Braves All-Time Team: Left Field

I’m closing the vote for shortstop now, with no winner and no clear mandate even for a runoff; Furcal, Blauser, Maranville, and Long are all pretty equal. I’m going to move on to the outfield, then we’ll come back and settle this. I think what I’ll do is have a vote between Furcal and Blauser for a modern winner, then between Maranville and Long for an old-time winner, then match up those two for the champ.

It’s a little harder in the outfield, because until fairly recently games played weren’t kept for the individual outfield positions. They’ve been reconstructed (from box scores, I think) so it’s possible now, but I can’t guarantee that, for example, Hugh Duffy mostly played left in Boston.

Also, relatively few players are career left or right fielders. Often, players swap between the two, and also play center or first or somewhere else. So some of these are judgment calls. For example, Ron Gant played less than half his games for the Braves in left, but played there more than anywhere else (slightly more than in center).

The candidates are:

Ryan Klesko
Ron Gant
Jeff Burroughs
Ralph Garr
Rico Carty
Sid Gordon
Duff Cooley
Hugh Duffy
Tommy McCarthy
Joe Hornung

Notes: Andy Leonard was the LF when the franchise entered play at the inception of the National League; he would qualified if I included his time with the National Association. I may do that anyway in a future vote… There is a 45-year gap between Cooley and Gordon. From what I can tell, the longest tenure in left between those two was Hal Lee, who missed the cutoff by 14 PA… Notable non-qualifiers are Lonnie Smith, Ken Griffey Sr., Terry Harper, Rufino Linares, Wes Covington… McCarthy is in the Hall of Fame, but his playing career doesn’t really warrant it; he’s in more as a “contributor”.
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