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Viva Medias B's
08-02-2006, 07:56 AM
The winner of the "Best Cardinal Ever" poll was Stan Musial.

You knew it was coming. It's time for us to decide the "Best Cub Ever." I thought about posting this in the "What's the score?" forum, but I decided to post it here for continuity purposes. Except for the climatic "Best White Sox Ever" poll, which will be posted in the "Sox Clubhouse" forum at the very end, I felt all the MLB teams should be here. If the the mods feel otherwise and believe the Cub poll should be moved, I have no problem with that.

C-Dawg
08-02-2006, 08:02 AM
What, no George Mitterwald?

Bucky F. Dent
08-02-2006, 08:06 AM
Bartman.

MrRoboto83
08-02-2006, 08:15 AM
What no Sammy? Amazing how things change over a period of a few years.


I voted Ernie Banks.

whitesoxwin
08-02-2006, 08:40 AM
Who cares??

Save McCuddy's
08-02-2006, 09:13 AM
did you have to?


:threadblows:

Dan Mega
08-02-2006, 09:14 AM
Ernie Banks. Terrific player and a classy guy.

The Racehorse
08-02-2006, 09:29 AM
Ernie Banks

mwc44
08-02-2006, 09:32 AM
Ernie Banks.... 'nuff said.

CRAW
08-02-2006, 09:48 AM
Banks :cool:

SoxFan78
08-02-2006, 09:57 AM
Steve "Boom Boom" Bartman

AuroraSoxFan
08-02-2006, 09:57 AM
Went with Banks. Was tempted to go with Sandberg for taking shots at players roiding and being prima donnas. But IMO his #'s still are nowhere near those of Banks.

TornLabrum
08-02-2006, 10:08 AM
Interestingly enough, no players from the era in which the Cubs were actually winning something. Banks is the best player ever to play for the Cubs, but no Frank Chance? No Gabby Hartnet? No Hack Wilson? Hell, no Cap Anson?

On the other hand you have four nominees from a team that in its best season finished 8 games out of first after blowing an 8 game lead.

Johnny Mostil
08-02-2006, 10:12 AM
Interestingly enough, no players from the era in which the Cubs were actually winning something. Banks is the best player ever to play for the Cubs, but no Frank Chance? No Gabby Hartnet? No Hack Wilson? Hell, no Cap Anson?

On the other hand you have four nominees from a team that in its best season finished 8 games out of first after blowing an 8 game lead.

You beat me to it. From 1906 to 1945, the Cubs won ten pennants and two World Series. Hell, from 1876 to 1886, they won six (of the first eleven) NL pennants. And none of the players on those teams show up here?

Edit: And that '69 team, by the way, had a 9-game lead on the Cardinals, and 10-game lead, on the Mets, on 13 Aug, when 117 games were in the books. After the penultimate game of the season, they were 9 games in back of the Mets. So they gave up 19 games to the Mets over the course of 44. As I said in another thread yesterday, I think a lot of credit has to go to the Mets' charge, but it's still hard to believe that Cubs team could account for four of the five players on this ballot . . .

TornLabrum
08-02-2006, 10:30 AM
You beat me to it. From 1906 to 1945, the Cubs won ten pennants and two World Series. Hell, from 1876 to 1886, they won six (of the first eleven) NL pennants. And none of the players on those teams show up here?

Edit: And that '69 team, by the way, had a 9-game lead on the Cardinals, and 10-game lead, on the Mets, on 13 Aug, when 117 games were in the books. After the penultimate game of the season, they were 9 games in back of the Mets. So they gave up 19 games to the Mets over the course of 44. As I said in another thread yesterday, I think a lot of credit has to go to the Mets' charge, but it's still hard to believe that Cubs team could account for four of the five players on this ballot . . .

I've been thinking about it, and my only guess is that whoever made the selection figured Cubs fans think the franchise began in 1969 considering all the glory and honor that group of losers has received over the years.

Look at it this way, the '67 Sox finished much closer (although in fourth place). The '64 Sox closer still, missing a shot at the Series by just 1 game. None of the players from those teams made the Sox ballot.

Johnny Mostil
08-02-2006, 10:46 AM
I've been thinking about it, and my only guess is that whoever made the selection figured Cubs fans think the franchise began in 1969 considering all the glory and honor that group of losers has received over the years.

Look at it this way, the '67 Sox finished much closer (although in fourth place). The '64 Sox closer still, missing a shot at the Series by just 1 game. None of the players from those teams made the Sox ballot.

They've been conditioned that way, likely. It seemed to me, for example, that the local coverage for the induction of Sandberg--a great player, to be sure--was a wee bit ignorant of some other greats (e.g., Herman, Evers, even Hornsby) who have played that position for the Cubs over the years . . .

Deuce
08-02-2006, 10:49 AM
Mark Grace. Really good guy and a great ballplayer.

downstairs
08-02-2006, 10:59 AM
Ernie Banks. Terrific player and a classy guy.

Apparently you've never met him.

