Chicago Cubs: The master of the split-finger is beloved in Chicago and St. Louis
Hall of Fame reliever Bruce Sutter began his career as a Cub in 1976. Over the next five years he would establish himself as one of the best relievers in baseball, using his masterful splitter. The ball would be going straight for the strikezone and then at the very last second drop like a rock. As a Cub he pitched to a 2.39 ERA, 2.32 FIP, 1.1 WHIP and recorded 133 saves. He was also a four-time All-Star.
In December, 1980 Sutter was dealt to the Cardinals in a trade that would include Leon Durham coming to Chicago. While Durham was a very solid player for the North Siders, it was hard for Cubs fans to watch Sutter dominate in St. Louis for the next for years, including winning the 1982 World Series over the Milwaukee Brewers. Sutter pitched to a 2.72 ERA in 249 games as a Cardinal and recorded 127 saves.
While he pitched at Wrigley as a Cardinal in numerous occasions, probably his most notable outing at Wrigley in red was on June 23, 1984. Ryne Sandberg put his name on the map that day when he hit two game-tying home runs off the former Cub reliever in a wild 12-11 win in what is famously known as the “Sandberg Game” today.
Sutter spent nearly an equal time between the Cubs and Cardinals. His 1982 World Series win probably helped him gain more recognition as a Cardinal, but he overall pitched his best with the Cubs and he mastered his craft in Chicago.
Other notable Cub favorites would suit up in Cardinals red, including 2016 World Series champion Dexter Fowler. However, he ended up spending more time in St. Louis than he did in Chicago. There are also players like Ryan Theriot, who for a while was liked as a Cub, but lost a lot of North Side Love when he said he was on the “right side” of the rivalry when he joined St. Louis.