Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oldest Ringless Players: 2010

The ring. It's the thing every ballplayer strives for, a symbol of solidarity with a group that's been to the top. Every year there are several players who get their first one, sometimes veterans who've been waiting for a long time. With today being the first day of the Playoffs (I'm watching Texas-Tampa Bay as I write this) I thought it was time to figure out each team's oldest player in line for his first piece of championship jewelry.

I'm not sure what the exact criteria for receiving a ring are (I've heard they differ from team to team), but I think it's a safe assumption that a guy who's on the 40-Man Roster at the end of the season and has played at the Major League level for the organization is going to get one. Using those standards, here are the oldest players on each team without a World Series ring (birth date in parentheses):

Atlanta Braves: Takashi Saito (February 14, 1970)
Cincinnati Reds: Arthur Rhodes (October 24, 1969)
Minnesota Twins: Jim Thome (August 27, 1970)
New York Yankees: Lance Berkman (February 10, 1976)
Philadelphia Phillies: Raul Ibanez (June 2, 1972)
San Francisco Giants: Guillermo Mota (July 25, 1973)
Tampa Bay Rays: Joaquin Benoit (July 26, 1977)
Texas Rangers: Darren Oliver (October 6, 1970)

  • Saito won a Japan Series in 1998. If you think he shouldn't count, the second-oldest ringless player on the Braves is Billy Wagner, who's about a year younger.
  • The Reds' Russ Springer is older than Rhodes and has never played in a World Series for the winning side, but I counted him as having a ring because he was on the 2001 Diamondbacks' injured list.
  • Darren Oliver's 40th birthday is today! His Rangers are currently up 5-1, so perhaps his gift will be a playoff win.
  • The Yankees and Rays both have an O.R.P. under 35, which I'd call a strike against both their backabilities this postseason. Of course, there are so many more strikes against the Yankees' backability that I don't have time to list them all here.
  • Five of these guys are relief pitchers.

Knowing that one of these eight will join the Adorned Finger Club this year is pretty cool. Whoever wins the World Series, this list gives you a good idea of which guy you can be happiest for.

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