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’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Switch-Hitters Of All-Time!!!

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Switch-Hitters Of All-Time!!!

As the result of a recent Eddie Murray post that was published on this blog less than two weeks ago, and at the request of ’30-YOC’ loyal redear Matt, I am happy to present to you my ‘Top Ten Switch-Hitters Of All-Time’.

And while I don’t profess to be an expert on the subject of switch-hitting, a fair number of the guys that have cracked the ‘Top Ten’ have played during my generation.

And of the men that made this final cut, only one of them is active with a chance at still making moves to a higher spot on the list.

So, without further ado, here we go:

Honorable Mention – Chili Davis, Carlos Beltran, Willie McGee, Ruben Sierra, and Bobby Bonilla.

10 – Ted Simmons.  Lifetime .285 hitter with 2,472 hits, 483 doubles, and 248 home runs.

9 – Lance Berkman (active).  Lifetime .296 hitter with 1,822 hits, 405 doubles, and 358 home runs.

8 – Bernie Williams.  Lifetime .297 hitter with 2,336 hits, 449 doubles, and 287 home runs.  1 Silver Slugger award and 1 batting title.

7 – Tim Raines.  Lifetime .294 hitter with 2,605 hits, 430 doubles, and 170 home runs.  1 Silver Slugger and 1 Batting title.

6 – Frankie Frisch.    Lifetime .316 hitter with 2,880 hits, 466 doubles, and 105 home runs.

5 – Roberto Alomar.  Lifetime .300 hitter with 2,724 hits, 504 doubles, and 210 home runs.  4 Silver Slugger awards.

4 – Chipper Jones.  Lifetime .304 hitter with 2,615 hits, 526 doubles, and 454 home runs.  2 Silver Slugger awards and 1 batting title.

3 – Eddie Murray.  Lifetime .287 hitter with 3,255 hits, 560 doubles, and 504 home runs.  3 Silver Slugger awards.

2 – Mickey Mantle.  Lifetime .298 hitter with 2,415 hits, 344 doubles, and 536 home runs.  1 Batting title.

1 – Pete Rose.  Lifetime .303 hitter with 4,256 hits, 746 doubles, and 160 home runs.  1 Silver Slugger award and 3 Batting titles.

And there you have it.  Obviously with Chipper Jones sitting in the 4th spot on this list, he has the chance of still moving up.  Personally, I don’t think that he will as some of the major milestones ahead of him seem to be too far out of reach as he heads into what may be his final season in the majors.

But, what about the rest of my list?  Anyone in the wrong spot?  Did I miss anyone that you would have included?

Let me hear it.  And as always, ‘Thanks’ for reading!!!

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Forgotten Stars Of The 1980s’

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Forgotten Stars Of The 1980s’

I had such a good time, and judging by the reader reaction so did you, working on and writing my ‘Top Ten List’ from last week that I wanted to extend the same subject into the 1980’s.

So, that is this week’s theme – ‘Top Ten Forgotten Stars Of The 1980s’.

Again, like last week, you will not find any Hall of Fame players, although there are several that I think deserve more credit in the overall scheme of things.

You will also not find players that still get a lot of attention in the sport and hobby – Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Cecil Fielder, Eric Davis, etc.

What you will find is a list of players that I really enjoyed watching during their primes.

Are you ready?  Let’s do this!!!

Honorable Mention – Andy VanSlyke, Ruben Sierra, Todd Worrell, Chili Davis, Pedro Guerrero, Willie Wilson, John Franco, and Gary Gaetti.

10 – George Bell.  You can call him George or Jorge or ‘Liberty’, but you better add ‘slugger’ too.  One of the decades best home run hitters, Bell was an offensive machine.  The producer of home runs, RBI, and high batting average led Bell to receive 3 All-Star selections, 3 Silver Slugger Awards and the 1987 AL MVP.

9 – Lance Parrish.  Parrish was the core of the Detroit Tigers for most of the early-to-mid 1980’s.  His skill both at the plate and behind it helped make him a perennial All-Star selection.  Parrish is also a 6-time Silver Slugger winner and has 3 Gold Gloves.

8 – Mike Greenwell.  While there may have been other ‘big’ names in Boston that got national attention, if you ask any Red Sox fan from that era, they will tell you that Mike Greenwell was a key contributor to the team’s success.  Greenwell played 12 years for the Sox and retired with a .303 batting average, which included 7 seasons above the .300 mark.  Greenwell was a 2-time All-Star and runner-up for the MVP award in 1988.

