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2020 General MLB off-season

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5 hours ago, Beau Vine said:

Key Red Sox players will be suspended for the entire month of April.

So you are saying we bring up all our A players now? I can live with that. 

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Tuffy Rhodes 3 HRs on opening day game is on MLB network now.  Harry Carey is mostly coherent.

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2 hours ago, Beau Vine said:

 

That's pretty cool.  Those were some shitty questions.  I bet none of those people knew their lives were in danger either.

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Travel restriction clause may be an issue. 

 

As part of the agreement, obtained by ESPN's Jeff Passan, the players and MLB primarily agreed that the 2020 season will not start until each of the following conditions are met:

-   There are no bans on mass gatherings that would limit the ability to play in front of fans. However, the commissioner could still consider the "use of appropriate substitute neutral sites where economically feasible";

- There are no travel restrictions throughout the United States and Canada;

-  Medical experts determine that there would be no health risks for players, staff or fans, with the commissioners and union still able to revisit the idea of playing in empty stadiums.

 

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28962850/mlb-mlbpa-agree-stipulations-return-2020-season

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This is fun:

Quote

 

 

The best players to wear every jersey number in baseball history

Andy McCullough Mar 30, 2020 160 

The last holdouts were the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1937, Connie Mack’s A’s succumbed to the modern trend by putting uniform numbers on their home and road jerseys. Since then, all but three double-digit numerals have been worn in big-league games. As you await the return of baseball, take a stroll through its history, as The Athletic rates the best players to don each one.

0: Al Oliver

UT. Texas Rangers, 1979-1981. Montreal Expos, 1982-1983. Philadelphia Phillies, 1984. San Francisco Giants, 1984. Los Angeles Dodgers, 1985. Toronto Blue Jays, 1985.

There were a couple of decent candidates to represent the zero. Adam Ottavino has fashioned himself a fine career in relief. Oddibe McDowell rocked the number for four seasons with Texas. But Oliver was an easy choice, a three-time Silver Slugger and seven-time All-Star. Oliver hit .300 in 11 seasons, including nine consecutive years from 1976 to 1985. He received MVP votes in 10 different seasons. An obvious inductee into the Hall of Very Good, Oliver remained a lively hitter into his mid-30s, punishing opposing pitchers with Texas and Montreal.

00: Bobo Newsom

RHP. Washington Senators, 1943, 1946-1947.

A wide variety of players — from Don Baylor and Jose Canseco to Bobby Bonds and Jack Clark — wore No. 00, almost always in the late stages of their career. Louis Norman Newsom donned the double zero for three seasons, including 1946 when he received MVP consideration.

1: Ozzie Smith

SS. San Diego Padres, 1978-1981. St. Louis Cardinals, 1982-96.

The Wizard gets the nod over Lou Whitaker, Pee Wee Reese and Richie Ashburn, a formidable trio of contenders for this honor. Smith manned the sport’s most challenging position for two decades. He might have been the best to ever do it. Don’t believe me? Take three minutes to watch for yourself. No shortstop has won more Gold Gloves than Smith, who collected 13. He represented the National League in the All-Star Game 15 times. He inspired Jack Buck to tell fans to go crazy.

2: Derek Jeter

SS. New York Yankees, 1995-2014.

You could make a strong case for Charlie Gehringer. He was born in the exurbs of Detroit and spent 19 years with the Tigers. They called him the Mechanical Man because he played baseball like a metronome — steady and quiet and productive. He was worth 83.8 wins above replacement in his career. Yes, you could make a strong case for Gehringer. But if you did, you’d be flayed alive on social media and the BBWAA might strip your membership. So raise a toast to The Captain, Mr. November!

3: Babe Ruth

OF. New York Yankees, 1929-1934. Boston Braves, 1935.

Tough break for Jimmie Foxx. The Yankees actually started wearing uniform numbers in 1929, which means Ruth only wore No. 3 during his late-period seasons. You know, when he slashed .338/.468/.659 with 40 homers and 132 RBI a year. His decline phase, if you will.

4: Lou Gehrig

1B. New York Yankees, 1929-1939.

It was tough choosing between Gehrig and Mel Ott. They were close to equals as players — Gehrig was worth 114.1 bWAR, Ott was worth 110.7. Ott hit more homers. Gehrig had a better OPS. Gehrig had the better nickname, one of the best of all time, The Iron Horse. Ott, though, was blessed with the euphonic perfection of a one-syllable first name and one-syllable surname. There isn’t a lot of daylight here, but Gehrig gets the nod for his larger legacy in the sport.

5: Albert Pujols

1B. St. Louis Cardinals, 2001-2011. Los Angeles Angels, 2012-present.

So many icons wore this number: Joe DiMaggio, Brooks Robinson, Johnny Bench, George Brett. Even among that elite group, Pujols stands out. Only counting his 12 seasons, Pujols produced 91.5 bWAR, a total worth more than DiMaggio’s 12-year career (79.11 bWAR), Robinson’s 21 seasons (78.38), Bench’s 17 seasons (75.15) and all 19 of Brett’s years in Kansas City (88.6). Pujols was a terror as a Cardinal. His average season for St. Louis: .328/.420/.617, 40 homers, 41 doubles and 121 RBI.

Musial after hitting his 300th home run in 1955  (Bettmann / Contributor)

6: Stan Musial

1B. St. Louis Cardinals, 1941-1963.

I assume a lot of baseball fans are aware of the parallels between Musial and Ken Griffey Jr. — but come on, this puts the “fun fact” in “fun fact.” Both were born on Nov. 21. Both were born on Nov. 21 in Donora, Pa. That’s weird, man! The Wikipedia entry for famous Donorans consists of seven people: Musial, Griffey, Griffey’s father, a judge, a quarterback from the 1950s and two scientists who “investigated the 1948 Donora smog.” The Donora Smog Museum is set only a few blocks away from the house where Musial was born. You learn something new every day.

7: Mickey Mantle

OF. New York Yankees, 1951-1968.

It is interesting to revisit history with modern statistics. You can recast so many MVP races from the previous century and use analytics to correct imperfect votes. Unless, of course, the voters got it right the first time, like they did with Mantle in 1956 and 1957. He produced a combined 22.5 bWAR those seasons, each of which is considered one of the top 17 in baseball history.

8: Cal Ripken Jr.

SS. Baltimore Orioles, 1981-2001.

This story might be apocryphal, but there’s an old sportswriting yarn that one day in the midst of his permanent attendance, Ripken met with some writers in a visiting city. They all gathered around. And the first question was, “Cal, talk about the streak.” Indeed. I could have easily gone with Carl Yastrzemski here, but it was hard to pick between the two careers, and I wanted to tell that story.

9: Ted Williams

OF. Boston Red Sox, 1939-1960.

Of all the indelible moments in Richard Ben Cramer’s iconic portrait of Williams, this is my favorite: Cramer is explaining why Williams, in his retirement, does not accept invitations to dinners: “One reason is he does not wear ties, and probably hasn’t suffered one five times in a quarter-century. Neither does he go to parties, where he’d have to stand around, with a drink in his hand, ‘listening to a lot of bullshit.’ No, he’d rather watch TV.” Never before had a mythic figure like Williams felt more relatable.

10: Chipper Jones

3B. Atlanta Braves, 1995-2012.

My favorite moment during the one year I covered the Yankees came before the season started. It was the spring of 2013. The team was decimated by injuries. Brian Cashman had just broken his leg jumping out of a plane. It was a strange time. One day before a Grapefruit League game, Cashman rolled up to a few writers. Jones had retired the previous autumn, but Cashman still had a vacancy at third base. So Cashman asked us writers if we could tweet that the Yankees wanted to sign Jones to gauge his interest. (Jones declined, and has remained retired.)

Larkin wearing No. 11 in 1994; the Reds retired it in 2012. (Sporting News / Getty Images)

11: Barry Larkin

SS. Cincinnati Reds, 1988-2004.

I had to choose between Larkin and Edgar Martinez. The on-base aficionado inside me leans toward Edgar, with his .418 career OBP. Mariano Rivera used to say Martinez was the toughest hitter he ever faced. But I still went with Larkin, the Cincinnati native who manned the middle of the Reds infield for 19 seasons. It was really close. Please don’t yell at me.

12: Roberto Alomar

2B. San Diego Padres, 1988-1990. Toronto Blue Jays, 1991-1995. Baltimore Orioles, 1996-1998. Cleveland Indians, 1999-2001. New York Mets, 2002-2003. Chicago White Sox, 2003-2004.

Alomar’s homer off Dennis Eckersley in Game 4 of the 1992 ALCS erased a two-run deficit, prevented Oakland from taking a 3-1 lead in the series and kept the door open for Toronto to win back-to-back titles. The play might be memory-holed here in America — you almost never see it in highlight packages consisting of the sport’s most prominent moments — but it looms large in Canadian lore.

13: Alex Rodriguez

3B. New York Yankees, 2004-2016.

With apologies to Omar Vizquel, Dave Concepcion, Lance Parrish and Zack Greinke’s two seasons as with the Brewers, no player sported Lucky No. 13 with more style than A-Rod. He won two MVPs in New York, galvanized his team to a title in 2009, got suspended for performance-enhancing drugs, waged a year-long war against his own club and somehow emerged on the other side as one of baseball’s more lovable characters.

14: Ernie Banks

2B. Chicago Cubs, 1953-1971.

