Monday, January 29, 2018

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

With the Hall of Fame results released last week, it’s time to once again update my list. The Hall of Fame elections are usually less disruptive to this list since if you’re in the Hall of Fame, chances are you’re already on this list. But, let’s see!

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). 

The Easy one is the election of Trevor Hoffman. I’ve never seen him play live, so he’s an easy elimination. Vladimir Guerrero is already on my list, and rightly so. Not only did he have an MVP to his credit, but he hit what might have been the longest home run I’ve ever seen in person. Chipper Jones is also already on my list, thanks to his previous MVP award. The leaves Jim Thome. He never won a major award, so he was never on my list. Until now. I need to find a slot for him.

Also, as an edit, I noticed that my last list had too many players on it. So, I need to trim one back. So, I need to find two players to eliminate. 

Looking at the previous list, everyone on it has at least one MVP award, so this won’t be easy. There are a few one-time MVPs though, that don’t really have stellar resumes otherwise. They’re also past their primes…or even retired…so the prospects of them adding enough to make it back on the list are slim. I think my easiest removal is Justin Morneau. There’s just not enough there. For the second, in a tight race I’m eliminating Jason Giambi because he was a Yankees player.

So, here’s the new list.

1. Roberto Alomar (HOF)
2. Wade Boggs (HOF)
3. Barry Bonds (MVP)
4. Ryan Braun (ROY, MVP)
5. Miguel Cabrera (MVP, triple crown)
6. Jose Canseco (ROY, MVP)
7. Roger Clemens (MVP, CYA)
8. Josh Donaldson (MVP)
9. Dennis Eckersley (HOF)
10. Tom Glavine (HOF)
11. Juan Gonzalez (MVP)
12. Ken Griffey Jr (All-Century Team)
13. Vladimir Guerrero (HOF)
14. Josh Hamilton (MVP)
15. Bryce Harper (ROY, MVP)
16. Rickey Henderson (HOF)
17. Matt Holliday (MVP)
18. Randy Johnson (HOF)
19. Chipper Jones (HOF)
20. Greg Maddux (HOF)
21. Pedro Martinez (HOF)
22. Andrew McCutchen (MVP)
23. Dustin Pedroia (ROY, MVP)
24. Mike Piazza (HOF)
25. Kirby Puckett (HOF)
26. Albert Pujols (MVP)
27. Jim Rice (HOF)
28. Cal Ripken (HOF)
29. Alex Rodriguez (MVP)
30. Ivan Rodriguez (HOF)
31. John Smoltz (HOF)
32. Ichiro Suzuki (ROY, MVP)
33. Frank Thomas (HOF)
34. Jim Thome (HOF)
35. Mike Trout (MVP)
36. Mo Vaughn (MVP)

Who’s on your list?


  1. I don't have near as impressive a list. I came within 5 feet of ARod and Palmiero one time in the bowels of the Metrodome in Minneapolis. They had just finished hitting in a batting cage, and I was waiting to go out to sing the national anthem. ARod said Hi.

    1. That's a pretty cool story. I don't think anyone on my list said "hi" to me. Although, ARod signed a ticket for me. So he may have grunted or something.

  2. Adam_The_Yankee_FanJanuary 31, 2018 at 12:08 PM

    Keeping Josh Hamilton over Giambi is a crime. Giambi played twice as long with a career OPS 50 points higher. Hamilton was only good for 5 yrs. I understand your silly desire to discount Yankees, but his A's stats alone beat out Hamilton.

    1. Eh, could have gone either way probably. Hamilton is a better story. Plus Hamilton never had to apologize for kinda maybe doing something.


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