Every baseball team in the league has had their share of giants. From Babe Ruth to Willie Mays to Mickey Mantle to Hank Aaron, there have been some greats who called their shots, threw no-hitters, and rarely let an opponent steal a base.
Take a look at the all-time greatest player for each MLB team here. Agree with me? Disagree?
You can’t deny the first three, at least. Click ‘Start Slideshow‘ now!
Baltimore Orioles – Cal Ripken, Jr.
“The Iron Man,” or Cal Ripken, Jr., played shortstop and third base for the Orioles for 21 seasons. He seemed to never miss a game, and still holds a record for most consecutive games played at 2,632. Aside from his attendance, Ripken was a prolific hitter who had more than 3,100 hits throughout his career, and 431 of those were home runs. After baseball, Ripken penned a book or two & owns some minor league baseball teams, and he can be seen on TBS as a sports analyst.
Not only is this baseball player considered one of the greatest hitters of all time, he’s also an American hero. Click “Next” to see who it is!
Boston Red Sox – Ted Williams
Left fielder Ted Williams made quite a name for himself in the 19 years he played for the Boston Red Sox. The only time he wasn’t playing baseball for his team, he was serving his country during World War II and the Korean War. Not only was Williams an exceptional player in the field, he was also an excellent hitter.
Who was the greatest baseball player to ever clutch a bat? Click “Next” to see if you guessed right!
New York Yankees – Babe Ruth
Has there ever been a list of baseball greats without Babe Ruth on it? To be fair, the New York Yankees has had some amazing players on its team, so it’s hard to choose. But Ruth with his confidence-bordering-on-arrogance and somewhat blasé attitude toward the sport made him a star. His ability to smash the ball out of the park over and over again made him great.
When your career isn’t over yet and you’re called one of the best, well, you get on lists. Click “Next” to see who it is!
Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria
Okay, look. The Tampa Bay Rays aren’t exactly a big part of American baseball history. It’s a young team that took a while to come out of last place. Infielder Evan Longoria is part of the reason that they’re contenders now. Although Longoria has only been with the team since 2008, he was named the AL Rookie of the Year, and he’s one of the best third baseman out there.
Longoria is, what, 31 years old? It’s too soon to consider him for the Hall of Fame, but he still has a strong career ahead of him and plenty of time to give the Rays his best. In the 2016 season, he had one of his best years. He’s great, and he’s likely only going to become greater.
It takes a lot to be considered one of the best second basemen in the MLB, but this guy made it look easy. Click “Next” to see who it is!
Toronto Blue Jays – Roberto Alomar
Roberto Alomar may have played for six different teams, but most fans agree he’s a Toronto Blue Jay. That’s where he played his best baseball. Plus, that was before he spat on an umpire. But it was with the Blue Jays that Alomar really honed his skills as a hitter and second baseman. He retired after the 2004 season after signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Not all of the great players make it to the Hall of Fame, and it’s a shame. Click “Next” to see why this player is practically blackballed.
Chicago White Sox – Shoeless Joe Jackson
Shoeless Joe Jackson is such a polarizing figure in baseball. From 1915 to 1920, he played for the Chicago White Sox as an outfielder. He was an impressive hitter with a .408 batting average, and Babe Ruth reportedly said he was inspired by Jackson’s hitting style. Jackson was one of eight White Sox players accused of accepting a bribe to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. Jackson flip flopped from guilty to innocent, and the MLB has pretty much said they won’t recognize his greatness because of his alleged involvement in the Black Sox Scandal.
A pitcher who threw three no-hitters in his career? Yeah, he makes the list. Click “Next” to see which baseball great it is!
Cleveland Indians – Bob Feller
Bob Feller became the first pitcher to win 24 games in a season before he was even of drinking age. Wait, what was the legal drinking age in 1939? Anyway, he impressed everyone with his skills, and the Cleveland Indians fans loved him.
When a player receives 222 of 226 votes for induction in the Hall of Fame, you know he’s a baseball great. Click “Next” to see who it is!
Detroit Tigers – Ty Cobb
If ever there was a baseball player that should be on a list of greats, it’s Ty Cobb, the center fielder for the Detroit Tigers who set so many records that I can’t list them all here. One that remains unbreakable is his career batting average, which was .366.
This Hall-of-Famer was one of the greatest hitters of the ’70s and ’80s. Click “Next” to see if you guessed right!
