I've always been a Yankees fan. I am more of a Brewers fan. I was born here and have lived here for most of my life. I'm a homer. But after the Brewers, the Yankees have always held a special place in my baseball heart. The team that I have admired from afar. There's a part of me that still wishes I had married Heather Locklear. It's kind of like that.
Anyway, at this year's All-Star game, during the pre-game part, which is the best part, when they traipse out all of the all-time greats, many of which my son has never heard of, I was struck by the fact that Yogi Berra was the highlight. The greatest living Yankee. I have nothing against Yogi Berra. He was a great player. Won some MVPs (in fact, did you know that he has 13 top 20's in MVP voting?) But when you start to rattle off the greatest Yankees of all time, Berra's name is a ways down the list. Nonetheless, he is the greatest living Yankee, and should have been the focal point of the event.
Next year the All-Star game will be in St. Louis. God willing, Stan The Man will be there for the festivities. He is the obvious choice as the greatest living Cardinal. The patriarch of the team. Perhaps he will finally receive his due, and no longer be the most underrated player in the history of the game.
All of that got me thinking. Who is the greatest living player for each of the current teams? Their patriarch? The player they would feature if the All-Star game were held at their stadium? I started a list.
ESPN's Baseball Tonight has started a poll of the greatest player ever for each team. What I am thinking of isn't exactly that. I could say that I thought of this first, but that would be completely pointless. Anyway, here is my list of the greatest living ballplayer for each current team. When I say 'current', I mean it literally. Current city, current franchise. For that reason, I have left the Washington Nationals off of the list.
|Arizona Diamondbacks||Randy Johnson|
|Atlanta Braves||Hank Aaron|
|Baltimore Orioles||Cal Ripken|
|Boston Red Sox||Carl Yastrzemski|
|Chicago Cubs||Ernie Banks|
|Chicago White Sox||Luis Apparicio|
|Cincinnati Reds||Pete Rose|
|Cleveland Indians||Bob Feller|
|Colorado Rockies||Todd Helton|
|Detroit Tigers||Al Kaline|
|Florida Marlins||Dontrelle Willis|
|Houston Astros||Craig Biggio|
|Kansas City Royals||George Brett|
|Los Angeles Angels||Nolan Ryan|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Sandy Koufax|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Robin Yount|
|Minnesota Twins||Harmon Killebrew|
|New York Mets||Tom Seaver|
|New York Yankees||Yogi Berra|
|Oakland A's||Rickie Henderson|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Mike Schmidt|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||Bill Mazaeroski|
|San Diego Padres||Tony Gwynn|
|San Francisco Giants||Willie Mays|
|Seattle Mariners||Edgar Martinez|
|St. Louis Cardinals||Stan Musial|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Fred McGriff|
|Texas Rangers||Buddy Bell|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Dave Stieb|