The Chicago Cubs are among the most storied franchises in baseball history, having endured a 108 year title drought which commands the narrative of the franchise and many players, coaches and executives involved with the team. I’ve already taken a look at the players who are most deserving of enshrinement on a Mt. Rushmore of the team; here, now, are my picks for the non-players who have the greatest legacy on the north side of Chicago:
Holy Cow! A broadcaster on a team’s Mt. Rushmore? Caray earns the first spot as one of the most widely-recognized broadcasters in the history of the game. Caray is perhaps the first person that comes to mind when thinking of the Cubs, and will forever remain a symbol of hope and love for the Cubs. While Caray passed away in 1998, he is immortalized as a statue outside of Wrigley Field.
Caray’s Cubs spirit can best be summarized by one of his most famous quotes: “Sure as God made green apples, someday the Chicago Cubs are going to be in the World Series.” It’s a shame it didn’t happen for Harry to see.
Epstein has been with the Cubs for just seven years as President of Baseball operations, and if you asked the average Cubs fan what his job title is, they would likely respond incorrectly that he’s the General Manager. Epstein is considered the mastermind behind the Cubs rebuild that ended the franchise’s infamous title drought in 2016, and for his integral role in dashing the losing reputation of the Cubs, Theo is enshrined in the club’s history forever.
Maddon has spent even less time with the Cubs than Epstein, having managed the team for just four seasons beginning in 2015. Maddon’s impact, though, is undeniable: many anticipated the Cubs to begin contending as early as 2016, and Maddon steered the young team into contention in 2015, winning 95 games with a remarkable late season push and reaching the NLCS. Maddon has won at least 92 games in each of his four seasons in Chicago, making the playoffs each year, winning the NL Central twice and the storied World Series Championship. While he may not stay very long in Chicago, Maddon has already cemented himself as arguably the best manager in modern Cubs history.
Grimm managed for the Cubs for 14 years, recording 946 wins and a .547 winning percentage and leading the team to the NL pennant in 1945. While Grimm may not be the most recognizable name today, he had a great deal of success as a Cubs manager and is the second longest tenured manager in club history.
Similar to Grimm, Chance was a successful Cubs manager who spent more time than usual with the club. Chance managed the team while he played, winning consecutive World Series in 1907 and 1908 and accruing 946 wins and a .584 winning percentage as a manager, all tremendous marks for a manager which earn him an honorable mention as a non-player to go along with the player honorable mention he earned for the reputation of his name.
Bill Murray & Eddie Vedder
Murray and Vedder are two of the most iconic Cubs fans, with Murray being known for his acting career and Vedder as the lead singer of Pearl Jam. While neither has contributed to the franchise directly (with the exception of Vedder’s Bryzzo Jingle), Murray can be seen at many Cubs games and both him and Vedder symbolize the love of the Cubs which is pervasive throughout their fanbase.
Hoyer receives an honorable mention for the same reasons Epstein makes the mount: together the two form the dynamic duo responsible for the most successful Cubs team in a century, and Hoyer is the general manager behind it all, even if he receives less recognition of the two.
And the final selection:
Listing Anson here as a manager may be cheating slightly given his playing career: he is the most valuable player by bWAR in Cubs history. Anson played for the Cubs for 20 years from their foundation in 1876 to his retirement in 1895, managing concurrently for the majority of his career. Anson accumulated 84.5 bWAR with the Cubs as a player and posted a .579 winning percentage as a manager, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame as a player in 1939 to cement his legacy. It’s difficult to compare any statistics from the 1800s with numbers present in the game today, which consequently makes it difficult to compare players and managers from one era to another. Consider this, then, Anson’s honorable mention nod for the players Mount Rushmore as well. His 1282 wins as a manager, though, make him the winningest manager in franchise history, and this record seems like it will last indefinitely. As a result, I gave Anson the nod for his managerial career.
Disagree with my choices? Is there anyone I missed? Let me know on Twitter @ruhdolph !