(My sister and I used to do photography work at the Cubs conventions. I won't post any stories here, but just trust me... "classy guy" is far from how I'd describe him)

roylestillman
08-02-2006, 11:02 AM
Lou Brock....oh.

downstairs
08-02-2006, 11:06 AM
Interesting Cub stat of the day...

Between all five of these guys, they've appeared in all of 13 playoff games. (Sandberg 10, Williams 3, the rest zero.)

None of these five guys has ever been part of any team that has won a playoff series. Zero.

Between all five of these guys, they have 87 full years of experience. They've been a part of a grand total of three winning playoff games!

Best Cub ever?

I think I'll vote "none."

Hitmen77
08-02-2006, 11:13 AM
Interestingly enough, no players from the era in which the Cubs were actually winning something. Banks is the best player ever to play for the Cubs, but no Frank Chance? No Gabby Hartnet? No Hack Wilson? Hell, no Cap Anson?

On the other hand you have four nominees from a team that in its best season finished 8 games out of first after blowing an 8 game lead.

I thought the exact same thing when I saw the ballot. Regardless, I think Ernie Banks is arguably the best Cub ever, but no one on the ballot from the Cubs glory years and just guys from their failure years?

Just curious, who selected the 5 players from each team to go on this ballot?

Save McCuddy's
08-02-2006, 11:15 AM
Mark Grace. Really good guy and a great ballplayer.

Please teal this statement.

Dan Mega
08-02-2006, 11:18 AM
Apparently you've never met him.

(My sister and I used to do photography work at the Cubs conventions. I won't post any stories here, but just trust me... "classy guy" is far from how I'd describe him)

He does charity work sometimes for a business that I'm a part owner of, plus he is an investor.

So yes, I've met him.:rolleyes:

Hitmen77
08-02-2006, 11:23 AM
I've been thinking about it, and my only guess is that whoever made the selection figured Cubs fans think the franchise began in 1969 considering all the glory and honor that group of losers has received over the years.

Look at it this way, the '67 Sox finished much closer (although in fourth place). The '64 Sox closer still, missing a shot at the Series by just 1 game. None of the players from those teams made the Sox ballot.

Richard Roeper was on Chicago Tonight a few weeks ago plugging his new book and he also thought it silly that the '69 Cubs are remembered by everyone as a heroically tragic team even though they finished 9 games out while the '67 Sox - who came closer to the pennant and weren't eliminated until the final weekend - are pretty much forgotten.

viagracat
08-02-2006, 11:27 AM
Interestingly enough, no players from the era in which the Cubs were actually winning something. Banks is the best player ever to play for the Cubs, but no Frank Chance? No Gabby Hartnet? No Hack Wilson? Hell, no Cap Anson?

On the other hand you have four nominees from a team that in its best season finished 8 games out of first after blowing an 8 game lead.

I mentioned in the Cardinals thread yesterday that the old guys seem to get overlooked. Everyone seems to have played since 1950. No way does Jenkins rate above guys like Hack Wilson or Frank Chance. I'm also not sure why Andre Dawson wasn't an option.

I voted Banks, but I'm surprised Williams isn't getting more votes.

BTW, every team is getting the same treatment in these polls. Pay no attention to the Cubsessed out there.

slavko
08-02-2006, 11:28 AM
Apparently you've never met him.

(My sister and I used to do photography work at the Cubs conventions. I won't post any stories here, but just trust me... "classy guy" is far from how I'd describe him)

Guy I knew way back when waited for Ernie at the players exit after a game, got an autograph, struck up a conversation, wound up getting a ride home from Ernie to South Shore. That counts for something, even if it is a long time ago.

In other news, is there a Latin word for someone who loves a bunch of chokers?

Deuce
08-02-2006, 11:33 AM
Mark Grace. Really good guy and a great ballplayer.
Please teal this statement.No way. Mark Grace was a good, consistent player who loved to booze it up with the fans and stood up to juiced up wannabees like Sosa. You never see players like Grace anymore, hitting almost 2,500 hits with a career batting average of .303, on-base percentage of .383 and four Gold Glove Awards. He also had the most hits and doubles of any other player in the '90s.

Best of all, the Cubs management hates him and let him go for what seemed to be baseball hell... only to help make the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks the World Series Champions against the hated New York Yankees. He even got the lead off hit against Rivera in the ninth inning of the seventh game that started an improbable victory against an evil Empire.

And just to add insult to injury, he has fully embraced the Diamondbacks as his team and has nothing to do with the Cubs (unlike Banks). For all that and more, Mark Grace deserves his props.

Deuce

viagracat
08-02-2006, 11:42 AM
No way. Mark Grace was a good, consistent player who loved to booze it up with the fans and stood up to juiced up wannabees like Sosa. You never see players like Grace anymore, hitting almost 2,500 hits with a career batting average of .303, on-base percentage of .383 and four Gold Glove Awards. He also had the most hits and doubles of any other player in the '90s.

Best of all, the Cubs management hates him and let him go for what seemed to be baseball hell... only to help make the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks the World Series Champions against the hated New York Yankees. He even got the lead off hit against Rivera in the ninth inning of the seventh game that started an improbable victory against an evil Empire.

