Patrick Wisdom made Cubs history Sunday in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE — By one metric, Patrick Wisdom is having the best rookie season in Cubs history.
The infielder/outfielder sent his 27th homer into orbit Sunday against the Brewers, helping lift his team to a 6-4 victory in the season finale between the two teams.
It halted the Brewers’ 11-game winning streak over the Cubs and also gave Wisdom sole possession of the franchise rookie home run record.
“That was a big hit for us, obviously,” David Ross said. “The one thing that I love about Patrick is that he just keeps having his at-bats. It hasn’t been the best series for him offensively — a lot of swing-and-miss in there. And he continues to be that threat. That’s what he brings — he plays good defense, he’s versatile and he’s got real thump in the bat.
“The fact that he breaks the rookie record for this organization with some really talented players that have been here and in that fashion was awesome. We needed it; he needed it. And it’s not even a full season he’s had to do that in. Pretty impressive.”
Wisdom entered the day tied with Kris Bryant atop the all-time list. Billy Williams previously held the Cubs rookie home run mark with 25 longballs set in 1961.
The 30-year-old slugger had struck out in 7 straight plate appearances prior to his 8th-inning shot.
“It’s awesome. It’s really cool,” Wisdom said. “I’m super excited; I’m definitely honored. It was really cool, my wife and my two daughters were here in the stands, so that was pretty special for me.
“But it’s just a testament to the support system I have with my parents and my family and my brother and then the staff here does a great job of pumping you full of positivity and confidence. Just helping you go out there and stay on the next pitch.”
That resiliency has been the key for Wisdom not only this season, but in his entire career. He spent 9 years in the minor leagues waiting for an extended opportunity in the majors.
That finally happened this year, when he made his 2021 debut on May 25 due to injuries on the Cubs roster. He has 57 RBI in 101 games since that date.
“I think it’s a life thing; it’s not only in baseball,” Wisdom said. “You’re gonna get knocked down plenty of times and you just gotta get back up and keep moving forward. And then you come out stronger on the end and you can look back and be like, ‘I got through those times. I can make it through this next obstacle that’s in front of me.’
“Just being resilient in your mindset and your mental fortitude can take you a long way and get you over any obstacle that’s put in front of you.”
Wisdom leads all National League rookies in home runs, with 7 more than the next-closest player (Cincinnati’s Jonathan India — 20).
Patrick Wisdom leads all NL rookies in home runs 💣 pic.twitter.com/oaPijNTSF3— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) September 19, 2021
In addition to his power, the rookie has also been a very versatile player for the Cubs this season.
With the Cubs facing a left-handed pitcher in Sunday’s game (Eric Lauer), David Ross moved Wisdom from third base to left field to make room for Matt Duffy and David Bote in the lineup. Wisdom has also played right field and first base and has posted a 2.3 WAR, according to Baseball Reference.