Who Wore it Best? 49-40

Photo: Dr. Odd

There’s no better feeling than seeing an old friend, and boy do we have that feeling now. Who Wore It Best is back, and we’ve made it into the 40’s.

49 – Ron Guidry

Photo: Pinterest

Guidry had an above average 14 year career with the Yankees. He won 170 games, two World Series rings, and the 1978 Cy Young. That same year, he went 25-3, threw 16 complete games, and notched a stellar 6.1 hits per nine innings.

Honorable Mention: N/A

48 – Daryl “Moose” Johnston

Not exactly a selection based off of stats. “Moose” lead the way as Emmitt Smith’s fullback en route to three Super Bowls in the 90’s.

Honorable Mention: Rick Reuschel

47 – Tom Glavine

Glavine was a part of one of the strongest pitching rotations in baseball – the 90’s Braves with Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. He won 305 games, a World Series, and two Cy Young awards.

Honorable Mention: John Lynch

46 – Andy Pettitte

Photo: Newsday

Not a lot of talent to pick from at 46, but Pettitte will do. He won five World Series trophies with the Yankees, notched 256 W’s, and made three All-Star games. He also had that pesky PED issue but…ya know.

Honorable Menions: N/A

45 – Pedro Martínez

Photo: Fansided

Going against our better judgement here and not choosing MJ; he may just show up later. Pedro is a flawless choice at this slot: the member of the 2015 Hall of Fame class won a World Series, three Cy Youngs, made eight All-Star games, and lead the MLB in ERA in five different seasons.

Honorable Mention: Bob Gibson

44 – Hank Aaron

Photo: CBS Sports

An absolute jam packed category at 44. Hammerin’ Hank won the World Series with the Braves in 1957, won three Gold Gloves, two batting titles, and made the All-Star game TWENTY FIVE times…yes, that is not a typo.

Honorable Mentions: Jerry West, John Riggins, Chris Pronger

43 – Troy Polamalu

Polamalu was a shutdown safety for the Steelers from 2003-2014. He won two Super Bowls, was the 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and was a four time First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: Dennis Eckersley

42 – Jackie Robinson

Another no doubter here. Robinson makes the list for breaking the color barrier alone. On top of that, he was a hell of a great player; a World Series champion, MVP, batting champion, and Rookie of the Year.

Honorable Mention: Ronnie Lott

41 – Dirk Nowitzki

Photo: CBS Sports

One in a few of the last batch of superstars to stay with one team their entire career. In his 21 seasons in Dallas, Dirk lead the Mavericks to their only NBA title, was the 2007 MVP, and was a four time first team All-NBA selection.

Honorable Mention: Tom Seaver

40 – Gale Sayers

Photo: WGN

Sayers makes the cut after only five full seasons for the Bears, with injury cutting short what could have been an incredible and long career. In his short time in the NFL, he still managed to be a five time first team All-Pro, lead the NFL in rushing twice, and earned a spot on the NFL’s 50th, 75th, and 100th Anniversary All-Time Teams.

Honorable Mentions: Shawn Kemp, Mike Alstott, Henrik Zetterberg

Wow…who knew the 40’s would be so strong? Baseball really held its own here, pitchers specifically. Poor showing by the NBA here, even worse by the NHL. Maybe they’ll recover in the 30’s? Only time will tell.

Who Wore it Best? 59-50

Photo: Dr. Odd

The dog days are over, the dog days are done, and “Who Wore it Best” has returned. In this edition, we’re checking out the GOATs of the 50’s.

59 – London Fletcher

Photo: Pinterest

One of the most underrated players in NFL history. Fletcher racked up 2,031 tackles, four Pro Bowls, and a Super Bowl ring in 16 seasons. He also never missed a game, which is incredible considering the beating an NFL linebacker takes season in and season out.

