While it may not feel like baseball season in the Windy City yet, Opening Day is rapidly approaching for the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs, as we are just three short days away from the first game of their title defense.
With just three days until the regular season begins, we figured it would be fun to start off a countdown of sorts to help fans get pumped up for the coming year.
3 in Cubs History
There’s been a surprising lack of players who have worn this number over the years, but a couple of notable Cubs have called the number “3” theirs despite that limited number. Kiki Cuyler was the very first Cubs player to wear the jersey, and he wore it longer than any other player has for the team, donning it for four seasons.
Several coaches have also worn it over the years, including Jose Martinez and Alan Trammell, but most modern Cubs fans will associate the number with one very special player: Grandpa Rossy himself, as David Ross wore it during his two seasons with the Cubs in 2015 and 2016.
In terms of the history of the number, there is one very obvious fact that all Cubs fans are surely familiar with: the team has won three World Series championships during their existence, winning it all in 1907, 1908, and of course last season as the team broke a 108-year championship drought.
Notable “3’s” for the 2016 Cubs
3 – On a team loaded with hitters with some serious pop, fans may be surprised to know that only three players hit 20 or more home runs for the Cubs last season: Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Addison Russell.
3 – Two players had three RBI for the Cubs during the 2016 NLDS, and while just about any fan could guess the identity of one of the players (Bryant), you may be surprised to learn that the other one was Jake Arrieta, who slugged a three run home run in Game 3 of the series.
3 – The number of players who hit home runs for the Cubs in Game 7 of the World Series. Dexter Fowler led off the game with a home run, and then he was backed up by long balls from Javier Baez and, of course, Ross, who cracked a home run in his final career game.
3 – Only one Cubs pitcher had three wins in the 2016 postseason, and that was Jon Lester. The hurler started five games and appeared in six total, posting a 2.02 ERA and striking out 30 batters in 35 innings of work. For good measure, he gave up three home runs in the playoffs as well.
3 – The number of postseason awards the Cubs took home last season. Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward both won Gold Glove Awards, and Bryant was named the National League MVP. Bryant and Russell did miss out on Gold Gloves of their own, and Lester and Kyle Hendricks lost out to Max Scherzer for the NL Cy Young Award.
Did You Know?
Wrigley Field has been the home of the Cubs for over 100 years, but it wasn’t always named Wrigley Field. Astute Cubs fans know that the ballpark was originally named Weeghman Park when it opened in 1914, and Charles Weeghman originally intended the park to be used by the Federal League’s Chicago Whales.
In 1916, Weeghman took over ownership of the Cubs and moved them into the ballpark, but it wasn’t until 1920 when the team was sold to the Wrigley family that it was renamed again. Originally the Wrigley clan called the ballpark Cubs Park, and that moniker stuck until 1926 when it was given the named “Wrigley Field.”