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We all know that when you hear a reference to "Mr. Cub," that's the one and only Ernie Banks. So he's this team's starting shortstop. Or maybe first baseman, we'll see. What are we going for here? Well, we have 30 teams in the big leagues, and a standard Hall of Names roster includes 25 players plus a manager, sometimes some coaches, maybe an owner or a mascot -- you get the idea.

What kind of team can we build of players who were their franchise's equivalent of Banks? That requires two steps, and who knows, possibly some heated arguments (which is always fun). First, we have to identify everyone from Mr. Brave to Mr. Mariner, all the way from Atlanta to Seattle. Then, we have to see if our list can make up a legitimate roster. To that point, a few rules ...



  • One-A, "Mr. [Team]" does NOT necessarily need to be the best player in a franchise's history, just the first guy identified with the team. For instance, Al Kaline might well be Mr. Tiger -- apologies to Ty Cobb. And isn't Joe DiMaggio more Mr. Yankee than even the greatest position player of all time, Babe Ruth?
  • One-B ... it doesn't actually have to be a player. Coaches, managers, owners ...
  • Two, no cheating -- don't for a moment think to yourself, "Well, the roster needs a catcher or two, so let's make Carlton Fisk Mr. Red Sox. There's a certain Mr. Williams who'd like a word about that -- ot to mention a Mr. Yastrzemski!
  • There are many "obvious" choices, but some will be quite a bit harder than you'd think.

For instance, Mr. Met is certainly Tom Seaver, right? (Apologies to Mr. Met himself, the mascot actually named Mr. Met).

For the Reds -- Bench? Rose? Larkin? Kluszewksi? The Royals is George Brett (duh) but St. Louis -- of course it's Musial, right? But what about Gibson, Brock and Dean?

The late expansion teams could pose an issue -- who's Mr. Rockie? Mr. Marlin? Mr. Diamondback? Mr. Devil Ray? Are these players who are still active -- maybe even not yet in their primes?

So, ready, set, go ... who's Mr. Jay? Mr. Senator/Ranger? Mr. Senator/Twin? Mr. Expo/National? Mr. (Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta} Brave? Mr. (Los Angeles/California/Anaheim/Los Angeles of Anaheim) Angel?

You get the idea. Now, give your ideas!

Reader Challenge: Who's Mr. [Fill in Team Name HERE]? | 33 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Excalabur - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 03:15 PM EST (#194373) #
My thoughts:

Orioles: Cal Ripken, Jr. seems appropriate, at least for the modern franchise.

(Devil) Rays: Can it be anyone that's not Carl Crawford?

Blue Jays: I'm torn, but the man who came back twice has to top my list as Mr. Blue Jay: Tony Fernandez.

That's all I got for this instant.
Jdog - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 03:28 PM EST (#194374) #

My Thoughts:

Mr Bluejay would be Roberto Alomar to me, but ask anybody south of the border and they would throw Jumpin Joe Carter at you.

Mr Marlin...not sure but Edgar Renteria is the first name to come to mind

Mr Rockie: would have to be Todd Helton...or maybe Larry Walker

 

bmy1 - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 03:37 PM EST (#194375) #

I'm a  bit of a newb, but here goes my list:

Atlanta Brave:  Greg Maddux (Dale Murphy is a close 2nd)

Baltimore Oriole: Cal Ripken Jr.

Boston Red Sock: Babe Ruth (just kidding hehe). Ted Williams

California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angel:  Nolan Ryan

Chicago White Sock:  Shoeless Joe Jackson

Cleveland Indian: Bob Feller

Colorado Rockie:  Todd Helton

Detroit Tiger:  Al Kaline

Florida Marlins: Jeffrey Loria. Come on. It's a revolving door around there and they've only been in the league 15 years.

Houston Astro:  Jeff Bagwell

Kansas City Royal: George Brett

Los Angeles Dodger:  Sandy Koufax

Milwaukee Brewer: Robin Yount

Minnesota Twin:  Turkey Bucket (was it ever even close?)

New York Yankee:  too tough to call - I can think of at least 5 deserving names off the top of my head:  Babe Ruth / Joe Dimaggio / Yogi Berra / Mickey Mantle / Lou Gehrig

New York Met:  Can't think of anyone real good right now. Let's go with Doc Gooden.

Philadelphia Phillie:  Mike Schmidt

Pittsburgh PIrate:  Roberto Clemente

St. Louis Cardinal:  this one is tough too. Steve Carlton with apologies to Stan Musial and Ozzie Smith.   Albert Pujols could make a case in a few years.

