Here’s a little exercise that I had hinted at doing a while ago. Being able to see Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun in person made me wonder. What’s the best team I could make of players I had seen live, in non-exhibition games? I think I came up with a pretty good team. As a rule, I used awards as a tiebreaker over numbers. I also decided to ignore the steroid issue. Even if Barry Bonds cheated his way to a couple MVP’s, he’s still a noteworthy player to have seen. So, I included him. I also didn’t care when I saw them. I went on career accomplishments even if I only saw them when they were washed up. With that in mind, here is my first and second team of stars.
C-Ivan Rodriguez. He’ll be in the Hall-of-Fame soon enough.
1B-Frank Thomas. Double MVP and 500 HR guy.
2B-Alfonso Soriano. Couldn’t play second very well, but a weak position.
3B-Alex Rodriguez. Maybe the best ever, as much as I hate it.
SS-Cal Ripken. He’s in the Hall.
LF-Barry Bonds. As I said, he has to make a list like this.
CF-Ken Griffey. MVP. 600 HR
RF-Vladimir Guerrero. MVP.
DH-David Ortiz. As a DH, he’s on top.
SP-Roger Clemens. See Barry Bonds. 7 Cy Youngs.
SP-Pedro Martinez. 3 Cy Youngs. Most Dominant pitcher in years
SP-Randy Johnson. 5 Cys? Kazillion K’s
SP-Greg Maddux. 5 Cy’s? 300 wins
SP-Roy Halliday. At least 1 Cy.
CL-Dennis Eckersley. MVP, Cy Young. Hall of Fame.
Not a bad team, especially that rotation. Just to show you the choices I had to make, here’s my second team.
C-Mike Piazza. Obviously Varitek could be here. Mike’s more likely in Cooperstown.
1B-Jason Giambi. Unfortunately, he has that MVP
2B-Dustin Pedroia. His ROY gives him the nod.
3B-Wade Boggs. Sure, he was in Tampa. But, he’s a Hall of Famer
SS-Nomar Garciaparra. His two batting titles over Tejada’s MVP
LF-Manny Ramirez. 500 HR
CF-Carlos Beltran. Amazingly, not a lot of quality CF on my list
RF-Ichiro Suzuki. Personally, I don’t like his game. But, a MVP and ROY
DH-Edgar Martinez. The first HOF DH?
SP-Tom Glavine. Cy Young
SP-Bartolo Colon. Cy Young
SP-Bret Saberhagen. 2 Cy Youngs
SP-John Smoltz. Cy Young?
SP-Josh Beckett. Mr Postseason
CL-Eric Gagne. Yes, with the Sox, but the CY let me put him ahead of Rivera.
Those are the best I could do. A couple weak positions surprised me. Hopefully I didn’t miss anyone. Does anyone else have a team they’d like to share?
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