Hometown Heroes

My mom is great. If she’s ever out shopping and sees a random baseball book of any kind, she buys it for me. Not so much books of prose — she knows I’m critical of a lot of authors and worries that she might get me something I wouldn’t like — but if there’s a big photo book or a reference book or a book about memorabilia or something, she throws it in the cart.

Yesterday she was out at the grocery store of all places and picked up book called Major League Baseball Hometown Heroes. It’s primarily a photo book put out by MLB itself a couple of years ago. It was tied in to some promotion the league was doing with the DHL at the time. It purports to set forth “the most outstanding players in baseball history, club by club.” It’s got a lot of neat photos I haven’t seen before, and for that reason alone I am happy mom picked it up for me.

The book/promotion limited itself to four or five players per team, so there are some obvious exclusions. No room for Eddie Matthews on the Braves, no post-Mantle Yankees, no post-Koufax Dodgers. Hey, you gotta make choices. But one team’s entry has me scratching my head: The Expos/Nationals, which are lumped together. Here are that team’s “hometown heroes”:

Gary Carter
Rusty Staub
Livan Hernandez
Brian Schneider
Jose Virdro

That’s right: three nondescript Nationals players got billing over Raines and Dawson in a contest to name “the most outstanding players in baseball history.” I’m sure someone complained about that when the nominees were listed three years ago, but allow me to add a belated “Oy!”

You know, one day it’s going to occur to MLB that there was some damn fine baseball played in Montreal for more than 35 years, and that maybe, just maybe, that history should be remembered.

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  1. Andy said...

    If they are trying to sell the book to current Nats fans, you need to include Nats players rather than former expos.  Was Walter Johnson included with the Twins?

  2. ditmars1929 said...

    Shyster, I completely agree that there was great baseball in Montreal for decades.  One would think the actual league would know that.

    Earlier in the year, I did recommend that you check out a book entitled Brittle Innings by Michael Bishop.  Let me know if you get around to it.  Also, as a reminder, if you buy it on Amazon, DO NOT read the customer reviews.  Stupid idiots give away the big twist regarding who the first baseman turns out to be.

  3. Ron said...

    Maybe if they stopped assuming that people don’t know/care about the history of baseball, and just presented it regardless of current era, then fans might have more of an interest.

    Brian Schnieder will fade into oblivion, while Dawson and Raines will both make the Hall, eventually.

  4. MooseinOhio said...

    Apparently the editors have not heard of Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Larry Walker but must have a fetish for role players if they chose Staub and Schneider instead.

  5. Don said...

    Given MLB’s ridiculous refusal to schedule home games in Toronto on major Canadian holidays, I doubt they’re aware baseball is still played in Canada at all.

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