This is the 7th in a series of 9 which focuses on the greatest baseball players ever. This post is focused on left fielders. The extreme lack of posts is due to the fact that school eats your life alive. I have been working on this since school started and finally finished it now.
1. Barry Bonds* – 1986-present (PIT, SF) Where to begin? Obviously, Barry is the all-time home run king hitting 762* home runs in his career. He has 1,996* hits and has driven in 2,935* RBI’s as well as holding the career record for walks (2,558*). He has also added over 500* stolen bases. Bonds is a 7* time NL MVP, a 13* time Silver Slugger, has won 8* Gold Gloves and been named to the all-star team 14* times. Does anyone sense a subliminal message here?
2. Ted Williams – 1939-1960 (BOS) Williams has hit 521 homers in his career, but may be most remembered for being the last player to bat .400 in a season (1941). He added 1,839 RBI’s and hit safely 2,654 times. Ted is tied for 6th place after hitting 16 grand slams in his 19 seasons. He was a 17 time all-star. Williams was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.
3. Willie Stargell – 1962-1982 (PIT) Stargell “…doesn’t just hit pitchers, he takes away their dignity,” Don Sutton remarked after giving up a home run to him that left Dodger Stadium. He accounted for 2,232 hits, including 475 home runs. Willie also had 1,540 ribbies. He warmed up using a sledgehammer instead of the conventional lead weight to further intimidate pitchers. Pops was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.
4. Rickey Henderson – 1979-2003 (OAK, NYY, OAK, TOR, OAK, SD, ANA, OAK, NYM, SEA, SD, BOS, LAD) Henderson is known primarily for his outstanding speed on the basepaths. He holds the major league record for most career stolen bases with 1,406. In the 1982 season, Rickey stole 130 bases, a major league record. He also holds the record for most runs scored with a total of 2,295 runs scored. He added 10 all-star appearances from 1980-1991.
5. Stan Musial – 1941-1963 (STL) Musial is perhaps the greatest Cardinal ever. 475 of his 3,630 hits were home runs. He also hit one of only two players to hit 5 home runs in one day. Stan the Man is a 20 time all-star and a 3 time National League MVP. He also added 1,951 RBI’s and won 3 World Series with St. Louis in the 1940’s. Musial was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969.
6. Jose Canseco – 1985-2001 (OAK, TEX, BOS, OAK, TOR, TB, NYY, CWS) Canseco hit 462 home runs in his 16 season career. He also knocked in over 1,400 runs and stole 200 bases. Jose was the first player to ever hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a season in 1988. Only 3 other players have since accomplished the feat. He is a 6 time all-star and won 4 Silver Slugger awards.
7. Lou Brock – 1961-1979 (CHC, STL) Brock is a member of the 3,000 hit club but never hit over 21 home runs in a season. Once he got on base though, there was no stopping him. He stole 938 bases in his illustrious career and in 1974, stole 118, a performance only surpassed by Henderson. Brock was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.
8. Carl Yastrzemski – 1961-1983 (BOS) Yastrzemski was an 18 time all-star with the Red Sox and compiled over 3,400 hits. He had at least 120 hits in 20 of his 23 seasons. Yaz also blasted 452 home runs and knocked in 1,844 ribbies. He won 7 Gold Gloves and was the 1967 American League MVP. Yastrzemski is a member of the 1989 Baseball Hall of Fame class.
9. Jim Rice – 1974-1989 (BOS) Rice is the third power hitting left fielder on this list to play his entire career in Boston. He won the Silver Slugger award in 1983-84 with a combined total of 67 home runs and 228 RBI’s. He finished his career with 382 and 1,451, respectively. Jim was 2.8% short of the minimum 75% needed to be elected to the Hall of Fame in 2008. His chances may be better now thoguh as many ‘steroid era’ players will be eligible in the upcoming years.
10. Albert Belle – 1989-2000 (CLE, CWS, BAL) Belle was widely publicized for his antics and it often overshadowed his abilities on the field. He ended his career with 381 homers and 1,239 ribbies. He is one of just six players in major league history to have 9 consecutive 100 RBI seasons. Albert played in 5 straight all-star games and won 5 Silver Slugger awards in the mid 1990’s. In 1995, he became the first player to hit 50 doubles and 50 home runs in a season.
Since it has been so long without a post , I feel that I owe you two Chuck Norris jokes…
Chuck Norris always know the exact location of Carmen San Diego,
Chuck Norris can judge a book by its cover.
I am also going to start a preview/prediction of the upcoming NHL season within the next two weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for that as well.