Kansas City Royals – George Brett
Of all the baseball greats, George Brett had a storied career that spanned three decades, though he played 21 seasons. As a hitter for the Kansas City Royals, Brett ended his career with 3,000 hits, 300 home runs and a .300 batting average, so it’s no wonder that he’s earned MVP awards and set records. His work at the third base was nothing to sneeze at either.
Sure, Babe Ruth was a slugger that we all talk about, but this next one was the greatest hitter in the ’60s. Click “Next” to see who it is!
Minnesota Twins – Harmon Killebrew
“Hammerin'” Harmon Killebrew signed with the then-Washington Senators when he was only 17 years old, but it didn’t take long for him to show the team he was worth his salt. In 1959, the prolific hitter smacked 42 balls out and snagged 105 RBIs. “He hit line drives that put the opposition in jeopardy. And I don’t mean infielders, I mean outfielders,” his coach Ossie Bluege reportedly said.
This pitcher team-hopped a bit, but still managed to gain loyal fans. Click “Next” to find out who it is!
Houston Astros – Nolan Ryan
The thing about Nolan Ryan is that he was one of those pitchers that just kept going. He played professionally for nearly 30 years. He started in the ’60s and didn’t stop until the ’90s. And the whole time, he scared the hell out of hitters.
Speaking of the Angels, I could’ve named a couple of guys the best from this team, but I went with a guy who is quite literally one of the best ball players right now. Know who it is? Click “Next” to see!
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Mike Trout
No, he isn’t in the Hall of Fame yet, but center fielder Mike Trout has only been playing for five years. In that time, though, he’s been named MVP multiple times, won Rookie of the Year, and he was the youngest player in baseball history to hit 100 home runs and steal 100 bases.
And now for a player that proves you can go home again and again and again. Click “Next” to see who I’m talking about!
Oakland Athletics – Rickey Henderson
“If my uniform doesn’t get dirty, I haven’t done anything in the baseball game,” Rickey Henderson once said. That’s something only a lover of the game would say. Sure, he broke records for stealing bases and he earned MVP in 1990. And although he’ll always be considered one of the A’s, he wasn’t exactly a loyal-through-the-years kind of guy. Except he was. “The Man of Steal” spent 25 years playing baseball for nine teams. Seriously.
When baseball fans set you as the standard, such as “He’s the (baseball great) of our generation,” then you know this guy’s getting on all-time great lists. Click “Next” to see who it is!
Seattle Mariners – Ken Griffey, Jr.
You’re crazy if you thought this list wouldn’t include Ken Griffey, Jr. The man earned nearly a dozen Golden Glove awards, MVP a few times, and he was just so damn nice. He was great at this sport, and the fans loved him. What the Mariners fans wouldn’t give to have “The Kid” back now (what with Trout out there and all).
It’s not common to see catchers on all-time greatest lists, but this guy really made his mark. Click “Next” to see who I’m talking about!
Texas Rangers – Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez retired in 2012, and he was quickly inducted to the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. In spite of Rodriguez playing for five other teams, he’ll always be a Ranger. The catcher, who got his nickname from a coach because of his stocky frame, earned several awards, titles, and set records galore.
They just don’t make ’em like they used to. Click “Next” to read about this next guy who showed what loyalty to your team really means!
Atlanta Braves – Hank Aaron
Hank Aaron is one of those names that everyone knows. Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, you know. You know that he was an All-Star player numerous times, he played his entire career for the Atlanta Braves, and he had more RBIs than any other during a long career. Aaron is the VP of the Atlanta Braves today, so he remains a part of his home team even now.
Young teams don’t have the advantage of the older-than-dirt franchises, but this next one does have a couple of players that impressed – especially my entry! Click “Next” to see it!
Miami Marlins – Hanley Ramirez
To be fair, Hanley Ramirez is currently playing with his debut team the Boston Red Sox, but he spent six seasons with the Miami Marlins. His first year with the Marlins, he earned a Rookie of the Year award, and he was a regular hitter for the team, scoring good base hits and home runs often.
There is nothing more exciting perhaps than a great player who comes along at a time when a team needs it. You’ve seen Major League, right? Click “Next” for one of those stories!
New York Mets – Tom Seaver
The New York Mets are not exactly the winningest teams in the MLB. In fact, they get a lot of flak for it. To date, the team has only won the World Series twice: 1969 and 1986. Pitcher Tom Seaver is a bit part of that first win. He was added to the Hall of Fame in 1992.
Another loyal ball player who was a fan favorite and really good at what he did. How could he not make this list? Click “Next” to see who it is!
