Franchise Four competition heats up between Indians legends

Franchise Four competition heats up between Indians legends

It's an unusually tough decision. Who are the four players who best represent the Indians franchise, a team with more than 100 years of history? That's the question posed by Major League Baseball's Franchise Four contest, and the fans will have the final say on their team's four faces.

The contest's first update sees two Hall of Famers among Cleveland's front four, and an amazing four Hall of Famers who just missed the cut. Cleveland immortals Bob Feller and Larry Doby were named among the top four, as were two stars of a more recent vintage: Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel.

Feller, an eight-time All-Star, won 266 games for the Indians, and Doby was a seven-time All-Star who also earned distinction as the first African-American player in American League history. Thome crushed 337 of his 612 homers for the Indians, and Vizquel won eight Gold Gloves in 11 seasons as an Indian.

But look at who missed the cut. Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie won five batting titles during his career, and he won three of them in Cleveland. Lou Boudreau was a seven-time All-Star and a Most Valuable Player for the Indians, and he was a player/manager on the 1948 Cleveland team that won the World Series. Tris Speaker had 1,965 of his 3,514 hits for Cleveland, and Earl Averill was a six-time All-Star.

More than 11.8 million votes have been cast in the Franchise Four voting, and you can cast your ballot here. Voting ends on May 8, and winners from all 30 clubs will be announced at the 2015 All-Star Game, which will take place on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.