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Mount Rushmore: American League East

Derek Jeter” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

New York Yankees

  • Babe Ruth, OF, P, 1920-1934
  • Lou Gehrig, 1B, 1929-1939
  • Joe DiMaggio, CF, 1936-1951
  • Derek Jeter, SS, 1995-2014

George Herman Ruth is arguably the greatest player in MLB history and without question the most significant Yankee of all time. After all, the old stadium was known as the house that Ruth built, because he literally helped build the stadium. A league MVP, 2x All-Star, 7x World Series champion and third on MLB’s all-time home run list. Is there really anything more to be said for him?

The MLB’s original ironman, 2,130 consecutive games played before his streak was ended because of a tragic disease that took Gehrig’s life in 1941, just two years after he retired. Gehrig posted a career .340 batting average, 112.4 WAR. In 17 seasons Gehrig was a 2x MVP, a 7x All-Star, a Triple Crown winner and a 6x World Series champion. It’s safe to say Gehrig most certainly earned his spot on this historic Mount Rushmore.

The Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMiaggio, spent 13 seasons in pinstripes. During that time, he was a 13-time All-Star, 9-time World Series champion, a 3-time MVP and won two Batting titles. DiMaggio is most known for his 56-game consecutive hit streak, which still stands today. DiMaggio also missed three years due to military service, and he kept his play up and was always in the spotlight off the field as well.

Now, I’m going to put Derek Jeter in the fourth slot of this New York Yankees Mount Rushmore. Jeter spent 20 years in pinstripes and became the franchises 11thcaptain in 2003. Throughout his 20 years in the league, Jeter won so many accolades and was often called the face of baseball. Jeter was the 1995 Rookie of the Year, a 14x All-Star, a 5x Gold Glove winner, a 5x Silver Slugger winner and a 5x World Series winner. Also, in the 2000 season, Jeter became the first player to ever win the All-Star game MVP and World Series MVP in the same season. Nicknamed, Mr. November and The Captain, he was the heart and soul of New York his entire tenure on the team. His 3,465 hits earned him the #6 spot on MLB’s all-time hits list. Jeter also leads the postseason in career games played (158), at-bats (650), plate appearances (734), runs scored (111), hits (200), total bases (302), singles (143), doubles (32) and triples (5). All these stats earn him a spot on the Yankees’ Mount Rushmore.

This is a team that could easily have two Mount Rushmore’s with the likes of other players like; Mickey Mantle Yogi Berra, Mariano Rivera and Whitey Ford. You could probably make more than two. With the growing number of young stars on the team currently, this list will only get harder to make as the years go on.

 

David Ortiz” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Boston Red Sox

  • Ted Williams, LF, 1939-1960
  • Carl Yastrzemski, LF, 1B, 1961-1983
  • Pedro Martinez, P, 1998-2004
  • David Ortiz, DH, 1B, 2003-2016

Ted Williams has stood the test of time and remains at the top spot in terms of players in Boston Red Sox history, even after almost 60 years. Williams leads the team in batting average (.344), on base percentage (.482), slugging percentage (.634), homeruns (521) and RBI’s (1839). Throughout his 19 years in the league, Williams was a 19-time All-Star, 2-time MVP, 5-time ML Player of the Year, 6 batting titles. He also served three years in the military. The only downside to Williams’ career is that he will go down in history as the best MLB player to never win a World Series. Regardless, he stands atop the Boston Red Sox’ Mount Rushmore.

Carl Yastrzemski ranks second in most Red Sox categories, only to Ted Williams. Yaz was an 18-time All-Star and one of the last players to win the triple crown award. Before Miguel Cabrera won it, Yaz was the most recent. Yastrzemski is one of the greatest outfielders to ever play professional baseball, and the fact that he spent all 23 years of his career with the Red Sox makes his career so much better.

In most instances, a player should be on a team for at least eight years before they can be considered for its Mount Rushmore, but for Pedro Martinez, an exception will be made. During his seven years with Boston, Pedro won back to back AL Cy Young awards and was a part of the legendary 2004 world series team.

Arguably the greatest designated hitter of all time, David “Big Papi” Ortiz was the staple of Boston’s team from 2003-2016. Ortiz was a part of three World Series teams during his tenure with the team; 2004, 2007 and 2013. He will probably go down as one of the most clutch players in MLB history. His Patriot day speech after the Boston bombings ultimately cemented his legacy and gets him on this list.

