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Top Left Fielders of all time

Top Left Fielders of all time

Stan Musial

Joe DiMaggio once said that it "wasn't possible to describe just how great Stan Musial was." Musial was "The Man" in St. Louis, leading the Cardinals to pennants in four of his first five seasons, winning three Most Valuable Player awards and seven batting titles. He ranks at near the top of a very talented group of left fielders.

Ranking the Left Fielders

Joe DiMaggio once said that it "wasn't possible to describe just how great Stan Musial was." Musial was "The Man" in St. Louis, leading the Cardinals to pennants in four of his first five seasons, winning three Most Valuable Player awards and seven batting titles. He ranks at near the top of a very talented group of left fielders.

Left Fielder Facts

Pirates' left fielder Ralph Kiner hit two walk-off grand slams in his career... During the 1935 World Series against the Cubs, Goose Goslin kept an entire rabbit in the clubhouse, figuring if a rabbit's foot was good luck, then an entire rabbit must be even better. Goslin delivered the Series-winning hit in Game Six.

Best at running uphill

During Lewis's tenure in Boston patrolling left field, Fenway Park featured a ten-foot-high mound that formed an incline in front of the left field wall, now better know as the Green Monster. He mastered the incline to such an extent that it was nicknamed "Duffy's Cliff."

Quotable

"I think if you come to the ballpark and you see Carl Crawford hit a triple, you've had a pretty good day. Because when he hits the ball down the line, or in the gap, he's thinking three. He never thinks two. He breaks [for a] triple. He wants triple, he takes triple."— Joe Maddon

Best throwing arms

  • Bob Johnson - When he retired, Bob Johnson ranked eighth all-time in home runs. Yet, he's hardly remembered today. The hard-hitting left fielder was an All-Star in eight of his 13 seasons, and received MVP votes in six seasons, including his rookie year and the final year of his career.
  • Bo Jackson - To see it was to believe it . . . Bo had all the tools.
  • Carl Yastrzemski - Yaz turned doubles into singles

Best Bunters

  • Jimmy Sheckard - His 46 Sacrifce bunts are still the record for a National League
  • George Burns - "One of the most valuable ball players that ever wore the uniform of the Giants." — John McGraw
  • Heinie Manush - Alabama-native Heinie Manush was a dead-ball era hitter who came to the big leagues as the home run was gaining favor in the 1920s. Despite his unfortunate timing, he was very successful – posting a .330 career batting average. He won a batting title on the final day of the season, and lost a batting title on the final day of the season. Manush's line-drive swing benefited from the teachings of Ty Cobb, who was his first manager in the big leagues.

Best of the Unranked

  • Jim O'Rourke - Elected into the Hall of Fame in 1945, For the period 1876–1892, he ranks behind only Cap Anson in career major league games played (1644), hits (2146), at-bats (6884), doubles (392) and total bases (2936), and behind only Harry Stovey in runs scored (1370).
  • Dusty Baker - Hank Aaron said, "Dusty Baker has more potential than any outfielder I've seen in all my seasons with the Braves." On April 8, 1974, Baker was on deck when Hank Aaron hit home run 715 to pass Babe Ruth in career home runs. (He said he hit a double "That nobody saw and nobody cared" in that at-bat.)
  • Topsy Harstel - The lefthanded leadoff man played for four pennant winners in his ten seasons with the Athletics and in 1902, he led the AL in stolen bases and runs scored. He set the record for walks in a season in 1905 and lead the league 5 times in walks and once in steals. Was a key member of the Philadelphia A's 4 Pennant winners from 1902- 1910.
  • Duffy Lewis - Lewis was the left fielder in the famous Red Sox outfield that included Tris Speaker and Harry Hooper. He became so adept at fielding along the steep incline in front of Fenway Park's left-field fence that it became known as "Duffy's Cliff."
  • Augie Galan - He had a good career despite having a cripled right arm. He also was first player to homer from both sides of the plate in a game, and first player to play an entire season without hitting into a double play.
  • Harry Stovey - Stovey combined slugging power with great running speed and a strong arm. He was the first to wear sliding pads and among the first to slide feet first. A home run hitter in the dead-ball era, he led his league in homers six times, with a personal high of 19 in 1889
  • Sid Gordon - Thought of so highly, th Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets field had, Sid Gordon day when he played for archrival New York Giant's. Power hitting outfielder for many seasons in the National League.
  • B.J. Surhoff - Became a solid left fielder for several teams. His left-handed bat proved valuable in the lineup no matter where he played, and he was especially popular in Baltimore, where he spent two stints and enjoyed his best seasons. In the 1996 AL Division Series for the Orioles, Surhoff blasted three homers to help defeat the Indians in four games. He collected his 2,000th hit with the Braves in 2001.
  • Ron Gant - in 1991, Gant became the third player in history to have back-to-back 30-30 seasons, joining Willie Mays and Bobby Bonds in the elite club. He was also among the league leaders in dingers, doubles, RBIs, runs, and stolen bases, powering the Braves to their first division title -- and World Series -- in years.

