The Chicago Cubs are one of the oldest franchises in major league baseball. The Cubs formed in 1876 as the Chicago White Stockings. It wasn’t until 1902 that Chicago would finally go by the Chicago Cubs. In the Cubs 118 year existence, they have only won three World Series titles (1907, 1908 and 2016). Here is an all-time starting lineup for the Chicago Cubs including a starting pitcher and relief pitcher.
1. Ryne Sandberg, Second Base (1982-1994, 1996-1997)
Hall of Fame Inductee in 2005
Uniform Number 23 retired by Cubs
Sandberg spent 16 seasons in the big leagues in which 15 were with Chicago. After an abysmal first year on the Phillies, the Cubs took a chance on him and traded for him. The 10x All-Star, one time MVP finished a terrific career even hitting for 40 home runs and 100 RBI one season. Although Sandberg couldn’t bring Chicago a World Series, his 1,318 runs, 282 home runs and 1,061 RBIs puts him as one of the best to ever put on a Cubs jersey.
2. Ron Santo, Third Base (1960-1973)
Hall of Fame Inductee 2012
Uniform Number 10 retired by Cubs
At 20 years old, the young Santo made his MLB debut for the Cubs. In his 15 year career, Santo made 9 All-Star appearances as well as five gold gloves. Santo had a great eye at the plate resulting in leading the NL in walks four times. His 337 home runs and 1,331 RBI rank him top five in home runs and RBIs in Cubs history.
3. Ernie Banks, Shortstop (1953-1971)
Hall of Fame Inductee 1977
Uniform Number 14 retired by Cubs
Was anyone better than Banks as a Cub? In his 19 year career, Banks posted some phenomenal numbers with Chicago. He led the league in home runs twice (47 and 41) and RBI (129 and 143). Through Bank’s career, he hit 512 home runs with 1,636 RBIs, both second in Cubs History. Banks won back-to-back MVP awards in 1958 and 1959 when he hit 47 home runs for 129 RBI and 45 home runs for 143 RBIs.
4. Sammy Sosa, Right Field (1992-2004)
If it wasn’t for Sosa’s cheating when he was caught using a corked bat in 2003, he would unquestionably be in the Hall of Fame. However, MLB writers and the committee do not think Sosa is deserving of the Hall of Fame because of the cheating.
However, Sosa’s numbers speak for themself. His 609 home runs mark him ninth all-time on the home run list. He also finished the 2000 season with 50 home runs. The following season, he finished second in MVP voting when he had 160 RBIs. Although Sosa did cheat, he still deserves to be placed in Cooperstown.
5. Hack Wilson, Center Field (1926-1931)
Hall of Fame Inductee in 1979
In Wilson’s young six-year career with Chicago, Wilson arguably had one of the best seasons in MLB history in the 1930 season. In that season, Wilson hit 56 home runs for 191 RBIs. The 191 RBIs is the most RBI in a season still to this day. He also batted .356 with a .723 slugging and an OPS of 1.177. Due to the financial strains, the MLB did not award an MVP for that season, but if there was, Wilson would have brought home the award.
6. Billy Williams, Left Field (1959-1974)
Hall of Fame Inductee in 1987
Uniform Number 26 retired by Cubs
Williams who played 2,213 games for the Cubs, ranks third in home runs (392), fourth in RBIs (1,353) and third in hits (2,510) all in Cub history. He provided a great 16-year career in Chicago making four All-Star appearances. In his career with Chicago, he slashed .290/.361/.492, but never made it to the postseason with the Cubs.
7. Anthony Rizzo, First Baseman (2012-Present)
The starting first base position came down to Rizzo and the iconic Mark Grace. However, Rizzo had a slight edge due to his solid numbers as a Cub. Rizzo is a remarkable player for the Cubs who finished fourth in MVP voting in back-to-back seasons. In those seasons, Rizzo had very similar numbers. In 2015, he hit 38 doubles, 31 home runs and 101 RBIs. The following season, Rizzo hit 43 doubles, 32 home runs and 109 RBIs. Rizzo is the only Cub on this list to win a World Series ring for the Chicago Cubs.
8. Gabby Hartnett, Catcher (1922-1940)
Hall of Fame Inductee in 1955
There aren’t many Cub catchers as fascinating as Hartnett was. Hartnett wasn’t the most powerful hitter, but made the most of his time in Chicago. In his MVP season in 1935, Harnett finished with 13 home runs, 91 RBIs, but his 142 hits helped his MVP case. That year he slashed .344/.404/.545.
9. Greg Maddux, Starting Pitcher (1986-1992, 1993-1994)
Hall of Fame Inductee in 2014
Uniform number 31 retired by Cubs
Picking the starting pitching for this all-time team was the most difficult decision. It came down to Fergie Jenkins or Greg Maddux. At the end of the day, Maddux deserves to be the starting pitcher for the All-Time Cubs. Jenkins and Maddux both pitched 10 seasons for the Cubs. Although Jenkins won more games, had a lower ERA and better win percentage as a pitcher for the Cubs, Maddux is a unique kind of talent. Maddux’s pitch location makes him one of the best in MLB history. Even though his fastball clocked in at 86, he knew how to paint the corners. As a result, Maddux won four Cy Young awards and struck out 3,371 batters.
Relief Pitcher- Bruce Sutter (1976-1980)
Hall of Fame Inductee in 2006
It was another hard decision in the bullpen deciding between Bruce Sutter and Lee Smith, two of the best closers to ever put on a Cub uniform. Despite the fact that Smith ranks third all-time in saves (478), Sutter was more successful during his career. Sutter played six fewer seasons than Smith and only had 178 fewer saves than him. As a relief pitcher in 1979, Sutter won Cy Young posting a 2.22 ERA with a league-leading 37 saves. Sutter also led the NL in saves five times, three of which were best in all of the majors. His career ERA with Chicago in five seasons is a mere 2.39 with 133 saves and 494 strikeouts.
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