As I remember watching some of these All-Stars of their days—and some of them are even All-Stars now—I watch as these ballplayers go through a process everyone will go through: old age.
The heroes I used to know and love to watch on TV are no longer the best in baseball and have given the throne to the next generation of hitters and pitchers.
This is a list of my personal favorite hitters and pitchers I used to enjoy watching as a kid.
Pedro has a number of teams he can put down as his team, but I remember him most with the Red Sox in what were truly his better days, when his ERA never seemed to go above 3.00.
Pedro, along with pitchers like Tim Wakefield (who also should have strong consideration for this list), Derek Lowe, and Curt Schilling, all led the Red Sox to one of the greatest comebacks in team history.
I truly enjoyed watching Pedro's raw stuff and absolute command of the strike zone, and I’m sure most fans did too.
Nomar was one of the top shortstops of his time when he was with the Red Sox. He was up there with Derek Jeter, and Nomar and Jeter really did contribute to the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry in the playoffs.
Unfortunately Boston has yet to find a suitable replacement for the then All-Star shortstop, but then again, how can you do everything Nomar did for Boston? That said, Jed Lowrie could make a good shortstop in the Red Sox's future.
Nomar still remains to me the original Red Sox shortstop even though his days as a Red Sox have passed him, and though his fielding and hitting have regressed, Nomar still has some game left.
Vlad is having trouble on the DL, which makes me wonder how much longer he has left in baseball atop the outfielders.
I will most remember Vlad for chewing out my beloved Texas Rangers and to this day will probably be the best hitter to hit in the Rangers ballpark....that hasn't played on the team.
Despite all my hate for him I love watching his pure swing and his love for the sport he goes out there everyday wanting to hit a home run and wanting to make a big play to help his team win.
This one is for you Vlad. I hope you stay atop the league but your time is coming close to an end unfortunately.
Bartolo has had some good appearances for many teams; my favorite were his Cleveland Indian days, although he will also be remembered with the Angels for helping them make the playoffs.
Bartolo had some serious heat when he was younger, and he has had trouble with the DL as of late, but he still is able to locate his pitches very well.
Bartolo made his mark everywhere he went, from Cleveland and even now in Chicago, and he is still one of the most feared pitchers in the game, until he loses his control—then hitters just wait.
Glavine will go down as a Braves Hall of Famer no doubt. He was a key part of those 1990-2000 Braves that dominated the NL East, along with John Smoltz and Chipper Jones, who could've also made this list.
Glavine has aged very well for a pitcher, and his location is spot-on like it has always been.
Even when his velocity has dropped dramatically, he is still the Glavine of old that can give you a good performance when you need it. I'll miss you Glavine.
Ivan was probably one of the first hitters I ever saw, and it was ironically against the New York Yankees.
He was probably one of the best catchers to ever wear a Texas uniform, and I was hoping Texas would make a bid for him this offseason. However, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden, plus Max Ramirez waiting in the wings, I knew it was unlikely.
Pudge has also made his mark on Detroit and was a key part of that Detroit team that made it to the World Series. He is still known for his strikeouts; Pudge is a free swinger, has always been, and will always be.
That does not diminish his success with the ball clubs he has played for. I enjoy watching you Pudge; your time is coming closer though, and Houston may in fact be the last place you play.
"THOME! THOME! THOME!" I used to chant in Jacobs Field.
Thome is one of the great power hitters of his team and very patient; he was not afraid to draw a walk and was part of those Cleveland clubs that always seemed World Series-bound.
He is still a feared hitter even in a White Sox uniform and can still hit the long ball no matter where he hits.
Thome probably still has a few good years left in him, but he is getting old really fast.
Admit it, Red Sox fans, you will miss Rivera when he decides to retire. You'll miss ruining the guy's save percentage, which has been nothing short of incredible his entire career.
When he comes in, you know the game is pretty much over, which has served the Yankees well the past few years, as a few of their World Series berths have been on the arm of Rivera being able to close down the game.
Rivera rarely ever misses in the strike zone and has one of the best cutters in the game. I'll miss you Mariano for your absolute dominant performances in the season and when it counts the most, in the playoffs.
Ken Griffey Jr.—no one will ever know how many home runs this guy could've hit if it wasn't for his bad luck on the DL.
Some even argue that this guy could at this point have already broken the all-time record for home runs in a career.
I actually believe they are right. Griffey has one of the weirdest swings I have ever seen, but at the same time, it is also one the purest swings.
In the '90s it was all Griffey; you knew who Ken Griffey Jr. was even if you lived in a cave in the center of the earth.
Griffey was that good, and I enjoyed watching him and still enjoy watching him. My favorite days were his days with his father while he was young and developing.
Griffey to this day is still one of the most powerful hitters in the game.
Omar Vizquel is the definition of defense; during his days in Cleveland, Omar used to dominate SportsCenter with his amazing plays at short.
He really changed the shortstop position and rookies going into the game wanted to model after him, but also contribute with the bat.
Omar was never known for his bat like others in this slideshow; however, he showed heart and how to play the game right and came to play each and every day no matter what.
He was the Iron Man of Cleveland when he had his tenure there, and for that reason I put Omar on top of this list.