T O P
xZTRON99x

Mantle.


WaluigiIsTheRealHero

So many Yankee legends missed out on full careers for one reason or another. Mantle with injuries, Munson with the plane crash, DiMaggio with WWII, Gehrig with ALS... ...but I am genuinely curious to see what kind of a career a healthy Brien Taylor has. For those who don't know, Taylor was the #1 overall pick by the Yankees in 1991. After lighting up the minors for two years and being labeled the 2nd-best prospect in baseball behind Chipper Jones, Taylor got into a fight defending his brother in the offseason following the 1993 season, injured his shoulder, and was never close to the same pitcher.


Rob_Bligidy

Holy Crap, I was going through a shoebox of ball cards late last week and saw his UD RR card. I wonder what happened to him I said to myself.


brooklynbotz

Also Mattingly’s back.


1whiskeyneat

If he doesn’t step on that sprinkler as a rookie (on a ball hit by Willie Mays, of course), he might have posted records we’d still be talking about today.


OrpheusNYC

I’m not a religious person, but I could believe that Mike Trout exists because the universe wanted to see what Mantle could have been like healthy and stable. Fuck he was even raised in Yankee Stadium’s backyard.


Pale-Beginning

Mike trout ain’t fully healthy


godly_mercs

Mans litterally played on a torn ACL his entire career


1whiskeyneat

Also if you’ve never come across Mickey’s favorite Yankee stadium memory, google it and have a good laugh.


Swtor_dog

I'm biased, but I feel like this is the right answer. Between the ACL tear and the hip infection, this guy just couldn't get a break and was failed by the physicians of his time.


chuckgarlic

Don’t forget his devil may care attitude because he was convinced he would die young like his grandfather and father. MF played drunk or hungover a lot


Swtor_dog

For sure. Might be revisionist history, but it's been said that he did that because he was in pain


chuckgarlic

Those Yankee teams got well and drunk often.


chuckgarlic

https://lordsofthedrinks.com/2014/10/22/mickey-mantle-american-baseball-legend-and-one-hell-of-a-drinker/


GatsbyTheGrape

His lifestyle also played a big role. I remember reading something where he said he’d harmed his own rehab efforts by drinking and partying instead of resting.


endub19

Or Junior. They were remarkably similar in that regard.


Bigframe20

Lou Gehrig... because screw ALS.


jlopez1017

Even if he fell off just so the man wouldn’t suffer from ALS


BlackDante

You ever think what a coincidence it is that Lou Gehrig died of Lou Gehrig’s disease?


replayer

Mickey Mantle. Guy hit 536 home runs on one knee and drinking insane amounts of alcohol due to the pain. Could he have hit 800 if he was truly healthy? Or, not injury, but his own demons....Dwight Gooden.


chuckgarlic

Gooden’s issues were more the fact that he had thrown an insane number of innings and pitches at an early age. The cocaine didn’t help but he was abused in an era when they didn’t really get that


mwinni

Bo Jackson and Troy Tulowitski


MichaelAlbers

Tulo/Cargo as a bundle.


mwinni

Cargo had the prettiest swing.


XXXXXXXXXIII

Bo is the answer for me. He's truly one of a kind.


Hobbit_Feet45

My first thought was Tulo too.


cbizzle187

Bo Jackson is the only correct answer. Man was the greatest athlete I have ever seen and it's not close.


mwinni

Yup


mustangguy1987

Def Bo cause that’s a 2 sport athlete that could dominate.


xepa105

I feel like the overwhelming answer for this would be Griffey Jr. At least that's my answer.


ridethedeathcab

Griffey without any injuries would have had a real shot at the home run record. I mean he missed around 3 full season, and was a shell of his former self after he tore his hamstring, and still managed to hit 630. No injuries 763 would certainly be in the realm of possibilities.


First_Among_Equals_

Griffey without injuries has a shot at being called the greatest ever. Not just the HR title


thorpbrian

I feel like his major injuries robbed him of ATLEAST one 50 HR season. And then the nagging ones of probably another 10 to 15 a season for 6 or 7 seasons.


