Welcome to a new edition of Where Are They Now.
When the COVID-19 pandemic took over the nation, I began writing about former Cubs as a way to fill the no-sports void. The Where Are They Now article series encompasses stories about those players, memories from their time on the North Side, and what they’re up to now (if that information is available). With the offseason underway, I figured I’d bring them back.
One reason I began writing these is because I love to tweet or discuss in my group text messages about former Cubs who have come and gone and are remembered still even years later.
Tony Campana is a popular name that appears in those conversations. He is a Cubs (air quotes) legend.
Campana played within the Cubs organization from 2008-2012 after the club drafted him in the 13th round of the 2008 MLB Draft. Believe it or not, he played professionally most recently in Mexico.
In his four major league seasons, Campana compiled a .249/.296/.288 slash line. During his two seasons with the Cubs, Campana hit a .262/.306/.300. Campana was a fan favorite because of his speed, defense, and hustle on the base paths.
Campana is easy to cheer for because he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was young. Campana won that battle and made it to the majors.
Tony Could Run
His one career home run was off Reds pitcher Mike Leake in 2011. It was actually an inside-the-park homer that Cubs fans love to look back on.
Seriously, this fella’s speed is elite.
Even after tearing his ACL in 2015 with the White Sox, his speed never left.
After the 2012 season, Campana was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Jesus Castillo and Erick Leal.
Castillo doesn’t have an active page on Baseball-Reference. Leal currently plays for Cubs minor league affiliate Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
I’m calling it. The Cubs won this trade.
Campana was fun. During his two seasons on the North Side, the Cubs were awful. They accumulated a 132-192 record between the 2011 and 2012 campaigns. Campana made those bad teams entertaining at times. I’d like to personally thank him for putting Cubs fans out of our misery in 2011.
This lineup from 2012 is absolutely disgusting yet has a special place in my heart.
Cubs legends from top to bottom, no doubt about it.
I agree with fellow On Tap contributor Schwartzy, Cubs fans need Campana back in a Chicago Dogs uniform next summer. Imagine an On Tap group outing at a Dogs game next year screaming like this, but for Tony Campana.
That’s the energy needed at any Independent League ballgame.
If you have a Cubs player from the past in mind and want to know more about them, tweet it @codelmendo on Twitter.