CHICAGO – As it turns out, the player who helped start up the last World Series championship team on the north side won’t be going far away to start the next chapter in baseball.
After announcing his retirement earlier this week, the Marquee Sports Network hired former Cubs centerfielder Dexter Fowler as an analyst as he begins his post-playing career.
Making his debut on Wednesday night, he’ll contribute primarily to pregame and postgame coverage of games on the network.
Fowler played only two of his 14 MLB seasons in Chicago but they were arguably the most memorable of his career as he produced a number of moments on historic Cubs’ teams. Acquired in a trade with the Astros ahead of the 2015 season, the centerfielder provided a strong bat at the top of the lineup along with steady defense for a team ready to enter its competitive window.
In 156 games in his first campaign with the Cubs, he hit .250 with 29 doubles, eight triples, 17 homers, and 46 RBI. In the National League Wild Card game against the Pirates that season, Fowler went 3-for-4 with a leadoff double and a home run in a 4-0 Cubs’ victory, the first in the playoffs for the franchise in 12 years.
Arguably the best season of his career was 2016 when in 125 games he rose his average to .276 with 25 doubles, seven triples, 13 homers, and 48 RBI. He was selected to his first and only All-Star Game as the Cubs won 103 regular season games.
In the playoffs, Fowler hit .333 in the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers as the Cubs won their first pennant in 71 years. He then hit a pair of homers in the World Series against Cleveland, but the last was one of the most memorable in the history of the Fall Classic.
Fowler became the first player in World Series history to leadoff Game 7 with a home run, doing so off Corey Kluber at Progressive Field. They would go on to beat Cleveland 8-7 to win the franchise’s first World Series title in 108 years.
Fowler signed with the Cardinals in that offseason and played in St. Louis through the 2020 season. He reunited with Joe Maddon, his manager with the Cubs, in Anaheim with the Angles in 2021 but only played seven games after tearing the ACL in his left knee.
In 2022, Fowler signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays and played three games with Triple-A Buffalo before asking for his release in May.