No. 257 Jim Rice (Number 25 Left Field)

One of the famous things known about the Red Sox was that they had a hall of famer playing left field every year from 1939 to 1989 except for the war years and that in 1989 Rice never played left field. How about this they had a hall of famer on their roster those 51 years which is impressive. Is that the best run on one position for so long of a time?

Well, some would argue the Yankees center fielders had a great run of Bobby Murcer would get in. He had some great seasons with the Yankees early in his career. Then after the 1975 season he was traded to the Giants for Bobby Bonds. He wasn’t as great, but still a solid player. Let us see now, DiMaggio starter playing in 1939 and Mercer ended his first stay with the Yankees in 1975. Since he was gone five years that ended the streak.

So, the Red Sox streak was 11 years longer. Let us compare each player by the number of points I gave them:

  1. Ted Williams 1,674
  2. Carl Yastrzemski 1,252
  3. Jim Rice 746

That totals to 3,672. Now let us try the Yankees:

  1. Mickey Mantle 1,676
  2. Joe DiMaggio 1,192
  3. Bobby Murcer 701

The Yankees total to 3,569. Notice Mantle beats Williams by only 2 points. DiMaggio would rate higher if I concentrated more on prime. However, Mercer’s total is for his whole career, not just the Yankee years. If we take away the rest of his career Murcer would lose at least 111 points putting him below 600. I have every confidence that the Red Sox left fielders were better than the Yankees center fielders.

However, another group is the Yankee catchers. They actually have two hall of famers and two potential hall of famers with one year off, 1968. Here they are with the two hall of famers followed by the two potential hall of famers:

  1. Yogi Berra 1,221
  2. Bill Dickey 1,052
  3. Thurman Munson 758
  4. Elston Howard 680

I have Thurman Munson as the 20th greatest catcher and Elston Howard as the 25th greatest catcher. Both are hall of fame eligible but while Munson could be elected in the near future, I don’t see Howard being elected soon, if ever. Also, Howard is the one who needs to be elected as he is the third catcher in the streak and there is too much time between Berra and Munson for this to work. That being said it could be the best streak of my hall of fame eligibles.

Their career total adds up to 3,711, which is the highest.  They played from 1928 to 1979 which is 52 years, but 1968 none of the four catchers played on the team. Howard was traded to the Red Sox part way through the 1967 season and played for them in 1968. However, he was definitely on the down side of his career and might have lost points overall.

Right now, I would go with the Red Sox trio. The Yankee catchers make it close, but I think the Red Sox have a better argument and three actual hall of famers.

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