5 Hall of Fame players that were briefly Chicago Cubs

(Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images) /
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Robin Roberts / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Only a small handful of athletes are Hall of Famers in any given sport, and even a smaller handful of those players stay with the same team their entire career. Especially in baseball. Only 54 players in the Hall of Fame spent their entire careers wearing one uniform. The rest have played with at least one other team.

Sometimes an all-time great will have a brief and even forgettable stint with a team. You get conversations like, “Hey did you remember those 41 games Ken Griffey Jr. played with the White Sox?” There are several Hall of Fame players that had very brief stints with the Chicago Cubs, some of them less than one season’s worth of games. Here are five of those players.

Chicago Cubs: The Philly legend ended his MLB career on Chicago’s North Side.

One of the National League’s very best right-handed hurlers of the 1950s, Robin Roberts is one of the all-time great players in Philadelphia Phillies history. Roberts managed to win 234 games while pitching to a 3.46 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 1.17 WHIP, 1,871 strikeouts and 1.7 BB/9 in 14 seasons with the Phillies. He went on to pitch several years in Baltimore, then in Houston. In July 1966, at age 39, he signed with the Cubs after being released by the Astros week or so prior.

Roberts appeared in just 11 games (nine starts) and pitched to a 6.14 ERA, 1.5 WHIP and 4.23 FIP in 48 1/3 innings. His final MLB appearance came on September 3 in Pittsburgh where he pitched an inning in relief and gave up four runs. In early October he was released by the Cubs and that was it. Roberts finished his career with a 3.41 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 3.51 FIP and 74.7 fWAR in 676 games.

No doubt this man will always be remembered as a Phillie, through and through. His #36 is retired by the franchise and based on Baseball Reference WAR (bWAR), he is the second-most valuable player in Phillies history behind Mike Schmidt. It is worth noting that the same year he became a Cub, a much younger pitcher from the Phillies also came over to the Cubs. His name was Ferguson Jenkins.