I have loved the game of baseball for as long as I can remember. I watched so many Blue Jay games as a kid that there is no way to keep count. They were my team back then and will be always. I’m not one of those fans. I stick with my team whether they are good or bad.
Even though the Jays are my team I will watch just about any two teams play the game. Whether it’s a pitcher’s dual or a slug fest it doesn’t matter to me. It’s all a joy to behold. I also love the history of the game and the study of it. Watching games of the greatest players of all time is great. The only thing I would do differently is to get to be able to watch them in person. It would be amazing to say that I was in Fenway to watch Ted Williams or in old Yankee Stadium to watch Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig. I seem to have that thought each time I do research or watch an old game.
With that in mind I’ve decided to figure out the players that I would love to see in person the most; the kind of players that transcended the game. Since there have been so many greats, I have decided to split it into decades so I could cover as many amazing players as humanly possible. The first installment is about the players of today.
The only criteria I have in doing a list like this is that I would be willing to spend money to watch them play in person. The reasons I would pay to watch each guy play could be very different but they all have something special that makes it worth the money.
Alex Rodriguez- I know a lot of people aren’t fans of Rodriguez but he has been one of the most impressive players I have ever seen. It’s clear that his game is nowhere close To what it once was but he still shows flashes of his greatness and I would love to be there to see that. Steroids or not, A Rod is worth the price of admission.
Albert Pujols- Pujols Has struggled since he shifted to the American League but no matter what he does from here on out he is still an all-time great. His swing is so pure and effortless and would be a pleasure to watch in person.
Derek Jeter- Jeter is another one of those guys who is way past his prime but still needs to witnessed in person at least once. He is the ultimate leader and team guy who did amazing things for the Yankees and will go down as an all-time great shortstop when he time is finished in the next few seasons.
Roy Halladay- Halladay is one of my favorite blue jays and even though he hasn’t worn their jersey for a few years now, I would still love to see him pitch at least once in person. I really thought it was amazing how he transformed his pitching style and his game early in his career and made himself into such a great pitcher.
Mike Trout- I don’t know if I believe all the hype about Trout just yet but he is a remarkable young player. He is one of those five tool guys who seems to dominate every aspect of the game. I don’t know if he will be one of the all-time greats but he is definitely worth the price of admission to find out.
Miguel Cabrera- I always loved watching Cabrera bat when he played for the Marlins but never felt like he got the recognition he deserved. Since moving to Detroit, Cabrera has stepped up his game even more. He is one of the best players in the game today and now everyone knows it. He hit for the Triple Crown last year and might be having a better season this time around. I would love to sit right behind home plate and watch Cabrera swing the bat because I know when he is gone we might not ever see another Triple Crown winner again.
Mariano Rivera- There is no doubt in my mind that Rivera is the best closer that ever played the game. Even though I am not at all a Yankee fan, I would still love to watching him on the mound from up close at least one time before he is done. It’s a shame that he is retiring because every time he steps on the mound you know that something special is about to take place.
Jose Bautista- Joey Bats has been a great slugger ever since he donned a Blue Jays jersey and this season is no different. When he gets a hold of a pitch you know it’s not coming down for a long, long time. Bautista is one of the games current great power hitters and need to be viewed up close to truly appreciate how he can crush a pitch.
Bryce Harper- I have been hearing about Harper for so long that I really need to see him play at least a few times in person. His legend has been around for a long time now and has always intrigued me. I didn’t think he was going to have this kind of success so early in his major league career but he has already proven in a short time that he will be a sight to behold for a long time.
R.A. Dickey- Dickey hasn’t been having a great year in his first year as a Blue Jay but what he did last season was almost mind-boggling. He really paid his dues and really worked at his craft to be great. On top of his story of hard work and pushing through the reason I would love to see Dickey pitch is because he throws such a different style than everyone else in the game today.