Hey baseball fans!
From 1946-2015, the Chicago Cubs failed to win the National League pennant. We can blame their struggles on a plethora of factors, but the Cubs actually sported some great players during that span. Here are my top five Chicago Cubs Hall of Famers during their grueling World Series appearance drought.
Honorable Mentions: Greg Maddux and Andre Dawson
The one major rule for this post is that the player has to go into the Hall as a member of the Cubs. Maddux and Dawson each won awards in the Windy City, but the Braves and Expos logos on their Hall of Fame plaques means they are disqualified from this list.
Number Five: Ron Santo
Ron Santo was a staple at third base in Wrigley Field throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Santo played his entire career in Chicago (his last year was with the White Sox), making nine All Star Games in his 14-year Hall of Fame career. Although his .277 batting average is subpar for Hall of Fame standards, his on-base percentage of .362 certainly isn't. In fact, Santo led the NL in walks in four seasons and regularly posted over 90 walks a season. If he wasn't hampered by the strains of Type 1 Diabetes, who knows what this Cubs legend could've additionally accomplished?
Number Four: Billy Williams
It's hard to separate Santo and Williams apart, considering their primes with the Cubs coincided almost perfectly. But Williams gets the edge in several ways, all of which have to do with his seasonal averages. From his Rookie of the Year season in 1961 to his last All Star Game in 1973, Billy Williams averaged 183 hits, 29 homers, and 98 RBIs a season. To put up that kind of consistency definitely gets a hitter on this type of list. The fact that Billy was a fan favorite only solidifies his spot at #4.
Number Three: Ryne Sandberg
After the days of Santo, Williams, and the next two guys on my list, the Cubs needed a player to rally around. Besides Andre Dawson and Greg Maddux, that player was Ryne Sandberg. The 1984 MVP and ten-time All Star (all of them consecutive), Ryno was the typical five-tool player. Throughout his career, he had seasons with at least 180 hits, 25 home runs, 30 stolen bases, and/or 100 RBIs. He was also a a Gold Glove second baseman, winning the award nine times in nine years.
Number Two: Fergie Jenkins
The only pitcher on my list, Fergie Jenkins certainly had a career to remember in Chicago. In his twelve years with the Cubs, he posted a win-loss record of 167-132, an ERA of 3.20, and 2,038 strikeouts. For his career, the first Canadian-born Cooperstown resident and 1971 NL Cy Young recipient sits in twelfth place on the all-time strikeouts list, with 3,192 career K's.
Number One: Ernie Banks
Was it going to be anyone else? Mr. Cub was the Cubs from 1953-1971. He won back-to-back MVPs in 1958 and 1959, averaging 46 home runs for those two years. He topped 40 homers in a season three other times, finishing his career with 512 of them, currently good for 23rd on the all-time list. One of the greatest shortstops of all time, the positive attitude of Ernie Banks never failed to cast a smile on Cubs fans. As he used to say, let's play two!