Sometimes a player can come into a franchise and absolutely capture the hearts of fans. Whether it’s because of amazing offense, defense, iconic moments, or the player has a truly infectious personality.
Every franchise has that certain someone everyone loves and that’s why we are going to go over Every MLB Team’s Beloved Player In Franchise History
Arizona Diamondbacks – Randy Johnson
With the Diamondbacks not being created until 1998, they haven’t had the same opportunity as a lot of teams to form strong connections with players. There is one that certainly sticks out though in Randy Johnson. Arizona fans got to see the absolute peak of Johnson from 1999 – 2004 when he won four straight Cy Young awards.
Atlanta Braves – Hank Aaron
The Braves on the other hand have almost too many players to choose from but Hank Aaron is the obvious choice. Hank was a true pioneer of baseball, and any Braves fan will agree to that. The all-time leader in RBIs had a statue unveiled at Truist Park in 2017 which is placed in front of replicas of all 755 Louisville Sluggers Aaron used in his career.
Baltimore Orioles – Cal Ripken Jr.
Cal Ripken Jr. spent his entire 21-year Hall of Fame career with the Orioles. He is and always will be one of the first names you think of when the Orioles are mentioned. Of course, when you play 2,632 games in a row for one team the fans have enough time to get familiar with you. That’s why on September 6, 2012, 10 years after breaking the consecutive games started streak Baltimore unveiled their Cal Ripken Jr., statue.
Boston Red Sox – David Ortiz
For the Red Sox, we’re going to take a different approach by selecting David Ortiz. He might not be the best player in franchise history, but his name will live with Boston forever. Five days after the Boston Bombing that left three dead and 260 injured Ortiz had one of the most iconic quotes in baseball history: “This is our F city, and nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong. Thank you.”
Chicago Cubs – Ernie Banks
Ernie Banks With the nickname “Mr. Cub” this selection was pretty easy. The two-time MVP has brought the city of Chicago so many memorable moments that have solidified his legendary status. In 2008, a statue honoring Banks was unveiled north of the main gate entrances at Wrigley Field.
Chicago White Sox – Frank Thomas
The southside of Chicago’s most beloved player is also a two-time MVP Frank Thomas. Nobody brought the White Sox more memorable moments than the team’s all-time leader in home runs, doubles, runs, and OPS.
Cincinnati Reds – Joey Votto
Not only is Joey Votto loved by the city of Cincinnati, but you’ll have a hard time finding a baseball fan who doesn’t enjoy Votto. One of the most quotable players in some time and always up to some sort of antics whether it is on the field or off makes Votto so likable. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s had a Hall of Fame career.
Cleveland Guardians – Kenny Lofton
Kenny Lofton spent the first 10 years of his career with the Guardians which also happened to be his entire prime. Fans absolutely loved Lofton and he seemed to love Cleveland as he would return to the Indians in 2007 where he would end his career. He was inducted into the Guardians Hall of Fame in 2010.
Colorado Rockies – Todd Helton
With the Rockies only having one Hall of Fame inductee their next most likely is Todd Helton. Playing his entire career from 1997 – 2007 Helton made a strong connection with the Rockies. Recency bias could be playing a part in this selection as Helton played in an era that many baseball fans can still remember.
Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera
It’s Miguel Cabrera and there are no other options that come close. Cabrera is another player who is loved by almost every fanbase for his humble attitude and ability to stay out of trouble throughout his career. Miguel is a true class act in the sport of baseball and there’s a reason even teams that are considered rivals with the Tigers are giving him a sendoff in his final season.
Houston Astros – Jose Altuve
Astros fans have shown unwavering love for Jose Altuve despite the fact that he may be disliked by virtually every fanbase. Of course, with Houston being involved in one of the largest cheating scandals in MLB history, Altuve seemed to catch the most heat out of any player. Astros fans have truly backed their superstar player.
Kansas City Royals – Salvador Perez
Salvador Perez has been a staple with the Royals through thick and then. From winning a World Series in 2015 to the current dog days in Kansas City Perez has stood strong. His loyalty and consistent strong play have made Perez the face of the franchise for the present and the future.
Los Angeles Angels – Mike Trout
Mike Trout is one of the greatest players of all time and every Angels fan loves him. We rarely see a player like Trout show complete and utter loyalty to a franchise that doesn’t seem to want to help build around him. Los Angeles fans have attached themselves to Trout and have no plans to stop anytime soon.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson might be one of the most well-known baseball players of all-time. When he was first introduced into the league the feelings about him were very different than they are now. Dodgers fans can’t help but celebrate a player who changed the entirety of MLB for the better.
