I enjoy doing these "Random Retro Baseball Player" pieces over at Sharapova's Thigh, so I figured, why not do the same thing but focus on Cubs over here?
We'll include their best season as a Cub rather than their best season overall, and do the fun facts and whatnot with mainly a Cubs focus.
Obviously it's much less players to choose from, so don't expect to see too much in the Awards/Leaderboard categories from a lot of these guys. I just think it's fun to look back at some obscure players that might mean a little more to a Cubs fan than they would've for the average fan. Maybe it will bring back some nice memories of what they did as a Cub. Maybe you had some of their baseball cards. Maybe you're thrilled you don't have to see them in a Cubs uniform again.
Anyway, the first player we're going to look at in this series is Luis Salazar...
Years Played: 1980-1992.
Teams Played For: San Diego Padres(80-84, 87, 89), Chicago White Sox(85-86), Detroit Tigers(88), Chicago Cubs(89-92).
Positions: Third Base(863 Games), Left Field(161 Games), Shortstop(121 Games), Centerfield(114 Games), Right Field(36 Games), First Base(25 Games), Second Base(5 Games), Pitcher(2 Games).
Career Line: .261 AVG, 438 R, 1070 H, 94 HR, 455 RBI, 117 SB, .293 OBP, .381 SLG, .673 OPS.
Best Cubs Season:
1991- .258 AVG, 34 R, 86 H, 14 HR, 38 RBI, 0 SB, 15 BB, 45 K, .292 OBP, .432 SLG, .725 OPS.
Awards/Leaderboard: 8th in the NL in hits in 1981 with 121.
Fun Facts: I have 1991 as the Venezuelan's best Cubs season, because he only had 84 plate appearances in 1989. However, he was more effective in '89, and helped the Cubs reach the playoffs.
The Cubs acquired him from the San Diego Padres on August 31st, in serious need of somebody to upgrade their third base position in the final weeks of the season. Luis had a great September, batting .326 with 12 RBI, and immediately became popular with Cubs fans. In the NLCS, he batted .368(7-19) with a home run and 2 RBI.
Although he rarely had much success at the plate, Luis found himself in the majors for so many years thanks in large part to his ability to play all over the field. He even pitched. The only position he didn't play was catcher.
He was a very good pinch-hitter in his career though, batting .308, with 4 home runs and 17 RBI.
He's still involved with baseball now, as he's the hitting coach for the popular minor league team, the Chattanooga Lookouts. He's served as the hitting coach for four other teams, including the at the major league level with the Milwaukee Brewers.
My Take: I started watching the Cubs on a lot in 1989, so right when Luis joined the team. Although I'll most remember guys like Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace, Shawon Dunston, and Greg Maddux from those days, Luis Salazar always comes to mind.
Standing at just 5'9", along with having an outstanding mustache made Luis easy to remember if his efforts on the field weren't enough to.
He served a bit as a Mark DeRosa type for the Cubs, playing all over the place. Not much of an offensive game as you can see with the stats, but he had some decent pop and hit 30 homers in his few years on the team.
I'll most remember Harry Caray pronouncing his name, and incorrectly many times.
Link To Luis Salazar's Baseball-Reference Page
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