With the Major League Baseball season now underway, I thought I would celebrate each of the franchise’s and their storied pasts by selecting an All-Time Team for every club.
The teams consist of one player per infield position (1B, 2B, SS, 3B, C), three outfielders, three starting pitchers, and two relief pitchers. Each American League squad also consists of a designated hitter.
So without further ado, here is part 15 of a 30-part series documenting each franchise’s all-time greats.
First Base: Cap Anson 1876-97
A star when the team first joined the National League way back in 1876, Anson led the Cubs to six NL pennants during his 22-year stint.
A two-time NL batting champ and eight-time RBI leader, Anson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939 and is considered to be the first member of the 3,000 hits club.
Second Base: Ryne Sandberg 1982-94, ’96-97
A 10-time All-Star (1984-93) and nine-time Gold Glove winner, Sandberg helped guide the Cubs to a pair of NL East titles (1984, 1989), highlighted by him receiving the NL MVP award in 1984.
The 1990 NL home runs leader and seven-time Silver Slugger recipient, Sandberg’s No. 23 was retired after his career and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
Shortstop: Ernie Banks 1953-71
Generally considered the greatest player in franchise history, Banks spent his entire 19-year career with the Cubs and racked up 14 All-Star selections and a pair of NL MVP awards (1958-59).
He twice led the NL in home runs and RBI, also winning a Gold Glove in 1960 while becoming a member of the 500 home run club (512).
A member of the MLB All-Century Team who has his No. 14 retired by the Cubs, Banks was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.
Third Base: Ron Santo 1960-73
A nine-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner (1964-68), Santo’s No. 10 was retired after his career and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.
Catcher: Gabby Hartnett 1922-40
Playing 19 years in Chicago, Hartnett was named to six All-Star teams and helped the Cubs win four NL pennants in his career.
The 1935 NL MVP, Hartnett was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.
Outfield: Billy Williams 1959-74
The 1961 NL Rookie of the Year and 1972 NL batting champion, Williams was named to six All-Star teams during his 16 years in Chicago while teaming up with Ernie Banks and Ron Santo.
After his career, Williams had his No. 26 retired by the Cubs and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.
Outfield: Andre Dawson 1987-92
A five-time All-Star (1987-91), Dawson led the NL in both home runs and RBI in 1987, winning the league’s MVP Award.
Also a two-time Gold Glove winner and 1987 Silver Slugger recipient, he helped the Cubs win the 1989 NL East title and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Outfield: Sammy Sosa 1992-04
One of the star players of the 90s, Sosa was named a seven-time All-Star and picked up six Silver Slugger awards during his 13 years in Chicago.
Twice leading the NL in home runs and RBI, he was named the 1998 NL MVP and 1999 NL Hank Aaron Award winner and helped lead the Cubs to the postseason twice.
A member of the 600 home run club (609), Sosa tallied three 60-homer seasons, adding another 50 home run season in 2000.
Starting pitcher: Greg Maddux 1986-92, 2004-06
Playing two stints with the Cubs, Maddux led the league in wins during the 1992 season while taking home the NL Cy Young Award.
A two-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove recipient, he helped Chicago win the 1989 NL East title and is a member of both the 300 wins (355) and 3,000 strikeouts (3,371) club.
After his career, Maddux’s No. 31 jersey was retired by the Cubs and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Starting pitcher: Fergie Jenkins 1966-73, ’82-83
Playing 10 seasons across two stints with the Cubs, Jenkins was named to three All-Star teams and the 1971 NL Cy Young Award winner.
The NL’s 1969 strikeouts and 1971 wins leader, Jenkins is a member of the 3,000 strikeout club (3,192) and Baseball Hall of Fame (1991) whose No. 31 jersey is retired by the Cubs.
Starting pitcher: Mordecai Brown 1904-12, 1916
Known as “Three Finger” – a farming accident in his youth took parts of two fingers – Brown led the majors in ERA in 1906 and the NL in wins during the 1909 season.
With a career 2.06 ERA (6th all-time), Brown helped the Cubs win four NL pennants and back-to-back World Series titles in 1907-08.
After his career, he was inducted into both the Cubs Hall and Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Relief pitcher: Lee Smith 1980-87
One of the great relief pitchers of his era, Smith was named to a pair of All-Star teams during his eight years in Chicago and led the majors in saves in 1983.
A member of the 400 saves club (478) and Baseball Hall of Fame (2019), Smith also helped the Cubs win the 1984 NL East title before being traded to Boston.
Relief pitcher: Bruce Sutter 1976-80
Another Hall of Fame reliever (Class of 2006), Sutter took home both the NL Rolaids Relief Man and Cy Young Awards during the 1979 season.
Being named to four All-Star teams during his five seasons in Chicago, Sutter twice led the NL in saves and is a member of the 300 saves club.