Chicago Cubs: One of the best (and most overlooked) offensive seasons ever
2005 wasn’t great for people in Chicago that wore blue and red (not necessarily for those who wore black and white). The Cubs were sub-.500 (79-83) for the first time since 2002, a season that had high expectations. Really, the only notable thing from this campaign was Derrek Lee’s monster season.
He slashed .335 /.418 /.662 – for a 1.080 OPS to go along with 46 homers, 50 doubles, 99 total extra-base hits and 107 RBI in 158 games. He also won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards for National League first basemen. And yet…he was third in MVP voting (thanks a lot, Pujols).
Every part of that slash line and extra-base hits set new career-highs at the age of 29. It felt like he was coming into his prime on the North Side. In fact, he was coming off his previous career-high home run season (32) the year prior.
Probably the game that stands out most of his in 2005 was against the Dodgers on June 1, in his 5-for-5 performance. This game is included in that old DVD box set of classic Cubs games that came out in the mid-2000s. It is too bad that the team did not go anywhere this season, or else this performance by Lee may be remembered by more than a handful of fans.