Greatness But No Ring
It’s been a while since we’ve done the tried and true “list” thing here at ScoreBoard, and with baseball season heating up in all it’s post All-Star game glory, I thought it appropriate to rattle off a MLB “all-time” one and see how it flies. If you don’t agree with my take, go ahead and start your own on-line publication. Otherwise sit back, digest and stew about it. I give you the ten greatest baseball players that never won a World Series, counting down from 10 to 1. I’ve restricted the list to retired players since their place in history is firmly cemented. Here you go:
10) Willie McCovey – The 1969 National League MVP, “stretch” McCovey knocked out 521 home runs over a 19-year career in a era when 500 really meant something.
9) Sammy Sosa – Sosa’s reputation has been tarnished by steroid use accusations, but we’re throwing that pesky little “rumor” out of the mix and focusing on what he did on the field – 609 home runs, 1,667 RBIs, 2408 hits, six Silver Slugger awards and a 1998 National League MVP.
8) Harmon Killebrew – In a 22-year career, Killebrew posted 573 career homers and drove in 1,584 RBIs.
7) Ken Griffey Jr. – The newest member of Baseball’s Hall of Fame was a 13-time All-Star, and finished his career with 630 home runs, 2,781 hits, a career .285 batting average, 10 Gold Gloves and a 1997 American League MVP.
6) Ernie Banks – Born in Dallas, “Mr. Cub” played his entire 19-year career with the Northsiders and won two National League MVPs, hit 512 home runs and was an 11-time All-Star. Let’s Play two!
5) Tony Gwynn – Like Banks, Gwynn played his entire career with one team. In 20 years with the Padres he collected 3,141 hits, 5 Gold Gloves, 15 All-Star game appearances and an amazing .338 career batting average.
4) Carl Yastrzemski – There’s a theme developing here – something that’s rare today in the world of free agency. For 23 years with the Red Sox, “Yaz” patrolled the turf in front of Fenway’s Green Monster, while amassing 3,419 hits, 452 home runs, 18 All-Star game appearances, seven Gold Gloves and the American League Triple Crown in 1967.
3) Ty Cobb – 12 batting titles, and lifetime average of .367 (three times batting over .400), three World Series appearances…but alas no ring.
2) Barry Bonds – Like Sosa, steroid accusations have diminished Bonds’ accomplishments in the eyes of many. But we can’t deny that he was the best player of his generation – a generation when untold numbers of other players were juiced as well. 7 National League MVPs, 8 Gold Gloves, 1,996 RBIs, 514 stolen bases, and of course 762 home runs (and the single season mark of 72).
1) Ted Williams – The man who preceded Yaz in left for the Bo-Sox, Williams was a seventeen-time All-Star, a two-time American League MVP, six-time AL batting champion, and a two-time Triple Crown winner. He finished his playing career with a .344 batting average, 521 home runs and a .482 on-base percentage, the highest of all time…..and he missed 3 years of playing time while serving his country in WWII.