MY ALL-TIME GREATEST TEAM
In this hiatus without baseball or any other sports. I’ll give my take on the greatest lineup of all time.
Catcher – Yogi Berra
Yogi was a true champion, winning 10 World Series titles in his illustrious 19 year career. Of those 19 years he was an 18 time All Star and 3 time MVP. Yogi was a career .285 hitter, ho clubbed 358 HRs and had 1,430 RBIs, but even more impressive than those stat, is this – from 1950-1956, Berra struck out just 166 times in 4,272 plate appearances. For reference, Aaron Judge struck out 208 times in just the 2017 season in just 678 plate appearances
First Base – Lou Gehrig
Another Yankee, The Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig is my first baseman. This one is pretty obvious. Gehrig was a two-time MVP, a Triple Crown winner in 1934, he played in 9 All Star Games, and he won 6 World Series rings. Over his career he was a .340 hitter with 493 homers and 1,995 RBIs. But his most impressive stat is his 2,130 consecutive games played. My personal favorite Gehrig stat is he had 185 RBI season in 1931. Amazing. Even with all of this, he’s one of the most underrated players of all time. His consistency should be applauded for generations.
Second Base – Joe Morgan
Second Base was one of the toughest positions for me to select, I went back and forth between Joe Morgan and Jackie Robinson for a long while. Ultimately I settled on Morgan because he had a higher peak. Morgan has more accomplishments than Robinson, but part of this is attributed to Robinson only playing 10 years in the MLB because of the color barrier. As a younger baseball fan I’m obsessed with Sabermetrics such as WAR and wrC+. Morgan dominated in stats like these due to his few strikeouts, efficient base stealing, and great defense. He won 5 Gold Gloves and back to back MVPs in 1975 and ‘76. In 1975, Morgan recorded an astounding 10.9 WAR. This is an unheard of level. Mike Trout’s highest career WAR in a season is 10.2 and only a select few players have broken a 10.0 WAR in the live ball era.
Third Base – Mike Schmidt
Michael Jack Schmidt was an absolute stud in every sense of the word. A 12 time All Star, he won 10 Gold Gloves, 6 Silver Sluggers, and a World Series MVP. Tim Kurkjian said it best when talking about Schmidt, “Mike Schmidt was one of the great combinations of power and finesse with 548 home runs and 10 Gold Gloves at third base: He could play the piano, and move it, too.” He helped the Phillies to a title in 1980 and solidified himself as the greatest third baseman of all time.
Shortstop – Derek Jeter
My favorite player of all time, Derek Jeter had to make this team. Not that I need to tell Yankee fans the stats, but here they are anyway: Jeter won Rookie of the Year, 5 Gold Gloves, 5 Silver Sluggers, 5 World Series titles, a World Series MVP, and had 14 All-Star Game Appearances, and an All-Star Game MVP. He also is sixth on the all time hits list with 3,465 hits. Jeter also clubbed 260 HRs, and was a career .310 hitter. All of this, and in addition, he was the most clutch player in the history of baseball. Jeter was, and will continue to be, the gold standard for all shortstops.
The Outfield – Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, and Babe Ruth
Hank Aaron is a name synonymous with baseball. He hit no fewer than 20 HRs in 20 consecutive seasons. He also was an All-Star for 21 of his 23 seasons. He crushed Willie Mays’s home run total of 660 and topped Babe Ruth’s 714 homers. In total, Aaron hit 755 home runs, the most ever by any Hall-of-Fame player. Hank Aaron won a MVP in 1957 and still holds the record for most RBIs in a career with 2,297 and in total bases with 6,856. Aaron had a career WAR of 136.3. Aaron currently sits at third all-time in hits with 3,771 and is the only player to have 3,000 hits and 700 home runs.
Teddy Ballgame. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time with Red Sox fans, but I believe Ted Williams is the best hitter of all time. Williams was a 19 time All-Star, two time MVP, and two time Triple Crown winner. Williams was the last player to hit above .400 for a whole season, when he hit .406 in 1941. The best part about Williams hitting .400 was on the final day of the season he was at .3997 which would’ve rounded up and given him the mystical .400 average. Because of this, his manager asked him if he wanted to play in the doubleheader the Sox had scheduled because no one wanted Williams to lose this historic milestone. Williams played in both games and went 6 for 8 to bump his average to .406. Williams lost three complete seasons from 1943-’45 to serve in WWII and the majority of his 1952 and ‘53 seasons due to his service in the Korean War. He finished with 2,654 hits and 521 home runs. Both those totals would be significantly higher if he had played in those five seasons.
Ruth is a pioneer and one of the most important players in baseball history. He redefined hitting and his stats show it. Ruth hit record breaking numbers such as being the first player to hit 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 home runs in a season. Ruth had a career average of .342 and helped propel the Yankees to 7 World Series titles. Ruth was a human cheat code and still has records that hold up today such as career slugging percentage which is an insane .690, and an OPS of 1.164. My personal favorite stat is that Ruth is that he is the only player to win a batting title and the ERA title in his career. Ruth’s name will always come up in the debate for greatest of all time, and he’ll always be at or near the top of those lists.
The Bench – Mike Trout, Ken Griffey, Jr., Jackie Robinson
Perhaps this is recency bias, but Mike Trout is unlike any other player I have ever seen. He is, by far, my favorite non-Yankees player and is the perfect player to apply almost any Sabermetric stat to. Trout’s career WAR is currently 72.8. That is higher than Larry Walker, Derek Jeter, Gary Carter, Eddie Murray, Tony Gwynn, Carlton Fisk and Ernie Banks. The difference between those players and Trout is they are all retired and Trout is just 28 years old. Trout has won 3 MVPs and finished top 4 in MVP voting every full season he has played. Trout already is approaching 1,500 career hits and 300 homers. If anyone can join Aaron in the 3,000+ hits and 700 home run club, it’s Trout. The 28 year old is just now entering his prime years and is looking to make a push for more MVPs, and, at some point, a World Series title.
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Griffey was always a favorite of my Dad’s, so from a young age I was shown YouTube clips of his monster home runs and bat flips. The Home Run Derbys where he wore his hat backwards were always favorites of mine to watch. Griffey had tons of swag and confidence but could always back it up with insane stats. He was a 13 time All-Star, 10 time Gold Glove winner, 7 time Silver Slugger. He also won an MVP, and an All-Star Game MVP. His 22-year career ended with 630 home runs, 2,781 hits, 1,836 RBIs and a .284 batting average. The Kid to this day is an idol and great ambassador for the game
Jackie Robinson did more for baseball than maybe any other player ever by tearing down the color barrier and opening the way for African-American baseball players to play in the MLB. Robinson won the first ever, Rookie of the Year award, an MVP, a World Series title and was a 6 time All-Star. Robinson wasn’t able to enter the MLB until the prime of his career so his career is a bit shorter than many on this list, but his stats prove why he deserves a spot. A career .311 hitter, with an OBP of .409 Jackie Robinson will forever be a legend for what he did on and off the field.