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  #1  
Old 03-13-2019, 12:18 PM
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Default Greatest Living Players - Top 5

All my life it was easy to make a list of the top few living baseball players (non pitchers)...there was Dimaggio, Williams, Mays, Aaron, Mantle, Berra, Clemente, etc...I always included Frank Robinson in that group. With his recent passing who would now round out a top 5 living baseball position players after Mays and Aaron? My thoughts would be the other 3 would have to come from this group...in no particular order...Jackson, Brett, Murray, Henderson, Griffey, Bench, Rose, Schmidt, Morgan and Ripken. Tried to include a player from every position. Would love to hear other opinions.

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  #2  
Old 03-13-2019, 12:34 PM
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Griffey, Jr
Mays
Aaron
Suzuki
Trout
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2019, 12:41 PM
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Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds would be my picks.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:05 PM
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Aaron
Mays
Bench
Griffey Jr.
Brett
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2019, 02:26 PM
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Okay, so it isn't 5. Let's call it top 10 in no particular order...
Aaron, Koufax, Bonds, Clemens, Randy Johnson, Seaver, Ryan, Griffey, Carlton, Mariano Rivera

BTW, I know that people will criticize my picking Ryan (personal bias).
Ryan absolutely dominated opposing hitters (7 no-hitters, 12 1-hitters, 5,714 strikeouts). He also left the ML setting (or tying) 52 MLB records.
I know from personal experience being a die-hard Angels fan, growing up in So Cal, that Ryan was unfortunate to spend the majority of his career playing for two teams (Angels & Astros) that just did not score any runs.
You can't win if your team doesn't score for you. Just sayin'...

Last edited by Scott Garner; 03-13-2019 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:02 PM
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No doubt in my mind that Mays and Aaron are the top 2. After that I'd say Seaver, Schmidt, and Maddux--but a case can be made for Koufax, and a couple of others. Trout? not quite yet. I leave out the players whose names have been associated with PED's.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:09 PM
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Default My 5

Mays
Aaron
Ryan
Koufax
Seaver/schmidt tie


Bonds should be there but I will hold him back as the number 1 until living past greats are gone(pre steroid era). He is the most dominant player i have ever seen at any sport other than Michael Jordan. But right up there.
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2019, 03:36 PM
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Mays
Aaron
Bonds
Henderson
Seaver
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2019, 03:48 PM
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It won't be a popular list, but:

1) Barry Bonds
2) Roger Clemens
3) Willie Mays
4) Hank Aaron
5) Tom Seaver
6) Alex Rodriguez
7) Randy Johnson
8) Mike Schmidt
9) Greg Maddux
10) Bob Gibson

If we exclude pitchers, I'd give those five spots to Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Albert Pujols, Johnny Bench, and Mike Trout.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:57 PM
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No particular order
Mays, Aaron, Seaver, Pedro, Griffey Jr.
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2019, 04:44 PM
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A lot of living greats, but I'll pick Mays and Aaron. They might be in the top 5 living and dead, with Mays coming after Ruth.

Someone recently posted a video of Aaron on the Dave Letterman Show, and Aaron was funny and charming. The sometimes prickly Letterman was clearly a fan

The video

Last edited by drcy; 03-13-2019 at 04:49 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2019, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Garner View Post
Okay, so it isn't 5. Let's call it top 10 in no particular order...
Aaron, Koufax, Bonds, Clemens, Randy Johnson, Seaver, Ryan, Griffey, Carlton, Mariano Rivera

BTW, I know that people will criticize my picking Ryan (personal bias).
Ryan absolutely dominated opposing hitters (7 no-hitters, 12 1-hitters, 5,714 strikeouts). He also left the ML setting (or tying) 52 MLB records.
I know from personal experience being a die-hard Angels fan when I was growing up in So Cal that Ryan was unfortunate to spend the majority of his career playing for two teams (Angels & Astros) that just did not score any runs. You can't win if your team doesn't score for you. Just sayin'...
I am right there with you on Ryan. He was a pitching machine. No one will ever touch his record. I would also put Maddox on the list.
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  #13  
Old 03-13-2019, 05:13 PM
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Default top 5

mays
aaron
koufax
seaver
ford
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2019, 05:30 PM
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Harold Baines!
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2019, 07:58 PM
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Mays
Aaron
Morgan
Schmidt
Henderson
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  #16  
Old 03-13-2019, 09:34 PM
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My apologies for omitting Willie Mays.
Obviously he certainly should be on this list.

