Daily Archives: August 26, 2012

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Candidates For A Statue At Marlins Park

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Candidates For A Statue At Marlins Park

Probably due to my love of their history, I keep looking at images of the new statues being unveiled at Camden Park in Baltimore.  The Orioles franchise appears to treat their legends in a first-class manner, while also keeping them relevant with todays fans.

Recently, the Orioles unveild a statue of Eddie Murray.  And before Murray, it was Jim Palmer.  And before Palmer, it was Earl Weaver.  And before Weaver, it was Frank Robinson.  The O’s have two more statues to unveil prior to the end of the 2012 baseball season.  Cal Ripken Jr. will be honored on 9/6 and Brooks Robinson will be the final statue to be featured on 9/29.

The Orioles have some legendary players, and I love that their history can be seen at their ballpark on a nightly basis.

Of course, this got me to thinking about my team.  My team debuted in 1993.  And while we have had our share of great moments as it relates to both team and individual success, I don’t believe that there is one or two, or even three or four, universally celebrated former Marlins players.

Now living in South Florida and paying as much attention to the team as I do would make me biased.  But go ask someone in Omaha or San Jose or New Orleans to name the greatest player in Marlins history and you will likely get a lot of different answers and probably some blank stares too.

Being that I am a die-hard fan of the team., I thought it would be fun to go through the history of my young ballclub and try to identify who the team could erect statues of if they desired.

Ultimately, I don’t believe that a single player on the Marlins, both the Florida or Miami, versions has done enough in the sport while with the team to earn this honor, but this should still be fun.

Here we go…

No current Marlins can be considered.  Sorry to Josh Johnson, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Reyes, and Ricky Nolasco.

HM – Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, Jim Leyland, Charlie Hough, Benito Santiago, Jack McKeon, Dan Uggla, Anibal Sanchez, AJ Burnett, Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Miguel Cabrera, and Craig Counsell.

10 – Gary Sheffield.  Top 5 in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, walks earned.

9 – Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez.  Owner of possibly the greatest play in Marlins playoff history – holding onto the ball when JT Snow colided with him at home plate.

8 – Edgar Renteria.  Game-Winning RBI to capture 1997 World Series in bottom on 11th inning.

7 – Josh Beckett.  2003 World Series MVP, single-handidly beat New York Yankees in World Series clinching game.

6 – Mike Lowell.  Miami native, Top 5 in hits, doubles, total bases, home runs, and 1st in RBI.

5 –  Dontrelle Willis.  2003 ROY, 2nd in team wins, 5th in strikeouts, 2x All-Star, franchise leader in shutouts and complete games.

4 – Luis Castillo.  Franchise leader in games played, at-bats, singles, hits, stolen bases, triples, and runs scored.

3 – Jeff Conine.  Top 5 in games played, hits, total bases, doubles, RBI, walks, singles, and runs created.

2 – Hanley Ramirez.  Teams lone batting champion, 2006 ROY, teams lone 30/30 member, Top 5 in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, runs hits, total bases, doubles, triples, home runs, singles, RBI, stolen bases, and runs created.

1 – Livan Hernandez.  Perfect Miami story – Cuban defector finds home in the USA and lives the ‘American Dream’.  Livan is the main reason that the Marlins won the 1997 World Series.  He offered Miami and it’s very large Cuban audience the same thing that Fernando Valenzuela gave to the Dodgers in the early 1980’s.

How was that for a list?  Did I miss anyone that you feel is deserving?  Let me know.

And for ‘your team’ what former players would you like to see honored in this manner?

Let me hear it!!!!

Rod Carew 2003 Topps Gallery

Rod Carew 2003 Topps Gallery

One of the many reasons that I like to collect baseball cards that feature Rod Carew is that I really like the Twins and Angels uniforms of the 1970’s and 1980’s.

The colors of these uniforms is very representative of the sport from those decades, and Rod wore them well.

This card is just one example of how nice those old, vintage Twins uniforms looked.

Come see:

Mike Schmidt 1986 Donruss Highlights

Mike Schmidt 1986 Donruss Highlights

I have always been a big fan of the Donruss Highlights sets – I enjoy the history of the sport that the set preserves, no matter how grand.

And even though I am not a fan of the 1986 Donruss baseball card design, I put that emotion aside due to the historic nature that this set presents to collectors.

This card of Mike Schmidt is from the 1986 Donruss Highlights set of cards.

Have a look:

The card commemorates Mike Schmidt becoming the team leader in career RBI.  Schmidt took the crown from Ed Delahanty who collected 1,288 RBI during his 13 years with the Phillies in late 1800’s and into the very early 1900’s.

Rollie Fingers 1983 Fleer

Rollie Fingers 1983 Fleer

Yes,I know.  The 1983 Fleer baseball card design is one of my least favorite cards to come out of the 1980’s. 

