Best MLB Players To Wear 21-30
Not going to lie, when I started writing this series, I never would have thought that I would have received as much attention as I have. Some good and some bad, but in the end, it is all good. This is what make sports so great, the variety of opinions, and views of the games we love. The debate and the arguments, the passion and the love for our teams, and our players.
So her comes 21-30, and as always, when you don’t agree that I still respect your opinion, even though I am right.
21 Roberto Clemente
Not sure there really is any other choice here. Though he was taken from the game, and this world in untimely fashion, Clemente put together one of the better all around careers. Warren Spahn got some consideration, and Sammy Sosa got about half a thought before ultimately going with Clemente.
22 Roger Clemens
Thoughts of Jim Palmer here, who did post a better career ERA, but Clemens had nearly 100 more wins and 2,400 more strikeouts than Palmer. Clemens is the clear choice here and there is really no debate.
23 Ryne Sandberg
Anybody that knows me, knows this is my favorite player of all time. I named my son after him, and I grew up emulating his style and play on the field. Though I was never 1/1000 of the player he was, to me, he is what made me fall in love with this game. The truth is, Kirk Gibson at least made me think about this one, and after looking at the numbers I was convinced that this wasn’t just me being biased. Ryno is the greatest #23 of all time.
24 Willie Mays
Though, I did give a lot of thought to his god son as being the only player to appear twice on this list, I could not leave Willie off this list. I’ll admit he was really better than I thought he was in the numbers. I knew he was great but I didn’t think he was as good as the numbers showed me he was. Rickey Henderson got some thought here too, and while he put together a solid career, the “Say Hey kid” gets the spot.
25 Barry Bonds
To me, there is no question here. With all due respect to Jim Thome and McGwire who put together solid numbers, Barry Bonds is the greatest player of his era without question, and if you ask me he is 1A to Babe Ruth as greatest player of all time. @ me if you want to, but I’ll make you look silly if you even try.
26 Wade Boggs
Only player of 20thcentury to have 7 consecutive seasons of 200 hits or more. Enough said. This guy was a hitting machine through much of his career, and is second to none when it comes to the number 26.
27 Mike Trout
I know Vladimir Guerrero was really good, and Juan Marichal was solid, but neither of them is Mike Trout. This guy when it is all said and done might be 1C with Bonds and Ruth. The guy is always must see offensively, but he also has an overall defensive player of the year award to his resume. If being a five-tool player is the biggest compliment a player can get, Trout is a six-tool player and nobody in the game today is better year in and year out.
28 Buster Posey
There really wasn’t any competition here, other than Bert Blyleven, not very many great players have ever worn the number 28. One of the better hitting catchers you will ever see and a great handler of a pitching staff, and 3 world series rings puts Posey far and away the clear choice here.
29 John Smoltz
A lot of you were probably expecting to see Rod Carew here, and honestly I was back and forth for a while. The reason I went with Smoltz is because of the fact that he is the only pitcher in MLB history to win 200 games and save 150. I will admit you can’t go wrong either way here, but for me, Smoltz is the man for #29.
30 Nolan Ryan
Not even close. The Ryan Express runs away with this one. 7 career no hitters, a record that will never be approached. 5,714 strikeouts, when most guys feel 3,000 is the mark that sets you apart, another record that will never be approached.
Now that I am 3/5 of the way done, I know I am keeping you intrigued. Stay tuned for 31-40, you never know when the next pick might make you want to come at me.