Daily Archives: September 16, 2012

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Hitters That Would Have Benefited The Most By Reaching The 3,000 Hits Plateau

’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!

1996 HEADLINE: Paul Molitor Joins The 3,000 Hits Club

1996 HEADLINE: Paul Molitor Joins The 3,000 Hits Club

On this day in 1996, Paul Molitor collected the 3,000th hit of his major league career.

On the road playing the Kansas City Royals, Molitor and his Twins teammates took the field in front of 16,000+ fans at Kaufman Stadium.

For the game, Molitor went 3-for-4 hitting 2 singles and a triple.

Of the 3 hits he collected over the course of the game, #3000 was the triple he hit in the top of the 5th inning off of Jose Rosado.

Currently, Molitor ranks 9th in total hits in a major league career with 3,319 total hits.  It appears that Molitor’s space in the Top 10 of all-time is secure for quite some time!!

Happy Anniversary Mr. Molitor!!! 

1993 HEADLINE: Dave Winfield Joins The 3,000 Hits Club

1993 HEADLINE: Dave Winfield Joins The 3,000 Hits Club

On this day in 1993, Dave Winfield joined the ‘3,000 Hits Club’.

Playing for the Twins and at home, Winfield entered this game with 2,999 hits on his resume.  With just 3 weeks left in the season, this was a match-up of a 6th and 7th place team so it was a relatively small crowd of just over 14,000.  But for those that showed up, they got to witness baseball history!!  Winfield collected 2 hits in the contest, both singles, in this 13-inning marathon.  Hit #3,000 came off of fellow Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley in the 9th inning.

Baseball History – Winfield finished his career with 3,110 hits.  He presently ranks in 19th place on the all-time list.

Happy Birthday Orel Hershiser!!!

Happy Birthday Orel Hershiser!!!

It is amazing to think that today Orel Hershiser is 54 years old today!!!  It makes me feel older just thinking about it…

Hershiser will be remembered most for his outstanding 1988 season.  With 23 wins, 15 complete games, and a Gold Glove award, he was the unanimous choice for the National League’s Cy Young award.  Orel led the Los Angeles Dodgers into the playoffs that season as well.  In the National League championship series, Hershiser pitched in 4 of the 7 games and earned the NLCS MVP award.  In the World Series against the heavily favored Oakland Athletics, Hershiser again dominated 2 games and won the World Series MVP award.

His most notable individual accomplishment may be the 59 straight innings pitched without giving up a single run during the 1988 season.  This record still stands today and should remain in tact for quite some time.

Hershiser enjoyed some success after leaving the Dodgers in 1994.  He was a big part of the Cleveland Indians pitching crew that took the Indians to the 1997 World Series.  But for me, and many others, Orel Hershiser will always be remembered as a LA Dodger.  And in the last year of his career in the majors, 2000, Orel returned to LA but was nowhere near as effective as he was during his first stint with the club.

Happy Birthday Orel Hershiser!!!

Happy Birthday Tim Raines!!!

Happy Birthday Tim Raines!!!

Tm Raines turns 53 years old today!!

One of the scrappiest and most entertaining players to debut during the 1980’s, Tim Raines was magical on a baseball field. 

I don’t know if it was because he was undersized (5 feet, 8 inches tall), but Tim Raines dominated baseball games to most people’s surprise.

Raines had a knack for contact hitting and he retired with a .294 lifetime average alongside 2,605 hits.  And on the base paths he was a monster.  One of the sport’s greatest runners, Raines has 808 career stolen bases and he has also scored 1,571 runs. 

A constant threat to win the league’s MVP award and a 7-time All-star, Tim Raines was a steady contributor to each of the 7 teams he played with during his 23-year career.

Yet, Tim Raines is still a player that is hardly collected in today’s hobby.  And he is rarely celebrated in baseball.  Much of this has to do with his best years as a professional be ing played in Montreal for the Expos. 

 Happy Birthday ‘Rock’!!!

Happy Birthday Robin Yount!!!

Happy Birthday Robin Yount!!!

Robin Yount turns 57 years old today.

Everything Robin Yount did, he did exceptionally well.  A hitter for power, a hitter for average, a base runner, you name it and he did it very well.  Yount was an offensive machine for 20 years as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.  In 20 big league seasons, Yount finished his career with 3,142 hits.  With those hits came 251 home runs and 271 stolen bases.  And if you add to that his 1,406 RBI and 1,632 runs scored you’ve got a potent mixture that creates the perfect offensive threat.

A 2-time MVP winner with 5 more Top 18 finises, Yount was widely accepted as one of baseball’s best players for 2 decades.  Yount is a 3-time All-star and a Gold Glove winner as well.  Yount reached the World Series in 1982 and lost to the Cardinals in 7 games.  In that series, Yount hit an amazing .414 as he collected 12 hits with 6 RBI.

Happy Birthday Mr. Yount!!!

Reggie Jackson 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads

Reggie Jackson 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads

Just another example of how sweet some of the modern issues of our favorite Hall of Famers can be.

Check out this card of Reggie Jackson from the 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads set:

 

The graphic elements that Donruss used for this set are perfect matches for the Oakland Athletic’s uniform that Jackson is wearing in the picture used for this card.  I really like the vertical pinstriping that goes down both sides of the card, and the team and name banners along the bottom bring it all together!!

Great Card!!!