Chicago Cubs: Ben Zobrist has no plans on playing in 2020

Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs World Series hero Ben Zobrist has no plans on playing this upcoming season, at least according to Jon Heyman.

The Chicago Cubs Ben Zobrist has not officially announced his retirement, but if this is it, he should be lauded for ushering in a new era of players. Zobrist is the first memorable player of a generation who could play everywhere on the diamond.

Throughout his career, Zobrist primarily played second base, shortstop, and the corner outfield spots, but he did also see time at first, third, and sometimes in center field in his early years. He pitched the final game of the season for the Cubs to have officially played every position on the diamond for his career besides catcher.

Looking around baseball today, pretty much every player can play multiple positions. The Cubs have a multitude of these guys. Kris Bryant can play third, first, and the outfield. Ian Happ is an outfielder and second baseman. David Bote can play every infield spot, and Nico Hoerner can play as well.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have built their entire team around guys who can play multiple positions. Cody Bellinger is a starting outfielder while filling in at first periodically. Max Muncy has played second, third, and first, and been an occasional outfielder. Austin Barnes has played catcher and second base, etc.

Any player in the Majors today can play multiple spots if they wanted to, and Zobrist was the best at doing just that.

For the Cubs, Zobrist was instrumental at bringing the World Series trophy back to Chicago for the first time in over 100 years. Winning the World Series MVP in 2016 and getting the game-winning hit as the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in seven games. Zobrist ended another World Series drought with the Kansas City Royals the year before.

The rest of Zobrist’s Chicago Cubs’ career was a bit up and down, in 2017 he posted just a .232/.318/.375 slash and got back to form in 2018 before missing most of 2019 to deal with personal issues.

Zobrist should be seen as one of the Cubs’ all-time greats based on that one World Series hit alone. Years of choking and failing to finish the job in the playoffs were erased. Zobrist was a mentor for all the young players the Cubs had, and he was exactly what the Cubs needed at the time, a guy who got on base a lot and rarely struck out.

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Zobrist’s legacy will be that of the guy who ended the longest championship drought in American sports history, and he should get a statue outside Wrigley.