Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant is the Cubs’ greatest rookie
Apr 5, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of fans lined up outside Wrigley Field prior to the game between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Ken Hubbs, 1962
.260 AVG/.299 OBP/.346 SLG
Hubbs was just 20 years old when he took home ROY honors. While his offensive numbers were somewhat moderate–he only hit five home runs and knocked in just 49 runs–Hubbs was a whiz with the glove at second base.
In fact, during his rookie campaign he set a then record of 78 consecutive errorless games and 418 consecutive errorless fielding chances.
Hubbs hit a bit of a sophomore slump in his second season, as his average fell to .235. But he remained a consistent fielder–and at just 21 years old, the Cubs thought they had their second baseman of the future.
Sadly, Hubbs’ baseball career and life were cut short by a plane accident just prior to the 1964 season. Hubbs suffered from a fear of flying. As a testament to how hard Hubbs was willing to work to achieve success, he faced his fear and earned his pilots’ license.
He was flying his own plane home from a baseball clinic in Utah when it crashed in poor weather, killing Hubbs.