No. 1: Joe Cronin
Years: 1928-1934 (7 Seasons)
Key Stats: 940 G, 1090 H, 51 HR, 673 RBI, 56 SB, 466 BB, .304 BA, 36.7 WAR, 11.8 dWAR, 2 Top-25 MVP Finishes, 1933 AL Pennant, Hall of Fame
Joe Cronin was one of the Washington Senators’ first true star hitters. Cronin only played with the Senators for seven seasons, but in that time he earned a 36.7 WAR, two Top-25 MVP finishes, and an AL Pennant. He also was a manager with the team for his last two seasons, helping guide them to the pennant through his decision-making as well.
Cronin only played 940 games before he was traded away for a pitcher that didn’t last a year with the team and $225,000, but he made those 940 games count. He hit for a .304 average (thirteenth best all-time), earned 466 walks (twentieth) and knocked in 673 runs (seventeenth).
His 36.7 WAR, the thirteenth best mark in team history, partly because of his defense. His dWAR was a stellar 11.8, fourth best in team history. He constantly was making plays both on offense and defense to help the team win and was the most important player on the team.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1956 after a truly amazing career. He did so much for the franchise and helped move them back into title contention. Without Cronin, the Senators don’t make the 1933 World Series and continue to disappoint. He deserves the top spot on this list.