Who Are Some Great Baseball Players Few People Know About?
In baseball, like all sports, many players are well-known to fans and the general public alike. At the same time, some players are incredibly talented, but for whatever reason, are unknown to the casual fan or public. In a sport where stardom is increasingly reliant on the number of home runs hit during a season, players who rely on their speed, defense, or making contact might fly under the radar. Read on to learn about three MLB players who have flown under the radar despite their tremendous talent.
There’s a good chance that Dave Stieb might be the most underrated pitcher in Major League Baseball history. He’s nowhere near a household name and has yet to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Stieb was a loyal Toronto Blue Jay from 1979 to 1992 and was simply excellent during that time. His ERA sat at a very respectable 3.39 and averaged 233 innings pitched per season.
He also made the All-Star team seven times and finished in the top ten of Cy Young voting on three occasions. Perhaps most importantly, Dave Stieb led all pitchers in WAR for three straight seasons between 1982 and 1984. Stieb also threw a no-hitter in 1990, a season in which he finished fifth in Cy Young voting. The fact that Dave Stieb isn’t a household name is utterly baffling.
Dave Concepción’s obscurity is an unfortunate byproduct of all the talent he was surrounded by as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds’ lineup during Concepción’s playing days was stacked with star power. He played alongside the likes of Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Sr., and Pete Rose, just to name a few. So, while Concepción was wildly talented in his own right, his teammates sometimes overshadowed him.
Over the course of his career, Concepción won five Gold Gloves for his strong infield play, along with two Silver Slugger awards. He also played in nine All-Star games. He was a crucial contributor in two of the Reds’ World Series titles. Yet Dave Concepción is hardly a household name, and he remains on the outs from the Hall of Fame.
Graig Nettles had a career in the MLB that spanned two decades with six teams. He made six All-Star games, won two Gold Gloves, and has two World Series rings to his name. He even won the ALCS MVP award with Oakland when he hit .500 in the series with 9 RBIs. Nettles hit 390 home runs over the course of his career to go along with 1,314 RBIs. In 1976, he led the league in home runs with 32, and a year later, he finished fifth in MVP voting as he hit 37 home runs, 107 RBIs, and won a Gold Glove. Nettles is easily one of the most underrated baseball players in MLB history.