Tomorrow is the last day to vote for the “Franchise Four”, where you can vote on Mt. Rushmores of each franchise.
I, needless to say, have opinions on ALL of them (no write-ins allowed for the purposes of this article), and you’ll see them below, with one exception: I’m saving my picks for the Greatest Living Ballplayers for my next piece at “Hall of Very Good.”
So, this is a long post, so go below the jump for more:
Orioles: Cal Ripken, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson
This one is pretty easy and the only player I feel even slightly uncomfortable not putting on is Eddie Murray.
Red Sox: Ted Williams, Cy Young, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski
I’m guessing that recency-bias could get Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz onto the final selection, but these are the four I selected. That said… where was Wade Boggs on the ballot? Or Roger Clemens?
Yankees: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle
Derek Jeter and perhaps Mariano Rivera will likely get onto this due to the recency-bias, but make no mistake: THESE are the four Yankees immortals, featuring their greatest player (Ruth), their greatest statesman and their greatest NYC-born player (Gehrig) and their best players of the 40s (DiMaggio) and 50s (Mantle).
Rays: Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, David Price, Melvin/B.J. Upton
Where was Fred McGriff?
Blue Jays: Roberto Alomar, Dave Stieb, Carlos Delgado, Joe Carter
Carter more-or-less gets on their entirely because of his HR. Without that, it’s probably Roy Halladay or George Bell.
White Sox: Frank Thomas, Luis Aparicio, Minnie Minoso, Nellie Fox
This is a tough one, but I picked Minoso and Fox due to the fact that for some reason my mind screams “White Sox” when I see their names. Apologies to Luke Appling and Eddie Collins.
Indians: Bob Feller, Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Jim Thome
Apologies to Doby and Boudreau,
Tigers: Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, Miguel Cabrera
It says something about Cabrera and how great a career he has that I’m already picking him above Sam Crawford and Charlie Gehringer. It also says something about the history of the Tigers that Willie Horton wasn’t even a choice.
Royals: George Brett, Dan Quisenberry, Hal McRae, Bret Saberhagen
Apologies to Frank White. And, also, why wasn’t Mike Sweeney a choice here? I mean, I wouldn’t have picked him, but he should have been a choice.
Twins (includes Senators): Walter Johnson, Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Joe Mauer
A surprisingly tough selection, especially given the fact that the old Senators are included. I picked Mauer, because he was Minnesota born and has only played for the Twins (unlike Blyleven, Carew and Kaat). Apologies to Tony Oliva, too.
Astros: Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Nolan Ryan, Jimmy Wynn
The first two are easy. Nolan Ryan is one of the few players who can legitimately be on more than one Four, and I picked Jimmy Wynn because he was the Astros’ first star during their early days, although certainly Jose Cruz and Lance Berkman both have good shots of making the selection when it’s revealed.
Angels: Nolan Ryan, Garret Anderson, Tim Salmon, Mike Trout
Yes, Trout is already that good.
Athletics: Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson
Recency-bias will likely knock Lefty Grove (and maybe Foxx) out because people are dumb.
Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Ichiro
Well, that was easy. Felix Hernandez will probably (and probably rightfully) find some way on because of recency-bias, probably by knocking off Randy Johnson, who some people may more remember as a member of the Diamondbacks.
Rangers (includes Senators 2.0): Michael Young, Frank Howard, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez
Nolan Ryan didn’t play that much with the Rangers, when you think about it. Rafael Palmeiro wasn’t picked not because of the steroid stuff so much as the fact that a lot of his career was with the Orioles as well.
Braves: Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones
Apologies to Eddie Mathews, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Dale Murphy.
Marlins: Jeff Conine, Gary Sheffield, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Castillo
It’s hard to do the Marlins because with the exception of Conine, Stanton (so far) and Castillo any player who becomes a star for them ends up getting traded very quickly.
Mets: Tom Seaver, Mike Piazza, David Wright, John Franco
I think of Gary Carter as more of an Expo, and Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden all had plenty of time with other teams.
Phillies: Mike Schmidt, Richie Ashburn, Steve Carlton, Chuck Klein
There is basically no way Chuck Klein actually gets a selection due to recency bias, but at one point he was the greatest Phillie who ever played.
Nationals (includes Expos): Gary Carter, Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Vlad Guerrero
I feel like maybe MLB should have made a “Washington” category to include the old Senators and the Nationals, and just give the Expos (and the Twins and Rangers) their own category.
Cubs: Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Three-Finger Brown, Ryne Sandberg
Sammy Sosa SHOULD be on their, but I couldn’t bring myself to not have Sandberg or Jenkins on. I’m guessing Sosa or Ron Santo will beat out Mordecai Brown because of recency bias in the final results.
Reds: Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Barry Larkin
Apologies to Frank Robinson (more of an Oriole) and Tony Perez.
Brewers: Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Ryan Braun, Cecil Cooper
Apologies to Prince Fielder.
Pirates: Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, Ralph Kiner, Paul Waner
Yes, Paul Waner over Willie Stargell. I can guarantee you that recency-bias will kick Waner off and put Stargell on in the final ballot.
Cardinals: Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Brock, Albert Pujols
Probably the hardest one to pick- even the Yankees have those four players that are clearly a cut above the rest. The four who I didn’t pick (Bob Gibson, Red Schoendienst, Dizzy Dean, Ozzie Smith) are better than the ones that will win for some other organizations.
Diamondbacks: Randy Johnson, Luis Gonzalez, Steve Finley, Paul Goldschmidt
Goldschmidt has already played more years with the Diamondbacks than a lot of the other choices on the list.
Rockies: Todd Helton, Andres Galarraga, Larry Walker, Troy Tulowitzki
Yeah, this seems about right. Sorry Dante Bichette.
Dodgers: Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella
For such a storied franchise, I was somewhat surprised by how easy it was to choose the Dodgers four (that said, apologies to Don Drysdale). But give Kershaw a few more years…
Padres: Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman, Dave Winfield, Jake Peavy
After the three HoFers (or, in the case of Hoffman, future Hall of Famer), the Padres ballot drops off very quickly.
Giants: Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Christy Mathewson, Mel Ott
Another case where the four left out (Cepeda, Marichal, McCovey and Posey) are probably better than a lot of the fours selected. Wouldn’t be shocked if Ott and possibly even Mathewson are kicked off due to recency bias.
Negro Leaguers: Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Oscar Charleston, Martin Dihigo
Charleston and Dihigo are more only known to the truest of seamheads and I’m guessing you’ll see them replaced by Cool Papa Bell and Buck O’Neil (who, while a good player, is probably the worst player on the Negro League ballot, but is known and beloved for his lifetime of work educating people about the Negro Leagues).
Pioneers: Cap Anson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, George Sisler, Wee Willie Keeler
Cap Anson was a racist even in the era where almost everyone was racist and is more-or-less the reason why there was a “color line”. But he was the best player of the 19th century… it’d be wrong not to vote for him, even if he was a racist SOB.
Greatest Living Ballplayer…
which you will find this weekend/next Monday on Hall of Very Good! Of course, by then voting will be closed, so you should probably go vote now.