Honorable Mentions: Luke Kuechly, Carlos Carrasco, Jack Ham

58 – Jack Lambert

This man was MEAN. One of the stalwarts in the Steel Curtain Defense of the 70’s, Lambert racked up pretty much any award that was available. Six time first team All-Pro, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Honorable Mention: Jonathan Papelbon

57 – Johan Santana

Johan Santana had some nasty stuff. Over his 12 year career, he won 139 games while maintaining a career 3.20 ERA, was a two-time Cy Young winner, and tacked on a Gold Glove in 2007. “No-han” threw an unbelievable 134-pitch no hitter in 2012.

Honorable Mention: Rickey Jackson

56 – Lawrence Taylor

Photo: Seriable

Lawrence Taylor was an absolute DAWG. We’ve gushed over LT in previous blogs, but he’s that good that we’re going to do it again. Two Super Bowls, an MVP, three Defensive Player of the Year awards, and eight first team All-Pros are just a fraction of what Taylor accomplished over his incredible career.

Honorable Mention: Mark Buehrle

55 – Dikembe Mutombo

Dikembe Mutombo was way more than his infamous finger wag; he was a defensive stud. Mutombo lead the NBA in blocks three times and rebounds twice. He made eight All-Star games, won Defensive Player of the Year four times, and has his number retired by two different franchises in the Nuggets and Hawks.

Honorable Mentions: Junior Seau, Orel Hershiser

54 – Brian Urlacher

Brian Urlacher was the epitome of a Chicago Bears middle linebacker. He played his entire 13-year career in Chicago; tallying 1,361 tackles, two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and four first team All-Pros. The eight time Pro Bowler was also named to the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team.

Honorable Mentions:
Goose Gossage, Horace Grant, Randy White, Zach Thomas

53 – Artis Gilmore

Photo: NBA.com

Artis Gilmore was a stud in both the ABA and NBA. If you combine his career between both leagues, he was the Rookie of the Year, an MVP, made 11 All-Star games, and scored a shade under 25,000 points.

Honorable Mentions: Bobby Abreu, Mick Tingelhoff

52 – Ray Lewis

Photo: Zimbio

Say what you will about the overzealous speeches, or don’t say anything about the off field issues, but Ray Lewis could flat out ball. Two Super Bowls (including MVP in one), two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and a seven time first team All-Pro.

Honorable Mentions: CC Sabathia, Patrick Willis, Clay Matthews

51 – Randy Johnson

The Big Unit! Easily one of the most dominant pitchers we’ve seen. Johnson ended his 22-year career with a 3.29 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 303 wins, a perfect game, one no hitter, five Cy Young trophies, and was the MVP of one of the biggest World Series upsets when the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in 2001.

Honorable Mention: Dick Butkus

50 – David Robinson

The very rare story of a service academy athlete becoming one of the best to do it in professional sports. Robinson reached the rank of lieutenant during his three years of service in the Navy, a great achievement. He wasn’t a bad basketball player either; in three separate seasons he lead the NBA in points, rebounds, and blocks. The Admiral also won Rookie of the Year, MVP, and two championships.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Singletary, Corey Crawford

A lot of solid athletes in the 50’s; strong showing by football and baseball. A severe lack of hockey here; will they recover in the 40’s? We’ll have to wait and see…

Who Wore it Best? 69-60

Photo: Dr. Odd

Guess who’s back? Our “Who Wore It Best” series, that’s who. We last checked in on who wore numbers 79-70 best, now we dive into the 60’s.

69 – Jared Allen

Photo: Celebrity Net Worth

Not a huge field of choices here, but a nice selection. Jared Allen played for the Chiefs, Vikings, Bears, and Panthers during an above-average 11 year NFL career. He made First Team All-Pro four times, lead the NFL twice in sacks, and made five Pro Bowls.

Honorable Mention: N/A

68 – Jaromir Jagr

Photo: CBS Sports

The flow is enough to be included on our list. That head lettuce is a thing of beauty. Jagr wasn’t half bad in his 24 seasons in professional hockey either: most career game winning goals (135), five Art Ross trophies, and two Stanley Cups.

Honorable Mention: Will Shields

67 – Francisco Córdova

Photo: Rum Bunter

Remember this guy? Cordova gets the nod for pitching nine innings in a what ended up being a 10 inning no hitter for the Pirates against the Astros on June 12, 1997.