ICantLetYouDoThis

IIRC he was on pace to break Maris's HR record in the strike-shortened season as well.


ChugSampson

Damn shame a torn hamstring started the line of injuries. Doesn’t seem serious enough but one off movement can’t set off a chain in you’re everyday stride. Wonder if the modern preventative medicine could’ve fixed that. Amongst other things that was a time when an acl injury ended careers


Present-Loss-7499

Junior being healthy and winning a World Series in Cinco would have been amazing and I’m a Braves fan. Also, I always wanted to see him in a Braves uniform.


xepa105

> I always wanted to see him in a Braves uniform. I think every team's fan would have liked to see Junior in their team's uniform.


hsox05

That stint he had with the white Sox is still one of those things where you see pictures and it doesn’t quite look right. Not quite “Jordan on the wizards” weird, but it’s up there.


Present-Loss-7499

No doubt. I know late in his career there was talk of him signing but I don’t know how serious that was.


ridethedeathcab

> World Series in Cinco Took me a while to figure out this was a typo of Cincy, I was thinking "I'm pretty sure the Mariners stadium was never called Cinco, unless that was a complete butcher job of SafeCo


worldserieschamp

You mean like this? https://images.app.goo.gl/sXgPX57ZH21nGmiW7


girgra

You beat me to it


Demetrios1453

Most Reds fans would wish that. It's such a shame that his years with us were so injury-filled...


WabbitCZEN

Same. His swing was pure beauty.


malevolentt

Before I clicked this thread I knew what the top answer would be. 100%


uk3024

100%. Better thread would have been “other than Junior”


Leftydoesitright

David Wright


Swtor_dog

I met him when I was like 13(?). Nicest ball player ever, I always really liked him afterwards and was always waiting for him to take off...


JDLovesElliot

Can you imagine that HOF ceremony? "Captain America" signs and flags everywhere, not to mention The 7 Line Army showing up in full force. "Captain America" on the plaque, next to Seaver and Piazza.


gamedemon24

He'd definitely be a HOFer, and I'd STILL vote for him today if I could.


icecream_for_brunch

Eric Davis. Jose Fernandez. Sandy Koufax.


DirtyJdirty

Man, there’s no telling what would have happened in Miami if Jose Fernandez didn’t die. Like, finally win the division, make a run at the WS. So sad.


Punkrockcarl72

Fernandez always said that he was going to sign with the Yankees after the 2019 season and that he'd bring Stanton with him. He also predicted that they would both start the 2017 All Star Game, Stanton would hit 60 homers and win NL MVP. I would have loved to see his whole career even if he wasn't a Yankee, he was one of those players where you stopped what you were doing and watched them because you knew something special was taking place.


GreatWhite102

Eric Davis had the exact blueprint of a 5 tool player, if he could've stayed healthy, top 3 reds player ever


icecream_for_brunch

My all time favorite player


GreatWhite102

Eric the Red will always be a legend in our hearts


crownebeach

Brandon Webb.


Omar_Town

Not a dbacks fan but came to say his name. He was amazing!!


dbacksrock44

Came here to say the same thing. A two headed monster of Webb and Kennedy could’ve carried us to a championship in 2011.


crownebeach

Man, I was so excited for Opening Day 2009. That joy dissipated *rapidly*.


PM_ME_BURGERPICS

Joe Mauer


Rabidsphere

Just in this century we’ve had some absolutely heartbreakers. Mauer’s knees, Morneau’s concussions, and Buxton’s everything.


Crash_Zorba

Mauer stopped playing catcher due to a concussion too. Likely would’ve been the greatest hitting catcher of all time had he remained relatively healthy behind the plate


PrincessUnicornRobot

While I agree they had shorten careers, I think Kirby Puckett is the right Twin to put here. He went to sleep a baseball player and woke up to his career over.


SkatevidLynch

Bo


DrFrankSays

☝This guy knows


cbizzle187

I can't believe he's not the only name on this list. Just a man amongst boys.


