The Cubs have had many great players come and go since they won their last World Series.
And by many, I mean many.
I like to imagine how great the Cubs would be and how dominating of a team they would be if the stars aligned just right and allowed all these greats to play on the same team in the same year. I have picked this lineup from personal opinion and research that I have done. I know not all my picks will be the same as others but we can all agree it would be an experience and a privilege to be a Cubs fan if this could really happen. If you disagree with my picks please feel free to comment who would be better at a certain position.
First base- Mark Grace
Grace played the game in a time where it seemed every player was using steroids. Looking at his power numbers is evidence enough that he can never be accused of using performance-enhancing drugs. Grace never received proper recognition as one of the game’s best first baseman even though he was a solid player throughout his Cubs career. He had 2,201 hits, a batting average of .308, 456 doubles, 148 home runs, four Gold Gloves and appeared in three All-Star games. Grace also had the most hits in Major League Baseball from 1990-1999 with 1,754. Once Grace left the Cubs to go to the Arizona Diamondbacks, he became a World Series Champion. Grace played 13 years for the Cubs.
Second Base- Ryne “Ryno” Sandberg
A Cubs All-Star team could not be accurate if “Ryno” was not at second. Ryno became the cornerstone of the Chicago Cubs during his time. He had won nine back-to-back Gold Glove awards from 1983-1991 and appeared in 10 straight All-Star games. He was also a seven-time Silver Slugger winner and was voted MVP in 1984. Even though he hasn’t played in quite some time, fans of baseball know of Ryno and how much he meant to the Cubs. He was a great player and a great manager. Sandberg joined the Cubs again after retirement to shape the organization from the ground up. He turned the Tennessee Smokies into a powerful team who plays the way the Cubs should play. Sandberg played 15 years for the Cubs.
Short Stop- Ernie Banks
Mr. Cub himself will be on every Cub All-Star team for as long as time exists. Banks is undoubtedly the greatest Cub to ever play. He played the game with a passion that has probably yet to be matched. Banks broke the color barrier for the Cubs, becoming the franchise’s first black player. In his career he crushed 512 home runs and 1,636 RBI. Banks played 19 years for the Cubs.
Third Base- Ron Santo
Santo was a great player and beloved member of the Cubs family. There is probably no single player who has contributed more to his team then Santo did. He love the Cubs so much that he took a lower contract offer just so he could play for his favorite team. Santo can be considered the best third baseman of all-time. He hit 342 home runs, had 2,254 hits, 1,331 RBI and had a career OPS of .826. In 2011 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. This would have been the best thing to happen if it wouldn’t have taken his death to make the Baseball Writers of America realize he belonged there. Santo played 14 years with the Cubs.
Right Field- Sammy Sosa
We all know about the steroid use but that still shouldn’t omit him as a great player for the Cubs. Sosa set the Cubs all-time home run record with 545. He had three seasons where he crushed 60+ home runs, four other seasons with 40+, and won two home run titles. He was awarded MVP in 1998 and became the face of the organization throughout the 1990s. Sosa played 12 years for the Cubs.
Center Field- Hack Wilson
Wilson might be a name not familiar to many baseball fans but it should be. In six seasons with the Cubs, he lead the NL in home runs four times, RBI twice and slugging percentage once. He still holds the MLB record for RBI in a season with 191, which will probably never be beat.
Left Field- Billy Williams
Williams is considered the best left fielder in Cubs history. He posted a .296 batting average, .364 on-base percentage and .503 slugging percentage. He ranks third in Cubs history with 392 home runs and second in total bases with 4,262. Williams played 16 years for the Cubs.
Hartnett is the greatest catcher to ever play for the Cubs. He appeared in the first six All-Star Games ever played. In his time he set the record for the most home runs for a catcher at 37. He won the NL MVP award in 1935. He posted 1,867 hits, a .370 on-base percentage, 231 home runs and 1,153 RBI while playing for the Cubs. Hartnett played 19 years of the Cubs.
The Cubs have had many great pitchers in the past. For the sake of reading material I will just say who the five man starting roster should be. I would say Greg Maddox is the best Cub to ever pitch. Although he pitched most of his career in Atlanta I would still list him as the number one starter. Next would be Kerry Wood. When Wood first appeared he was dominant. Wood would be followed by Mark Prior. Now, I’m talking about 2001 Prior and Wood when they were both sporting crazy good numbers. Next would be Rick Sutcliffe followed by Fergie Jenkins. The reason Jenkins would be last is to confuse the opponent. Nobody expects the best pitcher on the team to be listed number five in the starting lineup.
Closer- Bruce Sutter
Great pitching is one thing but every team needs a closer. Bruce Sutter is one of the few relievers to win a Cy Young award. Sutter posted a Cubs career of 95 saves, 2.23 ERA, 345 strikeouts in 307 innings.