Best Chicago Cubs Baseball Cards Every Fan Needs

The Chicago Cubs are trying once again to reach the pinnacle of baseball. After trading away their stars that led them to the 2016 World Series, the Cubbies are working on reestablishing themselves as a baseball powerhouse.

For fans of the Cubs, there are certain baseball cards that hold significant historical and sentimental value. From Ernie Banks, to Ryne Sandberg, and to everyone in between, here’s a list of the best baseball cards every Cubs fan should consider. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

The List: Best Chicago Cubs Baseball Cards

1. 1954 Topps Ernie Banks Rookie Card (#94)

1954 Topps Ernie Banks rookie card
1954 Topps Ernie Banks rookie card. (credit: eBay)

This card features the beloved “Mr. Cub” in his rookie year. Ernie Banks is an iconic figure in Cubs history, known for his power-hitting and infectious positivity. A two-time MVP and 14-time All-Star, Banks spent his entire 19-year career with the Cubs, epitomizing the spirit of the franchise.

2. 1961 Topps Ron Santo Rookie Card (#35)

1961 Topps Ron Santo rookie card
1961 Topps Ron Santo rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Ron Santo’s rookie card is special for Cubs fans as it represents the start of a career that saw him become one of the best third basemen of his era. A nine-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner, Santo was a key player for the Cubs in the 1960s and early 1970s.

3. 1961 Topps Billy Williams Rookie Card (#141)

1961 Topps Billy Williams rookie card
1961 Topps Billy Williams rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Billy Williams’ rookie card captures the beginning of a Hall of Fame career. Known for his smooth swing and consistency at the plate, Williams was the 1961 NL Rookie of the Year and a six-time All-Star during his 16 seasons with the Cubs.

4. 1983 Topps Ryne Sandberg Rookie Card (#83)

1983 Topps Ryne Sandberg rookie card
1983 Topps Ryne Sandberg rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Ryne Sandberg would become one of the greatest second basemen in baseball history. A 10-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner, Sandberg was known for his defensive prowess and power-speed combination.

5. 1966 Topps Ferguson Jenkins Rookie Card (#254)

1966 Topps Ferguson Jenkins rookie card
1966 Topps Ferguson Jenkins rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Despite being in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform, Ferguson Jenkins’ rookie card is a must-have, as he represents one of the best pitchers in Cubs history. A three-time All-Star and the 1971 NL Cy Young winner, Jenkins was known for his durability and command on the mound.

6. 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects Kris Bryant Autograph Card (#BCPAKB)

2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects Kris Bryan autograph card
2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects Kris Bryan autograph card. (credit: eBay)

Kris Bryant was one of the key figures in the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory. The 2015 NL Rookie of the Year and 2016 NL MVP, Bryant played a crucial role in ending the Cubs’ 108-year championship drought.

7. 2011 Topps Update Anthony Rizzo Rookie Card (US55)

2011 Topps Update Anthony Rizzo rookie card
2011 Topps Update Anthony Rizzo rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Anthony Rizzo’s rookie card has become a favorite among Cubs fans. A key player in the 2016 World Series win, Rizzo was known for his power hitting and leadership.

8. 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Javier Baez Autograph Card (#JBA)

2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Javier Baez Autograph card
2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Javier Baez Autograph card. (credit: eBay)

The third player from the 2016 World Series team on the list, Javier Báez’s first Bowman card captures the early career of one of the most exciting and dynamic players in recent Cubs history. Known for his flair, defensive skills, and power, Báez quickly became a fan favorite.

9. 1977 Topps Andre Dawson Rookie Card (#473)

1977 Topps Andre Dawson rookie card
1977 Topps Andre Dawson rookie card. (credit: eBay)

“The Hawk,” one of the greatest players of the 1980s, came over to the Cubs in 1987, winning his one and only MVP. The Hall-of-Famer finished his career with 438 home runs.

10. 1987 Topps Traded Tiffany Greg Maddux Rookie Card (#70T)

1987 Topps Traded Tiffany Greg Maddux rookie card
1987 Topps Traded Tiffany Greg Maddux rookie card. (credit: eBay)

One of the greatest pitchers in MLB history, Greg Maddux began his Hall-of-Fame career with the Chicago Cubs, winning his first Cy Young with the club in 1991, before moving on to the Atlanta Braves. Maddux eventually came back to the Cubs from 2004-2006. He ended his career in 2008 with 355 wins and four Cy Young Awards.

11. 1993 Topps Finest Refractor Sammy Sosa (#79)

1993 Topps Finest Refractor Sammy Sosa
1993 Topps Finest Refractor Sammy Sosa. (credit: eBay)

Despite how his career ended with the Cubs, Sosa will forever be remembered for the home-run show he put on in 1998 as he and Mark McGwire battled for Roger Maris’ then home-run record of 61. Sosa ended up with 66 dingers and was named the National League MVP.

History of the Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs, one of the most storied franchises in Major League Baseball, have a history that is as rich and colorful as any in sports. From their early days to the historic World Series win in 2016, the Cubs’ journey is filled with legendary players and memorable moments.

Origins and Early Success

  • Founded in 1876: The Cubs, initially known as the Chicago White Stockings, were a founding member of the National League.
  • Early Dominance: The team experienced early success, winning back-to-back World Series titles in 1907 and 1908, led by the famed double-play trio of Tinker to Evers to Chance.

The Long Drought

  • The Curse of the Billy Goat (1945): The Cubs’ last World Series appearance for many years was in 1945. The alleged “Curse of the Billy Goat” was placed on the team during this series, marking the beginning of a 71-year pennant drought and a 108-year World Series championship drought.
  • Decades of Struggle: Despite the drought, the Cubs had periods of success and produced several Hall of Fame players, but they were unable to capture baseball’s ultimate prize.

Key Players Through the Ages

  • Ernie Banks: Known as “Mr. Cub,” Banks was the face of the franchise in the 1950s and 1960s. A two-time MVP, his infectious enthusiasm endeared him to fans.
  • Ron Santo and Billy Williams: Alongside Banks, Santo and Williams formed the core of a talented team in the 1960s and early 1970s.
  • Ryne Sandberg: A dominant second baseman in the 1980s and early 1990s, Sandberg was known for his all-around play and defensive skills.
  • Fergie Jenkins: One of the best pitchers in Cubs history, Jenkins won the Cy Young Award in 1971.
  • Sammy Sosa: The Cubs outfielder, along with St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire, captivated the nation in 1998 during their chase of Roger Maris’ then home-run record.
  • Greg Maddux: The Hall-of-Fame pitcher debuted with the Cubs in 1986 and won his first of four consecutive Cy Young Awards in 1991 while with the team.

The Turning Point

  • 2000s and Early 2010s: The new millennium saw the Cubs making several playoff appearances but still falling short of a World Series title.
  • 2016 World Series Champs: The 2016 season was a historic one for the Cubs. Led by a core of young talent including Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Jake Arrieta, and managed by Joe Maddon, the Cubs finally broke their 108-year World Series drought, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Cleveland Indians in a thrilling seven-game series.

Wrigley Field: A Historic Venue

  • Iconic Home: Wrigley Field, the Cubs’ home since 1916, is one of the oldest and most iconic ballparks in the league, known for its ivy-covered outfield walls and historic charm.

Matt Higgins contributed to this report.

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