Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mt. Rushmore - National League Central

I read back over my last two Rushmore entries and noticed that I don't really go way back in terms of selecting great players.  They existed back then and many old-old-timers will get onto Rusmores of their respective teams.  But, I often choose, during these times, on emotion and memory.  Plus, I have my friggin' favorites and normally those are guys I have seen play before.  So, deal with it people.

Here's the National League Central.  A classic division with some great all-time teams.

Cincinnati Reds:  Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, and Barry Larkin.

Defense:  Does this Rushmore need defending?  Each and every one of those guys defined that team during their era.  Rose was possibly the best hitter to ever pick up a bat.  Just TONS of hits.  I mean, it's Charlie-fuckin-Hustle, dude!  Morgan, even though I don't really care for him on TV, was a great hitter and a Hall of Famer.  Johnny Bench, well he pretty much revolutionized the catching position.  He could hit and play defense...back in the day you got one or the other.  Barry Larkin may be the biggest star of them all.  A classy, great player on both sides of the ball.

Pittsburgh Pirates:  Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, and Ralph Kiner.

Defense:  I could have easily put Barry Lamar Bonds on the Pirates Rushmore.  He deserved to be in SF.  Honus Wagner...never saw him play.  But, if that cat has a baseball card worth more than I will ever make in a lifetime.  Hell, you get on the list sir.  Clemente was just a true talent that got stripped from this world far too early.  A true humanitarian and great person.  Stargell, who was quite possibly the ringleader for the "We are Family"-Pirates could flat out smash the ball.  Pure power.  The same with Kiner.  Ralph isn't as beloved around the country as he is in the Steel City, but he was an all-time great.

St. Louis Cardinals:  Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Albert Pujols, and Ozzie Smith.

Defense:  Seriously?  I need to defend this list.  Really?  I can do it super-quick.  A pure hitter with power.  A power pitcher that could wilt you with a stare.  The best hitter on the modern era.  And the best fielding shortstop ever.  That was easy.  The hardest part about picking the Cardinals Rushmore was narrowing down the field.

Chicago Cubs:  Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, Fergie Jenkins, and Ron Santo.

Defense:  Let me start with the last guy on the list.  Ron Santo was just so awesome.  He waited for so long to be inducted into the Hall of Fame but when that time came, he had already passed away.  That is just too fucking tragic and I hate that for a great guy and fantastic player.  Banks is THE face of the Cubs.  He defines the Cubs and is beloved.  Hell of a player, too.  Sandberg was one of my favorites growing up.  He hit for average, power, and played defense.  On top of it all, Ryno was a leader.  Finally, Fergie Jenkins, the first Canadian to be inducted into the Hall, managed to be one of the greatest pitchers ever.

Milwaukee Brewers:  Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Ryan Braun, and Prince Fielder.

Defense:  This was...hard.  The former Seattle Pilots have not had what we would normally call an "illustrious history".  Their teams have often sucked, to be frank.  But, Robin Yount was a beast.  Just a great hitter with a wicked-awesome mustache.  Paul Molitor, Yount's teammate for a while, was a pure hitter...just one of the greats.  You can pick a Molitor autograph pretty cheaply, too.  For some reason, he doesn't get a ton of respect.  Braun and Fielder are on this list because...well, there's no one else.  They are both awesome players even though Braun's integrity is now in question and Fielder bounced
at his first chance to make some real dough.  The Brewer's history is just sad, man.


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