Thursday, December 8, 2011

Revised List of 36: Best Players I’ve Seen Play In Person

I realized today that Ryan Braun won the NL MVP this year. Well, I realized it the day they announced it. Today, I realized that it might have also given him a far greater honor. Since he previously won a Rookie of the Year award, that combination might have pushed him into the list of top 36 players I’ve seen live in a non-all-star game. And, it looks like that’s exactly what it did. Unfortunately, that means someone had to be dropped from the list to make room. For this list, I consider major awards to be very important. I figure that’s the sort of honor that people will care about years from now. My grandkids will ask me if I saw a certain MVP winner play live before they ask me if I saw a 200-game winner live. I looked to see if anyone on my list was without a major award, and eliminated Todd Helton and his measly batting title. I also realized a major omission. I made this list by looking through past scorecards. It was raining during game 1 of the 2004 World Series, so I didn’t keep score. That made me foolishly forget about Albert Pujols. I added him to the list, but had to sacrifice Josh Beckett. So, here is my updated list of top 36 players I’ve seen live. How does it stack up to your list?

1. Roberto Alomar (Hall of Famer)
2. Wade Boggs (HOF)
3. Barry Bonds (MVP)
4. Ryan Braun (MVP)
5. Jose Canseco (MVP)
6. Roger Clemens (Cy Young)
7. Bartolo Colon (Cy Young)
8. Dennis Eckersley (HOF)
9. Eric Gagne (Cy Young)
10. Nomar Garciaparra (ROY)
11. Jason Giambi (MVP)
12. Tom Glavine (Cy Young)
13. Juan Gonzalez (MVP)
14. Ken Griffey Jr (All-Century Team)
15. Vladimir Guerrero (MVP)
16. Roy Halladay (Cy Young)
17. Josh Hamilton (MVP)
18. Rickey Henderson (HOF)
19. Randy Johnson (Cy Young)
20. Chipper Jones (MVP)
21. Cliff Lee (Cy Young)
22. Greg Maddux (Cy Young)
23. Pedro Martinez (Cy Young)
24. Dustin Pedroia (MVP)
25. Mike Piazza (ROY)
26. Albert Pujols (MVP)
27. Cal Ripken (HOF)
28. Alex Rodriguez (MVP)
29. Ivan Rodriguez (MVP)
30. CC Sabathia (Cy Young)
31. Bret Saberhagen (Cy Young)
32. John Smoltz (Cy Young)
33. Ichiro Suzuki (MVP)
34. Miguel Tejada (MVP)
35. Frank Thomas (MVP)
36. Mo Vaughn (MVP)


  1. Mines not as complete, but I do have Griffey, A-Rod, Randy Johnson, Cal Ripken, Ichiro, Braun, Hoffman (HOF?), Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, not bad for a 21 year old.

  2. Cool idea. My top 15 is:
    Rickey Henderson
    Griffey Jr.
    Ripken Jr.
    Mariano Rivera
    Pete Rose

    Ichiro would probably be 16th if I'm thinking right - and Ryan Howard, Berkman and Thome are up there too. Notable players from somewhat recent times that I don't think I've seen are Halladay, Glavine, Nolan Ryan, Pedro, Sheffield, Tony Gwynn, Boggs, Yount, Winfield, Alomar (I may or may not have seen Eddie Murray when I was younger).


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