The Best MLB Players To Wear 0-5
MLB.com recently released, on their daily trivia game, the greatest players according to WAR for the numbers 0-20. And with some of the answers, it got me thinking. Who really are the greatest players at each number. I think WAR is an overrated stat, and when it comes to baseball, I am a purist.
I don’t believe numbers tell you the whole story. Some of these were easy to figure out and some of them required a lot of thought. In the next few blogs I am going to give you the top players at each number according to me from 0-50. You may not like my answer, you may want to debate, and you may even want to question my knowledge of the game at times. I can assure you one thing though. I am right about them all.
This will be the start of great journey for the readers and for myself. So without further adieu, here come 0-5.
0- Al Oliver
Not very many players have worn the number 0 thru the years, and I didn’t want to take the cheap way out and go with Cy Young who didn’t wear a number. Oliver is a solid choice, he certainly was a productive player through his 19 year career, he hit above .300 and never struck out more than 73 times in a single season, and had 219 HR most for any player to ever wear 0.
1 Ozzie Smith
There really isn’t much debate over this one. The “Wizard of Oz” was probably a top 50 player of all time, and he certainly was the greatest to ever wear the number 1. As much as it sucked watching him as a Cubs fan growing up, he truly was amazing to watch and he played the game with flare. He paved the way for the “let the kids play” generation that we have today.
2 Derek Jeter
This is another no brainer. Though we do get more players to have worn the number 2, like Nellie Fox, Tommy LaSorda, Charlie Gheringer. There were few in the game like “The Captain”. While I do, admittedly, have a strong opinion that he was a highly overrated defensive shortstop, there is no denying that Jeter was one of the most clutch hitters to ever lace up the cleats, and if I had to pick one person to lead my ball club on the field, I wouldn’t hesitate to take Jeter.
3 Babe Ruth
I will not lie, for shock and awe value I really wanted to take Dale Murphy here. I just couldn’t do it. I mean, its Babe Ruth, and that’s enough said.
4 Lou Gehrig
This was really the first number that I did a lot of thinking on. Gave very considerable mention to Duke Snider, and then there was Ralph Kiner and Paul Molitor among others. But Lou Gehrig was in the end the best choice for the number 4
5 Nomar Garciaparra
And this is where the people will think I am just going for a reaction, but I am here to tell you that Nomar is the best player to have ever worn the number 5. He was probably the best defensive shortstop I have ever watched (until Javy Baez came along). He gets killed for all of the errors, but he made 90% of those errors on balls that no other human being could to. Sorry to those Dimaggio guys, and some may argue Pujols. I say Nomar!