Chicago Cubs: 25 best all-time players in franchise history

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs / Billy Williams
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs Greatest All-Time Players: No. 6 – Billy Williams

. Billy Williams. player. 9. Pick Analysis. Outfield. Scouting Report. 6

WAR: 58.9

Owner of one of the most beautiful left-handed swings in baseball history, ‘Sweet Swinging’ Billy Williams is one of the all-time Cubs greats. At Cubs Convention annually, he continues to get applause and cheers that far outperform even the biggest stars of today’s club.

The Whistler, AL native started out on a high note, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1961 as a 23-year-old outfielder. That year, he belted 25 home runs – the first time he did so, although he’d go on to eclipse that mark nine more time in his career.

The guy was the epitome of consistency. From 1962 to 1971, Williams never played in fewer than 157 games and was a juggernaut offensively. He smacked 304 doubles, 69 triples and 292 home runs during that span. Of course, he was a critical piece of the legendary 1969 Cubs – but one of his best statistical seasons came the next year, in 1970.

That season, Williams led the league with 373 total bases, 205 hits and 137 runs. Two years later, he slugged .606 and put up an MLB-best 172 OPS+. In both of those campaigns, he finished runner-up in NL MVP voting.

Williams’ 61.8 Baseball Reference WAR ranks fifth in Cubs history, third in games played at 2,528, fourth in runs, third in hits – the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, when you think of the best ballplayers to ever grace the ivy-adorned walls on the North Side, he’s at or near the top of every list.

Accomplishments & Awards

  • NL Rookie of the Year
  • Six-time All-Star
  • Batting Title Champion
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