Chicago Cubs: Who Makes Cut in All-Time Team?
Well, the Chicago Cubs sucked again this year and they don't look like they will be too hot in 2012, with bad contracts coupled with a managerial mess that still hasn't been resolved.
So, maybe us Cubs fans can go to fantasy land and construct the best Cubs team in franchise history?
Certain players like Dennis Eckersley and Lou Brock were left off because these players were chosen for what they contributed to the Cubs during their tenure. (Eckersley was a sub-par starting pitcher and Brock played most of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals.)
Any rankings like first or third are based on Chicago Cubs all-time career stats.
Starting Pitcher Mordecai Brown
Mordecai Brown, commonly known by his nickname "Three Finger Brown," was the Cubs' ace pitcher from 1904-1912.
As a little boy, Brown had a farming accident where a machine partially cut two fingers off his right hand. He also fell when the hand was healing, permanently dislocating his fingers.
However, this accident helped Brown gain an extra spin on his curve ball and change up, making those pitches almost impossible to hit.
Brown was 188-86 with the Cubs, posting a 1.80 ERA in 2,329 innings. The Hall of Famer tossed 48 shutouts, 206 complete games and stuck out 1,043 batters as a Cubbie. His WHIP was 1.00, the lowest in Cubs history.
Starting Pitcher Fergie Jenkins
Fergie Jenkins was one of the most feared pitchers in baseball in the 1960s and 1970s.
Playing with Chicago from 1967-1973 and 1982-1983, Jenkins won 167 of his 284 career victories as a Cub. He had six consecutive 20-win seasons in 1967-1972, gaining the 1971 National League Cy Young Award and three All-Star appearances.
His 2,673.2 innings is second most in team history, while his 2,038 strikeouts is the most. Jenkins was also precise, walking only 600 batters and had a WHIP of 1.12 (4th).
Starting Pitcher Greg Maddux
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Greg Maddux was a very special pitcher and played for Chicago from 1986-1992 and again in 2004-2006.
Combining his two stints, Maddux was 133-112 with a 3.61 ERA while logging 2,016 innings. He had 1,305 strikeouts which ranks sixth in team history.
Maddux, a future Hall of Famer whose No. 31 is retired with Jenkins, was a two-time All-Star, six-time Gold Glove Award winner, and the 1992 National League Cy Young Award winner.
He finished his career with four National League Cy Young Awards and 355 wins, which ranks eighth all time.
Starting Pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander
Grover Cleveland Alexander pitched for the Cubs from 1918-1926. One of the game's best pitchers ever, "Alexander the Great" led the Cubs to the 1918 World Series and baseball's Triple Crown with 27 wins, a 1.91 ERA and 173 strikeouts.
The Hall of Famer was 128-83, had a 2.85 ERA and tossed 1,884.1 innings along with a 1.12 WHIP.
Alexander was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle of the 1926 season, as he helped them win the World Series. He finished his career with 373, third all-time behind Cy Young and Walter Johnson.
Starting Pitcher Hippo Vaughn
Hippo Vaughn was a crafty lefty who pitched for the Cubs from 1913-1921.
He won the Triple Crown in 1918 with 22 wins, 1.74 ERA and 148 punch outs.
Vaughn had five seasons with 20 or more wins. He finished his tenure in Chicago with 151-105, 2.33 ERA (5th) with 2,216.1 innings thrown (7th). His WHIP was 1.17.
Relief Pitcher Lee Smith
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Lee Smith was a phenomenal closer who got his start with the Cubs.
Pitching for them from 1980-1987, Smith is the team's all-time saves leader with 180. He pitched 681.1 innings and had a WHIP of 1.25.
A two-time All-Star with the Cubs, he is third all-time in career saves, behind only Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera.
Relief Pitcher Bruce Sutter
Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter was tough as nails, being one of the first pitchers ever to effectively use the splitter.
A Cubbie from 1976-1980, Sutter had 133 saves (2nd), and a 2.33 ERA in 493 innings. He had a WHIP of 1.05 and opponents hit .208 off him.
