Thursday Aug 17
Written by Ben Pogany

Baseball is a game of legends, larger-than-life stars ever ingrained in our public psyche. However, all too often, the off-the-field personalities get lost in the shuffle, dwarfed in the eyes of history by the Babe Ruths and Jackie Robinsons of the world.  Here then is the Mount Rushmore of those other legends, the pioneers and innovators that built baseball into the game it is today.  

1)  Alexander Cartwright, Jr.--
In truth, there is no big bang of baseball, no moment when the inspiration for what would become the American Pastime was beamed down from the heavens. For centuries, men had played cricket, rounders, and other various contests featuring bat and ball. However, if you're going to point to one man who truly set the wheels of baseball in motion, that man is Alexander Cartwright. Cartwright was a bank teller and volunteer firefighter who for many years had played various ball games around the parks of New York City. Though many of these games roughly resembled what we now know as modern baseball, Cartwright showed up one day with some new found inspiration. As his friend Duncan Curry recalls of that Spring afternoon in 1845, "Cartwright came to the field...with his plans drawn up on a paper.... He had laid out a diamond shaped field with canvas bags filled with sand or sawdust for bases at three of the points and an iron plate for home base. He had arranged for a catcher, a pitcher, three basemen, a short fielder and three outfielders. His plan met with much good-natured derision, but he was so persistent in having us try his new game that we finally consented more to humor him than with any thought of it becoming a reality." Cartwright would proceed to codify a set of accepted rules and engineer what is widely accepted today as the first organized baseball game between his Knickerbockers and the New York Club at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey, June 19th, 1846. Three years later, lured by the California gold craze, Cartwright began trekking westward, along which he would spread the gospel of baseball. Barely twenty years following that day in Hoboken, there were thought to be over a thousand organized baseball clubs scattered across the country.

Note: Though many think of Abner Doubleday as the creator of baseball, history has all but proven this to be myth. In 1907, The Mills Commission, appointed to determine the origin of baseball, concluded that "the first scheme for playing baseball, according to the best evidence obtainable to date, was devised by Abner Doubleday at Cooperstown, New York, in 1839." However, Doubleday never claimed this distinction in any of his writings, and it was even determined that at the date of the alleged invention, Doubleday was a cadet at West Point, his family having moved away from Cooperstown a year prior. Adding further doubt is the fact that the primary testimony on behalf of Doubleday lay with a man named Abner Graves, who after shooting his wife two years later wound up spending the rest of his life in an insane asylum. So yea, not the most credible of witnesses.  On June 3, 1953, Alexander Cartwright was officially declared by Congress to be the inventor of modern baseball.

2)  Henry Chadwick--
Often the best way of conferring legitimacy upon something is simply by committing it to paper. A British-born journalist in the mid-nineteenth century, Chadwick was one of the first to cover the infant game in print, writing up game summaries for the New York Clipper.  In it, Chadwick originated the box score, giving birth to a national obsession with baseball statistics and records that persists to this day. He also penned the "Base Ball Manual" and "Beadle's Dime Base Ball Player," guide books in which he described rules, techniques, and star players of the game.  The American Pastime was on its way.

3)  Harry Frazee-- History has not been kind to Mr. Frazee. The infamous former owner of the fledgling Boston Red Sox will forever be linked to the disastrous transaction that sent Babe Ruth to the Yankees, damning the Sox to nearly a century of futility.  However, that may not be the only raw deal Frazee got. In truth, and this is coming from a die-hard Red Sox fan, Frazee had his hands tied, making a move that almost any other owner in his position would have made. For starters, Ruth was the ultimate diva of his day, a drunk, a womanizer, a hothead (at one point throwing a punch at an umpire), an egomaniac, and the farthest thing from a team player. During the 1919 season, Ruth refused to continue pitching, continually undermined his manager, and even went 'Manny being Manny' on his teammates by pulling himself out of the last few games of the season. That year, the Sox would finish sixth (in the two years following his departure, they would actually climb a spot to fifth). After that season, Ruth demanded that his salary be doubled, an unheard-of figure that Frazee simply could not pay. Ruth then proclaimed that he wouldn't play until his demands were met, all but forcing Frazee to negotiate a trade. Due to an ongoing dispute with American League president Ban Johnson, Frazee was effectively banned from dealing with any team but the White Sox and Yankees, two teams that also defied Johnson's corrupt reign. (Johnson's hatred of Frazee in part stemmed from his belief that Frazee was Jewish, violating an unwritten rule within the game to keep Jews out of the ranks of ownership. Frazee was in fact Presbyterian.)  It's hard to fathom that the only other offer on the table would actually have been more catastrophic than the one that ultimately transpired, but that's exactly the case. The White Sox offered up superstar "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and cash, an intriguing offer were it not for the fact that just months later, Jackson would be suspended for life for his role in the Black Sox scandal. At the time, the Ruth transaction was actually seen by many as being favorable for the Red Sox. In subsequent years, numerous inaccuracies were perpetuated about the Sox owner, many of which were motivated by the ongoing belief in his Jewishness and the notion that a cash-strapped Frazee selfishly sold Ruth to finance his landmark play No, No, Nanette. (which actually didn't come out until six years later) As we all know, Ruth would go on to transform the Yankees into a dynasty while the Red Sox would go titleless for 86 years. Whatever blame Frazee deserves, the impact of his decision upon the future course of the game is impossible to deny. For more on Frazee's misplaced maligning, check out the illuminating Glenn Stout piece 'A Curse Born of Hate.'

