Sunday, July 30, 2017

A job interview at Rutgers University

I interviewed at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ, for three different positions. One was in the graduate career center. That one wasn't too unusual. But another time I interviewed with the undergraduate career center; I met a woman named Lynne who was an assistant director. She could not have looked any more disinterested during our brief interview. It's like someone had dumped the task of interviewing on her and she resented it. So she asked me a couple of questions, I answered, trying to demonstrate some enthusiasm, trying to make some kind of connection with her. Then she asked me if I had any questions; I asked one, she made a quick reply, and then said, thanks for coming in. We left the conference room and walked back to her office. She opened the door, and I don't remember what I said exactly, something along the lines of thanks for meeting me, I'm really interested in the job, etc., smiling as I said it. What did she do? She frowns and slams the door in front of me! Look people, if you're not interested in a candidate, fine, but there's no need to be rude. At least act like a civilized human being.


Another time I interviewed for an assistant director of the student center job at Rutgers Newark. I went into the conference room and there was about ten college administrators sitting on both sides of a long table. They asked me to sit at the front. I did and promptly sank into a chair that was lower than the others. I guess they like looking down at people. Anyway only one person, the dean that I would have been reporting to, asked me any interview questions. The rest of them just sat there and stared at me. Eventually the security director help up a flyer and asked me what I would do if I some supposedly radical group consisting of black people came to campus for some type of student program. Then he picked up a flyer and growled that they were going to be there next week, and slammed the flyer down on the table. The black folks sitting at the table said nothing; didn't even look at him. I'm not sure what my answer was, but I'm pretty sure it was generic. I was interested in the job (for some unknown reason) so I didn't show any bias one way or another. Anyway the interview ended and I left. Never heard from them again, thankfully. I mean, who knows..was it all some sort of act to see how I would respond to people just staring at me? How I would respond to an angry security director? Maybe. Or maybe they're just a bunch of wackos who have no idea how to conduct a professional job interview. I don't know. I don't really care either...I'm just glad my own diploma isn't from Rutgers Newark!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Belleville NJ - wasting citizens' tax money

Belleville, NJ:
How Our Tax Money Is Wasted in the Municipal Court System
An experience with the municipal court system in Belleville New Jersey shows how time and tax money is wasted, and how a town mistreats its senior citizens
 
My father had always kept his car parked on the street in front of his house in Belleville, NJ. Not in front of anyone else's house, mind you. His second car was kept in the garage. When I visited recently I noticed the old car in front of the house was gone. I asked him what happened to it, and being 82 years old, he said to me, “They towed it away, they said I donated it." Of course, this is not what happened. Among some papers on his desk I found a parking ticket that read "abandoned motor vehicle."

I called the chief of police who said neighbors had complained that the car was parked in front of the house (his house, not theirs, I remind you. I guess some people have nothing better to do than look out their windows and get into other people's business). Then he said, "Well, the town has an ordinance that says a car can't be parked in the same spot for 48 hours." So I guess the cops in Belleville have too much time on their hands, being that they spent their time writing parking tickets to senior citizens. No wonder property taxes are so high in New Jersey. Too many cops doing nothing.

The chief said he was sent written warnings, about not moving the car. Well that isn't true. They sent nothing, because I went through my father's mail every day, and they never sent any warnings. Then the chief said, just go to court, and they'll dismiss the ticket. (Okay...but then why did you write it in the first place?)

So I went to the impound lot and had the car hauled away for $300, which I had to give to the impound lot owners, for their towing fee. The car was still running, but since my mother wasn't driving anymore, there was no need for my father to keep and maintain two cars. Then I scheduled a court date to contest the $260 abandoned motor vehicle ticket.

So I go to the municipal court in Belleville and meet with the prosecutor, who gives me a silly song and dance about how he can't recommend dismissing the ticket, blah, blah, blah. Nevermind that my father lived in Belleville, his entire life as a law abiding citizen, and paid thousands of dollars in property taxes during the past 50 years. Nevermind that there was no written warnings about the car, and nevermind that he's 82 and probably didn't comprehend that there was some obscure ordinance about not leaving a car in the same spot for longer than 48 hours. (By the way, there were no marks on the tires when I found it at the impound lot, so the cops had no proof that the car was parked there for a certain amount of time).

Finally I stood up and said to the wormy prosecutor, "Forget it, I'm just going to pay the ticket and go to the media with my story, about how Belleville treats their senior citizens." Of course, now the prosecutor says, "Don't do that, we'll call the cop and try to reach a settlement."

So we go in front of the municipal court judge, a guy named Zinna, to ask for a new date, and this judge rambles on about nonsense...where's your father, I don't know if we can do this, blah, blah, blah. This from a guy, like all municipal court judges in New Jersey, has his own private law practice but moonlights on the side as a judge in order to get into the state pension system and milk the taxpayers for money. Finally he relents and we have a new court date, three weeks later.

So I go to court on the new date - and there's a new prosecutor! I start to explain the situation, and after fifteen seconds he cuts me off with "I'm just going to ask the judge to dismiss this." He hustles into the courtroom, I follow him, and he asks the judge to dismiss the ticket. I see that it's the same judge, Zinna, from three weeks prior, the one who grumbled and groaned about setting a new date for a conference. Zinna says, "This is a minor issue. Case dismissed."

Wouldn't it have made more sense just to dismiss the ticket the first time? Wouldn't have made more sense for the cops to ask my father if there was anyone helping with things, and could you give them this warning letter about the car parked in front of the house? No. Instead these fools waste my time and tax money with their silly shenanigans. Political nonsense. Right wingers rage about too much government at the federal level, when the reality is there's too much government at the local level. Anyone who writes a parking ticket to senior citizen for a car parked in front of his own house ought to be ashamed of himself. All the problems in the world, and this is what cops, prosecutors, and judges are spending their time and our tax money on? It's a disgrace.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The best Right Fielders in Major League Baseball history

The best Right Fielders in Major League Baseball history
 
 
10) Dwight Evans – Owner of one of the strongest throwing arms among outfielders in baseball history, eight time Gold Glove winner and three time All Star Evans saved 71 runs while playing 2,092 games in right field, mainly with the Red Sox for 20 seasons from 1972-1991. His fielding average of .987 is higher than the league average of .978 for right fielders during that time period. “Dewey” batted .272 with 385 home runs and 1,384 RBI’s.

 
9) Ichiro Suzuki Playing 1,954 games in right field in 17 years from 2001-2017, mainly with the Mariners, “Wizard” has saved 123 runs defensively and his .991 fielding percentage is higher than the league average of .983. Winner of 10 Gold Gloves and a 10 time All Star, Suzuki has batted .312 with 3,034 hits and 508 stolen bases.

 
8) Dave Winfield - A 12 time All Star and winner of five Gold Gloves, Winfield played 1,882 games in right for 22 years from 1973-1995, for the Yankees, Padres, Angels, Blue Jays, and Twins. His .984 fielding percentage was above the league average of .977. Winfield hit .283 with 465 home runs, 1,833 RBI’s, and 223 stolen bases.

 
7) Reggie Jackson - “Mr. October” played 1,942 games in right field for 21 years from 1967-1987, twice leading AL outfielders in assists. The 1973 AL MVP and 14 time All Star batted .262 with 563 home runs, 1,702 RBI’s, and 228 stolen bases for the A’s, Yankees, Angels, and Orioles. In 27 World Series games Jackson hit .357 with 10 homers and 24 RBI’s.

 
6) Tony Gwynn – A 15 time All Star Gwynn led the NL in batting average for eight of his 20 years with the Padres from 1982-2001. “Captain Video” hit .338 with a .388 on base percentage, 3,141 hits, and 319 stolen bases. He won five Gold Gloves while playing 2,144 games in right field.
 

5) Roberto Clemente – “The Great One” was named to 15 All Star teams, won 12 Gold Gloves, and was selected as the 1966 NL MVP. Clemente played 2,305 games in right for the Pirates for 18 years from 1955-1972, and is credited with saving 205 runs defensively. He batted .317 with 3,000 hits, 240 homers, and 1,305 RBI’s.

 
4) Al Kaline – An 18 time All Star and winner of 10 Gold Gloves, “Mr. Tiger” played 2,031 games in right field for Detroit for 22 seasons from 1953-1974. Kaline batted .297 with 399 home runs, 1,582 RBI’s, and 3,007 hits. His .985 fielding percentage was higher than the league average of .978 and he is credited with saving 155 runs defensively.

 
3) Paul Waner – “Big Poison” played 2,250 games in right field for 20 seasons from 1926-1945, primarily with the Pirates. Waner batted .333 with a .404 on base percentage, 605 doubles, 191 triples, and 3,152 hits. He was named the 1927 NL MVP.

