Taking a break from discussion of this dismal season, last weekend MLB Network's Prime 9 show featured what they called the nine best players of the 1960s. The list identified the best player of the decade at each position. For those who missed it , here is the list.
RF: Henry Aaron
CF: Willie Mays
LF: Carl Yastrzemski
SS: Maury Wills
3B: Ron Santo
2B: Pete Rose
1B: Willie McCovey
C: Bill Freehan
P: Juan Marichal
As one who came of age as a baseball fan in the 1960s, I enjoyed the show very much. Some awfully good players left out, but I cannot find fault with any on this list. In retrospect, three things popped out at me about the list.
First, how dominant the National League was. Only two AL players on the list, and most of the others considered for inclusion on the list were other NL players.
Second, three of the players, a third of the team, were San Francisco Giants. I grew up watching games at Candlestick Park and, while I was never a Giants' fan, I feel very lucky to have seen those three greats play many times. Ironically, the presence of those three greats (and some other great and very good players on those Giants' teams) only produced one World Series appearance, 1962. Arguably the best team to never win a World Series.
FInally, I was pleasantly surprised at the inclusion of Ron Santo. Not that he is undeserving, far from it, he was the best 3B of his decade, but I have grown accustomed to his being overlooked, so I fully expected it to be Brooks Robinson on the Prime 9 team. Good to see the Prime 9 folks got it right.
So what do y'all think?