Honorable Mention: N/A

66 – Mario Lemieux

Surprisingly strong category here at 66. Lemieux takes it home as one of the best hockey players to ever do it. In fact, Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky are the only two players who occupy the list of top ten seasons for points and assists in a season. Pretty impressive company to keep.

Honorable Mentions: Ray Nitschke, Yasiel Puig

65 – James Paxton

Paxton may very well end up being the youngest athlete to make our list. However, “Big Maple” has earned his spot at 65 for recording a no-hitter for the Mariners in 2018.

Honorable Mention: Erik Karlsson

64 – Randall McDaniel

Photo: eBid

McDaniel was a stalwart offensive guard for 13 seasons, mostly with the Vikings. McDaniel started 220 of his career 222 games, made 12 Pro Bowls, and is a member of NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Honorable Mention: N/A

63 – Gene Upshaw

Another hard nosed, badass, old school NFL lineman. Upshaw played 14 years for the Raiders, scooping up three First Team All-Pro selections, five Second Team All-Pro selections, and two Super Bowl rings.

Honorable Mention: Brad Marchand

62 – Jim Langer

Jim Langer was the center for the only undefeated team in NFL history, the 1972 Dolphins. Langer won two Super Bowls and was a three time First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: N/A

61 – Liván Hernández

Who else loved this absolute unit growing up? His career numbers aren’t stellar, but anyone who can hang around the majors for 17 seasons is impressive. Hernandez is a two time All-Star who won a ring as well as World Series MVP honors with the Marlins in 1997.

Honorable Mention: Rick Nash

60 – Dallas Keuchel

Not a lot of meat on the 60 bone, but a fine choice here. Keuchel has established himself as one of the steadiest pitchers in baseball since entering the bigs with the Astros in 2012. He has won four Gold Gloves, the 2015 Cy Young, and a World Series ring in 2017.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Another edition of “Who Wore It Best,” done and dusted. Nice representative spread in the the 60’s for football, hockey, and baseball. Total choke job from basketball here; maybe we’ll see some stronger effort in the 50’s?

Who Wore it Best? 79-70

Photo: Dr. Odd

We continue our fashion countdown of who wore each number best. In this edition, we’re hopping into the 70’s. Will we get more NFL lineman? Will some random hockey or basketball players sneak in? Let’s dive in and find out.

79 – José Abreu

José Abreu has to be up there in the greatest players with the weirdest numbers category. According to Abreu, his mother picked his number so he would stand out. Stand out he has; Abreu was last year’s MVP, has garnered three All-Star selections, and even hit for the cycle in 2017.

Honorable Mention: N/A

78 – Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith is the all-time leader in sacks with an outlandish 200. His resume is long and silly; we won’t waste too much time here, but just know he was named to two different All-Decade teams in the 80’s and 90’s.

Honorable Mention: N/A

77 – Ray Bourque

Bouruqe was one of the best defensemen in NHL history. His offensive numbers are pretty impressive for a defensemen, scoring 1,506 points in 1,518 games played.

Honorable Mention: Vladimir Radmanović

76 – Orlando Pace

Photo: USA Today

Pace was about all you could ask for in a left tackle during his career. In college, he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 1996, which is wild enough for a lineman. In the NFL, he earned seven trips to the Pro Bowl, was a three time first team All-Pro, and a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team.

Honorable Mention: PK Subban

75 – Joe Greene

“Mean” Joe Greene was one of the most dominant nose tackles in NFL history. He was a part of the “Steel Curtain” defense that won four Super Bowls in six years for the Steelers in the 70’s. Mean Joe was also named to the 1970’s All-Decade team on top of the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mentions: Barry Zito, Howie Long

74 – Kenley Jansen

Jansen has been absolutely lights out since entering the Majors in 2010. He’s recorded 312 saves, a 2.39 ERA, and a 0.91 WHIP in 636 innings in his career.

