Here’s a subjective ranking of the top five for June 11:
Not as familiar name? That’s because Bresnahan debuted for the Washington Senators… in 1897. In the years that followed, Bresnahan played for the Chicago Orphans, Baltimore Orioles, New York Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945, Bresnahan’s influence is still seen in today’s game. He was the first MLB catcher to wear shin guards and is credited with developing the first batting helmet.
Reyes began and ended his 16-year career with the Mets, being named to four All-Star Games along the way, and was involved in a pair of major trades. First was the 2012 blockbuster, which sent Reyes to the Blue Jays along with Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck for a significant package of young talent. In 2015, as the Blue Jays ramped up for their postseason runs, Reyes was part of the package they sent to Colorado to acquire star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
On Sept. 1, 1971, Cash was part of the first all-Black and Latino starting nine in AL/NL history alongside Rennie Stennett, Gene Clines, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen, Al Oliver, Jackie Hernandez and Dock Ellis. Cash played 12 years in the Major Leagues, and in that same ’71 season, he won a World Series with the Pirates.
Another throwback, Hollocher debuted in 1918 and played all seven of his seasons with the Cubs. Hollocher’s best season came in 1920, when he hit .319, but his greatest talent was avoiding strikeouts. Over 3,394 career plate appearances, he struck out just 94 times.
No, not that Frank Thomas. This Thomas played 16 seasons in the big leagues beginning in 1951 with the Pirates, his first of seven teams. He was named to three All-Star Games, and while his power numbers don’t quite reach the levels of The Big Hurt, Thomas still hit 286 career home runs, topping 20 in a single season 10 times.
A 10-year MLB veteran and 1988 World Series…