I must say that I'm shocked that nobody else has put Mariano Rivera on this list. I can't imagine a more reliable weapon to have on a team than a closer like Rivera.
Enter Sandman...
FWIW, I doubt that we will ever see another player as dominant as he was as a closer. The only 1st ballot HOF'er gaining 100% of the vote!

Last edited by Scott Garner; 03-13-2019 at 10:21 PM.
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  #17  
Old 03-13-2019, 10:10 PM
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Almost impossible to pick just 5...

Willie Mays
Hank Aaron
Sandy Koufax
Nolan Ryan
Derek Jeter
Mariano Rivera
Pete Rose
Griffey Jr.
Pujols

Juicers in separate category...

Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Arod
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  #18  
Old 03-13-2019, 10:15 PM
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Willie Mays
Hank Aaron
Barry Bonds
Albert Pujols
Randy Johnson
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  #19  
Old 03-13-2019, 10:27 PM
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So when MLB did their Franchise Four back in 2015, the winners were:

Aaron
Bench
Koufax
Mays

I remember seeing the interview with all four in the studio - great stuff.

Personally, my top 5 would be:

Aaron
Bench
Koufax
Mays
Ryan

With the following (in no particular order) rounding out the top 10

Schmidt
Seaver
Bonds
Clemens
Ripken
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  #20  
Old 03-14-2019, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
No doubt in my mind that Mays and Aaron are the top 2. After that I'd say Seaver, Schmidt, and Maddux--but a case can be made for Koufax, and a couple of others. Trout? not quite yet. I leave out the players whose names have been associated with PED's.
a case could be made for Koufax

Dominated with a sore arm and was the best pitcher of his generation. He is top 3, though we were supposed to exclude pitchers.
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  #21  
Old 03-14-2019, 04:42 PM
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1. Mays
2. Aaron
3. Henderson
4. Griffey Jr.
5. Trout
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  #22  
Old 03-14-2019, 05:22 PM
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IMO, some (ooops! make that a few) of you guys are WAY, WAY OFF!

I think Mays and Aaron are a cut above the rest.

...and I don't rank cheaters...but, that's just me and my bothersome standards.
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  #23  
Old 03-14-2019, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clydepepper View Post
IMO, some (ooops! make that a few) of you guys are WAY, WAY OFF!

I think Mays and Aaron are a cut above the rest.

...and I don't rank cheaters...but, that's just me and my bothersome standards.
I would agree that Mays and Aaron the top 2, but Griffey Jr. would have to be #3 in my opinion (among non-pitchers). Hadn't looked at the stats for Pujols for a while because his career hasn't been as prominent while with the Angels, but they make a strong case for number 4. After that, some great candidates for #5: Schmidt, Murray, Brett, Bench, etc. Trout on a trajectory to get there, and I think he will, but we'll have to wait, enjoy watching him, and see if the continues his greatness.
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  #24  
Old 03-16-2019, 02:08 AM
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Default Call me crazy

When I included Trout on my list I thought it was crazy as well. Nonetheless the question was who is the greatest living player. I think the 8 seasons he has produced are impossible to deny. I'm not even an Angels fan but I believe we are already witnessing one of the top 5 players in the history of the game and at age 28 he is entering his prime. He is so damn good people forget he is only one year older than Machado and Harper.

Trout vs. All-Time Leaders Through Age-27 Seasons

HR TROUT 240 Barry Bonds 142
HITS TROUT 1,187 Pete Rose 899
BASES TROUT 2,219 Hank Aaron 2,305
RUNS TROUT 793 Rickey Henderson 732
WALKS TROUT 693 Barry Bonds 484

His first Eight seasons have produced a Rookie of the year, two MVP Awards, Finished second in MVP voting 4 times and ranked 4th once. He has earned
Six Silver Slugger Awards, Seven All Star Games, twice named as All Star Game MVP
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1971 Pirates Ticket Quest:
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  #25  
Old 03-16-2019, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71buc View Post
When I included Trout on my list I thought it was crazy as well. Nonetheless the question was who is the greatest living player. I think the 8 seasons he has produced are impossible to deny. I'm not even an Angels fan but I believe we are already witnessing one of the top 5 players in the history of the game and at age 28 he is entering his prime. He is so damn good people forget he is only one year older than Machado and Harper.

