For this post I decided I would go over the careers of those who have graced home plate at 1060 West Addison, as my exhaustive research and by that I mean my ability to keep track of a hundred open Google tabs has concluded. The criteria for making this list are pretty subjective, so I hope seasoned baseball fans won’t hold my age or the fact that I’m a Chicago transplant against me: although I wish I could have seen some of the golden era’s players in action, I’m going to have to make the cutoff, for this list, players who were active when I was old enough to watch Cubs games. If you can manage to email me some modern stats from the 1876 team, I’d gladly alter my choices!
So without further adieu:
#1 Ron Santo
Nine times an all-star, and considered to be the best player not in the hall of fame.
#2 Mark Grace
One of my favorites during my youth. Mark topped the league in the 1990s with more hits than any other player at 1741. He hit a .303 and only struck out around 40 times in a season wow!
#3 Andre Dawson
438 home runs, 8 Golden Gloves the league’s award for outstanding work across the outfield , and 438 home runs gives The Hawk a seat on our list.
#4 Lee Smith
Seven times an all-star, Lee’s biggest achievement was his MLB record of the Most Saves in Baseball which he held for over 13 years.
#5 Billy Williams
Mr. Williams racked up an incredible .290, 426 homers, 2,711 hits and nearly 1500 runs over the course of his illustrious Chicago career.
#6 Greg Maddux
A Hall of Famer with less than a decade with the Cubs, but well over 300 wins and 3,371 strikeouts. Easy choice.
#7 Ryne Sandberg
1980’s Cubs favorite and eleven times an all-star. Ryne holds several league records for his work in the field.
#8 Fergie Jenkins
I caught Fergie at the end of his career in the early 80s when he was on an opposing team, but he was still amazing to watch. As a pitcher, Fergie is one of a select few who have a strikeout to walk ratio of over 7.0; his cherry on top of that achievement is his coveted Cy Young Award.
#9 Sammy Sosa
The guy who put them in the seats even when we knew we weren’t going to win. Sammy’s 98 season where he fought Mark McGuire for the single season home run record was nothing short of baseball history; he racked up 66 runs.
#10 Ernie Banks
Ok I’m fudging on this one a little bit; I wasn’t old enough, let alone born, to have been at a Cubs game in the late 1950s, or even in 1971, but to have excluded him from this list would have been sacrilege. Ernie Banks, alias Mr. Cub , was a 14-year all star veteran of the league; he went so far as to make MVP twice consecutively, and totaled an intimidating 522 home runs over the course of his 13 year career.
I think I made safe decisions on this list, especially if we are operating within the lifetime of someone born in the early 1970s. I may end up altering my decisions; after all, I ve got a long way to go before I give up my season tickets.