Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Indians Uniform Number - 8 Ray Fosse
Choosing the All-Time Indians Uniform Number 8 proved to be a very difficult decision. Ray Fosse was a great defensive player, but also managed more than few batting feats during his career, as we've seen during the countdown. He was not a superstar, but to me, he was a great everyday everyman kinda player who exemplified what it meant to go out there and play ball for a living. So, I tip my hat to Mr. Fosse, who gets my pick for All-Time Triber #8!
Baseball purists may balk at my decision since there is no doubt that STATISTICALLY Albert Belle kicks everyone's rear-end in the #8 spot. He is a personal "Fan Fave" of mine, too. But, the fact is that I decided when I set out to make this list that the All-Timers should not only be statistically worthy, but should also be sportsmanship-worthy. And, well, let's face it, Belle's list of anger-management issues is nearly as long as his Indians achievements.
As for Keltner, I'm sorry to say that his lack of commitment to one particular uniform number played into the selection, fair or unfair as it may seem to some.
Carmen Castillo was also one of my finalist picks, and in many respects sits above Keltner as far as Uniform Number 8 goes. Castillo was a great part-time player who put in his fair share of days with the Tribe, but it just wasn't quite enough for me to pick him over Fosse. Still, I think it's worth mentioning that he was in the top picks for the #8 spot.
(Part 1) - (Part 2) - (Part 3)