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2016 Cubs Spring Training Countdown: Day 1

Let's wrap this series with some fun.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

With just one day remaining before pitcher/catcher report day, let's conclude this year's countdown series with a player who brought a lot of energy to the ballpark.

He might not have been the best Cub ever to wear No. 1 (although, it's a pretty short list, so no one's too far from the top), but Tony Campana might have been the most entertaining.

His baseball-reference page lists him at 5-8, 165.

Both of those figures, I'd say, are generous. Campana might be one of the smallest men to play for the Cubs since the early 20th Century, when human beings in general were smaller.

Campana was a star at the University of Cincinnati and he was drafted in the 13th round in 2008. Most 13th-rounders don't make it to the big leagues. Just six other players from that round that year ever played in the big leagues; none of the players had any sort of significant career. Oddly, one of them (Juan Perez) will be in big-league camp with the Cubs this year as a non-roster invitee.

Anyway, Campana hit well in the minors and stole tons of bases. The Cubs brought him to the big leagues in 2011 and he kept stealing bases. Unfortunately, that was really his only skill -- speed. He had no power, didn't hit for average, didn't draw walks and his arm was below-average. He managed to play a decent center field, catching up with balls because he could run, but he couldn't really throw the ball anywhere with anything on it.

Nevertheless, he provided us with some excellent entertainment in down years. His only big-league home run came on August 5, 2011, an inside-the-park job against the Reds at Wrigley:

Then there was this play in Houston in 2012 in which he literally jumped over an attempted tag at third base:

Campana was traded to the Diamondbacks for minor leaguers Jesus Castillo and Erick Leal. Leal turns 21 next month and had a decent year at South Bend in 2015, so the Cubs still might get something out of that trade. As for Campana, he had signed with the White Sox before 2015, but tore his ACL just before spring training and missed the entire season. He signed a minor-league deal with the Nationals last August and I'd expect him to be invited to big-league camp with Washington, though they have not published their non-roster invitee list yet.

I enjoyed watching Campana play. He always had a smile on his face and played hard and made the most of his abilities.