In part three of six, I look at my favourite players all-time from teams who reside in the American League West.
Growing up, I knew them as the “California Angels,” and my favourite player during that era was Chili Davis. Davis was a switch-hitter who hit for power and put up consistent numbers year after year as a DH. He also had a cool nickname in “Chili,” so as a kid I took an instant liking to him.
I have to admit that growing up I was a huge A’s fan. I like the “Bash Brothers,” Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, admired Carney Lansford, rooted for Dave Stewart and Bob Welch in his quest for 30 wins in a season (he finished with 27). But my favourite was Rickey Henderson.
It was hard not to like Rickey. He played a great left field, hit for power, scored runs, and more importantly, had a great on-base percentage and stole bases (he once stole 130 in a single season). The way Rickey could affect a game was amazing, and if he got on first, you knew he was going to steal second successfully, and the opposing team knew it. He was a true game-changer.
The obvious choice here would be Nolan Ryan, Juan Gonzalez, or Josh Hamiton, but as I got older, I played more catcher, so I gravitated towards Pudge Rodriguez.
Pudge had some good offensive years in the Texas heat like a lot of players but what amazed me most was his play calling and defense. He use to throw guys out sitting on the ground, his arm was that strong. Opposing teams would not try to run against Texas, as they knew Pudge would nullify any attempt. The ability to affect a game by your defensive skills is impressive and there isn’t a catcher with his defensive skills today.
This was a toss-up, but I had to go with Junior over Ichiro. As much as I love Ichiro and what he brings to the table, Ken Griffey Jr. was the one I followed, especially when he homered in eight straight games.
Junior has the ability to change a game with his gold-glove defense or his potent offense. He has one of the sweetest strokes in the game, and when he came up and was successful, he had a fun personality that drew people to see him, and he eventually was known as “The Kid”. It was a shame that injuries affected him when he was traded to Cincinnati, but Junior is revered in the Pacific Northwest and is one of my favourite players of all-time.
Next week I will be on hiatus as I attend the wedding festivities of one Nick Hansen.
I want to congratulate him in advance on his impending marriage to a great girl (my sister).
Your comments are always welcome and follow me on twitter @TyNorton416
From the couch…