JermaineDyeAtSS

JR Richard He went down in his prime years. He was an absolute beast and was getting even better—having a career year even—when he had his stroke.


chuckgarlic

My father always said he was the best he ever saw besides Koufax and Gibson


ILoveCavorting

I believe Astros would have made the World Series in 80/81 with him around and healthy. Hopefully winning one, wouldn’t quite feel comfortable calling 86 but 86 with Scott, Ryan, and Richard would have been amazing


Tonedog14

Griffey Jr. Actually maybe Ted Williams.


xepa105

> Ted Williams That's the most altruistic answer, since it would mean the Second World War and the Korean War don't happen.


StreetReporter

Or America never got involved in either, which isn’t as good of a timeline


liteshadow4

Or it means that Ted didn't want to sign up for the army.


thaulley

Marines, not Army, and he enlisted but he was 1-A so he would have been drafted anyway.


xepa105

He was actually 3-A. He was listed as 1-A at first, but since he was the sole provider for his mother, he asked to be moved down, and the Draft Board did bump him down to 3-A. It actually caused a whole controversy at the time, people were claiming he was dodging and being a coward. He lost his sponsorship with Quaker Oats because of it, and he claimed for a long time that he lost the AL MVP that season even though he won the Triple Crown.


bufflo1993

Lol, the fact that Quaker Oats dropped him for not wanting to fight in the war.


jabask

Quakers are famously bloodthirsty, after all


aastew23

Mickey Mantle. The dude was a top 10 talent *with a torn ACL* Or maybe Ted. Because then WW2 and the Korean War don’t happen. And he hits 700+ HRs and well over 3000 hits


mjhighfill3

Tim Lincecum


rl231661

Big time Timmy Jims!


heroicraptor

Josh Gibson. Retired after the ‘46 season because of health problems, and died in January of ‘47 of a brain tumor. Alternatively, every single Negro Leagues player.


BrendanRyanFan

Can you imagine if Satchel Paige had played his whole career in MLB? It's a level of dominance I frankly can't fathom.


TheCrimsonMustache

Would’ve ushered in Civil Rights much much sooner.


[deleted]

Ya Oscar Charleston also died young but had a long career. I think he's my favorite in the negro leagues.


A_Mellow_Fellow

As an Indians fan it is obligatory I add Grady Sizemore anytime this thread pops up.


MankuyRLaffy

Grady or Hal Trosky, add them both together. Fuck it, Addie Joss too, man y'all got some choices.


mdbinger

Grady’s career, relative to his projections, is so sad


DRR3

He was a legit five tool player with the most promise of any young player I've seen myself. Crazy to see how quickly he fell off


ABeard

Came here to say this. Would love to see the old timers people are mentioning but Griffey and Sizemore would be my modern picks.


doverkasdi

The Bird, Mark Fidrych


_Hoxy_

Mark Prior


inhale-my-dong

Him or Kerry Wood would be my pick


[deleted]

Came here to find these dudes.


dalinger2129

Same.. feel I had to scroll down too far to find them. These guys would have dominated the league for years if not for piss poor usage by Baker


MankuyRLaffy

Fuck Larry Rothschild.


sgt_dismas

Amen.


nobleisthyname

All of the other answers so far are better, but my mind first went to Grady Sizemore. My homer pick would be the Z Man, Ryan Zimmerman. He's had a solid career for sure, but he was always a defense first player when he originally came up and that all went away after injuries made it so he could no longer throw a baseball. I suppose the answer to that though would be to look at Evan Longoria.


Spinmove55

I’d go back to October 4, 1951. As DiMaggio is leaving the stadium after game 1 of the World Series, I’d be outside dressed as a maintenance worker, and I would “accidentally” drop a sledgehammer on Joe D’s foot. Game 2, Mantle starts in centerfield because DiMaggio is out. He never steps in the drain pipe, and I spend the next twenty years watching the indisputably greatest career of all time.


Farmerdrew

Randy Johnson’s bird.


[deleted]

Aye, ol gull had a rich future of terrorizing docked boats ahead of him.


joco1991

Bo


vikthecowboy

Mantle, Eric Davis, JR Richard


steelybean

Glad to see so many mentions of Eric Davis here. He was my favorite as a kid in Cincinnati.


