Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Favorite Baseball Teams/Seasons

Spring Training has started and another Major League Baseball season is around the corner. I can't wait. I love baseball. I especially love the lore and history of the Major Leagues. Football, specifically the NFL, is my favorite spectator sport, but the NFL does not have the heritage of MLB. Mention a baseball player, any position, any era, and on the basis of statistics he can be compared to players from the past 120 years. You can't do that with a football player. Certainly each era has its quirks that make comparissons a little problematic (i.e., steroids, the "dead ball", segregation, etc.), but all in all it is still fascinating to place Babe Ruth side by side with Albert Pujols and compare their accomplishments, and with statistics there is a certain amount of objectiviy on which to base a comparison.

At the outset of new baseball season, I want to present my listing of favorite baseball teams/seasons. You can tell from the list who my favorite franchise is . . . only the most successful franchise in the history of the National League (and I've been a fan since the early days of the Wizard of Oz!) . . . through good seasons and bad (and there have been plenty of both). Can you guess my second favorite team?

My favorite MLB Teams/Seasons:

#1- 1934 St. Louis Cardinals, the "Gashouse Gang" (Dizzy, Daffy, Ducky/Muscles, Pepper, Ripper, the Fordham Flash, Leo the Lip, Spud, Tex, Pops, Dazzy, Chick, Buster, Kiddo, Wild Bill . . . has any team ever had a more colorful collection of nicknames?)

#2- 1941 Booklyn Dodgers (they lost the WS to the Yankees, but this team was special

#3- 2006 St. Louis Cardinals (they should have won two seasons earlier, but they finally sealed the deal in this magical season)

#4- 1927 New York Yankees (what list of baseball seasons/teams would be complete without this team . . . but I still favor the 1921 Yankees)

#5- 1948 Cleveland Indians (two words: Satchel Paige)

#6- 2004 Boston Red Sox (no, I'm not a citizen of the Red Sox Nation, and they swept my beloved Cardinals, but I took great satisfaction in the way this team dispensed the Yankees)

#7- 1982 St. Louis Cardinals (this was the team that began my love affair with the Cardinals)

#8- 1946 St. Louis Cardinals ("The Man" . . . Stan Musial's greatest team, and the World Series that brought a nation out of the years of war and into a time of great prosperity)

#9- 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers (Jackie Robinson, need I say more . . . on second thought this team probably belongs at the top of my list)

#10 - 1985 St. Louis Cardinals (the team that could . . . but fell just short . . . my hats off to George Brett and crew, but the best team lost on that day!)

#11- 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers (they beat the A's, that's reason enough to be on my list . . . plus Kirk Gibson's "Natural" moment)

#12- 2005 Houston Astros (I had to add a Texas team, and this is the closest a Texas team has ever come to Baseball imortality . . . and, yes, they did beat my Cardinals in the NLCS . . . amazing series, though)

What teams make your list?