MLB…The Face of the Franchise.

This is one of those pieces that is tough to write, but fun at the same time. For one thing, it is in no way scientific. It is really a matter of opinion, and that opinion will be clouded by what span of years that you consider. I am talking about whom do you think is the all-time face of a particular franchise? I will offer a few opinions based on my own personal view, but please do not take it as gospel. I will caution everybody ahead of time that this sounds like an easy task on its surface, and in some cases it is. Overall however, it is harder than it looks.
I wanted to start with the Chicago Cubs, largely due to the sentiment that I am feeling with the passing of Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks. Believe it or not, that sad event is the inspiration behind this article. With that said, we could consider Ron Santo, or perhaps Rogers Hornsby, or maybe even Ryne Sandberg, but at the end of the day, it is Ernie Banks.
Next was a real hard one for me, because we are now talking about MY team, the Boston Red Sox. Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Ted Williams, Carlton Fisk, Johnny Pesky, Dustin Pedroia, Roger Clemens… and so on and so on through a list of greats. However, this is not about who was the greatest player in franchise history. This is about who is the player that you instantly think of…the Face of the Franchise. For me, the Boston Red Sox who exemplifies this is Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky second, Carlton Fisk third.
How about the Oakland A’s? They have had some remarkable personalities, but none are more the Face of the Franchise to me than Rollie Fingers. Granted, there was Ricky Henderson, Catfish Hunter, Vida Blue, Reggie Jackson, and Mark McGuire, but when I think of the green and gold of the Oakland A’s, I immediately think of Rollie Fingers.
Okay, time for an easy one, the Kansas City Royals. George Brett. Could there be anyone else?
When I considered the New York Yankees, I was once again looking at a team with a really long and storied history, and that history is contains some of the greatest players to ever wear a pair of baseball cleats. Lou Gherig, Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle. Thurman Munson, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Derek Jeter…Sorry guys, but like the Frank Sinatra song says,’ A number one, top of the list, King of the hill, A number one’ belongs to George Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth. Yankee Stadium wasn’t called ‘The House That Ruth Built’ for nothing.
The last team that I will consider for my own inclusion in this piece is the Cincinnati Reds. So many greats, so little space… Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Jr, Brandon Phillips, Joe Morgan. Before I give my opinion on the Reds, I needed to stop for a minute and consider just how many good, near great, great, and ‘face of the franchise’ players there have been for every team over the years. It is positively mind-blowing. I think that every fan should at list consider it at some point. Anyway, for me the face of the Cincinnati Reds will always be Pete Rose.
I hope that a lot of you readers reply to this question. I would really like to get everyone’s take on their particular team. Remember, there is no right or wrong, just opinion. Thanks for reading!


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