Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ezzie's List of Great Cleveland Sports Heroes

Ok Ezzie,

I did you the favor and compiled the list for you. It took hours and hours to do so. Give me some time and I'll list the Superbowl, World Series and NBA championships below.











So, what do you think. Pretty comprehensive.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

16 comments:

BrooklynWolf said...

Hey. I've never set foot inside of Cleveland, but I know that Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Nap Lajoie, Al Lopez, Lou Bourdeau, Earl Averill and Joe Sewell (among others) have played in Cleveland.

Anonymous said...

Jesse Owens, Tris Speaker, harrison Dillard, Bob Feller, Mel Hardar, Luis Tiant, Reggie Rucker, Clay Matthews and Mike Pruitt. How about Labron James.

Anonymous said...

Who are those people?

Ezzie said...

Browns have never made a SuperBowl, and the Cavs were swept in their only NBA Championship attempt last season. But that's not what you asked. :)

The Indians have had far more stars than any baseball team in LA, certainly. And the Browns have had more than any football team in LA. The Cavs have had their fair share of stars, though on this one the Lakers obviously win.

Anonymous said...

Where the heck is Cleveland?

Jack's Shack said...

The Indians have had far more stars than any baseball team in LA, certainly. And the Browns have had more than any football team in LA.

That is a pretty general answer so I am not sure that it really works.

Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Jackie Robinson, Tommy Lasorda, Mike Piazza, Vin Scully, Orel Hershiser, Fernando Valenzuela, Merlin Olsen, Bo Jackson, Marcus Allen, Wayne Gretzky, Florence Griffith Joyner, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Carl Lewis,

That was about two minutes worth of work and it doesn't include The LA Raiders Superbowl, any of the Laker Championships or the many Dodger World Series titles.

That is ok. When you move out here we'll let you root for our guys. ;)

Little Wolf said...

This is a strange conversation. The Browns may not have won a Superbowl, but they have won NFL championships, the last in 1964. They have had many stars as well Otto Graham was the best quarterback of his era, and of course Jim Brown. (There were others, but that resolve the issue.)

The Indians have won World Series, just not since 1948. But as people have mentioned, that doesn't mean they didn't have stars. Even during the 90's when they were in the playoffs year after year and didn't win a world series they had stars, some were 'fading stars' like Orel Hershiser, but they were still stars.

The Cav's of course haven't won an NBA championship and did get swept in the finals last year, but unlike the Lakers and the Clippers, they at least were there. And they have had their stars as well.

And of the three sports mentioned at least all of the sports franchises in Cleveland started in Cleveland. Unlike LA that has stolen franchises from all over the country going all the way back to the Dodgers leaving New York and the Rams leaving Cleveland when they were overshadowed by the upstart Browns.

But the question was on stars, and it is not hard to name them, the problem is getting those with a lack of knowledge to acknowledge them.

Nephtuli said...

The Indians clearly have had better players over the years, although LA has only had a team for about 50 years. If you made up an all-time team for each franchise, the Indians would slaughter the LA Dodgers (Indians vs. Dodgers overall would be a much better matchup). Most of the guys Jack named were either not stars, or not stars in LA.

Ezzie said...

Woo! Cleveland's rocking you, Jack :P

Jack's Shack said...

The Cav's of course haven't won an NBA championship and did get swept in the finals last year, but unlike the Lakers and the Clippers, they at least were there.

Please. It was universally acknowledged that the east was the JV division. Getting to the finals in the "least" was nothing special.

If you look at the past 25 years the Lakers have a ton of championships whereas those pretenders have what.

and of the three sports mentioned at least all of the sports franchises in Cleveland started in Cleveland. Unlike LA that has stolen franchises from all over the country going all the way back to the Dodgers leaving New York and the Rams leaving Cleveland

LA didn't steal any of them. They ran away as fast as they could from a dying city. Not only that but they all enjoyed far more success once they got out of the burning river.

Most of the guys Jack named were either not stars, or not stars in LA.

Better check your facts. Not just that, but you might want to clarify what you mean by star.

Drysdale played the majority of his career in LA as did Koufax.

Hershisher played the majority of his career in LA and was considered to be among the finest pitchers in the game during his time.

Just for fun you could compare the number of Hall of Famers using these two links.

It is a flawed system. If you look at the list of names you'll see players who spent the majority of their careers elsewhere. OTOH, you'll see that the Dodgers list is substantially larger.

In fact the question of whether an all time Indians team would beat an LA Dodgers team is something that I'd accept any day of the week because we simply have a superior team in every way.

Better hitters, better pitchers and we don't have that stupid D.H.

Nephtuli said...

I should have made it clear I was talking about baseball players. Koufax and Drysdale are legit. Piazza is a HOFer, but might not even enter as a Dodger. Jackie never played a single game as a LA Dodger. Vic Scully and Tommy Lasorda? Ok.....

