While four deserving stars will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer, no Cubs will be among the crowd.
It was a mixed bag for former North Siders on the ballot this winter.
Neither Kerry Wood nor Carlos Zambrano received enough votes (5 percent) to remain on the ballot. In fact, Zambrano did not receive even one vote from any of the 422 Baseball Writers Association of America voters. Wood had two votes, good for 0.5 percent.
Sammy Sosa, however, received just enough votes to remain on the ballot for 2019, as 33 writers included him among their possible entrants into baseball's most prestigious honor. That represents a slight dip for Sosa, who had 38 votes on 2017's ballot.
In the years he's been on the ballot, Sosa has had to sweat it out each time, narrowly hanging on:
2013 - 71 votes (12.5 percent)
2014 - 41 votes (7.2 percent)
2015 - 36 votes (6.6 percent)
2016 - 31 votes (7 percent)
2017 - 38 votes (8.6 percent)
2018 - 33 votes (7.8 percent)
Sosa has 609 career homers and is one of the greatest sluggers in baseball history. While his numbers are surely Hall-worthy, the issue dragging Sosa down in the voters eyes is his alleged link to PEDs.
Sosa also has not been allowed back at Cubs Convention until he comes clean about his past transgressions.
Meanwhile, Wood and Zambrano falling off the ballot don't come as much of a surprise.
Wood pitched 14 years in the big leagues, but his career was marred by injury, as he made 30 starts in only two seasons and spent the last half of his career as a reliever. He won the Rookie of the Year in 1998 but never finished among the top finalists for the Cy Young. He was an All-Star twice and led baseball in strikeouts in 2003.
Those aren't exactly HOF numbers, but at least he has an awesome sense of humor about it:
Kerry Wood on being on the HOF ballot: "If I get one vote, we’re having a blowout party. I’m going to call the guy who voted for me, whoever voted for me, and apologize. It they voted me they’re probably losing their credential.” From @_phil_thompson feature.— Phil Rogers (@philgrogers) January 11, 2018
Zambrano pitched 12 years in the majors, almost all as a starting pitcher. He won 132 games and pitched 1,959 innings, but only led the league twice in any major category — wins in 2006 (16) and HR/9 in 2003 (0.4).
"Big Z" was a three-time All-Star and finished fifth in NL Cy Young Voting three times (2004, 2006, 2007) and even found his way among MVP finalists (28th) in 2004 when he went 16-8 with a 2.75 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 188 strikeouts in 209.2 innings.
Zambrano also won four Silver Slugger Awards, smashing 24 homers in 693 career at-bats.