Best MLB Players To Wear 11-20
The series continues today with my list of the best players in MLB history to wear 11-20. It has been a fun series to write and investigate. I certainly do have strong opinions for every player on the list, and have even found myself in a heated discussion regarding Nomar Garciaparra, and whether or not the HR is the most important offensive stat created (newsflash: it’s not).
So bring to you 11-20, and thank you for continued support of the blog.
11 Paul Waner
This one wasn’t easy for me. Having actually watched guys like Barry Larkin and Edgar Martinez, who was probably one of my top 5 favorite players to watch while growing up, and the fact that Waner was dead 16 years before I was even born. But the numbers in this one were impossible to ignore. While Martinez was certainly a more predominant slugger, and Larkin has won a World Series, he never won a batting title and Edgar never won an MVP and hit about 20 points less than Waner for his career.
12 Roberto Alomar
Thoughts of maybe Wade Boggs here, who wore 12 with the Yankees and the Devil Rays, but Robbie Alomar was just phenomenal. Over 400 career stolen bases, 2,724 hits and only 210 of which were for Home Runs. His defense and charisma made him an extremely exciting player to watch. Just don’t get too close in conversation, I hear he spits when he talks.
13 Alex Rodriguez
The closest competition for A-Rod is Omar Vizquel, and lets face it, he is No Alex Rodriguez. While I do think he handled the steroids thing with about as much class as Roseanne Barr handled the National Anthem, there is no denying that he was one hell of baseball player on both sides of the diamond. He might be one of the 10 greatest players to ever play the game.
14 Pete Rose
The list of great players to have worn 14 is about a handful, most notably Ernie Banks, Paul Konerko and Larry Doby. Jim Rice also wore 14, but none of these guys were as good as the all time hits leader, Charlie Hustle as he is commonly referred to was the guy you would want cloned over and over again. On the field anyways. Gambling aside, his on the field performance and aggression were second to none.
15 Carlos Beltran
Another Number that not many great players have worn. Thurmon Munson was my first thought, but Beltran was an all around stud. Always in contention for a gold glove, and always seemed to come through in the clutch. He was a pleasure to watch (Minus his time as Cardinal).
16 Whitey Ford
This was going to be the first pitcher selected no matter what I tried. First number 16 that came to mind was Doc Gooden, and then Hal Newhouser. Whitey had 26 more wins than Newhouser and 36 more than Doc. He also is the only one of the three with a career ERA under .300.
17 Todd Helton
I almost went with another pitcher here in Dizzy Dean. And then there was Mark Grace, who I would have love to have chosen here, But Helton was just simply the better player, offensively and defensively.
18 Moises Alou
Not much competition here for Moises Alou. He was a very solid ball player his entire career, batted .303 and had over 2,000 hits. He came up with the Expos and moved to the Cubs, where he is mostly remembered for his part in the “Bartman” game. Alou finished his career in San Francisco where he played under his father Felipe Alou.
19 Bob Feller
I know that some of you were expecting to see Robin Yount here. And to be completely fair I could have had gone either way. Feller had 266 wins and a pitchers triple crown on his resume and if he doesn’t lose three years to WWII service, he probably eclipses the coveted 300 wins.
20 Lou Brock
Another number that really could have gone either way. For me Brock edges out Mike Schmidt. While, if you look up the awards, Schmidt’s resume shines a little brighter, Brock eclipsed the 3.000 hit plateau and hit 26 points higher for his career.