AL West Mount Rushmore

Jose Altuve” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Houston Astros

  • Craig Biggio, 2B, C, OF, 1988-2007
  • Jeff Bagwell, 1B, 1991-2005
  • Jose Altuve, 2B, 2011-Present
  • Nolan Ryan, P, 1980-1988

When you think of the Houston Astros, one of the first names to come to mind is Hall of Famer, Craig Biggio. Biggio spent his entire 20-year career with the Astros and was almost like utility man for them. Biggio won five Silver Sluggers, four Gold Glove awards and managed to tally seven All-Star nods. He also leads the franchise in hits (3,060), doubles (668), runs scored (1844) and games played (2850).

If Biggio doesn’t lead the franchise in something, then there’s a good chance Jeff Bagwell does. Bagwell spent his entire 15-year career with the Astros. He won the 1991 Rookie of the Year award and the 1994 NL MVP award. He also tallied four All-Star selections and three Silver Slugger awards. Bagwell leads the Astros in Home Runs (449), Walks (1401) and RBIs (1529).

Jose Altuve has only been in the league eight years, but what an impact he’s made since entering. Altuve is already a 6x All-Star, 5x Silver Slugger, 2x ML PoY, a Gold Glove winner and has won three batting titles. To make his Astros legacy even better, he won the 2017 American League MVP and won the World Series that year. He led the league in hits from 2014-2017 and has made five straight All-Star teams. It may be to early to predict this, but it certainly looks like Altuve is on his way to Cooperstown.

Nine years in Houston, the most time spent with his team out of his 27-year career. Nolan Ryan was one of, if not the most, dominate pitchers of all-time, and some of his best years came while in Houston. Ryan leads the franchise in strikeouts and made two All-Star teams while with the team.

 

Rickey Henderson-8.jpg” by Larry Neuberger is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Oakland Athletics

  • Rickey Henderson, LF, 1979-1984, 1989-1993, 1994-1995, 1998
  • Reggie Jackson, RF, 1967-1975, 1987
  • Catfish Hunter, P, 1965-1974
  • Dennis Eckersley, P, 1987-1995

Rickey Henderson is without question the greatest position player in A’s history and the greatest base stealer in the history of the game. Henderson tallied an astonishing 1,406 stolen bases in his career. 876 of them came while wearing an Athletics jersey.

Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, was perhaps the most key part of the Athletics’ two world series in the 1970’s. His only MVP came with the Athletics during the 1973 season. Jackson also managed to rack up six All-Star selections with the franchise.

Catfish Hunter was the key pitcher that led the 1970’s Athletics to three world series titles. He also managed to win the Cy Young award in 1974, which was his last year with the team. Hunter leads the franchise in Wins (161), Strikeouts (1,520) and innings pitched (2,456.1).

It’s no question that Dennis Eckersley’s career was saved by becoming a reliever in Oakland. In 1992 he won the Cy Young award and MVP award after finishing the season with 51 saves. Eckersley became one of the most feared relivers in MLB history.

 

Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Seattle Mariners

  • Ken Griffey Jr, CF, 1989-1998, 2009-2010
  • Randy Johnson, P, 1989-1998
  • Ichiro Suzuki, RF, 2001-2012, 2018-Present
  • Edgar Martinez, DH, 3B, 1987-2004

The kid, Ken Griffey Jr., is one of the greatest baseball players to ever step on the diamond in the games storied history. Griffey played 13 years in Seattle, making the All-Star team 11 times throughout his tenure. Is there really anything more to say about Griffey? He’s the greatest player in Seattle Mariners history and has the second highest Hall of Fame voting in history behind only Mariano Rivera.

Randy Johnson is one of the most dominate pitchers in the history of the game. At 6’10” 225 lb’s, he was feared by many hitters every time he stepped on the mound. He made five All-Star teams and won the 1995 Cy young award. Johnson had a .637-win percentage while on the Mariners and will go down as probably their best pitcher in the franchise’s history.

Ichiro Suzuki could be considered the greatest hitter the game of baseball has ever seen. In 2001 he won the Rookie of the Year award and the MVP award. Seven times he led the league in hits and has a career .322 batting average with the Mariners. Suzuki is a surely on his way to Cooperstown whenever he decides to retire.

After ten years on the HoF ballot, Edgar Martinez is finally on his way to Cooperstown. You could say he is the first player to ever get inducted as a full time DH. Although he did play third base early on, he is more known for being a DH. In 18 seasons with the Mariners, Martinez was a 7x All-Star, a 5x Silver Slugger winner and won two batting titles. Martinez has certainly earned his spot on this list and in the Hall of Fame.

 

Mike Trout” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Los Angeles Angels

  • Nolan Ryan, P, 1972-1979
  • Garrett Anderson, LF, 1994-2008
  • Tim Salmon, RF, 1992-2004, 2006
  • Mike Trout, CF, 2011-Present

Nolan Ryan is not often associated with the Angels franchise when largely talking about his career, but the fact is that he is the best pitcher in the franchise’s history by a very big margin. He’s top five in wins, ERA, strikeouts, innings pitched, shutouts and complete games.

Garrett Anderson makes this list because of just how good a hitter he was throughout his 15 years with the organization. He recorded 2,368 and managed a .293 batting average. He also was a three-time all-star with the team and was a big part of the Angels 2002 World Series title.

Tim Salmon spent his entire 14-year career with the Angels. He still leads the franchise in home runs (299) and walks (970).

Mike Trout has only been in the league eight years, but has already cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players in Angels franchise history. Trout won the 2011 Rookie of the Year award, has made seven straight All-Star games and has won two MVP awards in his short career. Trout is surly on his way to Cooperstown as well, assuming he stays healthy. Being that he is only 27 years old, he seems to have a long career left and has given this franchise something to cheer about.

 

Adrian Beltre Texas Rangers” by Mike LaChance is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Texas Rangers

  • Ivan Rodriguez, C, 1991-2002, 2009
  • Juan Gonzalez, OF, 1989-1999, 2002-2003
  • Adrian Beltre, 3B, 2011-2018
  • Nolan Ryan, P, 1989-1993

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is the only positional player the Rangers have in the Hall of Fame (until Beltre enters). While it’s a tough race with Adrian Beltre, you can argue those two are two of the most popular players in the team’s history. Pudge played 13 seasons with the Rangers and made the All-Star team 10 straight years. He also won his lone MVP award while on the Rangers during the 1999 season.

Perhaps one of the most overshadowed players in MLB history, Juan Gonzalez has certainly earned himself a spot on this Mount Rushmore. Gonzalez spent 13 years with the franchise and is the only player to ever win two MVP awards while with the Rangers (1996, 1998). He still leads the franchise in home runs with 372 as a member of the Rangers.

After having just retired in 2018, you can be sure that once Adrian Beltre becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame, you will see him in Cooperstown at some point. Beltre will become only the second position player in Rangers history, alongside Ivan Rodriguez (some elite company). While on the Rangers, Beltre solidified himself as of the best defensive players at one of the hardest positions in baseball, third base. Beltre spent eight years with the team and had all four of his All-Star appearances with them. Beltre is also a 5x Gold Glove winner and a 4x Silver Slugger winner. He is without question one of the greatest players to wear a Rangers uniform.

He only spent five years with the team, but Nolan Ryan went into the Hall of Fame with a Rangers hat on. He’s one of the greatest pitchers in MLB history, so it’s hard to leave him off this Mount Rushmore. It helps that Ryan has been a huge part of the Rangers’ front office for some time now. He’s such an influential figure in their franchise.

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