Would You Rather Be Ernie Banks or Jonny Gomes?

On the surface this should seem like a slam dunk. Who would not want to have the career of the late Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks? The only fault in that is you never get a chance to show your hitting skill in the postseason or World Series.

With Jonny Gomes, you not only get to the postseason a few times, you win two World Series. You get to be a key gear in the 2013 Boston Red Sox, but you get to be on the 2015 Kansas City Royals as a rental player. Just browse Gomes stats. He is not a terrible player, had some good seasons, nothing amazing.

This question is piggy backing off one of the poll questions The Dan Patrick Show had in regard to Yale’s upset win over Baylor in the NCAA basketball tournament. Would you rather graduate from Yale or win an NCAA championship in any sports, but you cannot be the star of the team, just a valued member of the team.

It is hard to say only one choice is right. You graduate from Yale, or nearly any other Ivy League school, you have an alumni network that can help you find professional success. On the other hand, how many of us can say we won the NCAA title in basketball, ice hockey or baseball? Not many can brag about that.

For baseball fans, it would be the equivalent of wanting to be a Hall of Fame player, with no World Series titles or even appearances, or be a mediocre player who wins multiple World Series rings?

Banks, a two-time National League MVP, a 14-time All-Star, put up numbers that make him one of the greatest hitting shortstops in baseball history. Even with all those great numbers, all the notoriety in the league, he never had a chance to prove his value in the World Series. He was a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee which cemented his legacy but no World Series title.

Gomes showed flashes of being a very good player when he joined the Tampa Bay Rays. He finished third for the American League Rookie of the Year in 2005. Since then he was a streaky hitter. He has never been an All Star, never received votes for another individual award again. Yet, Gomes still flashed that pop. He was in the heart of the Red Sox lineup in 2013. He hit a key home run in Game 4 of the 2013 World Series, in a pitcher-heavy postseason. Beyond that, he was a hitter who hovered around the Mendoza Line. He did not play in last season’s postseason for Kansas City, though he still gets a ring.

Ernie Banks can never say he was a two-time World Series winner. Jonny Gomes will never be able to say he is a Hall of Fame outfielder.

For so many kids growing up, including myself, you dream of being able to play Major League Baseball. Play on those lush green fields, to adoring crowds, in state of the art clubhouses. For some, those dreams culminate to winning World Series titles. For others, that main goal is getting a plaque in Cooperstown. With that said, what do you choose?

There is no wrong answer here.

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