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Chicago Cubs All-Time Strikeout Leaders

Updated on June 15, 2009

Fergie Jenkins

Kerry Wood

Rick Reuschel

2009 Cubs Video


The Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox are probably the three most historic franchises in baseball…and for years the Sox and Cubs were known as hard-luck losers.  Now, with the Sox having won two championships in 2004 and 2007, the Cubs are the poster boys for hard luck—with no rings in over 100 years.  But the team has always fielded great players, and especially pitchers.  Here is a list of the Cubs’ all-time leaders in strikeouts:


Fergie Jenkins (2038)—Fergie Jenkins was pretty much a journeyman, but played the bulk of his career in Chicago, from 1966 to 1973 and again in 1982 and 1983.  Jenkins won a Cy Young Award and finished second or third a total of four other times in a Cubs’ uniform.  He also had six 20-win seasons in Chicago.  Jenkins ranks first in Cubs history with 2038 strikeouts, and while he won 25 games for Texas in 1974, Jenkins’ best overall season was in 1970 with the Cubs—that year, he went 22-16 with a 3.39 ERA and a career high 274 strikeouts.


Charley Root (1432)—Aside from a cup of coffee with the St. Louis Browns in 1924, Charley Root played his entire career in Chicago, from 1926 to 1941, and ranks second in franchise history with 1432 strikeouts.  Root had his best season in 1927, going 26-15 with a 3.76 earned run average and career best 145 K’s. 


Kerry Wood (1407)—Kerry Wood showed so much promise as a youngster, striking out 20 batters in a game early in his career.  But his hard throwing led to arm trouble, and Wood was on and off the DL most of his tenure with the Cubs, from 1998 to 2008.  He even became the team’s closer in 2008 before signing with Cleveland in 2009.  Wood still ranks third in Cubs’ history, however, with 1407 strikeouts.  And while striking out 233 in just 166 innings his rookie year is really impressive, Wood’s best season was 2003.  That year, he went 14-11 with a 3.20 ERA and career high 266 strikeouts.


Rick Reuschel (1367)—Like most knuckleball pitchers, Rick Reuschel had a long career, pitching 19 years, including 12 with the Cubs from 1972 to 1980, and again in 1983 and 1984.  Reuschel ranks fourth in Cubs’ history with 1367 strikeouts, and though his career high was 168 K’s in 1973, Reuschel’s overall best season was 1977.  That year, he went 20-10 with a 2.79 ERA and 166 strikeouts.


Greg Maddux (1305)—Greg Maddux began his sure-to-be Hall of Fame career with the Cubs, pitching there from 1986 to 1992 and then again from 2004 to 2006.  In between, Maddux had his best seasons in Atlanta, but he still ranks fifth in Cubs’ team history with 1305 strikeouts.  Maddux had a career high 204 strikeouts with Atlanta in 1998, and his best season for the Cubs was 1992, when he went 20-11 with a 2.18 earned run average and 199 K’s. 


Carlos Zambrano (1228)—It’s hard to believe Carlos Zambrano is only 28 as I write this in 2009, but he is, and he’s only been in the majors, all with the Cubs, since 2001.  Zambrano is a feisty competitor and he ranks sixth in franchise history already with 1228 strikeouts.  His best season so far was 2006, when Zambrano went 16-7 with a 3.41 ERA and career high 210 strikeouts.


Bill Hutchison (1224)—Bill Hutchison was nicknamed “Wild Bill” because he had almost as many walks (1132) as strikeouts (1234) over the course of his career.  Hutchison played for the Cubs (known back then as the Colts) most of that career, from 1889 to 1895 and ranks seventh in their history with 1224 strikeouts.  And though he had a career high 314 strikeouts in 1892, Hutchison’s best overall season was 1891, when he went 44-19 with a 2.81 ERA and 261 K’s. 


Hippo Vaughn (1138)—Hippo Vaughn played most of his career with the Cubs, from 1913 to 1921 and ranks eighth in team history with 1138 strikeouts.  Vaughn had his best season in 1917, when he had a career high 23 wins (23-13) with a 2.01 earned run average and 195 strikeouts (also a career best). 


Larry Corcoran (1086)—Larry Corcoran had a relatively brief career, just 8 seasons, 6 of those with the Cubs (known then as the White Stockings) from 1880 to 1885.  Corcoran ranks ninth in franchise history with 1086 strikeouts, and while he had a career high 272 K’s in 1884, his best overall season was 1880.  That year, Corcoran went 43-14 with a 1.95 ERA and 268 strikeouts.


Bob Rush (1076)—Bob Rush played most of his career with the Cubs, from 1948 to 1957, and ranks tenth in the team’s history with 1076 strikeouts.  Rush had his best season in 1952, when he went 17-13 with a 2.70 ERA and career best 157 K’s.


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