[The eleventh in a series: I’m picking one player that I associate with a team (whether they spent the majority of their career there or not) that I would strongly consider adding to my official want lists. They may not always be superstars, or the most popular, and honestly they may not always be my favorite player from the team, but that’s what will make this fun, no?]
I’m looking to make some significant progress on this series. Before the hiatus, I would occasionally throw a post together based on the whim of the day. Now, I think it’s worthwhile to try to finish it close to the end of the season. After all, I have just about all the players picked, I just need to find and scan the cards before some of these guys get traded away.
With that in mind, since the Cubs have just finished a weird series against the Rockies (boy, do we need pitching), let’s go ahead and pick some hypothetical collection selections.
Carlos Gonzalez is an under-appreciated beast of a player. I think that Giancarlo Stanton is getting more recognition these days, but Gonzalez is a very similar player. Stanton has more power, but Gonzalez has a higher average, more speed and can still give you 20-30 HRs in a full season. He’s currently signed through 2017, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the Cubs try to make something happen in a year or two.
Current player runner-up: Troy Tulowitzki
I appreciate team longevity. It’s something that doesn’t occur very often anymore for various reasons. Unfortunately Tulo was recently traded so we can’t rely on him being a one-team wonder either (Carlos may have been as well – this is written a couple days before the end of the trade deadline), but he’s been solid for the team when he can stay in one piece. He had some potential to be a breakout player, but I think the injuries derailed that. Now, he’s just very good.
Retired player runner-up: Larry Walker
To be honest, I thought about going with Andres Galarraga, but simply went with Walker instead. I like the idea of collecting a bunch of Expos cards as well. I know they both played for Montreal, but Larry was with the team during years when 350 companies produced cards with endless parallels instead of just 4 with a sticker set here and there, so there would be more of them to chase with Lar Lar Walks (TM, patent pending).
The Series So Far
Angels – (tie) Jim Abbott & Vladimir Guerrero
Brewers – Bob Eucker
Cardinals – Jim Edmonds
Indians – Jim Thome
Mets – (tie) Darryl Strawberry & Dwight Gooden
Phillies – Mike Schmidt
Pirates – Andrew McCutchen
Rangers – Nolan Ryan
Reds – Eric Davis
Rockies – Carlos Gonzalez
White Sox – Paul Konerko