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MLB "Franchise Four" (2015) - The Fan-Voted Four Most Representative Players from each Franchise


DonRocks
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I enjoyed watching this game, and the continuing coronation of Mike Trout as baseball's next Mickey Mantle....

I was surprised that Cincinnati's "living four" included Barry Larkin. C'mon, that's the best they could do? Where's Tony Perez, for goodness sake? Or Frank Robinson?

And I understand that Yogi Berra is very elderly and not doing well physically, but he's not only an icon of the the game, he's an American icon. They couldn't find a way to get him on the field?

It was sort of interesting to see the Yankees' top four compared to, say, the Rays or the Angels or the Astros....Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle! Hell, the Yankees' NEXT four are better than most of the other teams' top four.

I was just browsing through the Franchise Four page, and noticed that Nolan Ryan made it on *three teams*.

It about killed me to see Eddie Murray left off the Orioles' list, but who are you going to replace? You have to put Murray at #5, unfortunately.

Rickey Henderson being nominated as one of the 8 Greatest Living Players is a joke. I know the fans voted for the winners, but who came up with the lists?

Maybe I don't understand what this selection process was all about - what's up with the Nationals' list? I guess it includes the living Expos as well.

The Giants have an extremely imposing list, right behind the Yankees and right ahead of the Cardinals. That said, Buster Posey ahead of *Christy Mathewson*Orlando Cepeda, and Juan Marichal? WTF?!

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One player who I think got shorted by his towns' fans is Albert Pujols.  Pujols did not make the franchise four in STL losing in the fan voting to Musial, Hornsby, Gibson, and Lou Brock.    Pujols had an amazing 11 year stretch in STL.  Check this out:  NL MVP 3 times, finished 2nd in the MVP vote 4 times, finished 3 once and 4th once in 11 years.  .328 batting average and 440 HR's in 11 years.   Those are amazing stats.  His first 4 yrs have better stats than those of Trout, (albeit he was older when entering the big leagues).

Now I have an extensive scientific analysis on how the fans of STL feel about Pujols after he rejected their resigning offer in 2011 and went to the Angels.  I've spoken to one STL fan from the area who is a lifelong Cards fan.  He resents Pujols.  Sample size = 1.   :D     I suspect the fans of the Cards took that type of attitude into account when voting on the Franchise Four.

On a different level Rickey Henderson was an amazing player.  I used to watch him when I could sporadically over the late 80's and into the 90's.  What he did was play the game differently.   My best analogy is a sort of Dennis Rodman type, minus the piercings, tats, colored hair and all around weirdness, but still astonishingly valuable.  His skills and valuableness translated in a different way.

Henderson scored more runs than anyone in baseball.  Runs!!!!   That is how one scores the game.  More valuable to winning and losing than batting averages, home runs, on base pcts, and slugging pcts.   Henderson scored.  The team with the most runs wins!!!!

Also if you take his steals into account and turn his walks and singles into doubles as he stole 2nd so often he is an astonishing record breaking player on reaching 2nd base on his own per at bat.  Astonishing.  Sort of add 60, 70 doubles to his output every year for about 10 years.  Amazing.

Henderson hit a lot of home runs.  I believe he holds the record for leadoff homers, and has a significant total.  He also walked a lot.  The guy got on base, moved along the bases and scored.  Also he made pitchers nutty.

I'm not stating he is the best or one of the four best of living players, but Henderson was an astonishing star over many years and his teams won a lot.

'

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Maybe I don't understand what this selection process was all about - what's up with the Nationals' list? I guess it includes the living Expos as well.

If Wahington DC had its own list, including the pre-Twins Senators and the pre-Rangers Senators, plus the current Nationals (minus the Expos), it would be something like Walter Johnson, Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Vernon, Goose Goslin, Tony Oliva, Jeff Burroughs...pick four!

I was thinking that the 'next four' for the Yankees would come from a list of Yogi Berra, Derek Jeter, Whitey Ford, Bill Dickey, Jack Chesbro, Lefty Gomez, Reggie Jackson, Red Ruffing, Mariano Rivera, Thurman Munson, Don Mattingly....and the list goes on.

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I agree with everything Dave (and Bruce) wrote, but only because Dave didn't come out and say Henderson belonged on that list - as good as Rickey Henderson was (and he *was* very, very good - maybe even the best player in baseball for several years), you simply cannot put him ahead of Stan Musial, who is 95 years old.

Henderson was something of a jerk to Lou Brock when he broke Brock's record - "Lou Brock was the synonym [pronounced as "cinnamon"] of great base stealing ... but today, *I* am the greatest of all-time." Henderson is a selfish man; okay, so is Bonds, granted, and that shouldn't factor into this ... but Henderson not only holds the all-time record for stolen bases; he also holds the all-time record for "times caught stealing," and his career batting average was .279.

