The Cubs' Hall of Fame foursome is now complete


The Cubs' Hall of Fame foursome is now complete

Golf is the perfect sport for those who can no longer strap on a pair of metal spikes and sprint out between the chalked lines on a baseball diamond.

In a lot of ways, golf is like the light version of baseball. You still have to put together a lot of moving parts and get your mechanics just right to hit a little white ball. The game is still played outside, under the sun, and wind can wreak havoc on a typical outing.

And in golf, people typically get together in groups of four to go shoot a round.

With Ron Santo's induction into the Hall of Fame Sunday, the Cubs' legendary foursome is now complete, only they won't ever be able to play a round of golf together as Hall of Famers.

Santo joined fellow teammates Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Ernie Banks in the elite class of baseball players, but it came roughly a year-and-a-half after his death.

"I think it's outstanding," Jenkins said. "It's kind of bittersweet. It's 10 years too late. Seeing Ron Santo go in and have a fellow teammate and now four of us off that same ballclub that played together for such a length of time to get voted in, I think that's outstanding."

The foursome were a dominant group in the 1960s and early 1970s. They combined for 29 All-Star game nominations and nine Top-5 finishes in the NL MVP race, including two wins from Banks. The three sluggers combined for almost 1,300 home runs.

But despite their prowess on the diamond, the Cubs never even made it to the World Series, a fact that was brought up often by those who argued that Santo should not be in the Hall of Fame.

"It's about time he got in the HOF," said Glenn Beckert, Santo's longtime roommate on the Cubs during the '60s. "His credentials should have had them in there while he was living. Due to the fact that we already had three guys in the Hall of Fame -- Fergie, Billy and Ernie -- and we never played in a World Series as a team.

"You can't have four guys, I guess, and that was the theory in the voting. You hate to say it's not fair and it wasn't fair, but now the seniors have taken over the voting for old-time players. It's satisfaction now for his family and all his grandchildren."

It was also satisfaction for guys like Beckert and Jenkins, who returned to Cooperstown to see old friends and former enemies on the diamond.

"When you come back for a fellow teammate, that's what it was all about," Jenkins said. "We played together, we ate together. We went through the wars together. You knew each other. That's the fun part of it, to know that your teammate was that good an athlete to make the Hall of Fame."

It's been almost 40 years since Santo stopped playing but at long last, Jenkins can finally say the third baseman on those legendary Cubs teams is a Hall of Famer.

On a scale of 1-10, Tarik Cohen says his dangerous level is 12

USA Today

On a scale of 1-10, Tarik Cohen says his dangerous level is 12

Don't be fooled by Tarik Cohen's height. He has towering confidence and he's setting up to have a big role in coach Matt Nagy's offense in 2018.

“On a scale of 1-10, the dangerous level is probably 12,” Cohen said Thursday at Halas Hall about the impact he can have in the Bears' new system. “Because in backyard football, it’s really anything goes, and it’s really whoever gets tired first, that’s who’s going to lose. I’m running around pretty good out here, so I feel like I’m doing a good job.”

Cohen proved last season he can thrive in space. He made an impact as a runner, receiver and return man and will have a chance at an even bigger workload this fall, assuming he can handle it.

With Jordan Howard established as the starting running back, Cohen knows his touches will come in a variety of ways.

“It might not necessarily be rushes,” he said. “But it’s going to be all over the field, and that’s what I like to do. Any way I can get the ball or make a play for my team, that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.”

Cohen averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry as a rookie and led all NFL running backs in the percentage of carries that went for at least 15 yards. He's a big play waiting to happen.

Howard can't get too comfortable in his first-team role. He's a few bad series from Cohen unseating him as the starter and becoming the most valuable weapon in Nagy's offense. The first-year coach is already having trouble hiding his excitement over Cohen, an emotion that will only grow once training camp gets underway.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa is heating up, but even a red-hot Sosa doesn't automatically equal wins for the Cubs.

Slammin' Sammy notched his first multi-homer game in 1998 in a 9-5 loss to Kevin Millwood and the Atlanta Braves. Sosa drove in 4 of the Cubs' 5 runs on a solo shot in the 4th inning and a three-run shot in the 8th. 

Sosa tallied 830 feet of homers in the game, with his first blast going 410 feet and the second shot measured at 420 feet.

The big game bumped Sosa's overall season slash line to .337/.411/.551 (.962 OPS) with 11 homers and 35 RBI.

Fun fact: Mickey Morandini hit second for the Cubs in this game and went 4-for-4, but somehow only scored one run despite hitting just in front of Sosa all game. That's because Morandini was caught stealing to end the 3rd inning, leaving Sosa to lead off the 4th inning with a solo blast.