MankuyRLaffy

Addie Joss


lenflakisinski

Ted Williams if Adolph Hitler didn’t have a small dick


cgermain09

Tony Conigliaro or David Wright


MarlonElliot

If someone didn't say Conigliaro, I was going to.


Adamscottd

Koufax


Admanct

Doc Gooden, if we are counting all the drug use under unfortunate circumstances. If we’re just talking injuries, Mantle.


craftworkbench

Clayton Kershaw. Dude’s had a tremendous career. Imagine if his back had been healthy that whole time. On a more personal note, Jarrod Parker. Dude was a top prospect, had TJ, came roaring back, had TJ *again*, and then still almost managed another comeback before another elbow injury ended his career for good. Really sucks to see so much potential beaten down by injuries.


SoberSixBiscuit

Since the Red Sox fans have abandoned their guy…. Tony C.


gstormcrow80

Conigliaro, for anyone out of the know, was a touted prospect who came out of the gate strong in ‘64 and set a record as the youngest AL player to reach 100 home runs. He was an All Star in ‘67, then took a fastball to the eye and was carried off on a stretcher. He never played the same again and after retirement had a massive stroke at 37, ultimately passing 8 years later.


Burpydank

This is who I came to say!


elchamps

Griffey or Eric Davis


pythaslok

You guys definitely got robbed of some greatness with those two


Swede0515

Don Mattingly


mordeci00

Someone else already said Josh Gibson so I'll throw out Shoeless Joe Jackson, assuming he falls under 'unfortunate circumstances'.


bungabunga94

I guess he falls under that category.


flaccidcowboy

Michael Jordan. Unbelievable athlete but he stopped pursuing baseball very early. He ended up playing some other sport that didn't maximize his true potential


entrylevelbob

Roberto Clemente


ForYeWhoArtLiterate

I mean, tragic as his death was, we kind of did see his whole career. He was 37, he didn’t have a whole lot of career left to play.


entrylevelbob

I understand that position, I just don’t think he was necessarily on that trajectory. His age 37 year was an all star season, he hit .310, and although he had some ankle trouble it didn’t have to be debilitating. He could possibly have played 4, 5, 6 more seasons. Just my speculation of course


RelativeVermicelli50

Tony Conigliaro for me.


centaurquestions

He *still* holds the record for home runs by a player under age 20.


bruce_almightie

Josh Hamilton


Booster73

He wouldn't be my first choice, but I was surprised how far down I had to scroll before I saw Hamilton's name. Seemed like he absolutely could have been one of the all-time greats.


Duffmanlager

Ray Chapman. Killed by a hbp. Shouldn’t happen to anybody.


UnknownFiddler

In a few years we might be saying Degrom.


mrdonnyjohnson

Don’t you dare. I get sooo juiced for deGrom day.


ItzDrSeuss

You can put Trout on that list too. I hope not though.


Juhbell

Please no:(


powerfulaura

Sizemoreeere


PhilDiggety

Rich Harden. Dude was filth.


shorebirdsfuck97

Myself


bungabunga94

Nomar Garciaparra. Fernando Valenzuela. Chris Carpenter. Darryl Strawberry Just to name a few.


TheCrimsonMustache

Nomar is my favorite player. I have his Red Sox and Dodgers jerseys and plan to get his Oakland and Cubs ones as well. Without Nomar, the Red Sox don’t make the greatest comeback happen, and they don’t reverse the curse. Broke my heart to see him leave Boston, but I was giddy and hopeful to have him in LA. I have dual-citizenship.


hairbflo

Ken Griffey Jr


stratewylin

Ken Griffey Jr.


Rick_R0LL3R

Griffey Jr


BoredAtWork_91

I wish Bagwell could've finished his career healthy, only 51 HRs from 500!


AnAnonymousFool

David Wright. Easy HoFer plus we win the WS in 2015 with him healthy


OlafShvenski

Mike Soroka :(


HizDudenesss

Ken Griffey Jr.


SyndromeSadness

Griffey Jr.


