Opinion

Writer’s Roundtable: Players Past and Present

(sports.ca)

Q: Who was your favorite non-Phillies player growing up? And who is your favorite non-Phillie today?

Amanda Orr:

Ken Griffey, Jr. was my favorite non-Phillie player as a kid. He was always my top pick in Backyard Baseball on the computer.
Now, my favorite non-Phillie is David Wright. He plays the game the right way. He’s talented. Id say he has been loyal to his team despite how bad the Mets have been.

Jon Nisula:

My favorite non-Phillies player growing up was Ken Griffey Jr. He had such a sexy swing and had the numbers to go with it. Whenever I would hit batting practice as a kid, I’d turn my hat backwards to be like Griffey Jr. He’s probably my favorite of all-time as well.My favorite non-Phillie today has got to be Mike Trout. Again, he has somewhat of a local connection, and he absolutely mashed the ball last year. I hope he had a long, successful career.

Don McGettigan:

My favorite player growing up was Ken Griffey Jr. He was the most exciting player in the game for years, with one of the sweetest swings of all time, and the ability to make a defensive highlight every single night. Injuries robbed Griffey Jr of some of his prime years, but he’ll still be one of the best ever in my mind.

The current player that I love to watch is from a team we love to hate, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees. He’s played about an entire extra season worth of postseason games in his career and Jeter always seemed to turn his game up when it mattered most. I’m going to miss him when he’s gone.

Ian Riccaboni:

Ken Griffey Jr. was absolutely my favorite non-Phillies baseball player growing up. He had it all: power, speed, highlight reel catches. He was the man. I used to blow huge Big League Chew bubbles with my hat turned backwards – I wanted to be just like The Kid.

My current favorite non-Phillie? I love watching Craig Kimbrel pitch. There’s not a better closer in the game – he’s fearless! When you see Kimbrel come in the game, you know the game is over. As a Phillie fan, it’s disheartening to watch knowing that a division rival has the best closer in the game since Mariano Rivera.

Eric Seidman:

My favorite player of all-time, regardless of team affiliation, is Greg Maddux. To borrow a wrestling nickname, he was the excellence of execution, and I always enjoyed watching him dissect an opponent with guile and acumen more than brute pitching force.

As for active non-Phillies, I would have to go with Bryce Harper. He seems like the kind of guy we’re supposed to dislike, but he is flat out awesome, plays the game the way it should be played and displays maturity and smarts beyond his years.

Brian Michael:

My favorite player growing up was Roger Clemens. My first little league team at Torresdale Boys Club was the Red Sox, so I started following them and the Rocket was clearly one of their best players. I collected hundreds of his baseball cards and loved how dominating he was as a pitcher. Once he left the Red Sox, I stopped rooting for him so much.

My favorite non-Phillie currently is Mike Trout. I like watching someone dominate the game and perform new and unique feats, especially in the field. And of course, you always root for the local guys.

Jay Floyd:

As a youngster I watched baseball as much as I could and that meant watching the Mets on New York’s WWOR channel 9. As a fan of hitters, I recall Howard Johnson striking me as a guy that seemed likeable and easy to root for. Johnson was an All-Star slugger and a leader on those Mets teams of the late 80’s and early 90’s.

I don’t particularly have favorite players at this point (curse the media side of things for making me try to act professional!), but a player I would pay money to see is Derek Jeter. He’s a stand out. A class act. A legend. And besides, Jim Thome isn’t considered active right now, so I can’t answer with him, right?

Ryan Dinger:

Growing up, my favorite non-Phillie was The Big Hurt, Frank Thomas. Kids tend to marvel at the long ball, and no one did it better than Thomas in the 90s. As time goes on, and we learn more and more about the era in which he played, Thomas’ name has stayed out of the papers. I cannot recall a single steroid accusation against him. That makes his impressive bat all the more amazing.

Today, my favorite non-Phillie is Mike Trout (I love the local guys). But a close second is Miguel Cabrera. Miggy has put up year after year of Hall of Fame caliber numbers, and, until his Triple Crown last year, he always seemed to be flying under the radar–at least for how good he is.

Alex Lee:

Kirby Puckett for me, without a doubt. I was seven years old for the 1991 World Series, which was an all-time great Fall Classic and the first one I can vividly remember following. Between his amazing catch against the Plexiglas wall and his walk-off home run in Game 6… not to mention beating the hated Atlanta Braves… I was hooked. His reputation was tarnished a bit before his death, but I will always remember him for his playing days.

Today my favorite player is Troy Tulowitzki. The guy just flat out does it all at a premium position. An infielder with that type of power and plate discipline is usually destined for third base. Not only did Tulow stick at shortstop, but he is a plus defender there. If he can get his health in check, he is a perennial MVP candidate.

Corey Seidman:

Favorite non-Phillie ever? The easy answer is Ken Griffey Jr. because every kid born around my time (1989) grew up idolizing Griffey. But for novelty’s sake I’ll go with Roberto Alomar, the smoothest second baseman of his day and one of the best ever. His prime lasted a decade and he hit .315 during it.

Pat Gallen:

My favorite non-Phillie growing up was Edgar Martinez. As a kid, my friends and I would follow the Mariners because of Ken Griffey Jr., but for some reason Edgar Martinez always stood out. It was that smooth stroke and odd batting stance. Martinez being a DH also drew me to him. As a 10 year old kid, that was something cool and different, something we didn’t have in the NL. Weird, I know. But I was 10.

Favorite non-Phillie presently is a two-horse race. Joey Votto doesn’t wow you, but he does everything so well. And Andrew McCutchen is a guy I’d love to see on the Phils. His hard-nosed style stands out to me. Sorry I can’t pick just one.

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