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Baseball: Preliminary Topic: ALL-TIME BASEBALL TEAM of players who played for only one team

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posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 11:28 PM

And I specifically don't want anyone to do this stuff yet (me included), because I think everyone should have until baseball season is rolling to: (1) think about it; (2) research it as thoroughly as possible, (3) etc.

But here's my idea:

I want each of you who chooses to participate to select his/her GREATEST STARTING BASEBALL TEAM OF ALL TIME--only 9 players--MADE UP OF PLAYERS WHO SPENT THEIR ENTIRE PLAYING CAREERS WITH THE SAME TEAM.

At some positions, this will be real clear. In my mind, both 1B and 3B are very clear--but then, I suppose some may rate George Brett ahead of the guy I think is the "very clear" third baseman. I see no real dispute at all at 1B. And at pitcher, unless I'm overlooking someone, it comes down to a choice between Walter Johnson and Sandy Koufax.


A. For obvious reasons, active players cannot be included. You'd be amazed how many of baseball's very greatest players played what seemed like their entire careers with one team, then spent the final year or two (or part-year or two) with another team. Ty Cobb played with the Tigers for 22 years, but finished up doing 2 years with Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's. The immortal Christy Mathewson went 372-188 with the Giants, and 1-0 with the Reds. So we cannot say with any confidence that any great, currently-active player WILL, in fact, play his entire career with one team.

B. Players' greatness can only be measured by what they actually accomplished in their careers--not by what they MIGHT HAVE accomplished, except for some unfortunate event, such as Kirby Puckett, Roberto Clemente's death or Lou Gehrig's horrible illness. There are, however, two exceptions:

1. WORLD WAR TWO: Players DO receive credit for years missed during World War Two, if they were established stars when they left to serve in it. This applies to virtually every major leaguer who was a star at that time, except for young Stan Musial, who somehow missed only the year 1945; and

ii. Players such as Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella, who missed seasons before and immediately after WWII because of MLB's racist segregation policies, and were very good players immediately, or almost immediately, upon setting foot in MLB. As with the stars who missed 3 years in the war (or in Hank Greenberg's case, over 4), it's clear these guys were great players, and would have been such in MLB, but for their wrongfully being prevented. And, of course, they also get credit for the war years.

But the only two I know of whom this helps are Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella, who did in fact play 10 years in MLB and have legitimate Hall of Fame careers in MLB. (Campanella won THREE MVP Awards, from largely racist sportswriters, in his 10-year career, but his off years were truly OFF years.) BOTH men spent their entire careers with the Dodgers. But note: Campanella gets ZERO credit for the fact a tragic car accident paralyzed him and resulted in his playing his last game at age 35. In that department, he's a victim of tragedy, like Puckett, Gehrig and Clemente, but it's speculation to guess how good he would have been in his late 30's.

Take all the time you want to think this over. I will try to remember to post my list on the 1st of May, but I'll be certain not to do so before April 1st. May 1st is a much better date, when everyone who has affection for the game is starting to really get into it. Feel free to ask me about any particular player, if you're not sure whether he spent his entire career with one team.

Or, if I'm awake enough to think of it, I'll post a list of every player who any rational person could POSSIBLY select for this team. And y'all have seen plenty about how enormously overrated I think Clemente is, but I'll include him on the list for RF's, along with Al Kaline and Mel Ott and others, simply because SOME people would select them (and the three real giants weren't one-teamers).

OK. That's the game. In direct contrast to my trivia questions, research is encouraged, so participants can learn about the great players who DID spend their whole careers with one team, and then make the most informed choices possible. And speaking strictly for myself, I promise not to rag on anyone's choices. Y'all may feel free to rag on my choices.

I hope this appeals to some of y'all. I'm sure, TRD, that it appeals to you, with your penchant for reading and learning what you can about baseball and its greatest players.

