Who are the best players for each franchise who played more of their games at that franchise than any other?
What do I mean by that? Well, Frank Robinson is the greatest player the Baltimore Orioles or the Saint Louis Browns ever had, but he only played for the O's for six years. If I asked who is the best player the Orioles or Browns had who played more games for the Orioles or Browns than for anyone else the answer would be Eddie Murray. Below is a list for every single franchise currently in the Major Leagues.
Arizona Diamondbacks - Luis Gonzalez
Atlanta/Milwaukee/Boston Braves - Hank Aaron
Baltimore Orioles/St. Louis Browns - Eddie Murray
Boston Red Sox - Ted Williams
Chicago Cubs - Billy Williams
Chicago White Sox - Eddie Collins
Cincinnati Reds - Frank Robinson
Cleveland Indians - Tris Speaker
Colorado Rockies - Todd Helton
Detroit Tigers - Ty Cobb
Florida Marlins - Gary Sheffield
Houston Astros - Jeff Bagwell
Kansas City Royals - George Brett
Los Angels/California/Anaheim/Los Angels Angels of Anheim Angels - Tim Salmon
Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers - Duke Snider
Milwaukee Brewers - Robin Yount/Paul Molitor
Minnesota Twins/Washington Senators - Walter Johnson
New York Mets - Tom Seaver
New York Yankees - Babe Ruth
Oakland/Kansas City/Philadelphia Athletics - Jimmie Foxx
Philadelphia Phillies - Mike Schmidt
Pittsburgh Pirates - Honus Wagner
San Diego Padres - Tony Gwynn
San Francisco Giants - Barry Bonds
Seattle Mariners - Ken Griffey, Jr.
St. Louis Cardinals - Stan Musial
Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Aubrey Huff
Texas Rangers - Raphael Palmeiro
Toronto Blue Jays - Roberto Alomar
Washington Nationals/Minnesota Twins - Vladimir Guerrero
Doing a list like this sometimes gives you a really good idea why certain franchises have historically sucked. If the best guy to play more games for the Devil Rays than any other franchise is Aubrey Huff, then their lack of success suddenly becomes more understandable.
There were a few teams that were a bit tough.
Randy Johnson is obviously a better player than Luis Gonzalez, but he played more years on the Mariners than the D-Backs (although he pitched more games for Arizona)
A lot of people would say that Cap Anson, Mordecai Brown, or Ernie Banks are the greatest career Cubs, but I think Billy Williams is better than any of them, although Three Finger Brown gives me pause.
A lot of people think that Nolan Ryan is a better player than Jeff Bagwell. I'm not one of them. I'll take a monster hitting first baseman over a guy who plays every five days and I think is overrated anyway. Ryan benefitted a great deal from the Astrodome while Bagwell didn't.
Coming up with the greatest Dodger was harder than I thought. It seems like there should be a better player than Duke Snider out there, but I don't know who it is. Jackie Robinson was legitimately great hitter and fielder, but Snider did the same things as a hitter plus hit more home runs. I'm tempted to pick Sandy Koufax, but he had only six amazing seasons. Snider had nine great seasons in Brooklyn and four more seasons that probably would've been great had he not been playing in the LA Coliseum and Dodger Stadium.
As you can see, I declared the Brewers a tie. Objectively speaking Molitor is a better hitter than Yount, but Molitor was a failure at three different positions while Yount excelled at two of the most important. Also, Yount wasn't a tremendously worse hitter than Molitor. If you put a gun to my head and told me to pick one, I'd probably choose Molitor.
I probably raised some eyebrows by picking Barry Bonds over Willie Mays, especially with the steriods and all. I can understand that, but even if his career continued along the lines as it did before he started going nuts with the juice, I still would choose Bonds as the better player. He did have some pop in his bat and got on base a lot more frequently than Mays ever did. I can understand why people might disagree.
I also probably raised some eyebrows by choosing America's favorite perjurer before Congress before Pudge Rodriguez. The way I see it why reward the steroid user who didn't get caught at the expense of the one who did?
Let me know what you guys think.