Mitchell: The Great Debate
The other day on MLB.com, they posed an interesting question to fans. Who would you put on your baseball Mt. Rushmore? A neat exercise, but as soon as you begin, you realize what you are up against. Four faces to represent the game of baseball? An impossible task, yet it’s one anyone can do and be just as right as anyone else (within reason).
Working in the front office of a baseball team, these discussions come up from time to time, usually in the off season when we are pining for the games to start, or when the news of the day leads into it, such as Hall of Fame voting, major retirement announcements, player deaths.
Top player lists are rivaled only by “Is He a Hall-of-Famer?” debates for their ferocity. You could go to just about any number in the top player lists and the bigger the number, the more room for argument there is. A top 10 or 20 will be filled with names that few could say don’t belong, but the argument is how can you put player A in above or instead of player B. Expand to a top 50 and you have the same problems, but the pool of candidates swells a lot because even though Pete Rose and are likely not on any respectable top 10 list, he’s got to be in the top 50…right? What about admitted PED users? Should a thoroughly feared hitter like Frank Thomas be considered even though he spent half of his time at DH? Should you include pitchers or make a separate list for them? These questions are one of the things that make baseball such a great part of the American landscape. Everyone has their own interpretation of the qualifications and even then, their personal bias can shade opinions. Here’s my top 20 list. I’ve concentrated on just position players and listed them alphabetically. We’ll see if we can get Leo to chime in with a list of his own, then we can argue!
Feel free to share your top 10 or 20 or 50. With Spring Training here, baseball talk is back!