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, Nomar Garciaparra (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Nomar Garciaparra

Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra broke through in a big way with the Boston Red Sox in 1997. That year, he won American League Rookie of the Year, batting .306 with 30 home runs and 98 RBIs. He also led the league in at-bats, hits, and triples. The next year, he would finish second in AL MVP voting.

Garciaparra would follow that up by winning back-to-back batting titles in 1999 and 2000. Though he missed most of 2001 due to injury, he came back and had two more stellar years in 2002 and 2003. Yet Garciaparra’s future in Boston was uncertain, and the 2004 season started with an unsettled contract situation as well as another injury.

After getting into just 38 games, the Red Sox shipped Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs at the last minute before the trade deadline in 2004. The Cubs did have Alex Gonzalez at shortstop, yet Garciaparra, though he was limited due to injury concerns, was considered a significant upgrade. He played fine down the stretch, batting .297, yet as we know, the Cubs choked at the end of the season and missed the playoffs while the Red Sox, with Orlando Cabrera at shortstop, won their first World Series title in 86 years.

Garciaparra re-signed with the Cubs before the 2005 season, yet injuries were again a problem and he only got in 62 games. He finished his career with stops in Los Angeles (Dodgers) and Oakland. Had it not been for all the injuries that slowed him down, he could have been a Hall of Famer.