Best MLB Players To Wear 31-40
The absolute best thing about opinions, is that they are never wrong. They are your own personal thoughts and your own personal beliefs. Some are stronger than others, and some are more fair than others, but nobody can ever say that your opinion is wrong.
With that being said, anybody who disagreed with anyone on my list, you are wrong and I am right, and I am not afraid to prove it. So to continue the series and with only 2 blogs left in the series, I hope that you have found enjoyment in my writings, and will continue to follow me through the years. Especially once we have fresh sports to actually argue about.
31 Greg Maddux
If there is anything that will tell you how bad the Cubs front office was pre-Ricketts, it is the story of how they told Greg Maddux that his first Cy young was a fluke and how a pitcher like him would never last, as they refused to sign him after his rookie deal was up in 1992. The rest is history.
I did give a lot of thought to Mike Piazza here, who is certainly a deserved candidate, but Maddux 355 career wins, 3,371 career strikeouts and 1.143 WHIP are undeniable. All for a guy who topped out at about 92-93 mph.
32 Sandy Koufax
Yes, I know, Steve Carlton blah blah blah blah. Sandy Koufax, before retiring at the age of 30 put together a 5 year stretch that we have never seen and likely never will again. In those 5 years he won 101 games posted a 1.98 ERA, won 3 Cy young’s and threw 4 no hitters. It was pure domination.
33 Eddie Murray
Viewed as the second best switch hitter of all-time behind Mickey Mantle, Murray was also a huge factor in the Orioles winning Pennants in 1979 and 1983, and also led them to the World Series title in 1983. With 3255 hits, 504 HR, and a career SLG of .476 nobody to wear number 33 has ever come close.
34 Kirby Puckett
I will be the first to admit, that if we are doing word association, and you say to me 34, my answer is going to be David “Big Papi” Ortiz. But man Kirby Puckett, if not for glaucoma, might have been a guy that we put in the top 10 of all time. He only got to play 12 seasons, amassed 2,304 hits and 1,085 RBI. He may have been the only player that could have ever come close to Pete Rose for all-time hits leader. Kirby Puckett is far and away the best MLB player to ever wear 34.
35 Frank Thomas
You know as a Cubs fan, I don’t totally hate the White Sox. Their fans on the other hand, well that’s a different blog. Frank Thomas was unbelievable. Hitting under .300 only once in his first 11 seasons, a career OBP of .419. He was a freak athlete, and for a guy his size to be that quick and that good at this sport, he truly was a pleasure to watch.
36 Gaylord Perry
It was between Perry and Jim Kaat in this one, but ultimately Perry just had a better career. Neither one really blow you away and Perry did the majority of his great pitching in the first 11 years with the Giants before becoming a journeyman and ultimately pitching for 9 different teams.
37 Dave Stieb
Not much to say here, Nobody good ever really wore this number, so you get Dave Stieb and his 174 wins.
38 Curt Schilling
Regarded as one of the best “big game” pitchers of all time, Curt Schilling gets the nod. Though the guy is a bit of an asshole, there is no denying that Curt Schilling was without a doubt one of the best strikeout guys of his era. Striking out 3,116 in his career while posting a 3.46 ERA.
39 Roy Campanella
Baseball got ten years from Roy Campanella, before his career was cut short after he was paralyzed in a tragic car accident. In those ten years he would hit .276 with 1,161 base hits win 3 MVP and help the 1955 Dodgers to a world championship. Some might tell you he was the greatest catcher the game had ever seen, they might be right.
40 Rick Sutcliffe
Next to the Ryne Sandberg deal, this may have been the second best trade the Cubs ever made, stealing Rick Sutcliffe from the Cleveland Indians. Sut would start 20 games for the Eastern Division Champs and post a 16-1 record with a 2.69 ERA earning him the NL Cy Young. He would finish his career with 171 wins and 1,679 strikeouts.