Philadelphia Phillies – Mike Schmidt
Oh, Mike Schmidt, if only I was alive during your time, I would’ve been a Phillies fan. “Iron Mike” was known for his homers. He held records for most home runs for a third baseman (until someone else broke it), and he’s part of the 500-home-run club. He had 548 by the end of his career. After retiring from baseball in 1989 with 1,506 runs, 2,234 hits, and 1,595 RBIs, Schmidt just kinda hung out and played golf.
Before they were the Nationals, they were the Montreal Expos, and this Hall-of-Famer is the second catcher on this list. Who is it? Click “Next” to see!
Washington Nationals – Gary Carter
No one was more excited to play baseball than Gary Carter. He was nicknamed “Kid,” which could’ve been patronizing, but it was a perfect fit for Carter, who was always enthusiastic about the game. He was an All-Star player many times, and a good hitter, and he was the first Hall-of-Famer inducted with the Expos logo (though it’s really Washington Nationals now). In 2012, almost one year after being diagnosed with cancerous brain tumors, Carter died at the age of 57, but his legacy lives on.
A three-decade spanning career, the face of a franchise, and one of the nicest guys in baseball. Know who this Hall-of-Famer is? Click “Next” to see if you were right!
Chicago Cubs – Ernie Banks
Of all the Cubs that could’ve fit here, Ernie Banks is one of my favorite. He has all the accolades to be included on an all-time greatest list (except a World Series win), and he was nicknamed “Mr. Sunshine” for his sunny disposition and love of the game.
As soon as Banks was eligible, he was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1977.
Although Banks played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro league in 1950, Banks was “Mr. Cub” through and through once he joined the Chicago Cubs in 1953. He stayed for 18 years and became a fan favorite. Plus, he hit 512 home runs and had five grand slams in 1955.
You can’t have a greats list without this guy. If he wasn’t hitting a home run, he was stealing a plate. Click “Next” to see if you got it right!
Cincinnati Reds – Frank Robinson
Yes, I’m aware that Frank Robinson played for the Orioles, Dodgers, Angels, and Indians, but he spent a good amount of time with the Cincinnati Reds, and it was his time there that he some of his best years. Rookie of the Year, a pennant, and MVP all happened with the Reds.
No. 20 for the Reds was added to the Hall of Fame in 1982, and technically it was as an Oriole. Keep reading to find out why he’s also forever considered a Red!
As successful as Robinson was in Baltimore, he did nearly as well with Cincinnati, and likely the best player the team has seen. Both teams retired his number, and they have bronze statues of the baseball great (and now the Indians do, too).
That mustache! More importantly, though, that versatility on the field! Click “Next” to see who it is!
Milwaukee Brewers – Robin Yount
I just can’t get over how good Robin Yount was. He played his entire 20 years in baseball with the Milwaukee Brewers, making him the face of his franchise, and a fan fave. He won MVP for two different positions, and he had an excellent batting average. Was there anything he couldn’t do?
Yount also went on to coach after retirement. Read on for more on this Hall-of-Famer!
It’s well known that baseball players take home some of the biggest checks of professional athletes, but when Yount won MVP in 1982, he had a great quote that exemplified his feeling about baseball. “When I’m 50 years old, sitting around with my kids, I’m gonna have a pile of cash over here and 1982 over there. What do you think I’ll want to talk about?” he said. “I don’t get goosebumps when I open my pay envelope. But look at me when I start talking about 1982.”
Perhaps one of the first baseball greats is also one of the smartest, slyest players to ever play ball. Click “Next” to see who it is!
Pittsburgh Pirates – Honus Wagner
In the first induction ceremony for the Hall of Fame, five members were added in 1936. Honus Wagner, “The Flying Dutchman” was one of them. He’s been called the greatest shortstop ever, and he was a smart hitter. Wagner adapted to whatever situation he was in, whatever was thrown at him.
Wagner retired in 1917, and will forever been a Pittsburgh Pirate. Read more about him!
Wagner spent 1900 through 1917 with the Pirates, and later he managed and coached the team. He was a World Series champion, and he regularly led in hits, runs, RBIs, stolen bases, batting average, and more. Truly one of baseball’s greats.
Name the greatest baseball player ever. Okay, now name the best of the Cardinals. Know who it is? Click “Next” to see!
St. Louis Cardinals – Rogers Hornsby
To be fair, I wouldn’t call Rogers Hornsby the greatest ever, but he was a good player. So good, in fact, that he regularly led in batting, and even set a record for the highest lifetime batting average in national league history: .358. From 1920 to 1925, he averaged a ridiculous .402.
