Where does Patrick Wisdom rank all-time among Chicago Cubs rookies?

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Chicago Cubs / Bill Madlock
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Chicago Cubs Greatest Rookie Seasons of All-Time – #9: Bill Madlock (1974)

Bill Madlock can probably relate to the position that Patrick Wisdom and some of the other current Cubs players are in. Not only did he replace a Cubs legend at third base in Ron Santo, but he also came over to the Cubs before the 1974 season from the Texas Rangers in the Ferguson Jenkins trade. Taking over for a legend and fan favorite isn’t easy, but Madlock made a great first impression for fans on the north side.

Madlock had a great first stint in the majors with the Rangers in 1973, batting .351 in 21 games before the trade. Then, in 1974 in Chicago, he put together a great rookie campaign in which he finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting. He missed about a month of action during the first half, yet he finished the season batting .313 with nine home runs and 54 RBI. He only struck out 39 times all year.

Madlock went on to have a great career. He won back-to-back batting titles with the Cubs in 1975 (.354) and 1976 (.339). Before the 1977 season, the Cubs traded him to the San Francisco Giants – foreshadowing another star third baseman being traded to the Giants 44 years later. (You’ll see him later on this list.)

Madlock finished his career with over 2,000 hits and a .305 batting average. He had nine seasons in which he batted over .300 and would win two more batting titles, with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1981 and in 1983.