1998 Chicago Cubs season

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1998 Chicago Cubs
NL Wildcard
Sammy Sosa hits 66 Home Runs
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) Tribune Company
General manager(s) Ed Lynch
Manager(s) Jim Riggleman
Local television WGN-TV/Superstation WGN/Chicagoland TV
(Chip Caray, Steve Stone)
Local radio WGN
(Pat Hughes, Ron Santo)
Stats ESPN.com
BB-reference
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The 1998 Chicago Cubs season was the 126th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 123rd in the National League and the 83rd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished second in the National League Central with a record of 90–73.

The season was a significant one for the team for several reasons. Firstly, it saw the Cubs reach the playoffs for the first time since 1989 by way of a Wild Card berth, which they clinched after winning a one-game playoff against the San Francisco Giants. The Cubs, however, would lose the Division Series in a 3-0 sweep against the Atlanta Braves. The season also saw Sammy Sosa, along with Mark McGwire, surpass the existing single-season home run record of 61. Sosa would hold the home run lead at several points over the course of the season, eventually finishing four behind McGwire (66 and 70 respectively). The 1998 season also saw the debut of Kerry Wood, who drew immediate national attention because of a 20-strikeout performance in his fifth career start, a 13-6 record over 26 starts, and more than 12 strikeouts per innings pitched.

Offseason[edit]

Harry Caray[edit]

Harry Caray memorialized in a statue near Wrigley Field in Chicago.

On February 18, 1998, Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray died. Caray had the benefit of being in the booth during the NL East title run in 1984, when being a Cub fan became more popular to Chicagoans. His trademark call of "Holy Cow!" and his singing of "Take me out to the ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch made Caray a fan favorite both locally and, thanks to WGN's superstation status, on a national level as well.

The Cubs still have a live singer, usually a celebrity, during the 7th inning stretch to honor Caray's memory to this day. Caray is also honored with a statue located at the corner of Sheffield and Addison streets, and during the 1998 season, a patch with Caray's caricature and Brickhouse's trademark "Hey Hey" were worn on the players sleeves to honor the passing of both commentators within a span of a few months. Harry's popularity also led to his grandson Chip Caray joining the broadcast team in winter of 1997, shortly before Harry's death.

Notable transactions[edit]

  • November 18, 1997: Brooks Kieschnick was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from the Chicago Cubs as the 64th pick in the 1997 expansion draft.[1]

Regular season[edit]

  • May 6, 1998 – Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood struck out 20 Houston Astros tying the major league record and setting a new National League record. Wood accomplished this feat in only his fifth major league start.
  • September 8, 1998 – Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel gave up Mark McGwire's 62nd Home Run of the season. The home run would break the record set by Roger Maris for most home runs in a season.
  • September 13, 1998 – Sammy Sosa hits home runs number 61 and 62 tying McGwire in the home run race in the Cubs 11-10 win over Milwaukee.
  • September 23, 1998 – In a tie with the New York Mets for the lead in the NL Wild Card standings with three games remaining, the Cubs held a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the 9th inning in a crucial game against the Milwaukee Brewers, but the Brewers had the bases loaded with two out. Closer Rod Beck delivered to Geoff Jenkins, and he hit an easy fly ball to left field and Brant Brown. But Brown dropped the ball and it skipped past him. This error allowed three runs to score, including the winning run, and the Brewers pulled off an 8-7 victory.

In the final game of the season, with the Cubs and Giants tied for the Wild Card lead, a Terry Mulholland throwing error cost the Cubs a victory against the Houston Astros, as San Francisco held an early lead in Colorado, and the teams playoff hopes were in jeopardy. However, a Neifi Pérez walk-off home run gave the Rockies a win and forced a one game playoff at Wrigley Field.

Notable transactions[edit]

Season standings[edit]

NL Central W L GB Pct.
Houston Astros 102 60 .630 --
Chicago Cubs 90 73 .552 12.5
St. Louis Cardinals 83 79 .512 19.0
Cincinnati Reds 77 85 .475 25.0
Milwaukee Brewers 74 88 .457 28.0
Pittsburgh Pirates 69 93 .426 33.0

Roster[edit]