Better than Babe Ruth? Some say so. Read more here!
Hornsby was an intense player who made baseball his life, but he wasn’t the nicest guy in the league. He lived a very clean life, meaning no smoking, drinking, or even movies at the theater, as he felt all of these things would interfere with his performance – and he insisted his teammates follow the same rules.
Some of you may call me out on this next player’s placement, but I stand by it. Why? Click “Next” to see!
Arizona Diamondbacks – Randy Johnson
Look, I get it. Randy Johnson was an Expo, and above that, a Mariner. He also played for the Houston Astros, but we don’t talk about that. “The Big Unit” was an incredible pitcher who signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1999, when he was 35 years old. He had naysayers who said he was too old to do anything better than what he gave to the Mariners.
Did the 6’10” player prove everyone wrong? Read on to find out!
Why, yes, yes he did. He did so well with the Diamondbacks that even in his last season with Arizona before moving on to the Yankees, he pitched the 17th perfect game in baseball history. He was 40 years old – the oldest pitcher to accomplish that goal. Johnson finally retired after 22 years of baseball. Now you can find him acting in some commercials and working as a photographer. His logo is a dead bird. Go look up why when you finish this list.
He’s not a Hall-of-Famer yet, but he’ll be eligible in 2019. Click “Next” to see who it is!
Colorado Rockies – Todd Helton
Todd Helton might not make a top 10 list of baseball greats, but he’s on a list somewhere. At the very least, he’s one of the greatest Colorado Rockies. He played all 17 years of his baseball career with the Rockies, and he batted well for them.
The recent retiree is the only Rockies player, so far, to have his number retired. Keep reading for more!
Now you can find Helton back in baseball and back at the University of Tennessee where he works as the director of player development. It’s a voluntary position. Helton said he just wanted to give back.
Good luck finding any all-time baseball great list without this guy’s name on it. Click “Next” to see which one it is!
Los Angeles Dodgers – Sandy Koufax
We’re nearing the end of the list here, and there are only so many obvious picks. Sandy Koufax is an obvious pick. The pitcher played 12 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he’s often considered the best pitcher of all time.
Koufax’s retirement was premature because of arthritis in his elbow, but when he played, he was kind of amazing. Read more!
Koufax set record after record, and had a 4-3 record for his postseason career. He had more career strikeouts than the innings he pitched. One of the greatest quotes about Koufax came from Yogi Berra in 1963, “I can see how he won 25 games. What I don’t understand is how he lost five.”
Basketball or baseball? It didn’t matter. This guy was great at both. Baseball lucked out that he chose it. Click “Next” to see who I’m talking about!
San Diego Padres – Tony Gwynn
In 1981, Tony Gwynn had his choice of basketball or baseball when the San Diego Padres and the San Diego Clippers both drafted him. The lefty chose the Padres and quickly became the franchise’s best. He could hit a ball wherever he wanted. “How do you defend a hitter who hits the ball down the left-field line, the right-field line, and up the middle,” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda famously quipped in 1984.
Aside from being good at it, Gwynn genuinely enjoyed the game. Read more about him!
Gwynn’s excitement for the game was infectious, and he loved being at bat. In 1997, Gwynn tied with Honus Wagner for most batting titles when he earned his eighth. Gwynn, the beloved “Mr. Padre,” died in 2014 at age 54.
Are you ready for the final entry? Who’s missing? Click “Next” to see if you were right!
San Francisco Giants – Barry Bonds
Yes, I know of Barry Bonds’ checkered past. Between the steroids and obstruction of justice, the controversy nearly overshadowed Bonds’ incredible contribution to baseball. Bonds played 22 years, and the majority of that time was with the San Francisco Giants. Although he has received accolades and awards for his work as a left fielder and hitter, he still has not been inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Bonds is often listed as one of baseball’s all-time greats. So, why isn’t he in the Hall of Fame yet? Read on!
The good news for Bonds fans is that he’s eligible, so there’s still hope that he’ll be a Hall-of-Famer soon. In the meantime, the retired player who scored 762 home runs in his career served as the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins last season.
Honorable Mention: – Felix Hernandez
There are some good players, and then there are the all-time greats. Not all of them fit into one list, though, and that’s why honorable mentions were created. Although Felix Hernandez, pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, is still playing, he lands on a lot of “greats” lists – for good reason.
He made his major league debut in 2005, and he’s still with the Mariners. Although he sat out for a shoulder injury at the beginning of 2017, he’s likely to hold onto his record of most strikeouts by a Mariners pitcher, which was previously held by pitching great Randy Johnson.
