Blog Entry

Best Historical Baseball Lineup

Posted on: January 17, 2010 8:51 pm
I am interested to see what everyones best historical lineup would be. Your lineup has to be aligned by position in the field as well, so one hitter by position. The lineup should consider fielding as you are trying to put the best team on the field overall. You are allowed to include a DH. Pitching should include a 5 man rotation with at least one lefty and righty, plus a closer. There are no wrong answers here, but you can put notes to give your reasons for including who you did. 
1. Rickey Henderson OF -- (best leadoff hitter ever, OBP was over .400. Record runs and walks, nobody put more pressure on the pitcher)2. Rogers Hornsby 2B-- (.358 career BA, batting with Henderson on base 40% of time, he would devestate)3. Ted Williams OF-- (add average years to 5 he missed during prime and he would easily be career leader in BB, runs, RBI with 650 HR's)4. Babe Ruth DH-- (Best slugger to ever play the game, period)5. Willie Mays OF-- (Great combo of power, speed and Gold Glove defense)6. Alex Rodriguez 3B-- (Great Power in this lineup, with Gold Glove Defense at shortstop early in his career to boot, and good speed)7. Lou Gehrig 1B-- (Excellent hitter and run producer)8. Johnny Bench C--(Best combo of hitting and defense) 9. Honus Wagner SS--(Great BA at the bottom of the lineup, setting up the top again)
RHP--Walter Johnson--(An amazing 9 seasons in a 21 year career that he won at least 20 games and had a sub 2.00 ERA. Career 417 wins, 2.17 ERA)LHP-- Warren Spahn-- (Greatest lefty starter in history)RHP--Christy Matthewson--(2.13 Career ERA with 383 wins, and a .665 winning percentage)LHP-- Randy Johnson-- (best power lefty of all time)RHP-- Greg Maddux -- (Dominating starter during the live ball, steroid era makes accomplishments that much greater)RP-- Mariano Rivera-- (Best closer of all time, ice in the veins)
Notes: I couldn't fit in Aaron, based on overall depth in the OF. Couldn't justify putting him over Mays for defense, or Williams who was a better overall hitter by far, or Ruth who could just kill the ball. The only place to fit would be Rickey Henderson's spot, but Rickey was a dynamic game changer, and for that reason he gets the nod. Bonds was another, close but the steroids thing bugs me when you compare his body of work vs. the others in that position I couldn't go there. Arod was a stretch, because of the steroids as well but I felt that he was far better than any other at the position, considering that he will probably close in on 700 HR's before being done, and the fact that he is a Gold Glove fielder at 2 positions. 
Pitchers are tough, so I went with Righty, Lefty, Righty, Lefty, Righty  vs. just the top 5. It is tough to judge pitchers because of the extreme changes in the eras that they pitched. I chose to go with pitchers whose numbers were superior to that of the others in their own era. Cy Young made many more starts that Johnson, making him the most winning pitcher ever, but he also lost the most in history. As well, his ERA was average when compared with the pitchers of his era. 
Category: MLB

