Chicago Cubs: Great players, not so great results
How can a decade with four Hall of Fame players be in this list? “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins?? The 1969 Cubs was a great season until September and it made the Cubs relevant again.
Well, here is the thing. Despite those four legends the Cubs had a lot of terrible seasons that decade. It was the only decade they lost 100+ games twice in and saw them go 735-868-9 total. Outside 1969 they were never close to postseason contention.
Kerry Wood‘s 20K game and Sammy Sosa hitting 60+ homers in 1998 and 1999 did not prevent this decade being on this list. Overall they went 739-813-1 in the 90s and saw most of the decade just being bad and flat boring. The team was dead before Sosa turned into a superstar and featured mainly Mark Grace and an aging Ryne Sandberg.
The results may not have been as bad as other terrible decades, but the badly needed spark at the end really helped boost the franchise back to relevancy. Not to mention the strike-days in 1994-1995 made everything around baseball uglier.
Outside the pennant in 1945, nothing was all too great about the 40s. A total record of 736-802-11, the Cubs only finished as high as third once other than 45 and finished 1948 and 1949 in last place. The haunting stories from the one World Series they saw during that time certainly did not give the Cubs of this era a reputation of glory.
Also worth noting that Norman Rockwell’s famous painting “The Dugout” depicting the lowly Cubs pouting in the dugout was created in 1948. Good summary of the decade.
Probably the only good thing that came out of this decade was the prime years of Ernie Banks. He became the first NL player ever to win back-to-back MVP awards in 1958 and 1959. Other than that…nothing but misery.
672 wins is their lowest decade win-mark in the modern era, they never finished above fifth place and the closest they were to a pennant was in 1959 when they finished 13 games back. Sparse crowds at Wrigley Field observed the Cubs lose day after day to no end. Owner P.K. Wrigley had good intentions for the fans, but never was a baseball man who could build a good team.