TMS All-90's Team: Center Field

After the mild huge success of the All-80's Team, we're back to look at the players from a decade later. Oh the '90's. What a strange new world it was. Baseball cards were becoming glossy and overpriced. A strike cancels the 1994 World Series (Sorry Montreal!). And of course who can forget the homers, homers, homers?! One issue I noticed with the All-80's Team is that there was very little argument in the polls. So to make it more interesting and spark a little more debate, I've decided to combine both leagues instead of doing separate NL and AL features. This will also keep it from dragging on well into August. As always be sure and vote for your choice in the poll in the left sidebar.

Well enough people were able to look beyond the juice and vote Barry Bonds the All-90's left fielder.

To help divert your attention away from the god awful display going on at Wrigley, here's a list of 8 guys that actually know how to play the outfield.









CENTER FIELD

Brett Butler
San Francisco Giants (1990), Los Angeles Dodgers (1991-97), New York Mets (1995)

All-Star: 1991
Postseason: 1995 NLDS
League Leader: Runs (1991), Hits (1990), Triples (1994-95), BB (1991), Singles (1990-93)

Notes: Looking at Brett Butler's numbers I'm not sure why I left him off the All-80's AL CF list. Surely he would've been a better option than Lloyd Moseby. Butler was a quality center fielder and leadoff guy for the Dodgers. In 1995 Butler battled a rare form of cancer and was able to come back and play for two more years.





Lenny Dykstra
Philadelphia Phillies (1990-96)

Nickname: Nails
All-Star: 1990, 1994, 1995
Silver Sluggers: 1993
Postseason: 1993 WS
League Leader: OBP (1990), Runs (1993), Hits (1990, 1993), BB (1993)

Notes: The nickname pretty much says it all when it comes to Dykstra. An extremely hard-nosed, competitive player, Lenny was the anchor of the notorious '93 Phillies team. While his career was marred by injuries, Dykstra's play that season showed just what he was capable of, had he regularly played a full season.




Ken Griffey Jr.
Seattle Mariners (1990-99)

Nickname: Junior
All-Star: 1990-99
Awards: 1992 ASG MVP, 1997 AL MVP
Gold Gloves: 1990-99
Silver Sluggers: 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996-99
Postseason: 1995 ALCS, 1997 ALDS
League Leader: Runs (1997), Home Runs (1994, 1997-99), RBI (1997)

Notes: I think it's safe to say that during the 1990's, Griffey was one of, if not the most popular player. 10 Gold Gloves, 10 All-Star appearances, 3 consecutive home run titles. These were the glory days for Junior. Then in 2000, he left for Cincy and everything kind of went to shit.



Marquis Grissom
Montreal Expos (1990-94), Atlanta Braves (1995-96), Cleveland Indians (1997), Milwaukee Brewers (1998-99)

Awards: 1997 ALCS MVP
All-Star: 1993, 1994
Gold Gloves: 1993-96
Postseason: 1995 WS, 1996 WS, 1997 WS
League Leader: SB (1991, 1992)

Notes: Grissom was part of a great young core of players in Montreal during the early 90's. Unfortunately the 1994 strike ruined any chances of that team seeing possible postseason glory and many parted ways the following season. Grissom would later play in three straight World Series with Atlanta and Cleveland.





Kenny Lofton
Houston Astros (1991), Cleveland Indians (1992-99), Atlanta Braves (1997)

All-Star: 1994-96
Gold Gloves: 1993-96
Postseason: 1995 WS, 1996 ALDS, 1997 NLCS, 1998 ALCS, 1999 ALDS
League Leader: Hits (1994), Triples (1995), SB (1992-96)

Notes: Lofton led the AL in steals for five consecutive seasons, and played a big role in Cleveland's resurgence during the decade. To me he'll always be the guy that the Cubs got from the Pirates along with Aramis Ramirez. In return Pittsburgh received Bobby Hill, Jose Hernandez, and a small note from Jim Hendry that simply said, "SUCKERS!"




Kirby Puckett
Minnesota Twins (1990-95)

Hall of Fame: Inducted in 2001
Awards: 1991 ALCS MVP, 1993 ASG MVP
All-Star: 1990-95
Gold Gloves: 1991, 1992
Silver Sluggers: 1992, 1994
Postseason: 1991 WS
League Leader: Hits (1992), Doubles (1992)

Notes: Puckett's career was going strong in the early 90's when a sudden onset of glaucoma in his right eye ended his career in early 1996. He finished his career with a .318 average, the highest for any right-handed batter since Joe DiMaggio's retirement.





Andy Van Slyke
Pittsburgh Pirates (1990-94), Baltimore Orioles (1995), Philadelphia Philliess (1995)

All-Star: 1992, 1993
Gold Gloves: 1990-92
Silver Sluggers: 1992
Postseason: 1990 NLCS, 1991 NLCS, 1992 NLCS
League Leader: Hits (1992), Doubles (1992)

Notes: Van Slyke was a member of the last few teams in Pittsburgh that were ever relevant. After the 1992 season Van Slyke's career began to decline as did the Pirates team as a whole.






Bernie Williams
New York Yankees (1991-99)

All-Star: 1997-99
Awards: 1996 ALCS MVP
Gold Gloves: 1997-99
Postseason: 1995 NLDS, 1996 WS, 1997 ALDS, 1998 WS, 1999 WS

Notes: A model of consistency at the plate, Bernie's career was just hitting its stride right about the same time that the Yankees started to matter again in the postseason. His .307 average in 1995 began an eight-year streak of .300 average seasons.








Be sure and vote for your choice of center fielder for the TMS All-90's Team. Check out the poll in the left sidebar.

Comments