Monday, November 25, 2013

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

Once again, the awards season has passed. With that, it’s time to revise the list of best players I’ve seen play live. As I’ve said, I make this list based mostly on awards. After all, my grandkids are more likely to ask me if I’ve seen a former MVP than some player who played well for a while (except for David Ortiz, I suppose). Since I’ve pretty much eliminated everyone from my top 36 who hasn’t won an Cy Young or MVP award, I’ll ignore the ROY winners. The two Cy Young winners were Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer. I haven’t seen Kershaw yet. But, I did get to see Scherzer in the ALCS. For the MVPs, I already have Miguel Cabrera on the list. A triple crown will do that for you. But, I don’t have Andrew McCutchen. Beyond that, I added a couple former award winners. I finally got to see Jake Peavy and his Cy Young award. I also realized that I hadn’t yet recorded former MVP Justin Morneau. Plus, I recently looked back at some older games. I knew I had been to a couple games a long time ago, but was reluctant to add any players from those games. Sure, if I saw the Sox in 1988 Jim Rice probably played. But, unless I was sure I didn’t want to jump the gun. Well, I found a couple old ticket stubs recently. A quick look at the box scores from those games allows me to add Hall of Famers Jim Rice and Kirby Puckett. I pretty much have to make room on the list for HOFers, but what about the other guys? I think an MVP is better than just a Cy Young, right? Looking at the list, it looks like I’ll have to eliminate some guys with just one Cy Young in order to fit the new HOFers and MVP. So, that pretty much means Peavy and Scherzer have no shot. It also, obviously, means that Josh Beckett is gone. Without a major award, I can’t carry him anymore. Same goes for Mike Piazza and Nomar and their measly ROY. So, the new list looks like this.

1. Roberto Alomar (HOF)
2. Wade Boggs (HOF)
3. Barry Bonds (MVP)
4. Ryan Braun (MVP)
5. Miguel Cabrera (MVP, triple crown)
6. Jose Canseco (MVP)
7. Roger Clemens (Cy Young)
8. Dennis Eckersley (HOF)
9. Jason Giambi (MVP)
10. Tom Glavine (Cy Young, 300 wins)
11. Juan Gonzalez (MVP)
12. Ken Griffey Jr (All-Century Team)
13. Vladimir Guerrero (MVP)
14. Roy Halladay (Cy Young)
15. Josh Hamilton (MVP)
16. Rickey Henderson (HOF)
17. Randy Johnson (Cy Young, 300 wins)
18. Chipper Jones (MVP)
19. Greg Maddux (Cy Young, 300 wins)
20. Pedro Martinez (Cy Young)
21. Andrew McCutchen (MVP)
22. Justin Morneau (MVP)
23. Dustin Pedroia (MVP)
24. Kirby Puckett (HOF)
25. Albert Pujols (MVP)
26. Jim Rice (HOF)
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)

Who’s on your list?

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