They’re not all pitchers, I promise, but there are a lot of them. Click “Next” for another great!
Honorable Mention: Dodgers – Don Drysdale
Pitcher Don Drysdale started with the Brooklyn Dodgers and stuck with his team when it switched over to Los Angeles. He was a ridiculously tall pitcher at 6’5″ and he was known for throwing more inside than outside, which scared the crap out of a lot of hitters.
He played from 1956 to 1969, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984. Following his successful pitching career, Drysdale went on to have a broadcasting career. He’s best known for winning the Cy Young Award in 1962, and pitching more than 58 scoreless innings in 1968.
Think he was good? Wait ’til you see the next one! Click “Next” to see who it is!
Honorable Mention: New York Yankees – Yogi Berra
Not to be confused with the lovable bear who loves stealing picnic baskets, Yogi Berra was one of the greatest catchers of all time. In fact, at the time that Hanna-Barbera debuted Yogi Bear, Berra was well known, and the baseball star tried to sue for defamation. He didn’t win.
He did win when it came to World Series, though! Berra is known for having been one of the winningest players in the MLB – he was a part of 10 World Series championships, which is more than any other player. I wonder if he’d have caught a picnic basket if it had been thrown at him?
Who’s the best all-around player? I mean, in other sports. Click “Next” to see who it is!
Honorable Mention: Kansas City Royals – Bo Jackson
Why would one of the greatest football players of all time be listed on an MLB greats list? Because Bo Jackson could do pretty much anything. Award-winning running back while at Auburn University? Check. Four pretty great seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders? Check.
Meanwhile, also playing for the Kansas City Royals? Check. Jackson could play pretty much any sport you threw at him – and he really was great. The well-rounded athlete’s career ended way too soon. He checked out of pro sports in the ’90s, but he’ll always be remembered for that “Bo Knows” campaign.
An honorable mention isn’t just for those who used to play. Click “Next” to see one of the current players!
Honorable Mention: Texas Rangers – Adrian Beltre
Although Adrian Beltre (Perez) now bats and plays third base for the Texas Rangers, he started with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994. He’s super close to joining the 3,000 hits club, and he’s had more than 440 home runs. What’s more impressive is how he plays third base.
“The Captain” regularly makes “best” lists for his work in double plays, putouts, and assists. Perhaps he’s best known for not liking his head touched, though, which his teammates do often, much to his chagrin. He’s down for celebrating after a good play – pat his butt, give him a high-five, whatever. Just don’t touch his head.
Who was “The Commerce Comet”? If you know that, then you know the next entry. Click “Next” to see if you’re right!
Honorable Mention: New York Yankees – Mickey Mantle
The only reason Mickey Mantle didn’t make this list initially is because the New York Yankees just have so many great players and they can’t all fit. “The Commerce Comet” was a ridiculously good baseball player. The slugger played nearly two decades for the Yankees, and he had more than 500 home runs.
He was particularly talented during championship games – he holds the World Series records for most home runs, RBIs, runs, walks, total bases, and extra-base hits. Mantle was also known for his alcoholism, and he acknowledged it, borrowing the quote, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
One of the best of all time had to be included. Know who it is? Click “Next” to see!
Honorable Mention: St. Louis Cardinals – Stan Musial
“Stan the Man” Musial played 22 years for the St. Louis Cardinals and quickly proved to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Although most of the records he set for his hits, RBIs, at-bats, doubles, and games played were broken, his record for total bases is still high on the list – 6,134 total bases during his career keeps him in the top 5.
He won MVP three times, and helped the Cardinals win the World Series three times. In 2011, Two years before Musial died, President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Yes, this next one is one of the greats, but could he be the greatest? Click “Next” and decide for yourself!
Honorable Mention: San Francisco Giants – Willie Mays
Yes, Willie Mays played a short time for the New York Mets, but the majority of his time was spent with the San Francisco Giants, and a Giant he will always be. Although he regularly reaches the top 5 of many all-time greats lists, some argue he was baseball’s absolute greatest all-around player ever.
Not only has he played in 24 All-Star games, he’s a World Series champion, he earned the Rookie of the Year award, got MVP twice, and he was a home run leader four times – in 1955, 1962, 1964 and 1965.
This first baseman’s career was tragically cut way too short. Click “Next” to see who it is.
Honorable Mention: New York Yankees – Lou Gehrig
Once again, I can’t list all of the great Yankees in one all-time greatest list! And so, Lou Gehrig, who played for the New York Yankees from 1923 to 1939, gets an honorable mention for being one of the best – if not the best – first baseman ever. In addition to being a great first baseman, Gehrig could hit a ball.
