Aramis Ramirez wore No. 16 longer than any other Cub -- nine seasons. He is, in fact, the only Cub to wear it for more than four years. Steve Ontiveros, Cubs third baseman from 1977-80, had the second-longest tenure with that number.
The question I want to raise here: Should Ramirez get Hall of Fame consideration? Before you start laughing uncontrollably, consider a few of A-Ram's numbers and the position he plays.
Ramirez enters the 2015 season with 2,186 hits, 369 home runs and an OPS of .840.
Here's the complete list of all the other third baseman in major-league history who have put up those numbers:
Mike Schmidt. Eddie Mathews. Chipper Jones.
Two Hall of Famers and a third player who'll get in eventually.
Before you point it out, yes, I admit I'm cherry-picking numbers. Adrian Beltre, also a third baseman and a much better player than Ramirez, has the hits (2,604) and home runs (395) but not the OPS (.816). Beltre, a very underrated player in my view, is almost certain to get to 3,000 hits and that will put him in the Hall.
Ramirez' trouble is that he's always been an indifferent defensive player, at best. He's got negative career defensive WAR (by bb-ref: -5.7, compared to Beltre's +23.1), and the only thing he's ever led his league in is sacrifice flies (twice) and doubles (once). He's made the All-Star team just three times and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting three times, so he hasn't been seen as a great player in his own time.
A-Ram is headed back to the Brewers again on a one-year deal for 2015. He'll be 37 in June and his power numbers have declined over the last couple of years.
But what if, say, he does well enough to post 2,500 hits and 400 home runs? Is that enough to put him in the Hall of Fame? He's the only player with any Cubs connection who has even a small chance to make the Hall for at least the next 25 years (presuming you think Sammy Sosa isn't getting in).
I'm pretty sure how this poll is going to come out, but I thought I'd ask the question. Incidentally, we'll have a new No. 16 for the Cubs this year, as it was worn by Rick Renteria in 2014.