4)  Kennesaw Mountain Landis-- When in 1921, baseball decided that it was finally necessary to bring in a commissioner, the game was reeling from the revelations of a fixed World Series.  That commissioner was Kennesaw Mountain Landis.  Upon the appointment, The Sporting News summarized Kennesaw's stated mission: "to clean out the crookedness and the gambling responsible for it and keep the sport above reproach...he would have no mercy on any man in baseball, be he magnate or player, whose conduct was not strictly honest...The Judge will be the absolute ruler of the game."  During his time in office, Landis did indeed rule with an iron fist, at once banishing the eight guilty players who had conspired to throw the World Series in the infamous Black Sox scandal. The ruling that was ultimately established-- 'Any player, umpire, club or league official or employee who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor had a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible'-- would go on to be the damning assertion used against Pete Rose several decades later.
Under his reign, Landis also helped usher in the live ball era.  From 1903-1921, small ball had been the order of the day, as a series of factors contributed to an unprecedented decline in offense.  Among them was the common practice of leaving baseballs in play for much of the game until they were brown with dirt, making it harder for batters to pick up while in flight.  Balls also became softer with repeated usage, resulting in a greater difficulty to drive with power over the course of the game.  Upon assuming power, Landis immediately legislated that balls be removed from play at the first sign of wear, causing an immediate uptick in offense as batters could not only see pitches better, but when they did, it would travel further on contact.   Landis also outlawed the spitball, further shifting advantage away from the pitcher.  From 1903-1919, the league-wide ERA had been 2.80.  In the decade that followed, it had jumped to 4.00.   Upon his death in 1944, Landis had transformed the game, restoring both its excitement and integrity.

5)
Mel Allen and Red Barber- Baseball on the radio would make its debut in the summer of 1921, as a man named Harold Arlin called the Pirates-Phillies match to an almost non-existent audience. However, it would be over a decade more before baseball received its true airwave ambassadors in Allen and Barber.  Known and beloved primarily as the voices of the Yankees and Dodgers respectively, Melvin Israel and William Barber were the first truly iconic broadcasters in American sports history. Initially concerned that radio would discourage people from actually showing up to the park, owners soon found the medium to be an unparalleled promotional tool for their sport (not to mention a great way to generate additional income).  By the 1940's, Barber's presence was so ubiquitous in Brooklyn, The Daily News mused "A person could cover the length of the beach of Coney Island and never lose his voice."  Perfectly suited to the pace and nature of the game, radio was instrumental in broadening the game's reach and appeal, expanding fan bases and turning local stars into national heroes.

6)  Branch Rickey-- There is perhaps no man more responsible for changing the complexion, both literally and figuratively, of the modern game more than that of Branch Rickey.  When Rickey was named the general manager of the St Louis Cardinals in 1925, minor league teams operated independently of big league clubs, auctioning off their top prospects to the highest bidder.  Rickey decided to buck the system, buying his own minor league clubs through which he could develop talent and directly funnel players to his major league franchise.   It took only a single year as GM before the Cards captured their first World Series, and in time the homegrown talent of Pepper Martin, Stan Musial, and Dizzy Dean would take three more pennants for the Gashouse Gang between 1928-1932. By 1940, Rickey's farm had steadily expanded into an empire, claiming ownership of an astounding 32 teams while maintaining working agreements with 8 others.  Rickey moved on to the Dodgers in 1942, where he would continue his prowess in developing young talent, producing such stars as Duke Snider and Gil Hodges from within the organization.  However, his most important achievement was the signing of Jackie Robinson from the Negro League's Kansas City Monarchs in 1945.  Upon his major league debut two years later, Robinson would bring a pennant to Brooklyn, opening up the doors to full-fledged racial integration in the years to come.  Dickey soon left for Pittsburgh, where he would once again shake the baseball establishment with the drafting and promotion of baseball's first Hispanic player in Roberto Clemente.  When he ultimately retired in 1955, Rickey had introduced the modern farm system, racially integrated the game, popularized the use of the batting helmet and batting cage, and created the first spring training facility.  Moreover, he was perhaps the earliest proponent of what we now call sabermetrics, valuing such indicators as on-base percentage over average to further his advantage over the competition.  A maverick in the truest sense, Branch Rickey remains the most influential figure in the history of baseball, if not the entire sports world.

