30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Decade's Favorites

A guy called into one of the local sports radio shows yesterday and asked the host to list his favorite Chicago Cubs player from each decade.  This morning over on Kerry's blog, I saw that Topps produced some Players of the Decades stickers this year.  I took it as a sign and voil√†... here's a look at my favorite Oakland A's and San Diego Padres players from each decade.

The A's moved to Oakland in 1968, the Padres were established in 1969, and I was born in 1972, so I'm going to skip the 60's and kick things off with the 70's...

Favorite Athletic of the 70'sJoe Rudi

1972 Topps #209

This was a much more challenging task than I anticipated.  I might have attended games at the Coliseum during the 70's, but I honestly don't remember rooting for specific players until the 80's.  So I utilized Baseball Reference and after analyzing statistics, I was impressed with Rudi's all-around game.  He was able to hit for average and power, was solid in the field, and hit a home run for the A's on the day I was born.

Favorite Padre of the 70'sRollie Fingers

1978 Topps #140

I didn't start rooting for the Padres until the mid 80's, but if I had been a fan of them in the 70's, I think Rollie would have been my favorite player.  He had been successful with my other favorite team and rocked the coolest mustache in the game.  Plus I eventually discovered a few years later that he was my buddy's uncle.

Favorite Athletic of the 80's and 90'sRickey Henderson

1984 Topps #230
1991 Topps #670

Before Tony Gwynn, Rickey was my favorite baseball player.  In fact, he's a big reason I fell in love with the sport.  His tenure with the team could be described as sporadic, but when he was here... he was my favorite.

Favorite Padre of the 80's, 90's, and 00'sTony Gwynn

1985 Topps #660
1993 Topps #5
2002 Topps #99

He's my favorite athlete of all-time... and I rooted for him from the mid 80's until he hung up his cleats at the end of the 2001 season.

I realize that he barely played 100 games during the 2000's, but those 107 games are more special to me than the entire career of any other San Diego Padres player out there.

Favorite Athletic of the 00's and 10'sKurt Suzuki

2008 Topps #226
2010 Topps #285

Kurt Suzuki started playing right around the same time I really started embracing my heritage.  It's as if the stars were aligned.  Even though he hasn't played with the Athletics in over six years, he's still one of my favorite players in the game.

Favorite Padre of the 10'sFernando Tatis Jr.

2019 Topps #410

I realize this might be a head-scratcher to most of you, since Fernando has only played one season in San Diego.  But he's the first Padre in nearly a decade that I'm excited to collect cards of.  I think the last guy was Heath Bell and it's been a long time since he sprinted out to the mound wearing a Padres uniform.

Well those are my picks for my two favorite teams.  Now it's your turn...

Who are your favorite players from your favorite team(s) for each decade?

I look forward to reading your responses.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!


  1. I was born in '82 so I have to start with the 80s:
    1980s: Chris Sabo
    1990s: Barry Larkin
    2000s: Barry Larkin (the '00s were a bad time to be a Reds' fan)
    2010s: Joey Votto

  2. 1960s Billy Williams
    1970s Rick Monday
    1980s Andre Dawson
    1990s Dwight Smith
    2000s none
    2010s none

  3. Phillies

    1970s and 1980s: Mike Schmidt
    1990s: Lenny Dykstra
    2000s: Jimmy Rollins
    2010s: Roy Halladay

  4. One of those "two-team" guys, eh?

    1970s: Cey
    1980s: Cey/Hershiser
    1990s: Nomo
    2000s: Kershaw
    2010s: Kershaw

  5. 50s--Brooks Robinson
    60s-Frank Robinson
    70s-Jim Palmer
    80s-John Lowenstein
    90s-Eddie Murray (OK, I'm sort of cheating here so I could squeeze in Lowenstein. Sue me.
    00s-Hmmm. This is tough. I sort of wasn't looking at the O's a lot. I'd say Nick Markakis
    10s-Adam Jones, no doubt

  6. It would be tough for me.to do it by decade since, for example, steve garvey was only a dodger in the 80's until 1982 but he was my favorite. I did a post along these lines a while back
    And I stand by those players. It's been long enough, however, to add Clayton Kershaw to the list as my current favorite (since 2012 or so - for sure as of opening day 2013).

