March (Meh)dness: All-Time Greatest Chicago Cubs Bracket

March (Meh)dness: All-Time Greatest Chicago Cubs Bracket
Domingo Ramos: all-time great Cub?

With all due respect to Andy Williams, this is truly the most wonderful time of the year.  Spring Training is becoming more serious as rosters are pared down and players are assigned to minor league teams and the MLB regular season is lurking right the corner.

And spanning the transition from Mesa to the majors is the greatest sporting event ever: March Madness.  Am I even allowed to use that term?  Whatever.  The NCAA brackets are nirvana for bookies and cause headaches for middle management all across 'Merica.  More man-hours will be lost to tournament viewing than to all the hangovers from St. Paddy's Day (that's right, folks, it's not St. Patty's), New Year's Eve, Casimir Pulaski Day, and all other amateur nights combined.

But I don't want to choose between brackets and baseball, Cubs and Cinderellas.  And that's why, with the help of my colleagues, I came up with this Mesa Madness Bracket, a quasi-definitive tournament that will pit some of the all-time greatest Chicago Cubs head-to-head in a battle for highly-questionable supremacy. Besides, everyone knows Javier Baez is the best Cub ever.  I guess it's a good think I left the prospects out of this.

Like any NCAA tourney, you might find some names you don't feel belong and some seeds with which you disagree.  But isn't that the fun of it?  You can check out the full bracket here and you'll see all the regions and matchups listed below as well.  Be sure to come back each day to see who moves another step closer to the title; opening-round winners will be revealed Thursday, and subsequent winners will be announced in conjunction with the NCAA tournament.

I'd love to see your picks as well, so please feel free to download the printable bracket, fill it out, and email it to me at

Opening-Round Games:

PK Wrigley Region

16 Steve Buechele vs. Augie Ojeda

12 Chet Steadman vs. Henry Rowengartner

 Albert Spalding Region

16 Domingo Ramos vs. Vance Law

11 Jerome Walton vs. Dwight Smith

Charles Weeghman Region

16 Jeff Pico vs. Mark Prior

11 Elwood "Woody" English vs. Bill "Not Spaceman" Lee

Tribune Co. Region

16 Rick Wilkins vs. Rick Wrona

12 Lon Warneke vs. Leon Durham


PK Wrigley Region

1 Ryne Sandberg vs. 16 Buechele/Ojeda

8 Jimmy Ryan vs. 9 Bruce Sutter

5 Charlie Root vs. 12 Steadman/Rowengartner

4 Phil Cavaretta vs. 13 Aramis Ramirez

6 Lee Smith vs. 11 Claude Passeau

3 Andre Dawson vs. 14 Randy Hundley

7 Stan Hack vs. 10 Don Kessinger

2 Mordecai Brown vs. 15 Scott Sanderson

Albert Spalding Region

1 Billy Williams vs. 16 Ramos/Law

8 Rick Reuschel vs. 9 Hank Sauer

5 Rogers Hornsby vs. 12 Jose Cardenal

4 Billy Herman vs. 13 Milt Pappas

6 Kerry Wood vs. 11 Walton/Smith

3 Mark Grace vs. 14 Dave Kingman

7 Ed Reulbach vs. 10 Rick Sutcliffe

2 Cap Anson vs. 15 Rick Monday

Charles Weeghman Region

1 Ernie Banks vs. 16 Pico/Prior

8 Grover Alexander vs. 9 Bill Madlock

5 Sammy Sosa vs. 12 Carlos Zambrano

4 Greg Maddux vs. 13 Heinie Zimmerman

6 Kiki Cuyler vs. 11 English/Lee

3 Gabby Hartnett vs. 14 Doug Dascenzo

7 Charlie Grimm vs. 10 Glenn Beckert

2 Fergie Jenkins vs. 15 Ted Lilly

Tribune Company Region

1 Ron Santo vs. 16 Wrona/Wilkins

8 Frank Chance vs. 9 Larry Corcoran

5 Bill Buckner vs. 12 Warneke/Durham

4 Hippo Vaughn vs. Derrek Lee

6 Riggs Stephenson vs. 11 Bill Nicholson

3 Joe Tinker vs. 14 Clark Griffith

7 Johnny Evers vs. 10 Shawon Dunston

2 Hack Wilson vs. 15 Manny Trillo


So there you have it.  Agree? Disagree? Let me know about it by commenting or tweeting.  And again, be sure to fill out your own bracket and send it to me; who knows, your choices might even factor into the tourney results.

Follow me on Twitter: @DEvanAltman

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