In an effort to avoid going stir crazy with MLB and every other major sports league shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, I've decided to take a look at the best of the best for each baseball franchise. We've created a 30-day series making an all-time team for each MLB club. We're breaking down one team each day throughout April, continuing today with the Chicago Cubs.
As a (hopefully?) fun twist, I'm making a Baseball Stars team for each. That's right, the old-school Nintendo video game "Baseball Stars," which I still consider to be the best baseball video game ever. It allowed you to create teams and I used to make all-time lineups for prominent MLB franchises. There are the eight position players with four starting pitchers, one reliever and five bench position players on each Baseball Stars squads.
The Cubs are going to be interesting because they have all-time greats at several spots who never won a ring, and this current group is the Golden Era of Cubs baseball (which is sad, but hey, that's the burden we Cubs fans carried for so long). Here's how the lineup shakes out.
Randy Hundley would be a fine pick with some very good years in the '60s. Jody Davis had a decent run in the '80s. If Willson Contreras sticks around long-term, he would deserve mention here, but the Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett gets the nod. In 19 years with the Cubs, he had a 126 OPS+ and won the 1935 MVP.
The all-time franchise leader in WAR is Cap Anson, but he didn't even play into the 1900s, not to mention in an integrated time. I'm avoiding him. I'm also gonna boot Deadball Era Frank Chance. That means it comes down to Mark Grace, Derrek Lee and Anthony Rizzo. Cubs-only stats coming.