  7. Mets
    - 1980s: Mackey Sasser (really only remember part of the 1989 season)
    - 1990s: Mackey Sasser (Edgardo Alfonzo for the back half)
    - 2000s: Edgardo Alfonzo
    - 2010s: Jacob deGrom (do not really consider myself a fan of any team now, though)

  8. I was born in the 80s

    80s: Kent Tekulve
    90s: Andy Van Skype
    00s: Ryan Doumit
    10s: Andrew McCutchen

    80s: I didnt watch football until 90s
    90s & 00s: Jerome Bettis
    10s: Ben Roethlisberger (it took him until his 1st SB defeat for me to believe in him as a leader and of a community)

    80s & 90s: Mario Lemieux
    00s & 10s: Kris Letang

    80s-00s Reggie Miller
    2010s Paul George

  9. Oh this is fun. I'll do Giants and start in the 60s with SF.
    60s: Willie Mays
    70s: Willie McCovey
    80s: Will Clark
    90s: Rod Beck
    00s: Matt Cain
    10s: Buster Posey

    1. Other sports are tougher. I guess I could do soccer.

      FC Barcelona
      70s: Johan Cruyff
      80s: Andoni Zubizarreta
      90s: Romario
      00s: Carles Puyol
      10s: Xavi

      90s: Claudio Reyna
      00s: Brian McBride
      10s: Clint Dempsey

      90s: Michelle Akers
      00s: Kristine Lilly
      10s: Megan Rapinoe

  10. I was born in the 1970s, but not around for long so I will start with the 1980s

    80s- Vince Coleman
    90s - Ray Lankford
    00s- Albert Pujols
    10s- Yadier Molina

    Durham Bulls
    80s- Ron Gant
    90s- Chipper Jones
    00s- Evan Longoria or David Price
    10s- Chris Archer

  11. Yankees: I've only been around as a fan for the 2010s, but I'll go back to the 70s:
    1970s: Bobby Murcer ( My Dad's favorite)
    1980s : Don Mattingly
    1990s: Mariano Rivera
    2000s: Mariano Rivera
    2010s: Rivera/ Aaron Judge

  12. Tigers
    50's Kaline
    60's Lolich
    70's Fidrych
    80's Trammell
    90's Higgonson
    00's Pudge Rodriguez
    10's Cabrera

  13. Cubs would be an insanely long list given they've been around since the 1870s, and it's not like a have a "Favorite Cub of the 1890s" so I'll just limit it to the relatively modern era.

    1950s-60s: Ernie Banks
    1970s: Fergie Jenkins
    1980s: Dave Kingman
    1990s: Mark Grace
    2000s: Ryan Theriot (even I'm surprised by this one)
    2010s: Anthony Rizzo

  14. Hey Fuji, I just finished Jason Turbow's "Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic" book about the 70s A's and it's really great. Rudi gets his due in the book, although Catfish and Vida get more airtime - as does Gene Tenace.

  15. I will have to do some head work on my NY Giants lol. Will be hard to narrow down

  16. nachos grande - i liked pete rose in the 80's and votto for the aughts. nobody really stands out in between... except eric davis was pretty cool too.

    runforekelloggs - hmmm. i'd go with maddux for the 80's and 90's and munenori kawasaki for the 2010's

    elliptical man - 80's was steve carlton and shane victorino during the 00's. mind is drawing a blank with the other decades in regards to the phillies

    night owl - yeah. i've always liked having one team in each league/conference. although, the a's are my true favorite. i was more into the padres when gwynn was playing. my favorite dodgers would be... fernando valenzuela in the 80's, nomo in the 90's, gagne in the 00's, and kershaw in the 10's

    commishbob - 80's = lenn sakata, 90's = cal ripken jr... can't think of any orioles i really, really liked the past two decades

    gcrl - nice post. i probably should have done something like that too. forgot about sax. i liked him in the 80's, but i think i'd still pick fernando over him as my favorite

    mike - 80's = dwight gooden, 90's = can't think of anyone, 00's = david wright, and bartolo colon for the 10's

