We love lists. We e-mail lists. We make personal lists. Our love of lists gave David Letterman a money-maker of a segment every night. So in order to try to capitalize on the popularity of lists, I’m putting together my All-Time Greats Baseball Team. Now, I get the fun of taking my liberties, so my team will consist of one player per position, a Designated Hitter, and one bench infielder and one bench outfielder.
C – Johnny Bench: The defensive side of the game is where Yogi fell short of Johnny.
1B – Lou Gehrig: His numbers outshine the rest and as much as Babe Ruth revolutionized the game, Lou Gehrig solidified the new direction of baseball. Oh, and as a bonus…he did strike out 17 batters in one game as a pitcher.
2B – Rogers Hornsby: His defense is short of Joe Morgan’s, but I unfairly judge Joe Morgan on how displeasing he is as a baseball commentator, and just can’t put him on my team.
3B – Eddie Matthews: George Brett was a close second.
SS – Honus Wagner: I can’t find any justification for anyone but Wagner.
LF – Ted Williams: I cannot fathom how amazing his numbers would have been if he hadn’t served our country in World War II
CF – Ty Cobb: No one said that I was picking all choir boys.
RF – Hank Aaron: The use of the DH gives me the luxury of not having the Babe’s defense in the field.
DH – Babe Ruth: He was the greatest of all time. He revolutionized the game. He outhomered teams when no one could. He did it all while doing plenty of Performance Detracting Drugs (food, alcohol, etc.)
IF – Jimmie Foxx: There were years that he outperformed Gehrig head to head.
OF – Willie Mays: The power, the speed, the defense… you didn’t really think that I could leave him off did you?
The beauty of this team is that not only would it destroy any other team that you could put together, but it also would be a team that exemplifies some of the greatest aspects of baseball. Now stay tuned for my All-Time pitching team coming later this week…
Oh…and just for grins here would be my batting order:
1. Ty Cobb
2. Honus Wagner
3. Babe Ruth
4. Hank Aaron
5. Lou Gehrig
6. Ted Williams
7. Eddie Matthews
8. Rogers Hornsby
9. Johnny Bench