Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My Favorite Team

It is All Star game time and fans voted for the favorite players in the game.  Just like every other fan, I have my favorites too.  I will give you mine here but with a twist.  I will exclude all players and former players from my favorite team - Detroit Tigers.   Here goes.

Catcher -  Salvador Perez , Kansas City Royals.  I like him because he is a gamer.  He plays just about every game each and every year.  He is one of the best defensive players and is good offensively too.   I respect guys who show up for work everyday and give it their all.

First Base - Wil Myers, San Diego Padres.  I like him because he is not your prototypical first sacker. He doesn't hit 30-40 homers and strikeout a ton each year.  No dead pull hitter that the extreme shifts are deployed against.  Plus he is old school and doesn't wear batting gloves

2nd Base -  Jose Altuve, Houston Astros.  How is someone so small be so good at the game.  Is fun to watch and an inspiration for the short people,

3rd Base - Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies.  He can hit at home at Coors Field and away from too.  Plus defensively, he is the best. A Gold Glover winner each year in the majors.  He plays jaw dropping plays routine.

Shortstop - Andrelton Simmons , Los Angeles Dodgers.  There is so many young good shortstops in the league right now.  Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, Addison Russell to name a few.  It hard pick one of them, so I am going away from the group to one of the best gloves in the field.  I enjoy good glovemen.  Pure artistry on the field.

Outfielders - Ichiro Suzuki, Miami Marlins.  A legend in two professional leagues yet he still stays humble. At one time, he could do it all on the field.

Andrew McCutchen . Pittsburgh Pirates,  A former MVP and one of the good guys in the game.

Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles,  I have always liked how he carried himself on the field. He speaks his mind with class too.  I also highly considered Mike Trout because he is the best and most talented player in the game.

Starting Pitcher-  Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants.  He is an old school ace.  Give him the ball and he wants to go a full nine innings and wants to pitch in the big games also.  Plus he can hit too.
 Also high on my list is Jon Lester and Johnny Cueto.

Relief Pitchers - Pat Neshek, Philadelphia Phillies.  I have overall disliking for relief pitchers that I don't really want to get into here.  So, I will go with a fellow avid baseball card collector  Neshek is working on a complete 1970 Topps set- autographed.

There you have my favorite team excluding Tigers.  Remember, these guys are my favorites not necessarily who I think are the best.  Picking the best at each position is just plain lazy in my opinion.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My 2017 Hall of Fame Vote

Wednesday is the announcement for the 2017 Hall of Fame class. I would like give my ballot (if had one ) before the inductees are announced.
As a reminder, each voter is allowed to vote from zero to ten players.  A player must receive a minimum of 75%  in order to be inducted.  If a player gets less than 5%, he is off the ballot permanently. 
So here is my ballot:
Jeff Bagwell
Tim Raines
Mike Mussina
Curt Schilling
Fred McGriff
Vladimir Guerrero

I am on the fence with Ivan Rodriguez, Larry Walker and Edgar Martinez.  How much of link is there with Rodriguez and PEDs?  and With Walker and Martinez, both are very very good players but not sure quite Hall worthy.  I am a hardline no with Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds right now.

Who do I think will get in? Bagwell and Raines. Guerrero has real good shot, he may sneak in on the first ballot but my guess he will have to wait a year.  Rodriguez and Trevor Hoffman will come close also.  Clemens and Bonds will get more votes than ever but still fall short.

I am also hoping that Jorge Posada receives at least 5% of votes.  I don't think he will get in soon but I believe he should be on the ballot in the future and not be just a one and done.

Friday, January 6, 2017

In Memoriam: "Superman" Pennington

Baseball lost a former star on Wednesday, but most fans may have never heard of him. His name is Art Pennington.  He played in the old Negro Leagues in the 1940s primarily with the Chicago American Giants.
2009 Topps Allen & Ginter

Pennington was a versatile player on the diamond. He had power and speed while playing several positions too.  He finished near or at the top in stolen bases and batting average consistently with the like of Jackie Robinson and Sam Jethroe.  Pennington appeared in two All Star games-1942 and 1950.

There is an old story that when a Pennington was a teenager, he faced the great Satchel Paige.  Paige said to the youngster "Come on up, little boy" with Pennington telling him to just "throw it and duck".  Well, Paige got the best of Pennington that day but he hit well enough overall as a pro to have it become his signature phrase.

Like many other negro leaguers, Pennington also played winter ball in Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela.  Most black players loved playing in these countries as there were no prejudices and they lived as free men.  Pennington held his old own during the winter leagues playing with and against the likes of Ray Dandridge, Willie Wells , Josh Gibson and several big league stars too.

After his stints in the Negro Leagues and winter ball, Pennington played several seasons in the minor leagues.  Even though he had success in the minors (hitting over .300 for multiple seasons), he never got the call to the big leagues.  The majors were still being integrated and the teams that signed the black players only signed a token few even though more were qualified.

Pennigton's other big highlight was hitting home runs off of big leaguers Sal Maglie and Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean in an exhibition game.  Pennington was 93 years old.