Well since Misters Clark and Manfred aren’t even bothering to talk to each other until 2022 and there’s no guarantee of a 2022 season, let alone having it start on time, let’s forget about today’s baseball and think a bit about Fantasy Baseball and the past.
Many times I’ve started to think, “who are the greatest players that have been around since I became aware of baseball? Who are the best at each position?” So this week I decided to expand on the idea a little, compile an All All-star Team …and add a twist.
I decided arbitrarily to pick the past 50 years (which isn’t far outside of the range of when I’ve been a fan, although the early years primarily just by having a few baseball cards and seeing an inning or two on TV as a small child.) So we’re looking at 1972 through the 2021 seasons. I decided to make a 26 player roster, using a player at their peak. But, to make it more interesting, the team has only one player per franchise. So, for instance, from my Blue Jays, if I wanted Carlos Delgado’s massive 2000 season, with his 57 doubles and .664 slugging percentage, out the window goes Jose Bautista’s 2010 with its 54 homers. Or Roy Halladay’s Cy Young season. And so on. Oh, and finally, a player can be there only once… we can’t say have Randy Johnson for Seattle and Randy Johnson with Arizona. With that in mind, here’s the mindboggling 50-year team I came up with, with a few season highlights and their Baseball Reference WAR listed.
Ivan Rodriguez, 1999, Texas. 144 games, 116 runs, 25 SB, .332 avg, MVP, Gold Glove (GG) 6.4 WAR
Salvador Perez, 2021, Kansas City. 161G, .273, 48HR, .859OPS, 5.3 WAR
Miguel Cabrera, 2012, Detroit. .330,44HR, 139RBI, triple crown, .999OPS, MVP, 7.1 WAR
Paul Molitor, 1991, Milwaukee. .325, 133 runs, 17/75, 216H, 5.3 WAR
Joe Morgan, 1975, Cincinnati. .327, 132BB, 94 RBI, 67SB, MVP, GG, 11.0
Rod Carew, 1977, Minnesota. .388, 128 runs, 239H, 16 triple,100RBI, MVP, 9.7 WAR
Derek Jeter, 1999, NY Yankees. .349, 24/102, 219H, .989 OPS 8.0 WAR
Mike Schmidt, 1980, Philadelphia. .286, 48/121, .624 Slg., GG, MVP, 8.9 WAR
Rickey Henderson, 1982, Oakland. .267, 10/51, 116BB, 130 SB, 6.7 WAR
Mike Trout, 2018, LA Angels. .312,.460OBP, 122BB, 39HR, 1.088OPS, 9.9 WAR
Ken Griffey Jr, 1997, Seattle. 125 runs, 56/147, .646 Slg., GG, MVP, 9.1 WAR
Tony Gwynn, 1994short-season, San Diego. .394, 165H in 110games, 1.022OPS, 4.2 WAR
Larry Walker, 1997, Colorado. .366, 49HR, 208H, 33SB, 1.172OPS, GG, MVP, 9.8 WAR
Frank Thomas, 1994sh.sea., C White Sox. 106R in 113games, 38HR, .729slg, MVP, 6.4 WAR
Greg Maddux, 1995, Atlanta. 19-2, 1.63ERA, 10cg, 181K,23bb, GG, Cy Young 9.7 WAR
Roger Clemens, 1997, Toronto. 21-7, 2.05, 9cg, 292K, Cy 11.9WAR
Pedro Martinez, 2000, Boston. 18-6, 1.74, 4shutouts, 284K, Cy, 11.7 WAR
Randy Johnson, 2002, Arizona. 24-5, 2.32, 4shutouts, 334K, Cy, 10.7 WAR
Max Scherzer, 2016, Washington. 20-7, 2.96, 284K, Cy, 6.2 WAR
Jim Palmer, 1975, Baltimore. 23-11, 2.09, 323IP, 10shutouts, Cy, 8.4 WAR
Tim Lincecum, 2008, San Francisco. 18-5, 2.62, 265K, Cy, 7.8 WAR
Jacob DeGrom, 2018, NY Mets. 10-9, 1.70, 269K in 217IP, Cy, 9.9 WAR
Bruce Sutter, 1979, C Cubs. 37 saves, 6-6, 2.22, 110K in 62G, 4.9 WAR
Mike Marshall, 1974, LA Dodgers. 106G, 208IP, 15W, Cy, 3.1WAR
Lee Smith, 1991, St. Louis. 47Sv, 6-3, 2.34, 67K:13bb, 2.3 WAR
Kent Tekulve, 1978, Pittsburgh. 91G, 8W, 31Sv, 135IP, 2.33. 3.4WAR
So there it is, 26 greats from 26 teams (Tampa, Houston, Cleveland and Miami left out although they all had some fantastic single-season accomplishments too) …and we didn’t have to even touch Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez. Add up their WARS and you get an astounding cumulative total of 191.7.
Anyone else care to take part and see if they can make an even more stellar “dream team?”