Pete Rose wore No. 14 for 24 seasons, long enough to merit serious consideration for this one. But let’s go with Banks, the 14-time All-Star and two-time MVP. There were a few other beloved options, though they resided on a lower tier than Banks and Rose: Gil Hodges, Jim Bunning, Jim Rice, Julio Franco, Paul Konerko.

15: Carlos Beltran

OF. Kansas City Royals, 2000-2004. Houston Astros, 2004, 2017. New York Mets, 2005-2011. San Francisco Giants, 2011.

The legacy of Beltran became complicated this winter when he emerged as one of the architects of Houston’s sign-stealing scheme. The scandal cost him his job as manager of the Mets. It might prevent his entry into the Hall of Fame. Is it enough to overshadow the rest of his achievements as a player? I just don’t know.

16: Hal Newhouser

RHP. Detroit Tigers, 1939-1953. Cleveland Indians, 1954-1955.

Whenever I read a story about how the analytically driven clubs have destroyed the art of scouting, I think about Newhouser and Derek Jeter, and I remember the imperfection of this pursuit. Newhouser was a scout for the Astros in the 1990s. Newhouser, the AL MVP in 1944 and 1945, advised his club to select Jeter with the first pick of the 1992 draft. When the Astros picked Phil Nevin instead, Newhouser retired.

 

Helton in 2013 (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images)

17: Todd Helton

1B. Colorado Rockies, 1997-2013.

You have some time to kill? You want to watch Helton play quarterback? I bet you do. He had a brief time behind center for Tennessee in 1994, when he was already established as a top-flight baseball prospect. The starter went down with a knee injury. Helton stepped up, only to injure his own knee. His replacement was Archie Manning’s kid. Helton focused on baseball. It worked out well for everyone.

18: Johnny Damon

OF. Kansas City Royals, 1996-2000. Boston Red Sox, 2002-2005. New York Yankees, 2006-2009. Detroit Tigers, 2010.

Not an easy one, No. 18. Lots of interesting choices. Moises Alou, Jason Kendall, Ben Zobrist, a gentleman named Mel Harder who apparently wore these digits for the entirety of the 1930s with Cleveland. All worthy choices. Damon won two World Series, one as a bushy-bearded member of the curse-breaking 2004 Red Sox, another as a clean-shaven contributor to the 2009 Yankees. Damon was better than you think for longer than you remember.

19: Robin Yount

UT. Milwaukee Brewers, 1974-1993.

How can you choose between Yount and Tony Gwynn? Each man played 20 seasons with the team that drafted them. Gwynn hit at least .300 in every season he played after his rookie year. Yount won an MVP at 26 and another at 33. Gwynn was more consistent. Yount had a higher ceiling. It’s hard. There are no correct answers. I went with Yount because Baseball-Reference.com indicated he was worth about eight WAR more. But I don’t feel good about it. And I wouldn’t feel good going the other way, either.

20: Mike Schmidt

3B. Philadelphia Phillies, 1973-1989.

Sigh. I’m regretting this project. Frank Robinson is an icon, as both a player and a manager. So only another icon could supplant him in this position. Schmidt is the best third baseman in baseball history: 10 Gold Gloves, 548 home runs, a career .908 OPS.

21: Roberto Clemente

OF. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1955-1972.

A book recommendation, as you wait for Opening Day: “Clemente” by David Maraniss. It is a sweeping portrait of Clemente’s life and the circumstances that led to his untimely death. Maraniss is able to suss out in detail Clemente’s interior life during his years with the Pirates. I would also read a Maraniss book about Warren Spahn, who also wore No. 21, but alas that book does not exist.

22: Roger Clemens

RHP. New York Yankees, 1999-2003, 2007. Houston Astros, 2004-2006.

Like most rational, non-voting observers, I have deduced that neither Clemens nor Barry Bonds will meet the 75 percent threshold required by the BBWAA to reach the Hall of Fame. But every year, I track their votes because I’ve noticed an interesting pattern. Clemens usually gets at least one more vote than Bonds. Some years it is two or three more votes. Some years it is just one. But every year there is at least one person who believes Clemens merits entry into the Hall, and Bonds doesn’t. I’d be interested in that person’s process.

23: Ryne Sandberg

2B. Chicago Cubs, 1982-1997.

Here are a few things I learned about Sandberg: The Hall of Famer’s middle name is Dee. His nickname when he was a younger player was “Gabby,” because he didn’t talk much. As a 36-year-old second baseman in 1996, despite sitting out the entirety of the previous year in retirement, he hit .244/.316/.444 with 25 homers. His last game at Wrigley Field was also the last game Harry Caray called at Wrigley.

24: Willie Mays

OF. New York Giants, 1951-1957. San Francisco Giants, 1958-1972. New York Mets, 1972-1973.

How great was Mays? What follows is a list of other players who wore No. 24: Rickey Henderson, Tony Perez, Ken Griffey Jr., Miguel Cabrera, Manny Ramirez, Dwight Evans, Robinson Cano and Early Wynn. And it remained a slam dunk to choose Mays. He won Rookie of the Year when he was 20. He led the National League in homers when 24, in OPS when he was 34 and in OBP when he was 40. He is the game’s greatest living player.

25: Barry Bonds

OF. San Francisco Giants, 1993-2007.

Based on at least one metric, FanGraphs’ version of WAR, Bonds is responsible for the three best seasons in baseball since 1950: He was worth 12.7 WAR in 2002, 12.5 WAR in 2001 and 11.9 WAR in 2004. The only other players to author seasons worth 12 wins or more are Babe Ruth (five times), Lou Gehrig (once) and Rogers Hornsby (once). Bonds wore No. 24, to honor his godfather Willie Mays, as a Pirate. His years as a Giant were even more prodigious, and even the specter of his performance-enhancing drug usage can’t obscure that.

26: Chase Utley

2B. Philadelphia Phillies, 2003-2015. Los Angeles Dodgers, 2015-2018.

Will Utley make the Hall of Fame? It’ll be close. He has a strong case on peak performance. From 2005 to 2010, among position players, only Albert Pujols was worth more WAR than Utley, according to FanGraphs. Utley made it to the majors a little late, though — he debuted at 24, and endured injuries in the back half of his career. He finished with 62.9 fWAR, which compares reasonably well to Hall of Fame second basemen such as Craig Biggio (65.8 fWAR), Roberto Alomar (63.6) and Ryne Sandberg (60.9).

27: Mike Trout

OF. Los Angeles Angels, 2011-present.

The least-productive full season of Trout’s career came in 2017. A thumb injury limited him to 114 games. He still hit 33 home runs. He led the American League in OBP and slugging percentage. He finished fourth in the MVP race. Again: This was the worst season of his career. He is a generational talent.

28: Bert Blyleven

RHP. Minnesota Twins, 1970-1976, 1985-1988. Texas Rangers, 1976-1977. Cleveland Indians, 1981-1985. California Angels, 1989-1990, 1992.

Blyleven struck out 3,701 batters during his 22 seasons, more than any pitcher who ever graced the majors besides Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Steve Carlton. Blyleven still spent the majority of his career residing beneath the radar of acclaim. He made only two All-Star teams. He received Cy Young Award votes in only four seasons, and never finished higher than third. He was perpetually overlooked, even past his retirement. He achieved his just due and made the Hall of Fame during his final year of eligibility.

29: Adrian Beltre

3B. Los Angeles Dodgers, 1998-2004. Seattle Mariners, 2006-2009. Boston Red Sox, 2010. Texas Rangers, 2011-2018.

After he finished his contract with Seattle in 2009, Beltre returned to the open market. He took a one-year deal with a $9 million guarantee with Boston, turning down a pair of three-year, $24 million offers with Philadelphia and Oakland. He bet on himself. It was a shrewd move. Beltre got a six-year, $96 million deal from Texas the next winter. And he lived up to it during his time with the Rangers, re-emerging as one of the game’s best third basemen and a lock for the Hall of Fame.

30: Tim Raines

OF. Montreal Expos, 1980-1990, 2001. Chicago White Sox, 1991-1995. Oakland Athletics, 1999. Baltimore Orioles, 01. Florida Marlins, 2002.

The 1987 campaign of Raines is commendable on the surface. He posted a career-best .955 OPS, and subbed a slight diminishment in base-stealing (only 50) with the most homers he would ever hit in a season (18). Now consider this: Raines didn’t make his 1987 debut until May. He had reached free agency the year before, only to run smack into the teeth of collusion. Unable to find a fair deal elsewhere, he returned to the Expos and delivered a 6.7 WAR season, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

31: Greg Maddux

RHP. Chicago Cubs, 1986-1992, 2004-2006. Atlanta Braves, 1993-2003.

Fergie Jenkins and Dave Winfield could have slid into this spot. But does either man have a statistic named after him? Nope. A Maddux, in the accounting parlance, is a shutout completed in fewer than 100 pitches. The namesake did it 13 times. No other pitcher has done it more than six times. Maddux also offered one of my favorite baseball quotes, as anthologized by Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated: “People think I’m smart? You know what makes you smart? Locate that fastball down and away.”

32: Steve Carlton

LHP. St. Louis Cardinals, 1965-1971. Philadelphia Phillies, 1972-1986. Chicago White Sox, 1986. San Francisco Giants, 1986. Cleveland Indians, 1987.

Let’s get this out of the way. I am aware that Sandy Koufax wore No. 32. I opted for the long-term greatness of Carlton over the short-term transcendence of Koufax. Perhaps this was a mistake — we’ll see how things go in the comments. But Carlton was a magnificent pitcher, a four-time Cy Young Award winner who ranks fourth all-time in strikeouts, ninth in innings pitched and 11th in wins. Only seven pitchers in history faced more batters than Carlton did.

