(670 The Score) Leading up to the start of the 2023 MLB season, 670 The Score afternoon host Matt Spiegel is sharing his 30 favorite ballplayers in Chicago across the past 30 years, the time frame in which he’s been covering baseball in this city.
If you’re wondering what the criteria is, well, read below how Spiegel explained it in his own words, because a lot goes into being one of his favorite players.
A baseball lifer and romantic to the core, it struck me that I enter 2023 having now seen and/or covered 30 baseball seasons in Chicago. It’s a blessing to inhabit the sport in our vibrant two-team town.
That includes many years of being a vessel for fan frustration, watching legendary playoff failures, dissecting multiple teardowns and rebuilds, bemoaning controversial trades and firings and enabling visceral tribal arguments from the north and the south.
It also, however, includes press box attendance for White Sox magic of 2005, being embedded throughout the Cubs’ near-perfect ascent in 2016 and most enjoyably sitting through hundreds of sunny days and peaceful nights amid two wonderfully different gameday experiences.
It also let me take in an incredible number of memorable, excellent, enjoyable ballplayers. With that in mind, I decided to rank my 30 favorites. The players under consideration had to have played a minimum of three full seasons in town between the years of 1993 and 2022. The focus of this exercise for me was only those seasons and any lasting legacy from them.
I invented my own proprietary, deeply personal (and available to be ridiculed) scouting system for the project. All ballplayers were rated on a scale of 1-10 for five different “tools.”
Offense (or hitting/fielding for pitchers)
Defense (or pitching for pitchers)
Vibes (Did fans look forward to seeing you and leave liking you?)
Teammateship (Did you make the group better? Were you fun? Energy providers, not vampires, rank higher.)
Memorable moments (postseason feats, milestone games, indelible games, etc.)
So, room for debate? Sure. But you could have your own list. This is mine.
Take a listen to each segment below as Spiegel takes a stroll down memory lane every day.
No. 30: Alfonso Soriano
No. 29: Ray Durham
No. 28: Carlos Lee
No. 27: Ryne Sandberg
No. 26: Magglio Ordonez
No. 25: Kyle Schwarber
No. 24: Carlos Zambrano
No. 23: Jack McDowell
No. 22: Ryan Dempster
No. 21: Tim Anderson
No. 20: Alexei Ramirez
No. 19: Jermaine Dye
No. 18: Aramis Ramirez
No. 17: Robin Ventura
No. 16: Lucas Giolito
No. 15: Mark Grace
No. 14: Jake Arrieta
No. 13: Sammy Sosa
No. 12: Javy Baez
No. 11: Kyle Hendricks
No. 10: Chris Sale
No. 9: Kerry Wood
No. 8: Derrek Lee
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