The Mount Rushmore of the Chicago Cubs

Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks

Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks

The Cubs are the second of the original NL clubs in our Mount Rushmore series. Your task is to choose the four players who best represent this franchise that has operated continuously since the NL was founded in 1876. Have fun!

While the Cubs’ persona of being lovable losers is well earned, it hasn’t always been thus. Indeed, Chicago, then known as the White Stockings, was the NL champion in the league’s inaugural 1876 season. Led by star first baseman Cap Anson, the White Stockings were the dominant team of the 1880s with 5 championships in 7 seasons (1880-86), and only one season in the 1880-91 period finishing lower than 3rd or with a winning percentage below .550.

The White Stockings’ nickname changed to the Colts in 1890 and to the Orphans in 1898. But, new nicknames couldn’t mask a bad club as Chicago finished no higher than 4th from 1892 to 1902. Fortunes started to change with the adoption of the Cubs nickname in 1903 and shortly thereafter came 4 pennants in 5 years (1906-10) including two world championships by teams noted for their pitching and defense, particularly staff ace Mordecai (Three Finger) Brown and the famous infield of Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance. Chicago won another pennant in the abbreviated 1918 season, but that was their only finish higher than 3rd from 1912 to 1928 despite fielding competitive teams in most of those seasons.

The Cubs won 4 pennants in 10 seasons from 1929 to 1938 but it was an unusual sort of dominance in that each of those championships was separated by three seasons from the one preceding it. Still, their worst record in that stretch was 84-70 in 1931, aside from which they never finished more than eight games back. Notable players on those teams included future HOFers Gabby Hartnett and Billy Herman, and All-Stars Stan Hack and Lon Warneke.

The Cubs struggled through the war years, posting five straight sub-.500 seasons (1940-44) for the first time in franchise history, but breaking that string with another pennant in 1945, their tenth since 1901. Notwithstanding an impressive pennant count, Chicago had lost 7 straight World Series by 1945, a point driven home by an unusual incident during that year’s series when an eccentric fan was denied entry to Wrigley Field because of his companion goat (for which the fan had purchased a ticket). Outraged, the fan is reputed to have angrily shouted that the Cubs would never again win a World Series, an utterance forever after known as the Billy Goat Curse. That “curse” is still holding, almost 70 years later.

The transition from contender to doormat came swiftly  with 20 straight seasons (1947-66) finishing no higher than 5th, including only two at .500 or better (both just so, at 77-77 in 1952 and 82-80 in 1963). Charlie Grimm’s dismissal as manager during the 1949 season was the first of many to follow with no Cubs skipper lasting more than 3 years until Leo Durocher took the helm for 6+ seasons starting in 1966. The revolving door was spinning fastest from 1960 to 1962 when no fewer than 7 men held the manager’s chair at one time or another during just those three seasons.

Cub fortunes revived in the late ’60s and early ’70s with the emergence of four future HOFers in Ferguson Jenkins, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and Billy Williams. Despite competitive teams, the Cubs’ failure to make the post-season would cost Durocher his job in 1972. Most disappointing was the 1969 season when a 5 game division lead starting September quickly disappeared when an 8 game Cub losing skid coincided with a 10 game winning streak by the Mets. Since then, Chicago has been a perennial also-ran, with only brief periods of respectability, among them five division titles (1984, 1989, 2003, 2007, 2008), the latter two part of a three-year run of .500 seasons in 2007-09, the first time with that very modest accomplishment since 1967-72 under Durocher.

The 2003 season was the closest Chicago has come to the World Series since the “billy goat” incident in 1945. Leading 3 games to 2 in the best of 7 NLCS, Chicago took a 3-0 game 6 lead into the eighth inning when another incident involving a home fan occurred. With one out, the Marlins’ Luis Castillo hit a foul pop behind 3rd base that drifted towards the seats. Left fielder Moises Alou leaped to make the catch only to have the ball deflected away from his waiting glove by a Cub fan sitting in the front row. Steve Bartman would become infamous for depriving Alou of a chance at that out, but it was the Cubs who self-destructed from that point, allowing 8 Marlins to cross before the fourth pitcher of the inning finally put out the fire.

Here are the top 15 career WAR scores as Cub batters.

