Four years ago, I ranked who I felt at the time were the top 100 Cubs of all time. I vetted the list through Ed Hartig, a knowledgeable baseball historian who the Cubs often cite on baseball history, and my friend and BCB cartoonist Mike Bojanowski, who is also knowledgeable about baseball and Cubs history.
Looking at that list, it occurred to me that several current Cubs could either move up the list, or be included when they weren't in 2006. There was quite a bit of controversy about some of my selections -- and that was kind of the point, too, to generate some discussion about Cubs history.
I've re-numbered the list, as you can see on the left sidebar. In doing so I decided in part, at least, to use a statistical measure that many think is a good way to rate players -- WAR. I made a list of the top 100 Cubs all-time by WAR. After the jump, the complete list. Also in the table is the player's original BCB Top 100 ranking, so you can see how we did in that earlier list. WAR totals listed are, for active players, through the 2010 season.
Remember that statistics weren't, and aren't, the only reason for rating a player. His contributions to Cubs postseason teams and my subjective idea of his popularity were also factors. Also, players were only considered for their time spent with the Cubs, not their entire major league careers (which is why players like Greg Maddux are ranked lower than they might otherwise be).
I dropped six players from the list: Manny Trillo, Jerry Morales, Ivan DeJesus, George Altman, Walt "Moose" Moryn and Jimmy Archer. None of those appear in the top 100 WAR list; they will be replaced by six other players, whose bios will appear here during the offseason. When? I have no idea. I haven't written them yet. And no, I'm not revealing who they are yet -- their positions on the list are noted on the updated list on the left sidebar. Also, at some point I'll update the bios of the four active players on the original list -- Carlos Zambrano, Kerry Wood, Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee. The six removed players' bios are still accessible on the site in the Top 100 Cubs section and by site search. The titles of those posts will reflect the fact that the player was on the list, but has since been removed. Also, players whose position on the list has changed will have the post title changed to reflect the new position on the list. Since most of the names are already known, I've re-numbered the list to go from No. 1 to No. 100 instead of the other way, as it has appeared here since the list began.
One more thing, and I'll reveal one detail about the table you'll see here. There was a firestorm of criticism when I put Rick Wilkins on the list at No. 99 -- mainly on the strength of his one 30-homer season in 1993, which is one of only two such years by a Cub catcher in history (Gabby Hartnett had the other one, 37 HR in 1930).
Guess where Wilkins ranks all-time in Cub WAR? That's right -- 99th.
|Cub WAR Rank||Cub Player Name||Career Cub WAR||BCB 2006 Top 100 Rank|