7) Walter O'Malley--You're in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Walter O'Malley and have a gun with only two bullets.  What do you do?  Shoot O'Malley twice.  To many 1950's Booklynites, the Dodgers were everything.  In one fell swoop, O'Malley ripped it all away, unapologetically moving the team to Los Angeles following the 1957 season.  The vitriol knew no bounds as the Dodgers' owner become public enemy #1 to a city reeling in grief.  Harsh as it was, O'Malley's infamous decision would mark a pivotal moment in the course of baseball history, as professional baseball was finally introduced to the West Coast.  America's pastime had for half a century been concentrated predominantly in the Northeast, with the westernmost team being St. Louis at the time of O'Malley's ascendancy.  The first domino to fall had been the Boston Braves, who in 1953 relocated to Milwaukee.  However, it was not until the Dodgers split town that the game truly underwent a tidal shift.  O'Malley knew that to make baseball a reality in the West he would have to recruit a partner, and so inserted himself as key player in facilitating the Giants move to San Francisco as well.  The entire complexion of American baseball had changed, as O'Malley's Dodgers helped make baseball a truly national game.

8)  Marvin Miller--Today, the Major League Baseball Players Association is the most powerful union in all of sports, and no man deserves more thanks for that fact than Marvin Miller. Elected head of the MLBPA in 1966, Miller soon made his impact felt, negotiating the first collective bargaining agreement with owners, increasing minimum salaries, introducing the all-important independent arbitration practice, and eventually ushering in the age of free agency with the invalidation of the reserve clause.  Under the reserve clause, players had been effectively married to their initial club, with that club retaining their rights from year to year not so unlike a piece of property. To make matters worse, those players unhappy with their compensation were forced to settle their disputes with the commissioner, who, as having been hired by the owners, was naturally biased in his rulings.  In 1974, after Cardinals' outfielder Curt Flood brought the issue of the reserve clause's inherent unfairness to the forefront, Miller encouraged pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally to refrain from signing a contract for the following year and instead enter arbitration.  Peter Seitz, the arbiter, ruled that the players had no legal ties to remain with their clubs and were free to pursue other offers.  The reserve clause had effectively been abolished and the era of free agency had begun. During Marvin's tenure, which stretched from 1966-1982, the average player's salary rose from $19,000 to $241,000.  His work signified a colossal shift in the balance of power between athlete and owner, an impact enjoyed every time a player signs on the dotted line to this day.

9)  George Steinbrenner-- Before there was Jerry Jones, before there was Mark Cuban, there was George Steinbrenner. Loud, irreverent, controversial, and hyper-controlling (changing managers 20 times in his first 23 years as Yankees owner), George Steinbrenner was the archetype for the larger-than-life sports owner. Buying the Yankees for a measly $8.7 million in 1973, he turned them into a $1.6 billion franchise, the gold standard for sporting excellence the world over. Today, ballplayers earn more than the GDP of small countries, and perhaps no man is more responsible than the Boss. With it came unprecedented market inequality, as the Yankees payroll grew to such exorbitant levels that it literally sextupled that of the smallest market teams. Contracts are now bloated to the point of absurdity (see: Werth, Jason and Rodriguez, Alex) as owners from around the league struggle to keep up with the Evil Empire. 

10)  Bud Selig-- Sadly, when all is said and done, Bud Selig will go down first and foremost as the man that presided over the Steroid Era, baseball's black eye.  However, to pin him solely as "The Steroid Commissioner" is to overlook the vast amount of good Selig was actually able to accomplish for the sport.  Assuming the role of acting commissioner in 1992, the former Milwaukee Brewers owner's first act was to realign the divisions and institute a wild card, expanding the postseason roster to eight teams.  Achieving permanent status in 1998, Selig would go on to make a series of other important changes, including the introduction of revenue sharing and interleague play, the expansion of instant replay, and the creation of the World Baseball Classic.  He also presided over a 400% explosion in league revenue and brought baseball to both Arizona and Tampa Bay.  Time will tell just how favorably future generations look upon his legacy, but one thing is for certain: Uncle Bud left baseball in a vastly different place from how he found it.

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Written by Ben Pogany
A look at baseball's twenty greatest voices and the iconic calls that made them legendary.

