Chicago Cubs: Patrick Wisdom makes history with mammoth home run

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

It is not often rookies who are pushing 30 years old set team records, but Chicago Cubs infielder Patrick Wisdom did just that with his 27th home run of the season, eclipsing the previous mark set by Kris Bryant back in 2015.

Unlike Bryant, who was expected to shatter records with an insane amount of hype surrounding his arrival, Wisdom’s breakout was completely out of the blue. We’re talking about a guy who was drafted back in 2012 and had played in a grand total of 43 MLB games prior to 2021.

Wisdom was barely on anyone’s radar going into 2021. He was “that guy” fans would see in spring training games and was, at most, a possible “Four-A” depth player. While he was a former first-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, he just hadn’t put it all together at the big league level with either the Cardinals or Texas Rangers organizations. Wisdom always displayed power in the minors, though, smacking 134 home runs in 866 games, showcasing a slash line of .244/.319/.440 – decent but not spectacular.

But none of that matters now, for he is now in the Cubs record books. In just 101 games Wisdom has now hit more home runs in a season than Bryant did in 2015 and Billy Williams in 1961. Williams hit 25 that year, setting a record that stood for 54 years.

Both Bryant and Williams played in at least 146 games when they broke the team’s rookie home run records. It’s pretty impressive considering Wisdom passed both a Hall of Famer and MVP while appearing in more than 40 fewer games than either did in their historic rookie seasons.

It is worth noting that both Williams and Bryant won Rookie of the Year in their respective full rookie campaigns. Wisdom might not win the honors, but he will certainly be in consideration for it. He leads National League rookies in home runs and is third among rookies in homers in all of baseball. Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds as of Sunday night is seven home runs behind Wisdom in terms of Senior Circuit rookies.

Chicago Cubs: Patrick Wisdom’s historic blast in Milwaukee

Wisdom’s record-breaking home run came in the eighth inning with two on and nobody out. Facing Jandel Gustave, Wisdom hit a 2-1 fastball at 98 MPH off the camera stage under the jumbotron in center field at American Family Field. It went 430 feet with an exit velocity of 109.7 MPH. This gave the Cubs a 6-2 lead in a game they went on to eventually win by a 6-4 final.

Like many of Wisdom’s home runs this year, it was a no-doubter off the bat. Even with the Cubs being in bad shape, there were still plenty of fans in Milwaukee wearing blue who were cheering loudly as he rounded the bases. Not quite as loud as when Bryant hit his first career MLB home run in the same park six years ago, but it was still an awesome moment. Wisdom worked so hard and battled through a lot in the minors to get where he is today and it is a really cool story.

No matter what direction the career of Wisdom ends up taking, he will always have this awesome honor to hold onto. It is always fun when a team record is held by a guy who did it completely unexpectedly.

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When Bryant broke the record in 2015, it was breaking that of a Hall of Famer and it was no surprise that one of the most-hyped players in the game wound up knocking off an all-time great. Wisdom was basically a career minor leaguer coming into 2021. How long will his record stand? Time will tell. Congrats, Mr. Wisdom.