- 04/12/2013, 07:57PM ET
PCH said 04/12, 07:57 PM
Lankford posted five seasons of 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases with the Cardinals (1992, 1995-1998), making him the only player in franchise history to accomplish the feat more than once.
In 1998, he hit .293 with 31 home runs, 105 runs batted in and 26 stolen bases. It was his late season surge batting cleanup that helped Mark McGwire, hitting in front of Lankford in the Cardinal order, to set the single season home run record with 70.
~courtesy of Wiki..
Ray Lankford is overshadowed by a lot of players from the 90's. Lankford was good fielder, hitter, and baserunner. Hell of an athlete. Very consistent from the 90's. His numbers never were TOO crazy, but he made his mark anywhere on the field. Lankford is one of the best cardinals of all-time. Is in the top ten of a lot of categories for them as a franchise. With the Ken Griffey's, Frank Thomas's, and even guys from his own team, like McGwire, they overshadowed Lankford in his abilities.
Mrlns Fn said 04/14, 12:05 AM
Lankford is a great pick; he was a favorite of mine as a kid. I had a nice Lankford card collection which I loved despite the fact that it was probably worth pennies.
Lankford was overshadowed by his peers, as you pointed out, but he did make an All-Star game once upon a time (1997) and that's something that never happened for my guy even though he probably deserved at least a few selections. More on that in a minute.
I'm going with Tim Salmon.
Salmon never made an ASG but he posted big numbers and stacks up favorably against Lankford.
Lankford: .272 BA 238 HR 874 RBI
Salmon: .282 BA 299 HR 1,016 RBI
PS: To any sabermetrics junkies out there... shut it. There were no sabermetrics in the 90s.
Salmon was ROY in 1993 and finished 7th in MVP voting in 1995, when he had an OPS of 1.024.
Between 1993-2000 Salmon never finished with an OPS of less than .860, and on five occasions hit 30+ home runs in a season.
Salmon is the Angels' all-time leader in HR and B/B and is second in hits, doubles, runs, RBI, OBP, SLG, and OPS.
Yet not a single All-Star Game appearance.
Seems pretty underrated to me.
PCH said 04/15, 03:40 PM
my next pick...
overshadowed by the Fred McGriff's, Gary Sheffield's, Jose Canseco's, and even the David Justices of the world. Gant, he had some power himself.
321 career homeruns
1995 NL comeback player of the year..
He also had some speed. 50 career triples.
Gant averaged 20 home runs, 63 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases a year~ wiki
^ that's over his career.
Gant was one of the reasons the Braves started their 15 years division dominance.
Mrlns Fn said 04/15, 09:20 PM
Gant was another player I really enjoyed as a kid. Funny, one thing I notice when remembering the 90s is that there were a LOT more good black players back then. Still some good ones now, obviously, Prince Fielder and the Uptons, Andrew McCutchen and Dexter Fowler, and probably some other guys I'm inadvertently forgetting about, but there were a TON of really good black players in the 90s and sadly the game isn't as diversified now as it was then, at least not in terms of African Americans.
Anyway, my next pick is Steve Avery.
Folks forget about Avery because he was Atlanta's fourth starter in the 90s, behind Maddux, Somltz and Glavine in that sick Braves' rotation. Also he was only named an All-Star once (1993) so it was easy for Avery to fall off our collective radar.
But, from 1991-93 Avery was a complete beast. He averaged better than 15 wins a season and for that stretch posted ERA of 3.38, 3.20 and 2.94.
Those aren't just good numbers; they're outstanding numbers, yet Avery never received a lot of love from fans, the media or his peers.
Avery, like Gant, was on of the cornerstones of Atlanta's crazy run of division titles in the 90s.
PCH said 04/15, 11:01 PM
I was thinking Avery, but nah. Yes, he was a formidable pitcher during the Glavine and Smoltzie smoke sessions.
Avery kinda bummed out after the Bravos. Avery never hit his FULL potential in my opinion. Was a nice pitcher tho. Underrated? Not so much. I think the only reason you thought of him was Gant, there's better one's out there for this argument. But yeah, Avery did get overshadowed, but there was REASON. The Braves pitching lineup back then was vicious, sick nasty.
To my third and final pick. I have Chuck Finley, former pitcher of the Angles.
Finley received 0.2% vote on the ballot for the Hall. lol Yet, this guy was overshadowed by the stacked pitching in the 90's. Clemens, Mussina, Maddux, Glavine, Smolts, R. Johnson and Pedro Martinez. I also think Finley was obviously better than Avery, and I think he should have at least a damn shot at the hall.
Chuck Finley's career era is 3.85, not too shabby. Finley also had 6 seasons with 15 or more wins. He's in the Angles' HOF, but has zero chance of ever making it to the Hall. 3x All star, and consistency was his name. My honorable mention for this td, another pitcher, Jimmy Key. Guy was overshadowed as well.
Mrlns Fn said 04/16, 10:56 PM
Finley was an All-Star five times, and regularly comes up in borderline-HoF discussions. He was a pretty good pitcher, finishing with a 200-173 record and a 3.85 ERA but I think he got plenty of recognition for his accomplishments.
Well my final choice, as I said in the comments, is Jeff Conice.
Little bit of a homer pick (after all, Conine is Mr. Marlin) but in reality he was a really solid player who nobody really respected throughout his career.
Conine was an inaugural Marlin and stuck around long enough to participate in both Marlins' World Series titles.
He made two All-Star games (1994, 1995) and was the MVP of the '95 ASG but at the same time NOBODY reminesces of Conine. NOBODY tosses his name out there in any sort of MLB discussion.
He is Mr. Marlin, but that only means he's a household name to like four people.
But he deserves accolades. Again, he played in two WS series with the Marlins and during his Marlins career he established himself as the franchise leader in games played, hits and RBI.
He wasn't spectacular at anything but he was competent at everything and smacked 214 HRs for his career.
Very underrated player.
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