1)  Vin Skully- Dodgers
--"It is 9:46 PM, 2 and 2 to Harvey Kuenn, one strike away, Sandy into his wind up, here's the pitch..swung on and missed, a perfect game!"
--"So the winning run is at second base, with two out, 3 and 2 to Mookie Wilson...little roller up along first..behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!"
--"In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!"

2)  Mel Allen- Yankees
--"Sudden death now, last of the ninth. 9 to 9. There's a drive into deep left field, look out now… that ball is goooing, going gone! And the World Series is over! Mazeroski… hits it over the left field fence for a home run, and the Pirates win it 10-9 and win the World Series!"

3)  Jack Buck- Cardinals
--"Go crazy folks, go crazy!",
--"I don't believe what I just saw!"
--"And we'll see ya tomorrow night!"

4)  Red Barber- Dodgers
--"This is Red Barber speaking. Let me say hello to you all."
--"Here's a pitch...swung on, belted..its a long one..deep to the left center..back goes Giofreedo, back back back back back back..heee makes a one-handed catch against the bullpen!! Oh doctor!"

5)
Ernie Harwell-Tigers
--"Long gone!"
6) Bob Prince- Pirates
--"A bloop and a blast" "Kiss it goodbye!"
7) Harry Caray- Cubs/Cardinals
--"Take me out to the baaallgaaame, take me out with the croooowd.."

8)  Russ Hodges- Giants
--"THE GIANTS WON THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WON THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WON THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WON THE PENNANT!!"

9)  Curt Gowdy- Red Sox and NBC national
--"It could be...it could be...it is!" (Williams homers in his final at bat)

10) Harry Kalas- Phillies
--"Heres the stretch by Robinson.. the 3-0 pitch...swing and a long drive...there it is...number 500...a career 500th home run for Michael Jack Schmidt!"
11)  Bob Elson-White Sox
12) Phil Rizzuto-Yankees
--"Holy cow!"
13)
Bob Uecker- Brewers, national
"-Get up, get outa here"
14)  Milo Hamilton- Cubs/Braves/Pirates and four other clubs
--"He's sittin' on 714... Here's the pitch by Downing... swinging... there's a drive into left-center field... that ball is gonna beee... OUTTA HERE! IT'S GONE! IT'S 715! There's a new home run champion of all time... and it's HENRY AARON!"

15)
Chuck Thompson- Orioles
--"Here's a swing and a high fly ball going deep to left, this may do it!…Back to the wall goes Berra, it is…over the fence, home run, the Pirates win!…Ladies and gentlemen, Mazeroski has hit a one-nothing pitch over the left field fence at Forbes Field to win the 1960 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of ten to nothing!"
16) Jerry Coleman- Padres
-
-"You can hang a star on that baby"

17) Bob Wolff-Senators
18) Jack Brickhouse- Cubs
--"Whoo, boy! Next time around, bring me back my stomach!" "Hey, hey!" "There's a long drive waaay back in center field...waaay baaack, baaack, it is...caaaaaught by Willie Mays! Willie Mays just brought this crowd to its feet... with a catch... which must have been an optical illusion to a lot of people."

19)
Dave Niehaus- Mariners
--"Get out the rye bread and the mustard this time grandma, it is a GRAND SALAMI and the Mariners lead it 10-6! I don't believe it. My oh my!!"
20) Skip Caray- Braves
--"A lotta room in right-center, if he hits one there we can dance in the streets. The 2-1. Swung, line drive left field! One run is in! Here comes Bream! Here's the throw to the plate! He is...safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!...Braves win! They may have to hospitalize Sid Bream; he's down at the bottom of a huge pile at the plate. They help him to his feet. Frank Cabrera got the game winner! The Atlanta Braves are National League champions again! This crowd is going berserk, listen!"


Honorable Mentions:
Lindsey Nelson (Mets), Dizzy Dean (Browns, national), Joe Garagiola (national), Marty Brennaman (Reds), Ned Martin (Red Sox), Bob Murphy (Mets), Lon Simmons (Giants/A's), Bob Costas (national), Jimmy Dudley (Indians), Herb Carneal (Twins), Denny Matthews (Royals), Dave Van Horne (Expos), Arch McDonald (Senators), Tom Cheek (Blue Jays), Gene Elston (Astros), By Saam (Phillies), Tony Kubek (national), Jerry Remy (Red Sox),  Bill King (A's)

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Written by Ben Pogany

Joe Torre- Aside of his hall-of-fame managerial career, Torre has the distinct honor of being the only player to start 500 games at catcher, first base, and third base. Torre started his career alongside his brother Frank, Hank Aaron, and Eddie Matthews on the Milwaukee Braves, where he would go on to win a catching gold glove and prompt Jack Kerouac to call him "the best catcher since Roy Campanella." After being traded to St. Louis for Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, Torre would move to third base where in 1971 he would he hit .363 and drive in 137 runs en route to a NL MVP award. Torre wrapped up his career as a player-manager for the Mets. In his seventeen-year playing career, he would play in nine All-Star games. AVG: .297, HR: 252, RBI: 1,185.

