The Top 20 Outfielders in Chicago Cubs Franchise History
Continuing on with my top Cubs series, I ranked the top outfielders in Cubs history.
I decided to just do a top 20 outfielders rather than breaking it down by outfield position, as there is not much information on what outfield position some of the older guys played.
While the rankings are somewhat subjective—as they always are—I looked closely at each player's 162-game average during his tenure with the Cubs, as well as whether he was a part of any Cubs playoff teams.
I hope you enjoy this and follow the series as it continues. As always, I look forward to your input.
No. 20: Rick Monday—1972-1976
Cubs Career Totals: .270 BA, 106 HR, 293 RBI
162-Game Average: .270 BA, 24 HR, 68 RBI
Always a solid hitter, Monday is best known for what took place on April 25, 1976.
During a game against the Mets at Shea Stadium, two men hopped onto the field and prepared to burn a flag in protest. Luckily, Monday stepped up and ran over in time to save the flag in what is one of the more patriotic moments in the game's history.
Monday was more than just that act of patriotism though, as he posted a great season in 1976 with a line of .272 BA, 32 HR, 77 RBI.
No. 19: Jim Hickman—1968-1973
Cubs Career Totals: .267 BA, 97 HR, 336 RBI
162-Game Average: .267 BA, 23 HR, 80 RBI
All-Star Appearances: 1
Always a decent power hitter, Hickman had a monster season in 1970, earning him his only All-Star appearance and finishing eighth in NL MVP voting.
He posted a line of .315 BA, 32 HR, 115 RBI in '70, all of which were career highs.
No. 18: Keith Moreland—1982-1987
Cubs Career Totals: .281 BA, 100 HR, 491 RBI
162-Game Average: .281 BA, 18 HR, 88 RBI
Moreland had double-digit HRs in all six of his seasons with the Cubs—his best season coming in 1985.
He posted a .307 BA, 14 HR, 106 RBI, 12 SB season and finished 17th in the NL MVP voting.
No. 17: Henry Rodriguez—1998-2000
Cubs Career Totals: .272 BA, 75 HR, 223 RBI
162-Game Average: .272 BA, 36 HR, 108 RBI
Rodriguez was integral to the 1998 team's success as he hit behind Sammy Sosa and Mark Grace, giving him plenty of RBI chances.
Had it not been for a bumper crop of talent in the NL, he certainly would have been an All-Star in '98 when he had 31 HR and 85 RBI.
No. 16: Frank Demaree—1932-1938
Cubs Career Totals: .309 BA, 49 HR, 396 RBI
162-Game Average: .309 BA, 11 HR, 92 RBI
All-Star Appearances: 2 (two starts)
A solid player in his time with the Cubs, Demaree put together two All-Star seasons in 1936 and 1937.
In '36 he hit .350 BA, 16 HR, 96 RBI and finished seventh in MVP voting.
In '37 he hit .324 BA, 17 HR, 115 RBI and finished fifteenth in MVP voting.
No. 15: Frank Schulte—1904-1916
Cubs Career Totals: .272 BA, 91 HR, 712 RBI, 214 SB
162-Game Average: .272 BA, 9 HR, 74 RBI, 22 SB
1911 NL MVP
A great hitter throughout his Cubs career, Schulte had an amazing season in 1911 and achieved a rare feat.
In registering 30 doubles, 21 triples, 21 home runs, and 23 steals, he became the first of only four players to ever log a 20-20-20-20 season. The others are Willie Mays, Curtis Granderson, and Jimmy Rollins.
No. 14: George Gore—1879-1886
Cubs Career Totals: .315 BA, 24 HR, 380 RBI
162-Game Average: .315 BA, 5 HR, 86 RBI
A notoriously heavy drinker who clashed with Cubs manager/star Cap Anson, Gore was nevertheless a great hitter.
He won the batting title in 1880 when he hit .360 and topped the .300 mark in five other seasons.
No. 13: Riggs Stephenson—1926-1934
Cubs Career Totals: .336 BA, 49 HR, 589 RBI
162-Game Average: .336 BA, 8 HR, 98 RBI
Stephenson hit over .300 in every season he played with the North Siders, including a great 1929 season.
He finished the '29 season with a .362 BA, 17 HR, 110 RBI line, marking career highs in HR and RBI for him.
No. 12: Jimmy Ryan—1885-1900
Cubs Career Totals: .307 BA, 99 HR, 914 RBI, 369 SB
162-Game Average: .307 BA, 10 HR, 89 RBI, 36 SB
A perfect example of the forgotten player of the dead ball era, Ryan put up stellar numbers during his career and is one of the best players not in the Hall of Fame.
He hit over .300 10 times in his 15 years with the Cubs, including a career-high .361 in 1894.
No. 11: Andy Pafko—1943-1951
Cubs Career Totals: .294 BA, 126 HR, 584 RBI
162-Game Average: .294 BA, 21 HR, 99 RBI
All-Star Appearances: 5 (one start)
A solid hitter and a key cog on the 1945 World Series team, Pafko was one of the Cubs' top power hitters throughout the 1940s.
He finished fourth in the 1945 NL MVP voting, posting a .298 BA, 12 HR, 110 RBI season.
He also finished second in the NL in HR in 1950 when he launched a career-high 36 to go along with a .304 BA and 92 RBI.
No. 10: King Kelly—1878-1886
Cubs Career Totals: .316 BA, 33 HR, 480 RBI
162-Game Average: .316 BA, 8 HR, 114 RBI
Hall of Fame
One of the early innovators of the game, Kelly is often credited with inventing the hit-and-run, among other things.