Since: Jul 7, 2010
Posted on: July 7, 2010 10:52 am

Best Historical Baseball Lineup

Ok, I think your line-up is ok but could be a lot better and you should take some things into consideration. Here are some things to consider:
a) anyone associated with steroids should not even be considered. This is a disgrace to the game and they cannot compare their natural ability to any of the great players because we will never truly know what their natural ability without the steroids was. 
b) Anyone pre-Jackie Robinson era should not be included. This is because they did not play against all of the best players in the game. Think about this. Did Babe Ruth have to hit Bob Gibson? NO! Did Walter Johnson have to worry about dominating both Hank Aaron or Willie mays? No! Heck, even Josh Gibson (who by the way only played against Negro league players so he would also fit into this boat of not playing against the best of the best of any era) did not get to go yard on Walter Johnson. So, my point is these players should not be included into the argument because if Babe Ruth hit against all of the great pitchers of the day he may not have finished with 714 HRs, maybe he would finish with 600 HRs instead. People do not like to talk about this in baseball but it has to be looked at. Chris Rock once gave an analogy of this example on Costas Now by stating, "This is like a person saying they won a marathon without running against any of the Kenyans, Ethiopians, or any Africans for that matter." Although I cannot stand Chris Rock I think he makes a good point and it validates my point.
c) Technology and fans have taken baseball to a place in which raw talent is not seen as much. Fans like to see the HR so baseball lowered the pitchers mound in order to get more HRs in the game. No longer are teams trying to manufacture runs but instead they are using the long ball to create runs. Technology is a word in itself that needs no explanation. It has given the edge to a lot of hitters and managers over the years. Take technology out of the equation and the playing field would be a lot easier. 
All things above considered, here is my line-up and batting order:
1) SS Derek Jeter (I do not like to add current players to all-time rosters because their work is still in progress. However, Jeter and Pujols are exceptions. Most SS throughout the years have been very good at hitting or very good at fielding but this is one guy who has been good at both. With an career fielding % of over 97.5% and batting over .300 with some of the most clutch hitting he is a must select. He also has an high OB%, which a lead-off guys needs).
2) LF Ted Williams (The Splendid Splinter also needs no introduction as he is arguably the greatest hitter to ever take the field. It is mind boggling to think about what he could have accomplished had he not served our country admirably! I truly understand this since I am a veteran myself and still serving my country today. He is also the last player to hit over .400 (1953, .407) which was post-Jackie Robinson era, which makes his hitting just that much more amazing! 
3) 1B Albert Pujols (I almost never add current players to all-time rosters but this one is the one exception of just about any sport! This guy is a true monster and will give any opposing pitcher a nightmare! With Teddy batting in front and Hammerin Hank behind him he should see some really good pitches, unlike what he actually sees during his current career. This man has averaged a ridiculous 42 home runs and .332 batting average in his first 10 years in the majors. no player in the history of the game has done such! This is truly video game averages. I can only imagine where he will end up on the all-time list in HRs and BA.)
4) RF Hank Aaron (Hammerin Hank does not need an introduction as he is still the home run King in my book because of the allegations surrounding Bonds. Hank Aaron is also ranked 3rd all-time in hits with 3,771. To be honest, if you take steroid users, pre-Jackie Robinson era players, and people who bet on baseball out of the record books then Hammerin Hank would be the all-time Home Run leader and the All-time hits leader in the history of the game. It is impossible to leave him off of this list.)
5) CF Willie Mays (The Say Hey Kid is arguably the greatest player to ever play the game and is the consummate of what a 5 tool player is. There is no line-up that he will be left out because everything a manager needs, he has. With 660 HRs, having led the league in SB, hits, BA, HRs, Triples, and numerous of other categories, he is what makes this line-up great!).
6) 3B Mike Schmidt (Probably the best Home Run hitting third baseman of all-time. His power is a must have and a sound player on the infield down the hotline is also a must have. Although I am giving up some batting average here the power more than makes up for it.)
7) C Yogi Berra (Probably the best catcher to handle any pitching staff assembled in an all-time lineup. He also hit .285 in his career and over 350 HRs in his career. A solid catcher is need to round out the pitching staff and he has what it takes to get things done on the defensive side of the house and the offensive side of the house.)
8) 2B Jackie Robinson (The consummate professional and player. He hit over .300 for his career and played sound at the second base position. He would probably be my team captain.)