Joe Girardi- Girardi caught 15 seasons in the majors, winning three World Series with the Yankees and appearing in an All-Star game in 2000. AVG: .267, Hits: 1,100, RBI: 422.

Mike Scioscia- The now skipper of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim spent his playing career under Tommy Lasorda's Los Angeles Dodgers, where he thrived as a catcher. Scioscia was lauded for his defense, in particular, his unrivaled talent for plate-blocking. Scioscia made two All-Star appearances and took home two World Series rings with the boys in blue. AVG: .259, HR: 68, RBI: 446.

Ozzie Guillen- Emerging from Venezuela, Guillen took the Major Leagues by storm, winning the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year Award as a shortstop. He was an All-Star in 1988, 1990, 1991, and won the Gold Glove Award in 1990. Guillén ranks among the White Sox all-time leaders in games played, hits, and at-bats. AVG: .264, Hits: 1764, RBI: 619.

Dusty Baker- Then, like today, Dusty Baker was never kind to pitchers. (See Mark Prior, Kerry Wood) Dusty compiled quite a resume in his sixteen-year playing career, including 2 All-Star selections, one World Series ring ('81 with the Dodgers), one Gold Glove, 2 Silver Slugger Awards, and the 1977 NLCS MVP honors. AVG: .278, HR: 242, RBI: 1,013.

Bud Black- In fifteen major league seasons, Black put together a very respectable pitching resume, winning over 120 games and capturing a World Series title in 1985. W:121, ERA: 3.84, SO: 1,039.

Terry Francona- After being named Most Outstanding Player in Arizona's 1980 College World Series Championship, Tito went on to have a largely unremarkable 10-year pro career, playing first base and outfield for five different ball clubs. AVG: .274, Hits: 474, RBI: 143.

Charlie Manuel- Though he appeared in five major league seasons in the early seventies, Charlie did not achieve a starting role until he began playing for the Yakult Swallows in Japan. Dubbed "Aka-Oni" (The Red Devil) by fans and teammates, Manuel became a star, enjoying seasons hitting 48, 42, 37, and 39 home runs. At a game against the Lotte Orions, he was hit in the face by a pitch, crushing his jaw. Told he needed at least two months to recover, Manuel returned after being sidelined for only 14 games, wearing a football helmet. The team went on to win the pennant. NPB statistics: AVG: .303, HR: 189, RBI: 491.

Ron Washington- Washington bounced around the majors for over a decade as a middle infielder. AVG: .261, Hits: 414, RBI 146.

Brad Mills- Before he was the newest skipper of the 'stros, Mills was just about the most unremarkable infielder for the now defunct Expos. In his 106 career games, just about the only thing Mills did of note was become Nolan Ryan's 3,509th career strikeout victim, moving the Express past Walter Johnson for first all-time. AVG: .256, HR:1, RBI: 12.

Bruce Bochy- In his decade of MLB service, Bochy caught for the Astros, Mets and Padres. AVG: .239, HR: 26, RBI: 93.

Tony La Russa- After suffering a shoulder injury while playing softball with friends, La Russa spent most of his career as a backup infielder for the A's, Braves, and Cubs. AVG: .199, Hits: 35, RBI: 7.

Bob Geren- After spending a decade in the minors, Geren finally made the big dance as a catcher for the New York Yankees. He sucked for a five years of his major league career. AVG: .233, Hits: 178, HR: 22.

Jim Tracy- Tracy played outfield for a couple of seasons with the Cubs before signing with Japan's Taiyo Whales. AVG: .249, HR: 3, Hits: 46.

Ron Gardenhire- The Twins' skipper battled through an injury-plagued five seasons as an infielder for the Mets before finally hanging up the cleats in 1985. AVG: .232, HR: 4, Hits: 165.

