The Chicago Cubs have had the pleasure of watching plenty of sluggers aim for the stands at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. The Cubs all time home run leaders include three players with at least 300 home runs, but none in the 400 range. Also, the top two finished with more than 500 each while playing on the North Side.
Let’s dig into some of the details, shall we?
Cubs All Time Home Run Leaders: Top 5
Sammy Sosa: 545 Home Runs
Honestly, what is left to say about Sammy Sosa on these interweb pages? He’s hit the ninth-most home runs all time. He’s all over the single-season home run leaderboard. And obviously, he’s Chicago’s all-time home run leader. I suppose we can try one more time.
The obvious highlight of his tenure with the Cubs happened between 1998 and 2001. That’s when he registered four straight 50-homer seasons, with three of them including at least 60 bombs. He spent 13 years with Chicago, yet nearly half of his total homers for the franchise came in this four-year span.
While he lost out on winning his second MVP award because of Barry Bonds‘ ridiculous campaign, 2001 was Sosa’s best. His 9.9 fWAR and 186 wRC+ were both career-best marks. He added another 64 homers and a league-leading 160 RBI, which also included an inside-the-park home run. But still, it’s hard to talk about Sosa’s career without mentioning the obscene month of June he experienced in 1998. Get more details about that here, courtesy of Bleacher Nation.
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Ernie Banks: 512 Home Runs
The only thing that would’ve made Ernie Banks‘ Hall of Fame career better is if Mr. Cub had a chance to perform in the postseason. That unfortunately never happened for the longtime shortstop. He did make the most of his opportunities during the regular season, though.
His career lasted 19 years, all of which came with the Cubs. If we’re looking for Banks’ power peak, it definitely came between 1957 and 1960. In his late-20s, he slugged at least 40 homers in four straight years and led the league in that category twice. He also led the league in RBI twice, won a Gold Glove, and took home two MVP awards during this time.
That’d be a nice career for anyone else, but for Banks, it was just a nice stretch during what ended up being a spectacular career.
Billy Williams: 392 Home Runs
Another Hall of Famer, Billy Williams won Rookie of the Year honors in 1961, but he never took home an MVP or a home run title. In fact, he only enjoyed one season with more than 40 homers. That came in 1970 when he slugged 42 and drove in 129 runs while placing second in MVP voting to Johnny Bench. What he did do, though, was consistently hit dingers from his first full year to his last.
Williams debuted in 1959 but combined to appear in just 30 games over his first two big-league seasons. That’s why he didn’t exceed his rookie status until 1961. From that point until his final season in 1976 with the Oakland Athletics, he never finished a year with fewer than 11 homers. He had 14 years with at least 20 dingers, and 13 of those occasions came consecutively from 1961-73.
As a member of the Cubs, Williams posted eight seasons with at least 4.0 fWAR, but 1963-65 was the only time he did it in three straight years (5.9, 4.9, and 7.1).
Ron Santo: 337 Home Runs
Ron Santo was one of those dudes that could help you out on both sides of the ball. Not only did he post a career 126 wRC+ and .826 OPS with 342 home runs, but the Hall of Famer also won five Gold Gloves at third base. He was another consistent home run hitter after slugging nine over his first 95 games as a rookie in 1960.
From 1961 to 1973 (his second-to-last season), Santo hit fewer than 20 homers just twice — 17 in both 1962 and 1972. In the midst of his nine-year streak with 20-plus homers included a four-year run with 30-plus from 1964-67. Santo won four of his Gold Gloves during this time while slashing .302/.395/.531 and averaging 31 homers, 27 doubles, 102 RBI, and 96 runs scored.
Also, if you’re looking for an excellent picture of Santo in the batter’s box, this one highlighted — and explained very well — by Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue is worth a look.
Ryne Sandberg: 282 Home Runs
Outside of 13 games and six plate appearances as a rookie, Ryne Sandberg spent the duration of his 16-year Hall of Fame career with the Cubs. The infielder racked up quite a bit of hardware along the way, too. He’s the proud owner of an MVP award, nine Gold Gloves, seven Silver Sluggers, 10 All-Star appearances, and a Home Run Derby title.
However, he posted just two seasons with at least 30 home runs, which just so happened to come in consecutive years. He hit 30 in 1989 before leading the league with 40 the following year. That 1990 season was notable because it was also the first time Sandberg collected 100 RBI in a season. He did that twice in his career, also in consecutive seasons (in 1990 and 1991). The infielder hit the century mark exactly on both occasions.
Sandberg’s 1989 season began one more run of truly top-tier production for Chicago. It was his first of four straight 5.0-fWAR seasons, with the last three all being above 6.0. This stretch accounted for 25.8 of his career 60.9 fWAR.
Cubs All Time Home Run Leaders: The Rest
Here’s what the remainder of the Cubs’ top-30 home run hitters in franchise history looks like:
- Anthony Rizzo: 242 home runs
- Aramis Ramirez: 239
- Gabby Hartnett: 231
- Bill Nicholson: 205
- Hank Sauer: 198
- Hack Wilson: 190
- Alfonso Soriano: 181
- Derrek Lee: 179
- Andre Dawson: 174
- Kris Bryant: 160
- Mark Grace: 148
- Javier Baez: 140
- Leon Durham: 138
- Andy Pafko: 126
- Jody Davis: 122
- Kyle Schwarber: 121
- Shawon Dunston: 107
- Rick Monday: 106
- Keith Moreland: 100
- Jimmy Ryan: 99
- Cap Anson: 97
- Jim Hickman: 97
- Willson Contreras: 95 (…and counting)
- Dave Kingman: 94
- Phil Cavarretta: 92
If you’re looking for the sluggers who fall outside the top 30, you can find them here on FanGraphs.