San Francisco Giant/New York Giant:  Willie Mays

San Diego Padre:  Tony Gwyn

Tampa Bay (Devil) Ray:  nobody :D

Texas Ranger:  Juan Gonzalez (shows how unmemorable this franchise has been in almost 40 years of existence, not including the Senators days)

Toronto Blue Jay:  player: Tony Fernandez; non-player: Pat Gillick

bmy1 - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 03:41 PM EST (#194376) #

Oops missed a couple.

Chicago Cub:  Ernie Banks (apologies to Ryne Sandberg)

Cincinatti Red: Pete Rose (apologies to Johnny Bench)

Montreal Expo/Washington National:  Tim Raines

Seattle Mariner:  Ken Griffey Jr. (still)

 

bmy1 - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 03:44 PM EST (#194377) #

ugh.

Oakland A: Rickey "Bob McLown" Henderson :D

KL - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 04:26 PM EST (#194378) #
I gotta go with Nolan Ryan for Texas. For the O's, probably Brooks Robinson, but Cal's a decent choice.
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 04:31 PM EST (#194379) #

Steve Carlton only pitched for the Cardinals for about 20 minutes -- are you thinking of Bob Gibson?

I think Mr. Brave has to be either Hank Aaron or Warren Spahn, though Murphy and Phil Niekro bear mentioning.

For the White Sox, my first thought was Nellie Fox, not Joe Jackson.

I don't get the "Turkey Bucket" joke, but Twins/Senators -- Kirby Puckett (is that the joke?) would fall behind Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew and definitively Walter Johnson, would he not?

The Rangers existence has been bereeft of truly great players, I guess, but Mr. Ranger? Rusty Greer!

I like Biggio over Bagwell for the 'stros, and if we're going to have an owner, Mr. Angel himself was Gene Autry for many, many years -- hell, he could even sing the national anthem(s)!

Four Seamer - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 05:32 PM EST (#194380) #

Jeff Conine is clearly Mr. Marlin.

And yes, I logged in just to say that!

Dewey - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 05:34 PM EST (#194381) #
Ooooh, some impossible choices to make here.

Luke Appling simply *was* the White Sox for years.

And Lou Boudreau (as player/manager!) was Cleveland for a long time, including when they made it to the WS in 1948.

How can anybody but Stan the Man be Mr. Cardinal?

Fire away.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 07:23 PM EST (#194382) #
To be the 'Mr' of a team you have to be strongly identified with that team and no others.

So, to me the Mr Blue Jay has to be Cito Gaston.  My personal choice is Tony Fernandez but no one has been the face of this team more than Cito.

Mr Mariner has to still be Griffey since he never really seemed right as a Red.  I hope he goes back there this winter. He was Seattle baseball in the 90's.   Ichiro might take this one over though.

Mr Expos is Tim Raines imo, as few stayed forever there and Raines really was the face of the Expos - a guy who was great, hard times, great again, hard times, ... always a near MVP but never MVP and now a near HOF'er but might not get in (I hope I'm wrong on that point).

Mr Marlin?  Sheesh, who could be that with their turnover? 
Excalabur - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 07:44 PM EST (#194385) #
The above (bmy1's list for those of you with threading off) looks good, but I gotta disagree on a couple:

Cardinals: it's gotta be Stan the Man.

Texas Rangers: given how hapless they've been in Texas as getting a "Face of the Franchise", can we give 'em the Big Train?

Philadelphia: The Phillies have a long and storied history of losing, and no one exemplifies the franchise history, or stands out as their franchise player quite so much as Hugh "Losing Pitcher" Mulcahy

NY Mets: It's gotta be Mr. Met. Oh, mascots aren't eligable? Er... how about Tom Seaver, who led them to their first greatness and was the face of the franchise until he "died" in the Midnight Massacre?

CeeBee - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 07:45 PM EST (#194386) #
Twins/Senators has to be either Walter Johnson or Harmon Killebrew. since I wasn't around for Walter my choice would be Harmon.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 07:53 PM EST (#194387) #
The Twins bring up an interesting issue of eras.

For the Washington days it was Walter Johnson hands down.  For the Minnesota days up to the early 80's it was Killebrew.  Since the early 80's it was Puckett.  No new 'face of the franchise' for this era of players for that team, but it is clear that they have had 3 eras that had clear faces for who was the team.

Hal - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 08:14 PM EST (#194388) #
Mr. Blue Jays - Tom Cheek
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 08:17 PM EST (#194390) #
The reasonable possibilities for Mr. Diamondback are Luis Gonzalez and Randy Johnson. Brandon Webb might get a shot at it in a few years.  Personally, I'd go with Gonzalez.

