There have been great players who never had a great moment; men who went on year after year, running up formidable statistics, but were no more fearsome than anybody else in the few, crucial moments of their careers. They popped up or flied out in key at-bats, or did not even fail that spectacularly. They simply singled when they should have homered, cut the ball off from going into the gap when they should have made the diving, sliding catch. They played on no great teams, took part in no immortal moments, and passed quietly and respectably from the game, vaguely admired by all.
I ran across this passage the other night and it got me to wondering: How many great baseball players can we put into this category? (And I think Baker is talking about great playoff moments, really.) Ernie Banks, Dick Allen, Jeff Bagwell, and Alex Rodriguez come to mind. I might even be wrong about them. What do you guys think? Something to chew-over on a bright, but brutally cold day in The Big Apple.