Friday, July 16, 2021

A-Z Wrap Up


Wow, its been an awful long time since I posted!  Better get back to it!

I wanted to do a wrap-up of the A-Z Player Challenge.  So far there have been 21 total participants, including me!  That's waaaay more than I thought this would get, but a big thank you to everyone who participated, read or commented!

I really appreciated the diversity of the picks.  We got a lot of unique picks from loyal team collectors, old timers and many others.  These picks may have been obscure, or they may have had cult followings.  But when you aggregate the picks, you tend to come out with the all timers, the hall of famers and the all time greats.

Here's the wrap-up:  **I apologize for the lack of pics, the busy life is still holding me back**

I picked: Henry Aaron
Winner: Henry Aaron (7)
2nd most votes: Jim Abbott (3)
Total different players picked: 13

Abbot made a strong showing, but there was no dethroning Aaron.  Probably as it should be.  13 different players picked may seem like a lot, but as you will see, it's about average.

I picked: George Brett
Winner:  Ernie Banks (4)
2nd most votes: George Brett (3)
Total different players picked: 16

Mr. Cub over Mr. Royal!  This one had 16 different players picked, tied for 2nd most!

I picked: Rod Carew
Winner:  Roberto Clemente (6)
2nd most votes: Carew, Carlton, Cey, Clemens (2 each)
Total different players picked: 14

Third all time great in a row, no surprise.  Clemente is followed up by a strong group tied for 2nd!

I picked: Eric Davis
Winner:  Andre Dawson (6)
2nd most votes: Dave Dravecky (3)
Total different players picked: 13

The Hawk for the win!  And just in time, I picked up a kind of cool Dawson card I hope to show soon.  In 2nd, Dravecky is an awesome, lesser known pick.  I wonder how much him breaking his arm while pitching elevated his long term popularity.

I picked: Dennis Eckersley
Winner:  Dennis Eckersley (6)
2nd most votes: E. Encarnacion, Edmonds, D. Evans (2 each)
Total different players picked: 13

The Eck ran away with the E's.  But there were lots of fun picks after him.

I picked: George Foster
Winner: Mark Fidrych (4)
2nd most votes: Fisk, Francona, Feller (3 each)
Total different players picked: 13

The Bird!!  Our first non Hall of Famer to win.  One trend that was strong in the picks was quirky guys, and Fidrych certainly fits the bill.  

I picked: Lou Gehrig
Winner: Ken Griffey Jr. (4)
2nd most votes: Mark Grace (3)
Total different players picked: 14

Hard to imagine Griffey not winning this one, given his popularity among collectors.  I think my only surprise was that he only got 4 votes!

I picked: Rickey Henderson
Winner:  Rickey Henderson (5)
2nd most votes: Orel Hershiser (3)
Total different players picked: 16

I was pretty happy with this one, Henderson was one of my faves.  Hershiser getting three was cool too, always a class act.

I picked: Monte Irvin
Winner:  Monte Irvin (6)
2nd most votes: Cesar Izturis and Ichiro* (3 each)
Total different players picked: 11

The I's didn't have a lot to pick from, but that doesn't mean Irvin wasn't deserving!  Underrated.  It was also awesome to see 3 'illegal' picks for Ichiro here!

I picked: Randy Johnson
Winner:  Derek Jeter (5)
2nd most votes: Randy Johnson (3)
Total different players picked: 13

Jeter was a collectors no-brainer when it comes to popularity.  Hard to argue with.

I picked: Sandy Koufax
Winner:  Sandy Koufax (4)
2nd most votes: Kershaw, Kimbrel, Kaline, Kruk (2 each)
Total different players picked: 15

Another player I recently picked up a fun card of!  Very deserving, and a super strong batch of guys in 2nd.

I picked: Kenny Lofton
Winner:  Kenny Lofton (5)
2nd most votes: Barry Larkin (3)
Total different players picked: 13

The Lofton win surprised me, even though I picked him myself.  I figured Larkin would take this one.

I picked: Willie Mays
Winner:  Greg Maddux (5)
2nd most votes: Pedro Martinez (3)
Total different players picked: 15

The 2 best pitchers of the nineties to me (sorry Clemens and Big Unit!) finished 1-2 here.  That's some amazing pitching love in a hobby that doesn't seem to value pitchers quite as highly.  And over Mays??  Heresy!  Lol.

