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It is interesting for discussion purposes but I cannot see how you can compare pre-Jackie Robinson players to post. In fact, I would have to say that before around 1953-1954, baseball was too white for comparison. I also think that relying on stats too heavily is a mistake. Much of the late 60's were horrible for hitters. They even lower the mound, mostly, in my opinion because of Gibson, Drysdale and Marichal. All that being said, here is my "integrated" all time team: C: Johnny Bench: Changed the game with his catching style. Great defensive. Great production for catcher. Only flaw is that he caught a lot for a lot of mediocre, at best, pitching staff. He must should some of the blame. (Has anyone considered what the early 1970's Reds would have been like with even better than average pitching. C. I-Rod. Thought the steroid scandal would ruin him. It must not have been that big a part of his game. 1st. Albert Puljos. Baring injury, he may end up being the unquestioned best at this position. 1st. Eddy Muarry. I didn't particularly like his outward attitude, but he played hard and put up some great numbers. 2nd. Joe Morgan. The best. He did a lot of things to win that won't show up in stats. I loved watching him play. 2nd. Rod Carew. He's one of those if he'd played in NY or Chicago guys. He was a great hitter. Had power when he wanted to. SS. Ozzie Smith. A-Rod, Jeter and Banks have more offense but his defense made up for it. SS. Ernie Banks. Too bad the Cubs stunk for most of his career. He was something. 3rd. Mike Schimdt. Maybe the toughest positon to pick because there are so many good ones Boggs, Robinson, Brett. Incredible offense and underrated defense but him first. 3rd. George Brett. The best hitter of his generation. OF. Barry Bonds. I don't like the guy. I hate the steroid issue. But he was by far the best hitter of his generation-particularly after Griffey destructed. A contact power hitter. I wish he could be judged on a level field but will never know. OF. Ricky Henderson. I don't like him either but he is the best leadoff hitter who ever lived. OF. Willie Mays. The best player who ever lived. I know its a cliche but had he not played so much in Candlestick, Bonds would have to go a couple more years. OF. Hank Aaron. The best under the radar player ever. OF. Roberto Clemente. It was just so much fun to watch him. He did things no one else could with flair. Great, and I mean great, hitter. OF. Carl Yaztremski. I know he was up and down. The ups were just so good. He single handily took the Sox to the Series in 67-I think that was the year. SP. Bob Gibson. He was mean, competive and really would have brushed back his grandmother. My favorite on this list. SP. Sandy Koufax. Saw him in person several times. Short career but complete domination. SP. Roger Clemens. Another guy I don't like but he would be on even if his career was 25% shorter. SP. Greg Maddux. I love the way he pitches. Sad that the Mets probably sent him on his way. SP. Tom Seaver. Great, consistent a winner. As an aside, when he first got to the majors, I thought Dwight Gooden would take Seaver's place on this list and maybe top it. What he did to this talent is one of the a personal tragedy to him and a great loss to us. RP. Mariano Rivera. Game over. RP. The Goose. More inconsistent but dominating. RP. Lee Smith. I don't understand why he isn't given his due. RP. Dennis Eckersly. He even survived grooving one to Kirk Gibson. RP. Trevor Hoffman. No, I'm not a Padre fan. He has been great for a lot of mediocre teams. I realize I'm a little 70's heavy but those are the players of my youth. It hurt to leave Mantle off but injuries made him too one-dimensional. Lou Brock should have been on this list but, to me, Henderson was better. Great topic. Can argue for hours. Sorry for the little blurb on each but, now that I'm getting older (I've seen all of those on the list play in person, most several times) I just got to going. Look forward to comments.
posted by Sloguy at 01:26 AM on October 09
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