In fact the question of whether an all time Indians team would beat an LA Dodgers team is something that I'd accept any day of the week because we simply have a superior team in every way.

Unless there are a number of people I'm unaware of, this is crazy.

Let's construct the two teams. To be fair, if the player made the HOF as an Indian, I'm going to put him on the team. If he didn't make the Hall, I'll use my judgment. For the Dodgers, if a Brooklyn player played a single game in LA, I'll count him.

Indians:

C: Sandy Alomar Jr.
1B: Jim Thome
2B: Nap Lajoie
SS: Lou Bourdeau
3B: Ken Keltner
LF: Joe Jackson
CF: Tris Speaker
RF: Manny Ramirez

P: Bob Feller
P: Addie Joss
P: Bob Lemon
P: Stan Coveleski
P: Early Wynn

LA Dodgers:

C: Mike Piazza
1B: Gil Hodges
2B: Davey Lopes
3B: Ron Cey
SS: Pee Wee Reese
LF: Dusty Baker
CF: Duke Snider
RF: Carl Furillo

P: Sandy Koufax
P: Don Drysdale
P: Don Sutter
P: Orel Hershiser
P: Fernando Valenzuela (?)

Did I miss anyone?

OK, let's use a simply, but crude, proxy to decide which team is better.

Number of HOFers on the Indian side: 9. Manny will probably make it, and Thome has a good shot.

Number of HOFers on the LA Dodgers side: 5, and Piazza will make it.

Not only that, the Indians have some of the greatest hitters ever on their team. Speaker, Lajoie, and Jackson. Bourdeau is probably one of the top 5 SS ever.

The Dodgers have Piazza and Snider, but that's it for great position players. Koufax and Drysdale are for real and Sutter wasn't bad, but Joss, Feller and Lemon aren't chopped liver.

I stand by my initial statement, The Indians would destroy the LA Dodgers.

Jack's Shack said...

You're missing the boat. Let's start by World Series titles from when the Dodgers moved home. That was 1958.

The Dodgers have 5:
1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988

Indians: 0

Just for kicks let's see how many pennants the Indians and the Dodger have during that timeframe

Indians have 2: 1997 and 1995

Dodgers have 3: 1974, 1977 and 1978

Ok so by that measurement LA clearly dominates the indians.


Not only that, the Indians have some of the greatest hitters ever on their team.


Great pitching defeats good hitting. Five minutes worth of work and we see that the indians have nothing.

Nephtuli said...

You're missing the boat. Let's start by World Series titles from when the Dodgers moved home. That was 1958.

Hey, if you're going to argue that the Dodgers (or LA as a whole) have won more championships than the Indians (and Cleveland) I'm not going to disagree. Let Ezzie fight that battle.

But you said "In fact the question of whether an all time Indians team would beat an LA Dodgers team is something that I'd accept any day of the week because we simply have a superior team in every way."

That's clearly wrong. The Indians have the far superior hitting, and that's not really in dispute.

Great pitching defeats good hitting.

This is a myth. But even if it were true, it's not clear the Dodgers have the better pitching.

Again let's use a crude metric to make that determination: ERA+, which is ERA adjusted for home park and league. 100 is average and anything higher means a player is that percentage above average. So a pitcher with a 105 ERA+ is five percent above an average pitcher.

Here is the ERA+ for each pitcher on the two teams:

Koufax: 131
Drysdale: 121
Sutton: 108
Hershiser: 112
Valenzuela: 104

Bob Feller: 122
Addie Joss: 142
Bob Lemon: 119
Stan Coveleski: 127
Early Wynn: 107

Average ERA+ of the LA Dodgers pitchers: 115.2
Average ERA+ of the Indians pitchers: 123.4.

But wait, you'll say that any hypothetical matchup between these teams would pit the top two or three pitchers against each other, not all 5. OK, so let's compare.

ERA+ of Koufax, Drysdale, and Sutton: 120
ERA+ of Feller, Joss, and Lemon: 127.6.

Anyway you spin it, the Indians are a far superior team.

Ezzie, I'm accepting your thanks in advance. :-)

Jack's Shack said...

This is a myth

Prove it.

Ezzie said...

Not only did Nephtuli rock you on baseball, BOTH of LA's football teams ran away from them.

Were there ANY great LA football players, ever?

The Browns list of stars could take on just about any team's All-Time team.

Jack's Shack said...

Ezzie,

I already proved him wrong on baseball. As for football players I could provide a long list. Ever hear of:

Rams
The Fearsome Foursome
Lamar Lundy, Rosey Grier, Merlin Olsen and Deacon Jones
Jack Youngblood
Jackie Slater
Roman Gabriel
Eric Dickerson

Raiders
Marcus Allen
Tim Brown
Bo Jackson
Howie Long

Five minutes. That is all it takes and more time than the loser browns deserve.

John Elway forever. ;)

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