[The thirteenth 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?]
Growing up in the ’90s meant that baseball = Atlanta Braves. They were absolutely dominant for a good long time, but only managed to win the World Series once in that stretch. Still, it made for entertaining television, and they became the team I would root for in the postseason. Not anymore, of course. On either front.
A very large reason for the dominance was the explosive starting pitching. Not only did they have Greg Maddux, but they also had Tom Glavine and John Smoltz (all three Hall of Famers). I could have also picked some of their sluggers of the era, but instead I’m going with the “what could have been” choice. Steve Avery had an incredible amount of potential, but injuries derailed him to the point of no return. In reality, the reason I’m picking Steve is for personal reasons. Our family collected his cards and I’d probably just keep that tradition going.
Current player runner-up: Freddie Freeman
Basically he’s the only player I know that’s still on the team. He is still on the team, right?
Retired player runner-up: Dale Murphy
Murphy didn’t get a whole lot of Hall of Fame love from voters, but the fans still appreciate his career. I certainly remember him as one of the greats. I also sometimes confuse him with Paul Molitor, but that’s a separate issue. Either way, I think he’d be more fun to collect than some of the other hitters in Braves days past.
The Series So Far
Angels – (tie) Jim Abbott & Vladimir Guerrero
Braves – Steve Avery
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
Tigers – Alan Trammell
White Sox – Paul Konerko