NL First Base
Ok, let's see how the first basemen in the NL fare - though I have to say that when I was compiling the numbers, I wasn't too impressed - then again to be thorough, I looked at the high first baseman win share total for every team - so I had some looks at Archi Cianfrocco and Orestes Destrade that made me think the NL wouldn't come close to comparing. Then again, we are only looking at the top three, so you won't see those names again.
1990: Eddie Murray 31, Dave Magadan 25, Will Clark 25
I'll tell you this is a fun exercise just to hear the name of Dave Magadan again.
1991: Will Clark 34, John Kruk 25, Fred McGriff 25
So begins the Crime Dog's San Diego career - and explaining why he dropped off of the AL lists. By the way, for my money, there was no cooler player at this time than John Kruk. I give Kent Hrbek the 80s. Maybe I have something for K's.
1992: Jeff Bagwell 29, Will Clark 28, McGriff 27
Mark it down, here comes Bags' run. All this for 22 IP of Larry Andersen?
1993: Gregg Jefferies 28, Kruk 25, McGriff/Mark Grace/Andre Galarraga 23
At least for a year, the Cardinals found someone that could take the place of Jack Clark. Surprisingly, for all of those hits, this is only one of two times that Grace appears in the top three.
1994: Bagwell 30, McGriff 22, Jefferies 17
As impressive as the Big Hurt is, Bagwell puts up an even more amazing total of win shares in the strike year.
1995: Eric Karros 25, Grace 23, Bagwell/McGriff 20
1996: Bagwell 41, Galarraga 25, Jeff King 22
1997: Bagwell 32, JT Snow 28, John Olerud 27
Three more years for Bagwell - and another crossover with Olerud. McGriff got his name in for the last time in the top 3 in the NL.
1998: Mark McGwire 41, Olerud 34, Bagwell 29
1999: Bagwell 37, McGwire 30, Olerud 26
That is basically three years of Bagwell, McGwire and Olerud. (McGwire had 25 win shares total in 1997 combined between the two leagues.) But, do you smell that? I think it is a cycle screeching to a halt.
2000: Todd Helton 29, Bagwell 25, Ryan Klesko 23
2001: Bagwell 30, Klesko 29, Helton 26
2002: Klesko 31, Helton 27, Derrick Lee 23
For the first two of the three years, Klesko played an overwhelming majority of games at 1B. Before and after it was a good bit of the outfield. This also marks the last hurrah for Bags in the top 3 and the first of many appearances for Helton.
2003: Helton 35, Jim Thome 30, Richie Sexson 26
2004: Albert Pujols 38, Helton 30, Sean Casey 28
Using the same assignations as Jon, here is the NL side:
Obviously the NL was more top heavy with Bagwell at this time, where as the AL has a greater cluster around the top. One last group of totals - a combined amount for the players in both leagues.
As consistent as McGriff was for a long period of time, I think this is another mark against him for not being great and just being good.