And just to add insult to injury, he has fully embraced the Diamondbacks as his team and has nothing to do with the Cubs (unlike Banks). For all that and more, Mark Grace deserves his props.

Deuce

I didn't hear what a great guy Grace was that often, but I did hear he was one of the vanishing breed of "old-school" players that you wish you see out there more often.

skottyj242
08-02-2006, 11:48 AM
Fergie "Cocaine" Jenkins

spiffie
08-02-2006, 11:54 AM
Interesting Cub stat of the day...

Between all five of these guys, they've appeared in all of 13 playoff games. (Sandberg 10, Williams 3, the rest zero.)

None of these five guys has ever been part of any team that has won a playoff series. Zero.

Between all five of these guys, they have 87 full years of experience. They've been a part of a grand total of three winning playoff games!

Best Cub ever?

I think I'll vote "none."
Hope we're not applying this standard to the White Sox. Since between them our guys played 73 seasons for the White Sox (not counting other service) they appeared in 23 playoff games and in 5 playoff wins. No one on the list was ever on the field for a playoff series win (Thomas was on the DL for all the 2005 playoffs).

That said, it's not as easy a pick as I thought. I figured it was Banks easy, but he really was not that impressive as a player. He had a decent career with a couple of very good seasons. He's a very good player and deserved his HOF induction, but if he had 13 less HR, or played for a team other than the Cubs, I don't know if he's nearly as fondly remembered.

I'm going to use the HOF standards test, and on that Jenkins scores the highest, so I'm going with Fergie.

TornLabrum
08-02-2006, 12:26 PM
Hope we're not applying this standard to the White Sox. Since between them our guys played 73 seasons for the White Sox (not counting other service) they appeared in 23 playoff games and in 5 playoff wins. No one on the list was ever on the field for a playoff series win (Thomas was on the DL for all the 2005 playoffs).

That said, it's not as easy a pick as I thought. I figured it was Banks easy, but he really was not that impressive as a player. He had a decent career with a couple of very good seasons. He's a very good player and deserved his HOF induction, but if he had 13 less HR, or played for a team other than the Cubs, I don't know if he's nearly as fondly remembered.

I'm going to use the HOF standards test, and on that Jenkins scores the highest, so I'm going with Fergie.

I saw Banks play. He was a very good shortstop and about the only offensive threat in the Cubs lineup for a number of years. And take a look at the Cubs records the years he won those consecutive MVP awards.

VenturaSoxFan23
08-02-2006, 12:30 PM
Dave Kingman, who exemplified the typical Cub thought process.

Doesn't matter who wins or loses, just so "King Kong" gets a home run.

(I picked "other" for Mark Grace.)

Mohoney
08-02-2006, 12:37 PM
In other news, is there a Latin word for someone who loves a bunch of chokers?

Loco?

Johnny Mostil
08-02-2006, 12:40 PM
Richard Roeper was on Chicago Tonight a few weeks ago plugging his new book and he also thought it silly that the '69 Cubs are remembered by everyone as a heroically tragic team even though they finished 9 games out while the '67 Sox - who came closer to the pennant and weren't eliminated until the final weekend - are pretty much forgotten.


Well, I was about to say maybe it's because the '69 Cubs came after a long line of really crappy teams and the '67 Sox came after a long line of pretty good teams, but that ain't quite right--looking up the records, I see the '67 and '68 Cubs weren't that bad. Oh, well, some things will just remain a mystery to me . . .

downstairs
08-02-2006, 12:42 PM
Hope we're not applying this standard to the White Sox. Since between them our guys played 73 seasons for the White Sox (not counting other service) they appeared in 23 playoff games and in 5 playoff wins. No one on the list was ever on the field for a playoff series win (Thomas was on the DL for all the 2005 playoffs).

I am counting other service, because that applies to the player- which was my point.

In that case, its 46 total playoff games, 11 series appeared in.

voodoochile
08-02-2006, 12:50 PM
I am shocked by the votes for Mark Grace, not because I care about who he was off the field, but because he couldn't carry Banks or Williams jockstrap on the field. He was a product of Cubune hype. A solid but unspectacular player through his career. I mean valuing a 1B because of his defense is simply stupid and offensively he was mostly a slap hitter. Billy Buck was a better player than Grace and he isn't even on the list.

vegyrex
08-02-2006, 01:14 PM
Pete LaCock :wink:

nedlug
08-02-2006, 01:23 PM
I voted for Ernie, but I must admit I have no real perception of guys before the 80s, since I wasn't around then.

However, no Dawson? Didn't he earn an MVP award on a last place team, back when there was only 2 divisions in each league? Just a thought...

LuvSox
08-02-2006, 01:31 PM
Carmen Fanzone

voodoochile
08-02-2006, 01:41 PM
I voted for Ernie, but I must admit I have no real perception of guys before the 80s, since I wasn't around then.

However, no Dawson? Didn't he earn an MVP award on a last place team, back when there was only 2 divisions in each league? Just a thought...

Yes, after signing a blank contract in an effort to break the owners' collusion in the mid-80's Dawson put up a monster year with 47HR and 147 RBI (IIRC) and won the MVP for a 5th place team.

