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Going with another Yankee for the 15 day mark. Thurman Munson would probably not fit in well in one of today's clubhouses. Even in the '70's he was a throwback to an earlier time. He was known as much for cigars and whiskey in the clubhouse after the game as he was for prodigious hitting and aggressive defense add willingness the trow a punch during it. He had small patience for reporters and not much more for fans, even flipping the bird to the fans at Yankee Stadium who heckled him after an error. He was an All Star in seven of his eleven seasons, the first Yankee to win MVP and Rookie of the year and a consistent +.300 hitter. His defensive efficiency ratings rSB and RPP (a much bigger deal these days than then) make him the second best catcher in the AL history with a career BA over .250. Munson went a long way to inflame the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry with his longstanding feud with Red Sox  catcher and future HoF'er Carlton Fisk  including a few bench clearing brawls that they started. Sadly Munson's career was cut short when he died in a plane crash in 1979.

 

15 days to go with "The Captain" Thurman Munson

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14 days to go with a man who never lost his childlike joy at playing a game for a living. Mr. Cub #14 Ernie Banks

 

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13 days to go with....

 

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No. You know what, I never liked this f-----g guy. No doubting his ability but he was a cheater. And a more brazen cheater than the others. After getting caught, cleaned up and forgiven he went back for more. He had to know they were watching him. Plus his attitude towards his teammates, the game and the fans stands in sharp contrast to his teammate (and the man in whose shadow he will forever stand) Derek Jeter. So, screw A-Rod, Lets go with:

 

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Dave Concepción. He played 19 years for the Cincinnati Reds. He was a 9X Al Star, 5 Gold Gloves at short stop 2X Silver Slugger and the defensive cornerstone of the Big Red Machine championship teams in '75 & '76. For most of his career he was overshadowed on a team that featured Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Ken Griffey Sr, César Gerónimo, and George Foster. But his defense and solid hitting became the foundation on which great teams like that depend. The Reds retires his number in 2007.

 

13 days to go with Dave Concepción

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Most players who demonstrate excellence over time tend to do it playing for very few teams. It's not just that players like stability, teams don't let the really good ones get away if they can help it. Look at the guys in the HoF and you'll see four teams or less in a career is the norm. But #12 Roberto Alomar is the exception. He played for eight teams over sixteen seasons and did it with a level of excellence that is anything but journeyman. 12X All Star, 10 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Slugger, and 2 World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays. He spent the most time with the Orioles but he's best known for scoring the game tying HR off Dennis Eckersely in the '92 ALCS and the series winning run in the '93 WS Game Six for the Blue Jays. No disrespect to Jon Snow but here is the REAL King in the North!

 

12 days to go with #12 Roberto Alomar

 

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I don't think Bobby Alomar is getting enough credit now for just how good he was.

"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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Here is some good news. The Oakland A's are reducing their beer prices: http://ballparkdigest.com/2017/03/15/oakland-as-lowering-beer-prices/

Dave Kaval has been making the right moves as far as the fan base is concerned after being appointed team president: holding office hours open to the public; greater transparency; regular engagement with the media; promoting team history and former greats; actively embracing Oakland; upgrading food options and bringing in the excellent local food truck scene; and lowering beer prices. I'm actually optimistic about the future prospects of the A's.

 

 

This is exactly what you were talking about: http://ballparkdigest.com/2017/03/20/oakland-as-increasing-fan-outreach/

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Hmm. Either I don't write #BaseballFakeNews or I wrote that article, Comrade.

"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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Hmm. Either I don't write #BaseballFakeNews or I wrote that article, Comrade.

 

Unless you moved to Boston and chanced your name to Zach that's unlikely but you definitely beat him to the punch. :lol:  

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11 days to go with #11 Barry Larkin. This one is a no-brainier for me. Not just because he's the best player to wear #11. That is debatable (said Paul Warner & Vernon Gomez) but because I sort of met him once. On a muggy May night in 1996 I'm at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami with a friend and his young son for a Marlins/Reds game. After the game we went around to the south entrance where the players come out. Sometimes they would interact with the fans there, particularly the kids. The biggest star on either team Larkin spent almost a half an hour just talking to the kids and signing autographs. I was always so impressed by that. He signed my friend's son's baseball glove. As far as I know he still has it today. The story of his Hall of Fame career is well known but he always seemed to me to be such a down to earth guy. As an interesting aside is brother also played in the Majors, both daughters played lacrosse in college and his son is in the NBA. He has played for the Mavericks, Nicks, & Nets. Good genes in that family!

 

11 days left with Barry Larkin.

 

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I almost went with another of my all-time favorites here, Andre Dawson. But he only wore #10 for two seasons with the Expos. So we're going back to the glory days of the game with #10 Robert "Lefty" Grove. One of the beauties of this game is the stars of old could probably still compete with the stars of today. You can't say that in any other sport. Jim Thorpe was probably the greatest athlete of his day but could not make an NFL roster right now. But if Babe Ruth line up for the Yankees in Tampa today he could still hit. "Lefty" Grove was the greatest left handed pitcher of his day (not the most creative nickname though). Grove had a career record of 300-111. The first pitcher to ever win 300 he is still tied for third all time in career wins behind Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson. He won the World Series twice with the Philadelphia Athletics and was a 6X All Star, 9X ERA leader and 7x SO leader.

