David Ortiz was voted one of Boston's 4 greatest players of all-time Tuesday. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

David Ortiz, Ted Williams, Pedro Martinez, Carl Yastrzemski chosen as 'Franchise Four' Red Sox

Mike Petraglia
July 14, 2015 - 4:43 pm
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CINCINNATI -- In a vote that is bound to generate plenty of discussion and debate, Major League Baseball released its "Franchise Four" results for all 30 teams Tuesday night before the 86th All-Star Game. For Boston, the fans' choices for the four greatest players in team history were Carl Yastrzemski, David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez and, of course, Ted Williams. Then, just before the first pitch, MLB announced the results of voting for the greatest four living players. Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax and Johnny Bench were the four chosen and all were recognized in front of the pitcher's mound. The four walked out to the center of the diamond arm in arm, as the All-Stars and fans roared at Great American Ball Park. After Aaron, Bench, Koufax and Mays were introduced one by one, Bench, the Reds' legendary catcher, crouched behind home plate to catch the ceremonial first pitch from Koufax. The highlight of Franchise Four unveiling was the final club to be revealed: the hometown Cincinnati Reds. Bench, Barry Larkin, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose were all in attendance and introduced by Thom Brennaman, the son of legendary Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman. Rose, who has been lobbying Commissioner Rob Manfred to be reinstated after being banned from baseball in 1989 for betting on baseball, was the last to come out of the tunnel, and the all-time hits leader received a standing ovation from the Cincinnati crowd. There were two notable absences Tuesday. When the Yankees were announced, there was no mention of Derek Jeter, as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle were chose the "Franchise Four" for the Bombers. And there was no Barry Bonds, kept out through the vote by the fans. All-time strikeouts leader Nolan Ryan was the only player to earn a spot on three different clubs: the Angels, Astros and Rangers.

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