The flubbie brass filled in the number $500K when they signed the contract which was ridiculously low for a player of Dawson's caliber even before he went on a tear for the entire season. It was a huge blow to the collusion faction that was controling player salaries back then.

Dawson really wasn't a flub long enough to be put on the list. The rest of the names are pretty much lifers. It would be like listing Belle on the list of all-time Sox greats because of the single amazing season he had. Dawson played longer for the flubs than Belle did, but was only on the team for like 6 seasons if that long...

Johnny Mostil
08-02-2006, 01:47 PM
Yes, after signing a blank contract in an effort to break the owners' collusion in the mid-80's Dawson put up a monster year with 47HR and 147 RBI (IIRC) and won the MVP for a 5th place team.

No, it was a sixth-(and last-)place team in 1987. And Sutcliffe very nearly won the Cy Young Award that year, finishing two points back in second. I'm not sure if any last-place team has come closer to sweeping the MVP and Cy Young Awards . . .

spiffie
08-02-2006, 01:52 PM
I saw Banks play. He was a very good shortstop and about the only offensive threat in the Cubs lineup for a number of years. And take a look at the Cubs records the years he won those consecutive MVP awards.
Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying Banks isn't a very good player. But I expected to see someone better than what his numbers actually were. During the 4 year stretch from 1957-1960 he is absolutely awesome. But outside of those four years, he is a good player, but not a particularly great one. From 1961-1969 he hit 262/310/456 with an average of 25 HR and 90 RBI per year. Again, none of this is at all bad. The guy deserved his HOF spot without question. I'm just saying that for all the hype he gets, especially living here in Chicago, I expected to look at the record and see someone who stood with the best of the era. To me, looking at him, he's one notch below the best of the best from the late 50's and 60's. And because I'm generally biased to pitching over hitting, I'd go with the HOF pitcher instead.

voodoochile
08-02-2006, 02:02 PM
Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying Banks isn't a very good player. But I expected to see someone better than what his numbers actually were. During the 4 year stretch from 1957-1960 he is absolutely awesome. But outside of those four years, he is a good player, but not a particularly great one. From 1961-1969 he hit 262/310/456 with an average of 25 HR and 90 RBI per year. Again, none of this is at all bad. The guy deserved his HOF spot without question. I'm just saying that for all the hype he gets, especially living here in Chicago, I expected to look at the record and see someone who stood with the best of the era. To me, looking at him, he's one notch below the best of the best from the late 50's and 60's. And because I'm generally biased to pitching over hitting, I'd go with the HOF pitcher instead.

That was in an era dominated by pitchers throwing off a higher mound. It was before expansion watered down the starting pitching and when lots of guys were regularly putting up an ERA in the mid-high 2's. It was a different time and a different set of expectations for hitters. 30 HR was a monster year.

Johnny Mostil
08-02-2006, 02:02 PM
And because I'm generally biased to pitching over hitting, I'd go with the HOF pitcher instead.

Fair enough, but then I wonder why this guy (http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/brownmo01.shtml) didn't make the ballot . . .

Railsplitter
08-02-2006, 02:14 PM
Cap Anson got 3,000 hits, albiet playing in the 19th century. And those who say Cubs from the early 20th century should get consideration are absolutely correct.

voodoochile
08-02-2006, 02:19 PM
Cap Anson got 3,000 hits, albiet playing in the 19th century. And those who say Cubs from the early 20th century should get consideration are absolutely correct.

They were rated as the team of the 1901-1910 decade by ESPN. Of course back then there was no NFL, NHL or NBA, so it was pretty much MLB or nothing. They finished the decade 351 games over .500 for an average of 98 wins per season, won two championships and lost another ( :D: ).

After that it was just a little downhill...

jortafan
08-02-2006, 02:23 PM
Of the people who are listed in this poll, and on the Hometown Heroes ballot, I'd vote for Ernie Banks. He's the only one of the five who actually belong there.

A serious ballot of five players in the running for the best Chicago Cub ever should be Cap Anson, Mordecai Brown, Gabby Harnett, Ernie Banks and Sammy Sosa. If you absolutely do NOT want to take the 19th Century into account, then replace Anson with Frank Chance. But considering that the Cubs are the one original National League franchise that has been in operation in the same city for every year of the league's existence, it is not wrong to consider the early days.


For those who think the idea of "best Chicago Cub" is an oxymoron, remember that in the early days of the 20th Century, the Cubs were a power in the National League in the same way that the White Sox were one of the American League's elite franchises. Chicago was a baseball power until about the time that Babe Ruth went to the Yankees.

And for those who have a problem with including Sammy Sosa on the list, get over it. He belongs. For a five-year period (1998-2002), he hit as well as anyone in baseball history, including the Bambino himself in his prime. Three years of 60 or more home runs ('98, '99 and '01) make him worthy of consideration as Best Chicago Cub ever.

Besides, the reason the Cubs came to dominate local attendance over the White Sox by such a large margin in the late 1990s and early 2000s was because of the number of sheep who thought that watching a puffed-up Sammy hitting home runs was much more interesting than seeing a contending White Sox team actually try to win a pennant.