Jerry Manuel- From 1975-1982, Manuel bounced around the majors in a back-up infielder role, accumulating only 127 career at-bats over the seven year span. AVG: .150, HR: 3, RBI: 13

Lou Pinella- (18 seasons at left field) AB: 5867, AVG: .291, HR: 102, RBI: 766, 1972 All-Star and 1969 Rookie of the Year
Don Mattingly- (14 seasons at first and outfield)- Avg: .307, HR: 222, RBI: 1099, 6-time All-Star, 9-time Gold Glove winner, and the 1985 MVP.
Kirk Gibson- (17 seasons at outfield) AB: 5798, AVG: .268, HR: 255, RBI: 870, SB: 284, 1988 MVP
Don Zimmer- (12 seasons at third, short and second) AVG: .235, HR: 91, RBI: 352
Tommy Lasorda- (3 seasons pitching) IP: 58.1, ERA: 6.48, Record: 0-4
Sparky Anderson- (1 season at second) AB: 477, AVG: .218, R: 42
Bobby Valentine- (10 seasons at shortstop, outfield, and second) AB: 1698, BA: .260, HR: 12
Whitey Herzog- (8 seasons at outfield and first) AB: 1614, AVG: .257, HR: 20, RBI: 172
Larry Bowa- (16 seasons at shortstop) (AB: 8418, AVG: 260, SB: 318, 5-time All-Star and 2-time Gold Glove winner
Clint Hurdle- (10 seasons at right field, first, and catcher) AB: 1391, AVG: .259, HR: 32
Cito Gaston- (11 seasons at outfield) AB: 3120, AVG: .256, HR: 91, 1970 All-Star
Ned Yost- (6 seasons at catcher) AVG: .212, HR: 16, RBI: 64
Bob Melvin- (10 seasons at catcher) AB: 1955, AVG: .233, RBI: 212
Eric Wedge- (4 seasons at DH) AB: 86, H: 20, HR: 5
Mike Hargrove- (12 seasons at left field and first) AB: 5564, AVG: .290, RBI: 686, 1974 Rookie of the Year
Phil Garner- (16 seasons at second and third) AB: 6136, AVG: .260, SB: 225, 3-time All-Star
Ken Macha- (6 seasons at third) AB: 380, AVG: .258, HR: 1
Davey Johnson- (13 seasons at second and first) AB: 4797, AVG: .261, HR: 136, RBI: 609, 4-time All-Star

