Lesser-celebrated feats by the much-celebrated 2016 Cubs

Lesser-celebrated feats by the much-celebrated 2016 Cubs

The Cubs' championship season was full of fun facts and historic statistical notes. 

But today, let's go back and recap some of the things you may not have known or perhaps forgot about, with assistance from the incomparable Baseball-Reference.com Play Index (subscribe now!). I selected twelve players and found one fact for each. 

So without further ado…

Miguel Montero

  • The only Cubs player with a regular season (9/6/2015) AND postseason (10/15/2016) grand slam at Wrigley Field (Will Clark has one of each as an opponent).

Anthony Rizzo

  • On Aug. 1, Rizzo had a single, double, triple, walk and a HBP. He’s the only Cubs player (1913-present) to do that in a game.

Addison Russell

  • Russell led the Majors with 9 bases loaded hits in 2016; the most by a Cubs player in a season since Derrek Lee (9) in 2009.

Dexter Fowler

  • On May 31, the Cubs were shut out 5-0 by Dodgers; held to one hit and one walk. The hit and walk were both by Dexter Fowler. The last time the Cubs were held to a lone hit and walk – both by the same player – was July 6, 1940 (Stan Hack).

Javier Baez

  • On June 28, Baez hit the latest grand slam (inning-wise) in Cubs history – in the 15th inning at Cincinnati. The previous “record” was held by Cliff Johnson (14th inning in 1980).

Willson Contreras

  • Both his first AND second career home runs were in games he didn’t start. The last Cubs player to make that claim was Bobby Scales in 2009.

Jason Heyward

  • On Sept. 4, Heyward collected 3 RBI singles accounting for all three Cubs runs in a 3-2 walk-off win vs Giants. The last Cub to do exactly that (3 RBI singles accounting for all 3 runs in a Cubs win) was Randy Hundley (also including a walk-off) July 26, 1969.

Kyle Schwarber

  • Schwarber is the first player ever to have no hits during the regular season but at least three during that season’s World Series (he had 7 hits).

Jake Arrieta

  • Over the 2015-16 seasons, Arrieta has posted a .201 BA and .562 OPS at the plate. He has held opponents to a .189 BA and .543 OPS over that span.

Kris Bryant

  • In 2016, Bryant had three games with at least 4 Runs, 4 Hits and 5 RBI. There were three such games in Cubs history from 1960-2015. Hack Wilson was the last Cub with three such games in a season (1930).

David Ross

  • Ross hit a home run in the World Series in the final game of his career. (Assuming Javier Baez, Dexter Fowler & Rajai Davis all play again) Ross finishes his career as the third player to do this, joining Bobby Kielty (2007) and Shawon Dunston (2002).

Ben Zobrist

  • On May 6, Zobrist hit 2 home runs off Max Scherzer, who went on to win the 2016 NL Cy Young Award. The last Cubs player to hit 2 HR in a game off that season’s eventual  Cy Young winner was Ernie Banks in 1963 (off Sandy Koufax).

Catch a glimpse inside 'The Cousin Eddie,' Joe Maddon's tricked-out RV

Catch a glimpse inside 'The Cousin Eddie,' Joe Maddon's tricked-out RV

We finally have a full glimpse inside the "Cousin Eddie."

Joe Maddon's luxury RV has been name-dropped ever since before the celebrity manager became embedded forever in Cubs lore.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer tell the story about sitting with Maddon down in Pensacola, Fla., outside the "Cousin Eddie" as the trio discussed Maddon coming to manage the Cubs.

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Maddon has since mentioned the RV several times as his offseason oasis.

Nearly two-and-a-half years later, we can now catch a glimpse inside the "Cousin Eddie" as Maddon was recently profiled on "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel:"

The pimped-out RV has four TVs, a fireplace, heated floors, a sweet kitchen with a regular-sized fridge and on and on.

His RV is better than most apartments in Chicago.

Essentially, it's good to be Joe Maddon.

The Maddon profile airs Tuesday night on HBO at 9 p.m. CT.

Check out a full trailer:

Why Sammy Sosa compared himself to Jesus Christ in candid interview

Why Sammy Sosa compared himself to Jesus Christ in candid interview

For more than a decade, Cubs fans probably thought Sammy Sosa could walk on water.

They weren't alone in that respect.

In a recent tell-all interview with Chuck Wasserstrom, Sosa compared himself to Jesus Christ being accused of being a witch when the Cubs icon was asked about being accused of PEDs.

"Chuck, it’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem," Sosa says. "Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) – and he was our savior. So if they talk (poop) about Jesus Christ, what about me?"

Talk about a God complex.

It's been 10 years since Sosa last suited up in the big leagues — and 13 years since his Cubs career ended — but the slugger is still just as polarizing as ever in the candid interview. Wasserstrom was let go by Theo Epstein and the Cubs in 2012 after spending 24 years in the organization in the media relations and baseball information departments.

[RELATED - Between Cubs' victory lap and Hall of Fame vote, Sammy Sosa barely staying in the picture]

Sosa talks a lot about his pride and it's very clear from his answers about coming back to Chicago and being a part of the current Cubs product that his pride is a major factor steering his ship even still.

He even drops a line in there:

"When nobody knew who Chicago was, I put Chicago on the map."

I'm not sure exactly what he means by that, to be honest. I would venture almost everybody in the world knew what Chicago was before 1992. It is the third biggest city in America.

If he means the Cubs, well, the Cubs were Lovable Losers and a draw for so many people well before Sosa got there. 

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Of course, Sosa did do some absolutely incredible things for the Cubs and the entire game of baseball. Many believe he and Mark McGwire helped put baseball on the map again in a resurgent 1998 season that helped make the strike of 1994/95 an afterthought. Count me among that group, as well.

He deserves all the credit in the world. People would show up to Wrigley just to see Sosa run out to the right field bleachers and camera bulbs flashed by the thousands every single time he came up to the plate for the better part of a decade. Waveland was sometimes so packed with ballhawks that there wouldn't be room to walk.

I also agree wholeheartedly with Sosa when he says, "you're never going to see the show Mark [McGwire] and I put on [again]." He's right. That was an event that transfixed the nation and will absolutely be something I tell my kids and grandkids and — hopefully — my greatgrandkids about.

Sosa continued to push the onus of any possible reunion with the Cubs on the orgainzation, saying he would absolutely say "yes" if they ever extended an invite to join Wrigley Field.

But he wants to do it "in style."

"If one day they want to do something, I want to do it in style. If it’s going to happen, it’s got to be the right way. Don’t worry, one day they’re going to do it. I’m not in a rush.”

Sosa also said he would rather have all the money — he earned more than $124 million in his career — than be in the Hall of Fame.

Go read the entire interview with Wasserstrom. It's as transparent as you'll see Sosa, especially nowadays.