If Sammy was the reason that so many people thought the Cubs were a superior franchise to the White Sox back then, the Cubs should now have to live with the shame that their team in its "glory days" was based on nothing more than the fraud that we all knew Sammy to be. I don't want the Cubs to be allowed to be like the old Soviet Union, writing Sammy out of their existence and turning him into a non-person just because the truth hurts.

spiffie
08-02-2006, 02:30 PM
That was in an era dominated by pitchers throwing off a higher mound. It was before expansion watered down the starting pitching and when lots of guys were regularly putting up an ERA in the mid-high 2's. It was a different time and a different set of expectations for hitters. 30 HR was a monster year.
Granted, but he wasn't even exceeding his peers, except for that one very good stretch I mentioned. I'm not basing my thoughts on just raw standards, but rarely did he even place in the top 5 in just his own league in any given year in anything:

5 top 5 in SLG (4th in 55, 5th in 57, 1st in 58, 2nd in 59, 5th in 60)
3 top 5 in OPS (5th in 57, 2nd in 58, 4th in 59)
7 top 5 in HR
1 Gold Glove
2 MVP Awards, 2 other Top 5 Finishes.

Like I said, a very good player. A Hall of Fame player. Merely surprised at the fact he wasn't more dominant than he was. This is not intended to be a critique of Ernie Banks, but rather of the media portrayal of him.

spiffie
08-02-2006, 02:32 PM
Of the people who are listed in this poll, and on the Hometown Heroes ballot, I'd vote for Ernie Banks. He's the only one of the five who actually belong there.

A serious ballot of five players in the running for the best Chicago Cub ever should be Cap Anson, Mordecai Brown, Gabby Harnett, Ernie Banks and Sammy Sosa. If you absolutely do NOT want to take the 19th Century into account, then replace Anson with Frank Chance.
Frank Chance does not belong anywhere near such a ballot. Santo, for all the jokes about him, was a far better player than Chance.

Johnny Mostil
08-02-2006, 02:36 PM
They were rated as the team of the 1901-1910 decade by ESPN. Of course back then there was no NFL, NHL or NBA, so it was pretty much MLB or nothing. They finished the decade 351 games over .500 for an average of 98 wins per season, won two championships and lost another ( :D: ).

After that it was just a little downhill...

Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph . . . Chicago Maroons won four consecutive Big Ten titles as well as a national championship that decade . . . Recognizing the Cubs instead is yet another dastardly plot by ESPN to ignore athletic excellence on the South Side . . .

kwolf68
08-02-2006, 02:40 PM
Personally, I liked Sandberg. He was in his prime when I was playing 2nd base in high school and I really loved the way he worked on the small things in baseball.

Deuce
08-02-2006, 02:59 PM
Billy Buck was a better player than Grace and he isn't even on the list.I'll give you that Ernie Banks was a much better player statistically than Grace (I am too young to have ever seen him play, so stats is all I have), but Buckner is far from a better player than Grace. Buckner had more years in than Grace and Grace had over 100 more runs scored, over twice as many base on balls, and a higher career batting average, OBP, SLG and OPS. In addition, they were nearly identical in two baggers, three baggers, home runs and RBIs. The Cubune can hype a lot of things (not that I ever listened), but the numbers are what they are.

Banks was retired before I was even born. His stats are unbelievable, especially for his era. However, in my lifetime, the best player to have the misfortune of playing an extended period of time in that uniform is Mark Grace. The best player to ever wear that costume for any given time in my memory is Greg Maddox. But, you are right, that all around, Mr. Cub was the best.

You know, all this talk about Cubs players is making me feel unclean. I need to get back to writing about the Sox...

Deuce

TornLabrum
08-02-2006, 03:11 PM
Granted, but he wasn't even exceeding his peers, except for that one very good stretch I mentioned. I'm not basing my thoughts on just raw standards, but rarely did he even place in the top 5 in just his own league in any given year in anything:

5 top 5 in SLG (4th in 55, 5th in 57, 1st in 58, 2nd in 59, 5th in 60)
3 top 5 in OPS (5th in 57, 2nd in 58, 4th in 59)
7 top 5 in HR
1 Gold Glove
2 MVP Awards, 2 other Top 5 Finishes.

Like I said, a very good player. A Hall of Fame player. Merely surprised at the fact he wasn't more dominant than he was. This is not intended to be a critique of Ernie Banks, but rather of the media portrayal of him.

Show me another SHORTSTOP with those offensive stats.

voodoochile
08-02-2006, 03:15 PM
Show me another SHORTSTOP with those offensive stats.

Great point, people forget that having a SS with huge offensive numbers is a product of the last decade. Prior to that it was all guys like Ozzie Smith, Guillen, Vizquel and other all glove no stick players. A guy like Ernie was a huge difference maker because NO ONE had a SS who could hit like that.

monkeypants
08-02-2006, 03:21 PM
Show me another SHORTSTOP with those offensive stats.
I knew that Banks ended his career as a first baseman but I never knew that he actually played more games at first than at shortstop.
None the less, the numbers he put up as either a SS or 1B are phenominal.

