Nicknamed "Mr. Sunshine" for his sunny disposition, Ernie Banks played with joy and immense talent for the Cubs from 1953-71, though never making a postseason appearance. In 1958 and 1959, he won Most Valuable Player Awards and became the Cubs' first Gold Glove winner in 1960.
The Cincinnati Reds dominated the National League from 1970 to 1979 to such an extent that they came to be known as the Big Red Machine. Over that span, the team won six National League West Division titles, four National League pennants, and two World Series titles.
The Astros' original team name was the Houston Colt .45s, a reference to the famous Colt firearms company. The team itself used a Colt .45s logo, but was most often called just the "Colts", a somewhat ambiguous term as it also applies to young horses and skirted the legal issues that eventually influenced the club's abandonment of the name.
Johnny Bench, a 14-time All-Star selection and a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, was a key member of The Big Red Machine, which won six division titles, four National League pennants, and two World Series championships. ESPN has called him "the greatest catcher in baseball history".