Saturday, June 4, 2011

All-Time Greatest Baseball Players

Have you ever thought about your favorite team’s all-time greatest players? Of course you have. Me too. In fact, I have selected the best ballplayers, by position, for all 30 of the major league franchises. Click on the links below to view the teams.

NATIONAL LEAGUE                                          AMERICAN LEAGUE
Arizona Diamondbacks                                     Baltimore Orioles/St. Louis Browns
Atlanta/Milwaukee/Boston Braves                    Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs                                                     Chicago White Sox
Cincinnati Reds                                                  Cleveland Indians
Colorado Rockies                                              Detroit Tigers
Florida Marlins                                                    Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros                                                    Los Angeles/Anaheim/California Angels
Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers                        Minnesota Twins/Washington Senators
Milwaukee Brewers/Seattle Pilots                    New York Yankees
New York Mets                                                    Oakland/KC/Philadelphia Athletics
Philadelphia Phillies                                           Seattle Mariners
Pittsburgh Pirates                                               Tampa Bay Rays
St. Louis Cardinals                                             Texas Rangers/Washington Senators
San Diego Padres                                              Toronto Blue Jays
San Francisco/New York Giants
Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos

When selecting players, I followed the following rules:
  1. To be eligible for inclusion on a team, a player had to play at least FIVE seasons for that team.
  2. Player statistics from before 1900 were not considered. Baseball was a different game in the 19th century (e.g. no foul strike rule until 1901). My apologies to fans of Cap Anson and Wee Willie Keeler.
  3. A team may include no more than one pitcher who played more than half his career before 1920.
  4. To be eligible for the DH spot, a player had to have been a DH for at least 20 games for that team.
  5. The Bench spot is not for players who spent much time on the bench. It’s actually more like a "best-of-the-rest" position that allowed me to include one more great player on a team’s roster.
  6. Only one team per franchise. So, for example, the Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Browns are the same team. 
Exceptions to the five-year requirement in Rule # 1:
  • For expansion teams that joined the league in 1977 or later, I dropped the requirement to 4 years; for the most recent arrivals to MLB, the Rays and Diamondbacks, I had to drop the requirement to 3 years.
  • For closers the requirement is only 4 years; it’s a relatively new position and closers tend to move around a lot.

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