Baseball History Nut

posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 03:44 PM
Sounds fun and I hope I will be around enough to participate. I will have to do plenty of research on this one. Not only to rate the players but to determine which players played for only one team.


posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 04:13 PM
IA Clonz,

I will do my best, when the time comes, to provide everyone with a list of all conceivably selectable players who spent their entire MLB careers with one team. I just now learned that in 1981, 21-year-old Ryne Sandberg went 1 for 6 with the Philadelphia Phillies, thereby removing himself from this contest. (Good trade, Philly!!!)

I've thought of several positions where there are multiple possible selections--either because all of the VERY greatest didn't spend their careers with the same team (RF), or because there are a LOT of great players at a given position who did.

When we get there in April, I'll post a list--taken from Bill James Top 25 of all time at each position, as listed in 2000--and I'll make certain every one of them played his entire MLB career for one team. I've got three absolute doozies at catcher, two doozies and a very fine player in left, a VERY tough choice in center, and, in right, because Ruth and Aaron and Frank Robinson are all ineligible, a fun race between also-rans who were very, very fine players.

I'll have more names and more fun by April, I promise.


P.S. As for SHORTSTOP: If Louisville fairly could be called a predecessor of the Pittsburgh Pirates, then there would be no race at Shortstop and it would be Honus Wagner, hands down, since he is by a gargantuan margin the greatest SS ever.

But the Pirates existed long before 1900 (the year Louisville ceased to exist), and not all of Louisville's players went to Pittsburgh in after the 1899 season. Therefore, since I'm setting the rules, and since I want SS to be a competitive spot, Honus Wagner is deemed a two-team player and INELIGIBLE for the SS spot on this team.


posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 05:57 PM
This is more up my street, something to get my teeth into. Great idea BHN...

posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 06:22 PM
Thanks, TRD. This struck me as being really apt for you. And again, I promise to provide a list of all CONCEIVABLE selections who are qualified, and to answer questions about why certain players (e.g., Ryne Sandberg, per my previous post) aren't eligible.

I'll be generous about who is conceivable. It is my personal opinion that Brooks Robinson has no biz being considered for this team, but others may disagree with me and feel he should be the Third Baseman, since he was--and I agree with this--the greatest defensive 3B of all time. But I will include players like that, whom I believe to be non-factors, as long as I feel rational people could consider them factors.

The White Sox Hall of Fame pitcher Ted Lyons, who somehow managed to go 260-230 with ABOMINABLE White Sox teams over a long career (circa 1923-1946), will NOT be included as a choice. Although I think he does belong in the Hall, it's my opinion no rational person could pick him over both Walter Johnson and Sandy Koufax. And I think anyone who studies the matter at all will agree.

I'm looking forward to this, too.


posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 01:00 AM
I know this site is a place for macho guys, and I've generally pulled my weight in keeping up that spirit... once, I think, I pulled a good deal more than my weight. But I'd like you to bear with me while I let my right-brain, "female side" kick in for a minute.

THANK YOU GUYS for the reception I've gotten on this idea. I promise I'll repay you by providing the longest list I can of guys who (A) qualify and (B) could even possibly be chosen. As good as he was, and as clearly as I believe he belongs in the Hall, I think if you compare Ted Lyons' stats--and give him a load of extra credits for having pitched on HORRIBLE White Sox teams--to Koufax and Walter Johnson (who generally pitched on HORRIBLE teams of his own), you'll agree Lyons should be off the list.

Disqualifying the great Christy Mathewson on the basis of one minuscule portion of one year--when he's clearly superior to Koufax for his career, and in my view ARGUABLY superior to Johnson--seems tight, but ENTIRE MLB CAREER WITH ONE TEAM means exactly that.

OK. Back to my godawful death penalty case. But I'll find loads of time to hold up my fair end of this.

