Whether you want to start Rangers history in 1961 when they were founded as the second Washington Senators, or you want to start it when they moved to Texas in 1972, there’s no debating that the team spent a long, long time in mediocrity. But they finally broke out of that in the 90s, winning three AL West titles in four years. Those power-hitting Rangers’ teams featured Juan Gonzalez ( 1996 and 1998 MVP), Pudge Rodriguez (1999 MVP), and others.
But after failing to get out of the first round of the playoffs, the Rangers entered another decade of struggles. In 2010, though, the Rangers emerged in a big way. Not only did they win the AL West title for the first time in 11 years, they made it all the way to the World Series. After a five-game series loss to the Giants, the Rangers didn’t rest on their laurels, signing Adrian Beltre in the offseason. Beltre, along with Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, and more took the Rangers back to the World Series in 2011. The seven game series against the Cardinals was one of the best World Series in recent memory. Since 2010, the Rangers have won the AL West four times and made the playoffs five times, a feat they did not achieve one time from 1961-1996. So, their Legendary Lineup consists of many members of those teams that brought them to their highest heights.
If you want to purchase any of the cards mentioned, they can be found on the Beckett Marketplace: Nolan Ryan, Ivan Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre, Michael Young, Rusty Greer, Josh Hamilton, Juan Gonzalez, Ruben Sierra, John Wetteland.
When you think of the Colorado Rockies you think of one thing: home runs. Playing in the mile-high elevation of Coors Field in Denver, the Rockies saw the ball fly out of the park at a greater rate than any team in the Majors for the first decade. The introduction of humidors has slowed the rate of home runs, but not the amount of runs scored. So, their Legendary Lineup features several sluggers with huge home run totals.
Players like Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Nolan Arenado and others have enjoyed seasons of over 40 home runs while playing for the Rockies. What is great for the hitters, of course, makes it very difficult for the pitchers. Being an ace in Colorado is a tough task. Ubaldo Jimenez managed it for a few years, which seems to be about the average lifespan for a dominant pitcher in Denver.
The Rockies greatest triumph was winning the National League Pennant in 2007 and several key players on that team make the Legendary Lineup.
If you want to purchase any of the cards in the list they can be found on the Beckett Marketplace: Ubaldo Jimenez, Brian Fuentes, Chris Iannetta, Todd Helton, DJ LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado, Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Holliday, Charlie Blackmon, Larry Walker, and Vinny Castilla.
It may come as a small surprise that the Nationals rank higher than many franchises with much longer histories, but the Nationals short time as a franchise has featured some of the biggest names in collecting history.
The Nationals were formerly the Montreal Expos, but for this list we only included players who played on the Nationals. Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg were two of the most hyped prospects ever and both have lived up to the billing in their careers. Add those names to some of the more recent players like Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon and you have a very formidable card lineup that should only become more impressive with age.
A unique feature of this list is the inclusion of Max Scherzer as the utlity player. He’s the first pitcher to be given this designation in our list, and deservedly so. There was just no way to have a list of Nationals players that didn’t include both Strasburg and Scherzer.
There’s one name that comes to mind immediately when you think of great San Diego Padres players: Tony Gwynn. He’s one of the greatest hitters of all time, compiling 3,141 career hits and batting .338. But it wasn’t just his incredible success that earned him the nickname “Mr. Padre”, it was his generous personality and kindness as well. He was one of the game’s greatest ambassadors and his untimely death was a tragedy felt across the baseball world.
Joining Gwynn in our Legendary Lineup are several other Hall of Famers, some who made their names elsewhere after getting their starts in San Diego (Ozzie Smith, Dave Winfield, Roberto Alomar) and others who spent most of their careers in San Diego (Trevor Hoffman).
Check out our list below and if you want to purchase any of these cards you can find them on the Beckett Marketplace: Jake Peavy, Trevor Hoffman, Benito Santiago, Adrian Gonzalez, Roberto Alomar, Ken Caminiti, Ozzie Smith, Nate Colbert, Steve Finley, Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield.
The Brewers spent the first part of their existence in the American League, winning an AL Pennant in 1982. In 1998 the Brewers switched to the National League where they’ve been ever since. Our Legendary Lineup is full of 80s players like Paul Molitor, Rollie Fingers, Robin Yount, and others.
But there are also some more modern-day players like Ryan Braun and Corey Hart on the list. Both Braun and Hart played on some good Brewers teams, especially the 2011 team who won the most games in Brewers history.