Rk Player WAR From To Age G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Cap Anson 84.4 1876 1897 24-45 2277 10123 1722 3012 529 124 97 1880 953 321 .331 .396 .448 .844 *35/2746819
2 Ron Santo 72.0 1960 1973 20-33 2126 8979 1109 2171 353 66 337 1290 1071 1271 .279 .366 .472 .838 *5/6H74
3 Ryne Sandberg 67.7 1982 1997 22-37 2151 9276 1316 2385 403 76 282 1061 761 1259 .285 .344 .452 .796 *45/H6D
4 Ernie Banks 67.5 1953 1971 22-40 2528 10394 1305 2583 407 90 512 1636 763 1236 .274 .330 .500 .830 36/H57
5 Billy Williams 61.6 1959 1974 21-36 2213 9504 1306 2510 402 87 392 1353 911 934 .296 .364 .503 .867 *79/3H8
6 Sammy Sosa 58.5 1992 2004 23-35 1811 7898 1245 1985 296 32 545 1414 798 1815 .284 .358 .569 .928 *98/HD
7 Stan Hack 52.5 1932 1947 22-37 1938 8508 1239 2193 363 81 57 642 1092 466 .301 .394 .397 .791 *5/H3
8 Gabby Hartnett 52.3 1922 1940 21-39 1927 7132 847 1867 391 64 231 1153 691 683 .297 .370 .490 .860 *2H/3
9 Frank Chance 45.5 1898 1912 21-35 1275 5070 795 1269 200 79 20 590 548 319 .297 .394 .395 .789 *32/978
10 Joe Tinker 45.3 1902 1916 21-35 1539 6153 670 1439 220 93 28 671 345 465 .259 .303 .347 .651 *6/5H9
11 Mark Grace 43.9 1988 2000 24-36 1910 8234 1057 2201 456 43 148 1004 946 561 .308 .386 .445 .832 *3/H
12 Billy Herman 39.7 1931 1941 21-31 1344 6164 875 1710 346 69 37 577 470 282 .309 .366 .417 .782 *4/H
13 Johnny Evers 39.5 1902 1913 20-31 1409 5634 742 1340 183 64 9 448 556 211 .276 .354 .345 .700 *4/659
14 Bill Nicholson 38.2 1939 1948 24-33 1349 5614 738 1323 245 53 205 833 696 684 .272 .368 .471 .840 *9/H7
15 Ned Williamson 36.4 1879 1889 21-31 1065 4522 744 1050 211 80 61 622 465 482 .260 .338 .397 .735 *56/2143
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/5/2014.

And the top 15 pitchers, by career WAR as a Cub.

Rk Player WAR From To Age G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% IP BB SO ERA FIP ERA+
1 Fergie Jenkins 53.2 1966 1983 23-40 401 347 154 29 25 167 132 .559 2673.2 600 2038 3.20 3.06 119
2 Rick Reuschel 48.3 1972 1984 23-35 358 343 65 17 9 135 127 .515 2290.0 640 1367 3.50 3.15 113
3 Mordecai Brown 45.3 1904 1916 27-39 346 241 206 48 98 188 86 .686 2329.0 445 1043 1.80 2.21 153
4 Clark Griffith 44.4 1893 1900 23-30 265 252 240 9 13 152 96 .613 2188.2 517 573 3.40 3.82 129
5 Pete Alexander 41.8 1918 1926 31-39 242 224 158 24 15 128 83 .607 1884.1 268 614 2.84 3.17 131
6 Bill Hutchinson 40.8 1889 1895 29-35 368 339 317 21 28 180 158 .533 3022.1 1109 1225 3.56 3.74 113
7 Hippo Vaughn 40.7 1913 1921 25-33 305 270 177 35 31 151 105 .590 2216.1 621 1138 2.33 2.56 125
8 Charlie Root 38.4 1926 1941 27-42 605 339 177 21 171 201 156 .563 3137.1 871 1432 3.55 3.78 112
9 Carlos Zambrano 37.9 2001 2011 20-30 319 282 9 4 6 125 81 .607 1826.2 823 1542 3.60 3.98 122
10 John Clarkson 36.7 1884 1887 22-25 199 197 186 15 2 137 57 .706 1730.2 300 960 2.39 3.03 150
11 Greg Maddux 33.8 1986 2006 20-40 302 298 47 14 3 133 112 .543 2016.0 547 1305 3.61 3.52 112
12 Bob Rush 32.9 1948 1957 22-31 339 292 112 13 24 110 140 .440 2132.2 725 1076 3.71 3.45 109
13 Claude Passeau 32.6 1939 1947 30-38 292 234 143 22 44 124 94 .569 1914.2 474 754 2.96 3.08 120
14 Ed Reulbach 29.1 1905 1913 22-30 281 216 149 31 53 136 65 .677 1864.2 650 799 2.24 2.87 124
15 Lon Warneke 28.8 1930 1945 21-36 262 190 122 17 48 109 72 .602 1624.2 413 706 2.84 3.46 131
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/5/2014.