“The Iron Horse” hit 493 home runs and had 1,995 RBIs before his career was cut short because of ALS, which took his life only two years after he pulled himself out of baseball in 1939. Want to cry today? Read his speech titled “The luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
Will this next player ever make it into the Hall of Fame? Click “Next” to see why he may not!
Honorable Mention: Boston Red Sox – Roger Clemens
To be fair, Roger Clemens could’ve been listed with the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, or the Houston Astros, but he spent most of his time with Boston. The “Rocket” became known for his crazy pitch that snagged him 4,672 strikeouts – the third most of all time.
He doesn’t typically make all-time greats lists, but that could be because of his notable alleged use of steroids (he was found not guilty eventually), or the adultery accusations, or maybe his temper at the mound. It’s not looking good for Clemens as far as the Hall of Fame, but you never know!
Who are the players you need to be watching right now? Click “Next” to see one of those rookies!
MLB Player You Need to Know: Washington Nationals – Trea Turner
It’s rare to hear about a shortstop, but Trea Turner is one of those who is turning heads for his work behind the mound, and as a center fielder. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the first round in 2014, and then traded only one year later. Big mistake, San Diego.
His first year with the Nationals got him 40 at-bats, one home run and one RBI. In 2016, Turner earned the Rookie of the Month Award in August when he hit five home runs and stole 11 bases. Let’s see what he does in the next coming seasons!
Another shortstop to keep an eye on is playing for the Braves. Click “Next” to see who it is!
MLB Player You Need to Know: Atlanta Braves – Dansby Swanson
Although Dansby Swanson started with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a $6.5 million signing bonus, the shortstop was injured when he was hit in the face by a pitch while playing a simulated game. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in 2015.
He did well his first season with the team in 2016, hitting three home runs, 17 RBIs, and a total of 39 hits. As a shortstop, Swanson does well – his fielding average was .953 in 2016, and he’s already doing better in 2017. “Dans,” as he’s called, is one to watch in 2017 and beyond.
Although he’s been playing a while, he’s still one to watch. Click “Next” to see the catcher!
MLB Player You Need to Know: St. Louis Cardinals – Yadier Molina
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina isn’t quite a rookie, and not quite there yet to be called an all-time great, but you should definitely keep watching this unconventional player.
Not only is he a decent hitter (he helped St. Louis cement a win in the playoffs against the New York Mets with a home run and two RBIs), he’s an excellent catcher, who makes last-minute calls that would be questioned, but they seem to work too often to not try them. He earned his first World Series championship ring in 2006. He earned another in 2011. He’s also earned a handful or two of other awards.
No, this next rookie isn’t a Norse god, but he’s kind of named after one. Click “Next” to see if you know who it is!
MLB Player You Need to Know: New York Mets – Noah Syndergaard
With Noah Syndergaard’s flowing blonde locks, 6’6″ height, and Norse god-like name, how could he not be nicknamed “Thor”? The pitcher didn’t have a standout performance in his debut game in 2015, losing against the Chicago Cubs 6-1, but he made up for that loss in other games.
His fastball sometimes clocks in at 100 mph, and he just keeps getting better, making him one to watch. Also, he names his gloves after fictional characters, including “Drago,” from Rocky IV, “Heisenberg,” of Breaking Bad fame, and “Rick Grimes,” from The Walking Dead. He’s just got to keep those injuries at bay.
A great in the making? Click “Next” to see the pitcher who’s topping lists already!
MLB Player You Need to Know: Los Angeles Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw isn’t a legend yet, but he’s poised to be – all thanks to that one pitch. Kershaw was pitching in a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox. “Ohhh, what a curveball!” Vin Scully exclaimed. “Holy mackerel! He just broke off Public Enemy No. 1.”Kershaw was able to land a convincing curveball as a strike against Sean Casey.
The Dodgers sat up and took notice. That was 2008, and now Kershaw is often called one of the greats that will be – he earned the Cy Young Award three times, and in 2014, an MVP award. If you’re not watching him, you should be.
There are some incredible baseball players, and then there’s this guy who defied odds. Click “Next” to see who I’m talking about!
Did You Know There Was a Pitcher Born with No Right Hand?
Jim Abbott pitched a no-hitter in 1993 for the New York Yankees when they took on the Cleveland Indians. Abbott played for 10 seasons for a total of four teams, including the California Angels, Chicago White Sox, and the Milwaukee Brewers. The amazing thing to see was how quick he was with the ball and the mitt.
