The Chicago Cubs, March Madness and the Final Four

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Ryne Sandberg, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Ryne Sandberg, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Mesa Region Championship

Going head to head in the Mesa Regional Final are the best two Cubs players most fans have ever seen play (excuses to Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, who probably could lay claim to that title but haven’t finished their careers yet). Sandberg and Sosa, while their demeanor and on-field play were a tad different, were both players who could do it all. Speed? Check. Power? Check. Hitting? Check. MVP? Check.

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In fact, the one most noticeable difference between the two is the crown jewel at the end of their careers. Sandberg was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005, while Sosa has yet to get a call from Cooperstown despite 10 straight seasons of 35 or more home runs. Yeah, it might be a little something to do with a steroid scandal or something like that.

Sosa ended his career with a slash line of .273/.344/.534, 609 home runs, 1667 RBI, and is the only player to have ever hit 60+ home runs in three different seasons. Alas, Sandberg squeaks out the victory here and edges Sosa on the tails of his nine Gold Gloves, Hall of Fame induction, and the fact that he’s now come back to the loving arms of the organization- something many have clamored for with Sosa (but has yet to come to fruition).

“Ryno” ended his career with a .285/.344/.452 slash line, 282 home runs, 1061 RBI, and 344 stolen bases. Oh, and don’t forget the fact that he inspired the naming of a generation of Chicago boys whose teachers couldn’t pronounce their name correctly. Those who weren’t named Walter or Michael, at least.