Ranking the Center Fielders
Joe DiMaggio made playing center field for the New York Yankees cool. He was graceful and he was a winner (10 pennants in 13 seasons), and helped establish the Yankee mystique. Switch-hitting Mickey Mantle combined power and speed in ways no one ever had before. Other great Yankee center fielders who made the top 50 include Earle Combs, Bernie Williams, and Johnny Damon.
Center Field Facts:
Larry Doby was the first black player to play for a World Series champion in the major leagues... Vada Pinson's 1,000th and 2,000th hits were home runs... Ty Cobb became the first ball player to star in a movie, a drama written by Grantland Rice titled Somewhere in Georgia.
Best life made into a screenplay
In spite of his fine career as one of the AL's best center fielders and bunters in the 1950s, Jimmy Piersall is best known for his well-publicized battle with bipolar disorder that became the subject of the movie Fear Strikes Out.
Dubbed "The Black Ty Cobb," Oscar Charleston was a five-tool player before that term was invented. Starring for some of the best Negro league teams in history, Cool Papa Bell was maybe the fastest runner in baseball history.
- New York Yankees