    collecting cutch - 80's: kent tekulve, lynn swann, didn't watch hockey, and reggie miller
    90's - can't think a baseball player, rod woodson, kevin stevens & jaromir jagr, and byron scott
    00's -troy polamalu, sidney crosby, and can't think of a pirate or pacer
    10's - cutch, polamalu, crosby, and haven't really followed basketball in a decade

    nick vossbrink - 80's will clark, 90's & 00's barry bonds, 10's buster posey... as for the other sports, i can't really comment on overseas soccer. but i liked brandi chastain (went to high school with her brother), mia hamm, and alex morgan for women's soccer. eric wynalda, landon donovan, and chris wondolowski for men's soccer

    the snorting bull - 80's & 90's ozzie smith, 00's albert pujols, and 10's yadier molina

    gtt - 80's ron guidry. gotta say i really dislike the yankees, so rooting for any player is kinda hard while they're actually playing for the team. i didn't even root for ichiro while he wore yankee pinstripes. but i do admire guys like jeter, mariano, and posada.

    friend11 - 80's lou whitaker and 10's miguel cabrera. completely drawing a blank for the decades in between. as for fidrych... i really love that guy. but honestly i became fascinated with him after his career ended. kaline falls into the same category as fidrych.

    nick - lots of great cubs over the last four decades, but other than greg maddux none of them are players i really rooted for. and i actually became a fan of maddux when he went to the braves. i did really like kawasaki though and if i had to pick a favorite current cub, it might be rizzo.

    jay - i have that book and tried to read it. i got bored and set it down. i'll give it a shot eventually. as for catfish and vida, i'll be featuring them in a post next week

    sport card collectors - 80's - lawrence taylor, 90's michael strahan, then i kinda draw a blank after that.

    1. Yeah I left Bonds off on purpose. I didn't dislike him nor is this about steroids. But the way the press covered him (emphasizing what he did to the point where I often couldn't figure out who won the game when reading the game story) and the circus surrounding him did more to drive me out of following the sport than the strike did. He was probably my favorite at the time. But looking back on those years I can't distance myself from the BS.

  17. You can't go wrong with Gwynn and Henderson!

    This would be a tough one for me. I wasn't really following the Red Sox in the '80s but it would probably be Roger Clemens even though I couldn't stand him by 1996. In the '90s I was a big Nomar fan but once they signed Pedro Martinez he was my favorite Sox star - and he overlaps into the '00s. Problem there is that's Big Papi time. Dustin Pedroia was my guy in the 2010s even though Ortiz was still there for half the decade.

    Since you mentioned Tatis I'll go ahead and predict that my favorite Sox player of the 2020s will be.. Jeter Downs. But I'll pump the brakes on his prospect status and say Raffy Devers for now ;)

  18. nick vossbrink - you called it. i remember the media focusing on bonds way more than the team as a whole. if i were a giants fan, i could see that bugging me. but i just wanted to see bonds crush the ball... or at the very least scare the opposing pitcher. if the game was on the television, think he's the only giant i ever stopped what i was doing to watch whenever he entered the batter's box.

    chris - 80's = rice and evans, 90's = nomah, 00's & 10's = ortiz

  19. With home runs becoming more and more popular (and common), people seem to forget how unbelievable Tony Gwynn was. One of the best contact hitters in baseball history for sure.

    Now, onto the favorite players by decade. I'm going to try to include as many guys as possible, so I won't be doing any repeats.

    Red Sox
    50s -Ted Williams
    60s -Carl Yastrzemski
    70s -Fred Lynn
    80s -Wade Boggs
    90s -Ellis Burks
    2000s -David Ortiz
    2010s -Mookie Betts

  20. Might turn this into a post someday but here you go for my Rockies:

    1990s: Andres Galarraga
    2000s: Todd Helton
    2010s: Nolan Arenado

  21. henry blanchette - i was actually surprised that gwynn hit 135 career home runs, but i guess that's due to him playing so many years. ted williams is one of my favorite red sox players of all-time. the fact that he served his country and he was one of the game's greatest hitters will do that for his popularity.

    adam kaningher - 90's would be walker, 00's helton, and 10's arenado.