“Are you a huge baseball fan? Here are some of the most famous baseball players and what they did.”
This could be tricky. Who should be included in this kind of list is a bit subjective; true baseball fans will indeed have varying ideas from the occasional fan to the national sportswriter. Of course any roll opens up a huge can of worms, so to speak, because you can always make a case for almost any player with the statistics to support him. However, the following names have stood the test of time. You are welcome to disagree, but you might want to do your research before comparing your ideas to someone else’s.
George Herman Ruth, Jr., “The Bambino” or “The Sultan of Swat,” as he was known, played twenty-two seasons. His career began as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but later the New York Yankees bought his contract in 1919 when he converted to a right fielder. As a pitcher, Ruth was outstanding, but his hitting ability far surpassed his pitching talent. He was the first player to hit 60 home runs in a season. His charisma and talent catapulted the game of baseball to popularity in 1920. Many of Babe Ruth’s records stood for over fifty years, a near record in itself. And with 95% of the votes, became a member of the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame class of 1936.
The “Iron Horse” played seventeen seasons limited only by a diagnosis of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Baseball Writers Association in 1969 voted him the greatest first baseman. He enjoyed his career with the New York Yankees from 1923 – 1939, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939 by a special election. He died less than two years later at his home in New York.
“The Splendid Splinter” played his entire career for the Boston Red Sox as a left fielder, and was the last major league player to hit .400 in a single season; .406 in 1941. Because of the current events of the time, his career saw military commitment interrupt it twice; he was a U.S. Marine Corps fighter-bomber pilot. Although he never won a World Series Championship, the Hall of Fame greeted him in 1966 with 93% of the vote.
Henry Louis Aaron, better known as “Hammerin’ Hank” played 23 seasons, all but two of these with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. The Braves moved to Atlanta in 1965. Hank Aaron established himself as one of the greatest players/hitters of all time; broke Babe Ruth’s home run record (714) by ending with 755 making him the true home run king, with no reservations! In addition to many other accomplishments/records, Hank appeared in 21 All-Star games and in 1982 received 97% of the votes in his election to the Hall of Fame. Not only is he well-liked and well-respected among both players and fans, he returned to serve as the Vice President of Player Development for the Atlanta Braves.
Besides a stream of records and accomplishments, Stan “The Man” Musial’s reputation shines in this notable sportscaster’s comment: “All Musial represents is more than two decades of sustained excellence and complete decency as a human being.” After 93% of the vote, Stan became a member of the Hall of Fame class of 1969.
Records – Made for Breaking!
Many other names occupy the list of baseball greats, Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb, and Willie Mays for example, and several others from today’s rosters will take their place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but only a handful will come close to the caliber of their predecessors. These men were great baseball players who played the game with great intensity, joy, sacrifice, and love of the game. No matter the roll call, baseball and its names come together for memorable times and broken records; what about this year! Grab your glove and hat and let’s “PLAY BALL!”