Musial: 3-time MVP, 4-time MVP runner-up, 22 years with the same team, career batting average of .331, 475 home runs, 8-time doubles leader, 6-time hits leader, 6-time slugging percentage leader, Runs + RBIs (which is a true measure of run production) of 3,900 vs. Henderson's 3,410, 4th all-time hits leader behind Rose, Cobb, and Aaron with 3,630. I'm not going to put Musial ahead of Mays, but I might put him above everyone else who's alive right now, including Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson. He made the All-Star team every single year of his career except his first, and in that first year (when nobody knew who he was), he batted .315 and came in 12th in the MVP voting. He missed the 1945 season because he was off fighting in WWII, or he would have retired as only the 5th player to hit 500 home runs, joining Ruth, Foxx, Ott, and Williams. This man is one of the handful of greatest baseball players in history, and was beloved by just about everyone. To not even be on the *list of 8 candidates*?!

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There were two points to my first post in this thread:   Pujols was astonishingly great while playing for the Cards, and probably didn't make the "franchise four" because of the resentment felt by STL fans when he spurned them for the Angels.  (hey I can back up the "resentment thesis" via an enormous survey.....of 1  ;)  )

11 years, tremendous production.   I don't think that Pujols was tainted with the suspicion of steroids.   Was he?????   Meanwhile his stats were at the top of baseball over that period with the only competitors being known steroid users.  Really astonishing.

On the Henderson "thing"   he is an unusual baseball "star".   His accomplishments are so different from most everyone else we attribute to greatness and to the "best players".   He leads baseball in runs scored.  Of course he did it in an unusually long career.  He is currently 2nd in all time walks behind Barry Bonds.....but Henderson didn't get anywhere's near the intentional walks that Bonds got.  Henderson was a leadoff hitter.  NOBODY wants to walk a leadoff hitter.  Henderson crouched down into a "midget stance" purposefully.  He was difficult to pitch to.  And dang.  He hit a ton, in fact a record for leadoff home runs.  Impressive.

Here is a fact that is not an official "stat".   Add up Henderson's doubles per year and then add all the times he stole second base.   He would be the all time leader BY A LOT for getting to second base on his at bat.  The all time leader has just under 800 doubles.  Henderson had over 500 doubles and ALL THOSE steals.  Sure he got thrown out a lot (a lot by total....but he had an excellent record for steals against caught stealing).....and a lot of his times at first base were via walks.  (Take out the walks and he wouldn't have gotten base about 70% or more of the time)  So Henderson was an all time leader at getting into scoring position and then scoring.

Quite impressive.

He was a weird dude.  He said weird things....that made him either unlikable or unique.  He had both an ego and a love and understanding of the game.  By the way he often scored a lot of runs for teams that were not great run scorers.  He was valuable.

Greatest of all time, or "greatest living"?????    I don't know or wouldn't comment on that.  Its sort of subjective.   I'd just say he was great in his own right.

Now I compared him to Dennis Rodman in "greatness".   Both of them excelled in areas that are not the norm for assessing overall greatness.   For about 6,7,8 years Rodman was the best rebounder in basketball.  A truly great great offensive rebounder and similarly great on the defensive side.  He got his team the ball.   Then the teams scorers scored.   He was a role player great at what he did.  I think Henderson was the greatest role player as a leadoff hitter.

Heck I liked watching Henderson.  It was neat to watch a guy try and steal.  That is exciting.  He had to irritate the heck out of pitchers.

In any case the "franchise four's" are interesting.   As KN noted the Yankees could choose a franchise four, a second franchise four and match most or all teams with the second group.  The yanks...what a frickin dynasty over the decades.

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In any case the "franchise four's" are interesting.   As KN noted the Yankees could choose a franchise four, a second franchise four and match most or all teams with the second group.  The yanks...what a frickin dynasty over the decades.

In fact, you can almost make the case that Babe Ruth belongs in the franchise four of the Red Sox too....Teddy Ballgame, Yaz, Big Sloppy and Petey? Passing over Jim Rice and Cy Young (and Babe Ruth)? You can almost make a second franchise four of the Red Sox that would be better than the first franchise four if you throw in Jimmie Foxx.

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Here is a fact that is not an official "stat".   Add up Henderson's doubles per year and then add all the times he stole second base.   He would be the all time leader BY A LOT for getting to second base on his at bat.  The all time leader has just under 800 doubles.  Henderson had over 500 doubles and ALL THOSE steals.  Sure he got thrown out a lot (a lot by total....but he had an excellent record for steals against caught stealing).....and a lot of his times at first base were via walks.  (Take out the walks and he wouldn't have gotten base about 70% or more of the time)  So Henderson was an all time leader at getting into scoring position and then scoring.

