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Strong Island's Finest: Positional Players

In honor of the U.S. Open out at Bethpage this weekend, let's look at the greatest baseball players from Long Island, or Strong Island for all you meatheads, in Major League history. First, the position players:

Carl Yastrzemski, Southampton. 23 seasons with Red Sox … 452 HR, 1844 RBI, .285/.379/.462 … .369 AVG, 4 HR in 17 postseason games … 1967 A.L. MVP & Triple Crown Winner … 18 All-Star games … 7 Gold Gloves … Hall of Fame in 1989.

Craig Biggio, Smithtown. 20 seasons with Astros … 291 HR, 1175 RBI, .281/.363/.433 … 414 SB (50 in 1998) … 668 2B, 5th all-time … 285 HBP, 2nd all-time … 7 All-Star games … 4 Gold Gloves … successful transition from catcher to second baseman … dirtiest helmet ever.

John Valentin, Mineola. 11 seasons with Red Sox and Mets … 124 HR, 558 RBI, .279/.360/.454 … 47 2B in 1997 led A.L. … .347 AVG, 5 HR in 17 postseason games.

A.J. Pierzynski, Bridgehampton. 12 seasons (and counting) with Twins, Giants, and White Sox … 104 HR, 516 RBI, .284/.326/.428 … 2 All-Star games … traded to SF for Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano … 2005 World Series Champion … 27 GIDP in 2004 led N.L. … .300 AVG, 5 HR in 30 postseason games … thrown out 3 of 41 base stealers in 2009 (7%).

Frank Catalanotto, Smithtown. 13 seasons (and counting) with Tigers, Rangers, Blue Jays, and Brewers … 83 HR, 449 RBI, .292/.358/.448.

Tony Graffanino, Amityville. 13 seasons (and counting) with Braves, Devil Rays, White Sox, Royals, Red Sox, Brewers, and Indians … 58 HR, 302 RBI, .265/.335/.394 … .231 AVG in 15 postseason games … once traded for Tanyon Sturtze, who is definitely slightly crazy.

Keith Osik, Port Jefferson. 10 seasons with Pirates, Brewers, Orioles, and Nationals … 13 HR, 108 RBI, .231/.308/.321 … 2 relief pitching appearances, 2.0 IP, 9 ER, 2 K … threw out 29% of potential base stealers.

Tom Veryzer, Port Jefferson. 12 seasons with Tigers, Indians, Mets, and Cubs … 14 HR, 231 RBI, .241/.283/.294 … 9 SB, 23 CS … 2 seasons with 20+ errors at shortstop.

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