Saturday, December 22, 2007

#21 - George Bell

Number 21 could have gone to one of many players. Among them are George Bell, Joey Cora, Cal Eldred, Ray Herbert, Bart Johnson and Robin Ventura. Yes, Robin wore #21 very briefly when he first came up. My choice for #21 is George Bell.

George was only on the team for two years. His last two years in baseball actually. He made a big splash when he came to the White Sox. The Cubs traded George to the White Sox for Sammy Sosa and Ken Patterson.

At the time, it seemed like the White Sox got the better deal. They did in the short term, but the Cubs had the last laugh in this trade, although at what price is still yet to be determined. George was the stud on the Toronto Blue Jays in the 80's.

When he got to the Sox, he still had pop and was still an RBI machine. That was it though. His average suffered and he struck out. A lot. In 1993, his strikeouts were down, but so was his average. All the way down to a career low .217. But 1993 was the year the White Sox went into the playoffs, so nobody really noticed.

George still got key hits when absolutely needed, but that was pretty much it. While the Sox fans were gearing up for 1994, the Sox club took notice of George's pitiful average and declining skills. 1993 was George's last year in the major leagues.

Sometimes being the best at a number is more about timing than anything else. If there was a true superstar at this position, George would be left out in the cold. George benefits here from a lack of star power at this number and always having the knack for the big hit. Sometimes that's all you really need.

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