In May of 2009, Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux’s number 31 became the most recent uniform number to be retired by the Chicago Cubs franchise. They become members of a select group of Cubs players who performed at the highest level, became extremely popular and even became living symbols of the Chicago Cubs organization.
So for you Cubs fans and Cubs historians, lets make the official list of Chicago Cubs retired uniform numbers. Four out of six of these players are in the Baseball Hall of Fame (Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, Billy Williams), one will be in 2013 (Greg Maddux) and one should be (Ron Santo).
Wrigley Field Left Field Flagpole
- # 14 – Ernie Banks
- # 10 – Ron Santo
- # 31 – Fergie Jenkins
Wrigley Field Right Field Flagpole
- # 26 – Billy Williams
- # 23 – Ryne Sandberg
- # 31 – Greg Maddux
Chicago Cubs Number Retirement Dates
Ernie Banks – Number 14 was retired on August 22, 1982. He was the first Cub of the Modern Era to have his number retired. Cubs beat the Padreas 8-7
Billy Williams – Number 26 was retired August 13, 1987. The Cubs beat the Mets 7-4.
Ron Santo – Number 10 was retired September 28, 2003. The Cubs lost to the Pirates 3-2 in a game several regulars sat out because the Cubs clinched the Central Division the day before.
Ryne Sandberg – Number 23 was retired August 28, 2005. The Cubs beat the Marlins 14-3 to celebrate.
Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux – Number 31 was retired on May 3, 2009. The Cubs beat the Marlins 6-4 on the back of a great performance by current pitching ace Carlos Zambrano.
So the Cubs are 4-1 when they retire a uniform number. I take that to mean if the Cubs make the playoffs in 2009, they should retire a uniform number before game one of the series. It can be Gabby Hartnett, Sammy Sosa or Kyle Farnsworth – I don’t really care – we just need to win game one of the playoffs next time.
The Forgotten Story of #44
Phil Cavarretta’s #44 was retired in 1954, but shortly after the Cubs announced this honor, he was fired by P. K. Wrigley after the two had a behind the scenes disagreement with the Cubs owner. Right after that, Cavarretta committed the greatest sin of all and signed with the White Sox. He fell out of favor with the Wrigleys and the number was not “officially” retired. Number 44 later was given toBurt Hooton in 1971, but only after clubhouse manager Yosh Kawano personally spoke to Phil Cavarretta to receive his permission. It’s been worn by 14 other players since.
Chicago Cubs Retire Number 31 – Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux – DelusionalCubsFan.com
Cubs Retired Numbers: Have We Seen The Last? – Bleed Cubbie Blue