33: Larry Walker

OF. Montreal Expos, 1989-1994. Colorado Rockies, 1995-2004. St. Louis Cardinals, 2004-2005.

With his induction in January, Walker became only the second Canadian to reach the Hall of Fame. Fergie Jenkins was the first. Joey Votto has a chance to become the third. Otherwise, Walker and Jenkins are likely to be lonely representatives for their country. Walker reached on his 10th and final year of eligibility. He should have made it sooner. His numbers did inflate during his time in Colorado, but he remained a dangerous hitter deep into his 30s after leaving Coors Field for Busch Stadium.

 

Nolan Ryan pitching for the Astros in the mid-1980s. (Focus on Sport/  Getty Images)

34: Nolan Ryan

RHP. New York Mets, 1966-71. California Angels, 1972-79. Houston Astros, 1980-1988. Texas Rangers, 1989-1993.

Ryan pitched for a long, long time. How long? He wore No. 34 for 15 years. But he wore No. 30 for the entirety of the 1970s. Yes, 27 seasons is a long, long time. Ryan struck out more batters than anyone in history. He also walked more batters. He started more games than any pitcher not named Cy Young. He debuted seven years before the implementation of the designated hitter and he pitched his final season during the debut campaigns of the Marlins and Rockies.

35: Phil Niekro

RHP. Milwaukee Braves, 1964-1965. Atlanta Braves, 1966-1983, 1987. New York Yankees, 1984-1985. Cleveland Indians, 1986-1987. Toronto Blue Jays, 1987.

The only pitcher in the modern era to log more innings than Nolan Ryan? That would be Niekro. The knuckleball is a hell of a drug. Across his 24 seasons, Phil relied on the pitch more than his brother, Joe, who played 22 seasons of his own. Niekro was far from a prodigy. He didn’t reach the majors until he was 25. But he lasted, for decades, thanks to his floating baffler.

36: Gaylord Perry

RHP. San Francisco Giants, 1963-1971. Cleveland Indians, 1972-1975.  Texas Rangers, 1975-1977, 1980. San Diego Padres, 1978-1979. New York Yankees, 1980. Atlanta Braves, 1981. Seattle Mariners, 1982-1983. Kansas City Royals, 1983.

This was a close call between Perry and Phillies stalwart Robin Roberts. I went with Perry because of the sheer gall it took to title his autobiography, “Me and The Spitter: An Autobiographical Confession.” That would be like calling the Astros’ 2017 World Series DVD, “The Boys and The Can.” The chutzpah from Perry is impressive. So was his career, which he finished with 314 wins.

37: Dave Stieb

RHP. Toronto Blue Jays, 1979-1992, 1998.

Stieb didn’t pitch in the 1992 postseason. He was waylaid by injuries that year, so the Blue Jays charged to their first championship without him on the mound. Stieb still earned a ring as a member of the club and got to be part of a milestone for a team he helped carry through the 1980s. Stieb made seven All-Star teams for Toronto. He won the ERA title in 1985, the year the Blue Jays won the American League East for the first time. He was a vital piece of franchise lore.

38: Curt Schilling

RHP. Philadelphia Phillies, 1992-2000. Arizona Diamondbacks, 2000-2003. Boston Red Sox, 2004-2007.

It is unclear if Schilling will ever make the Hall of Fame. We don’t need to delve into how his post-retirement commentary might have damaged his case. But on the merits, he should have gotten in on the first ballot. He won more games than John Smoltz. He had a lower ERA than Tom Glavine. He threw more innings than Pedro Martinez. He struck out more batters than Mike Mussina. He should have been inducted years ago.

39: Dave Parker

OF. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1973-1983. Cincinnati Reds, 1984-1987. Oakland Athletics, 1988-1989. Milwaukee Brewers, 1990. California Angels, 1991. Toronto Blue Jays, 1991.

Outside of owning the best T-shirt of all time, Parker teamed with Willie Stargell as the best hitters on the 1979 champions. Parker won the MVP in 1978 and finished second in 1985 (although a reassessment of that season suggests Dwight Gooden should have run away with the award). Parker remained a slugging force through his 30s. He swatted 21 homers and 30 doubles for the Brewers in 1990, the year he turned 39.

Bartolo Colon pitched for the Rangers in 2018. (Tim Heitman / USA Today)

40: Bartolo Colon

RHP. Cleveland Indians, 1997-2002. Montreal Expos, 2002. Chicago White Sox, 2003, 2009. Los Angeles Angels, 2005-2007. Boston Red Sox, 2008. New York Yankees, 2011. Oakland Athletics, 2013. New York Mets, 2014-2016. Atlanta Braves, 2017. Minnesota Twins, 2017. Texas Rangers, 2018.

Colon pitched long enough to have three distinct career phases, a chronology that appears jumbled compared to most players. There was his time as a young flamethrower, from 1997 to 2005, when he won the American League Cy Young Award. There was his decline phase, over the next five years, as he battled a variety of injuries. And then there was his rejuvenation, when he was an All-Star for both the Athletics and the Mets.

41: Tom Seaver

RHP. New York Mets, 1967-1977, 1983. Cincinnati Reds, 1977-1982. Chicago White Sox, 1984-1986. Boston Red Sox, 1986.

The Franchise faced a robust challenge from longtime Braves infielder Eddie Mathews, but it is hard to argue with Seaver. He arrived in the majors fully formed as a No. 1 starter: Seaver was an All-Star in each of his first seven seasons, a period in which he won two of his three Cy Young Awards. He won 25 games for the 1969 Miracle Mets and led the National League with 18 complete games for the 1973 edition. At age 38, during a one-year reunion with the Mets, he logged 231 innings with a 3.55 ERA. Not bad!

42: Jackie Robinson

2B. Brooklyn Dodgers, 1947-1956.

This one should be self-explanatory. Mariano Rivera was the last to wear this number. Other luminaries include Dave Henderson, Mo Vaughn and Bruce Sutter.

43: Dennis Eckersley

RHP. Boston Red Sox, 1978-1984, 1998. Chicago Cubs, 1984-1986. Oakland Athletics, 1987-1995. St. Louis Cardinals, 1996-1997.

Eckersley has won acclaim over the past 20 years for his charming zaniness as a broadcaster and his equanimity when reminded of his prior failings (see: Gibson, Kirk) or confronted about his commentary (see: Price, David). He was also a darn good pitcher. After more than a decade as a quality starter, he became one of the best relievers in the sport’s history.

44: Hank Aaron

OF. Milwaukee Braves, 1955-1965. Atlanta Braves, 1966-1974. Milwaukee Brewers, 1975-1976.

The consistency and constancy of Aaron are breathtaking. He topped 40 homers for the first time in a season at 23, when he bopped 44. Sixteen years later, he hit 40 more (with a 1.045 OPS, by the way). He reached 755 bombs despite never hitting more than 47 in one season. To get there, he hit 30 or more in 15 different campaigns. Remarkable.

45: Bob Gibson

RHP. St. Louis Cardinals, 1960-1975.

Now here is a debate. You have to win Game 7 of the No. 45 Derby. Your two choices are Gibson or Pedro Martinez. It’s hard to make a bad choice. Martinez tamed hitters at the height of the steroid era, and his stretch from 1997 to 2003 rivals Sandy Koufax’s prime. For Game 7, you should probably pick Pedro. But for an entire season? Gibson is tough to beat. His performance in 1968 contributed to sweeping changes in the game. Gibson holds the slight edge over Martinez for his durability while shouldering a heavy load in the 1960s.

46: Andy Pettitte

LHP. New York Yankees, 1995-2003, 2007-2010, 2012-2013.

This isn’t really relevant, but one time Pettitte was doing a postgame interview and he referred to Mark Trumbo as “Mark Trombone.” It was one of the most charming things I’ve witnessed on the baseball beat. Pettitte was a fierce competitor, who held himself to an exceedingly high standard. He was rarely pleased with himself, even after his best outings. His evolution from thrower to pitcher provided a template for teammates such as CC Sabathia and lefties across the land.

47: Tom Glavine

LHP. Atlanta Braves, 1987-2002, 2008. New York Mets, 2003-2007.

In June 1984, Glavine got drafted twice. The Los Angeles King took Glavine in the fourth round of the NHL Draft. Two days later, the Braves took him in the second round of MLB’s amateur draft. Glavine was a talented center. So why did he choose baseball? “The big thing that really influenced my decision was being a left-handed pitcher,” Glavine told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1999. “I knew it gave me a distinct advantage in baseball that I didn’t possess in hockey.” Hard to argue with the Hall of Fame results.

48: Rick Reuschel

RHP. Chicago Cubs, 1972-1981, 1984. New York Yankees, 1984. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1985-1987. San Francisco Giants, 1987-1991.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, five players have gone by the nickname of “Big Daddy,” a list comprised of Jeff D’Amico, Cecil Fielder, Matt Holliday, Stan Williams and Reuschel. So kudos to Reuschel, a veteran of 19 seasons, for achieving two sizable distinctions: He was the best No. 48 in baseball history, and the best “Big Daddy” in baseball history.

49: Ron Guidry

LHP. New York Yankees, 1975-1988.

Among the charms of Phil Hughes’ baseball card videos on YouTube is the personal connection the former Yankee holds with so many players and coaches. Here is what he had to say upon discovering a card featuring Guidry, a native of Louisiana, five-time Gold Glover and the 1978 American League Cy Young Award winner: “He was my first pitching coach coming up, he was the Yankees pitching coach, if you remember, in 2007. I liked Gator a lot. He would always make frog legs.”

