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Cubs outfielder waited five seasons and 54 games for first MLB hit

Mark Townsend
Yahoo Sports

It finally happened. Terrance Gore, a Chicago Cubs outfielder known mainly for his speed and defense, finally picked up his first major-league hit.

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Gore, 27, entered the Cubs 10-3 loss to the Washington Nationals as a pinch hitter with his team down by nine runs in the ninth inning on Saturday. He promptly grounded a single up the middle against three-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer. Not a bad pitcher at all to say you got your first MLB hit against.

So what’s the big deal you might be wondering? It was only his 16th career plate appearance, after all. Players have gone longer without collecting a hit to begin their MLB careers.

While that’s true, very few have taken the path Gore has.

The 27-year-old is currently appearing in his fifth different season in MLB, and had previously appeared in 53 games. The thing is, during his MLB career Gore has been used exclusively as a short-term fill-in or September call up when called upon at all, and he’s been mainly limited to pinch-running duties or used as a defensive replacement.

As a result, Gore’s actual plate appearances have been few and far between. In fact, he entered Saturday’s game with more stolen bases (23) and nearly more runs scored (14) than plate appearances (15).

Cubs outfielder Terrance Gore finally picked up his first MLB hit after five seasons, 54 games and 16 career plate appearances. (Getty Images)

Baseball fans and writers alike were well aware of Gore’s situation. It’s been a topic of discussion each time he’s been called up to the big leagues. This time, though, it finally happened, and the baseball world couldn’t have been happier.




A true secret weapon

The best term to describe Gore might be “secret weapon.” He’s never had a real role during the regular season, but he’s an easy player to add to the postseason roster because his skill set is crafted perfectly for late and close situations.

Gore was a key part of the Kansas City Royals postseason runs in 2014 and 2015, appearing in eight games. Though he only scored one run, he stole four bases and helped keep pressure on the opposing defense. The Cubs will certainly use Gore in that role during September, and might have a tough time leaving him off the postseason roster too should they make it.

For what it’s worth, Gore has appeared in 665 minor league games over his career. He’s a .239/.332/.271 hitter with only 48 extra-base hits over 2,265 plate appearances. That’s precisely why he doesn’t hit in the big leagues, but his 193 minor-league steals prove that there’s a niche for his unique talent.

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