 
2) Mel Ott – A 12 time All Star, “Master Melvin” played 2,161 games in right field during 22 seasons from 1926-1947, all with the New York Giants.  Ott hit .304 with 511 home runs, 1,860 RBI’s, with a .414 on base percentage and .533 slugging percentage. His fielding percentage of .980 was higher than the league average of .971 for right fielders during that time period.

 
1) Hank Aaron – “Hammerin’ Hank” played 2,174 games in right, mainly with the Braves, during 23 seasons from 1954-1975. His .980 fielding percentage was higher than the league average of .976 and he is credited with saving 98 runs as a right fielder. Aaron batted .305 with 755 homers, 2,297 RBI’s, 240 stolen bases, and a .555 slugging percentage. He was selected to 25 All Star teams, won three Gold Gloves, and was named the 1957 NL MVP.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The best Center Fielders in Major League Baseball history

The best Center Fielders in Major League Baseball history


10) Richie Ashburn – A six time All Star, “Put Put” played 1,948 games in center field for 15 seasons from 1948-1962, mainly with the Phillies. Ashburn batted .308 with a .396 on base percentage and 234 stolen bases, and is credited with saving 39 runs defensively.

9) Jim Edmonds – “Jimmy Baseball” won eight Gold Gloves while playing 1,768 games in center field in 17 seasons from 1993-2010, primarily with the Angels and Cardinals. A four time All Star, Edmonds batted .284 with 393 homers and 1,199 RBI’s. He is credited with saving 80 runs on defense.

8) Andruw Jones – A five time All Star and winner of 10 Gold Gloves, “The Curacao Kid” played 1,724 games in centerfield and is credited with saving an impressive 220 runs at the position. Jones’ .992 fielding percentage is higher than the league average of .987 for the time of his career, 17 seasons from 1996-2012, mainly with the Braves. He batted .254 with 434 home runs and 1,289 RBI’s.

7) Duke Snider – The “Duke of Flatbush” played 1,589 games in center field for the Dodgers in 18 years from 1947-1964. The eight time All Star had a fielding percentage of .985, higher than the league average of .982, and batted .295 with 407 home runs, 1,333 RBI’s, and a .380 on base percentage.

6) Ken Griffey Jr. -  Winner of 10 Gold Gloves and a 13 time All Star, “Junior” played 2,145 games in center for the Mariners and Reds. For 22 years from 1989-2010 Griffey batted. 284 with 630 home runs and 1,836 RBI’s. He was named the 1997 American League MVP.

5) Mickey Mantle -  “The Commerce Comet” played 1,742 games in centerfield for the Yankees for 18 seasons from 1951-1968.  Mantle hit .298 with 536 homers, 1,509 RBI’s, a .421 on base percentage, and .557 slugging percentage. He was named to 20 All Star teams (two were played some years), won the AL MVP three times, and was awarded one Gold Glove.

4) Joe DiMaggio – A 13 time All Star and winner of the AL MVP award in 1939, 1941, and 1947, “Joltin’ Joe” played 1,634 games in centerfield for the Yankees, leading AL centerfielders in assists for three seasons. DiMaggio batted .325 with 361 home runs, 1,537 RBI’s, a .398 on base percentage and a .579 slugging percentage in 13 seasons from 1936-1951.

3) Tris Speaker – The 1912 AL MVP played 2,088 games in centerfield for 22 seasons from 1907-1940, primarily with the Indians and Red Sox. “The Grey Eagle” had a fielding percentage of .972, higher than the league average of .965, and led AL centerfielders eight years in double plays, seven years in assists, and four years in range factor. Speaker batted .345 with 3,514 hits, 1,531 RBI’s, 436 stolen bases, a .428 on base percentage, and a .500 slugging percentage. He is Major League baseball’s all time leader in doubles with 792.

2) Ty Cobb - Playing 1,697 games in center for 24 years from 1905-1928, mainly with the Tigers, Cobb won the AL MVP in 1911 and led AL centerfielders twice in fielding percentage and three times in double plays. “The Georgia Peach” is the majors’ all time leader in career batting average with a mark of .366. He had an on base percentage of .433, slugging percentage of .521, 4,189 hits, 1,944 RBI’s, and 897 stolen bases.

1) Willie Mays – A 24 time All Star and winner of the 1954 and 1965 NL MVP, the “Say Hey Kid” played 2,829 games in centerfield in 22 seasons from 1951-1973, primarily with the Giants. Mays won 12 Gold Gloves and is credited with saving an impressive 176 runs defensively in centerfield. He batted .302 with a .384 on base percentage, .557 slugging percentage, 660 home runs, 1,903 RBI’s, and 338 stolen bases.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The best Left Fielders in Major League Baseball history

The best Left Fielders in Major League Baseball history
 

10) Ralph Kiner – A six time All Star, Kiner played 1,307 games in left field in 10 seasons from 1946-1955, primarily with the Pirates. He batted .279 with a .398 on base percentage, 369 homers and 1,015 RBI’s.

9) Ed Delahanty – “Big Ed” played 1,346 games in left for 16 seasons from 1888-1903, mainly with the Phillies. He had a career batting average of .346 with a .411 on base percentage, .505 slugging percentage, and 455 stolen bases.

8) Jim Rice – An eight time All Star and the 1978 AL MVP, Rice played 1,503 games in left field for the Red Sox for 15 years from 1974-1989. He batted .298 with 382 home runs and 1,451 RBI’s.

7) Billy Williams – “Sweet Swingin’” played 1,738 games in left during 17 seasons with the Cubs from 1959-1976. A six time All Star, Williams hit .290 with 426 home runs and 1,475 RBI’s.

6) Goose Goslin – Playing 1,948 games in left field for 18 seasons from 1921-1938, mainly with the Washington Senators, Hall of Famer Goslin batted .316 with a .387 on base percentage, 248 home runs, 1,612 RBI’s, and 176 stolen bases.

5) Al Simmons – “Bucketfoot Al” played 1,372 games in left for seven teams, mostly with the A’s, for 20 years from 1924-1944. A three time All Star, he also played centerfield. Simmons hit .334 with 307 home runs and 1,828 RBI’s.

4) Lou Brock – “The Rocket” spent 19 seasons with the Cubs and Cardinals from 1961-1979. Playing 2,161 games in left field Brock amassed 3,043 hits while batting .293. A six time All Star, he is second in baseball history with 938 stolen bases.

3) Rickey Henderson – “Man of Steal” played 2,421 games in left in 25 years for nine different teams, 14 seasons with the A’s, from 1979-2003. Henderson holds the MLB stolen base record with 1,406; he batted .279 with a .401 on base percentage, 3,055 hits, 2,295 runs scored, and 2,190 walks. A ten time All Star selection and winner of the 1990 AL MVP, he won one Gold Glove and is credited with saving 58 runs in left field.

2) Carl Yastrzemski – An 18 time All Star in 22 years from 1961-1983 for the Red Sox, “Yaz” won seven Gold Gloves and is credited with saving 134 runs defensively while playing 1,912 games in left field.  The 1967 AL MVP  totaled 3,419 hits while batting .285 with a .379 on base percentage, 452 home runs, 1,844 RBI’s, and 168 stolen bases.

1) Ted Williams – In 19 seasons from 1939-1960 “The Splendid Splinter” had a career batting average of .344, on base percentage of .482, slugging percentage of .634, 521 home runs, 1,839 RBI’s, and 2,021 walks.  Williams played 1,982 games in left field for the Red Sox, was a 19 time All Star, and won the AL MVP in 1946 and 1949.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The best Third Basemen in Major League Baseball history

The best Third Basemen in Major League Baseball history

10) Pie Traynor – A two time All Star, Traynor played 1,863 games in 18 years at third for the Pirates from 1920-1937. He had a career batting average of .320, drove in 1,273 runs and stole 158 bases. His .947 fielding percentage equaled the league average for that time period.

9) Graig Nettles – In 21 seasons from 1968-1988 “Puff” played 2,412 games at third base mainly for the Yankees, Indians, Twins, and Padres. A six time All Star and two time Gold Glove winner his fielding percentage of .961 was higher than the league average of .952, and he saved 134 runs at the hot corner. Nettles batted .248 with 390 home runs, and 1,314 RBI’s.

8) Scott Rolen - From 1996-2012 Rolen played 2,023 games at third base for the Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Reds. A seven time All Star and eight time Gold Glove winner, his fielding percentage of .968 was higher than the league average of .954, and he saved 150 runs at third base. Rolen had a career batting average of .281, with 316 home runs, 1,287 RBI’s and 118 stolen bases.

