Ernie Banks has been immortalized outside of Wrigley Field, but where does he rank on the Chicago Cubs’ 20 greatest hitters in franchise history?
The Chicago Cubs have been littered with sluggers since the franchise’s inception in 1876, then known as the Chicago White Stockings. Hitters have come and gone throughout this organization, leaving their stamp on Wrigley Field, as well as Cubs fans’ hearts. We’ve grown attached to watching them play and then comparing the old with the new.
Right now, the Cubs are in the competitive window that saw them end their 108-year World Series drought when Kris Bryant’s throw from third base landed into Anthony Rizzo’s glove, signifying that the Cubs were suddenly back on top of the world.
While this group of Cubs certainly has it’s hitters that we will forever cherish with guys like Bryant, Rizzo, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras, none of them should be up for consideration for being one of the best hitters in franchise history. It’s just simply too early to figure that out.
One could make the case that both Bryant and Rizzo are certainly on their way to cementing their names into this illustrious category, as both guys are already within the top of franchise on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). Bryant is currently ranked 4th (.904) while Rizzo is ranked 10th (.868). Let’s look at the top 20 hitters in Cubs franchise history to date.
While his time with the Cubs was brief, Moises Alou was about as productive as the team could have asked him to be. Alou signed a 3-year, $27 million deal in the 2001 offseason with the team. He slashed .275/.337/.419 with 23 doubles, 15 home runs and 61 RBI.
Alou was on one of the best Cubs teams in franchise history before the Theo Epstein era, as the team had a great shot at making in appearance in the 2003 World Series. During the regular season, Alou slashed .280/.357/.462 with 36 doubles, 22 home runs and 91 RBI.
He’s most notably known for his interaction with Steve Bartman when a pop fly headed toward the left-field sidewall was interfered with by a group of fans that looked like Alou was going to catch. He smacked a 2-run homer in Game 7 of that National League Championship Series. but it was not enough, as the Cubs would lose that series to the then-Florida Marlins.
That didn’t deter Alou from putting up one of his best seasons in 2004, as he slashed .293/.361/.557 with 36 doubles, three triples, 39 home runs and 106 RBI. He also earned his fifth MLB All-Star selection and his first with the Cubs. The team let him go after his contract expired in the 2004 offseason, but no one will ever forget the mark that Alou left on this franchise.