 

Baltimore Orioles

  • Cal Ripken Jr., SS, 3B, 1981-2001
  • Frank Robinson, OF, 1B, 1966-1971
  • Brooks Robinson, 3B, 1955-1977
  • Earl Weaver, Manager, 1968-1982, 1985-1986

When you think of the Baltimore Orioles franchise, the first person that comes to mind is the “Iron Man” Cal Ripken Jr. Ripken is without a doubt one of the greatest shortstops to ever play the game of baseball. He leads the Orioles in almost every category that you can think of. His most known stat is of course the 2,632 consecutive games played streak, as no one will probably ever even come close to beating his record.

Frank Robinson is another player who gets the pass on having to be on the team for eight years before being involved in their Mount Rushmore conversation. Robinson was acquired in a trade and instantly made a huge impact on the team. Many people believe he is the reason for the Orioles winning the 1966 World Series. In his first season with the team he won the Triple Crown by hitting 49 Home Runs, 122 RBI’s and totaling 122 Runs. He also made five All-Star teams in his six seasons with the team, and most certainly deserves a spot on this list.

Another Robinson is going to grace this list for the orioles. His name is Brooks Robinson. Robinson was a career Oriole and is probably the most popular player in franchise history (Yes even more so than Cal Ripken Jr). Robinson spent 23 years with the team. In 1964, he won the AL MVP award, and he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. Robinson was an 18-time All-Star and won an unprecedented 16 Gold Glove awards at third base.

While he’s not a player, Earl Weaver may go down as one of the greatest managers in MLB history. He managed the orioles for 17 seasons and guided them to a World Series ring in 1970. Weaver ended his managerial career in 1986 with a .583-win percentage and for now has a spot on this list.

A player like Adam Jones may Kick weaver off this list once his career is over, but not winning a world series will hurt his accolades.

 

Evan Longoria” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Tampa Bay Rays

  • Evan Longoria, 3B, 2008-2017
  • Carl Crawford, LF, 2002-2007, 2008-2010
  • Ben Zobrist, 2B, SS, OF, 2006-2007, 2008-2014
  • Joe Maddon, Manager, 2006-2014

From 2008-2017, Evan Longoria was the face of the Rays franchise for so many reasons. He was called up to the main roster and instantly made an impact by winning Rookie of the Year and making the All-Star team. Longoria was also known for notoriously destroying the Yankees whenever he faced them. Longoria was an All-star in his first three MLB seasons, and leads many of the Rays’ franchise categories. He leads the team in At-Bats (5450), Games Played (1435), Plate Appearances (6151), Runs Scored (780), Total Bases (2630), Doubles (338), Home Runs (261) and Walks (569). Longoria has now moved on from the Rays, but will most likely sit atop their Mount Rushmore for many years to come.

Even though Carl Crawford left the team in 2011, he still remains one of the most popular players in the franchise’s history. He leads all the Categories that Evan Longoria doesn’t lead. Crawford was a four-time All-Star during his time with the team and for now is safe on this list.

It’s clear this list is compiled of players who left the Rays within ten years of being on the team. That might sting to Rays fans, but the reality is all these players made this team what it is today. Ben Zobrist was such a huge part of the Ray’s success from 2006-2014 before departing from the team. He was a two-time All-Star while with the team.

It won’t be long before this man is probably replaced on this list, but for now, Joe Maddon holds a spot on the Rays Mount Rushmore because he was such a huge part of the team’s success in the late 2000’s and even guided the team to a AL Pennant in 2008.

 

Roy Halladay” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Roberto Alomar, 2B, 1991-1995
  • Roy Halladay, P, 1998-2009
  • Tony Fernandez, SS, 3B, 2B, 1983-2001
  • Joe Carter, OF, 1B 1991-1997

Roberto Alomar also gets a pass on the eight-year rule, because out of his 17 years in the league, he spent his most years with the Blue Jays. During his time with the team he won five Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger award in five seasons. He was also inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 with a Blue Jays hat on his plaque.

The best pitcher in the franchises’ history is Roy Halladay (RIP). Halladay doesn’t lead the franchise in anything, but there was no pitcher more dominate in the franchises’ history than he was. Halladay went to six All-Star games as a member of the Blue Jays and won a Cy Young award in 2003. Unfortunately, Halladay passed away at just 40 years of age, so it will be interesting to see what happens on January 22nd when HOF ballots get released, as Halladay is making his first appearance on the ballot.

Tony Fernandez leads the franchise in hits, singles, triples and games played. Many remember Fernandez because he switched to third base to allow Roberto Alomar to play second base in 1993, which ultimately led to the Blue Jays winning the world series.

Joe Carter is going to make this list solely because of his Series winning home run in game six of the 1993 World Series to give the Blue Jays a championship. He did spend seven years with the team and made five All-Stars as a member of the team.

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