His lifetime career average vs. right-handed pitching is .267 with an .819 OPS. He also amassed 126 career pinch hits, 17 of which were home runs.
Vander Wal never played for the Cubs but frequently played against the North Siders while spending the later half of his career on a rust belt tour of the NL Central. First Pittsburgh, then Milwaukee and finally Cincinnati (2004).
Jim Edmonds followed Vander Wal’s lead four years later when he left St. Louis and ended up with the Cubs in May of 2008 at the ripe age of 38.
Chicago parted ways with Edmonds after one season despite his 19 HR, 49 RBI and 135 OPS+ in 85-games. He took the next year off and then signed with Milwaukee, who in turn traded Edmonds to the Reds in August of 2010; his ‘John Vander Wal Tour of Duty’ now complete.
Corey Patterson is another who’s stepped into Vander Wal’s footprints. A lefty batter who broke in with the Cubs and later bounced from Cincinnati to Milwaukee to St. Louis (among other stops).
And now another left-handed journeyman, and former Cub, is on the brink of turning the Vander Wal trick. Cesar Izturis, 33, who played for the Cubs (2006-07), the Pirates (2007), St. Louis (2008) and Milwaukee (2012) has signed a minor league deal with the Reds.
In the name of John Vander Wal, who’s next! Louis Valbuena, Tony Campana, Brett Jackson?