And needless to say, while I will try me best to make the lists as thorough as possible, if some longtime and really hardcore Chisox fan wants to take Lyons over Johnson and Koufax, he/she can do so. If a Baltimore fan thinks Brooks Robinson's incredible defensive skills were worth more than the terrific offensive skills of Mike Schmidt and George Brett--and forget about Schmidt's Gold Gloves; he wasn't 1/3 the fielder Brooks was, and won his Gold Gloves because he was the best of a mediocre lot of N.L. third basemen during his career. If he'd been in the A.L. and had to go toe-to-toe with Brooks and Cletis Boyer, for instance (they were older), he would never have whiffed a Gold Glove Award.

So if some of y'all think fielding is more important than hitting at CF, 3B, SS, 2B and catcher--well, I sure won't be agreeing with you, though at catcher I think it's very, very close--but a LOT of fans do agree with you, and even if they didn't, w.t.f.? It's your opinion, and you'll be able to put together a tremendous defensive team. For instance, you'll have to pick DiMaggio over Mantle in CF, because Mantle's initially great defense went to hell before he was 30, but you could do a LOT worse than have Joe D in CF, and tons of people would pick Joe D anyway, without realizing how much Mantle's defense was hurt by injuries and osteomyelitis in his late 20's.

Again, THANKS for your displays of interest, and I'll do everything I can to inform y'all as much as I can, give y'all as broad an array of candidates as possible (f--- it, including Ted Lyons!!!), and try to make this fun for everyone.

And if someone wants to pick the Dodgers' Bill Russell of the 1970's and 1980's as his/her Shortstop, ahead of Ernie Banks or Barry Larkin, so be it. I won't ridicule him/her, and hope nobody else will. But it probably won't occur to me to include Russell.

OK, that's my last post on this one for awhile, unless someone wants to know something about it. Look for my mile-long lists of candidates, with information about almost all of them, sometime in late April or early May. And let's all hope Toejam gets involved in this up to his waist, huh?



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 12:17 PM
So basically we pick the team..

I'm hoping we have to do a summary for each as to why we picked each player. Seems fair as your putting in alot of work to list the players and information on them.

posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 01:47 PM
Up to you, Dude, but yes, that does sound fair. No penalty points for failing to do so... for the simples reasons there will be no points and no grades.


posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 01:48 PM
Well i guess it would be too easy if you just picked a list pf players, anyone can do that.

About time we had some good things going on here other than the fantasy leagues.

posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 09:13 AM
Or do we have to suggest a whole team? I only ask because I am not that great of a baseball fan. I love the game, follow my Brewers pretty passionately, but I really don't know much of other players.

I know my player probably wouldn't be considered by to many truly knowledgeable baseball fans. But, he fits the required criteria to be a potential member of the all-time team.

Robin Yount, played for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1974-1993. He is in the Hall of fame and was a class act player. The only problem with him is he started his career at short stop, played some first base as well, and ended his career in the outfield. I think he may have been one of the greatest utility type players of all time. Excelled in almost every position on the field.

Well, here is a link if you would like to read a bit more about my favorite baseball player. I used to love watching this guy at old county stadium.

External Source

Brimming with immense natural talent, shortstop Robin Yount was just eighteen years old when he was first called up to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1974, immediately becoming one of the youngest regulars in baseball history. Combining that head start with steady production in the face of injuries, hard-nosed intensity, and admirable team loyalty, Yount became a member of the elite 3,000-hit club eighteen seasons later, still with the Brewers.

Plus, you have to love that mullet.

[Edited on 3/10/06 by Lostsailor]

posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 10:56 AM
I love this idea, it's always a good day for me when i can lose myself in some baseball research for hours on end. count me in.

posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 03:04 PM
Lost Sailor,

Not only may you consider Robin Yount, he's one of the FEW you may consider at two different positions, because his career was pretty much equally divided between CF and SS. Same story for Stan Musial (LF and 1B) and Ernie Banks (SS and 1B), though as James points out, Banks-the-shortstop was one of the greatest ever, while Banks-the-1B barely made James Top 100 first basemen.

