Last year in this space, I wrote an essay about Leo Durocher, perhaps the most famous personage ever to wear No. 2 for the Cubs.
Durocher's tenure in Chicago was controversial. So, I've decided to post another essay about a Cub who wore No. 2 who stirred up a lot of controversy, here and elsewhere, because since his departure, the number has been worn mostly by coaches, as well as two players (Ian Stewart and Cole Gillespie) who you'd probably rather forget.
Ryan Theriot played for the Cubs from 2005-10 and actually wore four different numbers with the team. He wore 55, 3 and 7 before settling on 2 beginning in 2007.
He was a member of the LSU College World Series champions in 2000 (as was Mike Fontenot, who the Cubs would later acquire), and was drafted by the Cubs the next year.
That was old-school drafting. Theriot had the "scrappy" label all over him, and he didn't hit much in the Cubs system the first three years he was there, although he did draw a fair number of walks. Finally posting pretty good numbers in Double-A in 2005 (.304/.365/.391) and Triple-A in 2006 (.304/.367/.379), he became the Cubs' starting shortstop by the middle of 2007.
In 2008, he played well. Defensively, he wasn't great -- only middling range and arm -- but it was good enough for a team that had the Cubs' best offense in decades. Theriot hit .307/.387/.359 and posted 2.2 bWAR.
The next year, not so much, and the year after that, with the Cubs floundering, he was traded to the Dodgers along with Ted Lilly in the deal that brought Blake DeWitt and no one else of consequence to the Cubs, one of Jim Hendry's worst deals.
Theriot? Landed on his feet. Went to the Cardinals. Made the "right side of the rivalry" statement that got all of us up in arms. I'm sure you will enjoy watching this (again, if you've already seen it):
But he got the last laugh. He got a ring with the 2011 Cardinals, and another one the next year with the 2012 Giants. Just 32 after the 2012 season ended, he probably could have hung on for a couple more years as a backup, but retired after no one offered him a starting job.
You still see some people wearing his jersey around Wrigley Field, although there are times it gets, uh, modified:
And thus ends this tale of Ryan Theriot. Just two more days until Cubs pitchers and catchers report!