Fans of America’s pastime are collectively hunkering down for the last stretch of the MLB season. A significant amount of distance has been placed between postseason contenders and bottom feeders.
Even so, things still aren’t quite solidified. There’s still much to sort out. Which brings me to my question: if each contending team could bring back one of its former players (in his prime), who should it be? I’ll kick things off but feel free to voice your vote in the comments or at us on Twitter @BaconSports. Play along.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Randy Johnson – name a better one-two starting pitching punch than what the D-Backs had with the Big Unit and Bloody Sock Schilling in the ’01 postseason. Maybe it can be done, but it’s an argument at the very least. Before Randy was roughing up camera guys in NY, he was making legendary cameos in underrated kid’s sports movies and roughing up birds.
Atlanta Braves: David Justice – a fantastic player that I think may go largely under-appreciated. Of course, Glavine, Maddox, Smoltz were the hurlers who carried the Choppers to a decade-plus of consistent greatness, but Justice was once married to Halle Berry. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Baltimore Orioles: Brady Anderson – because no one, and I mean no one, made side burns and steroids-infused long balls look so good.
Boston Red Sox: Mo Vaughn – if anything, he rocked a pair of shades better than any ballplayer to date. He was menacing at a time when such a characterization oft meant the player was a juicer. He always felt more like a teddy bear – a teddy bear that would send a moon shot straight outta Fenway.
Cincinnati Reds: Deion Sanders – even through a devastating lapse of fashion sense that warranted a wardrobe combination of pinstriped baseball caps and jersey vests, Prime Time was must-watch-TV. It didn’t matter the sport.
Cleveland Indians: Albert Belle – ask Fernando Viña. He’ll tell you why.
Detroit Tigers: Cecil Fielder – the last great obese ballplayer. Period.
Kansas City Royals: Don Denkinger – no, he did not play for the Royals. But yes, he did win KC the 1985 World Series (I wasn’t yet alive and I’m still not over it).
Los Angeles Dodgers: Mike Piazza – for the most part, he was known for his Metropolitan days but in reality, the mullet sported in LA reigns supreme over his frosted tips in NY. Beyond that, he also happened to be arguably the greatest hitting catcher of all-time.
New York Yankees: Paul O’ Neill – obviously an extremely tough decision, but all of those Seinfeld cameos certainly helped Paulie’s odds.
Oakland A’s: Jose Canseco – no one else wants him. Hell, we’ll take those pythons for one more go-round.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Bobby Bonilla – the less heralded BB from the Buccos last winning season and maybe the most overpaid athlete in the history of professional sports.
St. Louis Cardinals: Scott Spiezio – you can underestimate the value that Spiez’s red soul patch brought to the random ’06 WS Champs.
Tampa Bay Rays: Wade Boggs – I don’t know. Who else in the world would you pick? Rocco Baldelli?
Texas Rangers: Nolan Ryan – only so he could reenact the infamous Robin Ventura choke hold.
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