 

10 days to go with #10 Robert Grove

 

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RE: stars then being able to be stars in today's game...I dunno, but I think the enhancements in baseball glove technology over the last 90 years may have a significant effect on batting averages and FIP.

 

Which, I suppose makes Walter Johnson, Cy Young, and Christy Mathewson's accomplishments more impressive. Except that hitters during the dead all era never really swing from the heels, either. And most analysts today agree that the most efficient way to score runs is for the Manager to sign for the ol' Three Run Home Run play.

Edited by Leferd

"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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This is funny. Fan ar Astros camp wearing a Nolan Ryan jersey is sitting right next to the real Nolan Ryan... and doesn't realize it: http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/fan-wearing-nolan-ryan-jersey-has-no-idea-hes-two-feet-from-nolan-ryan/ar-BByB8I0?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

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Ian Kinsler, ought to choke just a little bit on his own spittle.

 

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Gimme more bat flips.

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"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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LOL, I thought the same thing after the game. It's nice the US won but I really don't care. I'm just glad none of my teams' players got hurt and now we can play games that matter.

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Ok 9 days to go with Roger Maris. He was the man who broke Babe Ruth's HR record and found no joy in doing it. If you've never seen the movie 61 you should definitely give it a look. This picture is Maris hitting his 61st on October 1 1961 (according to the Dallas Morning news away)

 

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Eight days left with the closest thing baseball has to royalty. Cal Ripken Jr.

 

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And one of my all time favorites Andre Dawson. His heydays were with the Cubs and Expos but I only ever say him play for the Marlins so:

 

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This is an easy one. Mickey Mantle, IMO the greatest of a team that has fielded the greatest players. You all know him. He was a larger-than-life figure in his day. He was an all star in every season he played (that he wasn't injured) except his rookie year. 3x MVP, integral to seven World Championship Yankees teams. He was a triple crown winner and 4x led the Majors in home runs. He was a big part of the 1961 home run race that saw Maris break the record. But what most folks don't know is it almost didn't happen.

 

In his rookie year, 1951, Mantle was invited to Spring Training with the Yankees after just two minor league seasons. He impressed them so much they signed him to a $7500 contract (equivalent to around $200k today)  and gave him uniform number 6. That was no accident. Ruth was 3, Gehrig 4, DiMaggio 5, Mantle 6... the next big thing. But Mantle was never a man who dealt well with pressure and he descended into a slump so deep he was sent down to the Yankees AAA team in Kansas City. He called his father and told him he didn't think he could play anymore. His father's reply was "Then you can come back to Oklahoma and work in the mines for the rest of your life". That was what he needed to hear. Mantle was back with the Yankees the following year wearing #7 and the rest is history.

 

7 days to go!

 

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Edited by Guard Dog
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Six days to kill. One week from today we'll be watching real games. To mark that number is Stanisław Franciszek Musiał, who (considering attitudes of Americans in the '20s) went by the name Stanley Frank Musial. He has a career batting average of .331 which is amazing in any era. He was a 24X All Star, 3X WS Champion, 7X NL batting champion and 3X MVP. But for a two year stint in the Navy during WWII he played his entire professional life for the St Louis Cardinals. His number is retired and there is a very cool statue of him at the stadium.

 

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Edited by Guard Dog

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Wow, a lot of Yankees ended up on this list. Well, here is one more with #5 Joe DiMaggio. Not only is he the holder of one of baseballs great unbroken record (54 game hitting streak), he was also banging Marylin Monroe back when that was still a good thing.

 

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OK, I was going to go with Gehrig here but Leferd gave me a different idea by bringing up the "ol' 3 run home run in his post at te top of the page. So let's go with the only man on the list who never played in the majors, #4 Earl Weaver. He literally wrote the book (four of them) on managing baseball and coined some of the best quotes about the game. He managed the Baltimore Orioles from 1968 to 1986. 2540 games and his Birds won 1480 of them including a World Series Championship in '70. The umpires all hated him and the feelings were mutual. He was ejected an AL record 98 times in his career. Four days to go with #4 Earl Weaver, the "sorest loser who ever lived"

 

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Number three is.... c'mon you knew this was coming. You know who this is... used to pitch for the Red Sox

 

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That picture is always very striking to me (and I'm not old enough to remember June 13, 1948 nor am I a Yankees fan; I just think you can't help but appreciate the great players) but knowing that Ruth would live less than a month after the picture was taken, I increasing become more aware and struck now by how clear it is that he's using that bat as a cane. 

 

TIME has some color photos from the day and color makes it even more obvious how sick he was. 

 

In a historical context, I always wonder whether Ruth would have made a good manager or not.  We'll never know of course, but people with worse behavior and tempers (or as bad, at least) made it as managers - for awhile at least.  Ruth was denied the opportunity though at several turns (and often dealt with somewhat unfairly from what I've read) to really do anything behind the scenes in baseball.  And its not like he hadn't given owners enough to doubt betting on him.  But I do wonder - would he have been any good at it?

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