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MLB Hometown Heroes

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jul 20, 2006 6:46PM

2006_07_sports_mlb_hometown_heroes.gifMajor League Baseball's latest fan interaction gimmick is having fans vote for their favorite Hometown Hero, voting for the one player who best personifies each franshise over the course of its history. Either teams or a panel of baseball experts selected the 5 finalists, based on the "criteria of leadership, character, and on-field performance." The full list of teams' nominees can be seen here.

These lists of five are sure to spark debate, let alone picking the one Hometown Hero. There are some forgetable players on the lists, in part because some franchises have only existed for a short time. Even overlooking the newest of franchises, there are still some players who were hardly All Stars -- let alone all-time greats. Rusty Greer? Dave Stieb? Jim Gantner?

On the other hand, some teams have had so many stars through the years, some worthy players were left off the list. Where's Mark McGwire? Rogers Hornsby? Carlton Fisk? Greg Maddux?

The five nominees for the Cubs' Hometown Hero are:

  • Ernie Banks
  • Ferguson Jenkins
  • Ryne Sandberg
  • Ron Santo
  • Billy Williams

For the White Sox, the five are:

  • Luke Appling
  • Harold Baines
  • Nellie Fox
  • Minnie Minoso
  • Frank Thomas

Chicagoist agrees with the 5 Cubs selection. Maybe Hack Wilson should have made the list over Williams. We'd have a bit of a different list for the White Sox. We'd pick Luis Aparicio over Nellie Fox, and Fisk over Baines. Of course, we're sure you've got your own opinion.

Voting started this week, and continues until September 17 at all MLB ballparks, via text message and online. The winners will be announced during a three-part primetime series on ESPN, running September 26,27 and 29.