Who are best big-leaguers from Florida? Our list starts with Lefty ....
With DeLand native Chipper Jones coming to the Trop tonight, we wondered who are the 10 best of the 427 Florida-born modern era major-leaguers. (Guys like Wade Boggs, raised in Florida but born elsewhere, don't count). One writer's view, with player, position, birthplace and reason:
1. Steve Carlton, LHP, Miami. A Hall of Fame spot and 329 wins are good enough
2. Andre Dawson, OF, Miami. Earned a Hall of Fame plaque after 21 seasons of success
3. Chipper Jones, 3B, DeLand. Will be headed to Cooperstown five years hence
4. Gary Sheffield, OF, Tampa. Most HRs (509), RBIs (1,676) and hits (2,689) on list
5. Tim Raines, OF, Sanford. Borderline Hall of Famer but a no-doubter here
6. Steve Garvey, 1B, Tampa. Ten All-Star Game selections tells you something
7. Fred McGriff, 1B, Tampa. Fell seven short of 500 HRs, but overall impressive.
8. Al Lopez, C, Tampa. Better player or manager? Combo is pretty good for the Hall of Famer
9. Dwight Gooden, RHP, Tampa. Could have done more, but still huge impact
10. Hal McRae, OF/DH, Avon Park. Two top-5 MVP finishes, played as hard as anyone
Others considered: Luis Gonzalez, Tom Gordon, Tino Martinez, Boog Powell, Tim Wakefield, Bill White
Have other thoughts? Think we blew it? Missing someone? Post your list below in the comments.
- Marc Topkin, Times staff writer