After pitching the ball, he would switch his mitt from his right arm to the left. That no-hitter against the Indians resulted in a deafening cry from the crowds as they celebrated his huge accomplishment. In 2012, Abbott released his autobiography titled Imperfect: An Improbable Life.
Superstitions are a big part of baseball, but it isn’t just for the players! Click “Next” to see what I mean!
Baseball players are known for being superstitious creatures. Many players eat the same meal before every game (Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza buys Popeye’s Chicken for the team when he’s slated to pitch; Ryan Dempster eats at the same Italian restaurant before a home game), but fans are just as superstitious.
Fans will drink from the same cup every time their team plays, or wear the same hat – if those things were present when their team scored, then it must work, right? Listening to the game on your drive home from work and your team is doing well? A true fan stays in the car to finish the game, or risks jinxing his or her team if they go inside and turn on the TV.
Superstition, time-honored tradition, or a real remedy? Click “Next” to see what some players use their urine for!
Who Urinates on His Own Hands Before a Game?
Moises Alou has said he does. Jorge Posada quipped that you don’t want to shake his hand during spring training. And Kerry Wood said he’s tried it to get rid of blisters on his hand. Yes, all three of these baseball players have admitted to peeing on their hands before a game. The belief is that it will toughen your hands so you can hit without gloves and not get callouses.
The truth is that urine could actually soften your hands. In fact, there are many lotions made with the secret ingredient (though, created in a lab): urea. Perhaps it’s just a superstition, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
He was a pioneer in baseball, but he still felt like he wasn’t all that welcome. Click “Next” to see who it is!
“I Cannot Stand and Sing the Anthem”
Jackie Robinson was one of the greatest baseball players, but he’s often remembered for being the first African American to break the color lines in Major League Baseball. He helped pave the way for more equality. The Baseball Hall-of-Famer was a second baseman for 10 years with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
He won MVP in 1949, and played in six World Series. Number 42 knew he was more than a baseball player, though, and wrote in his autobiography, “I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world.”
Did you hear the one about the guy who bit himself in the butt? No, seriously. Click “Next” to see what happened!
An Unbelievable Injury
Clarence Blethen isn’t a well-known pitcher, but he played for the Red Sox for one season, and then with the Brooklyn Dodgers. His first season in 1923, he pitched for Boston, and he had a strange habit – he’d remove his false teeth and put them in his back pocket when he was hitting and running bases. One time, he forgot about his dentures and slid into second base.
His false teeth clamped down and took an enormous bite out of his butt. The bleeding was so bad that he had to sit out the rest of the game.
This guy didn’t make a name for himself as a great player for a team, but he was useful to the CIA! Click “Next” to see why!
Morris “Moe” Berg was a WWII Spy
Although Morris “Moe” Berg wasn’t the best player for the Washington Senators, he managed to survive 15 seasons with the team. More impressive than his time on the bench or playing as a backup catcher and shortstop was his intellect. The Princeton grad picked up bits of several foreign languages, and he had a law degree from Columbia University.
He was also a spy for the CIA, but there’s a lot of mystery and intrigue surrounding whether he was ordered to assassinate German physicist Werner Heisenberg to prevent the Germans from using an atom bomb.
Who has the most entertaining social media in baseball? Click “Next” to find out!
Why Aren’t You Following dutchoven45 on Instagram?
You should be. The guy with the handle dutchoven45 is southpaw pitcher Derek Holland. He’s hilarious in interviews, on Instagram, and pretty much whenever there’s a camera around. The former Texas Rangers pitcher is also decent when it comes to doing impressions. His Harry Caray is good, but you need to hear his Arnold Schwarzenegger.
To say he’s a ham is an understatement. He messes with his teammates during interviews, posts some random short videos on social media, and he’s a big supporter of several charities. Now he has a one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox.
You probably missed this story about a woman who played professionally – for a moment, anyway. Click “Next” to see her story!
A Female Pitcher Struck Out Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig
Jackie Mitchell was a 17-year-old female pitcher who had a chance to play a game with baseball greats Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The left-handed pitcher played an exhibition game against the New York Yankees on April 2, 1931. She got her chance to face off against two of the greatest hitters in baseball history – and she struck them both out.
Professional baseball didn’t take her very seriously, though, and she went on to play for a circus-like team that wore fake beards and rode animals onto the field. Her baseball career ended after only six years. Some say the strike-outs were staged, though, as a delayed April Fool’s Day prank.