TDog
08-02-2006, 03:30 PM
Ernie Banks.

Some of these are easy, deceptive arguments notwithstanding. Ernie Banks, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron.

What makes little sense about the Cubs choices, as a Tribune columnist pointed out, is that Ron Santo is on the list. He wasn't the greatest player on his team. He wasn't the second-greatest player on his team. He was always behind Ernie Banks and Billy Williams. The fact that Santo defines loveable losing more than the other players (Cubs fans think he's loveable, and he always has been a loser) could be an argument for considering him the face of the franchise, but putting him on the ballot and not including Sammy Sosa obviously was a political move.

TornLabrum
08-02-2006, 03:36 PM
I knew that Banks ended his career as a first baseman but I never knew that he actually played more games at first than at shortstop.
None the less, the numbers he put up as either a SS or 1B are phenominal.

He had to move to first base due to some physical problems, iirc. Of course he was playing SS during the years those offensive stats I was responding to were produced.

russ99
08-02-2006, 04:00 PM
Billy Williams and Ernie Banks were fantastic players. I'm a bit partial to Hack Wilson, RBI record and all considering all those great players in the same era who didn't get that record.

Ron Santo and Ryne Sandberg were vastly overrated players, and if you ask me, neither belong in the Hall of Fame with their bandbox inflated numbers and superstation visibility, especially over a guy like Minnie.

SOXPHILE
08-02-2006, 04:24 PM
Interestingly enough, no players from the era in which the Cubs were actually winning something. Banks is the best player ever to play for the Cubs, but no Frank Chance? No Gabby Hartnet? No Hack Wilson? Hell, no Cap Anson?

On the other hand you have four nominees from a team that in its best season finished 8 games out of first after blowing an 8 game lead.

That's what I've been thinking this whole time. I don't think Cub fans know or care about their team's history pre-1969, according to this list. There were quite a few players, including those you list, who deserve consideration. But then, again, that 1969 team was the greatest ever, as it tore up the league and went on to win the World Series, right ?

thomas35forever
08-02-2006, 04:53 PM
Ernie Banks. 512 homers, spent his entire ML career with one team.

DoItForDanPasqua
08-02-2006, 04:53 PM
Cap Anson

Baby Fisk
08-02-2006, 05:02 PM
Canada's own, Ferguson Jenkins.

asindc
08-02-2006, 06:31 PM
Mod Edit: Take 3 days off and consider why this is happening to you.

LongLiveFisk
08-02-2006, 06:38 PM
Sammy Sosa. :redneck :cower:

eastchicagosoxfan
08-02-2006, 07:07 PM
Cap Anson
I also say it's Anson. He was arguably the best player in the game for 20 years. He and Rogers Hornsby are two of the biggest, most racist, jerks to play the game. But they could both hit with the all-time greats.

Domeshot17
08-02-2006, 07:21 PM
Joe Carter.. no they dealt him

Raffy Palmerio... no wait, he is gone too

Brooks Robinson....Oh yah him too

I think you see the point.

In terms of the status I would say Sosa, but with the roids no thank you

Ernie Banks, Sandberg,even in the hof, is a top 3 overated baseball player of all time.

ChiSoxFan7
08-02-2006, 07:33 PM
Ernie Banks. Terrific player and a classy guy.
agreed

GoSox2K3
08-02-2006, 07:59 PM
What no Sammy? Amazing how things change over a period of a few years.


I voted Ernie Banks.

It's hard to believe that a mere 24 months ago, we Sox fans were laughed at when we were the only ones saying that Sammy was an overrated fraud.

spiffie
08-02-2006, 08:00 PM
Show me another SHORTSTOP with those offensive stats.
Not going to find one during that era. Though he did play less than 1/2 of his total games at SS. But his best offensive production occured at SS. So he gave them 8 years of amazing production for a SS and 8 years of above average production for a 1B.

I really am not sure what we're arguing here. Your position is that Ernie Banks was a great player. My position is that he was a great player. Unless you're arguing he was the best player in baseball then I don't quite see what we're arguing. My argument basically boiled down to that the Chicago media hypes him and led me to believe that I would see numbers that year-to-year were on a par with Mantle, Mays, Aaron, and Williams. I'm saying he's one notch below that, except during a 4 year run where he was playing as well as any of them. Are you saying that I am still undervaluing him at that point?

TornLabrum
08-02-2006, 10:19 PM
Not going to find one during that era. Though he did play less than 1/2 of his total games at SS. But his best offensive production occured at SS. So he gave them 8 years of amazing production for a SS and 8 years of above average production for a 1B.

I really am not sure what we're arguing here. Your position is that Ernie Banks was a great player. My position is that he was a great player. Unless you're arguing he was the best player in baseball then I don't quite see what we're arguing. My argument basically boiled down to that the Chicago media hypes him and led me to believe that I would see numbers that year-to-year were on a par with Mantle, Mays, Aaron, and Williams. I'm saying he's one notch below that, except during a 4 year run where he was playing as well as any of them. Are you saying that I am still undervaluing him at that point?

