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Top Ten MLB Players from the 1970s

Publish Date: 26/06/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

At its peak, Major League Baseball enjoyed its Golden Age; competition among teams such as Orioles, Pirates, Reds, A's, and Yankees was intense and also legendary teams like Phillies, Dodgers and  Royals. Ranking these great players may seem impossible, but I will do my best here!

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10) Nolan Ryan

Ryan played for the New York Mets and California Angels caused more fear in hitters during the 1970s than any other pitcher, according to modern radar gun specifications. His pitch speed reached 108.5 miles per hour - the fastest recorded. In those seventies years, Ryan became known as one of baseball's flame throwers by striking out 2,678 batters with precision pitching; five times he reached 300 or more strikes at once including setting an MLB Record 383 strikeouts. Had he played for another team other than these two, his performance could have ranked even higher!

9) Mike Schmidt

Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies stands out as an iconic third basemen and I believe he should be considered among the greatest ever to play his position. Schmidt excelled both with bat and glove, winning three Home Run titles during his decade with 4x Gold Glove awards as a result, earning four All-Star selections, 50.3 WAR total and four All-Star selections while leading Philadelphia into playoffs three consecutive years (76/77/78).

8) Pete Rose

Rose played for the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies won both an all-time hits record as well as four All-Star selections during his four decades with them, won a batting title, led the league four times in hits, made nine All-Star teams, won an MVP Award (The National League MVP in 1973), received multiple Gold Glove Awards while playing multiple positions and two World Series championships (Won II World Series MVP 1975), amassing 50.6 WAR during this span of time.

7) Rod Carew

Carew played for the Minnesota Twins and California Angels Carew was an unprecedented six-time batting champion of the 1970s and was named AL MVP. Additionally, he was an All-Star each year throughout that decade, reaching 56.3 War and leading all MLB in on-base percentage.

6) Reggie Jackson

Jackson was one of the greatest clutch players in baseball history, earning the nickname of "Mr October". Notably, Jackson won five World Series championships and two MVP awards and also earned eight All-Star selections as well as leading his league with homers per decade and amassing 51.3 total WAR points over his tenure.

5) Willie Stargell

Stargell flourished during his 10-year stint between 1970 and 1974. Averaging 36 homers and 95 RBIs annually with an slugging percentage of.577 and OPS of.958, Stargell had an incredible decade. He led the Pittsburgh Pirates to victory in the 1971 World Series by hitting.295 with 125 RBIs, 48 homers, a 1.026 OPS and an average slugging percentage of.5777. In 1973 he was the National League's most prolific hitter with 44 homers and 119 RBIs - both Hall-of-Famer achievements! At his peak, Stargell achieved a.646 percentage of slugging and an OPS of 1.038, becoming one of baseball's premier all-star players during the 70s. While injuries limited his playing time over the second half of this decade, in 1979 Stargell made one final great performance that would lead Pittsburgh to win another World Series crown and earn National League MVP honors.

4) Jim Palmer

Palmer deserves consideration as one of the top pitchers from this decade; ranking him over Seaver was a close decision. Palmer earned eight 20-game wins during this decade, made six All-Star Games, and earned three Cy Young awards and four Gold Glove awards while leading the league in ERA twice and winning the 1970 World Series (54 WAR).

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3) Johnny Bench

Bench is one of the greatest catchers ever to live and was at his finest between 1970-72. Following an off-season surgery that season, however, his performance never recovered to previous heights; nevertheless, he managed to achieve greatness even without his old form returning, making each All-Star team each season, earning two MVP awards, eight consecutive Gold Gloves at catcher and leading his decade with runs batted in; leading them to two World Series Championships with an astounding total WAR value 58.9. He could easily rank higher on this list;

2) Tom Seaver

Seaver, an 8x All-Star who won two Cy Young Awards as well as four 20+ game victories, led the league in strikeouts five times and led in ERA three times; Seaver led his Mets team to their 1873 World Series win before being traded away to Cincinnati Reds in one of the worst trades ever in franchise history in 1977.

1) Joe Morgan

Joe Morgan's arrival from Houston Astros helped the Big Red Machine reach new heights of success. Morgan was a 9x All-Star, 5x Gold Glover and won back-to-back MVP Awards between 1975 and 1976, leading them to World Series championships. With 67.0 WAR as an all batter, he drove in game 7's winning run to secure their victory and stands as one of baseball's greatest second basemen ever seen in action.

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