You CAN'T, however, consider MICKEY MANTLE at 1B, simply because he played his final 2 seasons there and you want to put both Mantle and DiMaggio on your team. Mickey Mantle, obviously, was a CF, and unless you want Yount in CF, you'll have to choose between those two Yankee titans for your CF.

I can guarantee both Hootie and I will be choosing between them, and I'm pretty sure we'll pick the same one, with no disrespect meant to the other. Now, if MAYS hadn't spent those last 1.5 nothing years with the Mets, and if Cobb hadnt spent his last 2 with the A's, oh, brother, what a four-way decision THAT would be.... The only one of the Great Five left out would be Speaker, who was more peripatetic than the rest of the Great Five.

And yes, Lost Sailor, you're expected to pick a whole team, but you will have choices like George Brett vs. Mike Schmidt at 3B; Bench vs. Campanella at catcher (I just found out Berra is ineligible because of 9 AB's with the Mets in 1965); Joe D and Mantle at CF; Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Yaz in LF; Banks and Yount at SS; Kaline, Mel Ott and Clemente in RF; Walter Johnson and Sandy Koufax as pitchers; Lou Gehrig and Lou Gehrig at 1B (lol); and a number of people, including the underrated (as a player) Jackie Robinson at 2B.

There will be MANY other choices, but I think you'll get by. Since there ARE no right or wrong answers, and since I'm going to pick ALL qualifiers from among Bill James' list of the Top 50 of all time (or maybe Top 60) at EVERY position--and anyone from the Top 100 pitchers--and since I'm going to check to make certain they're all one-teamers (I'd have sworn Yogi Berra was), everyone will have a smorgasboard to pick from.

Gonna be tough for me to wait another 7 weeks, but we'll all have to do it. And I promise to hold up my considerable end by posting LOTS of info. However, because it's such an enormous task, I likely will do it at a rate of ONE POSITION PER DAY, because I'm not merely going to give you names. I'm also going to give you info on players, especially the ones from the first 1/2 of the century, because it seems like Hootie, Toejam and I are the only ones who are really into those players.

Every one of you will be given some info to help you cast your vote intelligently, but please remember that cold, hard stats won't do it by themselves. If they did, Rogers Hornsby would be the greatest right-handed hitter of all time. As it is, if I were an MLB manager, I'd rather have one of my players stricken with the bubonic plague (if treatable) than have Hornsby on my team. Or, to put it in terms fans will understand, I would MUCH rather have Cobb, whose stats are probably not as good as Hornsby's, on my team. That's what kind of poison Hornsby was. But if you knew nothing about him, and I just fed you his fantastic stats, you'd all say "This is the greatest hitter that side of Ruth, Williams and the B-word in S.F., and I'll kill to have him on my team."

In any event, Hornsby is ineligible, because he was SUCH a $&#! that he could hit .377 with 37 HR's and 140 RBI's, and be traded, then do the same thing next year, and be traded, etc., etc. Say what you like about Bonds (I've said it all), but nobody has ever wanted to trade him--at least, not until now.

Now, back to whom one may pick. One may pick ANYONE on the list. And one may pick from one's heart. To wit:

When I was a kid who lived, ate and breathed baseball (1960-1966, ages 7 thru 13), I swore up and down that Marichal was a better pitcher than Koufax. And in terms of W-L % for those years, I think I was right. But the Giants almost never sent Marichal out to face Koufax. They sent him out to face the overmacho, violent, has-no-biz-in-the-Hall Don Drysdale, whom Marichal usually beat. And when Koufax faced the Giants in that same series, he throttled them--except the night one Jack Hiatt made his ML debut by hitting a grand slam off Koufax. Do you suppose Hiatt was happy?

