After an endless wait of 108 years, Chicago Cubs fans are finally celebrating the end of their World Series Championship drought. Since they are the current reigning World Champions of baseball, it’s the perfect time to honor some of the best players that have played for the Chicago Cubs throughout the years. Here’s a look at 5 of the best players that have played a significant role in the Cubs’ history.
Ron Santo, Third Baseman (1960-1973)
One of the best third basemen of all time, Ron Santo made 9 National League All-Star teams during his 14 seasons as a Chicago Cub. Santo led the National League in walks, triples, and on-base percentage throughout his career, and routinely hit over .300 with 30 or more home runs. Overall, Santo hit 342 home runs and drove in 1,331 runs, solidifying himself as a true baseball legend.
Santo was also a standout defensive player, winning the first 5 straight Gold Glove Awards in 1964. He also led the National League in total chances, games, assists, and putouts multiple times throughout his career. When he retired from baseball in 1974, Santo had the record for most double plays by a third baseman.
Ferguson Jenkins, Pitcher (1966-1973)
Ferguson ‘Fergie’ Jenkins played the majority of his baseball career for the Chicago Cubs and made three of their All-Star teams. Jenkins won the 1971 National League Cy-Young Award, making him the first Cubs pitcher (as well as the first Canadian pitcher) to win the achievement.
Before retiring in 1983, Jenkins recorded his 3,000th strikeout for the Cubs, being the only pitcher at the time who held the amount with a low number of walks. Jenkins also had 6 straight seasons of winning 20 baseball games and led the National League in wins and complete games during his career with the Chicago Cubs.
Ryne Sandberg, Second Baseman (1982-1994, 1996-1997)
Known as the best second baseman of his time, Ryne Sandberg made 10 consecutive All-Star teams and won 9 straight Gold Gloves. He won the 1984 National League Most Valuable Player Award after hitting .314 with 200 hits, 114 runs, 19 home runs, and 84 RBIs.
Sandberg was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005, and his jersey number of 23 was put into retirement by the Chicago Cubs. With a career fielding percentage of .989, Sandburg holds an impressive major league record.
Billy Williams, Left Fielder (1959-1974)
Billy Williams made 6 National League All-Star teams for the Chicago Cubs and won the 1961 National League Rookie of the Year. Williams also won the National League batting title in 1972, hitting .333 that year.
Williams hit over 400 home runs in his baseball career, including multiple seasons of over 30 home runs. He was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, having regularly hit over .300 with 100 runs batted in every season.
Ernie Banks, Shortstop and First Baseman (1953-1971)
“Let’s play two!” was the popular catchphrase that Ernie Banks used on the baseball field, wishing that he could play a doubleheader every day. Well-liked for his attitude and love for the game, Banks earned the nicknames ‘Mr. Sunshine’ and ‘Mr. Cub. Banks’ among both fans and players alike.
Banks holds a number of Cubs records, including a number of games played, at-bats, extra-base hits, and total bases. He also won a Gold Glove Award and made 14 National League All-Star teams. During the years of 1958 and 1959, Banks won 2 National League Most Valuable Player awards and led the National League in home runs as well.