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#69 – Wade Boggs: A Perennial Contender For Batting Titles!

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#69 - Wade Boggs

In an 18-year baseball career with the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Boggs notched 12 straight All-Star appearances (Third only to Brooks Robinson and George Brett in number of consecutive appearances as a third baseman!), had over 3,000 hits in his career, was a Gold Glove twice, and a Silver Slugger 8X!

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#70 – Rod Carew: Proves Home Runs Are Not What You Need For A Hall of Fame Career!

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Everybody loves the long ball, but Rod Carew made a hall of fame career even though he only hit 92 over his career.  How?  He was a human hitting machine when he got to the plate with a career featuring over 3,000 hits, a lifetime batting average of .328, led the American League in batting average for 7 years (4 years STRAIGHT from 1972 – 1975), and was an 18X All Star! When it’s all said and done, Carew was the man teams wanted at the plate when runs needed to be driven in!

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#71 – Juan Marichal: Pitcher With Pinpoint Precision And the Most Wins In the 1960’s

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#70 - Juan Marichal

191 wins in the 1960’s makes Juan Marichal the winningest pitcher of the 60’s with 197 complete games and an amazing lifetime ERA of 2.89!  He was known for a high leg kick, pinpoint precision with his pitches and no fear of targeting a batter’s head with a pitch to intimidate him! The only thing he’s lacking is a “defining moment” that would allow him to step out from the shadows of other pitchers of the era like Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson.

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#72 – Jim Thome: 2ND Fastest to 600 HRs, And NO EGO!

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#72 - Jim Thome

Power hitting Thome played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball, from 1991 to 2012 for six different teams, most notably the Cleveland Indians during the 1990s and early 2000s. Thome was prolific at the plate hitting 612 home runs during his career—the eighth-most all time and the second fastest to reach that milestone—along with 2,328 hits, 1,699 runs batted in, and a .276 batting average, was a member of five All-Star teams and won a Silver Slugger Award in 1996.  Most of all, he was a “team player” who was willing to do whatever was asked of him in order to win.

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#73 – Mickey Cochrane: A Bean Ball Sent Him to WAR!

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#73 - Mickey Cochrane

Nicknamed “Black Mike“, Cochrane was a baseball player, manager and coach who playedas a catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers. Cochrane was considered one of the best catchers in baseball history and was chosen as the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1928 and he appeared in the World Series from 1929 to 1931. Cochrane’s career batting average of .320 stood as a record for MLB catchers until 2009. Cochrane’s baseball career as a player ended abruptly after a near-fatal head injury from a bean ball in 1937. After his professional baseball career, he served in the United States Navy in World War II and ran an automobile business.

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#74 – Hank Greenberg: The Man Who Threatened To Fight His WHOLE TEAM!

#74 - Hank Greenberg

Do NOT let the numbers fool you!  NOTHING you see bout Hank Greenberg’s career numbers says he should be on this list, let alone in the Hall of Fame.  But what the numbers DON’T tel you is that Greenberg gave up three years of his baseball career (1941-1944) to fight in World War 2, having enlisted the day after The Pearl Harbor Attack.  But when he played, he was a dominant force!  He had a lifetime batting average of .313, hit 331 home runs, and drove in over 1200 runs. 
Being of the Jewish faith, Greenberg often was the subject of bigoted insults cast from the fans in the stands.  On one occasion, however, one of his teammates insulted him, but did not reveal his identity.  Greenberg’s response: He stood up in front of his entire team in the locker room and challenged whomever it was who insulted him to reveal his identity.  When nobody responded, he threatened to fight the whole team!  Nobody stood to fight, and nobody on his team ever slung a bigoted slur at him again!

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#75 – Eddie Murray: GREAT Baseball Player, But a HORRIBLE Human Being!

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#75 - Eddie Murray

On the field, Eddie Murray was fantastic!  He was Rookie of the Year, an 8x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove, 8x All Star, hit over 500 home runs, plated almost 2,000 runs, and has been described as the 5th best overall first baseman in history!  Off the field, he had a reputation for being “not such a nice guy,” and on one occasion, even refused to sign a teammate’s baseball.  But since it’s what happens on the diamond that counts, Murray finds himself here at #75 on Dimino’s list.

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#76 – John Smoltz: From Starting Pitcher, To Closer, and Back To Starter Again!

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#76 - John Smoltz

It’s tough to top Atlanta Braves Pitcher John Smoltz because he’s done just about EVERYTHING a pitcher can do!  Cy Young award?  Check.  World Series Winner?  Check.  15-4 Post Season lifetime record?  Check!  Add in his 8 All Star awards, a Silver Slugger award, and a NLCS MVP…check, check, and CHECK! PLUS:Smoltz began his career as a starter, moved to the bullpen after injury and then RETURNED to the starting rotation at 39 years old, a feat he alone can claim!

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#77 – Monte Irvin: AKA “Jimmy Nelson”

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#77 - Monte Irvin

Monte Irvin is probably the best athlete to ever come out of New Jersey having lettered in SIXTEEN sports in high school! One problem though…Irvin played baseball in the days before Jackie Robinson broke the MLB color barrier, so a good chunk of his baseball career was spent in the Negro Leagues. Initially, Irvin played under the name “Jimmy Nelson” because he was playing pro ball while STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL (He needed to maintain his amateur status while making a few bucks on the side!).  Roy Campanella said that Irvin “was the best ball player he had ever seen!

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#78 – Mike Piazza: “The Pizza Man” Delivered The Runs!

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#78 - Mike Piazza

Another catcher makes the list, and this one was an offensive MONSTER!  Piazza was a decent enough catcher, but it was as a hitter where he stood out!  His lifetime batting average was .308 (Only two catchers ever did better), hit 427 home runs (396 were as a catcher and this is a record for the position!), was Rookie of the Year, a 12x All-Star, a 10x Silver Slugger winner and an inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

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