Honoring the Legends…….

July 29, 2007 at 12:18 am 5 comments

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Well, Saturday it became official. But, for those who actaully had the priviledge to see them play you knew this day was coming a long time ago. Saturday Baltimore Oriole SS Cal Ripken Jr. and San Diego Padre RF Tony Gwynn were immortalized with the plaque joining the brotherhood of legends in Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown,NY. The greatest part of this is that both players played their entire careers with the same team. Something you don’t see in the money driven era that is now baseball/professional sports. In the process when you think of the San Diego Padres you think Tony Gwynn and when you think Baltimore Orioles you think, Cal Ripken Jr. That is a very special thing.

Look, at “Mr. Padre” Tony Gwynn. He batted .350 or higher SEVEN times in his career and is the greatest pure hitter (for average and hits) I have ever seen. Gwynn also was part of 2 NL Pennant Padre teams, collected 3,141 hits, seven Silver Slugger Awards, 5 time Gold Glove Winner,was a NINE time batting champ ,Gwynn swiped over 300 bases and batted .371 in the World Series. Simply, brilliant that is one of many words to describe Tony Gwynn.

As for Cal Ripken Jr., the face of the Orioles with 21 years of service. The numbers are staggering, 3,184 hits, 431 Homers, 2 time All-Star and AL MVP, EIGHT Silver Slugger awards, 2 Gold Gloves, 1 World Series Ring and most of all 2,632 straight games played only the greatest first baseman the game has ever seen comes close to this streak. That was “the Iron Horse” Lou Gehrig with 2,130 straight games played.

Now, I write this post not only to honor these two legends but, to also raise awareness about the true legends of the game. It really saddens me to see how many people who follow all current baseball players but, have no idea about the legends who help built and make the game as great at is it is today. Guys like Rogers Hornsby, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Warren Spahn, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Robin Roberts, Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, Carl Hubbell,Jimmie Foxx,Stan Musial, Pete Alexander, Ernie Banks, Sandy Koufax and Ted Williams to name just a few of the many legends. These guys should be always remembered and celebrated for the true superstars that they were….

-Mike McGinnis

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. charlie  |  July 29, 2007 at 5:30 am

    Cal Ripken Jr. was in fact my hero growing up, even as a Cubs fan. He is THE definition of a professional baseball player. I think he and Craig Biggio share a lot of the same qualities and you’ll be seeing Biggio voted in in 2012 when he’s first eligible. Mr. Gywnn is your definition of a pure hitter, he did it with out power, but was still feared in the batters box. I really miss this time, when baseball was baseball, and now it’s all about money.

    Reply
  • 2. MikeMcGinnis  |  July 29, 2007 at 11:19 am

    that last comment you made about baseball was baseball and now it’s about money really i think succinctly sums up this whole post. as a cubs fan though i think you would apprecite that the best 2B i saw all around was the one and only, ryno- ryne sandberg.

    Reply
  • 3. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 30, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Great read! The game is going to miss the days when it had players like these two. Craig Biggio may be one of the last of the type. Also, Ripken played in 19 All-Star games! Don’t think we’ll see that again.

    Reply
  • 4. MikeMcGinnis  |  July 30, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    thanks jonathan and sadly i think you’re right guys staying with one team for their entire careers is a thing of the past. although derek jeter and chipper jones may do it with their respective ballclubs.

    Reply
  • 5. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 30, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    i sure hope they do. they are both class acts and more than likely going to the Hall of Fame.

    Reply

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