7) Ron Santo – A five time Gold Glove winner and nine time All Star, Santo played 2,130 games at third for the Cubs in 15 seasons from 1960-1974. He had a .954 fielding percentage, with the league average being .948, and saved 27 runs in his career. Santo had a .277 batting average, 342 home runs, and 1,331 RBI’s.

6) Chipper Jones – Winner of the 1999 National League MVP award Jones played 1,992 games at third base for the Braves in 19 seasons from 1993-2012. He also played the outfield. An eight time All Star, Jones batted .303, with a .401 on base percentage, 468 home runs, 1,623 RBI’s, and 150 stolen bases. His .954 fielding percentage was close to the league average of .953.

5) Wade Boggs – “Chicken Man” played 2,215 games in 18 seasons at third base from 1982-1999 for the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays, and was selected to 12 All Star teams. He won two Gold Gloves, saved 95 runs, and his fielding percentage of .962 was higher than the .951 league average.  Boggs batted .328 with a .415 on base percentage in his career, and won five American League batting titles.

4) Eddie Mathews – “Cap’n Eddie” was a 12 time All Star during 17 seasons, mainly with the Milwaukee Braves. He batted .271 with a .376 on base percentage, .509 slugging percentage, 512 home runs, and 1,453 RBI’s. Mathews played 2,181 games at third base, is credited with saving 40 runs defensively, and his .956 fielding percentage was higher than the league average of .950.

3) George Brett – “Mullet” was named to 13 All Star teams while playing 1,692 games at third in 21 seasons from 1973-1993 for the Royals. Brett collected 3,154 hits while batting .305 with 317 home runs, 1,596 RBI’s and 201 stolen bases. He won the 1980 AL MVP and a Gold Glove in 1985, and is credited with saving 54 runs on defense in his career.

2) Brooks Robinson – Perhaps the best defensive baseball player of all time, winning 16 Gold Gloves and credited with saving an amazing 293 runs in 2,870 games at third base for the Orioles in 23 seasons from 1955-1977, the “Human Vacuum Cleaner” was named to 18 All Star teams. Robinson’s fielding percentage of .971 was higher than the league average of .953 for third basemen. He batted .267 with 268 home runs and 1,357 RBI’s in his career, and was named the American League MVP in 1964.

1) Mike Schmidt – A 12 time All Star and 3 time National League MVP, “Schmitty” played 2,212 games at third base for the Phillies in 18 years for the Phillies from 1972-1989. Schmidt hit .267 with a .380 on base percentage, 548 home runs, 1,595 RBI’s, and 174 stolen bases. He won 10 Gold Gloves; his .955 fielding percentage is higher than the league average of .949, and he saved 129 runs defensively during his career.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The 10 best Shortstops in Major League Baseball history

The 10 best Shortstops in Major League Baseball history
 
10) Phil Rizzuto – Winner of the 1950 American League MVP award and a five time All Star, “Scooter” played 1,647 games in 13 seasons for the Yankees in the 1940’s and 1950’s, contributing to 7 World Championship teams.  He had a fielding average of .968, higher than the league average of .959. Rizzuto had a career batting average of .273 with an on-base percentage of .351 and 149 stolen bases.

9) Robin Yount – In a twenty year career from 1974 -1993 “The Kid” played 1,479 games at shortstop for the Milwaukee Brewers with a .964 fielding percentage, equal to the league average during that time. Winner of a  a Gold Glove in 1982, as well as the AL MVP in 1982 and 1989, he batted .285 with 3,142 hits, 251 home runs, 1,406 RBI’s, and 271 stolen bases. A three time All Star, Yount played centerfield for the latter half of his career.

8) Pee Wee Reese – In sixteen seasons in the 1940’s and 1950’s “The Little Colonel” played 2,014 games at shortstop for the Dodgers and was named to 10 All Star teams. His fielding average was .962, higher than the league average of .958, and his career totals include .269 batting average with a .366 on base percentage and 232 stolen bases.

7) Barry Larkin – Winner of the 1995 NL MVP award, Larkin was a 12 time All Star in a 19 year career and 2,085 games with the Reds, from 1986-2004. His .975 fielding percentage was above the league average of .968, and he led the league in range factor per game for three seasons. Larkin had a career batting average of .295, an on base percentage of .371, and 379 stolen bases.

6) Luke Appling – In 20 years from 1930-1950 “Luscious Luke” played 2,218 games at shortstop for the White Sox, and was named to seven All Star teams. He had a career batting average of .319 with an on base percentage of .399. Appling led American League shortstops in range factor per game for three seasons.

5) Luis Aparicio – “Little Louie” played 2,599 games at shortstop in 18 years from 1956 to 1973 for the White Sox, Orioles, and Red Sox. He saved 149 runs in his career, had a fielding percentage of .972, higher than the league average of .963, won 9 Gold Gloves, and was named to 10 All Star teams. Aparicio batted .262 with 506 stolen bases in his career.

4) Derek Jeter – “Captain Clutch” played 2,674 games at shortstop for 20 seasons from 1995-2014 for the Yankees, and was named to 14 All Star teams. He won five Gold Gloves and his .976 fielding percentage was higher than the league average of .972. Jeter finished his career with a .310 batting average, .377 on base percentage, 3,465 hits, 1,923 runs scored, 358 stolen bases, 260 home runs, and 1,311 RBI’s.

3) Honus Wagner – In 21 years from 1897-1917, “The Flying Dutchman” played 1,887 games at shortstop for the Pirates. He led the league in fielding percentage four seasons, with his .940 career mark higher than the league average of .927. He also played the outfield and the three other infield positions.  Wagner batted .328 with a .391 on base percentage, 3,420 hits, 1,739 runs scored, 723 stolen bases, and 1,732 RBI’s.

2) Cal Ripken Jr. – The “Iron Man,” was a 19 time All Star, won two Gold Gloves, and winner of the AL MVP in 1983 and 1991. He played 2,302 games at shortstop in a 21 year career from 1981-2001 for the Orioles. His fielding percentage of .979 was higher than the league average of .969, and he is crediting with saving 176 runs at shortstop. Ripken batted .276 with 431 home runs and 1,695 RBI’s.

1) Ozzie Smith – Playing 2,511 games at shortstop in 19 years from 1978-1996 for the Padres and Cardinals, “The Wizard of Oz” saved an astounding 239 runs during his career. He is baseball’s all-time leader, at any position, in career Defensive Wins-Above-Replacement with 43.4. A 13 time Gold Glove winner, his fielding percentage of .978 was higher than the league average of .966. Named to 15 All Star teams, Smith batted .262 with 580 stolen bases.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The 10 best Second Basemen in Major League Baseball history


Second Basemen

10) Tony Lazzeri – Playing in 1,760 games from 1926-1939, primarily for the Yankees, “Poosh’em Up Tony” batted .292, with 178 home runs, 1,194 RBI’s, 148 stolen bases, and a .380 on base percentage.

9) Craig Biggio – From 1988-2007 Biggio played 1,989 games at second base for the Astros; he also played catcher and centerfield. His career totals included a .281 batting average, 3,060 hits, 291 homers, 1,175 RBI’s, 414 stolen bases, and a .363 on base percentage. His .984 fielding percentage was higher than the league average of .982 for secondbasemen; he won four Gold Gloves and was named to seven All Star teams.

8) Bill Mazeroski – From 1956-1972, “Maz” played in 2,163 games for the Pirates and had a fielding average of .983, higher than the league average of .976 at the time. Defensively he saved 148 runs in his career and won eight Gold Gloves. Named to seven All Star teams, Mazeroski had a career batting average of .260.

7) Ryne Sandberg – A ten time All Star and winner of the 1984 National League MVP, “Ryno” played in 2,164 games from 1981-1997, all but thirteen with the Cubs. He batted .285 with 282 home runs, 1,061 RBI’s, and 344 stolen bases. Sandberg’s fielding average of .989 was higher than the league average of .981, and he saved 57 runs in his career, winning nine Gold Gloves.

6) Joe Morgan – Morgan played 2,527 games at second base from 1962-1984, primarily for the Astros and Reds.  He batted .271, with a .392 on base percentage, 268 home runs, 1,133 RBI’s, 689 stolen bases, and a .981 fielding percentage, compared to the league average of .977. Morgan was a ten time All Star, won five Gold Gloves, and was named the National League MVP in 1975 and 1976.

5) Frankie Frisch - Playing in 2,311 games from 1919-1937 for the Cardinals and Giants, “The Fordham Flash” had a career batting average of .316, with 2,880 hits and 419 stolen bases. His fielding average of .974 was higher than the league average of .965. Frisch was selected as the 1931 National League MVP.

