Chicago Cubs: 5 best all-time pitchers in franchise history

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Chicago Cubs / Mordecai Brown
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Chicago Cubs Greatest All-Time Pitchers: No. 4 – Mordecai Brown

Pick Analysis. 4. player. 9. Scouting Report. Pitcher. . MordecaiBrown

Modern-day Chicago Cubs fans may feel like they’ve just experienced the ‘Golden Era’ in team history, but I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.

The true ‘Golden Era’ came during the back half of the first decade in the 20th century, when the Cubs featured a pitching staff anchored by Mordecai Brown. ‘Three-Finger’ played a critical role in the team winning it all in both 1907 and 1908, which, of course, marked the last time Chicago won it all prior to 2016.

From 1904 to 1910, Brown put up numbers that we’ll never see again from a Chicago pitcher – or any pitcher for that matter. There’s a reason he’s one of the greatest Cubs hurlers of all-time: and that reason starts and stops with this stretch of his career.

During that stretch, the Nyesville, IN native amassed just under 2,000 innings of work – which works out to 275 frames annually. But it’s not just that he ate innings; he dominated them, with a 1.56 ERA and 2.09 FIP. He won 20 or more games every single year from 1906 to 1911, regularly checking in with a sub-1.000 WHIP for good measure.

His name litters the Cubs’ all-time pitching leaderboard. He ranks third in Baseball Reference WAR (48), second in ERA (1.80) and wins (188), first in WHIP (0.998), shutouts (48) and adjusted ERA (152+) and fifth in innings pitched (2,329). For obvious reasons, Brown is enshrined in Cooperstown and ranks not just as one of the best Cubs arms ever, but one of the best players to ever set foot on a ballfield.