Sunday, February 25, 2024

Who's the face of the team-National League Central

Up next for the face of the team, the National League Central. 

Just for a quick refresher, my definition of the face of the team revolves around who is the one player that first comes to mind when a team is mentioned. I decided that I'd do my all-time face of the team, as well as the current face of the team. 

This has turned out to be a little harder than expected. It has become quite obvious to me that I'm an American League guy. Yes, my Rangers are in the American League, so yes, that tends to be my focus. That being said, I've always considered myself a baseball fan first. The old school guys are the easy ones, its the current players that I'm having a harder time with. 

I'm going to have to start paying a little more attention to some of the National League teams. 

NL CENTRAL

Chicago Cubs

This was an easy one for me when it comes to the All-Time face of the team. No question, it's Ernie Banks. From his quote, "It's a beautiful day for ballgame; Let's play two!" to being from my hometown of Dallas, TX, Ernie Banks has been one of my favorite players of all time. Makes it really easy to choose him as the face of the Cubs. As for the current team, I had a hard time deciding. No one really stood out to me. I could have gone with Cody Bellinger, but he's a free agent and I don't think he re-signs with them. I went with Dansby Swanson. He's 30 years old, still in his prime, and '23 All-Star. The Cubbies have some really good young talent, but I gotta stick with Swanson.

     

My favorite Ernie Banks card is his '54 rookie card. I love the youthful look with the great smile. You can just see him saying "It's a beautiful day, let's play two!" I like the action shot of Swanson on the '23 Topps card.

Cincinnati Reds

When I think of the Cincinnati Reds, I think of the Big Red Machine. When I think of the Big Red Machine, I think of Johnny Bench. Cincinnati has had a lot of great players, but none equal Johnny Bench. Many will argue that he is the greatest catcher of all-time. I'm not one of those (Pudge Rodriguez!), but he is definitely the greatest Cincinnati Red of all-time. I could have gone with Pete Rose, who I loved the way he played the game, but honestly, Bench always comes to mind first. As for the current face of the team? It's got to be the hot-shot rookie Elly DeLa Cruz. 

     

I love the '69 Bench card. I like it so much better than his shared rookie card. Very old school. From old school to new school, the '24 DeLa Cruz. What an electric player. It should be fun to watch what he can do.

Milwaukee Brewers

Robin Yount has got to be the all-time face of the Milwaukee Brewers. When I think of the Brewers, I think of two players...Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. I go with Yount because he played his whole career with the  Brewers. The current face of the team was difficult for me. The Brewers have some pretty good young talent coming up like Jackson Chourio, but I went with Christian Yelich. I haven't been the biggest fan of Yelich, but he always seems to be the guy I think of when talking about the Brewers.

     

Robin Yount's '75 rookie card is one of the few stars that I still need for my '75 set. I've had the opportunity to get one several times, but I've been a little picky on the condition, centering and price and just haven't found the right one. The '19 Yelich is a short print. Topps hasn't been too creative when comes to his cards. There's like 3 poses that get repeated. 

Pittsburgh Pirates

My first recollection of the Pirates was the '79 World Series and "We are family" Pirates. Willie Stargell was my favorite. I loved the black and gold and funky hats (not so much anymore). Then I became a little more of a baseball history buff and started reading about Roberto Clemente. I remember when his plane went down in 1972, but I really didn't know that much about him at the time. Needless to say, Clemente is my choice for all-time face of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Like the Brewers, the Pirates have some really good young talent like ONeil Cruz who will one day be the face of the team, but for me its still Andrew McCutchen.

     

The '57 is my favorite Clemente card. There's no specific reason other than I really like the '57 set. This card is on my bucket list of cards. I had a chance at one, but walked away from it at a show and when I came back it was gone. 2012 Topps McCutchen card is just one of my favorites of him.

St. Louis Cardinals

This one was more difficult for me to come up with. There are several great players that come to mind when I think about the Cards. Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith and Bob Gibson to name a few. Every time though it comes back to Stan "The Man" Musial. What a class act and what a ballplayer. Once again, he was one of those I didn't know too much about when I was younger, but the more I learned about the history of the game, the higher Musial climbed on my list. The current face of the team came down to two players for me, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. I went with Goldschmidt because, honestly, I forget Arenado is a Cardinal. I really like both players, but I had to choose, so its Goldschmidt.

     

I have become a fan of the '58 All-Star cards. This Musial is another one of the cards on my bucket list. As for the Goldschmidt card, how can you go wrong with a defensive action card where you can see the ball traveling to the player?

That wraps up the National League Central face of the teams. Let me know what you think of my choices in the comments. 

Peace, 

Michael

Isaiah 40:31


4 comments:

  1. I think I got to agree with you in these. I might put Nico Hoerner for the current Cubs, but maybe not.

    And sorry about Evan Carter. 😄

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love that Musial card too! 58T are my favorite all-star cards. I added that card to my collection in the summer of 2020.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You reminded me a did a post similar to this a few years ago. In it I said I'd have to update it in 5 years and it's been 5 years!

    ReplyDelete

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