That's the point right there. You gave me offensive numbers that you want compared to four outfielders whereas Banks was the only shortstop in baseball at the time producing those numbers. That's what made him special in the '50s. You're undervaluing his contribution by not looking at how he compared with the players who played the same position. He was as good defensively as most. He was better offensively than all of them.

In other words, I'm being a little bit picky, but for what I think is a fairly valid point.

spiffie
08-03-2006, 12:38 AM
That's the point right there. You gave me offensive numbers that you want compared to four outfielders whereas Banks was the only shortstop in baseball at the time producing those numbers. That's what made him special in the '50s. You're undervaluing his contribution by not looking at how he compared with the players who played the same position. He was as good defensively as most. He was better offensively than all of them.

In other words, I'm being a little bit picky, but for what I think is a fairly valid point.
I agree he was special in the 50's, but he was special in that way for a 6-7 year period at absolute most. After that he becomes an above average first baseman rather than a superlative shortstop.

For the four year period from 1956-1959 yes, you can make a case that Banks, due to the uniqueness of his position vis a vis his stats, was among the top tier of players in baseball. However, after 1961 he moves to a position for which the numbers he would put up for the next 8 full seasons were, in most cases, good but not spectacular. And while yes, his numbers are amazing for a shortstop, there are 1B contemporaries putting up numbers just as good or better than Banks.

Ernie was extremely special in the 50's. If he had somehow been able to stay at SS for his entire career and put up these numbers I would be much more impressed by the numbers. But since over 1/2 of his career came at non-SS positions, I can't be as impressed.

I see it as that he had a 7 season run where he was, through much of it, one of the best players in the game, and then a very solid career for another 8-9. His career was not just the 50's. The majority of his career was the 60's. And sadly, those have to be counted as well. And between the position switch and the drop in production, that brings him down that one notch to me. It obviously did in the eyes of the folks who vote for MVP as well, since after his run from 1955-1960 where only once did he finish out of the Top 6 he would never again be thought of as among the Top 10 most valuable players in the NL.

It seems the problem is we're focusing on different things. At his best Ernie Banks seems to have been at a level equal to any player in baseball. His value and uniqueness during his good times are the equal of any of his contemporaries and perhaps surpassed by none. However, it seems that this timeframe did not extend long enough to move into that final tier of greatness where the Ruth, Aaron, Cobb, Mays, etc. of the baseball world reside. He did not sustain his greatness as long or consistently as the best players of his era or of baseball history.

I do have to say I find it amusing that as we have this argument people are bashing Ryne Sandberg when the "unique to position" argument applies to him as well. As late as 1990 he was still hitting more HR than all the other 2B in the Cubs division combined. But that's neither here nor there.

Brian26
08-03-2006, 12:53 AM
Bartman.

Hahaha.

Banks is the answer though, end of discussion.
Honorable mention to Andre Dawson.

TDog
08-03-2006, 02:42 AM
Cap Anson

I hold Cap Anson in contempt for his "social" contributions to professional baseball. He did more than anyone at the outset to keep baseball white. This is not a small political point. Cap Anson fought to exclude potential opponents and teammates who may well have been better than he was.

While Babe Ruth clearly would have been great in any era and the careers of Stan Musial and Ted Williams experienced continued greatness from segregated to integrated baseball, historians reveal that Anson was involved in seeing that the wouldn't be competing against black men.

The greatest player poll is seeking players to put a face on each franchise. It isn't a true popularity contest, but some character issues are relevant. Some faces on MLB franchises will be black, I am sure -- Frank Thomas, Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, maybe even Jackie Robinson.

Ernie Banks has to be that face for the Cubs. I wonder how Cap Anson would have felt about that.

Grzegorz
08-03-2006, 05:46 AM
Ernie Banks...

I met him once and he was just a wonderful person to talk to. Oh, and by the way, he was a very good baseball player and is one of the, if not the face of goodwill for the game of baseball.

We need more guys like Aaron, Banks, F. Robinson, & Feller (I am sure I am leaving out others) to remind us of what the game was like in the past.

ode to veeck
08-03-2006, 12:07 PM
I am shocked by the votes for Mark Grace, not because I care about who he was off the field, but because he couldn't carry Banks or Williams jockstrap on the field. He was a product of Cubune hype. A solid but unspectacular player through his career. I mean valuing a 1B because of his defense is simply stupid and offensively he was mostly a slap hitter. Billy Buck was a better player than Grace and he isn't even on the list.

I wouldn't vote for Mark Grace as the best Cub ever, but don't denigrate the guy. He had as many hits in the 90s as anyone is baseball and great OBP, OPS sacs etc, so what if he didn't put up std 1B HR numbers?! He was also one of the best playoff hitters of his time (over .400) with the great (but losing) NLCS against the Giants in '89 (~.650 clip over 5 games) and who could forget his trophy enabling hit against the (that year) unhittable Rivera in game 7 to take out the hated Yankees--without that one the Yanks arguably take yet another trophy home.

