The CCO First Half Awards

While baseball will focus its attention on New York for the next two days, the Chicago Cubs completed one of the best first halves in the last 70 years on Sunday. Several plays and players highlight all of the winning that took place on the North Side of Chicago, but was there one or two players who’s individual achievement helped lead Lou Piniella’s crew to the best record in the Major Leagues.

A good first half by a team or a single player can position the entire organization for an exciting finish to a season and to hopefully reach the ultimate goal of a championship in the little best of seven game series that is annually played in October. So if the Cubs were to hand out midseason awards, which players would be the recipients of the accolades?

Let’s have a little fun leading up to the 79th Midsummer Classic….

On Thursday and Friday, the CCO will talk about certain keys to continued success in the second half, but for now, leading up to Tuesday’s All-Star game, let’s take one final look at the great first half of the 2008 campaign.

MVP

Who is the Cubs’ first half MVP? Was there an individual performance that stuck out from the rest? Could the Cubs most valuable player of the first half be a rookie?

Geovany Soto put together one of the best first halves of any catcher in the history of the organization.

Kosuke Fukudome started off hot, helped changed the mindset of the offense and has to be a front-runner to win a gold glove.

Aramis Ramirez, the RBI Machine, and clutch hit after clutch hit.

Mark DeRosa, Mr. Versatility, five positions in the first half and has already hit more home runs (11) this season, than a year ago (10).

Or should a pitcher be the team’s MVP?

Just because the player is not listed, every opinion counts. So name your player.

Cy Young

Carlos Zambrano is the ace of the staff and he proved why he is so valuable to the team while he spent 15 days watching from the dugout. Zambrano made the All-Star team and could have been named the starter, but Ryan Dempster has been just as good….and many think without Dempster’s performance, the Cubs could be looking up at Milwaukee and St. Louis instead of watching them closely in their rearview mirror.

What about a reliever? While Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood were dominating at times, they have been very inconsistent but without both, the Cubs would not be 19 games over .500 at the break.

Memorable Moments

The Cubs won 57 games in the first half, so there were plays after plays that could be considered game changing or highlight reel worthy.

  • Geovany Soto’s Inside the Park Home Run
  • Reed Johnson’s Catch
  • The Walk-off against the Sox
  • The Sweep of the Sox
  • Ryan Dempster’s Complete Game
  • The Comeback against the Rockies
  • The Inning against the White Sox
  • Alfonso Soriano’s Long ball Week
  • Two of three in St. Louis
  • Ronny Cedeno’s Grand Slam against the Mets
  • Felix Pie’s Catch
  • Jim Edmonds’ Catch in Houston
  • The 9-game Winning Streak
  • Kosuke Fukudome’s Debut on Opening Day

Just take a moment while the Cubs are on a break and look back at the tremendous first half and share your thoughts. The second half starts for some of the league on Thursday and for the Cubs on Friday in Houston.

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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