Top 300 Moments that Shaped Major League Baseball Preview: NL East
Starting on March 1, Baseball Hot Corner will rank the Top 300 moments that shaped baseball history. All moments from 1900 forward are eligible and the list includes moments from on and off the field. There are regular season, post season and All-Star Game moments, triumphs and tragedies incredible accomplishments and unbreakable records. In the week leading up to the start of the countdown, we’ll preview each division starting with the National League East. Because of the length of the list, every division is well represented.
The National League East is an interesting division because it has some new teams in the relative landscape of baseball history like the Marlins and Nationals/Expos. But it also has the Phillies, who have been around since the 1800’s and the Braves, who are one of two teams who can directly trace their lineage to the formation of the National League in 1876.
There are some obvious moments that should rank very highly on the list such as Hank Aaron‘s 715th home run and the Miracle Mets improbable 1969 World Series win, but compared to a division like the NL West or AL East, this division figures to pale in comparison to upper-echelon moments in the scope of the game.
Interestingly, some of the major ways this division has shaped the game deal with new franchises being established and other franchises moving. Just taking a look at the Braves, their team has had nine different incarnations since 1876. Of course the Mets were part of the first major expansion the game had seen in a long time and the Marlins are one of the newest franchises in the game. The Expos have two incidents which fall into this category. First, being a part of the expansion of baseball beyond America’s borders and then being relocated to Washington DC.
There have been some incredible moments involving Hall of Famers who have played on these teams like Hank Aaron, Greg Maddux, Gary Carter, Chuck Klein, Mike Schmidt and Tom Seaver and also some curiosities involving those great players as well. There was even an incident where one Hall of Famer was on a minor league team that was ruled to be illegally owned by a franchise and forced to be sold, players and all, to another. One National League East Hall of Famer came very close to joining one dynasty but chose to join a franchise on the rise, helping them become a dynasty in their own right.
Aside from the Braves and Phillies, the current NL East teams just don’t have the depth of historical moments because they are so new. But the game’s history wouldn’t be the same without the Mets trading Nolan Ryan, the Marlins’ wining two World Series without ever winning a division title and all of the accomplishments of the Whiz Kids after World War II.
Even without the volume of historical moments, the NL East should have no problem placing a number of historic events throughout the countdown. The real question is whether or not they can score a good amount of moments in the top 50.
At Baseball Hot Corner, we’ll do our best to help keep you occupied as you wait for Opening Day with a countdown of the Top 300 Moments that Shaped Major League Baseball History. The series will begin March 1 with an introduction, followed by a quick look at the top pre-1900 moments before getting into the countdown. The countdown itself will be released in sets of 10 with the top 10 announced on April 2 — Opening Day Eve.
While fans are enjoying Opening Day, they’ll be able to participate in a fan poll ranking all of the events and of course, the comments section will be open on every article to haggle over the rankings.
Between now and March 1, you will also be able to nominate your favorite moments to be considered for the countdown. You can tweet your ideas to the author @mlb100years.