Between the drab border color and lack of graphic content, the set offers very little to be excited about.

Still, as a loyal and dedicated player collector, I must go for it all even when the card is far from appealing.

So, here is Rollie Fingers’ card from that wonderful set:

 

Not only did Fleer give me a horrible poopy-colored border, but they also gave me one of my least favorite kind of images – the Little League pose!!

NEXT!

Did You Know…

Stan Musial collected 3,630 hits during his major league baseball career.  Amazingly, Stan ‘The Man’ was just as successful at home as he was on the road.  Musial has the same number of hits, 1,815, at home as he does on the road.

Excellent trivia tidbit!!!

Cincinnati Reds Retire Barry Larkin’s #11

Cincinnati Reds Retire Barry Larkin’s #11

From MLB.com

CINCINNATI — The Reds have taken their yearlong tribute to Hall of Famer Barry Larkin and turned it all the way up to 11.

There is no greater honor a team can give a player than retiring his number. And in their 143-year history, the Reds had done it only eight times out of approximately 2,100 players who have worn the uniform. The ninth person to have his number retired was Larkin, who was honored on the field at Great American Ball Park on Saturday.

No. 11 will belong to Larkin, and only Larkin, forever.

“Never to be worn again, becoming an icon signifying your achievements, your history and our history, this baseball town is proud to say you displayed our name across your chest,” Reds CEO Bob Castellini said.

The other retired numbers by the Reds are No. 1 for Fred Hutchinson, No. 5 for Johnny Bench, No. 8 for Joe Morgan, No. 10 for Sparky Anderson, No. 13 for Dave Concepcion, No. 18 for Ted Kluszewski, No. 20 for Frank Robinson, No. 24 for Tony Perez and the universally retired No. 42 for Jackie Robinson.

On the press box façade behind home plate, Larkin’s No. 11 was unveiled next to Concepcion’s number, which was the previous one to be retired in 2007.

“I’m so proud and humbled to be sitting up there on the wall next to my idol, Davey Concepcion, No. 13,” Larkin said.

Several of Larkin’s former teammates were in attendance, including Eric Davis, Dave Parker, Rob Dibble, Tom Browning, Chris Sabo, Bret Boone, Ron Oester, Mariano Duncan, Bill Doran and Juan Castro. Larkin pointed out that many of them were former second basemen and his double-play partners.

There were also video tributes from other ex-Reds.

“I’m so happy,” said Concepcion from the video board. “You did it very well. I’m very happy for you. Congratulations.”

“What an honor it must be to see your number go up among all the greats,” said former third baseman Aaron Boone. “It’s very much deserved. You were a great teammate and friend.”

When Larkin broke into the Major Leagues with the Reds in 1986, he was assigned No. 15 as fellow shortstop Kurt Stillwell occupied No. 11, Larkin’s favorite number growing up.

“I wore it up until I played baseball at Moeller [High School],” Larkin previously explained. “I think I wore 14 at Moeller. I don’t know why …”

One of Larkin’s favorites, and fellow Cincinnatian Pete Rose, wore No. 14 for the Reds.

“When I went to Michigan, No. 11 was retired up there. Then they issued me No. 9. When you sign a big league contract and you’re a 21-22-year-old rookie, you certainly take the number they give you. I wasn’t going to ask for No. 11. Stillwell had it anyway. When Stilly left, I took that number.”

During his 19-year career, Larkin had a lifetime average of .295 with 198 home runs, 960 RBIs, 2,340 hits, a .371 on-base percentage and 379 stolen bases. He was a 12-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove winner, a nine-time Silver Slugger winner, a member of the 1990 World Series championship team and the 1995 National League Most Valuable Player.

“He did it all as a Cincinnati Red,” Castellini said. “Barry Larkin is one of our own.”

No Reds player has worn No. 11 since Larkin retired after the 2004 season, as clubhouse manager and longtime friend Rick Stowe refused to assign it to anyone else.

Larkin was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January and formally inducted last month in Cooperstown, N.Y.

“It’s just been an absolutely incredible ride, and I’m just so proud to be here,” said Larkin, who also threw a ceremonial first pitch to current Red and longtime admirer Brandon Phillips. “As soon as I got the call from the Hall of Fame, the first thing that I said to my wife is that I wanted to go to Cincinnati as fast as we can. We got it done, and we did it.”

Just like he did during his induction speech in Cooperstown, Larkin could not help becoming a little emotional as he spoke before a sold-out crowd of Reds fans.

“Wow. I’m so proud to be a native Cincinnatian. I’m so proud to be the first native Cincinnatian inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Larkin said. “I’m so proud to represent this great city of Cincinnati. I’m so proud to be a Cincinnati Red.”