So I was driving home last night, trying to decide what to write about today and I thought about the “minor” stars of yesteryear.  Guys like Cory Snider, Wally Joyner, Walt Weiss, Devon White, and Chris Sabo.  Players who were just below star status, but were very much fan favorites.  I tried to come up with some guys that I felt were in the same boat now-a-days.  So here is what I came up with and I compared them to my 80s/90s version.

Catcher:

80s/90s – Benito Santiago – Never quite lived up to the hype that was behind him in the card world but can you name a more popular non-superstar catcher during that era? Runner Up – Matt Nokes

Current – Russell Martin – I strongly considered Matt Wieters and A.J. Pierzynski, but Wieters is still young and AJ is just not a fan favorite.  Martin however has always been a fan favorite but is just below star status.

First Base:

80s/90s – Wally Joyner – Hands down probably one of the most popular players of his generation.  Never quite achieved super star status but always remained one of my favorite players. Runner Up – John Olerud

Current – Aubry Huff – Always well liked where ever he goes.  Usually puts up solid stats, but not considered an elite first baseman. Runner Up – Paul Konerko

Second Base:

80s/90s –  Delino Deshields – This was tough because I also considered Ray Durham but in the end any fantasy player will tell you Desheilds was one of the best in his day at stealing bases.

Current – Brandon Phillips – Oddly enough this was a no brainer for me.  He is a guy that was highly collected in the early 2000s but never panned out for the Expos or the Indians.  A fan favorite in Cincy where he is their second sacker. Runner up – Ian Kinsler

Short Stop: 

80s/90s – Walt Weiss – You have to love how a career 0.260 hitter with little power and slightly better speed became a fan favorite.  He had a long career and was loved at every stop along the way. Runner Up – Greg Gagne

Current – Jimmy Rollins – Yeah he has the MVP award and some all star appearances, but overall he’s a pretty solid player, just below star status.  A definite fan favorite in Philly.  Runner Up – Jed Lowrie

Third Base:

80s/90s – Chris Sabo – Everyone loved Spuds McKenzie!  Still to this day he is a fan favorite.  I didn’t even consider anyone else for this one.

Current – Pablo Sandoval – More than likely the Sandoval from last year is more likely what we are going to see.  Everyone loves the guy though and even if he cruises to a 0.270/20/75 average career, he will remain popular. Runner Up – Ty Wiggington

Outfielders:

80s/90s – Cecil Fielder, Bo Jackson, and Pete Incaviglia – What a random pairing huh?  All three were feared long ball hitters and all three were fairly well collected.  Also talk about fan favorites! Runners Up – Cory Snider, Bobby Bonilla, Lenny Dykstra

Current – Hunter Pence, Jason Kubel, and Grady Sizemore – All three are very well liked.  Collectors love them and none are considered stars. Runners Up – Jay Bruce, Alex Gordon, and Shane Victorino

Look for another post featuring the pitcher comparisons soon.  This was only a list of guys that I could think of right off the top of my mind, there are lots more and I look forward to hearing who you think should be on this list!

 

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4 responses »

  1. Mike D says:

    In kindest regards to your list, I have some similar names, but also some others I thought of that were stars, but not Canseco/Jeter level stars…
    Catcher – Santiago & Terry Steinbach == Jason Varitek
    First Base – Joyner, Mark Grace & Will Clark == Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez & Konerko: Grace is still a fan favorite in Chicago and Arizona, proof in jersey sales, and Clark’s autos are still selling well on eBay. Votto is getting there, Gonzo’s trade to Boston sends him into a new level and Pauly is a fan favorite on the South Side.
    Second Base – DeShields == Dustin Pedroia
    Third Base – Chris Sabo & Robin Ventura == Kevin Youkilis: Ventura was just on your blog, how could you forget? And Youkilis will forever be cemented in Boston lore, which means something in the hobby.
    Shortstop – Weiss == Troy Tulowitzki
    Outfield – Fielder, Eric Davis & Bernie Williams == Josh Hamilton, Grady Sizemore and Victorino: I agree with Fielder. Bo was just too much of a superstar to be on the list you made. Inky was a one-hit wonder. With Davis, he was a stud and fans in the midwest loved watching him but hated when he came to your hometown ballpark. Bernie is an icon in New York and is part of that group that brought the Yankees back to prominence. My current outfielders I matched up with the yesteryear guys. Hamilton crushes like Fielder does (All-Star games come to mind for each) – Sizemore is a favorite in Ohio, and in his prime was a lot like Davis. Victorino is Philly’s best outfielder, which matters like it does in Boston and New York.

    That’s my list. I did think of several others, like a Mike Greenwell, Devon White, Darren Daulton, Omar Vizquel, Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner for the old school guys; David Wright, Buster Posey and Jason Heyward to name a few…

  2. Jeff says:

    Cecil Fielder was a DH/First Baseman and not an outfielder. I would add Darryl Strawberry to the list – feared long-ball hitter for a few years, solid career, played for both New York teams and LA but looking back on his career would be considered a minor star.

  3. Brian B says:

    Canseco/Jeter level stars????? I think I just threw up a little in my mouth, Captain Fantastic being compared on the same level as Captain Steroids???? WOW, If I start writing what I really feel about seeing those 2 being compared in the same sentence, I might be all day, lets just leave it at……LOL…….aaahhhhhh NOOOOO

  4. Mike D says:

    It’s not a comparison of the two off the field, their stats or their personalities. I was putting them on the level as far as how widely collected Canseco was in the late 80s and early 90s to how widely popular anything Jeter is nowadays.
    Leave it at that.

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