8. Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks: 1953 – 1971.
It was tough not to put “Mr. Cub” higher on the list of fantastic nicknames. But there is one thing that holds this one back: a lot of teams have a player with the Mr. (insert team name here) nickname. The Padres have Tony Gwynn, the Tigers have Al Kaline, and the Cardinals have Red Schoendienst.
Still, Ernie Banks was such a deserving recipient of the name “Mr. Cub” that he had to be on here somewhere. He spent each of his 19 seasons on the Northside and compiled a monstrous track record there.
Throughout his career, Banks earned 14 All-Star nods, two MVPs, and a Gold Glove all while donning Cubbie blue and a wide, infectious smile. In his 1958 MVP season, he led the league in home runs, RBIs, slugging, total bases, at-bats, and games played, all while recording a stunning 155 OPS+.
What truly made Banks special and allowed him to embody the nickname of Mr. Cub, however, was his friendly nature that flourished well in the “Friendly Confines.” Even after his playing career, he continued to come back to Wrigley to meet the fans and sing the seventh-inning stretch, cementing himself as a fixture of the Cubs organization.
Banks embodied what it means to be a Chicago Cub, and his legacy lives on in Chicago as not just an all-time great player, but an all-time great personality. No matter who comes along in the Cubs organization, Banks will forever be recognized as Mr. Cub.