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1) Yankees--Established in 1901, based in NY since 1903.  27 World Championships and 40 Pennants
Last championship: 2009
All-Time Win %: .569 (1st)
Total Hall of Famers: 43 (4th)
Noteworthy Stat:
Has hit over 1,000 more home runs (14,916) than any other team
Current Payroll: $224,700,000
Defining Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Defining Voice: Mel Allen
Defining Managers:
Casey Stengel, Joe McCarthy, Joe Torre
The Legends:
Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Whitey Ford, Phil Rizzuto, Thurman Munson.
2) Cardinals--Established in 1881.  11 World Series titles and 19 Pennants
Last championship: 2011
All-Time Win %: .520 (4th)
Total Hall of Famers: 42 (5th)
Noteworthy Stat: Has had more players (2,020) than any other team
Current Payroll: $113,700,000
Defining Ballpark: Busch Stadium
Defining Voice: Jack Buck
Defining Manager:
Whitey Herzog
The Legends:
Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Albert Pujols, Ozzie Smith, Dizzy Dean, Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Bruce Sutter.
3) Giants--Established in 1883, based in San Francisco since 1958.  8 World Series titles and 23 Pennants
Last championship: 2014
All-Time Win %: .538 (2nd)
Total Hall of Famers: 56 (1st)
Noteworthy Stat: Leads all teams with 10,692 wins
Current Payroll: $139,800,000
Defining Ballpark: Polo Grounds
Defining Voice: Russ Hodges
Defining Manager:
John McGraw
The Legends:
Willie Mays, Mel Ott, Christy Mathewson, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, Bill Terry, Carl Hubbell, Gaylord Perry, Barry Bonds.
4) Red Sox--Established in 1901. 8 World Series titles and 13 Pennants
Last championship: 2013
All-Time Win %: .517 (5th)
Total Hall of Famers: 34 (tied for 9th)
Current Payroll: $150,300,000
Defining Ballpark: Fenway Park
Defining Voices: Curt Gowdy, Jerry Remy
Defining Managers:
Joe Cronin, Terry Francona
The Legends:
Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Jimmie Foxx, David Ortiz, Tris Speaker, Pedro Martinez, Joe Cronin, Jim Rice, Harry Hooper, Manny Ramirez.
5) Dodgers--Established in 1883, based in LA since 1958.  6 World Series titles and 22 Pennants
Last championship: 1988
All-Time Win %: .526 (3rd)
Total Hall of Famers: 46 (tied for 2nd)
Noteworthy Stat: Leads all teams with an 3.54 all-time ERA
Current Payroll: $211,500,000
Defining Ballpark: Ebbets Field
Defining Voices: Vin Skully, Red Barber
Defining Managers:
Walter Alston, Tommy Lasorda
The Legends:
Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Don Sutton, Don Drysdale, Pee Wee Reese, Jim Gilliam, Dazzy Vance, Zack Wheat.
6) Athletics--Established in 1901, based in Oakland since 1968.  9 World Series titles and 15 Pennants
Last championship: 1989
All-Time Win %: .487 (17th)
Total Hall of Famers: 36 (8th)
Current Payroll: $58,400,000
Defining Ballpark: Oakland Coliseum, Shibe Park
Defining Voice: Bill King
Defining Manager:
Connie Mack
The Legends:
Reggie Jackson, Ricky Henderson, Catfish Hunter, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Lefty Grove, Bert Campaneris, Eddie Plank, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons.
7) Braves--Established in 1871, based in Atlanta since 1966.  3 World Series titles and 17 Pennants
Last championship: 1995
All-Time Win %: .500 (13th)
Total Hall of Famers: 46 (tied for 2nd)
Noteworthy Stat: Tied with the Cubs for the oldest team still in existence
Current Payroll: $87,600,000
Defining Ballpark: Turner Field, Braves Field
Defining Voice: Ernie Johnson Sr
Defining Manager: Bobby Cox
The Legends:
Warren Spahn, Hank Aaron, Greg Maddux, Eddie Mathews, Phil Niekro, Dale Murphy, Chipper Jones, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Andrew Jones.
8) Reds--Established in 1869.  5 World Series titles and 10 Pennants
Last championship: 1990
All-Time Win %: .507 (9th)
Total Hall of Famers: 34 (tied for 9th)
Current Payroll: $101,310,000
Defining Ballpark: Great American Ballpark, Riverfront Stadium
Defining Voice: Marty Brennaman
Defining Managers:
Sparky Anderson, Fred Hutchinson
The Legends:
Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Dave Concepción, Frank Robinson, Barry Larkin, Ernie Lombardi, Eppa Rixey, Edd Rousch.
9) Pirates--Established in 1882.  5 World Series titles and 9 Pennants
Last championship: 1979
All-Time Win %: .504 (10th)
Total Hall of Famers: 40 (7th)
Current Payroll: $75,200,000
Defining Ballpark: Three Rivers Stadium, PNC Park
Defining Voice: Bob Prince
Defining Manager:
Danny Murtaugh
The Legends:
Roberto Clemente, Ralph Kiner, Honus Wagner, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski, Paul Waner, Lloyd Waner, Pie Traynor, Max Carey, Arky Vaughan.
10) Tigers--Established in 1894.  4 World Series titles and 11 Pennants
Last championship: 1984
All-Time Win %: .508 (8th)
Total Hall of Famers: 21 (16th)
Current Payroll: $147,500,000
Defining Ballpark: Tiger Stadium, Comerica Park
Defining Voice: Ernie Harwell
Defining Manager:
Sparky Anderson
The Legends:
Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, Charlie Gehringer, Hal Newhouser, Sam Crawford, George Kell, Harry Heilmann, Mickey Cochrane, Willie Horton.

Quick Facts:
--The Rockies lead all teams with a .275 all-time batting average but trail all with a 4.99 ERA.  They are also the only team to not have had a single player inducted into the Hall of Fame.
--The Cubs lead all teams with 96,851 all-time runs scored and 189,539 hits.
--The Rays trail teams in winning % (.462), runs scored (13,531), and hits (26,905).  They also have the 2nd worst all-time ERA at 4.42.
--The Mets and Padres trail all teams with a .250 all-time batting average.
--The Phillies have the most losses (10,741) and are most than 300 more games under .500 (-1143) than the next worst team.
--Only two teams have failed to win a single pennant: the Nationals and the Mariners.
--Seven teams have failed to win a single World Series title: the Rangers, Astros, Brewers, Nationals, Padres, Mariners, Rockies, and Rays.
Written by Ben Pogany
For all the complaints about the one-and-done epidemic in college hoops, the none-and done nature of baseball seems almost barely worth mentioning.  In 2009, the Wall Street Journal found that there were only 26 college graduates among the 780 players and managers in Major League Baseball, good for a whooping 3.3% of the league.  It's practically the rule that ballplayers expect to get drafted out of high school, heading straight to minor league rosters at the ripe age of eighteen.  Then there's the roughly quarters-worth that are discovered as youngsters on the ball fields of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, and a host of other predominately low-income nations for whom higher education is often simply out of reach.  (The percentage of foreign-born minor leaguers is closer to half)  And this is nothing new; neither Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken Jr, or Greg Maddux ever so much as glimpsed the inside of a college classroom.  For what we think of as such a cerebral sport, the shear absence of academia is hard to comprehend.
College baseball will never achieve the notoriety of its counterparts in large part because there are just so few stars to be found.  Still, there are those few scholars among the masses for whom higher education was a reality, fewer still who have made it to Omaha.  He is a look at the ten most successful college baseball programs and the talent they bequeathed to the Bigs.

