home runs, and 20 stolen bases as the Cubs made a surprise run for the NL Wild Card.  Fowler helped propel the Cubs to the NLDS, putting up three hits, three runs scored, a home run, and a stolen base in defeating the Pirates.  In nine postseason games, Fowler batted .396 with two home runs and three RBIs, as the Cubs made it to the NLCS against the Mets.

Fowler became a free agent after the season and was unsigned into the start of spring training.  Despite reportedly agreeing to a three-year contract with the Orioles, Fowler arrived in Cubs camp and signed a one year deal.  And what a year it was.  Fowler finished the year with a .276 average, 13 home runs, 48 RBIs, and 84 runs scored as the Cubs won the NL Central.  Fowler’s .333 average with 4 RBI helped the Cubs win the NLCS against the Dodgers, advancing to the World Series for the first time since 1945.  On October 25, 2016, Dexter Fowler became the first African-American to appear and to bat for the Cubs in a World Series game.  Fowler led off Game 7 of the World Series with a home run, becoming the first player in history to do so, and helping the Cubs win 8–7 in 10 innings, giving the team their first championship in 108 years.

October Leaders – Through 2020

With a full year of baseball on tap after last year’s troubles due to a combination of the corona virus and needless labor squabbles, I thought it would be interesting to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for each month in games that I have attended.

As we wrap up the regular season and head in to post-season play, the usual futility of Chicago teams has led to my attending only 36 games during the month, my lowest total since March.  I’ve managed to see a game on 21 out of the 31 days of the month, with 4 games on 2 separate occasions leading the way, and no games on the 10th, 13th, 16,th, 17th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, and 31st.

Home Runs

Name Total
Kris Bryant 4
Javier Baez 3
Dexter Fowler 3
BJ Upton 3
Enrique Hernandez 3
Miguel Cabrera 3
Paul Konerko 3

Hits

Name Total
Kris Bryant 11
Javier Baez 11
Dexter Fowler 10
Anthony Rizzo 10

Runs

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 7
Juan Pierre 7
Paul Konerko 6
Daniel Murphy 6

RBI

Name Total
Kris Bryant 9
Paul Konerko 7
Miguel Cabrera 7
Ivan Rodriguez 7
Enrique Hernandez 7

Doubles

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 4
7 tied with  3

Triples Continue reading →

Playoff Batting Leaders

Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series is in the books and the White Sox look to close out the A’s this afternoon.  The NL Wild Card Series kicks off this afternoon, with the Cubs doing battle against the Marlins.  With that in mind, it’s time to take an updated look at the offensive leaders from the now 30 post-season games I have attended since 2000.  So, without further ado, we start off with:

Home Runs

Name Total
Kris Bryant 4
Javier Baez 3
Paul Konerko 3
B.J. Upton 3
Dexter Fowler 3
Enrique Hernandez 3

Hits

Name Total
Kris Bryant 11
Javier Baez 11
Dexter Fowler 10
Anthony Rizzo 10
Moises Alou 9
Jason Heyward 9

Runs

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 7
Paul Konerko 6
Daniel Murphy 6
A.J. Pierzynski 5
Kris Bryant 5
Javier Baez 5
Continue reading →

LCS Batting Leaders

baseballs2The Cubs prepare to make their third straight NLCS appearance tonight in Los Angeles, in a rematch of last year’s battle against the Dodgers, which the Cubs won in 6 games.  Let’s look at the offensive leaders in the now 9 LCS games I’ve attended, games 1, 6, and 7 of the 2003 NLCS, games 1 and 2 of the 2005 ALCS, games 3 and 4 of the 2015 NLCS, and games 1 and 6 of the 2016 NLCS.

Home Runs

Name Total
Daniel Murphy 2
Miguel Cabrera 2
Moises Alou 2
20 tied with 1

Hits

Name Total
Daniel Murphy 6
Juan Pierre 6
Dexter Fowler 6
Luis Castillo 5
Jeff Conine 5

Runs

Name Total
Daniel Murphy 4
Juan Pierre 4
Miguel Cabrera 4
Continue reading →

Playoff Batting Leaders

The Cubs continue their title defense tonight in Washington against the Nationals with a 1-0 lead in the NLDS.  With that in mind, it’s time to take an updated look at the offensive leaders from the now 26 post-season games I have attended since 2000.  So, without further ado, we start off with:

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 3
B.J. Upton 3
Dexter Fowler 3
Kris Bryant 3
Moises Alou 2
Miguel Cabrera 2
Chipper Jones 2
Eric Karros 2
Daniel Murphy 2
A.J. Pierzynski 2
Scott Podsednik 2
Manny Ramirez 2
Kyle Schwarber 2
Jorge Soler 2
Anthony Rizzo 2

Hits

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 10
Kris Bryant 9
Moises Alou 9
Anthony Rizzo 8
Javier Baez 8
Juan Uribe 8
Derrek Lee 8

Runs

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 7
Paul Konerko 6
A.J. Pierzynski 5
Continue reading →

All Stars

13641138_10155133635628298_1460960993873466313_oMinutes before today’s game against the Braves, the White Sox announced that Jose Quintana will join fellow starter Chris Sale in San Diego for Tuesday’s All Star game, replacing Danny Salazar, who is suffering with a sore right elbow.  Quintana will be making his first All Star appearance, and will be the third Colombian to appear in the Mid Summer Classic.

Third baseman Todd Frazier, who won the home run derby last year as a member of the Reds, will get the chance to defend his title despite not being named to the team.

On the other side of town, Dexter Fowler, voted in to start for the National League, will miss the game due to injury.  He is currently on a rehab assignment in Class A and hopes to return in the next 2 weeks.