Honorable Mention: TJ Oshie

73 – John Hannah

Hannah was a dominant guard for the Patriots from 1973-1985. Over that time, he went to nine Pro Bowls, was a 10 time All-Pro, is a member of the 70’s and 80’s All-Decade teams as well as the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mention: N/A

72 – Sergei Bobrovsky

Bobrovsky has had an impressive run since coming into the NHL with the Flyers in 2010. Since then, he has an impressive .921 save percentage and a 2.41 goals against average.

Honorable Mentions: Carlton Fisk, Dan Dierdorf

71 – Walter Jones

We’ve gushed over Walter Jones before, and we’re here to gush again. A bonafide Hall of Fame left tackle, nine Pro Bowls, four first team All-Pros, and never missed a start in 180 career games.

Honorable Mention: Evgeni Malkin

70 – Dennis Rodman

Photo: ESPN

Who remembers this weird shit? Rodman played 12 games for the Mavs in the 1999-2000 season. Honestly, this is an awful number for this list and we’re obviously stretching here.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Have to be honest, I thought this edition was going to rely heavy on NFL offensive/defensive lineman. Pleasantly surprised with the baseball, hockey, and basketball representation here. On to the 60’s!

Dear Baseball: Welcome Back, We Love You

Dear Baseball,

You made it. You’re back. Every year, Spring rolls around and you reappear in our lives just when we’re all at our wit’s end with Winter.

Your debut is upon us, and league-wide hope is at a premium. Spring Training has wrapped, and all thirty teams have traveled back home to start the long, arduous road to a pennant. The weather is starting to turn; summer is creeping around the corner, and with it, thoughts of cold beer and hot dogs dance in our heads.

Opening Day is a time and feeling unlike any other. It’s like waking up in the middle of the night thinking your alarm’s about to go off, to find you’ve only been asleep for an hour. It’s like taking out your contacts after a long day, or hitting every green light when you’re running late. It’s hard to exactly describe it, but have you ever found a $20 bill in your pants that you forgot about? That’s what it feels like having you back.

From Wrigley to Fenway, Yankee Stadium to Petco Park, let the hum of fastballs and pop of catcher’s mitts fill the air for the next seven months. Let the home runs fly out of Coors Field, pop ups die in the acres of foul territory at RingCentral Coliseum, and Bernie Brewer take all of the home run slides his heart desires.

Who cares if the pace of play is a little slow? Who doesn’t want to to piss in a urinal trough, pay $12 for a mini helmet full of ice cream that melts in five minutes, or step in dropped neon yellow nacho cheese while awkwardly scootching past eight of your fellow attendees all while squeezing into undersized seats in 98 degree weather?

We definitely don’t get embarrassed when our favorite players get injured in hilarious ways while playing a noncontact sport. We don’t care that you make a bunch of old men squeeze into baseball uniforms, or that your Hall of Fame voting is incredibly flawed, or that your fields of play aren’t equal in size like every other legitimate professional sport. No reason to complain about the fact that the DH rule isn’t universal, unwritten rules are dumb, and that hitting at this point is either home runs or strikeouts.

Baseball, we could not be happier that you are back.

Love,

Baseball Fans Everywhere

Sunday State of Mind: December 1-December 6th

Sunday is here, and so is another week of SSM.

Baker Mayfield had himself a day
Four touchdowns, 334 yards, to the Titans’ dismay
The Browns moved to 9-3 on the year
Once in a blue moon the Dawg Pound can cheer

A few big name changes, on Chicago’s North Side
Kyle Schwarber is gone, and Len Kasper has gone for a ride
To The White Sox radio both, Cubs fans were surprised
What’s going on with the Cubs? It’s hard to surmise

A big name trade in the NBA
John Wall for Russell Westbrook, what the hey?!
A few bad contracts, who both wanted to change teams
This trade will only change things in Wizards & Rockets fan’s dreams

Alabama football rolled their rival LSU
The Crimson Tide won by 38, Tigers didn’t have a clue
In this weird COVID season, one thing remains the same
Alabama is good, and they’ll probably win every game

The White Sox Hired Tony La Russa and…Yikes.

Woof.

The Chicago White Sox are one of the most young, exciting teams in baseball. They have a treasure trove of young talent not only on the major league roster, but still coming up through their farm system. The South Siders made the playoffs this year for the first time since 2008, but were eliminated in the first round by the Athletics.

