I just saw this question on Twitter, and it really got me thinking. You spend so much time rooting against the players on your rival teams that you never really consider, what if they were playing for my team instead? As a die-hard Yankee fan, my most hated rival team is clearly the Red Sox. I saw another Yankee fan answer this with Pedro Martinez, or perhaps Mookie Betts. For me, the answer is clear. I would have wanted David Ortiz on my team 100%.
As a Yankee fan, I absolutely hate the guy. There has never been a bigger Yankee killer than David Ortiz. The Red Sox’ 2004 ALCS comeback doesn’t even start without his heroics in Games 4 and 5. So as much as I hate him for that, as well as the fact that everyone lets him off the hook for being named in the Mitchell Report, the guy was a damn good hitter. In my mind, he’s the most clutch hitter of all-time, or at the very least of my generation. If you don’t think he could’ve helped the Yankees win more than just the one title they won during his career (2009), you’re insane.
As for my other teams’ rivals, here are my “Honorable Mention” picks behind Ortiz:
Giants: Sean Taylor (Redskins); absolute savage, Rest in Peace.
Knicks: Kevin Garnett (Celtics); I guess they were kind of rivals for that like season and a half stretch where the Knicks were pretty good?
Rangers: Martin Brodeur (Devils); Why wouldn’t you want the best goalie of all time on your team?
UNC Basketball: Zion Williamson (Duke); I don’t care if he’s only played two games, watch this kid play for 30 seconds and you’ll understand why I picked him.
Rutgers Football: Our only rival is our coaching staff’s ability to recruit.
What about you? If you could have picked a rival player to put on your team’s jersey, who would it be?