4) Charlie Gehringer – “The Mechanical Man” played in 2,323 games for the Tigers from 1924-1942, batting .320 with 2,839 hits, 184 home runs, 1,427 RBI’s, 181 stolen bases, and a .404 on base percentage. Gehringer’s .976 fielding percentage was higher than the league average of .968; he was named to six All Star teams and won the 1937 American League MVP.

3) Rogers Hornsby – From 1915-1937 “Rajah” played 1,561 games at second base, mainly with St. Louis. He also played shortstop, third base, and the outfield. His career numbers include a .358 batting average, .434 on base percentage, 2,930 hits, 301 home runs, and 1,584 RBI’s. He won the Triple Crown in 1922 and 1925, and the National League MVP in 1925 and 1929.

2) Nap Lajoie – Playing for Cleveland and Philadelphia from 1896-1916, Lajoie spent 2,035 games at second base; he also played first base, shortstop, third base, and the outfield. He had a .963 fielding percentage, compared with the league average of .949 for secondbasemen. His batting numbers include 3,243 hits, 1,599 RBI’s, 380 stolen bases, a .338 batting average, and a .380 on base percentage.

1) Eddie Collins – The American League MVP in 1914, “Cocky” played in 2,650 games at second base for the White Sox and Philadelphia A’s from 1906-1930. Collins amassed 3,315 hits, 1,300 RBI’s, 741 stolen bases, a .333 batting average, and .424 on base percentage. His .970 fielding percentage was higher than the league average of .958.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The 10 best first basemen in Major League Baseball history


The Best First Basemen in Major League Baseball History
 

10) Orlando Cepeda – Played 1,683 games in 17 seasons from 1958-1974 at first base for six teams, primarily the Giants. An eleven time All Star and the 1967 NL MVP, Cepeda batted .297 with 379 home runs and 1,365 RBI’s.
 

9) Johnny Mize – “The Big Cat” played 1,667 games at first base during 15 seasons from 1937-1953 for the Cardinals, Giants, and Yankees, finishing with a .312 career batting average, 359 home runs, and 1,337 RBI’s. He was a ten time All Star selection.
 

8) Tony Perez  -  “Big Dog” was a seven time All Star with a .279 career batting average, 379 home runs, and 1,652 RBI’s in 23 seasons from 1964 to 1986 with the Cincinnati Reds, playing 1,778 games at first base.
 

7) George Sisler -  Playing in 2,055 games during 15 years with Boston, St. Louis, and Washington from 1915-1930, “Gorgeous George” had a .340 career batting average with 2,812 hits and was the 1922 American League MVP.

 
6) Hank Greenberg – Winner of the American League MVP in 1935 and 1940, “Hammerin’ Hank” had a career batting average of .313 with 331 homers, 1,274 RBI’s, a .412 on base percentage, and a .605 slugging percentage in 13 seasons from 1930-1947, primarily with the Boston Red Sox. He played 1,138 games at first base and also played the outfield.

 
5) Jake Beckley – “Eagle Eye” played 2,380 games at first base during 20 years in the major leagues from 1888-1907 with the Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, and Giants. He finished his career with a .308 batting average, 2,934 hits and 1,578 RBI’s.
 

4) Willie McCovey -  Playing 2,045 games at first base in a 22 year career from 1959-1980 “Big Mac” hit .270 with 521 home runs and 1,555 RBI’s, mainly with the San Francisco Giants. A six time All Star and winner of the 1969 National League MVP.

 
3)  Eddie Murray – Playing 2,413 games at first base “Steady Eddie” batted .287 with 3,255 hits, 504 home runs, and 1,917 RBI’s during 21 seasons with the Orioles, Dodgers, Indians, Mets, and Angels from 1977-1997. Was an eight time All Star and won three Gold Gloves.

 
2) Jimmie Foxx – Winner of the 1933 Triple Crown, “The Beast” was a three-time American League MVP and was named to nine All Star teams.  Playing in 1,919 games at first base, mainly with Philadelphia and Boston from 1925-1945, Foxx batted .325 with 534 home runs and 1,922 RBI’s, as well as a .428 on-base percentage and .609 slugging percentage. He also played third base, catcher and outfield.
 

1) Lou Gehrig - The “Iron Horse” played in 2,164 games at first base from 1923-1939 for the Yankees. Gehrig batted .340 for his career, with a .447 on base percentage, .632 slugging percentage, 493 home runs and 1,995 RBI’s. A six time All Star, two time AL MVP, and winner of the 1934 Triple Crown, Gehrig also hit .361 with 10 homers and 35 RBI’s in 34 World Series games.

The 10 best catchers in Major League Baseball history


The best Catchers in major league baseball history

 

10) Thurman Munson:  Winner of the 1970 Rookie of the Year Award, and named the American League MVP in 1976, Munson was a seven time All Star selection. The winner of three Gold Gloves, he threw out 44% of base runners attempting to steal, and is credited with saving 34 runs in his career. Munson caught 1,278 games in eleven seasons for the Yankees from 1969-1979, batting .292 with 113 home runs and 701 RBI’s. Also, in 16 World Series games he hit .373 and drove in 12 runs.

 

9) Mickey Cochrane: A two time All Star, Cochrane was named American League MVP in 1928 and 1934. He has a career batting average of .320 with a .419 on-base percentage, 119 home runs, and 830 RBI’s. He threw out 39% of basestealers while catching 1,421 games in 13 seasons for the A’s and Tigers from 1925-1937.

 

8) Ernie Lombardi: A seven time All Star and winner of the 1938 National League MVP award, Lombardi caught 1,544 games in 17 seasons from 1931-1947, mainly with the Reds and Giants. He had a .306 career batting average, 190 home runs, 990 RBI’s, and threw out 48% of attempted base stealers.

 

7) Roy Campanella: Selected as the National League MVP in 1951, 1953, and 1955, Campanella was named to eight All Star teams. He threw out 57% of basestealers while catching 1,183 games in 10 seasons from 1948-1957 for the Dodgers. His career batting numbers include a .276 average, 242 home runs, and 856 RBI’s.

 

6) Gary Carter: Winner of three Gold Gloves, Carter is credited with saving 106 runs and caught 35% of attempted basestealers while catching 2,056 games in 20 seasons from 1974-1992, mainly with the Expos and Mets.  An eleven time All Star, he batted .262 with 324 home runs and 1,225 RBI’s.

 

5) Gabby Hartnett: Catching 1,793 games in 20 seasons from 1922-1941, mainly for the Cubs, Hartnett led the National League catchers in caught stealing percentage six times, with a career mark of 56%. A six time All Star, he had a career batting average of .297 with 236 home runs and 1,179 RBI’s. Hartnett won the 1935 National League MVP award. 

 

4) Bill Dickey:  An eleven time All Star for the Yankees, Dickey threw out 47% of runners attempting to steal and led American League catchers in range factor per game for six seasons.  In 17 years from 1928-1946 Dickey caught 1,708 games, while batting .313 with 202 home runs and 1,209 RBI’s.

 

3) Ivan Rodriguez: A thirteen time Gold Glove winner and fourteen time All Star, Rodriguez won the 1999 American League MVP award.  Catching 2,427 games in 21 seasons from 1991-2011, primarily for the Rangers and Tigers, he threw out 46% of runners attempting to steal and is credited with saving 167 runs in his career. Rodriguez batted .296 with 311 home runs and 1,332 RBI’s.

 

2) Johnny Bench: Winner of ten Gold Gloves and a fourteen time All Star, Bench won the National League MVP award in 1970 and 1972. Catching 1,742 games in 17 seasons for the Reds, he threw out 43% of basestealers and also saved 97 runs in his career. Bench’s career marks include a .267 average, 389 home runs, and 1,376 RBI’s.

 

1) Yogi Berra:  Selected to the All Star team 15 times, Berra won the American League MVP award in 1951, 1954, and 1955. He caught 1,699 games in 19 seasons and threw out 49% of basestealers to go along with a .285 career batting average, 358 home runs, and 1,430 RBI’s.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The best late round draft picks in Minnesota Vikings history

The Vikings have selected some great players in later rounds of the NFL Draft during their 51 years in the league. You don't have to be a first round draft pick to have a great career in the NFL, and these Viking players, some of whom played their entire careers with Minnesota, prove that talent can be found anywhere.

10) Terry Allen, RB, round 9, 1991: Allen rushed for over one thousand yards twice in his three years with the Vikings, and totaled 8,614 yards on the ground in a ten year career with five teams.

9) Brad Johnson, QB, round 9, 1992: Johnson played seven seasons with the Vikes; he made the Pro Bowl with the Redskins and the Buccaneers, also winning the Super Bowl with Tampa in 2002. Dumb Dennis Green and ya-hoo owner Red McCombs made the mistake of trading Johnson for draft picks after the 1998 season and instead held on to washed-up choke artist QB Randall Cunningham (who played in a mere six games the following season before being unceremoniously dumped onto the scrap heap).