Please choose 4 players, or write in your own. Polls are open until midnight Pacific time on Tue, Nov 25th. You can check on results using the link at the bottom of the ballot.

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74 Comments on "The Mount Rushmore of the Chicago Cubs"

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Baltimorechop
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I should’ve voted for chance. What a mistake.

Phil
Guest

Banks, Fergie, Santo, Williams. I know Sandberg will make it, but I’m a ’70s guy.

Steven
Guest

Santo, Banks and Williams-who finally played on some good teams in the mid-to-late stages of their careers-and Frank Chance, the only manager (and first-baseman) of a Cubs’ World Championship team.

John
Guest
Ernie is a gimme. No doubt the greatest Cub of all time. Fergie was my second choise. Williams was tough to leave off, but I wanted more than 1 era represented. Cap Anson was probably the greatest 19th century player/manager. Ryno was always my favorite player & it was tough leaving him off, too. Santo was the last player cut, in favor of The Peerless Leader. I considered Jack Brickhouse & Harry Carey – they are commemorated on the Foul Poles at The Friendly Confines. In the end, my foud choices are Cap Anson, Frank Chance, Ernie Banks, and Fergie… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
I’m going strictly timeline this time around. #1 Frank Chance- The Peerless Leader The only other thought was a mini-3-headed figure of Tinker, Evers & Chance Anson is out for me. The guy who is probably most responsible for segregating baseball ain’t going up on no Mt. Rushmore of mine. Next was probably the hardest call. Alexander didn’t make the Phillies cut and he deserves to be up there somewhere but there are just too many other players with stronger links to the Cubbies. Thought briefly about Stan Hack and longer about Phil Cavarretta but finally decided the answer was… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest

And might I also add that in addition to Gabby, Charles Leo Hartnett also answered to the moniker…

Old Tomato Face

Peerless Leader, Old Tomato Face. Mr. Cub and Ryno

Top that.

John
Guest

Wonder who the D’bag was that didn’t vote for Ernie Banks.

no statistician but
Guest
I went with Banks—my gut said Santo, but Ernie carried the team on his shoulders from 1954 through 1960, and that ought not to be overridden by the fact that Ron was undervalued literally to death. Hartnett—lynchpin on three NL champs, MVP. Retired holding several of the batting records for catcher, including hits, HRs, and RBIs. Also games played. Brown—he led the best pitching staff in the majors during the real glory years of the Cubs, out-duelled Mathewson more often than not, and won five WS games, three of them shutouts. Fergie was a great pitcher for longer, but he… Read more »
Miranda
Guest

Banks, Santo, Sandberg, and Frank Chance — not just as a member of the famous double-play combo, but because he “is the all-time leader in managerial winning percentage in Cubs history,” according to Wikipedia.

Doug
Guest
Charlie Root is one of the more under-appreciated pitchers you’ll come across. His 266 NL relief appearances lead all pitchers with 300 NL starts. His major league total of 291 relief appearances ranks 8th among those with 300 ML starts. Not bad for a pitcher with only 60 IP before his age 27 season. Root’s 26 wins in 1927 also make him the last Cub to win 25 in a season. Root is also the *only* 200-game winner to have all of those wins come at age 27+. That last factoid is a convenient segue to Mordecai Brown, just behind… Read more »
Tubbs
Guest
I voted for Anson, Hartnett, Banks, & Sandberg If it is close I like to have as many eras represented as possible so Hartnett gets the nod over Williams Anson gets a spot despite being a despicable person, he was probably the greatest player of the 19th century. I’m okay with his part of the monument being grafittied I’m glad to see the Mt. Rushmore series back and would also like to see the “Does He Belong in the Hall of Fame” polls brought back, especially with the Golden Era Veteran Committee election coming up in December. I’d love to… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
I like to have representation across eras, like many of the voters here. That being said, there are other considerations, too. Banks and Sandberg were the obvious ones for me. Then I went with Santo. Had he JUST been a player, I might’ve left him off. But his time announcing for the team and staying a part of the organization for so long puts him over the top. That leaves one spot. I don’t care about 19th century baseball that much, plus who wants Cap Anson honored? So that means I really wanted a pre-1960 Cub, and I also wanted… Read more »
Steve
Guest