"Getting into scoring position and then scoring" would be impossible to figure out, but my guess is that Henderson probably would be the all-time leader, followed very closely by Cobb.

I remember thinking, during his early years, that he was the biggest offensive threat in baseball, but I'd largely forgotten about him over the decades. Your posts have made me realize just what an imposing (and annoying) offensive player he was to opposing teams.

One amazing statistic was that even though he had almost 300 home runs, he only hit more than 18 home runs 4 times in his career.

Having thought about this, maybe he *does* belong on the list of eight; I sure wouldn't have picked him off the top of my head, but his achievements are incredible.

Just to add a little spice to the soup:

"MLB Franchise Four - Biggest Snubs for each Team" by Kyle Franzoni on fansided.com

"Franchise Fifth: Near-Misses, Snubs from MLB's Franchise Four" by Ryan Fagan on sportingnews.com <--- I am *so glad* he agrees about the absurdity of Buster Posey.

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I have heard this promotion was a tie-in with the movie Fantastic Four, and not very serious at all. What was the reason at all for 4, not 5, not 9, which is the better number altogether?

If the city were the unit involved, then the 4 for DC would IMO be Walter Johnson, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and either Sam Rice, Bucky Harris, Goose Goslin, or Frank Howard. Lest anyone say the Negro Leagues don't count or the Grays weren't Washington's team, I say they were the NY Yankees of the Negro Leagues for about 10 years, and spent quite a few years with either half or two thirds of their home games in DC, not Pittsburgh, so that should count for something. If they Grays were Pittsburgh's team, then why weren't Gibson and Bell on their Fantastic Four?

Notable left outs on Fantastic Four:

Yogi Berra. How did THIS guy get left off the Yankees Mt. Rushmore? Shows how good the Yankee franchise has historically been.

Albert Pujols. Good call! I would also say Dizzy Dean should have been on the Cardinals' Fours for his 30 win seasons.

Juan Marichal. Belongs with the Giants top 4 above Posey. Marichal was the winningest pitcher of the 60s.

Not sure but did Grover Cleveland Alexander make it on his team? Dominating pitcher.

Eddie Collins with the Athletics.

And Frank Robinson should have been in the top 4 living players, IMO.

Why wasn't there a top 4 managers category?

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If the city were the unit involved, then the 4 for DC would IMO be Walter Johnson, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and either Sam Rice, Bucky Harris, Goose Goslin, or Frank Howard. Lest anyone say the Negro Leagues don't count or the Grays weren't Washington's team, I say they were the NY Yankees of the Negro Leagues for about 10 years, and spent quite a few years with either half or two thirds of their home games in DC, not Pittsburgh, so that should count for something. If they Grays were Pittsburgh's team, then why weren't Gibson and Bell on their Fantastic Four?

For what it's worth (and I'm not saying it's worth much), they had a separate Negro League category. I suspect Ken Burns had a lot to do with this (indirectly).

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True.

The winners in the Pioneer category were not even nominees but overlooked stars who rightly should have been named to the Fantastic Four. Somebody thought they surely would have been elected to their teams' Fantastic 4.

Winners:

Walter Johnson
Nap Lajoie
Christy Mathewson
Cy Young

Here were the nominees for Pioneers. Winners were not even nominated in this category.

 
    • Grover C. Alexander | SP
       
    • pio_anson_200.png
      Cap Anson | 1B
       
    • pio_ewing_200.png
      Buck Ewing | C
       
    • pio_keeler_200.png
      Wee Willie Keeler | RF
       
    • pio_kelly_200.png
      King Kelly | RF
       
    • pio_nichols_200.png
      Kid Nichols | SP
       
    • pio_sisler_200.png
      George Sisler | 1B
       
    • pio_wright_200.png
      George Wright | SS
       
       
       

       
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I was just browsing through the Franchise Four page, and noticed that Nolan Ryan made it on *three teams*.

It about killed me to see Eddie Murray left off the Orioles' list, but who are you going to replace? You have to put Murray at #5, unfortunately.

Rickey Henderson being nominated as one of the 8 Greatest Living Players is a joke. I know the fans voted for the winners, but who came up with the lists?

Maybe I don't understand what this selection process was all about - what's up with the Nationals' list? I guess it includes the living Expos as well.

The Giants have an extremely imposing list, right behind the Yankees and right ahead of the Cardinals. That said, Buster Posey ahead of *Christy Mathewson*Orlando Cepeda, and Juan Marichal? WTF?!

I've since softened my view about Rickey Henderson - he accomplished a *lot* that i didn't know about. Still, I'm curious to know what people think of the 8 Greatest Living Players list - I guess the two people that stand out the most to me are Henderson (still) and Bench. I'm not saying either one doesn't belong on the list; only that they're not "gimmes" like Aaron or Mays. 

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