Due to “differences of opinion” regarding analytics and strategy in general, the team relieved manager Rick Rentería of his duties after the season. In doing so, the Sox created for themselves a great opportunity to sign a dynamic, exciting manager to take this young group with an enormous skillset and lead them to a championship, right?

WRONG.

Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for your new manager of The Chicago White Sox….

This guy.

Tony La Russa: seventy-six year old, hasn’t managed since 2011, Tony La Russa.

As you’ll notice in the picture above, the man is a Hall of Famer, a fact you can’t deny. However, isn’t that a reason not to hire him? His last managing gig with the Cardinals ended when he retired nine years ago. Per Baseball Reference, La Russa holds a career record of 2,728-2,365 in 35 years of managing the White Sox (for the first time), Athletics, and Cardinals. He last managed the White Sox in 1986. One of the White Sox’s best players, Luis Robert, was born 11 years after, in 1997.

The White Sox roster is full of young, lively talent. Tony La Russa is a baseball dinosaur who has been in the sport since 1963, when he made his playing debut with Oakland. This enormous age gap can cause major issues. How does a man capture the attention and respect of a group of studs 50 years his minor? I just don’t see it.

Now, with as loaded of a roster as the White Sox have put together, this could very well work out. At some point, the manager of a baseball team simply cannot lose if he’s given the right combination and talent and potential. If you’re a White Sox fan, you can only hope your new geriatric leader lets his guys be themselves and take the next step that they clearly have enough talent to take.

Sunday State of Mind: September 28th-October 4th

Sunday evening: a time to sit back, reflect on your weekend, and read this week’s SSM.

The NBA Finals is in full swing
The Heat are decimated, The Lakers are getting the ring
It probably was always going to end this way
With only Jimmy Butler for Miami, and LeBron and AD for LA

The MLB playoffs have advanced a round
Only half of the playoff teams are left and still taking the mound
It is a bit sad, that we won’t have a chance
For a Cubs/White Sox World Series, since neither advanced

Russell Wilson continues to be
In this blogger’s opinion, NFL MVP
He balled out again today, carved Miami with a knife and fork
Don’t think we forgot though, he’s still a dork

The big NFL story, another COVID outbreak
Cam Newton tested positive, a sad truth to take
The cases are clearly rising in the NFL
I think we all wish this virus would just go to hell

Sunday State of Mind: August 17th-August 23rd

Photo: Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Happy Sunday, all. Please enjoy this week’s SSM…

Earl Thomas, in trouble a bunch
Sketchy activity with his brother, now a teammate punch
The Baltimore Ravens lost their defensive toy
Don’t be surprised if Earl is the next Dallas Cowboy

One of my new favorite teams, the San Diego Padres
They’ve hit five grand slams in the last six days
Hosmer, Machado, Fernando Tatis
Pitchers serving it up, and the Padres feast

No more Brooks Kopeka in 2020
The 2019 patella injury, still bugging him plenty
This week he withdrew from the Northern Trust
Ending his season, a total bust

This is a stanza I don’t want to write
The White Sox have taken it to the Cubs the last two nights
Jose Abreu is on an absolute tear
Sox beating up on the Cubs, a sight too sad to bare

Sunday State of Mind: August 10th-August 16th

Photo: Shifaaz shamoon on Unsplash

Hello, and welcome to this week’s SSM.

The NBA playoffs are ready to go
The postseason tournament starts tomorrow
The champions will pop some champagne bottles
Big loss for the players though, no Instagram models

We already know The Masters have been pushed back
But come November, golf fans will be jacked
Unfortunately, Augusta announced this week
No fans due to COVID this year, not one in-person peek

The COVID ravaged Cardinals actually played a game!
Their first since July 29th, what a shame
They swept the White Sox in a double header
Hopefully lesson learned, and the players will be better

Ohio State QB Justin Fields, not a quitter
Started a MoveOn.org petition, asking the B1G to reconsider
A continued push of the #WeWantToPlay movement
If this petition goes anywhere, we could see some college football improvement