50 Year Dream Team

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.

Catcher :

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

First Base

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

Second Base:

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

Shortstop:

Derek Jeter, 1999, NY Yankees. .349, 24/102, 219H, .989 OPS 8.0 WAR

Third Base:

Mike Schmidt, 1980, Philadelphia. .286, 48/121, .624 Slg., GG, MVP, 8.9 WAR

Outfield:

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

Des. Hitter:

Frank Thomas, 1994sh.sea., C White Sox. 106R in 113games, 38HR, .729slg, MVP, 6.4 WAR

Starting Pitcher:

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

Relief Pitcher:

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?”

36 comments

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    Ok…mine would be made with my heart also….like Mike Schmidt. Yes he was the best third basebman in the last 50 years…no argument…and I would take him over Alex but…if you made the playoffs…I would want my favorite player in my life Ron Cey….good OBP when it wasn’t popular….plus the man could hit in the clutch.

    I tell you what Dave….let me make a post in my baseball blog.

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        That was my regret leaving off…I mean he is the guy I would want…but I also want Bench.

      • Dave

        Bench wad great in his prime, no question about that. I wasn’t quite sure when that was…by their WS years he seemed a bit done for already.

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        He was great until he had a rib operation and they had to cut something…that year that I had was his last WOW year for a catcher…but he didn’t do shabby later but that was his prime.

      • Dave

        yeah, I know he had the one mega-season but seemed like by the time I got to kind of watching and following the Reds, he was a “legend” but really wasn’t all that terribly good anymore.

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        His last great year was 1977…not massive but great. If you look at other catchers around that time…no one had huge seasons like that.
        I remember when later on when Piazza had the giant seasons people were startled because it was a catcher.

      • Dave

        true and Bench was really good defensively too; Pudge Rodriguez is the only obvious comparison I can think of from past two decades.

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        As far as both yes…Piazza offense wise was a force of nature but NOT defense….still one of the STUPID trades of the Dodgers.

      • Dave

        He was good to be sure. Just this morning read one of those fluff MLB articles about ‘best evers’ and see that as you probably would have guessed, Johnny Bench had the best career WAR for a catcher. I would have guessed Rodriguez or Yogi just because I didn’t really think Bench was great for a long time, but I guess I under-estimated that.

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        That is easy to do because we saw him at the end of his career mostly. I think also we….at least I do…forget that catchers just didn’t do what he did back then. Take for instance Steve Yeager…great defensive catcher for the Dodgers…considered really good at the time but batted in the low .200s.

      • Dave

        true. I remember Yeager, my impression was he was a pretty good hitter, but I haven’t really looked at his stats since I probably last opened a pack of baseball cards and found him.

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        Good power hitter when you needed it. In the playoffs he would always get that hit or homer you needed.

      • Dave

        So The MLB , in its ongoing effort to keep content online while avoiding referencing ANY active player whatsoever (try finding your team’s active roster on their website…) is running lots of ‘best of’ stories. Today they peg Sandy Koufax as the best-ever Dodger player. Your thoughts? They pick late Roy Halladay as best Blue Jay…which I think I agree with though it’s a close race.

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        I would say they had two choices with the Dodgers…I mean more clear choices…Sandy or Duke Snider. It’s hard not to go with Haliday.
        That is funny not referencing anyone lol.

      • Dave

        Koufax seemed like a legit choice, though I wondered how Jackie Robinson would have fared… he must be up there on the list too.

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        Jackie was great but….just looking at numbers…Duke Snider was the man….if it were me and if I had to pick a position player….it would have been Snider.
        Robinson had a short career….not his own fault though.

      • Dave

        I reviewed Robinson’s stats, and yes, I guess he only had about 7 all-star caliber seasons… good career but not enough to be an all-time leader on a well-established club.

  2. badfinger20 (Max)

    Well forget about Ron Cey….if I can only pick one from one team….Mike would have to be it lol…but it will be slightly different….but for many….we will be the same. I copied the same format and I’m making it now.

    • Dave

      some of those numbers were mind-boggling, right? Jim Palmer, 10 shutouts in a year. Joe Morgan, 100+ walks, 67 steals, gold glove infielder. Even Sal Perez… 161 games last year. What catcher only gets one day off a year??

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        The most mind boggling season so far I’ve seen looking at these numbers…Steve Carlton…1972 season…30 complete games! I mean how?

      • Dave

        yeah that is another wowsa! I thought of Carlton, of course, but thought Schmidt might be the one harder to duplicate , ie , few 3B that good and while Carlton was brilliant, there were a fair number of greats through that time span. Still, though , you look at him and Nolan Ryan and ask ‘what is wrong with today’s pitchers where 175 innings a year is considered getting ‘up there’?

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        I would have had Schmidt but I wanted Carlton…this was a hard little exercise. Hell I had Reggie Jackson with Oakland but I couldn’t take him because of Dennis….and so on and so on. I kept crossing players out.

        Yea it’s crazy what those pitchers did. I guess some bodies are made for that and some are not….but also they didn’t pitch all of their youth…at least most…the most games I played when growing up was 12 – 15 a year counting all stars.

      • Dave

        It is an interesting exercise…Eckersley & Rivera are 2 best relievers I can think of, but maybe not best one choice for Oak. or NYY. Like a jigsaw puzzle almost.
        You’re right, top prospects pitching all year as teens probably doesn’ t help their arm long-term.

      • Dave

        Winfield was super-impressive with his one year in Toronto, and that was at the tail-end of his career. I was very mad they didn’t bring him back in ’93… til I’d watched Paul Molitor for about half a dozen games.

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        Molitor was a great one I agree. Him and Robin Yount should have won a championship with the Brewers…both were great.

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        They made it to the World Series in 82…I had to lookup who they lost to. The Cardinals…I forgot they were in the AL at that time..

      • Dave

        yeah, I remember the brewers in the AL East. They were a tough competitor for Toronto! Still, getting hard to really remember them being AL or even Houston being NL

      • badfinger20 (Max)

        Houston in the AL is still hard for me because they were in the NL West with the Dodgers…those early eighties teams were great…with Nolan Ryan, JR Richard, and Don Sutton for a while.

    • Dave

      Two deserved Hall of Famers. Molitor in 93-94 was , in my opinion, the best pure hitter I ever saw with Toronto, even with John Olerud’s title season included. Most consistent and clutch hitter I can recall with the franchise, and that’s something considering the others through the years.

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