Chicago Cubs: Ten players you may have forgotten were once on the team

Fred McGriff, Chicago Cubs DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Allsport
Fred McGriff, Chicago Cubs DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Allsport /
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Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs, Luis Gonzalez (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Luis Gonzalez

Outfielder Luis Gonzalez had an excellent career, collecting 2,591 hits, 354 home runs, a whopping 596 doubles, and 1,439 RBIs. His best years were with the Arizona Diamondbacks, particularly 2001, with their World Series Championship team, when he hit 57 home runs while batting .325. Overall, from 1999 to 2003, he had a five-year stretch in which he hit at least 26 home runs and drove in over 100 each year while batting over .300 in four of those five years.

Before all that, many forget that Gonzalez spent some time with the Chicago Cubs. There was no indication during the first several years of Gonzalez’s career that he would become such a star. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the fourth round of the 1988 amateur draft and made his debut with the Astros in 1990. He did bat .300 in 1993 but otherwise had unspectacular several years in Houston.

On June 28, 1995, the Cubs acquired Gonzalez, along with catcher Scott Servais, from Houston for catcher Rick Wilkins. In 77 games with the Cubs, Gonzalez batted .290 with seven home runs and 34 RBIs. Gonzalez then returned to the Cubs in 1996 and batted .271 with 15 home runs and 79 RBIs.

Gonzalez left as a free agent and returned to the Astros for the 1997 season, then played with the Tigers in 1998, setting a career-high with 23 home runs. Yet again, no one could have predicted that Gonzalez would bust out in 1999, at age 31, the way that he did when the Tigers traded him to the Diamondbacks for Karim Garcia.