For MLB Fans - My List Of "The Best Of The Rest"

Discussion in 'Sports and Fitness' started by Jim Klag, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. Jim Klag

    Jim Klag Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I was rummaging through a box in the basement the other day looking for some old photos (which I never found) when I found a list of ballplayers I started over drinks with a buddy one night about 25 years ago. The list had all but the last 6-8 names on it which I added just a few days ago. You'll note that some of these names go back to the 1950's - well so do I. These are my favorite class of players - the solid pros who just go out every day and do their jobs making few mistakes and were never considered superstars. They all may have had one or two great years, but they all had careers where every year was solid and productive. Frank Lary is the only pitcher on the list and I have no idea why we didn't add more. Lary is my pick because I grew up a Tigers fan (born in Toledo) and Lary was known as "the Yankee killer." This is obviously not an exhaustive list of these excellent players, but it is my list.

    Carl Furillo
    Frank Lary
    Ken Boyer
    Bill Virdon
    Reggie Smith
    Paul Blair
    Bill White
    Terry Puhl
    Ron Hunt
    Chris Chambliss
    Dwight Evans
    Kenny Lofton
    Lou Piniella
    Bill Russell
    Andy Van Slyke
    Paul O'Neill
    Michael Young
    Ben Zobrist
    David Freese
    George Springer - youngest guy on my list, but he already fits the type

    Maybe y'all can add some names to the list - top pros who will never be confused with superstars.
     
  2. cardinal biggles

    cardinal biggles Patron Saint of Dangerous Driving Premium Member

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    Oh, wow, Andy Van Slyke, that brings back memories. My dad is a lifelong Pirates fan, so I remember him from that last time the Pirates were actually competitive (that period in the early '90s when Jim Leyland was managing, and before Barry Bonds bolted for the Giants and greater glory).
     
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  3. Herbert

    Herbert Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Trot Nixon
     
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  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Dave Dravecky

     
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  5. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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  6. Timby

    Timby You will choke on those words, Guile. Administrator

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    Mark Grace, Mickey Morandini, Ellis Burks, Nomar Garciaparra, John Olerud.

    Edit: For pitchers, off the top of my head would be David Cone, Bret Saberhagen, Mike Morgan (for longevity, if anything), Bartolo Colon (same), Dave Stieb and Al Leiter. Maybe Johan Santana, since he would have had a Hall of Fame career if his arm hadn't exploded on multiple occasions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  7. Jim Klag

    Jim Klag Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    John Olerud - a pro's pro. How could I have missed him. Pitchers are harder than position players - they're either really good or just cannon fodder. I like your pick of Al Leiter, though. I was also thinking of an old Reds guy, Clay Carroll.
     
  8. Timby

    Timby You will choke on those words, Guile. Administrator

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    One of my favorite Rickey Henderson anecdotes is when when Rickey reached base against the Mets (I think) and mentioned to the first baseman that he used to play with a guy who used to wear a batting helmet while fielding first base (Olerud suffered an aneurysm while out in the field, as I recall).

    "That was me, Rickey," Olerud said.