Chicago Cubs: Great Cubs team of all time tournament

Oct 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Travis Wood (right) is sprayed with champagne by Jon Lester after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Travis Wood (right) is sprayed with champagne by Jon Lester after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 12, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs hall of fame infielder
Oct 12, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs hall of fame infielder /

2016 versus 1984

Ah! What could be….or could have been. This match-up features potential versus promise.

At number three, the 2016 Cubs. Are they truly worthy of this spot? Yes. Right now, they are 40 games above .500, and on pace to win 102 games, that is their best since 1935. What really makes this team special is the fact the lead the majors in pitching and defense, while boasting two MVP candidates on offense. Plus, they are top four in Wins-Above-Replacement in seven of nine starting positions. Could they make it to the World Series? Yes. Will they? We will have to watch. But, their potential is extremely high.

So was the promise of the 1984 Cubs, who hold the number six spot in our bracket. With a record of 96-65, they were the second best team in all of baseball. The team included Cy Young Winner Rick Sutcliffe, Lee Smith, Gary Matthews, Larry Bowa, Dennis Eckersley, and Bill Buckner. The season was magical at times, especially the “Sandberg Game.”

On June 23, 1984, the Cubs took on the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley. After second baseman Ryne Sandberg tied the game 1-1 in the first, the Cardinals scored six in the second. The teams would go back and forth. In the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs were down 9-8. Sandberg started the bottom of the ninth off with a game-tying home run against Bruce Sutter, sending the game to extra innings. After the Cardinals scored two runs in the tenth, Ryno blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the tenth. The Cubs eventually won the game 12-11 in 11 innings. All because of NL MVP Ryne Sandberg.

Hard choice, but there can only be one winner. Who is it in this battle?

Next: Number 4 versus Number 5