50: Mookie Betts

OF. Boston Red Sox, 2014-2019.

When will Betts get to wear this number for the Dodgers? During his six seasons in Boston, he accomplished enough — an MVP in 2018, four Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers — to outpace fellow No. 50s such as Adam Wainwright, Jamie Moyer and Sid Fernandez. The arrival of Betts in Los Angeles appeared to be the precise antidote to the Dodgers’ postseason drought. Now we wait to see when he will take the field with his new club.

Randy Johnson pitching a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers on June 3, 1990. (Duncan Livingston / Associated Press)

51: Randy Johnson

LHP. Montreal Expos, 1988-1989. Seattle Mariners, 1990-1998. Houston Astros, 1998. Arizona Diamondbacks, 1999-2004, 2007-2008. San Francisco Giants, 2009.

Johnson is the best pitcher of all time. This is my opinion. It might be wrong. But I believe it. Look at what he did from 1995 to 2002: 2.61 ERA, 302 strikeouts per season, 220 innings per year, 1.069 WHIP. He led his league in strikeouts nine times in his career. His 2001 postseason was preposterous, with a 1.52 ERA in six outings, including the final four outs of the final game after throwing seven innings the night before.

52: CC Sabathia

LHP. Cleveland Indians, 2001-2008. Milwaukee Brewers, 2008. New York Yankees, 2009-2019.

Sabathia was about six weeks away from free agency when the Brewers asked him to pitch on short rest. Milwaukee had fired manager Ned Yost the day before Sabathia pitched on Sept. 16. During his final three outings, Sabathia went on only three days of rest. He pitched the Brewers into the playoffs, with 21 2/3 innings of 0.83 ERA baseball. He soon parlayed his resume into a $161 million contract with the Yankees. When the Yankees won the World Series that next autumn, Sabathia pitched on short rest for the duration of the postseason.

53: Don Drysdale

RHP. Brooklyn Dodgers, 1956-1957. Los Angeles Dodgers, 1958-1969.

The career of Drysdale was twinned with Sandy Koufax for obvious reasons. They spent a decade as teammates. They held out as a tandem before the 1966 season, one of the milestones on the path to free agency. After Koufax retired following that year, Drysdale made the All-Star team in 1967 and 1968, before arm injuries forced him into the broadcast booth.

54: Goose Gossage

RHP. Chicago White Sox, 1972-1976. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1977. New York Yankees, 1978-1983, 1989. San Diego Padres, 1984-1987. Chicago Cubs, 1988. San Francisco Giants, 1989. Texas Rangers, 1991. Oakland Athletics, 1992-1993. Seattle Mariners, 1994.

Gossage occupies a curious space for modern baseball fans. For anyone born after Generation X, Gossage is the cranky fellow ranting about the sport every spring. To be clear: Gossage painted himself into this corner. He got himself banned from visiting Yankees camp because he can’t stop himself from barking about those on his proverbial lawn. But as a pitcher, he was tremendous.

55: Orel Hershiser

RHP. Los Angeles Dodgers, 1983-1994, 2000. Cleveland Indians, 1995-1997. New York Mets, 1999.

Full disclosure: I got to know Hershiser pretty well during my time covering the Dodgers. I consider him a friend. We dine together on the road on occasion. When fate brought us together at the poker table, he usually took it easy on me. He was less relenting on opposing hitters. During his first six full seasons in the majors, from 1984 to 1989, among starters, only Dwight Gooden posted an ERA lower than Hershiser’s 2.68. Hershiser won 98 games during those years — only Gooden (100) and Frank Viola (106) won more.

56: Mark Buehrle

LHP. Chicago White Sox, 2000-2011. Miami Marlins, 2012. Toronto Blue Jays, 2013-2015.

One time when I was on the Royals beat, Buehrle was starting on a Sunday getaway game against Jeremy Guthrie. These were two of the quickest workers in baseball. I thought it would be fun to see if the game lasted longer than The Clash’s “Sandinista!” The game wrapped up at 2:14. The record lasted 2:24. Bless Mark Buehrle.

Johan Santana celebrates his no-hitter for the Mets in 2012. (Mike Stobe / Getty Images)

57: Johan Santana

LHP. Minnesota Twins, 2000-2007. New York Mets, 2008-2012.

An icon for two different franchises, Santana won a pair of Cy Young Awards as a Twin and authored the only no-hitter in Mets history. He had a peak worthy of the Hall of Fame, but shoulder injuries prevented him from securing the longevity.

58: Jonathan Papelbon

RHP. Boston Red Sox, 2005-2011. Philadelphia Phillies, 2012-2015. Washington Nationals, 2015-2016.

Won a World Series. Set a record for the most lucrative free-agent contract for a reliever. Fought his own teammate in broad daylight. That’s a career, baby.

 

59: Carlos Carrasco

RHP. Cleveland Indians, 2009-present.

Carrasco was a worthy selection for The Athletic MLB’s Person of the Year in 2019. Don’t take my word for it. Let Zack Meisel tell you why. Carrasco has spent the entirety of his career in Cleveland. Only 10 active players have spent more days in one uniform than Carrasco, who debuted in September 2009.

60: Dallas Keuchel

LHP. Houston Astros, 2012-2018. Atlanta Braves, 2019.

Blame it on the social distancing, but I found myself cracking up the other day about Coach Finstock’s advice in “Teen Wolf,” which included: “Never play cards with a guy who’s got the same first name as a city.” Anyway, Keuchel was incredible in 2015.

61: Liván Hernández

LHP. Florida Marlins, 1996-1999. San Francisco Giants, 1999-2002. Montreal Expos, 2003-2004. Washington Nationals, 2005-2006, 2010-2011. Arizona Diamondbacks, 2006-2007. Colorado Rockies, 2008. Minnesota Twins, 2008. New York Mets, 2009. Atlanta Braves, 2012. Milwaukee Brewers, 2012.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post once described Hernández as “a right-hander with spaghetti in his arm.” Livo did not throw hard, but he threw often. Hernández made 30 or more starts in 13 different seasons, wearing No. 61 in each of them.

62: José Quintana

LHP. Chicago White Sox, 2012-2017. Chicago Cubs, 2017-present.

Joba Chamberlain was on the path to being History’s Greatest No. 62 before injuries derailed his career. Quintana was actually a Yankees farmhand during the years of the Joba Rules. He didn’t attain prominence until the White Sox signed him as a minor-league free agent for 2012.

63: Rafael Betancourt

RHP. Cleveland Indians, 2003-2009. Colorado Rockies, 2009-2015.

We can sum up Betancourt with this delightful couplet from MLB.com‘s Anthony Castrovince: “It took Michelangelo four years to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It takes Rafael Betancourt nearly that long to pitch an inning of a baseball game.” Castrovince wrote those lines after Betancourt twice got called for an automatic ball for taking too long in between pitches … in 2007.

64: Emilio Bonifacio

UT. Kansas City Royals, 2013. Chicago Cubs, 2014. Chicago White Sox, 2015. Atlanta Braves, 2016-2017.

Bonifacio had his best season, 2011 with the Marlins, while wearing No. 1. But he moved into sexagenarian territory as he approached his 30s. Bonifacio hasn’t played in the majors since 2017, but he was in camp with Washington this spring on a minor-league deal, hoping to make it back to the bigs at age 34.

65: Phil Hughes

RHP. New York Yankees, 2007-2013.

Hughes had an admirable career for a variety of reasons, including this tweet. He was an important cog in the Yankees bullpen during their 2009 championship run. He was a credible starting pitcher for half a decade. He made an All-Star team and bundles of money. In his retirement, he started an entertaining YouTube channel. What more can you ask for?

Yasiel Puig homering in the 2018 World Series.  (Harry How / Getty Images)

66: Yasiel Puig

OF. Los Angeles Dodgers, 2013-2018. Cincinnati Reds, 2019. Cleveland Indians, 2019.

If they play baseball in 2020, where will Puig play it? He remained unsigned as the sport went on hiatus. There were rumors about him receiving offers from Japan and Korea. His time with the Dodgers was fascinating.

67: Francisco Córdova

RHP. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1996-2000.

In the summer of 1997, Córdova handled the initial nine innings of the first combined, extra-innings no-hitter in baseball history. His pal Ricardo Rincón recorded the final three outs before reserve Mark Smith hit a walk-off in the bottom of the 10th. “I wanted to keep going,” Córdova said. “But it wasn’t my decision.” We’ve all been there.

68: Dellin Betances

RHP. New York Yankees, 2011-2019.

Betances was an excellent reliever with the Yankees. He also played an unfortunate role in a spat that revealed the lack of nuance in the arbitration system. He lost his case before the 2017 season, when he requested $5 million, and received a $3 million payday. The dispute prompted an all-time quote from Yankees president Randy Levine. “It’s like me saying, ‘I’m not the president of the Yankees; I’m an astronaut,'” Levine said. “No, I’m not an astronaut, and Dellin Betances is not a closer.” Simpler times.

69: Bronson Arroyo

RHP. Pittsburgh Pirates, 2000-2002.

I’ll be honest: I had no memory of Arroyo pitching for Pittsburgh. In my mind’s eye, he was a rookie on the 2003 Red Sox. In truth, the Pirates waived him that February. All in all, a nice career.

70: George Kontos

RHP. New York Yankees, 2011, 2018. San Francisco Giants, 2012-2017. Cleveland Indians, 2018.

