Yesterday MLB.com came out with a list of the greatest player for every Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise.
Some were obvious. Such as the New York Yankees with Babe Ruth, the Atlanta Braves organization with Hank Aaron, Ted Williams with the Boston Red Sox, Ty Cobb with the Detroit Tigers and Ken Griffey Jr., with the Seattle Mariners. Others were a bit more difficult such as the Pittsburgh Pirates with Honus Wagner being the choice, yet Roberto Clemente might actually have that honor.
Then there’s the ones that don’t fit. For the Baltimore Orioles Cal Ripken Jr., was the selection. Still Brooks Robinson the greatest third basemen in MLB history is the better fit and Jim Palmer arguably is the second greatest player in franchise history.
What is incredible for Ripken Jr., was his consecutive game streak and no one can forget it. Robinson played in 2,896 games himself and Palmer started 521 games and appeared in 558.
For the Cincinnati Reds it was Pete Rose which is absolutely ridiculous. There is a reason why he is not in Cooperstown. Even with his stats he still is not the best player in the franchise’s history.
It goes to Johnny Bench who played a more demanding position, catcher.
He is also considered one of the greatest catchers in MLB history. Bench won Rookie of the Year, two Most Valuable Player Awards, led the National League in home runs twice and RBI three times.
Also with that Bench has 10 gold gloves to his name and unnlike Rose he is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Lastly and quite possibly the most difficult one is the Oakland Athletics franchise. Rickey Henderson is the obvious choice. Still Eddie Plank deserves mentioning as he won 284 games, had an ERA of 2.39, 362 complete games, and 3,860.2 innings pitched.
There are franchise such as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Tampa Bay Rays, and Miami Marlins that are more recent franchises in MLB.
For those franchises the greatest player is subject to change.
For example Jose Fernandez if he had not passed away tragically was likely going to overtake Giancarlo Stanton. Wander Franco who has star potential already for the Rays will likely unseat Evan Longoria.
The shrewd Rays franchise already has signed Franco to an 11-year $182 million contract extension with the club.
Overall it was a great job by MLB.com to compile this list. There really was not much to argue.