Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant is the Cubs’ greatest rookie

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Apr 5, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of a statue of Chicago Cubs veteran Billy Williams prior to the Cubs

Billy Williams, 1961

.278 AVG/.338 OBP/.484 SLG

Williams was the first Cub to win Rookie of the Year honors. He smacked 25 home runs, scored 75 times, and drove in 86 in his rookie season of 1961. The home runs and runs batted in were club rookie records until Bryant set new marks this year (26 homers, 99 RBI’s).

1961 was a good start to a great career for Williams. He played in his first of six All-Star games the next year (1962). In 1970 and 1972 he was the runner-up for the National League MVP award. Though he never did win that award, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1987.

He ultimately hit 426 home runs while batting .290 and slugging .492 over his career. To put that in perspective, Bryant slugged .488 this past season.

Today, Williams’ #26 is retired and flies on Wrigley Field’s right field foul pole.