Trout vs. All-Time Leaders Through Age-27 Seasons

HR TROUT 240 Barry Bonds 142
HITS TROUT 1,187 Pete Rose 899
BASES TROUT 2,219 Hank Aaron 2,305
RUNS TROUT 793 Rickey Henderson 732
WALKS TROUT 693 Barry Bonds 484

His first Eight seasons have produced a Rookie of the year, two MVP Awards, Finished second in MVP voting 4 times and ranked 4th once. He has earned
Six Silver Slugger Awards, Seven All Star Games, twice named as All Star Game MVP
He should have better #s at age 27 because he played more years/games at age 27 than any of the other players you compared him to.

Here is some more #s using the same criteria you used.
HR Trout 240 HR A Rod 345 Trout isn't even in the top 10 at age 27
Hits Trout 1,187 Ty Cobb 1,727 Trout isn't even in the top 10 at age 27
Bases Trout 2,219 A Rod 2,899 Trout isn't even in the top 10 at age 27
Runs Trout 793 Mel Ott 1.032 Trout isn't even in the top 10 at age 27
Walks Trout 693 Mickey Mantle 892 Finally a list Trout is really on. He is #10

I did find Trout in one more top ten through age 27 list. He it tied at #6 with Jose Canseco for most strikeouts at 998.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:59 PM
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I understand Nolan Ryans popularity but Top 5 living player? Ahead of Seaver? No way.
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  #27  
Old 03-16-2019, 10:09 PM
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Hank Aaron
Willie Mays
Johnny Bench
Ken Griffey Jr.
Cal Ripken Jr.
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  #28  
Old 03-17-2019, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
He should have better #s at age 27 because he played more years/games at age 27 than any of the other players you compared him to.

Here is some more #s using the same criteria you used.
HR Trout 240 HR A Rod 345 Trout isn't even in the top 10 at age 27
Hits Trout 1,187 Ty Cobb 1,727 Trout isn't even in the top 10 at age 27
Bases Trout 2,219 A Rod 2,899 Trout isn't even in the top 10 at age 27
Runs Trout 793 Mel Ott 1.032 Trout isn't even in the top 10 at age 27
Walks Trout 693 Mickey Mantle 892 Finally a list Trout is really on. He is #10

I did find Trout in one more top ten through age 27 list. He it tied at #6 with Jose Canseco for most strikeouts at 998.

You almost lost me at A-Rod. No arguements here when comparing him to the overall best numbers at age 27. However, I was comparing him to the all time leaders in those individual categories at age 27.
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75 of 153 regular season stubs (49%), 14 of 14 1971 ALCS, NLCS , and World Series stubs (100%)

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  #29  
Old 03-17-2019, 04:51 PM
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[quote=Forever Young;1862321]Mays
Aaron
Ryan
Koufax
Seaver/schmidt tie


That's as good a list as I could come up with
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  #30  
Old 03-17-2019, 07:33 PM
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No Pitchers No Active players No order just those I think a top 5
Aaron
Bonds
Griffey Jr.
Mays
Arod

Pitchers
Seaver
Koufax
Clemens
Maddox
Rivera
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  #31  
Old 03-17-2019, 11:33 PM
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I posted mine, which did not include Pitchers.

But for those who did include Pitchers, I'm really surprised that Bob Gibson's name has not even been mentioned. Perhaps I just overlooked it, but he was one untouchable bad-ass on the mound.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:36 PM
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Oops... there's Gibby in post #9. Still deserves more love, IMHO.
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  #33  
Old 03-18-2019, 07:31 AM
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If we’re talking top 5 pitchers I’ve got Randy Johnson, Maddux, Ford, Seaver and Carlton. Clemens, Mariano and Pedro’s next. I may have Gibson in the top 10. But certainly not top 5 players.

