Chicago Cubs all-time starting lineup

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Who are the best players in Chicago Cubs history?

(AP Photo)

The Chicago Cubs history dates all the way back to the founding of the National League in 1876. And while the team's history is largely short of World Series titles, it's also full of memorable players and Hall of Famers. With that in mind, here are our picks for the best nine (plus a few more spots) in Chicago Cubs history.

1B: Cap Anson

(AP Photo)

Anson's place in baseball history is a detestable one as he played a role in establishing the sport's color barrier that lasted until Jackie Robinson broke it in 1947. Anson's refusal to take the field against black players carried a lot of weight in the 1880s because he was one of baseball's first superstars. He played for 27 seasons, most of them with the Cubs, and was likely the first member of the 3,000-hit club.

2B: Ryne Sandberg

(Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005, "Ryno" played all 16 of his major league seasons at Wrigley Field. He was an eight-time Gold Glove winner, the 1984 NL MVP and finished his career with 282 home runs. There's honestly no other Cubs second baseman in the conversation for this spot. With that in mind, here's a look at the best starting nine in Chicago Cubs history. All of these players save for one are in the Hall of Fame.

SS: Ernie Banks

(Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

Banks actually played more games at first base (1,259) than shortstop (1,125) but he was instrumental in paving the way for the power-hitting shortstops that became more common-place in the 1980s and beyond. Banks hit 512 career home runs in his 19 seasons (all played with the Cubs) and won back-to-back NL MVPs in 1958 and 1959. He was a 14-time All-Star and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

3B: Ron Santo

(Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network)

Santo has been the gold standard for Cubs third basemen and it will take a lot to unseat him from that spot. The Washington native spent his first 14 seasons with the Cubs before one awkward season with the crosstown White Sox, hitting 337 career homers and making nine All-Star teams. He led the National League in walks on four separate occasions and rarely mi ssed a game, even though he was a diabetic. Santo inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012, almost two full years after his death in 2010. (He deserved to be in much sooner.)

OF: Sammy Sosa

(Getty Images)

Sosa may still be persona non grata at Wrigley Field, but he can certainly anchor this lineup any day. Sosa is still the only player to hit 60 or more homers in three different seasons and he won the 19981 NL MVP with a slash line of .308/.377/.647. Jacking balls onto Waveland and entertaining the right field bleachers in between innings? Yeah, we'll take that.

OF: Hack Wilson

(AP Photo)

Wilson stood just 5-foot-6, but could power hit with the best of them. His 56 homers in the 1930 season was a National League record that stood until both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa broke it 68 years later.

OF: Billy Williams

(Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

'Sweet Swinging" Billy Williams remains one of the most popular Cubs of all time. Not only for being one of the nicest men imaginable, but also for his on-field play. Williams hit 392 homers over his 16 years with the Cubs and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

C: Gabby Hartnett

(AP Photo)

Hartnett's last game for the Cubs happened in 1940 and still no backstop has come close to unseating him. The 1935 NL MVP, Hartnett played 19 of his 20 seasons with the Cubs and hit 236 home runs, including the legendary "homer in the gloaming" during the 1938 NL pennant race. Hartnett was a key member of three NL Pennant-winning teams (1932, 1935 and 1938) and was actually the team's player-manager for the 1938 season. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955.

P: Ferguson Jenkins

(AP Photo)

Greg Maddux was the best pitcher to ever wear a Cubs uniform, but he also left to sign with the Braves. Fergie Jenkins, though, is more than just a replacement. A top-tier Hall of Famer, Jenkins had six straight season of 20 or more victories with the Cubs and his 284 career victories are the most-ever in MLB history for a Black pitcher.

RP: Lee Smith

(Patrick Kunzer/Daily Herald via AP)

A dominant reliever who pitched for the Cubs from 1980 to 1987, Smiths's 478 career saves were a major league record until Trevor Hoffman passed him in 2006. Smith was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 2019.

Manager: Joe Maddon

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Frank Chance, who led the team from 1905 to 1912, won 768 games (the second-most in club history to Cap Anson) and two World Series. But with all due respect to Mr. Chance, only one man broke a 108-year World Series drought and that was Joe Maddon, who went 471-339 over his five seasons with the team, winning one Fall Classic and making four playoff appearances. Related: Chicago White Sox all-time starting lineup

1

1