Most controversial

  • Barry Bonds - A man who needs no introduction to controversy, Bonds started alienating people as a rookie and never stopped throughout his career. After he retired he was found guilty in federal court of obstruction of justice. His records certainly have come into question with his relationship with BALCO.
  • Joe Jackson - Long before Barry Bonds, Shoeless Joe was banished for life from baseball for is involvement with fixing the 1919 World Series.
  • Dave Kingman - Kingman could hit baseballs great distances, but disdained defense, the fans, and sportswriters - female writers in particular.
  • Albert Belle - Joey Belle changed his name to Albert because of his reputation. The story of the corked bat is priceless as his teammates snuck into the umpires room to steal it, but what he did to the kids on Halloween is scary. Belle has Hall of Fame numbers but will need a ticket to get in.
  • Manny Ramirez -A sure lock Hall of Famer has colored himself in discrace since the 2007 Season. He has twice tested positive for PED's, shot his way out of Boston, pushed a 60 something year old man and recently got arrested for domestic violence.

Two for the Hall

  • Minnie Minoso - "I know that baseball fans have me in their own Hall of Fame - the one in their hearts. That matters more to me than any official recognition. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be, and I am truly honored to be considered. I've given my life to baseball, and the game has given me so much." — after he failed to earn election to the Hall of Fame by a special Negro leagues ballot in 2006
  • Lefty O'Doul - At the age of 31, in 1928, he made it back to the majors as an outfielder with the New York Giants. The following year with the Phillies, the hard-hitting O'Doul smacked 254 hits and 32 homers, while batting .398 to win the first of his two batting titles. He topped the 200-hit mark twice more, and batted .300 or better six times in his "second career."

Best Fly Chasers

  • Joe Rudi - 3 time gold glove winner who made game saving catch in 1972 World Series. He was the back bone of the Oakland A's.
  • Minnie Minoso - Minoso won 3 Gold Gloves in his short career.
  • Carl Yastrzemski - Yaz was perennial Gold Glover, he covered the green monster like few others.

Best leadoff men

  • Rickey Henderson - Bill James said Rickey Henderson had two hall of fame careers, as a base stealer and home run hitter.
  • Jimmy Sheckard - Though chiefly remembered for his years with the Cubs, for whom he played in four World Series, Sheckard had his best years with Brooklyn. He batted .353 while leading the league with 19 triples and a .536 slugging percentage for the 1901 Brooklyn Superbas; his 11 HR and 104 RBI were career highs.
  • Tim Raines - Sadly, Rock Raines played in same time as our #1, Rickey Henderson, if he played in any other time he would of received far more notarity. As is he should be a hall of famer at some point in the next few years.
By The Baseball Page

 

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Tagged:
1935 World Series, AL MVP, Albert Belle, Augie Galan, B.J. Surhoff, Barry Bonds, Bo Jackson, Bob Johnson, Carl Crawford, Carl Yastrzemski, Dave Kingman, Duffy Lewis, Dusty Baker, Fenway Park, George Burns, Goose Goslin, Harry Stovey, Heinie Manush, Jim O'Rourke, Jimmy Sheckard, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Jackson, Joe Maddon, Joe Rudi, Lefty O'Doul, Manny Ramirez, Minnie Minoso, Ralph Kiner, Rickey Henderson, Ron Gant, Sid Gordon, St. Louis Cardinals, Stan Musial, Tim Raines, Topsy Hartsel
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