Quote:
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I posted mine, which did not include Pitchers.

But for those who did include Pitchers, I'm really surprised that Bob Gibson's name has not even been mentioned. Perhaps I just overlooked it, but he was one untouchable bad-ass on the mound.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:46 AM
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I always think you need one "elder statesman" and we have two right now, Aaron and Mays. They were all-time greats, but so were Bench and Schmidt, who are in waiting with Ripken behind them. I am not sure a pitcher can ever ascend to that level. Ryan is the best candidate, though Gibson and Carlton have the resume and Maddux will take the crown at some point. Koufax currently holds that mantel among pitchers, but I don't think a pitcher is ever considered as the greatest living player.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:32 PM
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The most difficult and important position is catcher, and Bench was the best, ever. He has to be in the top 3.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:52 PM
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Whoa Bench is one of my favorite Baseball players but Yogi was better.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:39 PM
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With the various references to Mariano Rivera in this thread, I'm sorry to say that I have a really hard time with the fact that a season consists of 1,458 innings, and on average the Yankees sat him on the bench for 1,380 of those innings.

I suppose if you are arguably one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, spending less than 6% of your career actually playing means...

I don't know what it means, I just have a hard time dealing with it.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:52 PM
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In his defense he spent better than 9% of the post season playing.
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  #39  
Old 03-19-2019, 06:22 AM
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Hi Doug,
I can relate to both of your posts.
Although not an everyday player as you mentioned, IMHO Mariano Rivera was the most efficient example of modern specialized pitching.
The two things that stand out in my mind as far as what made him special are:

1) How much he appeared in the postseason (your point) and how effective he really was at slamming the door on opposing hitters & ending the chance for a late inning rally.

2) The fact that he had essentially one pitch, that every hitter knew was coming, & yet they couldn't hit it, much to their frustration...

One interesting factoid that perhaps some of you don't know about is that Mariano Rivera was actually drafted by the Yankees as a shortstop, not a pitcher.
At one of his early stops in the minors a coach noticed the natural cut in his throws across the diamond and suggested the switch to pitching.
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Old 03-27-2019, 01:51 PM
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In regards to Mariano slamming the door on the opposition...

https://www.retrosheet.org/Research/...fTheCloser.pdf


He was really good at what he was asked to do, I get it, but so was Eddie Gaedel.

Roy Gleason's average at bat produced a WAR of .1. If Mike Trout had a similar average WAR per at bat his career number would be 387 instead of 64.2

Just saying...
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  #41  
Old 03-27-2019, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug.goodman View Post
In regards to Mariano slamming the door on the opposition...

https://www.retrosheet.org/Research/...fTheCloser.pdf


He was really good at what he was asked to do, I get it, but so was Eddie Gaedel.

Roy Gleason's average at bat produced a WAR of .1. If Mike Trout had a similar average WAR per at bat his career number would be 387 instead of 64.2

Just saying...
Hi Doug,
Interesting read there that I have not seen. Thanks.
Your Eddie Gaedel comment cracked me up, BTW. Funny!
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  #42  
Old 03-27-2019, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clydepepper View Post
IMO, some (ooops! make that a few) of you guys are WAY, WAY OFF!

I think Mays and Aaron are a cut above the rest.

...and I don't rank cheaters...but, that's just me and my bothersome standards.
Almost every player has “cheated” in one form or another.
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  #43  
Old 03-28-2019, 09:16 AM
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71buc 71buc is offline
Mikeknapp
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Originally Posted by ooo-ribay View Post
Almost every player has “cheated” in one form or another.
Words of wisdom from a Giants fan Rob? I have heard similar sentiments from other Giant fans when discussing the merits of a certain ex Pirate.
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1971 Pirates Ticket Quest:
75 of 153 regular season stubs (49%), 14 of 14 1971 ALCS, NLCS , and World Series stubs (100%)

If you have any 1971 Pirate regular season game stubs (home or away games) please let me know what have!
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 71buc View Post
Words of wisdom from a Giants fan Rob? I have heard similar sentiments from other Giant fans when discussing the merits of a certain ex Pirate.
“If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”
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