DHL Hometown Heroes

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DHL Hometown Heroes was a 2006 promotional event, sponsored by shipping company DHL, where Major League Baseball (MLB) fans were encouraged to vote for the most outstanding player in the history of each MLB franchise.

Fans were asked to vote for the most outstanding player in the history of each MLB franchise, based on on-field performance, leadership quality and character value.[1] The candidates for the ballot were chosen by the clubs themselves, in conjunction with a blue-ribbon panel of baseball experts, journalists, and historians. The award winners were then chosen, over two months of voting, in a process similar to MLB all-star voting. Votes were cast by fans at every MLB ballpark, as well as online and via cell-phone. In all, nearly 17 million votes were cast.

On September 27, 2006 MLB announced a list of winning players, one from each team.

Of the players awarded, Nolan Ryan was the only player to win the award for two different teams: the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.

Three of the honored players were true "hometown heroes" in the sense of starring with MLB teams in or near their actual hometowns. Ryan grew up from infancy in the Houston suburb of Alvin, Texas. Cal Ripken Jr., chosen by Baltimore Orioles fans, was born in Havre de Grace and grew up in Aberdeen, towns in Harford County, Maryland within 45 minutes' drive of Baltimore. Pete Rose, chosen by Cincinnati Reds fans, was born and raised in Cincinnati. (Note that although Jackie Robinson, selected by Los Angeles Dodgers fans, grew up in Pasadena, California, he never played for the franchise in Los Angeles. His entire MLB career was with the Brooklyn Dodgers.)

Award winners[edit]

Team Nominee Nominee Nominee Nominee Winner Years Ref
Angels Jim Abbott Don Baylor Chuck Finley Tim Salmon Rod Carew 1979–1985 [1][2]
Astros Jeff Bagwell Craig Biggio Larry Dierker Jimmy Wynn Nolan Ryan 1979–1988 [1][2]
Athletics Dennis Eckersley Lefty Grove Rickey Henderson Catfish Hunter Reggie Jackson 1967–1975, 1987 [1][2]
Blue Jays Roberto Alomar Tony Fernández Pat Hentgen Dave Stieb Joe Carter 1991–1997 [1][2]
Braves Chipper Jones Phil Niekro John Smoltz Warren Spahn Hank Aaron 1954–1974 [1][2]
Brewers Cecil Cooper Rollie Fingers Jim Gantner Paul Molitor Robin Yount 1974–1993 [1][2]
Cardinals Lou Brock Bob Gibson Albert Pujols Ozzie Smith Stan Musial 1941–1944, 1946–1963 [1][2]
Cubs Ferguson Jenkins Ryne Sandberg Ron Santo Billy Williams Ernie Banks 1953–1971 [1][2]
Devil Rays Carl Crawford Roberto Hernández Aubrey Huff Fred McGriff Wade Boggs 1998–1999 [1][2]
Diamondbacks Jay Bell Luis Gonzalez Todd Stottlemyre Matt Williams Randy Johnson 1999–2004, 2007–2008 [1][2]
Dodgers Roy Campanella Sandy Koufax Pee Wee Reese Duke Snider Jackie Robinson 1947–1956 [1][2]
Giants Barry Bonds Juan Marichal Willie McCovey Mel Ott Willie Mays 1951–1952, 1954–1972 [1][2]
Indians Earl Averill Larry Doby Nap Lajoie Tris Speaker Bob Feller 1936–1941, 1945–1956 [1][2]
Mariners Jay Buhner Edgar Martínez Jamie Moyer Ichiro Suzuki Ken Griffey, Jr. 1989–1999, 2009–2010 [1][2]
Marlins Josh Beckett Luis Castillo Jeff Conine Robb Nen Dontrelle Willis 2003–2007 [1][2]
Mets John Franco Tug McGraw Mike Piazza Darryl Strawberry Tom Seaver 1967–1977, 1983 [1][2]
Nationals[note 1] Liván Hernández Brian Schneider Rusty Staub José Vidro Gary Carter 1974–1984, 1992 [1][2]
Orioles Eddie Murray Jim Palmer Brooks Robinson Frank Robinson Cal Ripken, Jr. 1981–2001 [1][2]
Padres Brian Giles Trevor Hoffman Randy Jones Dave Winfield Tony Gwynn 1982–2001 [1][2]
Phillies Richie Ashburn Steve Carlton Chuck Klein Robin Roberts Mike Schmidt 1972–1989 [1][2]
Pirates Ralph Kiner Bill Mazeroski Willie Stargell Honus Wagner Roberto Clemente 1955–1972 [1][2]
Rangers Rusty Greer Iván Rodríguez Jim Sundberg Mark Teixeira Nolan Ryan 1989–1993 [1][2]
Red Sox Roger Clemens Jim Rice Carl Yastrzemski Cy Young Ted Williams 1939–1942, 1946–1960 [1][2]
Reds Johnny Bench Joe Morgan Tony Pérez Frank Robinson Pete Rose 1963–1978, 1984–1986 [1][2]
Rockies Dante Bichette Vinny Castilla Andrés Galarraga Todd Helton Larry Walker 1995–2004 [1][2]
Royals Amos Otis Bret Saberhagen Mike Sweeney Frank White George Brett 1973–1993 [1][2]
Tigers Charlie Gehringer Hank Greenberg Al Kaline Alan Trammell Ty Cobb 1905–1926 [1][2]
Twins Rod Carew Kent Hrbek Harmon Killebrew Tony Oliva Kirby Puckett 1984–1995 [1][2]
White Sox Luke Appling Harold Baines Nellie Fox Minnie Miñoso Frank Thomas 1990–2005 [1][2]
Yankees Yogi Berra Joe DiMaggio Lou Gehrig Mickey Mantle Babe Ruth 1920–1934 [1][2]

The "Hometown Heroes" panel[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Staub and Carter were players for the former Montréal (QC) franchise that became the Nationals in 2005. Because of rules established, no former Washington Senator (before 1971) could have been nominated.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af "Major League Baseball, DHL unveil nominees for the "DHL Presents Major League Baseball Hometown Heroes" platform". MLB.com. July 17, 2006. Archived from the original on March 27, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Newman, Mark (October 1, 2006). "Fans select teams' Hometown Heroes". MLB.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2011. 

External links[edit]