8) Jeff Wright, S, round 15, 1971: Wright was a solid safety on the Vikings great defenses and Super Bowl teams from 1973-1977.

7) Milt Sunde, G, round 20, 1964: Sunde played in 147 games, starting 106, in his 11 year Viking career, contributing to the top Viking offenses in several championship years.

6) Stu Voight, TE, round 10, 1970: Voight was a steady tight end during his 11 years and 131 games with the team, contributing during the team's Super Bowl seasons in the mid-'70's.

5) Dave Osborn, RB, round 13, 1965: A tough runner and reliable receiver out of the backfield, Osborn's 4,320 rushing yards rank sixth in team history. He was named to one Pro Bowl during his 11 years with the team.

4) Matt Birk, C, round 6, 1998: Birk played in 146 games and started 123 from 1998-2008, earning six Pro Bowl nods while snapping the ball at center.

3) Steve Jordan, TE, round 7, 1982: A six time Pro Bowl selection, Jordan was a consistent and durable tight end, appearing in 176 games and starting 149 in 13 seasons. He had 498 receptions and scored 28 touchdowns.

2) Carl Lee, CB, round 7, 1983: Selected three times to the Pro Bowl, Lee played in 169 games, starting 144, during 11 seasons with the team. A key player at cornerback on the team's great defenses in the late 1980's, he is the all-time leader in passes defensed with 128, recovered 6 fumbles, and is sixth with 29 interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns.

1) Scott Studwell, MLB, round 9, 1977: Fifth in team history with 201 games played, Studwell started 161 at middle linebacker and was selected to the Pro Bowl twice. He forced 12 fumbles, recovered 16, intercepted 11 passes, had 9 QB sacks, and ranks ninth with 46 tackles-for-loss. Studwell is the best late round draft pick in Vikings history.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The worst college drafts in Minnesota Vikings history

Through the annual college draft the Minnesota Vikings selected some great players who went on to be selected to the NFL Hall of Fame (Fran Tarkenton, Carl Eller, Ron Yary, Alan Page, Chris Doleman, Randall McDaniel) as well as many other players in both the early and late rounds of the draft who made major contributions to the team's success through the years.

However, there were many drafts where the Vikings selected mediocre players who contributed little, and led to losing seasons. Many of these drafts came under head coaches Dennis Green and Brad Childress, neither of whom was skilled in evaluating talent.

There were other drafts where Minnesota got virtually nothing from their picks. These are the worst drafts in team history, and are listed below.

10) 1990 - Running back Terry Allen had a couple of good seasons. The other players didn't make the team or were around only for a year or two. The team's scouts and coaches at this time had no idea what they were doing.

9) 1996 - Running back Moe Williams contributed a little bit. The remaining picks were total busts. Head coach Dennis Green was clueless.

8) 2000 - Pretty much a waste. Does anyone know what was going on in Coach Dennis Green's mind? An executive from a rival team commented, "I think the Vikings were drunk" while conducting this draft.

7) 2001 - Another Dennis Green disaster. Running back Michael Bennett had one good year, other than that, most draftees didn't even make the team.

6) 1963 - Wide receiver Paul Flatley had a few good seasons. None of the others made any impact, if they made the team at all.

5) 1971 - Safety Jeff Wright, taken in the 15th round, turned out to be a good player. The others were never heard from again.

4) 1966 - Running back Jim Lindsey stuck as a backup for seven years. Other than that, zero contributions from this group.

3) 2004 - Pretty much zero contributions from this draft class. Not sure what the Vikings scouts were thinking. I would imagine most are now in a different profession.

2) 2005 - Literally nothing from this group. Troy Williamson at number one was one of the team's worst first round picks ever, along with defensive end Erasmus James. Both are examples of scouts falling in love with athletic ability and ignoring whether or not the guy can play football.

1) 1989 - What a disaster. Not one player was with the team for longer than a year. Then Vikings executive Mike Lynn was a total moron when it came to football.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The worst first round draft picks in Minnesota Viking history

The Minnesota Vikings have wasted a number of first round draft picks in their 53 year history on players who never lived up expectations or contributed next to nothing to the team. Here are the ten most wasted picks that, in some cases, set the franchise back years. It's hard to believe that scouts and coaches spend so much time and energy on the draft, yet can make such bad decisions when selecting players.

10) Mark Mullaney, DE, 1975: Although he played in 151 games and started 97 in his 12 years with the team, Mullaney didn't seem to learn much from playing behind great ends Carl Eller and Jim Marshall. He never came close to being even an average pass rusher, let alone one that was worth a first round selection. A symbol of the Vikes' mediocrity from 1979 through the mid-1980's.

9) James White, DT, 1976: Didn't exactly turn out to be the next Alan Page. Started 61 games for Bud Grant during his eight years with the team. Not sure why Grant cut Page, thus making White the regular RDT; Bud must have been an optimist. White didn't even make Les Steckel's 1984 mess of team, being waived at the end of training camp.

8) Randy Holloway, DE, 1978: Another end, like Mullaney, who never amounted to much as a pass rusher or even as an average defensive lineman. Started only 31 games in his 7 years with the team and was unceremoniously dumped by Les Steckel (which isn't saying much) in the middle of the 3-13 fiasco that was the 1984 season.

7) Derrick Alexander, DE, 1995: Dennis Green was never much of a talent evaluator, and Alexander was one of his mistakes. Played only four seasons and made zero impact. Hardly worth being the 14th selection in the draft overall.

6) Gerald Robinson, DE, 1986: One of those hybrid DE/OLB types that rarely seem to pan out, Robinson, like Alexander, was the 14th overall pick in the first round. He didn't even make it through two years with the team, dumped by the Vikings after the fourth game in his second season in 1987. Not one the Vikes' scouting staff can be proud of.

5) D.J. Dozier, RB, 1987: The team hasn't had a lot of luck picking 14th in the first round. Dozier barely played in his four years with the team. His career high in rushing yardage was 257 yards in his first season, which apparently didn't impress Jerry Burns and the front office...the Vikes thought so highly of Dozier that they went out and traded away a ton of draft picks in 1989 - for RB Herschel Walker.

4) Erasmus James, DE, 2004: James started 12 games in his three seasons with the team, contributing nothing. An example of how so-called draft experts can build up a player based solely on potential - James didn't produce much in college and was often injured. Way too much of a risk to be taken in the first round. Whoever wanted to pick James should have been fired.

3) Troy Williamson, WR, 2005: Another player picked because of potential, Williamson sums up the mediocrity of the mid-2000's Vikings teams. Didn't do much in college, but was a player scouts thought could be "coached up," which almost never works. Was on the team for only three seasons, but dropped so many easy passes when he did play it's a wonder how he was drafted at all, let alone in the first round.

2) Leo Hayden, RB, 1971: Hayden's career with the team lasted one season. He appeared in seven games, with zero rushing attempts. Yikes. Was on the Cardinals' roster the next two years but barely played. Hard to believe there's a worse first round pick than this one.

1) Dimitrius Underwood, DE, 2000: Didn't even make it out of training camp. Left the team after one day and then was cut before the season started due to psychological issues. Since the Vikings had two first round picks that year, Dennis Green tried to sweep his mistake under the rug, saying it was just a "bonus pick." Uh-huh. Typical doubletalk by Green, who was a lousy evaluator of talent. Underwood had red flags coming out of college, but Green chose to ignore them. Let's hope the Vikings don't have any more misses as big as this one.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The best draft years in Minnesota Vikings history

The Minnesota Vikings have had more bad drafts than good ones. Looking at some of the players they've selected, it's hard to believe they actually were a contending team during some seasons.

A review of the Vikings' college drafts in past years did show some good ones, that resulted in players who made significant contributions to the team's success.

Here are the best ten drafts:
 
10) 2015 - So far it looks like a good haul from this draft, as defensive end Danielle Hunter, wide Receiver Stefon Diggs, and linebacker Eric Kendricks have played well and contributed, with linebacker Edmond Robinson and cornerback Trae Waynes showing potential to be good players.

9) 1976 - This one netted wide receiver Sammy White, who was a key player on offense during the late '70's and early '80's. Also nabbed was guard Wes Hamilton, who was a starter and serviceable player during the same time period.

8) 1977 - Quarterback Tommy Kramer and linebacker Scott Studwell played well for years. Center Dennis Swilley and safety Tommy Hannon also contributed during the late '70's and early '80's.

7) 1964 - Defensive end Carl Eller was selected; he became one of the best Vikings of all time and a Hall of Fame member. Guard Milt Sunde was also picked, and he was a starter during the late '60's and early '70's.

