COVID-19 has affected the world in ways we could never imagine. People are losing loved ones, livelihoods, and their purpose in life. It is a terrible time in this country and we send our best wishes to those deeply affected by this virus.
COVID-19 also took away the significance of March, 26, 2020.
All around the world, hopeful fans have had this date circled on their calendars for months. This was supposed to be a date of optimism. Fans had their PTO approved by their manager. We were supposed to wake up today and crush hot dogs, beer, and most importantly, enjoy our favorite pastime.
COVID-19 took away MLB Opening Day.
This is a holiday for a lot of sports fans. Every team starts 0-0. The unknown of a Major League season is a thing of a beauty to a die-hard baseball fan. Even fans who know the upcoming season is going to be similar to watching paint dry still hold out a sliver of hope that maybe, things will be different. Maybe, just maybe, this could be the year that everything changes.
We have all been watching reruns of our favorite teams. They have been a fantastic distraction but, deep down, we know it’s not the same. It will never be the same.
We don’t exactly know when baseball will be back and that is what is most disheartening. Rob Manfred recently stated they are hoping to get back to baseball by mid May, but at this point, who the hell knows.
Until then, we are here to give you the ultimate Cubs Opening Day lineup. Don’t think about what should be going on today and instead, think of the unbeatable team you could create using Chicago Cubs of the past and the present.
Kris Bryant, 3B
We are going to start right out of the gates with a little bit of contention. Ron Santo is one of, if not the most, beloved Cubs of all time. We just wanted to have the player at the top of the lineup that would be leading off today if this virus was not ruining March 26th. Rookie of the Year, MVP, World Series champion. Although competing with Cubs lore, Kris Bryant gets the nod at the top of our Opening Day lineup.
Ryne Sandberg, 2B
At the top of the lineup, we are going back-to-back with MVPs. Ryne Sandberg has his number flying proudly on the foul pole at Wrigley Field. He is a Cubs legend that, along with winning an MVP in 1984, was also a ten-time All-Star, a seven-time Sliver Slugger, and a nine-time Gold Glove winner. Most importantly, Ryne was a grind-it-out ball player and that is what we want from our two hitter.
Sammy Sosa, RF
Slammin’ Sammy Sosa. Mention his names to Cubs fans and you will likely get all different types of reactions. The Tom Ricketts of the world think he needs to apologize to the Cubs and the fan base, while other fans accept Sammy for who he was. He played in a tarnished era and dominated that era. He brought baseball back to life in 1998 and put up MONSTROUS numbers while in a Cubs uniform. We will take the all-time home runs leader in a Cubs uniform hitting third in our Opening Day lineup, please and thank you.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
There is a bit of recency bias in this lineup. To be fair, this is the most successful era of Cubs baseball ever. That being said, we have the captain during this tenure hitting cleanup for our Chicago Cubs. Teams are going to want to pitch around Sammy. Tony has a career .373 on-base percentage. The top of this lineup is built to manufacture runs.
Billy Williams, LF
Time to honor another legend who has their number proudly flying at Wrigley Field. Billy Williams is in the top 5 in almost every offensive statistic in Cubs history. As noted, the players ahead of Billy will be on base. Billy has a career .296 batting average and knocked in 1,353 runs throughout his career. The former NL batting champion will be adding to that number hitting 5th in this lineup.
Ernie Banks, SS
Mr. Cub. What more needs to be said? While Billy Williams is top 5 in almost every offensive category, Ernie Banks is #1 in everything Chicago Cubs. Ron Santo is arguably the most beloved due to his radio days, but deep down Cubs fans know Ernie Banks IS the Chicago Cubs. Ernie is two-time MVP and a 14-time All-Star. He means the world to this franchise and an All Time Cubs Opening Day lineup starts and ends with him.
Hack Wilson, CF
We are kicking it old school with our center fielder. Hack Wilson still holds the record for most RBIs in a Major League season. The man drove in 191 runs in a season, 191 runs! We have to put him in this lineup simply because the man knows how to knock ’em in. This lineup may never make an out.
Willson Contreras, C
Another familiar face for Cubs fans. There are not a ton of great catchers throughout Cubs history. Gabby Hartnett, Jody Davis, and Randy Hundley were all fantastic players but Willson is here to bring energy to this team. He knows how to win and also knows how to put the bat on the ball.
Kerry Wood, P
This should be Fergie Jenkins, as he is arguably the best pitcher in Cubs history. Kerry Wood is here because Cubs fans were robbed of years with Kerry Wood. Injuries derailed his time in Chicago and we want him to have his time in the sun. Imagine Kid K taking the mound, fans erupt, and they all pull out the ‘K’ signs. Seven innings in, Kerry has 13 strikeouts, Wrigley is littered with backwards ‘K’ signs throughout the crowd. Life is good once again.
Happy Opening Day folks, soon enough we will have actual baseball on our screens again.