Rogers Hornsby ought to be in consideration even though his best years were as a redbird. My father-in-law still has a letter from him when he was GM and trying to recruit him away from the single A Sox many moons ago. Among his other great achievements was a phenomenal .380 season BA for the Scrubs in '29

I think Frank Chance ought to be one of the finalists along with Ernie "Mr. Cub" Banks and Cap. Frank's leadership and playing made the Cubs easily the most dominant team in the 1st decade of the 20th C, and their 2nd half of the '06 season (other than the WS upset by the Sox) will never be repeated (where they won games at something like .800 clip in 2nd half to finish with 116 Ws.

The Cubs great teams did NOT stop at the begining of the Babe to the Yanks era. They had a great stretch from '28 to '38 where they won 4 pennants and finished no lower than 3rd. Charlie Grimm, who also should be included in any list of all time Cub greats was a player then manager from this era.

Save McCuddy's
08-04-2006, 12:35 AM
I wouldn't vote for Mark Grace as the best Cub ever, but don't denigrate the guy. He had as many hits in the 90s as anyone is baseball and great OBP, OPS sacs etc, so what if he didn't put up std 1B HR numbers?!

So what if he didn't put up stud 1B power numbers? Isn't that the whole point? In the span of Grace's career from '88 to '01, the World Champs in each season got fewer than 20 Hr's from 1st Base 4 times. One of those was a particularily strong season for Gracey himself in '01 when he hit 15 and drove in 78 runs for the D'backs who overcame the soft numbers at 1st with 208 team homeruns helped a great deal by LuGo's 57. One occasion was the miracle '90 Reds who had Todd Benzinger at the corner for half the season before Piniella realized what he had in a young Hal Morris who slugged .498 in that rookie campaign over only 309 AB's. Another was '92 when Olerud hit 16 and drove in just 66 in the prelude to his .363 year with 24 and 107 for the repeat champs. Additionally, Tino Martinez ran out of gas in 2000 hitting just 16 and driving in 91 after 25 and 117 in '96, 28 and 123 in '98 and 28 and 105 in the '99 championship year.

Power is everything at 1st base and more particularily in the three, four and five holes of a line-up where Mark spent the lion's share of his career. You don't win with singles hitters with no speed -- thusly, the Cubs won seldomly. When they did, it was because they had abnormal power at second and short to a degree.

OPS is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to comparing players offensive value. That being said, in the 14 years that he was a regular ('88 - '01) Grace was top 5 amongst fellow 1st basemen in OPS a mere 6 times. 1 was a close secnd to Karros in '95 when Grace had his career year -- .326 BA .516 SLG with 51 2B's and 16 Hr's. In 4 of the 6 he was 5th. Among those seasons is the quzzical '93 when Marky drove in his career high 98 runs hitting .325 and .475. Wonder how many more runs he might have driven in if he didn't lead the league in grounding into dp's that year. OPS appears quite dubious as a stat in '96 when Mark finished 3rd with a 124 behind Bagwell and Hal Morris and inexplicably ahead of Galaragga (123) who hit .304 with 47 HR's 150 RBI and slugged .601. Guess the 157 k's and only 40 BB's combine to make the big cat less prodigious that year than Grace with .331 BA and whopping 9 Hr's and 75 RBI. Hell of a .396 OBP that year though -- hurry up and get those slow white guys on 1st base.

At a position built almost entirely on offense (from '88 to present the only player to win the gold glove at first and the world series championship in the same year is Derek Lee in 2003) Grace ranks among the elite tier in fewer than half of his seasons and in an anomalous stat that inflates his value at that. In reality, he wasn't even out producing the Rico Brognas that were hitting 20 and driving in 80, or even the Frankilin Stubbs/Mike Marshall platoons for that matter. I suppose you could reward his consisitency. Thanks for consistently reducing your team's chances of winning. The flubs would have been better off platooning him with whatever right handed slob they could find to hit 10 or 12 HRs in 250 AB's.

I had hoped I was never going to have to go through this logic again -- and hardly expected this place to be the venue. I apologize, but the overrating of Mark Grace in some ways defined my 20's.

spiffie
08-04-2006, 12:52 PM
OPS appears quite dubious as a stat in '96 when Mark finished 3rd with a 124 behind Bagwell and Hal Morris and inexplicably ahead of Galaragga (123) who hit .304 with 47 HR's 150 RBI and slugged .601. Guess the 157 k's and only 40 BB's combine to make the big cat less prodigious that year than Grace with .331 BA and whopping 9 Hr's and 75 RBI. Hell of a .396 OBP that year though -- hurry up and get those slow white guys on 1st base.
Your 1996 is off because you're using OPS+ which is park adjusted, so it severely punished Gallaraga for being in Coors Field that year. The raw OPS for 1996 makes much more sense:

Bagwell: 1.021
Gallaraga: .958
Morris: .853
Grace .851

OPS I don't see as dubious. OPS+ when they start fiddling with park adjustments can get overly nebulous, especially when dealing with Rockies players.

soxinem1
08-04-2006, 04:31 PM
I vote Cap Anson. His personal issues aside, he was an outstanding hitter, managed the team to it's best record (which STILL stands), and was the inventor of Spring Training.

Banks may have hit 500+ HR's but Anson brought the most to the organization.