6) 1961 - Quarterback Fran Tarkenton began a Hall of Fame career; running back Tommy Mason was a good player during the team's early years. Cornerback Ed Sharockman was a steady defender in the 1960's and early '70's.

5) 1968 - Offensive tackle Ron Yary became one of the best players in franchise history and a member of the Hall of Fame. Running back Oscar Reed, cornerback Charlie West, and quarterback Bob Lee also made contributions from the late '60's through the mid '70's.

4) 1998 - Wide receiver Randy Moss and center Matt Birk were selected; both became important players and Pro Bowlers.

3) 1983 - Safety Joey Browner and cornerback Carl Lee were drafted, and both were key players and Pro Bowlers on dominant defenses in the late '80's.

2) 1974 - Linebacker Matt Blair became one of the best players in Vikings history, and a perennial Pro Bowler. Offensive tackle Steve Riley started and played well for ten years. Linebacker Fred McNeil was a starter and good defensive player in the late '70's and early '80's.

1) 1967 - The Vikings were smart in selecting defensive tackle Alan Page, who became a Hall of Famer and one of the best players in NFL history. Cornerback Bobby Bryant also had a great career; he was a key piece on dominant defenses of the late '60's and early '70's. Wide receiver Gene Washington became a Pro Bowler. Running back Clint Jones, wide receiver Bob Grim, and tight end John Beasley also made contributions.

The best first round draft picks in Minnesota Vikings history

No matter what so-called "draft experts" say, selecting football players out of college is always a roll of the dice. Still, the Minnesota Vikings have landed a number of outstanding players who became the cornerstones of the franchise for years. Here are the top twenty first round picks in Vikings history, based on length of career, statistics, awards, and contribution to the team's success.

20) Doug Martin, DE, 1980: Martin started and ended his career with the team on controversial notes, but was a pretty good player on the field during the early and mid-1980's. He played in 126 games, starting 94, and his 60.5 sacks rank seventh in team history.

19) Steve Riley, OT, 1974: Riley started 121 games at left tackle during his 11 year career, protecting the blind side of quarterbacks Fran Tarkenton and Tommy Kramer.

18) Ted Brown, RB, 1979: Brown played in 106 games during his eight year career with Minnesota, ranking fifth on the team's rushing list with 4,546 yards and seventh in scoring with 53 touchdowns.

17) Gene Washington, WR, 1967: Playing in 81 games in his six seasons with the Vikings, Washington was named to the Pro Bowl in 1969 and 1970 and was the team's top receiver during those dominant years.

16) Robert Smith, RB, 1993: A two time Pro Bowl selection, Smith played in 98 games during his eight seasons with the team. Currently second in Vikes history in rushing yards with 6,818.

15) Chad Greenway, LB, 2006: A two time Pro Bowl selection, Greenway played in 156 games, starting 144, in a ten year career with Minnesota from 2007-2016. He recorded 18 quarterback sacks, forced 8 fumbles and recovered 11, and intercepted 11 passes, returning two for touchdowns.

14) Keith Millard, DT, 1984: Selected All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl twice, Millard was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1989 when he recorded 18 sacks. Millard was a key piece of the team's outstanding defenses in the late '80's, appearing in 75 games during his six years with the Vikes.

13) Fred McNeil, OLB, 1974: Playing in 167 games and starting 122 at outside linebacker during his 12 years with the team, McNeil recovered 16 fumbles, intercepted 7 passes, and recorded 13 quarterback sacks.

12) Tommy Kramer, QB, 1977: While injured often during his 13 years with the Vikes, Kramer did start 110 games at quarterback and ranks second in most passing categories, including yards and touchdowns.

11) Kevin Williams, DT, 2003: A six time Pro Bowl selection, Williams started all 171 games he  appeared in over 11 seasons. He ranks eighth with 60 QB sacks, knocked down 66 passes, forced 8 fumbles, and recovered 13, returning two for touchdowns. Williams also intercepted 5 passes, bring back two for scores.

10) Randy Moss, WR, 1998: A five time Pro Bowl selection during his seven seasons with Minnesota, Moss is second in team history in a number of receiving categories, including 587 receptions, 9,316 yards, and 92 touchdowns.

9) Jeff Siemon, MLB, 1972: A key player as the middle linebacker on the team's top defenses in the mid-1970's, Siemon played in 156 games, starting 123, and was selected to four Pro Bowls. He forced 14 fumbles, recovered 11, had 6 QB sacks, and 11 interceptions.

8) Joey Browner, S, 1983: Selected to the Pro Bowl as a safety six times in his nine seasons, Browner played in 145 games, starting 117. He is fourth in interceptions with 37, third in passes defensed with 76, fifth in forced fumbles with 18, and fifth in fumble recoveries in 17. He also recorded 9.5 QB sacks, first among Viking defensive backs, and scored 4 touchdowns.

7) Adrian Peterson, RB, 2007: After ten seasons and 123 games, Peterson holds the Viking record in rushing yards with 11,747 and is first in rushing touchdowns with 97. A seven time Pro Bowl selection.

6) Chuck Foreman, RB, 1973: An exceptional runner and receiver who could turn around a game, Foreman was selected to the Pro Bowl five times in his seven seasons in Minnesota. He rushed for 5,887 yards and 52 touchdowns, and caught 336 passes for another 23 scores.

5) Chris Doleman, DE, 1985: A six time Pro Bowl selection, Doleman played in 154 games, starting 142, in 10 seasons with the Vikings. He leads the team with 33 forced fumbles, is sixth in fumble recoveries with 16, seventh in tackles-for-loss with 60, and fifth in sacks with 96.5. He also intercepted five passes, scored two touchdowns, and recorded two safeties.

4) Ron Yary, OT, 1968: Selected to the Pro Bowl seven times in his 14 years with the Vikings, Yary played in 199 games and started 180 at right offensive tackle. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.

3) Randall McDaniel, G, 1988: Selected to the Pro Bowl a record 12 times in his 12 years with the Vikings, he played in 190 games, starting 188 at left guard. McDaniel was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

2) Carl Eller, DE, 1964: The team's all-time leader in QB sacks with 130, Eller was selected to six Pro Bowls. He ranks second in tackles-for-loss with 87, second in fumble recoveries with 23, and seventh in forced fumbles with 15. He also blocked 15 kicks. Eller played in 209 games, fourth in team history, and started 201. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004, an honor that was long overdue.

1) Alan Page, DT, 1967: A defensive tackle who changed the game in the late 1960's and early 1970's, Page was named the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1971. Selected to the Pro Bowl nine times in his 12 years with the Vikings, he played in 160 games and started 157. He is fourth in team history with 108.5 sacks, fourth with 18 fumble recoveries, third with 77 tackles-for-loss, and second with 28 forced fumbles. Page was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The best Catchers in Major League Baseball history


The best Catchers in major league baseball history:

 

10) Thurman Munson:  Winner of the 1970 Rookie of the Year Award, and named the American League MVP in 1976, Munson was a seven time All Star selection. The winner of three Gold Gloves, he threw out 44% of base runners attempting to steal, and is credited with saving 34 runs in his career. Munson caught 1,278 games in eleven seasons for the Yankees from 1969-1979, batting .292 with 113 home runs and 701 RBI’s. Also, in 16 World Series games he hit .373 and drove in 12 runs.

 

9) Mickey Cochrane: A two time All Star, Cochrane was named American League MVP in 1928 and 1934. He has a career batting average of .320 with a .419 on-base percentage, 119 home runs, and 830 RBI’s. He threw out 39% of basestealers while catching 1,421 games in 13 seasons for the A’s and Tigers from 1925-1937.

 

8) Ernie Lombardi: A seven time All Star and winner of the 1938 National League MVP award, Lombardi caught 1,544 games in 17 seasons from 1931-1947, mainly with the Reds and Giants. He had a .306 career batting average, 190 home runs, 990 RBI’s, and threw out 48% of attempted base stealers.

 

7) Roy Campanella: Selected as the National League MVP in 1951, 1953, and 1955, Campanella was named to eight All Star teams. He threw out 57% of basestealers while catching 1,183 games in 10 seasons from 1948-1957 for the Dodgers. His career batting numbers include a .276 average, 242 home runs, and 856 RBI’s.

 

6) Gary Carter: Winner of three Gold Gloves, Carter is credited with saving 106 runs and caught 35% of attempted basestealers while catching 2,056 games in 20 seasons from 1974-1992, mainly with the Expos and Mets.  An eleven time All Star, he batted .262 with 324 home runs and 1,225 RBI’s.

