Listen: Matt Spiegel's 30 favorite Chicago baseball players across 30 years


(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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