The Chicago Cubs, March Madness and the Final Four
Chicago Cubs: Catalina Region Championship
- 1 seed Ernie Banks vs. 3 seed Mordecai Brown
While Mordecai Brown was a great pitcher and a great Cub, everyone who wasn’t stuck under a rock for the last 60 years knew that Ernie Banks was going to win the Catalina bracket. After all, if the guy named “Mr. Cub” didn’t at least make it to the Final Four, what kind of club and what kind of tournament would this be?
Mordecai Brown finished his career with 239 wins, a 2.06 ERA, and was part of the great Cubs teams of 1907 and 1908. “Three Finger” was also elected to the Hall of Fame in 1949, so there’s no shame in losing to Banks in this one.
Banks is widely assumed to be the greatest Cub ever, and his smile and penchant for “playing two” certainly made it easy for a generation of Cub fans to fall in love with the shortstop and later first baseman. The 1954 NL Rookie of the Year appeared on an MVP ballot a whopping 11 times, winning the award in back-to-back years in 1958 and 1959. In an era way before the juiced ball of 2019, Banks hit 40 or more home runs in five out of six seasons from 1955-1960.
He finished with a career slash line of .274/.330/.500, with 512 home runs, 1636 RBI, and 2583 total hits in 19 seasons (all with the Cubs). He is the career leader in games with the Cubs (2528), nearly two full seasons more than the next closest Cub, Cap Anson. No wonder Cubs fans love Banks- they saw him more than any other player in history.
Try and wait as patiently as possible for the final matchups in the Cubs March Madness Bracket as we’re down to the last four- all legends in their own right.