That's not counting the three rings won by Koufax in , and The Miami Marlins' World Series-winning teams of and were so eclectic that it's hard to pinpoint a single face for either of them. Sheffield will do for the '97 Marlins. Beckett was frequently injured between and , but he was certainly healthy when the Marlins needed him in October He mustered a 2.
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Seven years later in , Stanton arrived and got to work slamming a team-record homers in eight seasons. He also became the team's first-ever MVP on his way out the door in The young fireballer only made 76 starts for the Marlins before tragically dying in a boating accident in September His pitching nonetheless had him on a path to all-time greatness , and his insistence on having fun at everything he did made it impossible not to have fun watching him. Indeed, there is no more perfect candidate for the first retired number in Marlins history.
The No. It landed them Yount in and Molitor in Yount went on to become one of the best players of the s, accumulating Molitor debuted in and stayed in Milwaukee through He made five All-Star teams in that span and mixed home runs with a. Cooper's Brewers stardom was relatively short-lived, but he peaked with four All-Star nods in five seasons between and He's hit a team-record home runs and counting , and he's starred on three of only five teams the Brewers have ever sent to the postseason.
Long before they were the Minnesota Twins, they were the Washington Senators. And Johnson was their ace. Oh, was he an ace. His chief weapon was a fastball that put even the best pure hitter of the era at a loss for words. Killebrew was just coming into his stardom when the Senators moved to Minneapolis in He played all but one of his 22 seasons with the franchise and set club records with home runs. The total collapse of Puckett's beloved public persona in the early s can't be ignored.
But neither can his place in Twins history. He was one of the AL's great stars for a decade between and , as well as a fundamental part of World Series winners in and Seaver was originally drafted by the Dodgers in , and then by the Braves in Decades later, he remains the Mets' all-time leader in WAR and numerous pitching categories. The next great Mets era happened in the s. Though Dwight Gooden and Keith Hernandez are strong candidates in their own right, Strawberry is the right face for those teams.
He clubbed a team-record homers between and His one and only long ball in the World Series was a big one in Game 7. From through , Piazza hit the bulk , to be exact of his catcher-record homers as a Met, and he did his damndest to win them a World Series in That mostly traces back to his peak, when he made seven All-Star teams and kept a place among the National League's elite superstars. OK, look. Boiling down the entire history of the New York Yankees to four faces is impossible.
The only way to really do this fairly is to pick one representative from their most dominant eras. Between and , Ruth effectively reinvented baseball and birthed the concept of the athlete as celebrity. The Babe hit of his total homers in pinstripes and led the Yankees to World Series victories in , , and He also played in 10 World Series and helped the Yankees win nine of them.
As soon as DiMaggio was gone, there was Mantle. Alas, the Yankees won only two World Series between and But then came Jeter in , and ended in one of the five World Series victories he enjoyed in a year career. That's four players and 25 World Series rings, not to mention The year history of the Oakland Athletics includes two of the three winningest managers Connie Mack and Tony La Russa and arguably the second-most consequential executive Billy Beane of all time. But as stars go, Foxx came first.
Cespeda and Clemente
As they went from Philadelphia to Kansas City to Oakland, the A's didn't play in a single postseason between and The turning of the tide coincided with Jackson's rise to superstardom between and He racked up homers over that span, and after missing the '72 World Series with a hamstring injury, he played starring roles in the '73 and '74 World Series.
Oakland was Henderson's main base of operations during a well-traveled year career, and it was with the A's that he collected most of his record-setting 1, stolen bases and 2, runs scored. Henderson was also on the A's team that won the World Series.
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So was Eckersley, who was blazing a trail for modern closers by dominating for an inning at a time. Take a look through the Philadelphia Phillies' all-time leaderboards , and you'll find Ashburn atop two categories: singles and times caught stealing. Yet Ashburn's place in Phillies lore can't be sold short. As a player between and , he hit over. Following his retirement, he settled into a role as a beloved broadcaster that lasted for over three decades. Among the Phillies teams Ashburn covered were the great clubs of the s and s, which Schmidt and Carlton primarily drove.
Schmidt spent 18 seasons with the Phillies, winning three NL MVPs and setting club records for home runs and pretty much anything else you can think of. In helping the Phillies win the World Series, Schmidt clubbed two homers and Carlton pitched in a pair of victories.
The Phillies wouldn't win another World Series until , smack dab in the middle of their run as a National League powerhouse. Though he had lots of help, those were Utley's teams. When a young pitcher once asked John McGraw how to pitch to Wagner, the legendary manager replied : "Just pitch the ball and pray. Clemente was at his best between and , when he was an All-Star 15 times and a World Series champion in '60 and ' And as great of a player he was, he was an equally great humanitarian whose influence still looms large almost 50 years after his tragic passing.
Compared to Wagner and Clemente, Mazeroski was a far lesser Pirates star. But if not for his defensive wizardry at second base—which earned him eight Gold Gloves in 17 seasons—he deserves his spot for his walk-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series. Pittsburgh's last World Series victory was all the way back in , which was also the crown jewel of Stargell's year career with the Pirates. The San Diego Padres endured plenty of growing pains in their first decade of existence, but at least they had Winfield and Jones.
Winfield made his major league debut soon after the Padres selected him with the No. Comfort in the majors came just as quickly, as he spent the next eight years racking up homers, stolen bases and four All-Star selections. Jones' peak stardom only lasted for two seasons in and , but he was the NL Cy Young Award runner-up in the former and the winner in the latter.
Speaking of huge fan favorites, Gwynn endeared himself to pretty much everyone while accumulating eight NL batting titles and a lifetime batting average of.
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Padre" will forever be remembered as one of the best pure hitters and most pleasant people ever to play baseball. Hoffman was a teammate of Gwynn's from through , which was the beginning of his reign as a dominant closer. After 18 years, he retired with seven All-Star nods and saves to his name. Whether in New York or San Francisco, the Giants have tended to revolve around singularly talented and popular superstars. Alas, there isn't enough room for all of them here.
Between and , he won games and was worth about 26 more WAR than the next-best pitcher. Fast-forward to , and there's Mays at the beginning of a historic year career.
His bat, legs and glove carried him to a As great as Mays was, McCovey was a slightly superior hitter during his peak. As Griffey was rising with the Seattle Mariners in the s, the great Claire Smith pondered his similarity to Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo. Further, he owns the single biggest hit in the year history of the Mariners. From then through , he was an annual All-Star and Gold Glover who amassed a. In more recent years, Mariners fans have had Hernandez to rally around. Traditionally, every start he makes at Safeco Field is a party.
The history of the St. Louis Cardinals technically goes back to , but it effectively begins with Hornsby. He was the Cardinals' top WAR producer each year between and Though his stardom slipped in , he did well enough in his second role as manager to guide the Cardinals to the first of their 11 World Series titles. Likewise, his name is all over St.
Louis' record books. The Cardinals enjoyed another run of greatness in the s, much of which flowed from Gibson. Altogether, he owns more than twice as much career WAR than any other Cardinals pitcher. In , their second year of existence, the Tampa Bay Rays used the No. Though he never became a star for them, their second pick did. Starting in , Crawford built his early stardom on blinding speed that produced American League stolen base titles in , , and Come , Longoria debuted and played a significant role in getting the Rays to their first World Series.
He won the AL Rookie of the Year on the strength of his power and slick third base defense. Ultimately, he was one of the AL's best players for a decade.