Top 50 Chicago Cubs

When it comes to iconic sports teams in North America, few can come close to the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs first came into existence in 1870 as the Chicago White Stockings would join the National League in 1876.  Before 1900, Chicago was one of the most successful teams.  Led by Cap Anson, Chicago would win the National League Pennant in 1876, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1885 & 1886.  They would go through a couple of name changes to the Colts, Orphans and would officially adopt the name of the Cubs in 1903.

The Cubs did well in the first decade of the 1900s where with stars like Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, Frank Chance, and Three Finger Brown and would win the World Series in 1907 and 1908.  That would begin the longest championship drought in sports.

You know the story.  The alleged curse of the goat.  Steve Bartman. 

It would take until 2016 when they would win the World Series again, although they did win the National League Pennant multiple times between them (1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938 & 1945).  They also had Hall of Famers at that time, like Ernie Banks and Ryne Sandberg.

As of this writing, three World Series Championships is not very many for a team that has been around since the beginning, but again, how many organizations are as well known as the Cubbies!


Not too many!

This list is up to the end of the 2020 season.

Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

Clark Griffith would be one of the most consistent Pitchers of the 1890s, where, as a member of the Chicago Colts/Orphans, he would have six straight seasons (1894 to 1899) of at least 21 Wins.  Griffith won 152 Games for the franchise and was the ERA leader with 1.88 in 1898.
Mark Grace was drafted in the 24th Round of the 1985 Amateur Draft, and generally, when you are chosen that low, you aren't expected to do much at the Major League level.  Nobody seemed to have conveyed that to Mark Grace.

