Retire Sammy’s Number

Berselius asked me in the comments to do what I did for Fergie and Maddux, but to include Sammy Sosa in the graph. I did that and added Ryne Sandberg as well. Sammy compares quite well to the most recent Cubs to have their numbers retired:


Really, Sosa’s line is right along Sandberg’s line there, with a higher peak year. Of course, you need to discount for having a boombox and leaving a game he wasn’t playing in early. And unsubstantiated allegations of steroid use. I think once you do so you get a graph that looks a little like this:


It’s not an accident that I reused the same graph.

Seriously, I can understand there’s bad blood between Sammy and the Cubs, but he should – and someday he will – have his number retired. He’s the greatest hitter this team has had in my lifetime.



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5 responses to “Retire Sammy’s Number

  1. Thanks, vlad – I liked the ‘extra’ graph. I was mainly wondering about Sosa v Maddux, but putting Sandberg on that graph was a great idea. I expected Sosa to be better than all of them, but being right in line with their Cubs careers is fine with me too.

    • Bob

      Sosa’s hurt a little bit by playing right field, since there’s a position adjustment included there. I mean, of course that adjustment should be there – a second baseman who could hit like Sammy did would be way more valuable than Sammy was. But that’s why, even though his batting numbers are better than Sandberg’s, they’re in the same ballpark.

  2. PMayo

    Nicely done, vlad. It’s really a shame who this org has treated Sammy. Hopefully, the new owner will set about righting old wrongs.

  3. Sammy had fewer 1 WAR seasons than Ryno. Ryno was willing to suck badly, why wasn’t Sammy?

    • Bob

      To be fair, one of those ~1 WAR seasons was 1994, when he retired after 250 PAs. .8 wins in 250 PAs isn’t too bad a pace.

      Sosa also benefits on my graph because I’m only counting years with the Cubs. His seasons in the AL were all worse than any of his Cubs seasons.

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