7 – Kent Hrbek.  The anchor of the Twins’ offense and defense, Hrbek played 14 solid seasons with the Twins.  A 2-time World Series champion, he hit 293 home runs during his career while driving in 1,086.  Hrbek was the runner up for the ROY in 1982 and MVP in 1984.

6 – Rick Sutcliffe.  An old-school pitcher that was probably a decade or two late to the game, Sutcliffe embodied the ‘mean’ approach that made several pitchers legends in the 1960s.  Used as both a starter and reliever during his playing days, Sutcliffe retired with a 171-139 record.  He was the Rookie of the Year in 1979 and won the 1984 Cy Young Award with his 20-6 record, 9 complete games, and 213 strikeouts.

5 – Harold Baines.  A 22-season veteran, Baines racked up some very impressive stats during his playing days.  A lifetime .289 hitter, Baines collected 2,866 hits.  He also had a knack for power and run production – 48 doubles, 384 home runs, 1,299 runs scored, and 1,628 RBI.  Baines was a 6-time All-Star.

4 – Willie McGee.  Talk about a perfect for a team..  Willie McGee brought the Cardinals instant offense as a rookie in 1982.  In fact, the 23-year old played a large role in the Cardinals World Series win that season.  In 1985 McGee was unreal – .353 batting average, 216 hits, 56 stolen bases, 114 runs scored, 86 RBI, a batting title, All-Star selection, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and MVP!!  In total, McGee was a 4-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glove winner, and one of the most popular Cardinals in team history.

3 – Tim Raines.  Quite possibly the second best lead-off hitter of the last fifty years, there was nothing Tim Raines could not do on a baseball diamond.  He stole 808 bases during his career, scored 1,571 runs, and has a lifetime batting average of .294.  Raines was a 7-time All-Star and has 5 finishes in the Top 12 for the MVP.

2 – Lee Smith.  Smith ranks in 3rd place on the all-time saves list, and he will not give up that spot any time soon.  He ranks ahead of every Hall of Famer to ever be tagged as a ‘closer’.  Smith played in 18 big league seasons, accumulating 478 saves along the way.  Smith reached the post-season only twice, which translates to his role being even more important as we was closing games for teams that were not very competitive.

1 – Jack Morris.  Morris pitched in the majors for 18 seasons.  He won more game than any other pitcher in the 1980s, totalling 254 wins for his career.  He has 3 20-win seasons under his belt and an impressive 7 finishes in the Top 9 for the Cy Young award.  Morris competed in 3 World Series match-ups, winning all three – for three different teams.  He won the 1991 World Series MVP, and finished his post-season career with a 4-2 record.

And there it is.  I’m a bit exhausted, but that was a lot of fun too!!!

Do you think that I missed anyone?  Are my rankings appropriate?  Let me hear it!!!

And for the record – on this list, numbers 3,2,and 1 all deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.  Just my opinion…

Thanks for reading.

1989 Topps – The Final 4 – Pack #2

Here is what I pulled from pack #2 of the 4 that I opened today:

Pack 2A

Pack 2B

Notable:  Chili Davis, Dave Henderson, Billy Ripken, and a Dave Winfield All-Star card 

Pick of the pack:  Let’s go with the newest member of the Hall of Fame, Mr. Jim Rice!!

1989 Topps – Pack #2

Here is what I pulled from pack #2 of the 6 that I will be opening today:

pack 2a

pack 2b

Notable:  Benes was a rookie card that everyone wanted in 1989.  That feeling did not last too long though…  Chili Davis put up some incredible numbers for a ‘non-star’ player.

Pick of the Pack:  The Mike Greenwell All-Star card is the highlight of the pack.  Had it not been for Mr. 40/40 in 1988, it’s very likely that Greenwell would have been the AL MVP that year.

20 More Autograph TTM Requests Out In The Mail…

After receiving these cards, I couldn’t resist putting more cards in the mail with the hopes of receiving a few back autographed.

So off I went to the Post Office and the Grocery Store to stock up on stamps and envelopes.

And out these went today….

