Chicago Cubs: Assembling our very own all-time “Hall of Very Good” team

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 05: Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 05: Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: A lineup with fan favorites and guys from a long-gone era

The starting eight position players in the “Hall of Very Good” Chicago Cubs lineup.

Manager: Charlie Grimm

Both a very good player and successful manager, Grimm is second among Cubs managers in wins (946) behind Hall of Famer Cap Anson. He spent time both as a player/manager and as solely a manager. He was the manager for three pennant-winning teams (1932, 1935, 1945) and is the only other Cubs manager outside Anson to be the skipper of the team for more than 10 seasons.

Catcher: Jody Davis

Only Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett has caught more games in a Cubs uniform than Davis. He spent eight years on the North Side and was a two-time All Star. He slashed .251/.313/.416 with 122 home runs, .729 OPS and 467 RBI as a Cub. His 834 hits and 122 home runs are both second all-time among Cubs catchers behind Hartnett.

1st: Mark Grace

Nobody has played more games at first in Cubs history (1,910) than Grace. The three-time All Star racked up 2,201 hits on the North Side and slashed .308/.386/.445. He is fifth on the all-time Cubs list in hits and is one of only eight players in franchise history to reach 2,000+ knocks. We also can’t fail to mention he won four Gold Gloves, evidence he was just as good of a fielder as he was a hitter.

2nd: Glenn Beckert

A four-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner, Beckert was part of the late-1960s, early-70s Cubs teams that featured the core of Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Fergie Jenkins. He was not necessarily overshadowed by them, Beckert was a very good ballplayer and was popular among fans. He slashed .283/.318/.348 with 1,423 hits in 1,247 games.

SS: Shawon Dunston

Who could forget the “Shawon-0-meter”? Dunston played on the North Side from 1985-1995 and came back for one more stint in 1997. In 1,254 games he slashed .267/.295/.407 with 107 home runs and 489 RBI. He was a two-time All-Star while on the Cubs and a favorite among the Wrigley faithful. His 1,219 hits as a Cub are 25th all-time in franchise history.

3rd: Aramis Ramirez

I’m going with a more recent fan favorite on this one. While Stan Hack is certainly worthy of this spot, Ramirez was one of the faces of the franchise in the 2000s. Ramirez is seventh on the all-time Cubs home run list (239), third in slugging (.531), 12th in RBI (806)  and fourth in OPS (.887). From 2003-2011, he made two All-Star teams, won a Silver Slugger in 2011 and finished top-10 in MVP voting in both 2004 and 2008.

LF: Dave Kingman

“Kong” is part of the distinct 400+ home run, but not in Cooperstown, club. Obviously, there are members of this club linked to PEDs, but Kingman is not one of them. While not a big average or on-base guy…and struck out a TON, his power was unreal. He spent 1978-1980 on the North Side and hit 94 home runs in 345 games. For a guy who did not have a high career average or OBP, he still managed to slash .278/.338/.569 with a .907 OPS as a Cub. He was an All-Star in 1979 and 1980 and in ’79, finished with the most home runs in baseball (48).

CF: Andy Pafko

Turning back the clocks to the 1940s and 50s, Pafko was a centerpiece on the 1945 pennant-winning team and played with the Cubs for nine years. In that time he made the NL All-Star team in four consecutive seasons (1947-1950) and racked up 1,048 hits and 126 home runs. In 1950 he finished with a 6.3 fWAR and 155 wRC+ in 146 games played. He finished his Cubs career with a .294/.362/.468 slash and a .829 OPS (23rd on the Cubs all-time list).

RF: Bill Nicholson

Currently 19th on the team’s all-time hit list (1,323) and 16th in OPS (.840), Nicholson was cemented in the outfield from 1939 until 1948. Over those 1,349 games, he slashed .272/.368/.471 with 205 home runs and a 136 OPS+. He was a five-time All Star with the Cubs and in back-to-back years (1943 and 1944) was baseball’s leader in RBI and the National League leader in home runs. He finished third and second in MVP voting those two years. His wRC+ in 1943 was a whopping 163, compare that to Kris Bryant’s 148 in his MVP year.

NOTE: While one could put Sammy Sosa in right because he is not in the Hall of Fame, the reason for him not being in strictly due to PEDs and not numbers excluded him from this list.