Kontos has a 6.14 career postseason ERA, but he also pitched four scoreless outings for the Giants in their rollicking NLDS victory over Cincinnati in 2012, so I suppose it evens out.

71: Wade Davis

RHP. Chicago Cubs, 2017. Colorado Rockies, 2018-present.

Davis is the best player to wear No. 71, but his best years came when he wore No. 17. He switched to that number in 2014 to honor his stepbrother, Dustin Huguley, who had passed away the year before.

72: Carlton Fisk

C. Chicago White Sox, 1981-1993.

The career of Fisk was remarkable. He made his first All-Star team at 24. He made his last at 43. In between, he created one of the most iconic images in Red Sox history. After 11 seasons in Boston, Fisk stayed sturdy behind the plate for another 13 years in Chicago.

73: Tony Phillips

IF/OF. Anaheim Angels, 1997. Chicago White Sox, 1997.

Phillips played for 18 seasons and exasperated pitchers during most of them. His eye at the plate was keen. He was also the first player Mariano Rivera struck out in the majors. When asked about facing Rivera in 2013, Phillips, then 53, replied, “I would either walk or get a fucking knock. He ain’t gonna punch me out.”

74: Kenley Jansen

RHP. Los Angeles Dodgers, 2010-present.

You could spend a while arguing about who was the best reliever of the 2010s. But you need only three guesses to name the three best relievers of the decade: Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman and Jansen. From 2011 to 2017, Jansen fanned 14 batters per nine innings and struck out more than six batters for every guy he walked.

Zito in 2015, which would be his last season. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

75: Barry Zito

LHP. Oakland Athletics, 2001-2006, 2015. San Francisco Giants, 2007-2013.

In order to win three times in five seasons, a cavalcade of improbabilities must occur. Improbabilities like Game 5 of the 2012 NLCS, when Zito logged 7 2/3 scoreless innings in an elimination game at Busch Stadium to ignite the Giants coming back from a 3-1 deficit. Zito struggled often during his time as a Giant — one doubts the fanbase much cares, in retrospect.

76: José Iglesias

SS. Boston Red Sox, 2011.

A bunch of players wore this one as something of a numerical waystation, holding onto the high number until getting sent back to the minors. Iglesias traded it for single digits as he bounced from Detroit to Cincinnati and got nearly a decade’s worth of service time.

77: Joe Medwick

OF. Brooklyn Dodgers, 1940-1941.

Not to slight Reggie Willits and D.J. Carrasco, but Medwick was a 10-time All-Star and won a Triple Crown.

78: Julio Urias

LHP. Los Angeles Dodgers, 2016.

Urias downsized to No. 7 after his rookie season. But his rookie season might have been his best. He debuted at age 19 and aided the team as both a starter and a reliever in October. He’s been working back from injuries to reclaim that spot ever since.

 

79: José Abreu

1B. Chicago White Sox, 2014-present.

There’s a chance — maybe not a likelihood, but at least a chance — the White Sox retire Abreu’s No. 79 someday. He is adored by both teammates and his employers. His production has ebbed and flowed during his six seasons in the majors, but he has been a relatively steady contributor during a rocky time for the franchise.

80: Ryan Eades

RHP. Minnesota Twins, 2019.

Only one ballplayer has worn Jerry Rice’s digits in the majors. Eades appeared in two games with Minnesota last season before getting traded to Baltimore. As an Oriole, he donned the more pedestrian No. 36.

81: Eddie Guardado

LHP. Cincinnati Reds, 2006-2007.

They called him “Everyday Eddie.” He pitched for 17 years. He made two All-Star teams. He wore No. 18 for most of them, but swapped his digits in Cincinnati because the Reds had retired 18 to honor Ted Kluszewski.

82: Johnny Lazor

OF. Boston Red Sox, 1943.

Lazor spent only 83 games sporting No. 82, and no one has followed in his footsteps. He got called up when Ted Williams and Dom DiMaggio went to war. After the regulars returned post-war, Lazor spent a few more years in the minors before hanging them up.

83: Eric Gagne

RHP. Boston Red Sox, 2007.

I chose Gagne’s brief spell in Boston over Justin Turner’s cameo in Baltimore because I wanted you to watch this at-bat. This is the greatest at-bat of all time. I watch it every few months. I know the outcome and it is still riveting.

Fielder follows through in 2016. (Jim Cowsert / USA Today)

84: Prince Fielder

1B. Texas Rangers, 2014-16.

When Detroit traded Fielder to the Rangers before the 2014 season, Fielder ditched No. 28. He selected the year of his birth, to signify rejuvenation. A series of neck injuries ended Fielder’s career in 2016. He acquitted himself admirably during his 12 years in the majors, with 319 homers, an average OPS of .887 and six All-Star appearances.

85: Luis Cessa

RHP. New York Yankees, 2016-present.

Cessa was part of the package the Mets sent to Detroit to acquire Yoenis Céspedes in 2015. The other piece? Michael Fulmer. One of the impossible things about predicting baseball is how volatile young pitchers can be. Fulmer looked like a future Cy Young Award candidate during his first two seasons in Detroit. He hasn’t pitched since September 2018, having undergone knee surgery and Tommy John surgery.

86: Never worn.

87: Dan Otero

RHP. San Francisco Giants, 2012.

Otero wore this number briefly, before embarking on a career in relief that took him to Oakland and Cleveland. He was trying to make the Yankees on a minor-league deal when the season shut down.

88: Albert Belle

OF. Baltimore Orioles, 1999-2000.

In terms of sociological impact, it is tough to ignore Gerardo Parra’s one season wearing No. 88, when his walkup music captivated and confounded baseball fans across the land. In terms of actually being good at baseball, Belle was one of the 1990s’ most fearsome hitters.

89: Never worn.

90: Adam Cimber

LHP. San Diego Padres, 2018. Cleveland Indians, 2018-present.

Cimber was, you guessed it, born in 1990.

91: Hideo Nomo

RHP. Kansas City Royals, 2008.

José Guillén occupied Nomo’s No. 11 when Nomo arrived in Kansas City for what would be his final year in the majors. Nomo hadn’t pitched in the majors in two seasons before his three-outing denouement as a Royal.

92: Never worn.

93: Pat Neshek

RHP. Philadelphia Phillies, 2018-present.

Neshek, the veteran sidearmer, decided to become the inaugural No. 93 after signing with the Phillies.

94: José Mesa

RHP. Detroit Tigers, 2007.

Credit to The Athletic’s Jayson Stark, back during his days of writing for another website, for preserving in internet amber this quote from Mesa after Omar Vizquel criticized Mesa in his autobiography: “If I face him 10 more times, I’ll hit him 10 times. I want to kill him.” Ballplayer feuds aren’t what they used to be.

95: Takahito Nomura

LHP. Milwaukee Brewers, 2002.

Nomura is the only player in baseball history to wear No. 95. He chose it himself because it was the same number he wore with the Yomiuri Giants. Nomura appeared in only 21 games before heading back to Japan. He was not very good. He lives on through his numerical uniqueness.

96: Bill Voiselle

RHP. Boston Braves, 1947-1949. Chicago Cubs, 1950.

His nickname was “Big Bill.” In case you were wondering.

97: Joe Beimel

LHP. Tampa Bay Rays, 2005. Los Angeles Dodgers, 2006-2008. Washington Nationals, 2009. Colorado Rockies, 2009-2010. Pittsburgh Pirates, 2011. Seattle Mariners, 2014-2015.

The internet’s memory is infinite. “How he ended up with the Dodgers, I don’t know. But thank God it happened.”

98: Onelki Garcia

LHP. Los Angeles Dodgers, 2013.

Garcia rocked No. 98 for three games. He was the first of his number, and thus far the only.

99: Manny Ramirez

OF. Los Angeles Dodgers, 2008-2010, Chicago White Sox, 2010.

Maybe in a few years, Aaron Judge or Hyun-Jin Ryu might supplant Ramirez. The legacy of Mannywood still lives on, a decade after his departure from Chavez Ravine. One time in college, while watching the Dodgers in the playoffs, I was arguing with a few friends about who was the best hitter in baseball. I insisted it was Albert Pujols. My friends argued it was Ramirez. We decided we would settle the debate with Ramirez’s next at-bat. And then he did this.

(Top graphic: Adrian Guzman / The Athletic)

What did you think of this story?

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Andy McCullough is a senior writer for The Athletic. He previously covered baseball at the Los Angeles Times, the Kansas City Star and The Star-Ledger. A graduate of Syracuse University, he grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Follow Andy on Twitter @ByMcCullough.

160  COMMENTS

Josh M.

8h ago

6 likes

Why isn't Beltran's time in St Louis listed? I know it was only two years but he was an All-Star there and led them to the WS in '13

Josh M.

8h ago

3 likes

Ah, never mind. I get it, he didn't wear 15 there. Apologies

Dave E.

5h ago

1 like

Or Bonds’ time with the Pirates, or Ryan’s time with the Angels...

Anthony P.

2h ago

Wore a different number

Glenn H.

2h ago

Bonds wore 24 when he was with the Pirates.

Sturgess S.

1h ago

He didn’t wear that number in St Louis.

Mark R.

8h ago

22 likes

#33. At no time was Larry Walker ever a better player than Eddie Murray. This has to be an oversight. Otherwise, this writer might, in fact, be the one who votes Clemens but not Bonds.

Matt T.

7h ago

6 likes

I mean, everyone knows what you intended to say, but for the five years between 1992 and 1997, when Eddie was in his late thirties and Larry Walker was in his late twenties, Larry Walker was measurably and objectively a better baseball player than Eddie Murray.