1)  USC
12 World Series titles and 21 appearances
Illustrious alumni: Tom Seaver, Randy Johnson, Fred Lynn, Mark McGwire, Barry Zito, Mark Prior, Ian Kennedy, Jeff Cirillo
2)  Texas
6 World Series titles and 34 appearances
Illustrious alumni:
Roger Clemens, Drew Stubbs, Huston Street, Burt Hooten, Greg Swindell, Shane Reynolds
3)  LSU
6 World Series titles and 15 appearances
Illustrious alumni:
Albert Belle, Brad Hawpe, Ben McDonald, Brian Wilson, Aaron Hill
4)  Arizona St
5 World Series titles and 22 appearances
Illustrious alumni:
Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson, Dustin Pedroia, Andre Ethier, Sal Bando, Rick Monday, Jason Kipnis, Mike Leake
5)  Miami
4 World Series titles and 23 appearances
Illustrious alumni:
Ryan Braun, Greg Vaughn, Pat Burrell, Charles Johnson, Aubrey Huff, Chris Perez
6)  Cal St Fullerton
4 World Series titles and 16 appearances
Illustrious alumni:
Tim Wallach, Aaron Rowand, Mark Kotsay, Phil Nevin, Kurt Suzuki, Ricky Romero
7)  Arizona
4 World Series titles and 16 appearances
Illustrious alumni:
Kenny Lofton, Trevor Hoffman, Scott Erickson, JT Snow, Ron Hassey
8)  Minnesota
3 World Series titles and 5 appearances
Illustrious alumni:
Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor, Terry Steinbach, Denny Neagle, Dan Wilson
9)  Stanford
2 World Series titles and 16 appearances
Illustrious alumni:
Mike Mussina, Jack McDowell, Bob Boone, Rick Helling, Jeremy Guthrie, Carlos Quentin, Jed Lowrie, Drew Storen, Sam Fuld
10)  South Carolina
2 World Series titles and 11 appearances
Illustrious alumni:
Brian Roberts, Mookie Wilson, Roberto Hernandez, Gene Richards, Dave Hollins
Last Updated on Friday, 21 December 2012 11:30 Written by Ben Pogany

While the game doesn’t lend itself to individual stardom that say the NBA does, there are certain players from every generation that just exude all-star through and through.  The list of players who have been named to fifteen or more All-Star games is one of the most exclusive in all of sports, more so than the 3000 hit club, the 500 home run club, or the perfect game club.  While the election process is by no means an exact science, to be an All-Star year in and year out for that long takes more than just raw talent, more than just being the best player at your position in your league.  It’s a blend of consistency and durability combined with popularity and iconicism.  Playing in a big market like New York or Boston doesn’t hurt your chances either.  These players are institutions of the game.  The question is, is it getting harder to be that larger than life superstar in the currently constituted major leagues?  For one, the league has gotten progressively larger, making one’s ability to stick out and lock down All-Star spots far more difficult.  It's been eleven years since a player with fifteen or more All-Star games to his credit played in the big leagues (Ripken and Gwynn).  However, closing in are three long serving Yankees.  Will they be next to join this exclusive club?  A look at the 15+ club, and at which current players have hopes of one day joining those ranks.

MLB Players with 15+ All-Star Games To Their Credit
Hank Aaron 1954-1976   (25)
Willie Mays 1951-1973   (24)
Stan Musial 1941-1963   (24)
Mickey Mantle 1951-1968   (20) 
Cal Ripken 1981-2001   (19)
Ted Williams 1939-1960   (19) 
Rod Carew 1967-1985   (18)
Carl Yastrzemski 1961-1983   (18)  
Yogi Berra 1946-1965   (18) 
Al Kaline 1953-1974   (18)
Brooks Robinson 1955-1977   (18)
Pete Rose 1963-1986   (17)
Warren Spahn 1942-1965  (17)
Tony Gwynn 1982-2001   (15)
Ozzie Smith 1978-1996   (15)
Roberto Clemente 1955-1972 (15)
Nellie Fox 1947-1965 (15)

Next in Line?:
Alex Rodriguez 1994-2012  (14)
Derek Jeter 1995-2012   (13)
Mariano Rivera  1995-2012 (12)
Ichiro Suzuki 2001-2012  (10)
Albert Pujols 2001-2012   (9)   

Note: The first All-Star game was not played until 1933, which is why you won't see the likes of Babe Ruth or Cy Young in this club.

 

 

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