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Silent Wind of Doom

Franchise Four

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I got an e-mail a couple of days ago from the Yankees. Apparently as part of the all-star festivities this year Major League Baseball is polling fans to name their team's "Franchise Four", the four "most impactful players" that represent the team's history. Sadly, as a Yankees fan there is little consideration and deliberation that can be made on the subject as there are four granite slabs beyond the outfield wall that represent four of the greatest players of all time, but it's fun to consider which four you would choose for each team. What are your "Franchise Four" for each major league team, or just your own team?

Here's my picks. Just the East for now as I think about the other divisions...

Yankees: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle

Red Sox: Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz

Orioles: Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr.

Blue Jays: Roberto Alomar, Dave Stieb, Roy Halladay, Joe Carter

Rays: Wade Boggs, Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria,

Mets: Tom Seaver, Mike Piazza, David Wright, Gary Carter

Braves: Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz

Phillies: Grover Cleveland Alexander, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Cole Hamels

Nationals: Rusty Staub, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Stephen Strasburgh

Marlins: Jeff Conine, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Livan Hernandez

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This one is tough. These 4 didn't make it and that's a better 4 than most teams first 4. Carl Hubbell, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, Willie McCovery,

NY/SF Giants: Willie Mays, Christy Mathewson, Barry Bonds, Mel Ott.

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For the Pittsburgh Pirates three of the four would be without dispute: Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell. The fourth, however, you could have endless debate about.

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For the Pittsburgh Pirates three of the four would be without dispute: Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell. The fourth, however, you could have endless debate about.

Pie Traynor, Paul Waner, and Ralph Kiner. Out of those 3 I give it to Traynor. Bill Mazeroski isn't as good as those guys.

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It's a shame that it's players only. I really felt a tug wanting me to include Weaver, Gaston, Stengel, Cox, and Maddon.

I screwed up. I got an e-mail from the Mets to pick THEIR Franchise Four, and after seeing the options realized I'd completely missed Gooden and Strawberry. Between them and Hernandez, I don't actually know who should take Carter's place, although I might have to drop Wright too and take two.

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Yankees: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle

Add Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron to that list and you pretty much cover all baseball, IMO.

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Seattle Mariners is actually tougher than I thought.

Ken Griffey, Jr

Edgar Martínez

Randy Johnson

Ichiro Suzuki

Felix Hernandez

Jay Buhner

I dunno who to take out.

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For the Pittsburgh Pirates three of the four would be without dispute: Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell. The fourth, however, you could have endless debate about.

Pie Traynor, Paul Waner, and Ralph Kiner. Out of those 3 I give it to Traynor. Bill Mazeroski isn't as good as those guys.

Maybe (and agreed where Maz is concerned), but most Pittsburghers would pick Kiner. I'd also swap out the pre-steroid Bonds and replace him with Dave Parker on MLB's site.

Seattle Mariners is actually tougher than I thought.

Ken Griffey, Jr

Edgar Martínez

Randy Johnson

Ichiro Suzuki

Felix Hernandez

Jay Buhner

I dunno who to take out.

Martinez and Hernandez.

Glad I could be of help. :)

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For the Pittsburgh Pirates three of the four would be without dispute: Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell. The fourth, however, you could have endless debate about.

Pie Traynor, Paul Waner, and Ralph Kiner. Out of those 3 I give it to Traynor. Bill Mazeroski isn't as good as those guys.

Maybe (and agreed where Maz is concerned), but most Pittsburghers would pick Kiner. I'd also swap out the pre-steroid Bonds and replace him with Dave Parker on MLB's site.

Seattle Mariners is actually tougher than I thought.

Ken Griffey, Jr

Edgar Martínez

Randy Johnson

Ichiro Suzuki

Felix Hernandez

Jay Buhner

I dunno who to take out.

Martinez and Hernandez.

Glad I could be of help. :)

tough to take Hernandez out when hes probably the best pitcher in franchise history, I think he has passed Randy who had his best years in Arizona. First guy I would take out is Buhner. Then I think I'm leaning towards Randy. Edgar Martinez IS THE MARINERS, can't take him out.

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For my Tigers:

Ty Cobb

Charlie Gehringer

Al Kaline

Alan Trammell

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Cubs: Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg

Nationals: Rusty Staub, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Stephen Strasburgh

Vladimir Guerrero goes ahead of Strasburg. If that means the Nats list is all Expos, that's the Nats' fault.

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Thinking about the Dodgers...

Jackie Robinson

Sandy Koufax

Duke Snider

Don Drysdale

The Cardinals...

Stan Musial

Ozzie Smith

Albert Pujols

Bob Gibson

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Blue Jays:

Alomar

Bautista

Halladay

Delgado

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Here's my franchise four so far.

  • Rays: Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, Scott Kazmir, Wade Boggs
  • Reds: Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez (Pete Rose would be in the franchise four if he didn't get banned from baseball).
  • Rockies: Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez
  • Diamondbacks: Luis Gonzalez, Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Brandon Webb
  • Dodgers: Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Duke Snider, Don Drysdale
  • Braves: Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones, Henry "Hank" Aaron, Warren Spahn
  • Cardinals: Albert Pujols, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith
  • Cubs: Ernie Banks (RIP), Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, Sammy Sosa
  • Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr., Ichiro, Felix Hernandez, Edgar Martinez

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It's a fan poll and I kinda doubt very many Twins fans are going to recognize the "franchise" part of this, even most that know who Walter Johnson is. At the risk of opening part of the "franchise/team history" debate (which I really don't think we should do here), I do notice that the Twins have much less connection to their past than, say, the Giants and Dodgers. That is probably in part because of how bad the original Senators were along with the name change. So Walter Johnson will not be winning that vote which is too bad because he's the best in franchise history.

My votes:

  • Walter Johnson
  • Rod Carew
  • Kirby Puckett
  • Harmon Killebrew

Hardest to leave off:

  • Tony Oliva

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Silent Wind of Doom is spot on about the Mets, Seaver and Piazza are a given, Wright probably so. Gooden, Hernandez and Strawberry is pretty much a toss up; personally I went Gooden but any one of them would be more than legitimate.

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For the Pittsburgh Pirates three of the four would be without dispute: Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell. The fourth, however, you could have endless debate about.

The Pirates version of Barry Bonds deserves to be on the top 4 of that franchise.

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Seattle Mariners is actually tougher than I thought.

Ken Griffey, Jr

Edgar Martínez

Randy Johnson

Ichiro Suzuki

Felix Hernandez

Jay Buhner

I dunno who to take out.

Martinez and Hernandez.

Glad I could be of help. :)

Griffey, Ichiro, Martinez and Randy. Easy as pie.

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Vlad is still an Expo to me. He certainly had good years with the Angels, who in turn had good years with him, but for a while, he was the Expos.

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