I picked: Phil Niekro
Winner:  Phil Niekro (5)
2nd most votes: Hideo Nomo (4)
Total different players picked: 15

A tight race with 2 very different pitchers.  The ancient knuckleballer takes it over the smooth Japanese barrier breaker.

I picked: Shohei Ohtani
Winner:  Shohei Ohtani (4)
2nd most votes: David Ortiz (3)
Total different players picked: 15

Well I was wrong!  When I picked Ohtani, I figured that pick would be ridiculed, and that he wouldn't really get any more votes.  Guess not.  And this was before he got so hot!  We were so close to back to back Japanese pitchers!

I picked: Albert Pujols
Winner:  Albert Pujols (4)
2nd most votes: Mike Piazza (3)
Total different players picked: 16

Yay, Pujols is near and dear to me, thrilled he won.  

I picked: Dan Quisenberry
Winner:  Dan Quisenberry (10)
2nd most votes: Jamie Quirk (3)
Total different players picked: 9

A total no-brainer.  Not only was he quirky as well as really good, the Q's were pretty sparse, obviously.  I was interested to see Jamie Quirk get three votes, I didn't realize he had that kind of following.

I picked: Jackie Robinson
Winner:  Jackie Robinson (6)
2nd most votes: Cal Ripken Jr. (4)
Total different players picked: 14

What is there to say here?  Jackie had to win, and that he did over fan fave Ripken shows his popularity.

I picked: Ichiro Suzuki
Winner:  Ryne Sandberg (5)
2nd most votes: Ichiro Suzuki (3)
Total different players picked: 16

The Cubbies great edges Ichiro here.  Though the 3 illegal ballots cast for Ichiro in the I's could have put him one vote up.  No matter, Sandberg is a very deserving winner!

I picked: Mike Trout
Winner:  Tie!! Mike Trout, Jim Thome and Luis Tiant (3 each)
Semi-shocking no votes: 
Total different players picked: 13

Our only tie!  Great picks, all of them.

I picked: Chase Utley
Winner:  Bob Uecker (8)
2nd most votes: Chase Utley (5)
Total different players picked: 8

U didn't have a lot to choose from, resulting in the fewest unique players chosen, 8.  Uecker was probably chosen for his post MLB career, but that's OK.  He's a beloved character!

I picked: Fernando Valenzuela
Winner:  Fernando Valenzuela (6)
2nd most votes: Justin Verlander (5)
Total different players picked: 10

Valenzuela over Verlander in a nail biter.  I like to think it was Fernando's 'nod to the heavens' on each pitch was the difference here.

I picked: Ted Williams
Winner:  Ted Williams (5)
2nd most votes: Kerry Wood (2)
Total different players picked: 17

The most total unique picks!  17!  The only players who got more than 1 pick were Teddy Ballgame and Kerry Wood.

I picked: Joe Xavier
This one was fun.  No 'X' players, but we got some write in votes:  Joe Jackson, Xavier Paul, Nellie Fox (backwards), Xavier Nady, Jimmie Foxx, Xander Boagerts, Xavier Hernandez

I picked: Carl Yastrzemski
Winner:  Carl Yastrzemski (7)
2nd most votes: Robin Yount (5)
Total different players picked: 11

Yaz and Yount dominated here.  The 70's and 80's seemed to have a slight advantage in general in these picks.

I picked: Gus Zernial
Winner:  Ben Zobrist (6)
2nd most votes: Ryan Zimmerman (4)
Total different players picked: 10

Benny Z, utility player extraordinaire.  I love this pick.

So out of 25 letters, my pick was the consensus 'winner' 15/25.  Guess I'm a front runner!

Thanks to everyone who wrote or read!!


  1. That was a fun topic! Now do we follow Night Owl and do a least favorite player one?

    1. You really should! I enjoyed his, but haven't been able to get myself to do one.

  2. You owe us the player's name for no votes in T. I'm guessing Frank Thomas.

  3. Thanks for kicking off this BBA. It was fun reading everyone's posts.

  4. It was fun reading all the posts!