Friday, August 05, 2005

Favorite Player

So Andrew at 12Eight has said Tek is his favorite player of all time. I thought it an interesting choice. I even questioned whether this was indeed the case or perhaps he had his current Sox hat on - apologies to Andrew as he stuck to his guns.

Which then further got me thinking about my favorite player of all time. I admit I have thought about this a number of times, but I have never been able to reach a conclusion. I have limited my choices to players I have actually seen - thus Teddy Ballgame would not qualify.

My options are:

George Brett - a very long time ago, I was an aspiring third baseman in little league. And around the same time, George Brett was dominating MLB. Talk about a guy that played the game the right way. Of course, my memories are probably tainted by my youth and the passage of time.

El tiante - this one is definitely tainted by the fact that El Tiante pitched in the second game I ever attended - Game one. LCS 1975. 8-0 victory against the A's. Aside from that, some memories over the 75 WS (which have been augmented by ESPN Classic and Ken Burns' Baseball Documentary) along with some goofing in the backyard as a kid mimicking the windup, I really don't have that many memories.

Jim Rice - most feared hitter in the AL for a number of years. Also while I was an avid fan. Plus it didn't hurt that I ran into him one day on Newbury Street and he said hello to me (after I had told him what a big fan I was). I was about 16 and thought that was very cool. Plus, the guy could damn right hit. It was the ruthless trashing of Rice in the late 80s that got me (at a very young age) to recognize that the media are brutal in Boston and can work to form the opinions of so many. My dad would trash Jim Ed, solely based on some comments made by Bob Ryan, Will McDonough or Leigh Montville. Side note - sure miss Will and his Saturday AM rambling. I would say he blogged before there was anything like a blog.

Those are my choices. I have other players I really loved at one time or another (Clemens jumps to mind) but nothing that has stuck like those guys. Mo Vaughn was headed in that direction until he signed with the Angels (I could have eventually gotten over that, since it was no MFY) but then his career fizzled. I will always have a special place in my heart for Mo. Others I really enjoyed - Scott Cooper, Tim Naehring (something about 3B), Daryll Strawberry before the 86 WS, Piazza, and perhaps Mike Greenwell - but these guys were definitely not in the category of the others.

So that's it. Kind of lame that I don't have an outright answer. But it is what it is.


  1. Very interesting choices, X. I also find it interesting that they're all guys that you grew up with... Tek only showed up in Boston in my late teens, but those Sox teams in the decade beore him never had a player that resounded with me that way. Hell, my favorite ballplayer as a kid was Tom freakin' Bolton. A product of my times. I certainly wish I could have seen Luis Tiant pitch, or Yaz hit (and field), or the Gold Dust Twins when they came up together. Alas, I was left with Todd Benzinger, Carlos Quintana, and Randy Kutcher. This is an interesting queston, though; 'best' ballplayer arguments can get annoying, but I've found 'favorite' player discussions much more enlightening and surprising.

  2. Oh yeah and I forgot one other observation I meant to put in the original post.

    It surprises me that there is not one representative of the Sox first championship in my lifetime on either of my lists. I would have never believed that.

    I debated putting Pedro on there, but it would have to have been qualified as Pedro 98 through 2002, or maybe include his amazing last year in Canada so 97-2002. But his shenanigans of the last 3+ years have been agonizing.

    I wonder what has contributed to the lack of a more contemporary player on the list - free agency or my advancing years?

  3. My favorite: Bill Lee.

  4. Oh crap, I can't believe I forgot Oil Can. Definitely not in the top list, but man did I love that guy.

    Similarly, the game could use more players like Al Hrabosky and Turk Wendell. For some reason Curt Schilling going out behind the mound and talking to himself like a homeless vagrant along Boylston Street really does not do the trick for me.

  5. Now now...he's praying. Doesn't do anything for me either, but if it does something for him, more power to him. That exact topic is being discussed on joyofsox.

  6. Oh. Praying. That's what it is. I actually had thought it was him pimping for the camera. Really not much different than the Antoine Walker wiggle. If you ask me.

    Hmmm. I'll have to check out Joy of Sox. I always get a kick out of it when players give God credit. They say "God gave me the ability and strength to hit those HRs." Which is also like saying "God just doesn't like Alan Embree anymore."

    Sorry - back on topic.

    Favorite players.

    Is there a least favorite player of all time? Or a least favorite Sox?

  7. Least favorie Sox player? Shea Hillenbrand, hands freakin' down.

  8. Great call on Shea. Not only was he soooooo overrated, but he yapped and yapped. and calling Theo a fag on the way out. Classic.

    If it wasn't for the fact that Foulke was a true horse last year in the playoffs, he would quickly be moving to the top of that list. Did you see his comments yesterday about? I wish he would just shut up.

  9. Yeah, funny thing about Least Favorite Player -- no way can it be one of the XXV. Foulke's annoying, Schilling's unbearable, and I was getting really sick of Pedro's diva routine and Lowe's insecurity, but no way would any of them be my least favorite.

    Yeah, Shea Hillenbrand is about right. For my least favorite non-Sox, that would be David Justice and/or Raul Mondesi.

  10. We can also nominate karim garcia. Ricky Henderson was pretty annoying at times. Sheffield and a-Rod make an unlikable pair. For different reasons, of course.

  11. Earl - weird, Dave Justice is probably my least favorite general ballplayer also. A few years back, there were rumors he was going to wind up on the Sox, and I was just dreading it.

  12. Yaz, just Yaz. He played the Green Monster like a fine instrument.