Mark R.

7h ago

2 likes

True. I take back my statement.

Ruben G.

1h ago

2 likes

You're comparing 2 HOF's. One (Murray) in his late 30's and one (Walker) in his prime years (late 20's). Makes no sense. Eddie Murray is part of the 500 HR/ 3000 hit club. Would love to see what Murray's numbers would've looked like playing at Coors field in his late 20's. Walker was a beast but just like #32 (Carlton over Koufax) writer should've stayed with longevity of career. Only because Walker played 9 years at Coors field.

Ted C.

8h ago

15 likes

#16. Whitey Ford. Newhouser is a good choice, but Whitey deserved a mention.

Bill V.

8h ago

9 likes

Really trying hard to not be a Yankees homer here, but no mention of Yogi for 8? I get why you picked Ripkin, but Yogi had better stories...

Steven S.

6h ago

4 likes

Agree on Yogi. 18 all star selections, 10 World Series wins, and 3 years lost to WWII (with a Purple Heart) deserved a mention.

Rob M.

4h ago

3 likes

@Steven S. You forgot 3 MVP's. It's not even close.

Matt T.

7h ago

7 likes

Todd Helton over Dizzy Dean?

Jon L.

4h ago

@Matt T. Yeah, that's rough.

Brian K.

7h ago

8 likes

John Smoltz #29 should be over Beltre

Alex S.

7h ago

7 likes

#99 gotta be Judge after Manny juicing in LA

Dan F.

7h ago

3 likes

I don't want to be 'that guy' but Alomar's home run helped erase a 6-1 Oakland lead and helped Toronto take a 3-1 lead, not prevent a 3-1 lead for Oakland. As a Jays fan in Canada we see it as almost as important a home run and Carter's.

Jason W.

4h ago

@Dan F. As and A's fan and loving Eck as a kid - far too many references to his two worst on the field moments in this article. Yes, the A's were primed to tie the series at 2 wins and then won game 5. Could have been a different world if not for that HR.

Dan F.

3h ago

I'm glad people outside of Canada can at least recognize the significance of the home run. Lots of people up here make that argument that if this home run doesn't happen, it easily could have changed the course of history and not allowed them one title let alone two. Would have loved Eck on my team but naturally hated him as an opponent.

Never knew why he pumped his fist and stared into the dugout after striking out a bench player after he gave up two big hits to Olerud and Maldonado to cut the deficit to two. If he came into the game and struck out the first three hitters in that inning I would understand though.

No arguing his career though, utterly dominating and perhaps the second best closer in history.

Zeus M.

2h ago

@Dan F. The course of baseball history. Baseball history. The modifier is important.

Michael R.

7h ago

I hate to do this but you really used jeter’s spot to big up another player? Really? Ok I’m done now

Dave M.

6h ago

13 likes

Gehringer>Jeter

Steven P.

6h ago

5 likes

Phil Niekro ahead of Frank Thomas is...well, it's not smart

Hunter R.

2h ago

2 likes

@Steven P. Probably not, but Frank Thomas went to Auburn so he's not used to finishing first in anything anyways.

Joseph C.

2h ago

@Steven P. While prefer Frank Thomas as well, Ricky Henderson should be ahead of Niekro, too!

Martha C.

6h ago

5 likes

A mistake is right, on number 32. Koufax dominated the early 60's like no other player.

Paul C.

5h ago

8 likes

Koufax played in a pitching era in a pitchers stadium and was great for 5 years - can’t match the sustained brilliance on Lefty Carlton

John H.

2h ago

@Martha C. I swear all the reactions to these lists are doing is convincing me that Sandy Koufax might just be the most over-rated great player ever. And considering how many great players there are, that's saying something.

Thomas G.

52m ago

Sandy Koufax. The GOAT as the most underrated ever..hmmm... Yea sure.
I'm among many that consider # 32 to be the greatest # in sports history. Its often said ,Jimmy Brown, GOATRunning Back, Magic Johnson,GOAT Point Guard,and ...Steve Carlton, GOAT ,Left Handed Pitcher, lol NOT..and Sandy Koufax, GOAT Pitcher. When he pitched all of LA stopped and listened to Vinny describe Sandy's next masterpiece. Sports Illustrated named him a dozen years ago Their All Time favorite athelete because of his class and dominating artistry. # 32 will always belong to Sandy Koufax.

Tim H.

47m ago

I saw Koufax pitch in 66. I also had the pleasure of seeing Marichal, Gibson, Seaver and Drysdale. Trust me Koufax was not an over- rated pitcher. What an era that was.

Ronald M.

6h ago

16 likes

Eddie Gaedel # 1/8?

Richard S.

4h ago

1 like

@Ronald M. Beat me to it!

Eric W.

6h ago

2 likes

Two changes:

#33 has to be Eddie Murray

#35 Mike Mussina.

Eric W.

6h ago

3 likes

Actually after reading through the comments, Berra at 8 and Frank Thomas at 35 makes sense. But I’m still going “steady Eddie” at 33!!!

Charles F.

6h ago

6 likes

Only wish is that you had gone with your obvious instinct and put Gehringer in as your #2.

Larry S.

6h ago

5 likes

How could you forget Ricky Vaughan for #99? And I agree with most of the other comments (Whity Ford, Yogi, Dizzy, Smoltz)

Glenn H.

2h ago

That is what I was thinking.🤣

Kent A.

6h ago

2 likes

No love for Kaline (#6), Freehan (11), Killebrew (3) or Lolich (29)? I understand and agree completely with Stan at six, but you might have shown some respect for Al. Freehan made 11 All-Star Games and caught the entire '67 game in Anaheim. Harmon is "The Logo." Lolich won 20 games and lost 20 games. He also beat Bob Gibson. Freehan will be the next Ron Santo. He'll get in the Hall after he dies.

John R.

6h ago

9 likes

Where is Eddie Gaedel? He is absolutely the best player to ever wear number 1/8.

Daniel S.

6h ago

12 likes

Fun list. I'm no Pete Rose apologist but believe (in a close call) that #14 belongs to him, not Banks.

Mike M.

6h ago

3 likes

Shame on you #22 Clayton Kershaw has done it legitimately!

Paul C.

5h ago

7 likes

Great list but c’mon Pujols over DiMaggio at #5 - Over the last ten years you can legitimately ask “where have you gone Albert Pujols?” and he’s still playing - over a lifetime you can sing “where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?”

Larry G.

3h ago

4 likes

completely agree. plus one of them was Mr Coffee and the other is Mr PED.

Zeus M.

2h ago

3 likes

@Larry G. Woah. Pujols has never tested positive and the accusations against him seem based on a personal grudge. Also, if he's taking PEDs he's doing it badly.

Nicholas P.

1h ago

3 likes

@Paul C. Pujols had one of the best 10 year offensive runs in history, it's not a bad pick. Read the Joe Posnanski article about him. Besides, as awesome as DiMaggio was, Johnny Bench would be the next man up for #5

Sam R.

51m ago

@Paul C. You must've missed the part where the author said Pujols had almost 30 more WAR than DiMaggio just in his first 12 seasons. Say what you want about WAR, but that's a biiiiiig gap to overlook.

Harold K.

5h ago

Some really tough calls in these picks. I can't really argue. The toughest ones are Gehrig v. Foxx, Banks V. Rose, Schmidt v. F. Robinson(Interestingly Joe Posnanski has them tied at #20 on his top 100 list), Gehringer is under appreciated but I agree with Jeter, and Koufax v. Carlton. The only change I would personally make is Pedro Martinez over Bob Gibson. I can't fault you because both are super star greats but Pedro's career ERA+ of 154 dominates over Gibson's 127. That gives Pedro the edge in my opinion. But great article.

Ronny W.

3h ago

1 like

I would take Gibson slightly because of World Series numbers but close

Joe S.

5h ago

9 likes

Rod Carew's not the best 29? Seven batting titles, 3000 hits, .328 LBA. 1977 MVP.

Ronny W.

3h ago

5 likes

You got something there Smoltz came to my mind bit I saw Carew. Best underrated hitter ever Seems like he and Gwynn never got the credit they richly deserved while they were playing

Thaddeus S.

1h ago

@Ronny W.
Carew seems to be fully credited. 18x all star, ROY, MVP, 1st ballot HOF. He was awesome! Where do you think he gets shorted? not cracking on you, just curious.

Steve H.

5h ago

4 likes

#32: Sandy, and it's not even close. Very surprised by your pick of Carlton, Andy. Sandy was the better pitcher of the two; Steve merely pitched well longer.

John M.

2h ago

Respect your opinion. But of course it's close.

Nicholas M.

5h ago

A cavalcade of improbabilities; or, the Giants were a great team. Your blue is showing.

Chris F.

5h ago

I understand your argument for #19 but it could have been avoided by just going with Bob Feller

Steve M.

5h ago

2 likes

16- Whitey Ford. 20-You picked incorrectly. It's Frank Robinson. It isn't even a contest. 32- No one knows or cares that Steve Carlton wore this number. The Great Koufax and three-two are synonymous. 44- You neglected to mention that Willie McCovey also wore this sainted number. In 1963, he hit 44 home runs. And, so did Aaron.

Ronny W.

3h ago

3 likes

When growing up and until this day, when I think of 44 first two names are Aaron and McCovey

Charles B.

41m ago

@Steve M. couldn't agree more...

Dale C.

5h ago

1 like

Sorry 26 is Billy Williams Chicago Cubs

Al Y.

5h ago

2 likes

#26: Billy Williams.

