Dexter Fowler will forever be immortalized in Cubs history
Happy retirement to Dexter Fowler! (Dennis Wierzbicki - USA Today Sports)

Dexter Fowler will forever be immortalized in Cubs history

by - Staff Writer -

Dexter Fowler has announced his retirement via social media after a stellar 14-year career that spanned five teams.

The switch-hitting outfielder began his career and spent his first six seasons with the Colorado Rockies. Then, Fowler went to the American League with th Astros for a season before signing with the Cubs ahead of the 2015 season. Fowler set a career-high (at the time) with 17 home runs, and settled into the Cubs leadoff spot that season. He was signed to a one-year contract, and helped lead the Cubs to their first playoff birth since 2008 — and was one of the main leaders on a team that turned around its fortunes quickly. After that 2015 season, the Cubs signed John Lackey, Ben Zobrist, and Jason Heyward but they were still missing one piece — a leadoff hitter.

That leadoff hitter became Dexter Fowler, as the Cubs dramatically brought him back and introduced him back to the team during Spring training. As everyone remembers, the Cubs were the best team in baseball from start to finish in 2016, and one of the biggest reasons why is Dexter Fowler. The Cubs and their fans coined the term You Go, We Go with Fowler, as he set the tone for the Cubs day in and day out. Of course, Fowler turned in the best season of his career in 2016. The center fielder was named a starter in his first and only all-star game, and he hit a career-high in on-base percentage of .393. He was constantly on base for the likes of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, and Addison Russell to drive him home.

The best part about Fowler, he shined brighter in the playoffs. He had 28 hits in 25 career playoff games with the Cubs and came around to score 17 times. In his first Cubs playoff game, he got three hits and hit a home run. In the biggest game of his career, he led off game 7 with a towering home run to give the Cubs the lead. He constantly delivered for Chicago, and it ended up with a World Series ring.

After the 2016 season, Fowler went and got a massive contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, and his career ended with the Angels.

The Cubs certainly missed his presence when he left Chicago. In fact, the Cubs are still looking for their leadoff hitter. The Cubs received such a boost from Fowler that their lineup has not recovered since he left. The Cubs have tried every combination of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Ian Happ, Jon Jay, Albert Almora, Tommy La Stella, Ben Zobrist, Kyle Schwarber, Willson Contreras, Daniel Murphy, Joc Pederson, Rafael Ortega, Christopher Morel, Jason Heyward and likely more but none of them have had the success of Fowler.

Meanwhile, centerfield has remained a merry-go-round between Happ, Almora, Heyward, Morel, Jay, Ortega, and others that no one player has been able to lock down since Fowler's departure. We’ll see whether new acquisition Cody Bellinger, Morel in his second year, or a prospect like Pete Crow Armstrong, Brennan David, or Alexander Canario will be able to lock down that position — but the fact of the matter is, the Cubs still miss Fowler.

Fowler isn’t ticketed to baseball royalty in Cooperstown, but his impact can not be overstated on the Cubs team that finally won it all — and for that, Fowler will forever be immortalized in Cubs history.

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