Sutter was a four-time All-Star for Chicago.
Relief Pitcher Randy Myers
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Randy Myers was one of baseball's elite closers in the 1990s.
He pitched for the Cubs from 1993-1995, posting 112 saves, including a former National League record of 53 saves in 1993.
A two-time Chicago All-Star, Myers finished his career with 347 saves, good for ninth all-time in Major League history.
Relief Pitcher Carlos Marmol
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Carlos Marmol is the Cubs' current closer, but he merits being a member of the all-time team.
Marmol has 95 saves (4th), but has held batters to 289 in 459.1 innings, resulting in a .179 batting average.
Marmol was an All-Star selection in 2008 and has 599 career strikeouts.
Relief Pitcher Kyle Farnsworth
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Kyle Farnsworth was one of the top setup men a few years ago.
As a Cub from 1999-2004, Farnsworth began as a starter, but the team felt he would be better in the pen.
Farnsworth put up some good numbers, including striking out 467 batters in 478.2 innings.
He is currently pitching with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Backup Catcher Jody Davis
Jody Davis was the Cubs' catcher from 1981-1988. He was a two-time All-Star and won the 1986 Gold Glove for an outstanding defensive year.
He had 105 assists and a .992, joining Johnny Bench, Jim Sundberg, Gary Carter and Tony Peña as the only catchers to have 100 or more assists in a season since the end of World War II.
Davis had 122 homers, 467 RBIs and 834 hits as a Cub.
Backup First Baseman Mark Grace
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You know an all-time team is great when Mark Grace is only the backup first baseman.
Grace, who played from 1988-2000, was Major League Baseball's hits leader (1,754) in the 1990s.
He was a three-time All-Star and won four Gold Gloves.
Grace's Cubs career saw him belt 148 homers, 1,004 RBIs (8th), 2,201 hits (5th) and 456 doubles (2nd).
Backup Second Baseman Billy Herman
Another Hall of Famer, Billy Herman, played with the Cubs from 1931-1941.
A great fielding second baseman, Herman also was a great hitter. He had 5,532 at bats for Chicago, and struck out only 282 times, or once in about 19.6 at bats. He walked 470 times.
Herman had 37 home runs, 577 RBIs and 1,710 hits while batting .309.
Backup Shortstop Joe Tinker
Joe Tinker was part of the most famous double play circuit in history: Tinker to Evers to Chance.
Playing for Chicago from 1902-1912 and 1916, Tinker was an exceptional-fielding shortstop, leading the National League in fielding four times.
He had 28 homers, 670 RBIs, 1,436 hits while swiping 304 bases (5th). He had 5,547 at bats, but struck out a measly 88 times, or once out of every 63 attempts.
Tinker was inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Backup Third Baseman Aramis Ramirez
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Aramis Ramirez has been a Cub since 2003, and he has powered home some impressive numbers.
A three-time All-Star and 2008 National League Hank Aaron Award winner, Ramirez has 239 homers (6th), 806 RBIs (12th) and 1,246 hits while batting .294.
Starting Catcher Gabby Harnett
Gabby Hartnett was one of the greatest catchers in Major League history.
A short, stubby guy, Hartnett could call a good game, field, throw out runners and hit for power and average.
A Cub from 1922-1940, Hartnett went to six All Star games and won the 1935 National League MVP.
His Cubs career numbers are also impressive. He has 231 homers (7th), 1,153 RBIs (6th) and 1,867 hits while hitting .297. He leads all Cubs catchers in homers, RBIs and hits.
Hartnett was inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Starting First Baseman Cap Anson
Cap Anson was the first great Cubs player, making his mark from 1876-1897.
Anson was the first player ever to reach 3,000 hits, ultimately having 3,011 as a Cub.
He had 97 homers, 1,879 RBIs (1st) and a .331 batting average (3rd).
He is a Hall of Famer, who is third all-time in RBIs (2,075) behind Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth.
