The Hall of Fame is undoubtedly the greatest accomplishment in sports. The Cubs currently have 14 former players in Cooperstown, most notably Cubs legends Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, and Ryne Sandberg. But what Cubs players may find themselves in Cooperstown?
2018 saw two former fan favorites fall off the ballot, former pitchers Carlos Zambrano and Kerry Wood. Zambrano would capture zero votes during his lone stint on the ballot and Wood would only receive two votes in his first and only attempt, ruling both pitchers out of the running to be the 15th Cub in Cooperstown.
In 2019 former Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano saw his first and only appearance, receiving six votes, which would ultimately end his hopes of joining the greats in Cooperstown.
Currently there is one player maintaining his spot on the ballot, controversially. Sammy Sosa. Sosa saw his voting percentage jump from 8.5% in 2019 to 13.9% in 2020. He still has two years left on the ballot to make the long jump to 75%. Although Sosa had some run-ins with the integrity of the game, getting caught with a corked bat in 2003. Also testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs the same year. He has a long way to go in two years to make it to 75% but there is a chance.
2021 will see former third baseman Aramis Ramirez make his debut on the ballot. Although Ramirez may not have the best chance to make Cooperstown, considering Soriano and Wood did not make it past their first years. There is hope, but Sosa seems more likely at this point.
The first player to come to mind with a legitimate chance at Cooperstown is former National League MVP and Rookie of the Year third baseman Kris Bryant. Bryant is still early in his career and has struggled as of late. But he hopefully has a long career ahead of him to bounce back. In just five seasons Bryant has accumulated 138 home runs, 403 runs batted in, three all-star game appearances, one MVP, and one World Series Championship. If he can work his way out of his two-year slump, the odds will be in his favor.
There is no doubt Anthony Rizzo will find his name on the ballot one day. But can he do enough on the field to get himself into Cooperstown? Rizzo is a nine-year veteran, who has won two gold gloves, made three all-star appearances, and finished top five in MVP voting twice. Although Rizzo’s accomplishments are not outstanding, he played a huge role with the Cubs in 2016 their way to that elusive 2016 World Series championship. Unfortunately, Rizzo seems to be a long shot to make it to Cooperstown.
Javier Baez is another current Cubs player that may get a look. In six seasons Baez has 626 hits, 110 home runs, and 354 runs batted in. Baez has made two all-star appearances, won one silver slugger, and finished second in MVP one to this point in his young career. Baez is still and starting to show signs of being a star player, but also has a long way to go to be a hall of fame player.
Things are not looking bright for former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa; Cubs fans should not hold their breath on seeing Sosa in Cooperstown. The best chance for the next player to go to Cooperstown with a Cubs cap on is Kris Bryant, but with his future in Chicago murky he may not go in as a Cub if he makes. Fans will have to see how Rizzo and Baez’s careers play out respectively, but Rizzo for sure would go in with a Cubs cap. Time will tell what Cubs player finds their way to Cooperstown.
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