100_5041

100_5042

100_5043

The guys:  Kent Hrbek, Jim Abbott, Joe Carter, Chili Davis, Eric Davis, Fernando Valenzuela, Bobby Bonilla, Whitey Herzog, Shawon Dunston, Orel Hershiser, Todd Zeile, Bucky Dent, Willie Randolph, Mike Scioscia, Willie McGee, Ron Cey, Mike Greenwell, Harold Reynolds, Robin Ventura, and Tony Perez.

What Ever Happened To Chili Davis???

 Chili Davis is a baseball player from the 1980’s that quietly built a solid resume that many players of his era would envy.

‘The Jamaican Sensation’ was the first major league player to be born in Jamaica.  Chili’s debut came in the 1981 season and by 1982, he was a regular in the San Francisco Giants line-up.  Davis had the skills and talent to make himself a switch-hitter, which certainly gave him the opportunity to play in more games regardless of who the opposition was throwing at his team.

In 19 seasons in the big leagues, Davis finished his career with 2,380 hits.  He also batted in 1,372 runs while scoring 1,240 himself.  His career average of .274 is very respectable considering how many teams and league changes Chili made during his 19-year career.  Davis’ 350 home runs rank as the fourth highest amount in a career for a switch-hitting batter behind Eddie Murray, Mickey Mantle, and Chipper Jones.

Chili Davis was a 3-time All-Star, and captured MVP votes in 1989, 1991, and 1994.  But, Davis’ biggest accomplishment has been in the post-season in which he has won ALL 3 World Series championships that he has competed for.  Chili was part of the 1991 Minnesota Twins team that won the title, and he also captured 2 championships with the New York Yankees in 1998 and then again in 1999.

Chili Davis owns and operates ‘Chili Davis Premier Baseball’ in Peoria, Arizona which is a place for kids and adults to test their batting skills in batting cages.  They also have retail outlets for baseball related supplies and even a Starbucks. 

chili

Ticket Stub #5 – White Sox vs. Angels – 9/17/1989

Ticket Stub #5 – White Sox vs. Angels – 9/17/1989

This was the first baseball game I attended after my family moved from South Florida to Chicago in the summer of 1989.  This game was held at the Original Comiskey Park.

California Angels 6 – Chicago White Sox 3

I have 2 vivid memories from this game and neither had to do with the action on the field.  (1) The New Comiskey Park was being built right across the street so prior to the game starting, we walked the entire concourse checking out all of the old pictures and displays that were up honoring the 80 years worth of baseball played at the Original Comiskey Park.  (2) Prior to the game, all kids were invited to get their pictures taken with White Sox Rookie Robin Ventura.  Ventura was not a star yet, but he quickly became my favorite White Sox player once he took over as the full-time starter in Chicago. 

I have searched and searched but have been unable to find that picture of me and Ventura…

California Angels AB R H RBI BB SO BA NOTES
Downing 5 0 3 1 0 0 0.285  
McLemore 3 0 1 2 1 1 0.230  
White 5 0 1 0 0 1 0.253  
Joyner 5 0 1 0 0 0 0.278  
Davis 4 1 0 0 1 2 0.264  
Washington 4 0 1 1 1 1 0.277  
Parrish 5 2 3 1 0 1 0.238 HR
Howell 5 1 1 0 0 2 0.229  
Anderson 4 2 2 1 0 1    
  40 6 13 6 3 9    
                 
Chicago White Sox AB R H RBI BB SO BA NOTES
Johnson 5 0 0 0 0 1 0.313  
Fletcher 5 0 2 1 0 0 0.249  
Lyons 5 0 0 0 0 2 0.262  
Walker 2 0 1 0 0 1 0.210  
Calderon 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.285  
Boston 2 1 2 0 0 0 0.265  
Martinez 1 1 1 0 1 0 0.302  
Gallagher 4 0 3 1 0 0 0.270  
Ventura 1 0 0 1 0 0 0.286  
Sosa 2 0 0 0 0 1 0.259  
Karkovice 2 0 0 0 0 1 0.285  
Fisk 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.285  
Guillen 4 1 1 0 0 1 0.260  
  35 3 10 3 3 7    

Baseball stars that played in this game – Devon White, Wally Joyner, Chili Davis, Lance Parrish, Sammy Sosa, Ozzie Guillen, Robin Ventura

 Hall of Famers that played in this game – Carlton Fisk, Sammy Sosa(???)