’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Forgotten Stars Of The 1960s & 1970s’
Shout out to my man ‘Hackenbush‘ for the fantastic idea!!!
Being that we both have a fondness for players from that era, he challenged me with this idea. And while it took me a few weeks longer than what I wanted, it was not due to lack of interest. It was that I had to revamp and revise the list time after time after time.
And while I am still not 100% sold on the final rankings, I am ready to publish my list tonight.
As for criteria, I tried to pick players that starred during the 1960s and 1970s for the majority of their prime. And while I do think that there are several HOFers that seem to be forgotten from that period (Fergie Jenkins and Lou Brock to name a few), if you are in the HOF you are not on my list.
So, with all of that being said – Let’s Do This!!!
Honorable Mention – Ted Simmons, Paul Blair, Ken Griffey, George Foster, Tony Oliva, Tug McGraw, and Lou Piniella.
10B – Tommy John – 288 career wins with 162 complete games is nothing to sneeze at. John was an All-Star four times and made it to the playoffs five times.
10A – Dwight Evans – A supreme defender with a cannon for an arm, Evans also delivered a punch at the plate as he connected for 385 home runs, and driving in 1,384 runners.
9 – Willie Randolph – A slick defender with unreal quickness, Randolph stole 271 bases and scored 1,239 times en route to six All-Star selections.
8 – Fred Lynn – The 1975 ROY and MVP was a supreme star from the moment he took the field. Earning nine straight All-Star selections to start his career, Lynn was on par with the best outfielders in the AL for a decade. And his 1979 batting title aint to shabby either…
7 -Dave Parker – A slugger in every sense of the word, Parker clubbed home runs for a living while helping make the Pirates franchise relevant. 339 career home runs with two batting titles and 7 All-Star selections solidifies the resume of the 1974 NL MVP.
6 – Luis Tiant – Ask anyone that faced him during his prime and they will tell you. Luis Tiant was a monster!!! With 229 career wins and 187 complete games, Tiant was a worker. He threw more than 200 innings in 8 of his 19 seasons.
5 – Keith Hernandez – Before he was appearing in Seinfeld episodes or selling hair color for men, Hernandez was dominating baseball games as a defensive specialist. He collected 11 Gold Glove awards in 17 seasons and his batting title in 1979 coupled with his Gold Glove status made him an MVP.
4 – Bill Madlock – Winning four batting titles is remarkable. And winning them over a stretch of a 11-season span shows your dedication to the craft. Madlock retired with a .305 batting average and rang up 11 seasons in which he hit .300 or better.
3 – Dave Kingman – He was Rob Deer before Rob Deer. He was Adam Dunn before Adam Dunn. In total, Kingman crushed 442 home runs, including eclipsing the 30-HR mark seven times. Kingman was a 3-time All-Star.
2 – Maury Wills – A threat on the base paths from the moment he stepped onto the field, Maury Wills raised the bar when it came to base running and specifically base stealing. The league champion for six consecutive seasons, Wills was the single season record owner, and swiped 586 bags during his 14-year career.
1 – Vida Blue – With uncanny talent, and a string team behind him, Blue was the AL MVP and Cy Young winner in 1971. He would have five more Top 7 finishes for the Cy Young Award and also 6 All-Star game appearances. Most important, Blue competed in and won three consecutive World Series titles from 1972-74.
And there you have it. If you asked me to do this again, I would probably rank them differently, but all of these guys had fantastic big league careers and they all deserve more credit and recognition by the sport and our hobby!!!
Thanks for reading.