ILoveCavorting

JR Richard, maybe without him injured Astros are the team of the early 80s


Gappy__Hilmore

Imagine the career Ted Williams would’ve had if he didn’t have to pause in his prime to become a decorated fighter pilot.


Moon_Express

The greatest athlete of all time, Bo Jackson


RedSoxFan534

Nomar


Motown_

Going with a name I haven’t seen yet, but Nomar Garciaparra’s body just broke down once he hit 30


RandomEffector

Gehrig, Koufax, Valenzuela, or hell Bo Jackson Edit: also realized I forgot Jose Fernandez


tonesloe

Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Those two at the top of the rotation would have netted the Cubs at least one of not more WS in the late '90's, early '00's.


GandalfTheNeonPink

Bo Jackson. He would’ve been absolutely insane


MacsDildoBike

Rube Waddell


pogguyz

I mean, it isn’t an injury, but there are a whole list of players that served in WWII and had their careers cut short or had a huge gap


South_Oread

Bo Jackson.


pitchnduel

Eric Davis


jobulives

Grady Sizemore


MilkstacheMagic

Grady Seizmore


FroyoMNS

Mickey Mantle suffered an injury in every single season of his career


girlwithaguitar

Grady Sizemore


0DegreesCalvin

Surprised I haven’t seen Pedro on here. I think he’s arguably the GOAT pitcher anyways, if you give him perfect health his whole career I think it removes all doubt.


lawnmower1627

Jose Fernandez :(


Shizo-24

Fernando Valenzuela


BreatheMyStink

I haven’t seen Josh Hamilton listed here yet. That dude was a goddamned beast when he was sober. That home run derby was godly. Wish he’d have kept it together.


WillieIam

Bo knows who!


Palestine4ever86

Ken Griffey Jr hands down. Prolly could have been the career HR king if he never got hurt.


Spook_Lord9000

Grady Sizemore


scooterpdx42

Bo Jackson.


NakedGoose

Give me Babe Ruth. I need to see how the game looks compared to modern day.


SamCheetah_

Kirby Puckett


dkelkhoff

Albert Pujols. He put up top 2-3 all-time numbers in his first decade - then sadly went so far downhill for his last decade, in large part due to body breaking down. If his second decade could have been more like his first, he could have been the true GOAT.


knucks_deep

Dude just got old. No real specific injury or unfortunate circumstances.


ArkenX

You could stick your legs in a wood chipper and have healthier feet than Albert Pujols. Dudes been playing on flesh colored razor blades for like 15 years.


WhatsVersace

Jacoby ellisbury


MaineSoxGuy93

Nick Adenhart


bex021

Pedroia. Would have been a hall of famer. Fuck Machado.


hoodrucker

Shoeless Joe


fracklefrackle

Darren dreifort


chiddie

Josh Gibson.


That_Geek

josh gibson


introspectivejoker

There are a decent number that I would take before him but I really wanted to see how long Yelich could play in terminator mode. Fuck that stupid kneecap swing


dandystanley

Ted Williams


horsehasnoname

Roberto Clemente


wodurfej

Bo Jackson


thethrill30

Mickey Mantle (would have been 3x as good if he didn’t tear his acl on the pipe) or Shoeless Joe (might have been best player to every play if he had more time to grow his stats


Professional_Edge763

George Sisler and Ted Williams. This next one is a reach but WHAT IF Rogers Hornsby didn't have the "unfortunate circumstance" to think his future lay in managing?


JaylenBrownAllStar

Lazer Show


gstormcrow80

Fuck Machado


tfreeman42

prince fielder.


BigStein

Eric Davis


bhardin22

Tim Lincecum


hikenmap

I always rooted for Nomar after his injuries. HOF for sure with a few more great seasons.


Goaliejoe72

Tony Conigliaro, Boston Red Sox


Godmirra

Bo Jackson.


vancityjeep

Bo Jackson


accidental_anal

Herb Score


communityUnitee

Griffey Jr and Bo Jackson. Ya mantle but not the same thing.


Golemseye

Bo Jackson


markhachman

Ray Fosse.