Ernie, Fergie, Billy Williams, Santo over Cap Anson – sorry no room for Ryno

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mosc
Guest

Hartnett is in the conversation for greatest catcher of all time. The rest of these guys are further from the premier players at their positions. Santo’s underrated but he wasn’t Mike Schmitt or even Wade Boggs. I was expecting more love for Hartnett.

no statistician but
Guest
I’m going to step gingerly into the path where angels fear to tread here. When I look at the results after ninety-one voters have expressed their beloved preferences, I see 4 of the top 6 spots being held by members of the hardly-dynastic late-sixties teams, a team that finished a distant third twice before the split to divisional play, and finished second three times—none particularly close—and third once after the change. Is this supposed to be a love feast for the glory that never happened, or an assessment of the franchise as a whole, taking into account the much greater… Read more »
John Autin
Editor
no stat, you seem to imply the question: “If Banks, Santo, Williams and Jenkins were among the greatest Cubs, why were the teams they shared so mediocre?” I’ll offer a two-part answer: 1) Banks was great before Santo and Williams came along. By the time they were regulars, he was an average player. By Fergie’s time, Ernie was well below average. 2) The primes of Santo and Williams dovetail nicely. From 1963-72, they tallied about 42 Wins Above Average (Santo) and 29 WAA (Billy). That’s outstanding — 5th and 9th among all of MLB. But the Cubs were a .500… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
JA: I’ll have to make a reply here to clarify one point. I didn’t indicate that the teams the magic four played on together were “mediocre.” My focus was on the years during which the Cubs had winning records, 1967-1972. Only by expanding the era backwards can you say that they were mediocre, and only then if you lump all the seasons together and figure an average. The fact is, from 1963 to 1966, the team was lousy, on the whole, then it gelled into a good but not great team. And—I might as well go on—your imaginary question puts… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

JA:
I remember reading somewhere Jenkins, Hands, Pappas, and maybe Holtzman had more WAR in a single season together (maybe 1969 or ’70 or ’71)than any of the pennant winners of the time. Not sure how to confirm that on the Play Index….

Anyway,
Banks, Santo, Sandberg, Jenkins. Sorry Billy

Dr. Doom
Guest

You may be remembering this from the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. He was talking Win Shares rather than WAR, of course, but I believe the 1969 Cubs showed up as the best rotation of the 1960s, and I think the ’71 team was the best of the 1970s. Kind of odd and remarkable, when you think about it.

bstar
Guest

If it’s about WAR, it’s the 1970 Cubs rotation, featuring Fergie, Pappas, Hands, and Holtzman. All four starters had over 4 WAR, making them one of only 13 teams since 1901 to accomplish that.

Doug
Guest

Banks, Sandberg and Santo lead the way with Anson and Jenkins (currently tied) battling for the fourth and final Rushmore spot.

Write-in votes are for Greg Maddux and Andre Dawson.

Alan
Guest

Banks (no-brainer), Anson (this is Mt. Rushmore–George Washington HAS to be on there), Santo (I’m sentimental that way), and Three-Finger Brown. I mean, Brown needs to be on SOMEBODY’s Mt. Rushmore, and…that would be the Cubs.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I respect folks’ modern sensitivities regarding race.
But judging a ballplayer who was born in 1852 based upon those sensitivities is a logical stretch at best, and smells of contrived honky overcompensation at worst.

Talking about Cap Anson here.
Pop was player-manager of the Chicago NL team from age 28 – 45.
And he raked at an inner-circle clip.

Dude was a major player in the very birth of modern baseball.

