MLB Franchise Four: Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds

I didn’t realize that the voting for this Franchise Four ended this week. No way I’m gonna be able to cover every team before Friday. Oh well. Here’s a few more.

Pittsburgh Pirates Franchise Four

I definitely wanted to vote on this one before the ballots close to cast my mark for Roberto Clemente. Clemente is one of my favorites and I think he’s a shoo-in for this, but still. Here are the Pirate nominees:

  • Barry Bonds
  • Roberto Clemente
  • Ralph Kiner
  • Bill Mazeroski
  • Willie Stargell
  • Pie Traynor
  • Honus Wagner
  • Paul Waner

Tough choices here. But this is my ballot:

  1. Roberto Clemente. What a player. I can’t remember what first drew me to Clemente; obviously, I never saw him play. But after reading David Maraniss’s excellent bio a few years ago, I’ve had a deep appreciation for Clemente as both a player and a human being.
  2. Willie “Pops” Stargell. Franchise leader in HR and RBI. Another quality person, too.
  3. Honus Wagner. Another no-brainer. One of the best players ever.
  4. You could really go a number of ways here. But I’m going to cast my vote for Paul Waner. A lifetime .333 hitter, including a franchise record .340 clip in a Pirate uniform. Honorable mention to Traynor and Kiner.

I think my first three are money; the final spot is really up for grabs. Should be an interesting vote.

Cincinnati Reds Franchise Four

Here are the 8 Reds nominees:

  • Barry Larkin
  • Pete Rose
  • Johnny Bench
  • Eric Davis
  • Dave Concepcion
  • Joe Morgan
  • Frank Robinson
  • Tony Perez

And here are the players I voted for:

  1. Pete Rose. When I think of the Cincinnati Reds, I think of Rose. No matter how you feel about his HoF chances, he deserves this recognition.
  2. Joe Morgan. According to Bill James, Morgan is the best 2B to ever play the game. He makes a compelling argument, too. Though he only played 8 seasons in Cincy, I still voted for him.
  3. Johnny Bench. Perhaps the best catcher ever, too. No wonder those Reds teams were so dominant back in the Big Red Machine days.
  4. Barry Larkin. I love Robinson, but my heart says Larkin (a lifelong Red) deserves this final nod.

I think the final vote will line up with my ballot. Outside chance that some Eric Davis fans rock the vote, but I doubt it.

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