 

5) Gabby Hartnett: Catching 1,793 games in 20 seasons from 1922-1941 for the Cubs and one year with the Giants, Hartnett led the National League catchers in caught stealing percentage six times, with a career mark of 56%. A six time All Star, he had a career batting average of .297 with 236 home runs and 1,179 RBI’s. Hartnett won the 1935 National League MVP award. 

 

4) Bill Dickey:  An eleven time All Star for the Yankees, Dickey threw out 47% of runners attempting to steal and led American League catchers in range factor per game for six seasons.  In 17 years from 1928-1946 Dickey caught 1,708 games, while batting .313 with 202 home runs and 1,209 RBI’s.

 

3) Ivan Rodriguez: A thirteen time Gold Glove winner and fourteen time All Star, Rodriguez won the 1999 American League MVP award.  Catching 2,427 games in 21 seasons from 1991-2011, primarily for the Rangers and Tigers, he threw out 46% of runners attempting to steal and is credited with saving 167 runs in his career. Rodriguez batted .296 with 311 home runs and 1,332 RBI’s.

 

2) Johnny Bench: Winner of ten Gold Gloves and a fourteen time All Star, Bench won the National League MVP award in 1970 and 1972. Catching 1,742 games in 17 seasons for the Reds, he threw out 43% of basestealers and also saved 97 runs in his career. Bench’s career marks include a .267 average, 389 home runs, and 1,376 RBI’s.

 

1) Yogi Berra:  Selected to the All Star team 15 times, Berra won the American League MVP award in 1951, 1954, and 1955. He caught 1,699 games in 19 seasons and threw out 49% of basestealers to go along with a .285 career batting average, 358 home runs, and 1,430 RBI’s.

Friday, January 13, 2017


Six years ago in honor of the Minnesota Vikings 50th season, fans voted for the best 50 Vikings of all time. Longtime head coach Bud Grant was included on that list, but this one ranks only players. Being that 2016 is the 56th season in the franchise's history, the top 56 are included here. Selection and ranking were based on longevity (seasons with the team), individual statistics and honors, the player's contribution to the team's wins, and overall team success during the player's tenure.

Honorable Mention:

Joe Kapp, QB:
Kapp played for the team for only three years, yet was instrumental in their 1969 Super Bowl season, so he deserves a mention. He was named the Vikes' MVP that year but refused the award, saying "there is no most valuable Viking" and noting the team's motto of "40 for 60" - 40 men playing together for every 60 minutes in a game.

Jim Kleinsasser, TE: Doing the dirty work as a blocker at tight end and fullback, Kleinsasser played in 180 games, starting 130, during 13 seasons with the team.

Steve Hutchinson, G: Started 89 games in six years with the team from 2006-2011, and was selected to four Pro Bowls.

David Dixon, G: Dixon played in 152 games during 11 seasons for the Vikings. He started 134 of those games at right guard, clearing the way for runners such as Robert Smith, Leroy Hoard, and Michael Bennett.

Milt Sunde, G: a former 20th round pick, Sunde started 106 games at left guard and right guard, including the team's dominant season in 1969.

Jake Reed, WR: Reed played in 134 games and started 83 during his 10 years with the team. His 413 catches rank fourth in team history, and his 33 touchdown receptions are good for sixth.

Doug Martin, DE: A former first round pick, Martin started and ended his career with the team on controversial notes, but was a pretty good player on the field during the early and mid-1980's. He played in 126 games, starting 94, and his 60.5 sacks rank seventh in team history.

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56) Steve Riley, OT: A first round pick in 1974, Riley started 121 games at left tackle during his 11 year career, protecting the blind side of quarterbacks Fran Tarkenton and Tommy Kramer.

55) Lonnie Warwick, MLB: Warwick played in 92 games and started 75. The middle linebacker in a defense that dominated opponents' offenses in 1968, 1969, and 1970, he intercepted 12 passes, recorded 7.5 sacks and recovered 6 fumbles in his eight year career with the Vikes.

54) Ted Brown, RB: Brown played in 106 games during his eight year career with Minnesota, ranking fifth on the team's rushing list with 4,546 yards and seventh in scoring with 53 touchdowns.

53) Greg Coleman, P: Coleman was steady during his ten years with the team from 1977-1987, punting in 138 games, still the team record.

52) Gene Washington, WR: Playing in 81 games in his six seasons with the Vikings, Washington was named to the Pro Bowl in 1969 and 1970 and was the team's top receiver during those dominant years.

51) Stu Voigt, TE: Voigt was a steady tight end during his 11 years and 131 games with the team, contributing during the team's Super Bowl seasons in the mid-'70's.

50) Fred Cox, K: The Vikings placekicker from 1963 through 1977 appeared in 210 games and is the team's all-time scoring leader with 1,365 points.

49) Dave Osborn, RB: A tough runner and reliable receiver out of the backfield, Osborn's 4,320 rushing yards rank sixth in team history. He was named to one Pro Bowl during his 11 years and 137 games with the team.

48) Robert Smith, RB: A two time Pro Bowl selection, Smith played in 98 games during his eight seasons with the team, rushing for 6,818 yards, second in team history.

47) Chad Greenway, LB: A two time Pro Bowl selection, Greenway played in 156 games, starting 144, in a ten year career with Minnesota from 2007-2016. He recorded 18 quarterback sacks, forced 8 fumbles and recovered 11, and intercepted 11 passes, returning two for touchdowns.

46) Doug Sutherland, DT: Sutherland played in 138 games during his 10 years with the Vikings, starting 90. He plugged the middle of the defensive line at left tackle during the mid-1970's when the team had highly rated defenses.


45) Nate Wright, CB: A steady cornerback during the mid-1970's when the team led the league each year in many defensive categories, Wright played in 129 games, starting 89, in his ten years with the team. He ranks 5th with 31 interceptions and knocked down 55 passes.

44) John Gilliam, WR: Named to the Pro Bowl after each of his four seasons with the team, Gilliam's 20 yard average-per-reception is by far highest among Viking players with at least 100 catches.

43) Ed Sharockman, CB: A consistent defensive back on Minnesota's great defenses of the late '60's and early '70's, Sharockman played in 142 games, starting 121, during his 12 years with the team. He ranks third with 40 interceptions, returning four for touchdowns, and also recovered 9 fumbles.

42) Keith Millard, DT: Selected All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl twice, Millard was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1989 when he recorded 18 sacks. Millard was a key piece of the team's outstanding defenses in the late '80's, appearing in 75 games during his six years with the Vikes.

41) Fred McNeil, LB: Playing in 167 games and starting 122 at outside linebacker during his 12 years with the team, McNeil recovered 16 fumbles, intercepted 7 passes, and recorded 13 quarterback sacks.

40) Ed McDaniel, LB: The team leader in tackles for loss with 90.5, he ranks second among Viking linebackers with 20.5 sacks. McDaniel is also sixth on the team with 17 forced fumbles. He has 5 fumble recoveries, intercepted 4 passes and was named to the Pro Bowl once during his nine seasons and 125 games, 109 starts, with the Vikings.


39) Karl Kassulke, S: Another key player on the team's outstanding defenses in the late 60's and early '70's, Kassulke played in 131 games at safety, starting 121, intercepting 19 passes. Selected to one Pro Bowl, he had 9 fumble recoveries and his 8 sacks are second among defensive backs.

38) Wally Hilgenberg, LB: A tough outside linebacker on the Vikings' great defenses of the late 60's and throughout the 70's, Hilgenberg played in 158 games, starting 118, in 12 seasons. He recovered 13 fumbles, recorded 8 sacks, picked off 8 passes and scored two touchdowns.

37) Jared Allen, DE: Named to the Pro Bowl four times in his six years with the team, Allen's 88.5 sacks place him sixth in team history. He also intercepted 4 passes, forced 16 fumbles, recovered 9, and registered 4 safeties while starting all 96 games he appeared in at right end.

36) Antoine Winfield, CB: Selected to three Pro Bowls during his nine years with the Vikings, he played in 119 games, starting 115. Of Winfield's 21 interceptions two were returned for touchdowns. He defensed 73 passes, which is fourth in team history, recorded 6.5 QB sacks, forced 11 fumbles and recovered 9, returning two of those for touchdowns as well.

35) Tommy Kramer, QB: While injured often during his 13 years with the Vikes, Kramer did start 110 games at quarterback and ranks second in most passing categories, including yards and touchdowns.

34) Ed White, OG: Selected to three Pro Bowls in his eight years with the team, White played in 122 games and started 94 at guard during the team's dominant run in the early and mid-1970's.

33) Gary Zimmerman, OT: Named to three Pro Bowls in his seven years with the Vikings Zimmerman held down left tackle for 108 consecutive games during the late '80's and early 90's.

