Among the Cubs’ best 2016 offseason signings was a 35-year-old middle infielder/outfielder with a lifetime batting average of .266. Ben Zobrist just knows how to win. Even without gaudy numbers, most people agree that Chicago is a “team” because of players like Zobrist. One fact demonstrates his importance: When Chicago made the World Series, it put the Illinois native in the select company of those who played in the Fall Classic in both leagues.
In 2008, Zobrist played for Tampa Bay when they lost to the Phillies. In 2015, he participated in the Kansas City Royals’ World Championship team. Then, a 2016 World Series ring gave Ben the trifecta. While quite a few MLB players compete in the World Series in both the Junior and Senior circuits, a few stand out given their contributions. These are the five other MLB players who won the World Series in both leagues.
1. Paul O’Neill, Cincinnati Reds/New York Yankees
Paul O’Neill played in a whopping 19 postseason games between the Reds and Yankees. Five years after joining Cincinnati, the team that drafted him in the fourth round of the 1981 MLB Draft, O’Neill played in the NLCS against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went on to compete in the World Series against Oakland. Faring better in the WLCS, he batted .471 with a homer and four RBIs. Against the A’s, O’Neill had but one hit and batted .083.
He had a lot of time to redeem himself. With the New York Yankees, O’Neill played in six World Series against the Diamondbacks, Mets, Atlanta (twice), and San Diego. In 109 plate appearances, O’Neill batted .261 with 24 hits and 16 walks. The lanky outfielder did not hit a home run in the World Series, but he has five sparkly championship rings that speak to his credit.