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Column: Here’s a list of 23 candidates for the new Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame — including José Cardenal, Bill Madlock and Kerry Wood

Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
 2021-08-21
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A look at the Wrigley Field marquee announcing the rededication event on Thursday. LAB tba/Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Cubs on Thursday inducted 56 members into their new Hall of Fame , and there’s no arguing over the ones who made the cut.

But naturally, the Cubs being the Cubs, the organization courted controversy by ignoring its all-time home run leader, Sammy Sosa, without explanation. Sosa has been persona non grata with the Cubs since he walked out of the final game of the 2004 season, and the Ricketts family has continued to shun the former star since buying the team in 2009.

The only chance Sosa has of getting into the Cubs Hall of Fame is if fans are allowed to vote.

Coincidentally, the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday will induct Tom Herr, John Tudor, Keith Hernandez and Bill White into their Hall of Fame, which already includes Sosa’s old pal and PED cheat Mark McGwire. Herr, Tudor and Hernandez were voted in by fans, and White was selected by a committee that includes several veteran sports reporters.

The Cubs haven’t said how they will decide on new members, though executive vice president of sales and marketing Colin Faulkner said a committee will be selected to choose future inductees.

“I don’t think we’re going to run out of people, but I also think you want to be really thoughtful about who you’re putting in there,” Faulkner told the Tribune.

Unfortunately I won’t be part of that select committee, but I’ve already put a lot of thought into which candidates are most deserving.

Here’s a list of 23 worthy players, managers and broadcasters.

Rod Beck

Saved 51 games in a wild 1998 season. Defending himself from criticism about his weight by pointing out “no one ever went on the DL with pulled fat.” Lobbied for the removal of the “L” flag after Cubs losses at Wrigley Field, arguing the flag invited bad karma.

Carlos Zambrano

“Big Z” went 125-81 with the Cubs while hitting 23 home runs and setting a franchise record for water coolers destroyed.

José Cardenal

Kept Cubs fans entertained during some of the low points of the 1970s. Mike Royko’s favorite Cub because a cricket once prevented Cardenal from playing after keeping him up all night. A close friend of Eddie Vedder.

Eric Karros

Videotaped the rise and fall of the 2003 Cubs on his camcorder and never sold the now-valuable tapes. Once proclaimed: “Every player should be Cub for one year.”

Bill Madlock

Hit .336 over three seasons, including a league-leading .354 in 1975, ninth-best in franchise history and the highest average of any Cubs player since 1946. Traded because ownership was too cheap to pay him, a recurring theme in Cubs history.

Jody Davis

There will never be a chant at Wrigley Field as loud as “Jo-dee, Jo-dee” during the 1984 season.

Tony Campana

Bunting-tournament favorite and self-described fastest man in baseball. The diminutive Cub led the team in stolen bases in 2011 (24) and 2012 (30). Cubs brass never could understand why fans loved “Campy.”

Steve Trachsel

Had the biggest Cubs win in decades in the NL wild-card tiebreaker (Game 163) against San Francisco Giants in 1998, taking a no-hitter in to the seventh inning. Trachsel was not a fan of the Air and Water Show, which he blamed for a loss in 1998.

Mark DeRosa

Admired by many women for his chiseled good looks and engaging personality — and by many men for his grittiness and .857 OPS in 2008.

Kerry Wood

Had a record-tying 20-strikeout game in 1998 that has been celebrated every season since. Called an ill Ron Santo in the postgame locker room in 2003 after clinching the Cubs’ first postseason series win since 1908. And he’s Kerry Wood, for goodness’ sake.

Kyle Schwarber

Cranked a home run on top of the right-field video board in 2015 Division Series clincher against the Cardinals. End of story.

Dave Kingman

Smacked 48 home runs in 1979 and allegedly made a throw from left field in the Astrodome that went through a door near the dugout and landed in a toilet. Like Jay Cutler, Kingman briefly owned Chicago before we really got to know him.

Michael Barrett

Punched White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski in 2006 at White Sox Park for no good reason. None was needed.

Miguel Montero

Grand slam against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the 2016 NLCS was one of the loudest moments in Wrigley Field history. Released in 2017 for calling out Jake Arrieta for not bothering to hold runners.

Pat Hughes

How is he not already in the Cubs Hall of Fame? Seriously.

Steve Trout

His Game 2 win against the San Diego Padres in the 1984 NLCS put the Cubs one win from their first World Series appearance in 39 years. Once injured falling off an exercise bike.

Glenallen Hill

Hit a home run that landed on a rooftop across Waveland Avenue in May 2000 against the Milwaukee Brewers. (See Schwarber).

Walt Moryn

No Hall of Fame is legit without someone nicknamed “Moose.” Also made a running catch to save Don Cardwell’s no-hitter, immortalized in Jack Brickhouse’s shrieking call, “C’mon, Moose.”

Don Zimmer

Played for, coached and managed the Cubs . Led the “Boys of Zimmer” to 1989 NL East title. Endorsed a weight loss plan in “Slimmer Zimmer” ads.

Heinie Zimmerman

Hit .372 in 1912, the second-highest average in franchise history. Also, his name is Heinie.

Bill Faul

Pitcher hypnotized himself before games, talking to his arm. “But his arm did not pay attention, he was released and was last seen talking to his foot,” Royko once wrote. Faul went 7-10 in two seasons from 1965-66.

Tommy La Stella

Set a Cubs record with 24 pinch hits in 2018. Put a bouncy house in Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer’s parking spaces in spring training.

Mitch Williams

Saved 36 games for the 1989 team, then gave up the game-winning RBI to the Giants’ Will Clark in the Game 5 clincher of the NLCS. “Wild Thing” nickname became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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