Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Icons of Baseball

Icons of Baseball
 Icons of Baseball. With baseball season now in full swing, some players are stamping their identities as the next icons in baseball’s long history of great players. We check in with some famous players from yesterday and today.



Nolan Ryan

This baseball legend is No. 1 in career strikeouts and posted a major-league-record seven no-hitters during his long career. Ryan is currently the president of his former team.

Johnny Bench

As a member of the Cincinnati Reds, the catcher was named to the All-Star team 14 times, chosen MVP twice, led the Reds to a championship in 1976 and was named World Series MVP. Bench now makes speaking appearances and participates in charity golf tournaments and fundraising.

Ken Griffey Jr.

The former Seattle Mariner was one of baseball’s biggest stars in the 1990s. His flawless swing made him one of the best home run hitters. He retired in 2010 with the Seattle Mariners and is now a consultant with the club.

Joe Morgan

Another member of “The Big Red Machine,” the second baseman won back-to-back MVP awards and drove in the winning run of the 1975 World Series. Morgan has since done broadcasting work for ESPN, ABC and NBC, and he currently works for the Reds.

Pete Rose

This baseball great and switch-hitter still leads the majors in hits, games played, at-bats, and outs. However, his off-the-field antics have barred him from entering a special place.

Willie Mays

The San Francisco Giants star was a two-time MVP, had a career batting average of .302, earned 12 Gold Gloves and was an All-Star 24 times. The baseball great currently works in management for this team and still attends most home games

Stan Musial

The former St. Louis Cardinal was one of baseball’s hottest players in the golden age. Musial was a three-time MVP, led his team to three world championships and was an All-Star 24 times. In February, he received a great honor from President Barack Obama.

Yogi Berra

This New York Yankees catcher is considered one of the all-time great Yankees. Earning the MVP award three times, he appeared in 14 World Series and won 10 championships. After retirement he went on to be a successful manager, and he still gets an invite to spring training with the Yankees every year.

Hank Aaron

This former Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves star is considered one of the best to ever play the game. He posted over 3,000 hits and was an All-Star 25 times. Whose famous record did he break?  He received an honor in 2002.

Cal Ripken Jr.

The Baltimore Orioles shortstop and third baseman surpassed another baseball legend’s record of most consecutive games played in 1995 and the streak ended in 1998. He retired in 2001 and has since started charitable organizations and owns a minor-league ball club.

Mariano Rivera

This current Yankees closer has played 17 seasons with New York. He is a five-time World Series champion, has 565 saves and a 2.22 earned-run average. He is expected to go down as one of the greatest closers in the game.

Barry Bonds

The former San Francisco Giants slugger was a seven-time MVP and a 14-time All-Star who holds the season record for home runs. He’s also one of the more controversial players. He recently went to trial for allegations of steroid use.

Dennis Eckersley

This Hall of Fame pitcher played his best years as a relief pitcher for the Oakland Athletics. In 1992, he was named MVP and won an award reserved for pitchers.  He is currently a studio analyst for an East Coast team.

Rod Carew

The former Minnesota Twins and California Angels infielder posted a lifetime .328 batting average and more than 3,000 hits. He was an All-Star 18 times, in all but his final season.

Ozzie Guillen

This outspoken former shortstop with the Chicago White Sox and current manager of the team has seen success as both a player and manager. Voted the 1985 Rookie of the Year, he also won a 2005 award for helping lead his team to a World Series championship.

Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn played his entire 20-year career for one team.  He was an eight-time National League batting champion, five-time Gold Glove winner and 15-time All-Star, and he had a career batting average of .338. He is currently the baseball coach at his alma mater.

Roberto Alomar

This prolific second baseman is considered one of the best second baseman in baseball history. He was a 12-time All-Star, two-time World Series champ and 10-time Gold Glove winner. Has he been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Sandy Koufax

A member of the storied Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers, the former pitcher earned three Cy Young Awards, pitched four no-hitters and was a two-time World Series MVP, before retiring. The legend was honored at the White House in 2010.

Bob Gibson

This pitching great played all 17 seasons of his career for the same team.  He set a major-league record for strikeouts (35) during a World Series and was named World Series MVP twice. He is currently the vice president of a non-profit organization.

Rickey Henderson

This lightning-fast left fielder holds the record for stolen bases at and career runs. He is considered the greatest leadoff hitter in history. He retired in 2003 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2009.