Honus Wagner has a good case to be Mr. Pirate.   Mr. Dodger could equally well be Jackie Robinson or Steve Garvey.  Count me as voting for Lou Gehrig as Mr. Yankee.  And it is obviously already that David Price will be Mr. Devil Ray. :)

Jimbag - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 09:29 PM EST (#194391) #
As much as I'm a fan of Sleepy Tim as "Mr. Expo", I can't believe Gary Carter hasn't gotten at least one mention. After all, he is the only Expo in the hall.
wdc - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 10:27 PM EST (#194392) #
As a teenage boy in the 1960s and an avid Cardinal fan, Mr. Cardinal has to be Bob Gibson for me.  His performances in the World Series in 1964. 1967 and 1968 remain with me still.  Stan Musial was a great player, no doubt.  But Gibson's competitiveness, strong personality, and overwhelming power stand out for me.

Mr. Blue Jay for me is Tony Fernandez.  He was good at every aspect of the game and his batting average rose in clutch situations.  What fond memories I have of him.

lexomatic - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 10:37 PM EST (#194394) #
Jeff Conine is clearly Mr. Marlin.

there can be no other..93-97 a couple of years at 900 OPS 2003-05 past his prime singles hitter.
'spos you can't go wrong with either Carter or Raines. I personally think Raines because he was with the team longer, but Cater was proobably the early face of the franchise. I'm not really old enough to remember.
I don't think any player other than Tony Fernandez could be Mr. Jay.... maybe Lloyd Moseby or Dave Steib in the 80s.. but now? only Tony. Although Bell also kept involved with the org.. with his academy... but that's not enough.
lexomatic - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 10:39 PM EST (#194395) #
i also think Glavine or Smoltz is more Mr. Brave than Maddux, but how could it be anyone other than Aaron? seriously.
Nolan - Tuesday, November 25 2008 @ 11:00 PM EST (#194396) #
Going off of bmy1's effort, here are some differing thoughts....

-The Expos, as others have noted, are in my mind closer related to Gary Carter.
-Biggio is Mr. Astro.
-The Dodgers, to me, are more connected to Pee Wee Reese, The Duke, Gil Hodges or Jackie  Not sure who it would be, but I think it has to be one of those four...
-Alomar for the Jays, Greer for Rangers, Conine for the Marlins, Musial for the Cards and Wagner for the Pirates.
-Despite the major stars the Big Red Machine had, Joe Morgan is always the one I first think of when I think Reds.

Glevin - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 04:22 AM EST (#194399) #
So much of this is based on what era you grew up in. Al Kaline might feel like Mr. Tigers to some people, but none of us group up in the era of Cobb, Gehringer, Greenberg, etc...And for me, it would be Trammellwhitakar. As for the Jays, I don't see how it can be Alomar. I think people forget that he only played five seasons with the Jays. I would vote Delgado who not only had the best career as a Blue Jay, but is a damn likable guy.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 08:12 AM EST (#194400) #
An interesting thought is who is Mr whoever today (ie: currently on the team/management)?

For example, while I think of Cito as 'career Mr Jay' I also think of Halladay as 'today Mr Jay' even though Cito is back.

Pujols is Mr Cardinal today, Jeter Mr Yankee, Ortiz Mr Red Sox, ...
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 12:17 PM EST (#194403) #

Great input.everyone, We now have nominees for every team -- in fact, we have exactly one nominee (the default winner?) for exactly half of the 30 teams -- the other 15 have two or three candidates. Discuss.

P.S. if we are going to make  a roster, it's shocking that there are virtually no catching candidates save Bench, who probably doesn't deserve the nod over Rose ... did we miss someone?

  • Mr. Devil Ray: David Price? Carl Crawford?
  • Mr. Yankee: Joe DiMaggio? Lou Gehrig?
  • Mr. Red Sox: Ted Williams
  • Mr. Blue Jay: Tony Fernandez? Roy Halladay?
  • Mr. Oriole: Cal Ripken Jr.
  • Mr. White Sox: Nellie Fox? Luke Appling?
  • Mr. Twin (Senator): Harmon Killebrew (Walter Johnson?)
  • Mr. Indian: Bob Feller? Lou Boudreau?
  • Mr. Royal: George Brett
  • Mr. Tiger: Al Kaline
  • Mr. Angel: Nolan Ryan
  • Mr. Ranger (Senator): Rusty Greer
  • Mr. Athletic: Rickey Henderson? Reggie Jackson? Jimmie Foxx?
  • Mr. Mariner: Ken Griffey Jr.? Edgar Martinez?
  • Mr. Phillie: Mike Schmidt
  • Mr. Met: Tom Seaver
  • Mr. Marlin: Jeff Conine
  • Mr. Brave: Hank Aaron
  • Mr. National (Expo): Tim Raines? Gary Carter?
  • Mr. Cub: Ernie Banks
  • Mr. Brewer: Robin Yount
  • Mr. Astro: Craig Biggio
  • Mr. Cardinal: Stan Musial or Bob Gibson?
  • Mr. Red: Pete Rose? Joe Morgan? Johnny Bench?
  • Mr. Pirate: Roberto Clemente? Honus Wagner?
  • Mr. Dodger: Sandy Koufax? Jackie Robinson? PeeWee Reese?
  • Mr. Diamondback: Luis Gonzalez or Randy Johnson?
  • Mr. Rockie: Todd Helton? Larry Walker?
  • Mr. Giant: Willie Mays
  • Mr. Padre: Tony Gwynn
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 12:23 PM EST (#194404) #
Pudge would not be a bad choice for Mr. Ranger.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 12:27 PM EST (#194405) #
I remember at one point in the mid-late 80's many thought of Ernie Whitt as Mr. Blue Jay. As to other teams catchers it is hard as catchers have traditionally had shorter careers thus reducing the ability to be viewed as 'Mr. team'.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 01:16 PM EST (#194406) #
And of course both Delgado and Foxx did a fair amount of catching. But I don't think you want either guy behind the plate for 162!
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 01:35 PM EST (#194407) #