1998 Chicago Cubs
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Sammy Sosa's 66 home runs[edit]

Number Date Pitcher Length
1 April 4, 1998 Marc Valdes 371'
2 November 4, 1998 Anthony Telford 350'
3 04-15-1998 Dennis Cook 430'
4 04-23-1998 Dan Miceli 420'
5 04-24-1998 Ismael Valdez 430'
6 04-27-1998 Joey Hamilton 434'
7 March 5, 1998 Cliff Politte 370'
8 05-16-1998 Scott Sullivan 441'
9 05-22-1998 Greg Maddux 440'
10 05-25-1998 Kevin Millwood 410'
11 05-25-1998 Mike Cather 420'
12 05-27-1998 Darrin Winston 460'
13 05-27-1998 Wayne Gomes 400'
14 January 6, 1998 Ryan Dempster 430'
15 January 6, 1998 Oscar Henriquez 410'
16 March 6, 1998 Liván Hernández 370'
17 May 6, 1998 Jim Parque 370'
18 June 6, 1998 Carlos Castillo 410'
19 July 6, 1998 James Baldwin 380'
20 August 6, 1998 LaTroy Hawkins 340'
21 06-13-1998 Mark Portugal 410'
22 06-15-1998 Cal Eldred 420'
23 06-15-1998 Cal Eldred 410'
24 06-15-1998 Cal Eldred 415'
25 06-17-1998 Bronswell Patrick 430'
26 06-19-1998 Carlton Loewer 380'
27 06-19-1998 Carlton Loewer 380'
28 06-20-1998 Matt Beech 366'
29 06-20-1998 Toby Borland 500'
30 06-21-1998 Tyler Green 380'
31 06-24-1998 Seth Greisinger 390'
32 06-25-1998 Brian Moehler 400'
33 06-30-1998 Alan Embree 364'
34 September 7, 1998 Jeff Juden 432'
35 October 7, 1998 Scott Karl 428'
36 07-17-1998 Kirt Ojala 440'
37 07-22-1998 Miguel Batista 365'
38 07-26-1998 Rick Reed 420'
39 07-27-1998 Willie Blair 347'
40 07-27-1998 Alan Embree 438'
41 07-28-1998 Bob Wolcott 390'
42 07-31-1998 Jamey Wright 375'
43 May 8, 1998 Andy Benes 374'
44 August 8, 1998 Rich Croushore 400'
45 October 8, 1998 Russ Ortiz 361'
46 October 8, 1998 Chris Brock 480'
47 08-16-1998 Sean Bergman 360'
48 08-19-1998 Kent Bottenfield 368'
49 08-21-1998 Orel Hershiser 430'
50 08-23-1998 José Lima 440'
51 08-23-1998 José Lima 380'
52 08-26-1998 Brett Tomko 438'
53 08-28-1998 John Thomson 414'
54 08-30-1998 Darryl Kile 482'
55 08-31-1998 Brett Tomko 364'
56 February 9, 1998 Jason Bere 363'
57 April 9, 1998 Jason Schmidt 374'
58 May 9, 1998 Sean Lawrence 417'
59 November 9, 1998 Bill Pulsipher 464'
60 December 9, 1998 Valerio de los Santos 430'
61 09-13-1998 Bronswell Patrick 480'
62 09-13-1998 Eric Plunk 480'
63 09-16-1998 Brian Boehringer 434'
64 09-23-1998 Rafael Roque 344'
65 09-23-1998 Rod Henderson 410'
66 09-25-1998 José Lima 462'

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
LF Rodríguez, HenryHenry Rodríguez 128 415 104 .251 31 85
RF Sosa, SammySammy Sosa 159 643 198 .308 66 158

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Martínez, SandySandy Martínez 45 87 23 .264 0 7
White, DerrickDerrick White 11 10 1 .100 1 2
Nieves, JoséJosé Nieves 2 1 0 .000 0 0

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Trachsel, SteveSteve Trachsel 33 208 15 8 4.46 149
Wood, KerryKerry Wood 26 166.2 13 6 3.40 233
González, GeremiGeremi González 20 110 7 7 5.32 70

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Adams, TerryTerry Adams 63 7 7 1 4.33 73
Heredia, FélixFélix Heredia 30 3 0 0 4.08 16

Postseason[edit]

Wild Card tie-breaker game[edit]

One-game playoff to break tie in regular season standings

Chicago Cubs 5, San Francisco Giants 3 (Wrigley Field)

Division Series[edit]

NL Division Series (Best of 5)

Atlanta Braves 7, Chicago Cubs 1 (Turner Field)
Atlanta Braves 2, Chicago Cubs 1 (Turner Field)
Atlanta Braves 6, Chicago Cubs 2 (Wrigley Field)

Braves win series 3-0

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Sammy Sosa, National League Most Valuable Player
  • Sammy Sosa, Outfield, Roberto Clemente Award
  • Sammy Sosa, Franchise Record, Most Home Runs in One Season
  • Sammy Sosa, National League Record, Fewest Triples in One Season with 600 or more At-Bats (0)[3]
  • Kerry Wood, National League Rookie of the Year

All-Star Game

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Iowa Cubs Pacific Coast League Terry Kennedy
AA West Tenn Diamond Jaxx Southern League Dave Trembley
A Daytona Cubs Florida State League Steve Roadcap
A Rockford Cubbies Midwest League Rubén Amaro, Sr.
Short-Season A Williamsport Cubs New York–Penn League Bobby Ralston
Rookie AZL Cubs Arizona League Nate Oliver

[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/k/kiescbr01.shtml
  2. ^ Glenallen Hill Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com
  3. ^ Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p.96, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0
  4. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Florida Marlins
1997
NL Wild Card
1998
Succeeded by
New York Mets
1999