Chicago Cubs: Bobby Dernier still remains a fan favorite to this day
Chicago Cubs: The Daily Double
Dernier was born in 1957 in Kansas City, Missouri and attended high school and college there. He made his debut with the Philadelphia Phillies four years prior to his arrival in Chicago but didn’t put up great numbers in the Constitutional town. It wasn’t until his 1984 arrival in Chicago that Dernier came into his own.
Just looking at the numbers from his last year in the Phillies and then his first year in Chicago and you know that Dernier was absolutely charged to be playing for the Cubs. His batting average went from .231 to .278 and his on-base percentage jumped from .288 to .356. His slugging percentage spiked by over 70 points and, thus, his OPS went from .577 to .718.
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Dernier had 149 hits, 94 runs and 32 RBI in 1984. The Cubs made Dernier the leadoff hitter followed by Hall of Fame second baseman, Ryne Sandberg. Immediately the results were evident as the Cubs were hitting everything coming their way. By the end of April they were in first place and tied with the New York Mets. Carray began calling the leadoff pair featuring Dernier and Sandberg, “The Daily Double” like the popular Illinois lottery game.
Dernier wasn’t only great at bat, either. In 1984 Dernier won a Gold Glove for his work in center field as well. Making great catches by the wall and running for lobbed balls was Dernier’s specialty.
1984 was the year of the, “Sandberg Game” as its known, when the Cubs took on the St. Louis Cardinals for the nationally televised, “Game of the Week”. In that game, Sandberg tied the game twice in the ninth and tenth innings off of Cards pitcher, Bruce Sutter. Dernier’s walk in the tenth was the tying run for the Cubs when Sandberg hit his second dinger for the go-ahead.
The Cubs ended their playoff drought in September against the Pittsburgh Pirates as Cubs pitcher Rick Sutcliffe threw a two-hit complete game. This was the 16th straight win for Sutcliffe as the Cubs won the National League East.