Chicago Cubs Greatest All-Time Players: No. 18 – Charlie Root
No pitcher in Cubs franchise history appeared in more games or threw more innings than Charlie Root. He faced over 13,000 batters in his career with the team – and that’s a mark that will undoubtedly stand the test of time.
In today’s game, pitchers have extremely specialized roles. You have your starters, relievers, closers and, until this season, your specialists. Root did it all. He appeared in 632 games in his big league career, started 341 of them and finishing 186. Some of the numbers he put up are just otherworldly.
His first year in the National League, the right-hander lost 17 games through no fault of his own – evidenced by a 2.82 ERA. The next year, though, he led the Senior Circuit with 26 wins and 309 innings of work, finishing fourth in MVP voting in the process.
From 1926 to 1933, Root averaged 252 innings per year, tossing 20 shutouts and even notching 20 saves during that span. He appeared in four World Series during his Cubs career – with his club coming out on the wrong side each time (1929, 1932, 1935, 1938).