Chicago sports top ten moments of 2015

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Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs win 97 games and make an extended playoff run

After five seasons in the cellar, 2015 was the year everyone expected a marked improvement from the Chicago Cubs. They had a number of their talented prospects make it to Chicago, and finally finishing over the .500 mark would be a realistic hope for them.

No one could imagine the season these kids had.

Kris Bryant was the Rookie of the Year. Addison Russell started at second, but eventually moved over to shortstop and anchored the left side of the defense. Kyle Schwarber came during the middle of the season, and hit gargantuan home runs. Jorge Soler had to deal with injuries throughout the season, but when he was in the lineup, he got some big key hits.

The old men on the team, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Dexter Fowler, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, all were key contributors.

Arrieta, as I mentioned earlier, won the Cy Young, and was just phenomenal. Lester got injured early in Spring Training, and had to deal with not having proper work at the start of the season, but he eventually got on a roll and was tough to beat.

Rizzo was the offensive leader and the heart of the Cubs. He led the team in almost every offensive category and made some incredible defensive plays. He also set the tone early in January when he predicted the Cubs would win the National League Central. They fell three games short, but did eliminate the two teams ahead of them in the division, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the hated St. Louis Cardinals, from the playoffs.

Castro may have been the biggest factor in the Cubs’ run. He was struggling most of the season, to the point that manager Joe Maddon had to bench him, and not guarantee him much playing time.

Castro could have sulked and caused trouble with the demotion. At age 26, he is already a multiple All Star and is close to getting 1,000 hits, so he is a pretty good player.

Instead of rocking the boat, Castro waited for his time. When he finally got it, he took full advantage. He was benched on August 7. He played again on August 11, and from that time until the end of the regular season, he hit .353/.373/.588, with 6 homers and 23 RBI.

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Without the great attitude displayed by Castro, I don’t know where the Cubs could be. He was exemplary as a Cub, and he will be missed, as he was traded to the New York Yankees this offseason.

The Cubs accomplished way more than anyone realistically expected in 2015. They played good, hard baseball all season long, and throughout the playoffs. They did fall short, but revived hopes of a title on the Northside. They finally clinched a playoff series at Wrigley Field, and hopefully, soon, they could wave their first World Series championship flag there.

So there are the ten biggest moments in Chicago sports for 2015. What are your thoughts? If we missed any other moments, let us know.

Next: Chicago Bears: Top Quarterback Prospects In 2016 Draft

I hope you enjoyed 2015, and may the new year bring more success to the city and its teams.