As an adult and a person who has really studied and learned to interpret data, I've learned two things:

(1) Koufax was overrated, because he was helped ENORMOUSLY by Dodger Stadium; and

(2) All the same, he was better than Marichal, whose W-L % was helped enormously by that lineup.

Now, Marichal is ineligible, but if anyone wants to do this with his/her heart, and pick a figurative Marichal over a figurative Koufax, that's his/her biz. If some self-appointed expert wants to come here and critique our teams, fine. Just remember, it may be the same bigoted jackass from ESPN who said Pedro Martinez should not make the Hall of Fame.


posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 01:47 AM
I know my player probably wouldn't be considered by to many truly knowledgeable baseball fans. But, he fits the required criteria to be a potential member of the all-time team.


Just so you know:

You've seen me refer to "Bill James" about a zillion times, I'm sure. He is most hardcore baseball fans' choice for the #1 living expert on baseball history, including, obviously, myself. In 2001 or thereabouts, he released the latest and certainly greatest of his "historical abstracts." It lists his "Top 100" players of all time, in order, at EACH position, and then his "Top 100" total players of all time. The second list--the big one--includes Negro Leaguers. The lists for each individual position do not. (I will NOT include Negro League players who never made the Majors in our contest, mainly because Josh Gibson would run away with Catcher.)

Anyway, don't apologize too hard for your choice of Robin Yount. Here are Bill James' Top 10 all-time Shortstops:

10. Pee Wee Reese

9. Alan Trammell

8. Joe Cronin [NOT eligible]

7. Ozzie Smith [NOT eligible]

6. Barry Larkin

5. Ernie Banks

4. Robin Yount

3. Cal Ripken, Jr.

2. Arky Vaughan [NOT eligible]

1. Honus Wagner [NOT eligible]

This list makes two things clear. First, this position will be very competitive and a lot of fun. (I'm not at all sure whom I'll select, since I think Ripken's consecutive games record got WAY overblowen.)

And second, you have absolutely nothing to apologize for in picking Yount, since James rates him second only to Ripken under the rules of my game. In fact, James rates Yount AHEAD of Ripken in what I think is James' biggest stat, "Win Shares per 162 game," as well as career "Win Shares."

I strongly suggest, however, that you pick Yount at SS, not CF. It might be harder to explain why you picked him ahead of Mantle and DiMaggio.


posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 07:51 AM
I think i might participate in this, sounds like a good idea and will give me something to do.

posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:51 AM

To all of my enthusiastic responders (I cannot bring myself to sound like a lawyer and call you "respondents"),

I am REALLY looking forward to doing this, and I thank all of you--so many more than I'd hoped for--for your avid interest.

When May 1 rolls around, I will start listing players one position at a time. As I said, I will list ALL qualified players from a given position (other than pitcher) who are in the Top 50 at that position in Bill James' magnificent book, and I will provide info on each one. I will include a few extras, if they are qualified players whom I can see a given region of the U.S. being real fond of.

The higher they are rated, the more info I am likely to provide, but if I consider the player particularly intriguing--e.g., if Dave Kingman were #50 among LF's and eligible, instead of #98 and ineligible because a zillion teams got rid of him--I'll write a lot.

Obviously I cannot do all of this and produce one position every night. This is especially so at pitcher, where I shall use all eligible pitchers from James' Top HUNDRED, and probably need 6-8 days.

I will, however, do my best to produce one position every THREE or FOUR nights. That means we can each have our individual team ready to post by about the 1st of June.

I suspect, and really hope, there will be a lot of differences between our teams. If I pick between the 2 eligible members (Mantle, DiMaggio) of the Great Five CF's (Cobb, Speaker, DiMaggio, Mays and Mantle)--which I will--and someone from the North wants to pick Kirby Puckett out of sentiment or the fact they actually SAW him, no problem. For one thing, James rates Mantle #3, DiMaggio #5 and Puckett (a distant) #8 among CF's, so the late Kirby is not light years off. And again, nobody is going to ridicule anyone, even if they pick someone whom James rates #48 at his position.