Here’s an article with some historical context:

http://www.capanson.com/chapter4.html

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
For personal context, I am predominantly Sicilian. Which means I have enjoyed being beaten and robbed by blacks for being white. And I’ve been rebuffed professionally by the old boy network for not being white enough. It also means that I get to have fun with being chameleonic. Just last week I debuted a new theatrical character: an Iraqi stand-up comedian. (I’ll post video sometime, perhaps) _______ Maybe we should call this exercise The Each Team Hall of Fame for 4 Guys Who Were Great at Baseball and Also Not Jerks _______ Mt. Rushmore? Two of those guys owned slaves.… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
I started writing a long reply about stuff like being products of our environment and holding people from different times and places to different standards and a little of my own personal history but frankly I wasn’t really making the point I was trying to make plus even I though it was turning out pretty boring so I just erased it. Instead I’ll let Bill James in his first HBA do the talking for me when he was comparing Hal Chase to Shoeless Joe Jackson. “This is not the corrupted; this is the corrupt.” I’m sure that many and probably… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

As Hartvig stated, just because many people were racists, that doesn’t make all racists the same.

Beyond that, though, there are other reasons not to vote for Anson. I, for one, have trouble putting a professional softball player on ANY team’s Mount Rushmore. And pre-1893 “baseball” (you know, the fist 22 years of Anson’s career) were played with underhand pitching from 50′. I don’t think there’s a single team in MLB for whom I would vote for a primarily pre-1893 player. Anson’s racism just seals the deal beyond any doubt, for me, anyway.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Dr. Doom, I hear you that it may have been easier to hit a ball way back in the day. But we dont have to compare Anson to today’s players. He stands out as the greatest player in the first 50 years of the game. We as baseball fans are historians. It is literally short-sighted to dismiss a part of history that doesn’t fit today’s moral or technical standards. Here’s the leaders for the first 40 years, of which Anson played 27. 1871 – 1911 Hits 3435 … Anson 2934 … Beckley 2932 … Keeler 2850 … Burkett 2676 …… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
All due respect, I disagree. My prerogative as a baseball fan is not to preserve history. My prerogative is to enjoy baseball. I think it is perfectly fair of me to judge that people playing a game with different rules were, in fact, playing a different game. When we list the greatest football players of all time, I feel no obligation to list rugby players. Not only that, but I feel no obligation to include players who played before the forward pass was made legal. That is because I think football is a fundamentally different game now. Likewise, I just… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

……………….
…….
Yah, I hear you. Mostly agree with you, actually.

JasonZ
Guest
Voomo: You always write directly from the heart, and I appreciate that. The recollections of your youth strike a personal chord. My father grew up in the Melting Pot of the Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY in the years after WWII. My dad got beat up by blacks all the time. When I was a young boy he would advise me to cross the street if I saw a group of black kids. His crime? Being 6″2 125 lbs at age 12. Not allowed to fight back and therefore a target of those who prey on the different. As for Mr.… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Jason Z, yep, my father is from the South Bronx, too. _______ (and, just to make my point clear: if we are going to cherrypick when to dismiss someone’s ‘greatness’ because of their political/social beliefs, then we should be honest about the fact that the Mt Rushmore (Six Grandfathers) monument is deeply offensive to everyone who is indigenous to the Black Hills (the few who have survived, that is). This bothers me not because I’m a political activist (I’m not). I’m interested in keeping language and intelligent discourse alive. And I’ve watched most of our country lose the ability to… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
As someone who lives in SD, I would say that criticism of actual Mt. Rushmore is alive and well. Admittedly, I live across the state from the actual Mount, but there are definitely voices who regularly point that out. You are stretching dangerously into “you kids get off my lawn” territory with your second parenthetical paragraph. Nonetheless, point taken. The point that has to be taken is that human beings are, as it turns out, incredibly flawed. Every single rotten generation of us. We absolutely have to acknowledge that. On the other hand, that does not make all evils equal,… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Yes, I agree. Pitt was good. In fact, I watched the movie because I trusted that if nothing else, Pitt would be good.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

My entire contribution to this thread indicates severe withdrawal symptoms from having actual baseball to watch.

no statistician but
Guest
Anyone interested in a new vote for the real Mt. Rushmore? At the time it was conceived the only controversial choice, to my mind, was Teddy R., just because he didn’t have the gravitas and stature of the others. Who—for instance—would be the politically correct top four if we voted now? The darlings of economic freedom top four? The—what the heck—post Teddy R top four? I’ll volunteer these names as a nominal starter to the last question: FDR, DDE, LBJ just barely, and . . . I can only come up with three. Damn. Truman and Kennedy—overrated. Reagan—wrongheaded in the… Read more »
Joseph
Guest

If it weren’t disrespectful to the other players, perhaps it would be poetic justice to put Anson on the Cub’s Rushmore with Banks, Jenkins, and Sosa.