32) Matt Birk, C: Birk played in 146 games and started 123 from 1998-2008, earning six Pro Bowl nods while snapping the ball at center.

31) Tim Irwin, OT: During his 13 years with the team he played in 188 games, starting 181 at right tackle. Standing at 6-7, he also blocked a few extra points and field goals while on the special teams unit.

30) Henry Thomas, DT: Selected to two Pro Bowls while appearing in 118 games and starting 117 in 8 years, Thomas ranks sixth in tackles-for-loss with 62. He is ninth with 56 sacks, forced 12 fumbles, and recovered 8, returning two for touchdowns. He also had two interceptions and notched a safety.

29) Kevin Williams, DT: A six time Pro Bowl selection, Williams started all 171 games he  appeared in over 11 seasons. He ranks eighth with 60 QB sacks, knocked down 66 passes, forced 8 fumbles, and recovered 13, returning two for touchdowns. Williams also intercepted 5 passes, bring back two for scores.

28) Grady Alderman, OT: Holding down left tackle on offense for 14 years, Alderman played in 193 games, starting 174, and was selected to the Pro Bowl six times.

27) Gary Larsen, DT: A member of one of the best front fours in NFL history, defensive tackle Larsen played in 135 games, starting 107, in 10 seasons for the Vikings. He recorded 37 sacks, recovered 10 fumbles, and was named to two Pro Bowls.

26) Ahmad Rashad, WR: Selected to four Pro Bowls in his seven years with the team, Rashad had 400 receptions and scored 34 touchdowns in 98 games. He was part of one of the most memorable plays in NFL history, catching a touchdown pass on the game's last play against the Browns in 1980.

25) Sammy White, WR: A two time Pro Bowler, White played in 128 games, starting 118, and was the team's top receiver in the late '70's, averaging 16.3 yards per catch. His 50 touchdown receptions are fourth in team history.

24) Randy Moss, WR: A five time Pro Bowl selection during his seven seasons and 113 games with Minnesota, Moss is second in team history in a number of receiving categories, including 587 receptions, 9,316 yards, and 92 touchdowns.

23) Steve Jordan, TE: A six time Pro Bowl selection, Jordan was a consistent and durable tight end, appearing in 176 games and starting 149 in 13 seasons. He had 498 receptions and scored 28 touchdowns.

22) Carl Lee, CB: Selected three times to the Pro Bowl, Lee played in 169 games, starting 144, during 11 seasons with the team. A key player at cornerback on the team's great defenses in the late 1980's, he is the all-time leader in passes defensed with 128, recovered 6 fumbles, and is sixth with 29 interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns.

21) Roy Winston, LB: In 15 seasons Winston played in 191 games, starting 158 at outside linebacker on dominant Viking defenses in the late '60's and early '70's. A playmaker, he had 16 sacks, fourth among linebackers and 14 fumble recoveries, third among linebackers, and 12 interceptions, second among linebackers, while scoring 3 touchdowns. He also is fifth all-time with 68 tackles-for-loss.

20) Bill Brown, RB: A tough runner, he is in fourth place in rushing yards with 5,757 and second with 52 touchdowns. He added 286 receptions and another 23 TD's as a receiver out of the backfield. Brown played in 180 games during 13 seasons and was selected four times to the Pro Bowl.

19) Bobby Bryant, CB: A playmaker at cornerback, Bryant was selected to two Pro Bowls in 13 seasons, playing in 161 games and starting 127. He is second in team history with 51 interceptions and second in passes defensed with 77. He also recovered 14 fumbles and scored four touchdowns, in addition to coming up with a number of big plays in playoff games.

18) Scott Studwell, MLB: Fifth in team history with 201 games played, Studwell started 161 at middle linebacker and was selected to the Pro Bowl twice. He forced 12 fumbles, recovered 16, intercepted 11 passes, and had 9 QB sacks. He ranks ninth with 46 tackles-for-loss.

17) Jeff Siemon, MLB: A key player as the middle linebacker on the team's top defenses in the mid-1970's, Siemon played in 156 games, starting 123, and was selected to four Pro Bowls. He forced 14 fumbles, recovered 11, had 6 QB sacks, and 11 interceptions.

16) Anthony Carter, WR:
A dynamic game-changing receiver, Carter averaged 16 yards per catch and is third in team history with 478 receptions, 7,636 yards and 52 touchdowns. Selected to the Pro Bowl three times, he played in 133 games and started 125 in his nine years with the team.

15) Joey Browner, S: Selected to the Pro Bowl as a safety six times in his nine seasons, Browner played in 145 games, starting 117. He is fourth in interceptions with 37, third in passes defensed with 76, fifth in forced fumbles with 18, and fifth in fumble recoveries in 17. He also recorded 9.5 QB sacks, first among Viking defensive backs, and scored 4 touchdowns.


14) Adrian Peterson, RB: After ten seasons and 123 games, Peterson holds the Viking record in rushing yards with 11,747 and is first in rushing touchdowns with 97. A seven time Pro Bowl selection.

13) Chuck Foreman, RB: An exceptional runner and receiver who could turn around a game, Foreman was selected to the Pro Bowl five times in his seven seasons in Minnesota. He rushed for 5,887 yards and 52 touchdowns, and caught 336 passes for another 23 scores.

12) Chris Doleman, DE: A six time Pro Bowl selection, Doleman played in 154 games, starting 142, in 10 seasons with the Vikings. He leads the team with 33 forced fumbles, is sixth in fumble recoveries with 16, seventh in tackles-for-loss with 60, and fifth in sacks with 96.5. He also intercepted five passes, scored two touchdowns, and recorded two safeties.

11) Matt Blair, LB: Selected to six Pro Bowls in his 12 seasons, Blair played in 160 games, starting 130. He is fourth in forced fumbles with 19, third in fumble recoveries with 20, and tenth in tackles-for-loss with 44. His 23 sacks and 16 interceptions are first among Vikings linebackers. He also blocked 20 kicks in his career.

10) Mick Tingelhoff, C: A six time Pro Bowl selection, Tingelhoff started every Viking game at center from 1962 through 1977, 240 consecutive games in all. He anchored the Vikings offensive line and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2015.

9) John Randle, DT: A standout defensive tackle who played in 176 games and started 150, Randle was named to six Pro Bowls in his 11 seasons with the Vikings. He recovered 9 fumbles, ranks third in forced fumbles with 25, and is third in QB sacks with 114. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

8) Ron Yary, OT: Selected to the Pro Bowl seven times in his 14 years with the Vikings, Yary played in 199 games and started 180 at right offensive tackle. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.

7) Randall McDaniel, OG: Selected to the Pro Bowl a record 12 times in his 12 years with the Vikings, he played in 190 games, starting 188 at left guard. McDaniel was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

6) Paul Krause, S: The NFL's record holder for interceptions with 81, Krause is the Vikings leader in that category with 53 picks, returning two of those for touchdowns. He also recovered 11 fumbles, bringing back two for scores, and knocked down 54 passes. In 12 years with the team he played in 172 games, starting 146, and was selected to six Pro Bowls. Krause was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

5) Jim Marshall, DE: Starting all 270 games in which he played as a Viking at right defensive end, Marshall is second in team history with 127 sacks, first with 29 fumble recoveries, and fourth in tackle-for-loss with 74. A two time Pro Bowl selection, he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

4) Carl Eller, DE: The team's all-time leader in QB sacks with 130, Eller was selected to six Pro Bowls. He ranks second in tackles-for-loss with 87, second in fumble recoveries with 23, and seventh in forced fumbles with 15. He also blocked 15 kicks. Eller played in 209 games, fourth in team history, and started 201. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004, an honor that was long overdue.

3) Cris Carter, WR: Selected to 8 consecutive Pro Bowls in his 12 years with the team, Carter played in 188 games, starting 177. He holds most Viking receiving records, including 1,004 receptions, 12,383 yards, and 110 touchdowns. He ranks fourth all-time in NFL history in receptions and touchdown catches, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2013.

2) Fran Tarkenton, QB: The Vikings record holder in most passing categories, Tarkenton played in 177 games, starting 170, and was selected to five Pro Bowls in his 13 seasons with the team. Named the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1975, he is also among the leaders in league history for records among quarterbacks. Tarkenton was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

1) Alan Page, DT: A defensive tackle who changed the game in the late 1960's and early 1970's, Page was named the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1971. Selected to the Pro Bowl nine times in his 12 years with the Vikings, he played in 160 games and started 157. He is fourth in team history with 108.5 sacks, fourth with 18 fumble recoveries, third with 77 tackles-for-loss, and second with 28 forced fumbles. Page was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988. He is the greatest Minnesota Viking of all time.



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