Within the next month or so, I will finish this monstrous, 500-page brief (how's that for an oxymoron?) that I've worked on for years. I have another, even more monstrous capital appeal waiting for me, but one without horrific time pressures. So I should be able to put all the necessary time in on this project come June, and I promise I will do so unless a disaster occurs in my life.

I know a lot about almost all of the eligible players already, and I have a great website for getting more stats on them, too. All the same, this will take me a lot of time and effort, so please bear with me.

And for those of you who'd like to learn at least some things about greats of long ago, you can do so this way, even if you don't want to read the facts I include about the old players who are in the middle or bottom (say, #20 thru #50) at their positions. Take, for example: Lou Gehrig, Roy Campanella, Pie Traynor, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott (who held all great NL power stats until Musial arrived), Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson (who is WAY underrated as a player), Ernie Banks, Charlie Gehringer, Ted Williams (a world-class jerk during his playing days, but unlike Hornsby, his teammates loved him and his team was willing to put up with him), George Brett, Mike Schmidt, etc., etc.

Each of these guys is eligible, and each of these guys (with one possible exception) is at LEAST among the top 10 of all time at one of the 8 everyday positions. At least EIGHT of them, in my opinion, can be argued for credibly as THE greatest player ever at his position, including guys who didn't play for only one team.

Now that I can erase Bonds with a clear conscience, there are FOUR guys on the above list for whom I expect to vote. But while I'm doing my up-to-date research for all of you, I'll be keeping an open mind for myself and my own rankings. At some positions (RF, 1B, 3B, SS), it's just not going to change. At others, who knows?

I'm really looking forward to this. And I appreciate very much that so many of you have let me know you're looking forward to this. My work is oppressive and sapping my energy, and my current dining companion is--I guarantee you--going nowhere as a "woman in my life," so this is a nice thing to look forward to.

But since I had to toss the other current "woman in my life" overboard for being a very hardcore drunk (750 to 1500 ml of 14% alcohol wine every night), for doing it constantly in front of her kids (of whom she has SOLE custody), and for being as insufferable when drunk as I was during my brief career as an active alcoholic (I quit at 26; she's 47!), it's not like I'm going to let myself lapse into making this my "life." This one-team players team is a great thing to look forward to, but when I find another babe who's got the brains, looks and outgoing sweetness of my fellow attorney, without the huge drinking problem, I'll be--well, hell, I'll be reducing my posts by 15%. lolol.

At least I know myself.


posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 08:51 PM
Hi, again, all.

I just posted this stuff in an inappropriate thread, so now I'm putting it back here, where it belongs. For those of you who haven't seen this thread in a while--or for those who haven't seen it at all--many of you were excited by the idea of getting my info regarding:

(1) Players who were on the Top 50 of Bill James' Top 100 of all time at each position;


(2) Players from that group who spent their ENTIRE playing career with the same franchise.

The plan was, and is, for me to start with one position, carefully make certain who is and isn't eligible (it came as a shock to me that Yogi Berra is INeligible at catcher), then give y'all NOT just a list of their names, but also good enough info on each one that you can either pick your man or have a good start on your research to make an informed decision in picking your man.

Problem: I have a death penalty brief to finish, and although I'll be finished with the brief itself before 5/1--the date I gave, I believe, for starting this--I have editorial stuff to work out with my proofreader, and a lot of stuff to work out with Kinko's/Fed Ex.

So this may not start on 5/1 after all, but I promise it will start soon and I will provide all the stuff I said I would provide. And by the way, NOBODY is obligated to make a certain pick, no matter how "obvious" it seems. Players who are still active are NOT eligible, for obvious reasons, but if you think Bill James' #19 (or whatever) first baseman was better than Lou Gehrig, that's all fine and well. I'm not going to ridicule you, and I don't think anyone else should, either. I'm certainly not going to agree, however.


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