Hartvig
Guest

How about Banks, Williams, Jenkins & Sosa with a statue of a dumbfounded looking Anson in the viewing area staring up at them?

bells
Guest
He’s a product of his context, I’m a product of mine. If you’re implying (which I believe you are) that it’s supposed to be fair for him in his context to have used his power and influence to be instrumental in excluding an entire race of people from baseball, I think it’s just as fair for me in my context to think that how he used his influence was inexcusable and exclude him from some theoretical exercise. Questions of race and how people talk about it are inherently tricky, but my analysis of it feels like while yes, it’s definitely… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Mostly I made those comments because I trust this as maybe the one place on the internet where sensible, reasoned replies will appear.
________

Here’s a breakdown of the pitcher’s ‘mound’ through history:

http://www.19cbaseball.com/field-8.html

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vote:

Cap Anson
Three-Finger Brown
Ernie Banks
Ryne Sandberg

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
3F Mordecai spent his rookie year in St. Louis. The next nine in Chicago. Here’s where stacks up, historically, for the first 10 seasons of a career. (and he only pitched 89 innings that 10th year. So if we looked at first 9 seasons it would be more impressive, but I’m trying to look at him historically AND as a Cubbie) And this is, of course, starting in 1901. Would be nice if the Play Index ran back to 1893: WINS 236 Mathewson 235 Alexander 231 Johnson 203 Grove 202 Plank 196 Mullin 195 Three Finger Brown 192 Hubbell 191… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Actually, Play Index goes back to 1871. Here are those same lists, for the first 10 seasons of a career since 1893.

WINS
246 McGinnity
236 Mathewson
235 Alexander
231 Johnson
203 Grove
202 Plank
196 Mullin
195 Three Finger Brown
195 Willis
192 Hubbell
191 Marichal
190 Walsh
189 Robin Roberts
_______

Shutouts

77 Alexander
63 Johnson
61 Mathewson
55 Walsh
49 Three Finger Brown
45 Joss
45 Marichal
40 Waddell
40 Doc White
40 Stottlemyre
40 Sutton
39 Seaver
39 Blyleven
_______

ERA+ (minimum 1500 IP)

172 Walter Johnson
169 Pedro
153 Three Finger Brown
147 Alexander
147 Walsh
145 Clemens
144 Grove
143 Johan Santana
142 Mathewson
142 Joss
141 Seaver
140 Waddell
140 Hubbell
140 Newhouser

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Ah yes, that information has been half an inch under the year box all this time… makes one wonder just how many important details are lingering in the periphery.

Doug
Guest

I took Anson, Brown, Hartnett and Banks.

Covers all of their pennant winners save for 1918 and 1945.

John Autin
Editor

I committed the sacrilege: Santo, Sandberg, Jenkins and Chance (with a nod to his peerless leadership). Sorry, Mr. Cub.

I just think that Santo was Banks’s equal in peak value, and he had more good years.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

About halfway through watching “Moneyball” for the 1st time.
I understand how to build a compelling narrative, but did they have to do it at the expense of basic accuracy? Giambi and Pena were traded 6 weeks apart! There is nonsense like this every 5 minutes.

… i should just close my b-r tabs and enjoy the movie…

no statistician but
Guest

JA:

Your choices, despite the critique at #26 above, aren’t that different from mine. I almost took Santo over Banks, but I’m old enough to remember how great Banks was in the ’50s, plus he was the face of the franchise. The 1930s team get short shrift in people’s memories, but Hartnett was every bit as good as Sandberg for what he was doing in the era he played in, considering his position. As for Fergie over Brown, it’s a matter of what syllable you put the emphasis on. We both took a chance on Frank, despite his low numbers.

