The 1988 Project Phase 2 Day 15 – Chicago Cubs

Okay so today we have Damon Berryhill, Mike Capel, Darrin Jackson, Goose Gossage, Vance Law, Al Nipper, Jeff Pico, Calvin Schiraldi, Gary Varsho, and Don Zimmer. Whew. I tell you, I think that’s a little too much for one post, maybe, so I’m going to focus on some of the more important players.

Damon Berryhill, for instance. I really wanted to give this guy his own post, but Mark Grace was obviously the right choice. Berryhill was a hot 1988 rookie, that’s for sure. Looking at his numbers, though, I can’t exactly say why. He made the Topps 1988 All Star Rookie Team, but he only hit .259/.295 (!)/.395 with 7 home runs. I mean, that’s not BAD for a rookie catcher, but it isn’t exactly Wieters-esque, and not deserving of the hype he received. He’s a minor league manager these days.

Darrin Jackson was nowhere near as heralded as Berryhill or Grace, but he was generally well-regarded, as well. He hit .266/.287/.452 in 100 games for the Cubs that year. What was it with the Cubs of that era that they had such lousy on-base skills? Was it the focus of the organization at the time? Either way, he wasn’t TERRIBLE for a rookie, but he didn’t tear it up, either.

Goose Gossage, of course, was on his way to the Hall of Fame (once he’d whined his way in). 1988 may not have been the last year of his career, but it was basically the end of the line for the old Gossage. He would go on to get fewer save opportunities and fewer strikeouts.

Don Zimmer was big news as the Cubs manager at the time, even though he didn’t stick around super-long.

And of course, I have to mention Vance Law, who came over to the Expos and was a target of ridicule for us kids owing to those huge honkin’ glasses of his.

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