Bill Nicholson

Bill NicholsonBill Nicholson

Bill Nicholson

Born:  December 11, 1914

Died:  March 8, 1996

Chicago Cubs (1939-1948)


  • 5-time NL All-Star (1940, 1941 & 1943-1945)
  • NL Runs Scored Leader (1944)
  • NL Total Bases Leader (1944)
  • 2-time NL Home Runs Leader (1943 & 1944)
  • 2-time NL RBI Leader (1943 & 1944)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 6 (1940-1944 & 1947)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1943 & 1944)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1944)

I went to Fangraphs and retrieved the top WAR for Cubs outfielder in their

team history.  Bill Nicholson accumulated 37.8 in 5614 plate appearances

with the Cubs.  His 37.8 WAR is 3rd best in Cubs history (following the 2017

season).  Sammy Sosa is first and Billy Williams is second.  Now, that being 

said, Nicholson played far fewer games and since WAR is a cumulative statistic, a better comparison is WRC+.  This number compares the offensive value with players in their own era.  Nicholson's 135 is just better than both Sosa & B Williams (134 for both).  Prior to doing this research, I would have never thought that Nicholson can compare to these Cubs great outfielders, but the numbers suggest he is good enough to be mentioned in the same conversation, as one of the best outfielders in Cubs history.


Here is a look at the top ten cumulative WAR and WRC+ for Cubs outfielders:


Rank    Name          WAR          WRC+

  1. Sammy Sosa        60.7 134
  2. Billy Williams     58.9 134
  3. Bill Nicholson     37.8 135
  4. Jimmy Ryan         37.3 120
  5. Hack Wilson       33.9 153
  6. Phil Cavarretta  33.7 119
  7. George Gore       29.8 141
  8. Kiki Cuyler           29.2 128
  9. Frank Schulte     28.5 115
  10. Andy Pafko          25.8 124



How did Bill Nicholson to other MLB outfielders of his time?

When I compared MLB OF's from 1939 to 1948 (Bill Nicholson's career

with the Cubs), Nicholson was 5th best behind very well known MLB

outfielders Ted Williams, Joe Dimaggio, Stan Musial & Charlie Keller.


Bill Nicholson's Season WAR & Cubs all-time Rank (OF):

  • 5th best for an OF in Cubs history (1943)  7.2 WAR
  • 12th (1944) 6.5 WAR (tied with Billy Williams 1972 season)
  • 22nd (1942) 5.8 WAR (tied with Sammy Sosa (2000), Bill Lange (1895), Solly Hoffman (1910))
  • 85th    (1940) 3.8 WAR (tied with 4 other Cubs OF seasons)
  • 115th (1947) 3.3 WAR (tied with 3 other Cubs OF seasons)
  • 128th (1948) 3.0 WAR (tied with 4 other Cubs OF seasons)
  • 147th (1945) 2.7 WAR (tied with 8 other Cubs OF seasons)

His 205 career home runs as a Cubs hitter is 8th in team history

(at the end of the 2017 season).

  1. Sammy Sosa           545
  2. Ernie Banks            512
  3. Billy Williams        392
  4. Ron Santo                337
  5. Ryne Sandberg     282
  6. Aramis Ramirez    239
  7. Gabby Hartnett    231
  8. Bill Nicholson        205
  9. Hank Sauer             198
  10. Hack Wilson           190






Fan Duel Fantasy Sports