Miami Marlins – Jose Fernandez
After just his fourth season at the majors, Jose Fernandez was involved in a devastating boating accident that would end his life. The 2013 Rookie of the Year brought life to a struggling franchise. He was truly a special player, and every Marlins fan holds a special place in their heart for.
Milwaukee Brewers – Prince Fielder
There may be no moment more memorable than June 17, 2009, when Prince Fielder at 5’11” 275 pounds legged out an inside-the-park homerun. Even with playing just seven seasons in Milwaukee, Fielder is third in the team’s history when it comes to home runs. His amazing attitude for both fans and teammates made him an easy player to love.
Minnesota Twins – Kirby Puckett
Kirby Puckett spent all 12 years in the big leagues with the Twins. What truly made him an icon was his performance in the 1991 World Series. He would hit a walk-off home run in game six to set up a game seven. The Twins would go on to win game seven winning their second championship in team history thanks to the efforts of Puckett.
New York Mets – Tom Seaver
In ten and a half seasons with the Mets, Tom Seaver served up a 73.6 WAR including three Cy Youngs and a Rookie of the Year. Mets fans got to see pure dominance from the beginning with Seaver and it will always be a special time in the franchise’s history.
New York Yankees – Derek Jeter
There are almost too many options with the Yankees but for recent purposes, we’ll go with Derek Jeter. One of the first MLB players to get true celebrity status and was a true king of New York.
Oakland Athletics – Rickey Henderson
Rickey Henderson’s unique play style quickly made him a fan favorite in Oakland. A truly electric player who drew the eyes of every fan in the stadium. Even here in 2023 Henderson is the fourth most recent Athletic to win MVP back in 1990.
Philadelphia Phillies – Chase Utley
Chase Utley is a great example that you don’t need to be the greatest player in a team’s history for the fans to love you. Of course, having your first career hit e a grand slam is a good way to win over some hearts.
Pittsburgh Pirates – Andrew McCutchen
When Andrew McCutchen announced that he would be resigning from the Pirates it felt extra special. His first nine years in Pittsburgh were truly amazing winning an MVP and multiple Silver Sluggers.
San Diego Padres – Tony Gwynn
Tony Gwynn aka “Mr. Padre ” spent all 20 years of his Hall of Fame career with the Padres. Gwynn is a legend in San Diego as he’s also the all-time leader in assists for San Diego State Men’s Basketball. It’s safe to say that he is not only the most beloved Padres player of all time but also the most loved San Diego sports figure.
San Francisco Giants – Willie Mays
Willie Mays is an absolute fan favorite in San Francisco and possibly the greatest player in MLB history. Before COVID-19 when he would attend games, the stadium would erupt in cheers just at the sight of him.
Seattle Mariners – Ken Griffey Jr.
You don’t have to be a Mariners fan for your favorite player ever to be Ken Griffey Jr. His electricity and attitude towards the game will live with Seattle forever. You also have to have loved watching him and his father on the same field together.
St. Louis Cardinals – Ozzie Smith
It doesn’t matter what generation you were born in if you’re a Cardinals fan there’s a good chance your favorite player of all time is Ozzie Smith. He also produced the most iconic moment in franchise history with his front flip on Opening Day.
Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria
When you look at the all-time leaders for the Rays Evan Longoria completely fills it up. When a player has that much impact on a franchise it’s hard not to like him.
Texas Rangers – Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan spent only five seasons with the Rangers but they were certainly memorable. I mean who doesn’t love seeing a 42-year-old pitcher still be dominant? We also can’t forget 46-year-old Ryan putting 26-year-old Robin Ventura into a headlock and landing what seemed like a dozen punches to his head.
Toronto Blue Jays – Jose Bautista
Everyone has seen the Jose Bautista bat flip in game five of the 2015 ALDS. Many fans might not have liked the showboating, but Blue Jays fans went nuts for it. It’s a moment like that which puts someone into conversation for a fan favorite.
Washington Nationals – Stephen Strasburg
The announcement of the retirement of Stephen Strasburg in 2023 has left Nationals fans reminiscing on old times. Stephen spent all 13 years with the Nationals through thick and thin. Something Washington fans can certainly appreciate.
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