Alan
Guest

Wow, that is indeed bold. I myself regret failing to find a vote for Gabby Hartnett, but skipping over Banks, the 2-time MVP, 500 home run man, and face of the franchise for over 50 years–why, I can scarcely credit you sir! Ryne Sandberg over Mr. Cub?

John Autin
Editor

Yes, Alb, I choose Ryno over Ernie. This “face of the franchise” business … That would mean a bit more to me if Banks had some tangible contribution to the club’s on-field success after his playing career. As for on-field “face of the franchise,” I think Sandberg filled that every bit as much as Banks. In terms of performance value, I think Banks had a higher but shorter peak. Ryno had more good years. Their best 10-year spans are about the same, to me. So it’s a coin flip, and I just went with the contrarian option.

Steven
Guest

Charlie Grimm would qualify as a legitimate write-in candidate. Good hitter, and managed three pennant winners.

Mike L
Guest
At the risk of doing something really stupid I wanted to direct people to the real Mt. Rushmore and the following link. http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/the-lincoln-douglas-debates-4th-debate-part-i/ As noted in the Ford 1910 “debate” I’m a politics junkie, but I started as a history junkie, and that started with a kid’s-abridged Sandburg’s Lincoln series. I don’t remember this particular statement being extensively quoted by Sandberg. Everyone is a product of their environment. Some let “the better angels of our nature” direct their actions, and some don’t. I’m skipping this vote because I don’t have a good feel for it. But if I had to… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Inspiring speech!

I reproduced the first five minutes of it.
(and note, the laugh track is indicated in the script)

Home sick with a head cold – creativity is sometimes the product of being completely freaking stir-crazy.

Enjoy:

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/0db6ae7ac4/abraham-lincoln-september-18th-1858-first-five-minutes

Mike L
Guest
Try this one. No laughs, but perhaps the most basic definition of liberty ever given. 7th Lincoln Douglas Debate, Sept, 1858. “That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles—right and wrong—throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It… Read more »
JasonZ
Guest
NSB, a Mt. Rushmore post Teddy?? Personal Politics aside, in order…based on impact… 1. FDR 2. Reagan 3. JFK 4. WJC Broadcasting Mt. Rushmore 1. Red Barber (Go Gators) 2. Vin Scully 3. Harry Caray 4. Ernie Harwell Manager Mt. Rushmore pre-expansion. 1. Connie Mack 2. Casey Stengel 3. John McGraw 4. Joe McCarthy Manager Mt. Rushmore post expansion. 1. Tony LaRussa 2. Joe Torre 3. Sparky Andesson 4. Bobby Cox 4a. Bob Brenly (Cox is almost dust). Mt. Rushmore of Owners. 1. Big Stein. Easily the most important and influential owner of the last half century. 2. Bill Veeck… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

JasonZ:

FDR to the San Diego Chicken?

You’ve got it all covered.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Brenly? Do you mean Bochy?

(And if you do mean Bochy, well, he has a career W% of .502.
As average as average.

Of course, 34-14 (.708) in the playoffs since 2010)

John
Guest
I agree whole-heartedly with most of your picks, but not your Owner’s Mt. Rushmore. You have 4 very good suggestions, and each are worthy, but I would have to replace Col. Ruppert with Charlie Finley. yes, I am serious. Sure, he did a lot of outrageous things, like using a live mule as a team mascot, and firing his second baseman midway thru the World Series, but he also is more responsible for putting the World Series games at night when more people can watch it than anyone else. His stinginess as much as anything led to free agency. Col.… Read more »
JasonZ
Guest

I agree that Cap Anson between the lines was one of the very best in his time.

For our purposes it seems to be between the ears where he comes up short.

Mt. Rushmore in our culture is reserved for the best of the best.

Those who led. (GW)

Those who inspired. (TJ)

Those who sacrificed. (AL)

Those who are admired. (TR)

The Chicago Cubs have a glorious history.

They can do alot better then Anson.

1. Frank Chance
2. Ernie Banks
3. Ron Santo
4. Billy Williams, length of service gets the nod
over Ferguson Jenkins.

JasonZ
Guest

Meant Bochy.

A fourth World Series would supplant Cox.

The NFL has turned into Arena Football.

