’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Hitters That Would Have Benefited The Most By Reaching The 3,000 Hits Plateau
Last week I brought you my list of the ‘Top Ten’ active players that were most likely to reach the 3,000 hits milestone.
At the end of that discussion, I told you that next Sunday (today) I was going to showcase the ‘Top Ten Hitters That Would Have Benefited The Most By Reaching The 3,000 Hits Plateau’.
A few quick notes:
Before I begin, let me tell you how I whittled this list down. First off, the player has to be retired so guys like Chipper Jones and Omar Vizquel do not qualify. Secondly, there are a few (very few) legends of the game that I do not feel their reputation is tarnished by not reaching the 3,000 hits mark. Those players are Mantle, DiMaggio, Berra, Williams, Ruth, and Gehrig. Everyone else is fair game!!!
As you read through my selections, keep in mind that these are the players that I feel would have benefitted most by reaching the 3,000 hits mark.
Here we go!!!
Honorable Mention – Rogers Hornsby, Mel Ott, Edgar Martinez, Harold Baines, Billy Williams, Roberto Alomar, Don Mattingly.
10 – Frank Thomas, 2468 hits. As the primary cog in the White Sox offense for more than 15 years, Thomas had a great career average (.301) for a slugger. 3,000 hits would look great next to his 521 home runs and 2 MVP awards.
9 – Andre Dawson, 2774 hits. There is no telling how many games Dawson missed due to injury. But it is not far-fecthed to think that he had 200 more hits in him if healthy. In an era that bred 3,000 hit outfielders, the 3,000 hits mark seperates the elite from the second-tier guys.
8 – Tony Perez, 2732 hits. More often than not, Tony Perez is mentioned as the 4th member of ‘The Big Red Machine’. He was a key run producer for the team, but he did not have the calling card that his other Hall of Fame teammates had. 3,000 hits would help his claim.
7 – Brooks Robinson, 2848 hits. The conversation about the greatest third baseman of all-time is narrowed down to 4-5 guys. And among them, only one player has reached the 3,000 hits mark (George Brett). If Brooks had captured 152 more hits during his career, he could claim the best ’3B’ on both offense and defense.
6 – Tim Raines, 2605 hits. One of the most dynamic, and forgotten, players from the 1980′s, Tim Raines had one of the toughest players to compete against for the tag of ‘best leadoff player in baseball’ in Rickey Henderson. In most cases, Raines was a step behind Henderson, but had he reached the 3,000 hits mark, the conversation would be a lot more interesting…
5 – Joe Morgan, 2517 hits. Joe Morgan was probably the most well rounded player on ‘The Big Red Machine’ that dominated baseball in the mid 1970′s. He could do it all, and very well at that. When looking at the best second baseman in the history of the sport, Morgan’s numbers compare very well to all of them. 3,000 hits would have put him over the top!!!
4 – Ivan Rodriguez, 2844 hits. Similar to 2B and 3B, the greatest catchers in the game is a conversation the focuses around 3-5 players. I believe that Ivan Rodriguez belongs on the outside of that discussion, probably between 5-6. No catcher has 3,000 hits – Pudge is the closest. If he hit that mark, he would be in the discussion for one of the top four spots.
3 – Ken Griffey, Jr, 2781 hits. When talking about the greatest players of his era, Ken Griffey Jr ranks very high on the list. As for the history of the game, he is high on the list, but is still on the outside looking in at the elite players of all-time. He has all of the numbers except for a World Series ring and 3,000 hits.
2 – Frank Robinson, 2943 hits. I consider Frank Robinson to be one of the most dynamic offensive players of all-time. But when discussing the best of the best, his name rarely comes up. He is as decorated as they get, and he measures up to all of the elite guys very well – with the exception of the 57 hits that he did not get.
1 – Barry Bonds, 2935 hits. We all know how driven Barry Bonds was as it relates to status in the game. Sure, he had some very big shoes to fill – and he filled them in every single possible aspect except for one – 3,000 hits. Had Bonds reached the 3,000 hits mark, he could very easily be called ‘The Best Offensive Player In Major League History’.
WHEW!!! That was a lot of fun!!!
What did you think of my list? Are the rankings in line with what you think? Did I leave anyone off that you would place higher than any of these guys?
I’d love to get your input.
Have a nice night!