With the announcements of the major awards for the 2012 season, it’s time for me to update my list of stars that I have been lucky enough to see play live. I keep a slightly informal list, just for yuk-yuks so I can relive all the great players I’ve seen at Fenway. For this list, I don’t include exhibitions for reasons I’m a bit unsure of. But, it’s not like this list really matters. If I feel the need to include Tony Gwynn and Barry Larkin at some point since I saw them both play at the 1999 ASG, it’s not going to ruin the world or anything. In addition to the list, I have a Top 36 list to single out the best of the best. I base this list mostly on major awards and accomplishments, like Hall of Fame election or MVP awards. I do this not because I think winning an MVP makes you a better player than someone who didn’t. But, I’m using the grandchild check. My grandkids are more likely to be looking at a baseball encyclopedia at some point in the distant future and ask if I had seen any of the people on the ROY list play. It also means I can make the list without including Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera. That’s a nice added benefit. I also don’t care when I saw the player play. I saw both Eric Gagne and Dennis Eckersley play when they were with the Sox (Eck’s second stint). Even though both were well past their Cy Young days by that point, I count them on the list. I saw them play. Once again, it’s my list. Enough with the boring stuff. Let’s get started.
Of the six major award winners this season, I have seen two of them play live. I saw Bryce Harper when the Nationals visited Fenway this season. I’ve also seen Miguel Cabrera twice, once with the Marlins and once with the Tigers. I was surprised that I haven’t seen David Price yet. I seem to hit a lot of Rays games, but must have somehow missed him. Same goes for Dickey, since he spent some time in the AL. I imagine I’ll see Mike Trout at some point, just not yet. So, I get to add a Rookie of the Year winner, and a Triple-Crown winning MVP to the list. That means two people would need to be dropped from the Top 36.
A look at the previous list shows that I still have two players on there without a major award. Mike Lowell probably should have been tossed previously. He has only a WS MVP on his tally sheet. A single ROY by Harper is enough to knock him off. I also see that Josh Beckett is also on my list without a major award. His two playoff MVPs combined with his Cy Young runner up had been serving him well up to now. But, Cabrera has to take that spot from him.
How does the list look after the changes? I’m glad you asked.
Ken Griffey, Jr
Not a bad list at all. Lots of Hall-of-Famers. Also, unfortunately, a lot of PED questions. But, they’re still on the awards lists, so they’re still on my list.
Who’s on your list?