Chicago Cubs mascot Clark runs with the W flag as Chicago Cubs left fielder Ian Happ (left) right fielder Seiya Suzuki (center) and center fielder Rafael Ortega (right) celebrate their win against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field. Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs garnered a reputation over the years for being lovable losers but, in fact, they have a wonderful baseball history.

Despite their reputation, the Cubs have won three World Series, their most recent coming in 2016. They also have 17 National League pennants to their name.

Even some of those bad Cub teams produced some of the best players in baseball history. Names like Banks, Maddux, Williams, and Sandberg, just to name a few, have all made a huge impact on this club’s history, which continues today.

Today we honor 10 players who truly made the Cubs what they are. Here are the 10 best Chicago Cubs of all time.

10. Kris Bryant, 3B

Like Greg Maddux, Kris Bryant is from Las Vegas. And like Maddux, he found success with the Cubs. He is a four-time All-Star, World Series champion, NL MVP, and won NL Rookie of the Year in 2016. He became the first player to win a Golden Spikes Award, a Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award, a Rookie of the Year Award, and a Most Valuable Player Award in successive seasons. In addition, he became the sixth player in MLB history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP within his first two seasons, So far in his career, Bryant has a batting average of .275 with 183 home runs and 535 RBIs.

9. Ron Santo, 3B

You can make the argument Ron Santo is the greatest third baseman in franchise history. Santo was a five-time Gold Glove winner, nine-time All-Star, and is part of the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1963, Santo broke the modern National League record with 374 assists at third base, passing Tommy Leach’s 1904 mark. In 1966, he set the all-time league record with 391, a record that stood since 1892. Santos ended his career with a .277 batting average and 342 home runs.

8. Mark Grace, 1B

Mark Grace is perhaps one of the greatest hitters in Cubs and Major League history. Grace wasn’t known as a great home run hitter. However, he knew how to get on base. He was a three-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, and has a career batting average of .303 with over 1,100 RBIs. Grace’s finest hour had to be in the 1989 NLCS where he batted .647 with a home run and three doubles.

7. Greg Maddux, P

Greg Maddux might be better known for his years with the Atlanta Braves, but once upon a time, he was an ace with Chicago. Maddux spent the first six years of his career with the Cubs. While he struggled early, by the 1988 season, he hit his stride, finishing 18–8 with a 3.18 ERA. This began a streak of 17 straight seasons in which Maddux recorded 15 or more wins, the longest in MLB history. Maddux ended his career with 355 wins and a 3.16 ERA. He returned to the Cubs for a stint between 2004 and 2005

6. Billy Williams, LF

Billy Williams started his career with the Cubs in the late 50s where he was a star from the get good. In 1961, Williams was NL Rookie of the Year. He hit 25 home runs and drove in 86 runs, batting .278. Williams’s best season was in 1972 when he was named Major League Baseball Player of the Year by the Sporting News. Williams batted  .333 and posted a .606 slugging percentage with 37 home runs and 122 RBI. He ended his career as a six-time All-Star, NL batting champ and was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame, ending his career with a .290 batting average with 426 home runs and over 1400 RBIs.

5. Ferguson Jenkins, P

In the middle of his baseball career, Ferguson Jenkins played basketball for the Harlem Globetrotters. But clearly, Fergie was at his best as a pitcher for the Cubs. Jenkins was an All-Star for three seasons, and in 1971, he was the first Canadian and Cubs pitcher to win a Cy Young Award. He was a 20-game winner for seven seasons, including six consecutive years for the Cubs. Until 2020, he was the only Canadian inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

4. Ryne Sandberg, 2B

Outside of maybe Ernie Banks, Cubs fan’s favorite player of all time may be Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg played the majority of his major league career with Chicago, batting .285 with 282 home runs and over 1,000 RBIs. Sandberg was a 10-time All-Star, 1984 NL MVP, and nine-time Gold Glove winner. Sandberg was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.

3. Andre Dawson, OF

Andre Dawson played the first half of his career with the Montreal Expos but hit his stride when he became a Cub. Dawson is an eight-time All-Star and was NL MVP in 1987. He was also an eight-time Gold Glove winner. Dawson was one of the few players in MLB history to win the MVP award on a last-place team. The Hall of Famer ended his career with a batting average of .279, with 438 home runs and over 1,500 RBIs.

2. Rogers Hornsby, 2B

Roger Hornsby had many stops in his MLB career, one of them being with the Chicago Cubs. Hornsby played for the Cubs for three years from 1929-1932. During the 1929 season, he batted an astounding .380 with 39 home runs and a league-leading .679 slugging percentage. His 156 runs scored led the big leagues and is still the team record while his .380 batting average remains the highest for a Cub since 1895. Hornsby also won the MVP award that season and led the Cubs to the National League pennant and World Series, losing to the Philadelphia Athletics. Hornsby ended his career with a batting average of .358 with 301 home runs and over 1,500 runs batted in.

1. Ernie Banks, SS/1B

There is a reason why Ernie Banks known as ‘Mr. Cub.” Not only was he a nice guy but he was also one heck of a ball player. He is a two-time NL MVP, 14-time All-Star, two-time home run leader, two-time RBI leader, and a Gold Glove winner. In 1958 and 1959, Banks became the first NL player to be awarded back-to-back MVP Awards, leading the league in RBIs in both those seasons. His 1958 season was also the first time an MVP winner was on a below-.500 team. Banks hit a league-leading 47 home runs in 1958 while batting .313, third-best in the NL. The following year, he hit .304 with 45 home runs. Banks ended his career with a .274 batting average, 512 home runs, and over 1,600 RBIs.

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.