He won a pair of batting titles in his time with the Cubs, including a .388 mark in 1886.
No. 9: Kiki Cuyler—1928-1935
Cubs Career Totals: .325 BA, 79 HR, 602 RBI, 161 SB
162-Game Average: .325 BA, 13 HR, 103 RBI, 27 SB
Hall of Fame
All-Star Appearances: 1
Cuyler had the two best years of his Hall of Fame career with the Cubs as he put up great seasons back-to-back in 1929 and 1930.
In 1929, he hit .360 BA, 15 HR, 102 RBI while leading the NL in steals with 43.
He followed that up with a .355 BA, 13 HR, 134 RBI season in 1930 while once again leading the NL in steals with 37.
No. 8: Bill Nicholson—1939-1948
Cubs Career Totals: .272 BA, 205 HR, 833 RBI
162-Game Average: .272 BA, 25 HR, 100 RBI
All-Star Appearances: 5 (two starts)
He led the Cubs in home runs eight years in a row from 1940-1947 and led the National League in '43 and '44 with 29 and 33 home runs, respectively.
Nicholson also won the NL RBI title in '43 and '44, as he and Andy Pafko were the Cubs' most potent offensive bats in the early 1940s.
No. 7: Bill Lange—1893-1899
Cubs Career Totals: .330 BA, 39 HR, 578 RBI, 399 SB
162-Game Average: .330 BA, 8 HR, 115 RBI, 80 SB
One of the best players not currently in the Hall of Fame, Lange had a short but productive career in the late 1890s.
He retired from baseball at the age of 28 to get married, as the father of his wife forbid her from marrying a baseball player.
Although the marriage was short-lived, he never returned to baseball and is one of those "what if" stories.
No. 6: Hank Sauer—1949-1955
Cubs Career Totals: .269 BA, 198 HR, 587 RBI
162-Game Average: .269 BA, 37 HR, 110 RBI
All-Star Appearances: 2
1952 NL MVP
Sauer topped 30 HR four times during his tenure with the Cubs and was one of the best power hitters of the 1950s.
He took home the NL MVP in 1952 when he led the league with 37 HR and 121 RBI. Two years later he launched a career-high 41 HR and hit a career-high .288.
No. 5: Dave Kingman—1978-1980
Cubs Career Totals: .278 BA, 94 HR, 251 RBI
162-Game Average: .278 BA, 44 HR, 118 RBI
All-Star Appearances: 2
Despite playing only three years with the Cubs, Kingman certainly made his mark on the franchise.
In 1979, he led the NL with 48 HR, the most of his 442 home run career, and he also led the NL in slugging.
No. 4: Andre Dawson—1987-1992
Cubs Career Totals: .285 BA, 174 HR, 587 RBI
162-Game Average: .285 BA, 33 HR, 110 RBI
All-Star Appearances: 5 (four starts)
Silver Sluggers: 4
Gold Gloves: 8
1987 NL MVP
The Hawk had the best season of his career in his first season with the Cubs in 1987, as he posted a .287 BA, 49 HR, 137 RBI season and won the MVP for a last place Cubs team.
He was a true five-tool player, even late in his career, and should be rewarded with a Hall of Fame nod soon.
No. 3: Hack Wilson—1926-1931
Cubs Career Totals: .322 BA, 190 HR, 769 RBI
162-Game Average: .322 BA, 36 HR, 147 RBI
Hall of Fame
Single-Season RBI Record: 191 in 1930
Known as much for his drinking as he was for his potent bat, Wilson's prime was short but great.
He had his best season in 1930 when he posted career highs across the board with a .356 BA, 56 HR, 191 RBI line.
He won four HR titles and two RBI titles in his six seasons with the Cubs and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting three times.
No. 2: Billy Williams—1959-1974
Cubs Career Totals: .296 BA, 392 HR, 1,353 RBI
162-Game Average: .296 BA, 29 HR, 99 RBI
Hall of Fame
All-Star Appearances: 6 (two starts)
1961 NL ROY
Williams was one of the top hitters of his era and is a deserving Hall of Famer.
He was productive right out of the gate, posting a .278 BA, 25 HR, 86 RBI season in 1961 as a 23-year old rookie.
He had his best power season in 1970 with 42 HR and 129 RBI, but he was not just a slugger, as he also won the batting title in 1972 after hitting .333 to go along with 37 HR and 122 RBI.
In his 16 years with the Cubs, Williams was consistently great, and he earned his flag that flies on the left field foul pole.
No. 1: Sammy Sosa—1992-2004
Cubs Career Totals: .284 BA, 545 HR, 1,414 RBI, 181 SB
162-Game Average: .284 BA, 49 HR, 126 RBI
All-Star Appearances: 7 (five starts)
Silver Sluggers: 6
1998 NL MVP
Slammin' Sammy was the face of the franchise throughout the 1990s, and his home run race with Mark McGwire captivated the nation.
Whether or not he was juicing is still up for debate, but his numbers are out of this world, and he is deserving of this top spot.
A real fan favorite, Sosa had his best season in 1998, winning the MVP and leading the Cubs to a Wild Card berth while posting a .308 BA, 66 HR, 158 RBI season.
Augie Galan: 1934-1941
Walt Moryn: 1956-1960
Jose Cardenal: 1972-1977
Jerry Morales: 1974-1977
Bob Dernier: 1984-1987
Gary Matthews: 1984-1987
Moises Alou: 2002-2004