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

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
5 of 10
Jerome Walton, Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs Greatest Rookie Seasons of All-Time – #6: Jerome Walton (1989)

Jerome Walton was the other half of the Cubs’ solid rookie one-two outfield punch during their division-winning season of 1989, to go along with the aforementioned Dwight Smith. Walton was drafted by the Cubs in the second round of the 1986 draft and started the season with the Cubs in 1989.

On Opening Day in 1989 against the Philadelphia Phillies, Walton collected two hits and started the season with a seven-game hitting streak. Walton would slump a little bit in the first half and also missed a month between May 10 and June 11, but in his first two games back against the St. Louis Cardinals he collected six hits, raising his batting average from .244 to .284.

Walton would have a tremendous second half of 1989, which included a 30-game hitting streak from July 21 through August 20 during which he batted .338. His final line on the season would include a .293 batting average with five home runs, 46 RBI, 24 stolen bases, and 64 runs scored. He was an overwhelming winner of the NL Rookie of the Year award and even finished 13th in NL MVP voting.

Walton’s career was also similar to that of Smith in that he wouldn’t accomplish a lot more after that magical 1989 season. He did hang around the major leagues until 1998 and was a member of the 1995 Cincinnati Reds’ playoff team, coming off the bench and batting .290 with eight home runs. Regardless of all that, Cubs fans will always remember his great 1989 performance fondly.