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Playing for the Chicago White Stockings/Colts for seven seasons, Bill Hutchinson was a dominating presence for three of them, so much so that he earned this high ranking.  In each of those years (1890-92), Hutchinson would lead the National League in Wins and Innings Pitched, and he would also win the Strikeout Title in 1892 while finishing second in the other two seasons mentioned above.  After that, Hutchinson was an average Pitcher at best, playing three more seasons without doing anything special, but after it was said and done, his career at Chicago would see him win 180 Games with…
Carlos Zambrano played all of but his final season with the Chicago Cubs, where the Venezuelan was a three-time All-Star who also finished third in Cy Young voting five times.  In the first decade of the 2000s, Zambrano was one of the more dependable hurlers and was the only one in the NL who had at least 13 Wins from 2003 to 2008.  In 2006 he made history as the first Venezuelan to lead the National League in Wins, and he would finish in the top ten in ERA four times.
Hack Wilson was playing for Toledo of the American Association after falling into a slump with the New York Giants.  He was left unprotected (some say an oversight), and the Chicago Cubs swooped in and claimed him late in 1925.  The Giants loss was the Cubs game as Hack Wilson would win the National League Home Run crown in 1926, a feat he would repeat in 1927, 1928, and 1930.  Wilson wasn't just hitting for power as with the exception of 1931, and he never had a season where he batted under .300 or had an OBP under .400.  Wilson…
Greg Maddux is always thought of first as an Atlanta Brave, but it was with the Chicago Cubs where he first rose to prominence.  Maddux started slowly with Chicago, but the talent was there, and in 1988, his third year in the Majors, he was chosen for the All-Star Game with an 18 Win season.  He was solid for the next three seasons, winning 19, 15, and 15 Wins, and in 1992, he would lead the NL with 20 Wins and had an ERA of 2.18.  He would win the National League Cy Young Award that year, would go to…
A member of the 2,500 Hit Club, Jimmy Ryan, would accumulate 2,084 of them with the Chicago Cubs.  Ryan would bat .308 for Chicago and would lead the National League in Hits in 1888, the same season he would do so in Doubles and Home Runs.  The Outfielder would finish in the top eight in OPS six times, and while he was never considered a superstar, he was a consistent producer for an extended period of time and a worthy person on this list.
We finally get to the third of the famed "Tinkers to Evers to Chance" with the middle component, Johnny Evers, who was considered by his peers as one of the most intelligent and also surly baseball players of the Game.  Evers would win the starting Second Baseman's job in 1903, and while he was not always known for hitting for Average near the end of the decade, he was developing an incredible batting eye, and he had his first of three .400 OBP seasons in 1908.  Evers was a vital cog of the back-to-back World Series titles in 19097 and…
Lon Warneke was relatively ineffective during the beginning of his run as a Major League Baseball player.   This would change when Cubs Manager Rogers Hornsby noticed that he was staring at his feet rather than at the plate when he threw.  That correction turned him into an also-ran to an MVP runner-up.
Phil Cavarretta debuted for the Chicago Cubs in 1934 a couple of months after his 18th birthday, and he would play there until he was released after the 1953 Season.  Cavaretta had a good 1935 season, but he would be riddled with injuries over the next few years, and it took until the 1942 season, where he had a year with 450 Plate Appearances.  Granted, World War II depleted the Major League roster, but Cavarretta was finally healthy, and he would go on the best run of his career.  Named an All-Star every year from 1943 to 1947, he would…
Arriving in Chicago early in the 1939 season via a trade from the Philadelphia Phillies, Claude Passeau would have his best years (and his final ones) in the Majors as a Cub.  Passeau would have a 20 Win Season in 1940 and would go on to have five All-Star appearances.  His best game was a one-hitter in the 1945 World Series against the Detroit Tigers.  Overall, Passeau would win 124 Games for Chicago.
The first half of George Gore's career was spent with the then-named Chicago White Stockings, which was easily the better half of his career.  Playing in Centerfield, Gore was a very good hitter who would win the Batting, On Base Percentage, and Slugging Titles in 1880, and he was in the top ten in Batting Average four more times.  Gore would lead the NL in Walks three times and helped Chicago win the Pennant five times.  Overall he would bat .315 for Chicago, but as he was alleged by Cap Anson to be lazy, he could have accomplished much more.
In retrospect, the Chicago Cubs stole Anthony Rizzo from the San Diego Padres in a trade in 2012 that saw little attention.  At that point in his career, Rizzo had only played 49 Games in the Majors, and while his future was thought to be bright, it wasn't expected that he would become the heart of the Cubs.
Ned Williamson played the entire 1880's with the Chicago White Stockings, where his strength was his defensive skills.  Used at Third Base and Shortstop for most of his career, Williamson would twice lead the National League in Defensive bWAR and was in the top five in that statistic four other times.  Had there been a Gold Glove Award back then, Williamson would have likely won at least six (or should have) for his work at Third Base as even by traditional metrics, he was a six-time leader at his position in Assists and five-time leader in Double Plays Turned.
Bob Rush may have had a losing record with the Chicago Cubs (110-140), but in his defense, he did not have a lot of strong teammates around him, and the Cubs were not particularly good at the time.  Still, we are talking about a two-time All-Star who finished in the top ten in bWAR for Pitchers four times and in Strikeouts four times.  He would record 1,076 Ks for Chicago and was one of the better players the team had in the 1950s.
Mike "King" Kelly was considered an innovator in his day as it is believed that he was the first to foul off pitches deliberately.
In the last half of the 1930s, Bill Lee was on a very good Chicago Cubs starting rotation that would take the team to two National League Pennants, 1935 and 1938.  Lee was far from just a participant from 1935 to 1939, and he would have four 18 Win Seasons, including a 22 Win campaign in 1938, which was enough to lead the National League.  That year Lee would also lead the league in Earned Run Average, Shutouts, and ERA+ while also finishing second in MVP voting.  Overall, he would win 139 Games for the Cubs.
A member of Cap Anson's dominant Chicago White Stockings teams of the 1880s, Larry Corcoran had five seasons where he was a pivotal contributor to the team.  From 1880 to 1884, Corcoran won 170 Games and was rare that he was a switch-pitcher, meaning he could alternate throwing arms.  Corcoran made history in 1882 when he became the first pitcher to throw a second no-hitter in his career, which was the same season where he led the National League in ERA, WHIP, and H/9/.  Like so many of his era, the heavy workload took its toll, and he had a…
Frank Schulte would play 13 of his 15 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, where he played Rightfield and was part of the Cubs dynasty that won the National League Pennant in 1906, 1907, 1908, and 1910 and the World Series in 1907 and 1908.  While Schulte was not the star of those teams, he was undoubtedly a contributor, as he batted .321 in those four World Series appearances.