Friday’s List of 13: Great players who played their whole career for one team……

13) Ted Williams— Played 19 years in major leagues, despite missing 1943-45 because he was flying airplanes in World War II. He led the league in walks eight times.

His career on-base %age was .482; he hit .314 in his last season, when he was 41.

Williams later managed Senators/Rangers for 3+ years, but only played for Boston.

12) Dan Marino— Threw 122 TD passes in a 3-year span from 1984-86, with Dolphins going 34-14 in those years; remember, teams didn’t throw the ball as much back then as they do now.

Miami lost the Super Bowl in Marino’s 2nd year (1984) and never got back; he wound up with an 8-10 career playoff mark. In the 20 years since Marino retired, Dolphins are 1-3 in playoff games, with their last playoff win in 2000.

11) Bill Russell— Won 11 NBA titles in a 13-year NBA career; 1967 was only time in his career that the Celtics didn’t make NBA Finals.

Russell was player/coach his last three years in Boston; he later coached the Seattle Sonics and Sacramento Kings, making playoffs twice in five years.

10) Tony Gwynn— Played basketball and was later the baseball coach at San Diego State; Gwynn had a career BA of .338, with an OB% of .388.

He won eight batting titles, knocked in 119 runs in 1997, but had more than 72 RBI in only one other season, when he had 90 RBI in ’95.

9) Jack Youngblood— Was a great defensive end for the Rams; he broke his leg during the 1979 playoffs, but played in the Super Bowl despite that, telling the trainer to “Tape it up!!!”

He got inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001; I was lucky enough to be there to see both Youngblood and Ram teammate Jackie Slater get inducted.

In the airport on the way home, I turned a corner and collided with Jack Youngblood; he is a good guy— we talked about the Rams and Arena Football (he worked for the Orlando Predators at that time). I found my mini-helmet in my bag and had him autograph it. Pretty good day.

8) Magic Johnson— Won national title at Michigan State in ’79, then won NBA title as a rookie with the Lakers. Played 12 years for LA before HIV sidelined him— he returned five years later for a 32-game cameo appearance.

Johnson won five NBA titles as a player.

7) Mario Lemieux— Scored 690 goals in 17 years with the Penguins, leading NHL in scoring six times. Pittsburgh won two Stanley Cups while Lemieux played for them- lot of people think he saved hockey in Pittsburgh.

6) Johnny Bench— Played 17 years with the Reds; he is one of all-time best catchers. Early in his career, Bench had couple of 40+ home run seasons— he wound up with 389 homers.

5) Lawrence Taylor— Played 13 years in NFL, was a legendary pass rusher who disrupted offenses- Giants won two Super Bowls while he was there.

Taylor is also a pretty good actor, with 15 acting credits, appearing in Any Given Sunday, Shaft, The Waterboy and The Sopranos.

4) Larry Bird— Bird led Indiana State to the Final Four in ’79; Sycamores are 1-3 in NCAA Tournament games in the 40 years since he left. Celtics won three NBA titles while Bird was there, losing couple of other years in the Finals.

3) Mike Schmidt— Led league in homers eight times, had career OB% of .380, played 18 years in Philadelphia, a town where it ain’t always easy to play for the the home team, especially if the home team ain’t winning. Phillies made playoffs six times in eight years from 1976-83, winning the World Series in 1980.

2) Barry Sanders— Ran ball for 15,269 years in ten years with Detroit, which hasn’t won a playoff game since he retired- they were only 1-5 in playoff games while he was playing. Sanders led NFL in rushing four times, scored 109 career TD’s.

1) Tim Duncan— Played 19 years for San Antonio, winning five NBA titles; not only did Duncan play for only one team in his career, he played for only one coach- Gregg Popovich. Duncan is now one of Popovich’s assistants with the Spurs. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.

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