Saturday, May 28, 2016

Boom Xhaka Laka

The 2015-2016 Premier League season had the makings of something special for the Gunners in North London. The summer signing of Petr Cech from Chelsea added a top-tier keeper to Arsene Wenger's dynamic squad. While Cech's signing from Chelsea was truly the only major action taken by the club in the offseason, expectations -- as always -- were still high for the perennial contender. With their last Premier League hardware coming in the undefeated season of 2003-2004, the Ozil/Alexis duo orchestrating the offensive end of the pitch, and the relative health of the fragile midfield, Arsenal was due for a championship run. 

Courtesy of The Sun
Then the season started.

#FavoriteMLBPlayersOfMyLifetime, #PartTwo

When we last spoke, the election of Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey, Jr. to the Baseball Hall of Fame coupled with the Twitter hashtag of #FavoriteMLBPlayersOfMyLifetime had steered me down a path of internal debating about who makes my list. My last post focused on my favorite players currently active in the League. I had grand plans of publishing this second part of this series on Opening Day. In early April. It is now almost June. Today (FINALLY), we focus on those old geezers who have since retired.

Courtesy of Boston Red Sox
First, let's cover the one guy that I wish I could have on this list but does not qualify - Ted Williams. Williams never played during my lifetime and it wasn't even close; his last season was in 1960. However, the most famous frozen head in the world was my Grandpa's favorite player. Since Grandpa was my favorite baseball reference, Ted Williams was also MY favorite player. Williams is in the Hall of Fame for obvious reasons. A two-time MVP, Williams hit at least .400 in three different seasons (1941, shortened 1952, shortened 1953). In his other 16 seasons, his batting average at the end of the season dipped under .300 only once in 1959 at the age of 40. To make sure he ended on a high note, his final season batting average at the age of 41 was .316. Suck it, Father Time! He is a member of the 500 home run club, hitting 521 in his career. He also amassed 2,654 hits, including 525 doubles and 71 triples. Did I mention that he missed three seasons (1943-1945) in the prime of his career during a stint for the Marines in World War II and parts of two additional seasons (1952-1953) because of the Korean War?

But alas, I was not even close to alive in 1960 so Williams is off the list.