I too miss baseball big time.

JasonZ
Guest

I Meant Bochy.

A fourth World Series would supplant Cox.

Four is a big number.

I also am suffering.

The NFL has turned into Arena Football.

Aaron Rogers just through another TD pass against the Bears.

I miss baseball big time.

oneblankspace
Guest
The comment I typed after voting got lost because I waited to long to submit. I had a write-in vote for Hack Wilson, and I also voted for the player the Cubs brought up because Gene Baker needed a roommate and they did not want to make a white player room with him: Ernie Banks. For over 60 years, Wilson had the NL record in HR with 56 [1930] (although some say it should have been 57, as he had a double that bounced off a wall behind the fence in Cincinnati). That is still the most HR by a… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest

@59,

Fair balls hit over the fence in Chicago’s Lake Front Park were doubles until 1884; when they became home runs. Predictably, Chicago players’ doubles totals in 1884 dropped, and their HR totals soared.

I think that was a similar situation in the Boston 1894 season, when their ballpark burned down in mid-season and they moved into a much smaller ballpark and scoring soared.

Hartvig
Guest
I have probably 150 to maybe 200 books about baseball in my library. Many of them are related to the past history of the game- from Bill James’ Historical Baseball Almanacs to Ritter’s The Glory of Their Times to biographies on everyone from Ruth to Radbourn. I would think that at least should make me more knowledgable about the games history than most baseball fans. We have been going back and forth pretty much ad nauseam about wether or not Cap Anson should be included on the Cubbies Mt. Rushmore- to which I contributed more than my fair share- but… Read more »
John Autin
Editor
About excusing Cap Anson’s racist views as a product of his time, and comparing him to the two slave-holders on the real Mt. Rushmore as well as well-known racists like Ty Cobb who presumably would go on their team’s Mt. Rushmore: I think there’s an important difference between acquiescing in an established wrong, and leading the charge to institute a wrong. For an analogy, don’t we take a different view of those who “pioneered” steroid use, versus those who began using after it was widespread, or those who only failed to blow the whistle? Another thing … Anson grew up… Read more »
Kirk
Guest
Just some random thoughts from a White Sox fan. Banks, because he has been the face of the franchise forever. Chance, because he best represents the “glory years”. Santo, not for his play so much as they way he connected with the fans after he retired. That leave my fourth pick which is hard. I eliminated Anson because he never played for the Cubs. Then between Ryno, Ferggie and Sammy. I have to go with Sammy because he was the biggest (pun intended) thing for the Cubs for over a decade. Think what might have been if the Cubs traded… Read more »
brp
Guest
I will preface this by saying Mark Grace (warts and all) will always be my favorite player, so this will be heavily biased. I of course threw a vote at him. Sosa’s productive years with the Cubs were 1993-2004. Grace left for Arizona in 2001 and promptly helped them win the WS. In any case, they overlapped in 1993-2000. Grace slashed .313/.394/.466 for a 125 OPS+ over that time frame and had 29.2 WAR or 3.6 per year – smack in the middle between an average starter and an all-star. Raffy hit .296/.381/.558 for 140 OPS+ and 38.4 WAR, or… Read more »
oneblankspace
Guest

Santo was traded to the Sox for Steve Stone.

Darien
Guest
Ernie Banks is obvious. I’m showing my (lack of) age here, but I have to pick Sammy Sosa and Kerry Wood — two guys who defined the Cubs of the late 90s and early 2000s, which was when I started to get interested in baseball again. For my fourth pick… Derrek Lee is my all-time favourite player of all time, so it’s hard not to pick him. Honorable mentions: Cap Anson, while I know he’s a big deal historically, is honestly just a name to me. I don’t really have any grasp of the man himself. Fergie Jenkins, Mark Grace,… Read more »
Jason
Guest

Banks, Sandberg, Jenkins, Maddux

Off topic, but when did it become “Pete Alexander”? Grover Cleveland Alexander has a more regal, legendary ring to it in my mind, and that’s how I always heard it growing up.

Matt
Guest

Although Cap Anson has the highest WAR for any Cub, it’s hard to put him on a Cubs Mount Rushmore, because the guy was a huge racist. He played a huge role in why African Americans didn’t play in the MLB for many decades.

Matt
Guest
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