If you want to purchase any of these cards you can find them on the Beckett Marketplace: Ben Sheets, B.J. Surhoff, Cecil Cooper, Jim Gantner, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Ryan Braun, Gorman Thomas, Corey Hart, Prince Fielder and Rollie Fingers.
The Kansas City Royals were founded in 1969 and their history can pretty easily be broken down into four distinct periods. Two of these periods were unquestionably bad and two were highly successful. As with many expansion franchises, the team got off to a slow start, but by the late 70s things were looking up. The 80s were the heyday of the Royals, led by stars like George Brett, Bret Saberhagen, Amos Otis, and others, the team appeared in two World Series and won one in 1985. The 1990s and 2000s were abysmal for the team, posting five seasons with below .400 win percentages. The other seasons in that time period weren’t too much better.
However, the 2010s have been much more kind to Royals fans. The 2014 season ended in a Game 7 World Series loss to the Giants, but the team recovered from the heartbreak the next season and took the 2015 World Series in five games over the Mets. The Royals had stormed back from two decades of struggles and rewarded their fans with two exhilarating season.
If you want to purchase any of the cards listed below, they can be found on the Beckett Marketplace: Bret Saberhagen, Salvador Perez, Mike Sweeney, Frank White, George Brett, Freddie Patek, Willie Wilson, Amos Otis, Carlos Beltran, Bo Jackson, and Dan Quisenberry.
Depending on how you want to look at the history, the Minnesota Twins franchise has been playing Major League Baseball since 1901. The Washington Senators toiled their craft in the D.C. area for almost 60 years, mostly in mediocrity, until they were moved to Minnesota in 1960 and became the Twins. For our purposes, we only chose players who were on the Minnesota Twins and not the Senators.
The best stretch in Twins history was from the mid 1980s to 1991, a time in which they won two World Series Titles and had some of their most legendary players. It’s no surprise that our list is comprised of several players on those World Series-winning teams. Twins legends like Kirby Puckett, Bert Blyleven, and Harmon Killebrew were easy choices for the list, while other positions may have been a little more debatable. Let us know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter!
If you want to purchase any of these cards, they can be found on the Beckett Marketplace: Bert Blyleven, Joe Nathan, Kent Hrbek, Rod Carew, Gary Gaetti, Greg Gagne, Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Torii Hunter, and Tony Oliva.
The Los Angeles Angels check in at No. 27 on our list of legendary card lineups. The Angels formerly known as the California Angels, Anaheim Angels, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, have been around since 1961. They’ve won 9 AL West titles, but their greatest triumph came in a year in which they were the Wild Card team in the AL. The 2002 season will live long in the memory of Angels fans, as the team took home their first World Series title. The “Rally Monkey” and team legends like Troy Percival, Tim Salmon, Troy Glaus, and more helped secure that title. Those players made our list (but, sadly, the Rally Monkey didn’t) along with some other greats who spent time in Anaheim.
Check out the list and let us know what you think!
The Arizona Diamondbacks are the No. 28 team in our 30 Teams | 30 Weeks countdown. Founded in 1998, the Diamondbacks won their first World Series only three years later. The ’01 World Series against the Yankees is one of the most memorable in history, and it’s no surprise that many members of that team make up this Legendary Lineup. Randy Johnson edged out Curt Schilling as the Starting Pitcher in the lineup, four straight Cy Youngs gave him a little advantage over Schilling. Other members of that ’01 World Series team that made the lineup include Luis Gonzalez, Jay Bell, Matt Williams, and Steve Finley.
The Diamondbacks, like the Rays and Marlins, have undergone a complete redesign in team colors and logo. Instead of purple, teal, copper, and black, the team now uses Sedona Red, Sonoran Sand, black, and teal. Did we leave anyone out? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!
The next team in our Legendary Lineups countdown is the Miami Marlins. Originally known as the Florida Marlins, the franchise has been one of the most up-and-down clubs in baseball history. They won both the 1997 and the 2003 World Series titles, but both of those titles were followed by “fire sales” of all of their star players. What followed those triumphs were years of struggle and mediocrity. They just completed their latest fire sale this past offseason by unloading Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and others.
So, their Legendary Lineup features several players who also starred on other teams, including Miguel Cabrera, Derrek Lee, Mike Stanton, and Robb Nen. Did we leave anyone out? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!