You know what isn’t an April Fool’s Day prank? The Cubs won the World Series – and one man famously predicted it! Click “Next” to see!
Man Predicts Chicago Cubs World Series Win
In 1993, Michael Lee was a senior in high school and scribbled his senior quote: “Chicago Cubs. 2016 World Champions. You heard it here first.” That prediction proved true when the Chicago Cubs finally ended its 108-year drought – they won the 2016 World Series. And Michael Lee became briefly famous when several people shared his yearbook photo.
Instead of letting the fame go to his head, Lee chose to print t-shirts with his prediction and sell them, but the proceeds will go to charity groups that aim to stop bullying.
Speaking of the Cubs, there was a player back in 1905 who managed to rack up three outs – but none of them were strikeouts. Click “Next” to see what I’m talking about!
A Cubs Outfielder Throws Out Three Runners
Outfielder Jack McCarthy wasn’t a particularly spectacular ball player, but he did earn a legacy that no one has matched yet. He played for several teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, and the Brooklyn Dodgers.
He was also an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs in 1905, and during one game, he managed to do something no one else has: got three outs in a row at the home plate in one inning. The game was against the Pirates, and the Cubs went on to win that game 2-1. As a hitter, McCarthy managed to earn more at-bats without a home run than anyone – 2,736.
Back to superstitions! What this pitcher does every game seems more like OCD. Click “Next” to see!
A Superstitious Pitcher
It’s already established that baseball players are quick to give in to superstitions – if things aren’t just so, it can throw you off your game completely. Rarely do players shave before a game. Most of the players won’t step on foul lines.
Pitcher Randy Choate admitted to a couple of superstitions that he kept up during his career. He wouldn’t pick a ball up from the dirt – it always had to be off the grass. Then he warms up with seven pitches. “Only seven. It’s always seven. It’s never eight; it’s never six. Seven. Always,” he said.
Some rituals seem superstitious, but have a purpose. Click “Next” to see what I’m talking about!
Baseball Mud is a Thing
Every baseball that’s used in a Major League game gets a rubdown in special mud before it’s used. The mud is called Lena Blackburne Original Baseball Rubbing Mud, and it can only be found in some super secretive location in South Jersey.
The mud is collected by this one guy who then puts it through a refining process. Jim Bintliff sort of sifts the mud and then packs it in tubs and ages it. Then new balls are rubbed with the mud to remove the slick surface – pitchers have a hard time gripping new balls.
Only one guy has managed to be named World Series MVP, in spite of losing the championship! Click “Next” to see if you know who it is!
Who Won the World Series MVP – and Was On the Losing Team?
That would be Bobby Richardson, who managed to rack up 12 RBIs, and had an average of .367 during the 1960 World Series. He was playing for the New York Yankees, and it seemed like the team had a win in the bag. Richardson played well, even hitting a grand slam.
Heck, the Yanks scored more runs than the Pittsburgh Pirates throughout the series – 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0 were the first three games. The Pirates, though, managed to win the last four games 6-4, 3-2, 5-2, and after a home run from Bill Bazeroski, 10-9 in the final game. Still, Richardson was awarded the Most Valuable Player award for his performance.
A woman at a game in 1957 was hit with a ball – twice. Click “Next” for the story!
Two Fouls – and She’s Out!
Alice Roth, the wife of known sports editor Earl Roth, had taken her two grandsons to see a baseball game one August afternoon in 1957. Unfortunately for her, Richie “Whitey” Ashburn was at bat, and the center fielder for the Philidelphia Phillies wasn’t the greatest hitter – at least not when it came to keeping the balls in the right zone.
He proved he could hit foul after foul when he first struck Alice with a foul ball square in the nose, breaking it. While she was getting some first aid help and laid out on a stretcher, Ashburn hit another foul that landed on Alice a second time.
An obscene phrase may have helped this player’s career, or at least sell baseball cards. Click “Next” to see what it was!
Do You Have Bill Ripken’s 1989 Baseball Card?
If you do have Baltimore Orioles’ Bill Ripken’s baseball card from 1989, you have a baseball card that’s worth, well, maybe $10 on eBay. The original error variation doesn’t seem all that different at first glance, but if you look closely at the knob of the baseball bat, you’ll see why this card was reprinted.
The profane phrase “F*** Face” elicits a few giggles, but beyond that, it isn’t super rare. By the way, it wasn’t a joke by a teammate or anything – Ripken wrote it himself to make it easy for him to spot his bat. He didn’t even think about it, he said, when a guy snapped his photo for the card.