The games included are: -Ryne Sandberg: June 23, 1984-5 for 6, 2 HR, 7 RBI -Rick Sutcliffe: 1984 NLCS game 1-no ER allowed, one HR hit -Andre Dawson: Aug. 1, 1987-3 for 4, 3 HR, 5 RBI -Mark Grace: 1989 NLCS game 2-3 for 4, 4 RBI -Kerry Wood: May 6, 1998-20 strikeouts -Sammy Sosa: September 13, 1998-61st and 62nd home runs -Greg Maddux: Aug. 7, 2004-300th career win -Derrek Lee: June 1, 2005-5 for 5, 1 HR, 4 RBI The set provides a good mix of games for Cubs fans (and if Wrigley was smart, they'd sell the set in the park), starting with Hall of Famer Sandberg's 7 RBI game against the rival St. Louis Cardinals, which saw the cubs down 7-1 after two innings, only to manage a comeback in the 11th inning, winning the game 12-11. Andre Dawson is another example of a classic Cubs player. In 21 seasons, Dawson recorded an amazing 2,774 hits and was so eager to join the Cubs that he let General Manager Dallas Green determine his salary. It's a surprise that Dawson hasn't gotten inducted into the Hall of Fame yet (Sandberg tried to push for Dawson in his Hall of Fame speech.) As for newer highlights, one disc offers Kerry Wood's 20 strikeout game from 1998 versus the Astros. The 20-year-old Wood's 20 strikeouts tied a Major League record set by Roger Clemens.
Until Major League Baseball is able to preserve footage of the 1908 World Series in a digital format, Chicago Cubs fans will have to content themselves with the Chicago Cubs Legends - Great Games Collector's Edition. It's an eight-disc set of complete games in the Cubs' history since 1984, each dedicated to a significant player. Hall of Fame second-sacker Ryne Sandberg gets the obvious game, his coming-out-party on Game of the Week when his two clutch homers vs. St. Louis Cards closer Bruce Sutter signaled something big was happening in 1984. From there you can skip to the first game of the NLCS when Rick Sutcliffe shut down the Padres and even pounded a homer to lead a 13-0 romp, Andre Dawson hitting three home runs in his MVP season of 1987, and Mark Grace's epic duel against the Giants' Will Clark in the 1989 NLCS. There's more: rookie Kerry Wood fans 20 Astros and allows no walks and only one infield hit in arguably the most dominating pitching performance of all time; Sammy Sosa crashes home runs nos. 61 and 62 in his race with Mark McGwire to set the single-season homer mark; returning-prodigal-son Greg Maddux wins his 300th career game in 2004; and first baseman Derrek Lee goes 5 for 5 in 2005.
But it wouldn't be the Cubs without some heartache, and there's plenty of it--even these memorable games (they're all wins too!) led to further misery. The 1984 heroics led to a defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory playoff loss. Dawson's three home runs still netted him only five RBI, and the club finished in last place despite having the MVP. The 1989 NLCS was tense and hard-fought, but the game included here was the only win in a 4-games-to-1 series loss. Due to injury, Wood became the poster boy for unfulfilled potential; Sosa ended up leaving a game, and the team, in infamy; and Maddux in 2004 was not the vintage Maddux of old, nor did his addition turn out to be the move that pushed the post-"Bartman" team over the top. Lee played a big hand in knocking out the Cubs that year, and his subsequent acquisition led to near-MVP numbers in Cubbie Blue in 2005, but based on tenure he's the most questionable "legend" as of 2007, when this set was released.
That said, these games are some of the most memorable, and enjoyable, in Cubs history. And although none of the complete games is earlier than 1984, classic fans should enjoy the bonus footage of older Cubs such as Ernie Banks and Billy Williams. Unlike other MLB collector's editions, though, no new interview footage is included. --David Horiuchi