JohnPaul B.

5h ago

a-Rod better look out for Acuna 👀

Andy McCullough

STAFF

5h ago

8 likes

I would like to apologize if I picked the wrong player. Please consider this my apology.

Jon L.

4h ago

1 like

@Andy McCullough No need apologize. This comment section was destined for disaster.

Peter B.

4h ago

5 likes

@Andy McCullough I'm surprised you didn't mention why Voiselle wore #96: He grew up in Nintey Six, SC.

Mark R.

55m ago

How dare you apologize in that manner. That is not the best apology for apologizing

Richard T.

5h ago

1 like

Given the eras in which they pitched, Pedro is a clear choice over the great Gibson. That was a clear error. And it has to be Koufax over Carlton.

John M.

2h ago

6 likes

What? Gibson would have eaten hitters alive in any era.

Rob M.

2h ago

1 like

@Richard T. Certainly not as clear as you think. Mays, McCovey, Aaron, Williams, Banks, Clemente, Robinson, Bench, are just some of the guys he had to face on a regular basis. You think you have even 5 comparable players Martinez had to face?

Daniel S.

5h ago

2 likes

Whitey Ford over Hal Newhouser for number 16. Sandy Koufax over Steve Carlton for number 32. In 68 years of watching baseball, Koufax was the best pitcher I ever saw; no one else close. Johnny Mize should at least get a mention for number 36. Casey Stengel over Dave Stieb for number 37.

Christopher C.

5h ago

Two of the pictures initially confused me: 14 and 42, as it was hard to believe either looked anything like their actual uniforms. I'm pretty sure now that 14 is a modern Ernie Banks uniform they sell at the gift shop. The Jackie Robinson is from Jackie Robinson Day, it appears, though I not sure which team.

Dennis T.

5h ago

1 like

Lots of fun Andy. Thanks. My friends and I will be social distancing for months on this one.

Lance M.

5h ago

1 like

You’re a brave man to tackle this assignment and so it’s hard to be overly critical. So let me politely say: STEVE CARLTON OVER SANDY KOUFAX???? ARE YOU NUTS??? Seriously, a tough call. But for five years, Koufax was the best pitcher in history so he should get the nod.

Ronny W.

3h ago

1 like

You are right. Look at World Series numbers and how many no hitters? Carlton was great, yes he was but not in same ballpark as Sandy. That's like saying #32 doesn't go to Jim Brown in football

Elizabeth M.

5h ago

This was a great one Andy!!

Lance M.

5h ago

An unrelated comment: the comments should be listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent on top. Easier to review the thread that way.

Jon L.

4h ago

1 like

@Lance M. Or they should have an option of how to sort: most recent comment, top comment, etc etc

Barry S.

4h ago

2 likes

Albert Pujols? You must be a child.

Barry S.

4h ago

Actually, upon finishing the list, it is clear that - except for the obvious icons (Ruth, Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, etc.), the bulk of choices are from the era that the author lived through. This makes me wonder how many players from earlier eras were overlooked simply because they weren’t seen.

A time filler at best, but not a serious list.

Jon L.

4h ago

1 like

@Barry S. Someone must be a fan of an NL Central team other than the Cards. Can you show me on this doll where Pujols hurt you?

Jeffrey K.

4h ago

2 likes

So Taguchi was robbed.

Jon L.

4h ago

@Jeffrey K. Seriously!

Mark R.

4h ago

#5 Hank Greenberg over Pujols

Mike S.

4h ago

1 like

"The Donora Smog Museum is set only a few blocks away from the house where Musial was born. You learn something new every day."

Twenty people died of respiratory failure during those four days in 1948 when a temperature inversion trapped poisonous fumes from the Zinc Works in Donora. Fifty more died of respiratory causes during the next thirty days. Among them, Lukasz Musial, Stan's dad.

Mike T.

4h ago

Obviously an anti-dead ball-era bias here—no one from the dead ball era? Just kidding. Good list. FRoby over Schmidt—much greater impact overall to the game. Def need Berra but damn and this Red Sox fan says Judge over ManRam but how many Yankees do we need on this list? Good job, especially with the obscure numbers.

Richard S.

4h ago

2 likes

@Mike T. In the "deadball" era, they didn't wear uniform numbers....

Zeus M.

1h ago

@Richard S. He's joking.

Tom N.

4h ago

Good job... I would go so far as to say that both Whitey Ford and Dwight Gooden should be #16 before Newhauser. Noted that Dwight gets mentioned positively a number of times throughout.

Kent H.

4h ago

Loved this piece, Andy! Not just because I covered a little baseball during my staff writer days at Sports Illustrated but because I play a who-wore-what-number game when I can’t sleep at night (the 44-wearers at Syracuse, the Yankees’ retired number-wearers). It’s better than counting sheep! Q: Was Billy Williams perhaps you’re second choice behind Utley for No. 26? Yeah, I was raised a Cub fan!

Richard S.

4h ago

1 1/2: Robert Merrill, Baritone, NY Yankees.

There was a time in the late 80s - early 90s when the Metropolitan Opera's Robert Merrill would wear a uniform with this number when singing the National Anthem for the Yankees.

Bob S.

3h ago

1/8 It was legally worn by a player under contract, who finished with a 1.000 OBP!

Mike W.

3h ago

2 likes

Unit over Ichiro at 51...yeah, sure. I can understand. But not even a mention of Ichiro? Oof. Hurts my heart.

Pete L.

3h ago

what a great idea. of course people will disagree. thats the point. keep our brains working in quarantine. looking forward to the next exercise. (my friends just wrapped a great email debate over the best players by position that we had personally seen).

Brian K.

3h ago

I am a huge Mariners and Edgar fan. But, I actually support your choice of Larkin over Gar on your list. But not by much. I also loved the pic of Big Unit in the classic early 90's M's uniform, Randy with his matching blue glove. Really fun article - thanks!!

Ronny W.

3h ago

We could have quit after some of these got to the higher numbers like in the 60's. Smoltz might give Beltre a run for his money. You blew it on Koufax, just check the World Series numbers! Beltran #15 mention of Munson. Glad you picked Gibson over Martinez at 45

Jack C.

3h ago

1 like

Both the Robinsons (Brooks and Frank) got absolutely SHAFTED on this list, this is why we needed a variety of opinions on this topic not just one writer

John M.

2h ago

1 like

Honestly, you don't think Brooks is in the same class as the many #5's out there? He didn't get shafted. Robinson a better discussion, but Schmidt is the best to ever play a the position so I get the choice.

T. S.

3h ago

1 like

All I had to do was look at #'s 5 and 19 to know that this list was flawed. Johnny Bench was not only the best at his position but best ever to wear the #5; and, the absence of Tony Gwynn's name for #19 (and the reason given) is not only suspect but disrespectful to the game of baseball!

Matt M.

2h ago

@T. S. Picking Yount over Gwynn is "disrespectful to the game of baseball"? That comment is disrespectful to Yount. Like the author said, there's no correct answer here.

Thomas G.

1h ago

No disrespect to Yount but Tony Gwynn won more batting titles than anyone other than Honus Wagner ( tied with 😎 and Ty Cobb. I'll take those 8 over Yount's 8 better WAR.
Which resonates better with you?

Ronny W.

3h ago

Which number was the toughest to rank the players?, I was thinking of #5 whole bunch od choices there

Ronny W.

3h ago

Can't argue with Seaver, but I sure did love seeing Matthews play

Ronny W.

3h ago

There has to be someone somewhere even back in the 40's or 50's that wore #18 better than Damon. Has to be. That's like picking someone by default. No offense intended

Michael B.

2h ago

Matt Cain is a better choice for 18

Rob M.

1h ago

@Ronny W. Oscar Gamble. Even had better hair and definitely a better arm.

Marty F.

3h ago

1 like

Bumgarner has to be No. 40, even just on postseason pedigree alone.

John G.

3h ago

1 like

Koufax won his CYs when they only gave out a single award between leagues. He would have had at least 1 more if he played under the same rules as Carlton.

Michael T.

3h ago

1 like

I would dare say you’ll get plenty of disagreement for your choice of Albert Pujols. Yeah he was a beast in his Cardinals years but you can’t not include his precipitous downfall during his eight years with the Angels. All the other players you listed were good for their entire careers unlike Pujols. You can’t argue that injuries have cratered his production because he’s only had two years with the Angels that he’s played less than 130 games.

Bench caught 83% of the games he played ... DiMaggio missed three years for World War II, hit .304 in the six years after he came back and nearly won a Triple Crown ... Brett is the only player to win a batting title in three different decades and almost hit .400 in 1980 (a bad April kept him from doing so). So to cherry pick and say that only Pujols’ Cardinals stars makes him the best ever #5 is to do a disservice to the other greats who have also worn this number.

Alan H.

3h ago

Except for Koufax over Carlton (which it should have been) and a bit of a recency bias, it's a pretty fun list. Thanks for doing it!

Michael B.

2h ago

Marichal over Trout for #27

William M.

2h ago

2 likes

Delete this comment. Delete it right now.

Jordan J.

2h ago

I understand Carlton over Koufax... but not Banks over Rose. Postseason success means something too!

Tyler K.

2h ago

1 like

On Number 45. You picked Bob Gibson but said you’d pick Pedro in a Game 7. Bob Gibson won a Game 7 in 1967 at Fenway against the Red Sox going a complete game. Also hit a homerun that game (before AL had DH). I’d pick Gibson in a Game 7 too

Marlon D.

