Congratulations to the Cubs, the Indians, and their fanbases, one of which will enjoy a long-awaited championship!
Now here’s the question. Which player in baseball history was the best combined Cub/Indian? My methodology, as it was last year, is to draw the top 200 position players and pitchers from each team by Wins Above Replacement, using the Baseball Reference Play Index. Then I find the players with the highest value of
(WAR for team 1 * WAR for team 2)
Now I have to admit I couldn’t actually think of a player who played for both the Cubs and the Indians! And this was borne out by the Play Index results: there were only five position players and no pitchers who ranked in the top 200 all-time contributors to each team. Pretty surprising, considering how long both teams have been around! And here are your top five Cub/Indians:
- Riggs Stephenson (193.6)
- Andre Thornton (98.8)
- Jose Cardenal (47.4)
- Mel Hall (9.0)
- Mitch Webster (7.8)
I almost wonder whether I did something wrong here. There was so much more overlap last year between the Royals and the Mets! But until you tell me otherwise, it’s the Riggs Stephenson Series.