Starting Second Baseman Ryne Sandberg
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Ryne Sandberg could be the best second baseman in baseball history.
Sandberg was the Cubs' best player in the 1980s and most of the 1990s, both with his bat and glove.
He is the second all-time leader in home runs for second basemen with 277 (Jeff Kent has more). He had 282 homers (5th), 1,061 RBIs (7th), 2,385 hits (4th) and 403 doubles (4th) as a Cub.
The 1984 National League MVP, Sandberg had nine Gold Glove Awards and starred in 10 All-Star games.
He is a Hall of Famer and his No. 23 is retired by the team.
Starting Shortstop Ernie Banks
Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, was Chicago's first-ever black baseball player, joining the team in 1953.
Playing his entire 18-year career with the Cubs, with eight at shortstop, Banks was a 14-time All-Star, a two-time MVP (1958-1959), won a Gold Glove (1960) and is a member of the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
Banks, whose No. 14 is retired, has 512 home runs (2nd), 1,636 RBIs (2nd) and 2,583 hits (2nd), all second to Cap Anson.
Starting Third Baseman Ron Santo
If anyone had been the face of the Chicago Cubs the last 20 years, it was third baseman turned broadcaster Ron Santo.
Santo was one of the league's top third baseman both defensively and offensively in the 1960s, among the likes of Hall of Famers Eddie Matthews and Brooks Robinson.
He had 337 homers (4th), 1,290 RBIs (5th) and 2,171 hits (7th) along with a .279 average.
No. 10, whose number is retired, had nine All-Star appearances and fielded his way to five Gold Glove Awards.
Backup Outfielder Hack Wilson
Hack Wilson was one of the most dynamic hitters in the 1920s and 30s.
When stadiums were huge and it was difficult to hit many home runs, Wilson creamed 56 dingers in 1930, the most in National League history until Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa passed it in 1998.
That same year, Wilson drove in 191 runs, the most in a Major League Baseball season.
The Hall of Famer had 190 home runs, 769 RBIs and a .322 batting average as a Cub.
Backup Outfielder Kiki Cuyler
Kiki Cuyler played with the Cubs from 1928-1935, being part of three National League Pennant winners.
A Hall of Fame right fielder, Cuyler had 79 home runs and 602 RBIs while posting a .325 batting average, the fifth highest in team history.
Cuyler was included in the 1981 book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time by Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig.
Starting Left Fielder Billy Williams
Hall of Fame left fielder Billy Williams played for Chicago from 1959-1974, putting together one of the most impressive careers in franchise history.
Williams had 392 homers (3rd), 1,353 RBIs (4th), 2,510 hits (2nd) and a .296 batting average.
He won the 1961 National League Rookie of the Year and was a six-time All-Star for the Cubs. His No. 26 is retired.
Starting Center Fielder Andre Dawson
Hall of Fame center fielder Andrew Dawson played for the Cubs from 1987-1992.
He belted 174 homers, 587 RBIs and had a .285 batting average.
Hawk was a great fielder who won the 1987 National League MVP despite playing for a last place team.
He went to two All-Star games with Chicago and nabbed the 1987 Silver Slugger Award.
Starting Right Fielder Sammy Sosa
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Whether you think he is the greatest or a snake in the grass, there is no denying that Sammy Sosa would make the Cubs All-Time Team.
Sosa had 545 home runs (1st), 1,415 RBIs (3rd) and 1,915 hits (9th) while posting a respectable .284 average.
He was a seven-time All-Star and won the 1998 National League MVP.
An above average fielder, Slammin' Sammy could hawk down a fly ball by sprinting for the catch.
Sammy will miss the Hall of Fame for most likely using steroids, but he has a special place in team history.
Manager Frank Chance
Frank Chance was a player-manager for the Chicago Cubs from 1905-1912, having a record of 778-389.
He led the Cubbies to their only two World Series wins in 1907 and 1908, and also snatched up four pennants.
Chance is a Hall of Fame manager and first baseman.