I asked Jamey Newberg, the Internet's own Mr. Ranger, for his input on the Ranger title.

He replied to my e-mail, in about 45 seconds, with the following: "I think itís Nolan [Ryan], given all he has done and been with this org. In 10 years, if we finally win something, it will be Michael [Young]."

Hard to argue with that.

Mike Green - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 03:18 PM EST (#194408) #
The alternative is to cheat a smidgen and go for Gary Carter over Tim Raines.  I am opposed to this in principle, but greater travesties have occurred.:)

Biggio was a catcher when he started out, of course.

Mick Doherty - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 03:55 PM EST (#194409) #

Oh, that's right! According to BBRef, Biggio caught 428 big league games. Foxx caught in 108 and Delgado in just two. I think we can get by with these three guys -- or even, with Fernandez or Doc for the Jays, with just two. But that does mean Foxx, who played nearly half his big league games in Boston, has to be Mr. Athletic. Not sure we can do that to Rickey?

So -- do we bump Rickey or Rock?

Nolan - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 04:13 PM EST (#194412) #
As much as I like Raines, I'd choose Carter over him as Mr. Expos.
zeppelinkm - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 07:17 PM EST (#194413) #

A fun way to build powerhouse lineups: Who can build the best team from the list of guys who receive MVP votes in any one year? (Typically around 24-26 guys getting votes). For example:  A 1990 AL team would have a starting lineup of Henderson/Boggs/Griffey Jr/McGuire/Palmerio/Canceco/Fisk/Ripken/Trammell (playing Trammell at 2B, Palmerio at 1B - he gets the nod over McGriff because of D) with a rotation led by Clemans/Steib/Ryan/Stewart/Welch and a bullpen fronted by The Eck with support from Thigpen and Jones. Obviously, the quality of these teams is a bit higher then normal, but it is fun...

I think Stan Musial is Mr Cardinal. I thought of Ivan Rodrigeuz and Nolan Ryan when I thought of the Rangers, FWIW.  Conine for Mr.Marlin is a great choice. I know he played on a few teams but I always picture him on the Marlins.

 

kinguy - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 08:21 PM EST (#194414) #
Roberto Clemente is hard to argue with as Mr. Pirate, but for the sake of discussion, how about Willie Stargell?

I'd also bend the rules to allow a Mr... for each city a franchise played in if applicable.  It would mitigate the issue of Johnson vs Killebrew/Puckett, although Hank Aaron wouldn't be out of place in both Milwaukee and Atlanta for the Braves.

JohnL - Wednesday, November 26 2008 @ 09:11 PM EST (#194419) #
For example, while I think of Cito as 'career Mr Jay' I also think of Halladay as 'today Mr Jay' even though Cito is back.

Of the Jay picks so far, I think Fernandez's visibility, along with his long-time (four times!) connection, and numerous records -- plus 3 playoff appearances and a World Series -- would win out over either Cito or Doc, but no mention of Dave Stieb?

  • Drafted in just the Jays' 2nd year of existence
  • On the team from their third year for 14 straight seasons (plus another later on)
  • Covers all the Jays' periods: expansion doormats, contenders, world series winners, to their current semi-permanent mediocre role (but his one season back with the team was their best-ever post WS year!)
  • During those bad, or "almost" years, he was usually their only (possible) All-Star rep. 7 AS games (with a 0.77 ERA)
  • The ace on their first-ever playoff team
  • During a 16 year career, he played all but FOUR games with the Blue Jays
  • Roy Halladay is tremendous, but he'll have a hard time beating many of Stieb's team records (and some, like CGs, IP, SO will likely never be).
  • His almost-no-hitter record is one of the most unlikely-ever-to-be-topped team accomplishments
Reader Challenge: Who's Mr. [Fill in Team Name HERE]? | 33 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.