So Andrew at 12Eight has said Tek is his favorite player of all time. I thought it an interesting choice. I even questioned whether this was indeed the case or perhaps he had his current Sox hat on - apologies to Andrew as he stuck to his guns.
Which then further got me thinking about my favorite player of all time. I admit I have thought about this a number of times, but I have never been able to reach a conclusion. I have limited my choices to players I have actually seen - thus Teddy Ballgame would not qualify.
My options are:
George Brett - a very long time ago, I was an aspiring third baseman in little league. And around the same time, George Brett was dominating MLB. Talk about a guy that played the game the right way. Of course, my memories are probably tainted by my youth and the passage of time.
El tiante - this one is definitely tainted by the fact that El Tiante pitched in the second game I ever attended - Game one. LCS 1975. 8-0 victory against the A's. Aside from that, some memories over the 75 WS (which have been augmented by ESPN Classic and Ken Burns' Baseball Documentary) along with some goofing in the backyard as a kid mimicking the windup, I really don't have that many memories.
Jim Rice - most feared hitter in the AL for a number of years. Also while I was an avid fan. Plus it didn't hurt that I ran into him one day on Newbury Street and he said hello to me (after I had told him what a big fan I was). I was about 16 and thought that was very cool. Plus, the guy could damn right hit. It was the ruthless trashing of Rice in the late 80s that got me (at a very young age) to recognize that the media are brutal in Boston and can work to form the opinions of so many. My dad would trash Jim Ed, solely based on some comments made by Bob Ryan, Will McDonough or Leigh Montville. Side note - sure miss Will and his Saturday AM rambling. I would say he blogged before there was anything like a blog.
Those are my choices. I have other players I really loved at one time or another (Clemens jumps to mind) but nothing that has stuck like those guys. Mo Vaughn was headed in that direction until he signed with the Angels (I could have eventually gotten over that, since it was no MFY) but then his career fizzled. I will always have a special place in my heart for Mo. Others I really enjoyed - Scott Cooper, Tim Naehring (something about 3B), Daryll Strawberry before the 86 WS, Piazza, and perhaps Mike Greenwell - but these guys were definitely not in the category of the others.
So that's it. Kind of lame that I don't have an outright answer. But it is what it is.