Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Living Legends

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


Kyle Lobner said...

My only argument, off the top of my head, is to make Ken Griffey Jr. the greatest living M. I know Martinez was there longer, but Griffey was the face of that franchise while he was there.

woziszeus said...

Not bad Scott: I have 1 objection, 1 maybe, and 1 "throwing it out there."

-Frank Thomas for the White Sox...this is a must.

-Maybe...Jeff Bagwell instead of Biggio (I can see either)?

-Dontrelle Willis? No way. There's got to be someone better. Miggy Cabrera...Gary Sheffield...hell...Jeff Conine?

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