2h ago

2 likes

@Tyler K. Bob Gibson is the only pitcher to win two Game 7s in the World Series. He also won Game 7 of the 1964 World Series.

Cain Y.

2h ago

Larry Walker over Eddie Murray, what a joke.

Mark M.

2h ago

DiMaggio, 9 or10 World Championships in 13 full seasons, 56 game hitting streak, and when decline set in, he retired and didn’t hang around even though the Yankees were still willing to pay his best in MLB 100K to return. No contest that he’s the greatest #5 of all time. #32 should be Koufax and #21 should be Spahn.

Tim T.

2h ago

1 like

Why is Manny’s #99 better than Judge’s? Sure, Manny’s career as a whole vs Judge’s is certainly ”better”. But the years Manny wore #99 vs the years Judge has worn #99 - is no comparison. Giving Manny credit for his years with Boston is unfair.

Vinnie R.

2h ago

Lmao, Niekro over the big hurt.. gimme a break.

Chris C.

2h ago

All in all, a #nice career for Arroyo

Rob M.

2h ago

#8, Ripken over Berra? How many MVP's did Cal win? #15 Beltran over Munson? How many MVP's did Carlos win?
Just curious, you know?

Jeff H.

2h ago

29. Rod Carew?

Edward H.

2h ago

1 like

86 was written by Maxwell Smart.

Brandon G.

2h ago

The Hit King doesn’t get the top spot? I know he’s leaves much to be desire concerning character but come on

Brandon G.

2h ago

Beltran over George Foster???

John K.

2h ago

How do you explain Bartolo over Bumgarner. Bumgarner is the greatest postseason pitcher of all time

Isaac H.

2h ago

2 likes

Agree with Johnson at 51, but Ichiro at least deserves a mention. Especially when Ichiro sent Johnson a note that he wouldn't bring shame to the number. That's got to be one of the best jersey number stories in baseball history.

Garrett A.

2h ago

2 likes

Not even a mention of Ichiro at 51?? Come on....

Jack M.

2h ago

1 like

Johnny Bench for Number 5 every single day of the week and it’s not particularly close.

Paul P.

2h ago

Brooks Robinson

Jack M.

2h ago

1 like

Personally, I’ll take the best catcher to ever play everyday. Also he invented the one-handed style of catching...

Paul P.

1h ago

It’s debatable. Bench was definitely great, Brooks was the greatest defensive 3rd baseman ever. The stats show that. He might be the best defensive player ever. A lot of this comes down to fandom.

Frank C.

2h ago

1 like

23 should be Don Mattingly. And this is coming from a Mets fan.

M B.

2h ago

2 likes

NO jOE DIMAGGIO!!! BULL S#*+

Peter G.

2h ago

Lol. Randy Johnson isn’t even the best MARINER to wear 51. Ichiro has him beat as a fielder alone, let alone when you remember he might be the best lead off hitter of all time

Jeff P.

2h ago

1 like

Good Lord. Have you never heard of Rod Carew?

Drew P.

2h ago

#26. No mention of Wade Boggs? In the Nolan Ryan team list you are missing 1967-1979

Paul P.

2h ago

I got to #33 and saw Larry Walker over Eddie Murray and stopped immediately. I almost wanna cancel my membership over this. Also, Jim Palmer over River Clemens if you’re not counting the Red Sox years. No brainer.

M B.

2h ago

Alex R.?? Is this a PED competition?

Johnathan C.

2h ago

WAR in the number 99:
Manny: 6.5
Judge: 19.1

Manny had an unbelievable half season run after being traded to LA but overall it isn't close to the production that Judge put up over 400 games so far

Frank G.

2h ago

Joe Morgan for #8 over Ripken.

John R.

2h ago

Couldn’t get past #5. During this period of no spirts the athletic should set up a poll.

Nicholas H.

2h ago

One wonders what is the best team that can be compiled from a single number. 24 would be hard to top for offense. The piching might be a little thin

Bruce B.

2h ago

Seriously? Robin Yount over Bob Feller? I mean...seriously?

Brian S.

2h ago

No #09? Benito Santiago wins by default

Kyle B.

2h ago

I remember a mid-summer firework night at the Coliseum between Mark Buehrle and Mark Mulder that clocked in just a tick over 2 hours. They had to delay the firework show by an hour because it was still too light out

Nicholas P.

2h ago

This is a really fun article, and sparks fun debates.

My thoughts would be:
5 - It's so hard to pick between Albert and Bench.
8 - Even harder to pick. Joe Morgan is probably the best to ever wear 8, but Ripken abd Yaz were more iconic in the uniform.
18 - Give me peak Darryl Strawberry in #18 over Johnny Damon
19 - Bob Feller was probably better than either Yount or Gwynn
20 - I would have just listed both Frank Robinson and Mike Schmidt, just like Joe Posnanski did
26 - Wade Boggs should be the answer here from his Sox days.
45 - As hard of a pick as 5, but Pedro had the best peak pitching period in history, dont @me

Tyler M.

2h ago

#2 Should just say "I'm gonna go ahead and pander since there are more Yankee fans reading than Tiger fans"

Gheringer was waaaayyyy better than the most overrated shortstop of all time.

Randy P.

1h ago

We have to start getting guys to wear higher numbers. Some not so great representatives down there lol

William M.

1h ago

The Albert Pujols slander in these comments is preposterous. Look at the bref page and when you’re done picking your jaw up off the ground, come in here and apologize.

Matthew J.

1h ago

Considering Clemens didn’t wear 22 in his best seasons with the Red Sox or Blue Jays, Clayton Kershaw would be a far superior choice there.

Roger G.

1h ago

1 like

Carlton over Koufax. What a joke

Warren K.

1h ago

In choosing Carlton over Koufax, and failing to even mention 3-time MVP Yogi Berra for #8, you laid waste to the credibility of this list -- fun exercise though it was. And Dave Parker over 3-time MVP Roy Campanella? Seriously?

Steven M.

1h ago

I can't read this. Forget the debate, I read the first entire and they have Al Oliver's career wrong. He spent first 10 years in Pittsburgh and those aren't listed. Not a Pirates fan, but did like 0.

John H.

1h ago

Good god, the hagiography over Koufax is starting to get absurd in these comment sections.

He was a great, and all time great. But it isn't sacrilege to point out that others were better. Much better in the case of some.

I thought the Cult of Yadi was bad, but I see I underestimated the Cult of Koufax.

Jarren D.

1h ago

No offense to Beltre, but #29 belongs to Rodney Cline Carew...

Johnpaul G.

1h ago

1 like

Chase Utley over Wade Boggs for #26?? Sheesh what an oversight

Adam D.

56m ago

Have to quibble about Manny being Manny over Aaron Judge as 99. Manny certainly wins overall career, given that he had a full one and Judge only has 3 seasons plus a cup of coffee so far. But Manny only had 3 years himself (2008-2010) as a 99. His OPS+ was better than Judge's (156 to 151) for his "99" years, but his bWAR is less than half for that same period, 19.1 to 9.0.

Otherwise, very cool to revisit Hal Newhouser, Mel Ott, Charlie Gehringer, etc. whether they were winners or runners-up.

Hunter B.

50m ago

Great research and solid choices. Only one I truly question: Utley over Boggs. Sadly, when I scrolled to 50, I felt if not for the stroke, J.R. Richard could’ve been there.

Byron W.

40m ago

maybe i think Trout is overrated because he sucks when he plays the Astros. Maybe it's because he's never in the playoffs. But my god this dude gets the poster child treatment and is constantly at the bottom of his division. No excuses for the Angels this year.

Sidenote: Pettite best pick-off ever no debate.

 

 

 

   

 

 

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On 3/28/2020 at 1:54 AM, tx 3 putt said:

 

 

Why not expand to 30? More games = more money no doubt...

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Schoenfield did the biggest one-hit wonder for each NL team, fun read. Here’s the Mets’ version, second paragraph is impressive... 

Quote

New York Mets: Bernard Gilkey (1996)

Stats: .317/.393/.562, 30 HRs, 117 RBIs, 8.1 WAR

OK, this one is maybe a little unfair. Gilkey twice hit .300 with the Cardinals and was a regular for five seasons in the majors. But he had nothing close to another season like this one. His second-highest home run total in any year was 18. His second-highest RBI total was 78. His second-highest WAR was 4.5, which is good, but isn't close to 8.1 -- which is an MVP-level season (he ranked second among NL position players that year behind some guy named Bonds). Gilkey played two more seasons with the Mets and was worth a combined 2.2 WAR. His 8.1 WAR ranks as the third-highest total for a position player in Mets history, yet when you talk about great seasons in Mets history, nobody ever brings up Gilkey.

Here's the amazing thing about that 1996 Mets team. That was also Lance Johnson's career season, when he hit .333 with 227 hits, 21 triples and 117 runs. He was worth 7.2 WAR -- fifth on the Mets' single-season list. Catcher Todd Hundley set a franchise record with 41 home runs -- broken only this past year by Pete Alonso. That's a pretty strong trio to build around. The Mets still lost 91 games.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28941967/the-biggest-one-hit-wonders-every-national-league-team

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3 hours ago, ss13 said:

Schoenfield did the biggest one-hit wonder for each NL team, fun read. Here’s the Mets’ version, second paragraph is impressive... 

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28941967/the-biggest-one-hit-wonders-every-national-league-team

The only thing fluke about that Mike Morse year was that he was healthy for most of it.  That big mother fucker could always hit, but he was as fragile as Tom Herman's ego.  I'd still love to meet the scout who decided he could play SS.  He was maybe the worst SS ever.  

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