Chicago Cubs March Madness Bracket- Elite Eight
Chicago Cubs: Mesa Regional Final Matchup
- 1 seed Ryne Sandberg vs. 4 seed Mark Grace
- 2 seed Sammy Sosa vs. 3 seed Rick Reuschel
Well, look what we have here. This Mesa Regional Final matchup seems fated by the Baseball Gods, as the matchup of the two biggest Cub names of the last 40 years square off in the Mesa final. Top seed Sandberg took out his former teammate in Grace, even though there were several years towards the end of Ryno’s career where Grace was probably close to his equal on the field.
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In the end, however, Sandberg had the better career overall and is now enshrined in Cooperstown. He probably also holds the title of the best overall player many modern Cubs fans have ever seen play. High praise considering some of the guys on the squad today.
Sosa took out Reuschel and now awaits Sandberg as the most prolific offensive player in modern Cub history. Of course, the Steroid Era of baseball taints and clouds much of his accomplishments, as well as the unceremonious way he finished out his Cub career. If not for those two blemishes, Sosa’s number 21 would be flying at Wrigley along with Sandberg’s. Sosa had 10 straight seasons of at least 35 home runs, hit 60 or more home runs three times, and single-handedly (well, maybe with a little help from Mark McGwire) resurrected the game of baseball in the Summer of ’98 when he won NL MVP.
Will No. 2 seed Sosa be able to take out the number No.1 seed in Sandberg? Stay tuned.