Starting Pitchers 
RHP - Bob Gibson (Probably the most feared pitcher of all-time and a must have on this roster. Gibson also hit very well, to include a pair of world series home runs. It is always nice to have a pitcher who could hit in the line-up.).
LHP - Sandy Koufax (Probably the most hardest and dominating left handed pitcher to ever take the mound, no pun intended Randy. This guy Bob Gibson had some of the most memorable pitching duels the game has ever seen. Many of their games would feature both pitchers going 9 innings with one team prevailing by the score of 1 - 0 or 2 - 1. This was truly a pitching duel! It is hard to have one without the other).
RHP - Tom Seaver (He is probably the best pitcher on this staff that just knows how to just plain out right win! All of the others are winners but they will not get it done in different fashions like Seaver. There were not many pitchers or players for that matter to ever play the game.).
LHP - Randy Johnson (Hard to spot another great left hander outside of Randy and Sandy so my lefties would be rounded out with Randy. He has also had some post-season magic!).
RHP - Greg Maddox (Will probably end up as one of the best pitchers to take the mound but his work will not be appreciated until long after he has retired. He earned his way onto this list.) RP/Closer - Mariano Rivera(The greatest closer of all-time, period).
Manager - Joe Torre (It's hard to argue with results. Not only that, he seems to always manage the high end talent and superstars in the big cities and still keep his composure. He would be perfect to manage this team.) 
This is a good line-up although it is restricted from adding players who had steroid usage, played in the segregated era, and cheated baseball. If it were not for these situations I honestly believe the Babe, Ty Cobb, and a few other would have made this list but they are on the restriction list. 
Although I cannot stand the Yankees 4 of them ended up on this list while my favorite team only ended up with two players, which are Albert Pujols and Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals (Which goes to show that I am not bias but based this on who truly deserves to be there).

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2010 9:38 pm

Best Historical Baseball Lineup

You might enjoy this poem by Ogden Nash from 1949 entitled "Line-up for Yesterday" in alphabetical order

A is for Alex
The great Alexander;
More Goose eggs he pitched
Than a popular gander.

B is for Bresnahan
Back of the plate;
The Cubs were his love,
and McGraw his hate.

C is for Cobb,
Who grew spikes and not corn,
And made all the basemen
Wish they weren't born.

D is for Dean,
The grammatical Diz,
When they asked, Who's the tops?
Said correctly, I is.

E is for Evers,
His jaw in advance;
Never afraid
To Tinker with Chance.

F is for Fordham
And Frankie and Frisch;
I wish he were back
With the Giants, I wish.

G is for Gehrig,
The Pride of the Stadium;
His record pure gold,
His courage, pure radium.

H is for Hornsby;
When pitching to Rog,
The pitcher would pitch,
Then the pitcher would dodge.

I is for Me,
Not a hard-hitting man,
But an outstanding all-time
Incurable fan.

J is for Johnson
The Big Train in his prime
Was so fast he could throw
Three strikes at a time.

K is for Keeler,
As fresh as green paint,
The fastest and mostest
To hit where they ain't.

L is for Lajoie
Whom Clevelanders love,
Napolean himself,
With glue in his glove.

M is for Matty,
Who carried a charm
In the form of an extra
brain in his arm.

N is for Newsom,
Bobo's favorite kin.
You ask how he's here,
He talked himself in.

O is for Ott
Of the restless right foot.
When he leaned on the pellet,
The pellet stayed put.

P is for Plank,
The arm of the A's;
When he tangled with Matty
Games lasted for days.

Q is for Don Quixote
Cornelius Mack;
Neither Yankees nor years
Can halt his attack.

R is for Ruth.
To tell you the truth,
There's just no more to be said,
Just R is for Ruth.

S is for Speaker,
Swift center-field tender,
When the ball saw him coming,
It yelled, "I surrender."

T is for Terry
The Giant from Memphis
Whose .400 average
You can't overemphis.

U would be 'Ubell
if Carl were a cockney;
We say Hubbell and Baseball
Like Football and Rockne.

V is for Vance
The Dodger's very own Dazzy;
None of his rivals
Could throw as fast as he.

W is for Wagner,
The bowlegged beauty;
Short was closed to all traffic
With Honus on duty.

X is the first
of two x's in Foxx
Who was right behind Ruth
with his powerful soxx.

Y is for Young
The magnificent Cy;
People battled against him,
But I never knew why.

Z is for Zenith
The summit of fame.
These men are up there.
These men are the game.

found at  among other places

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2010 7:35 pm

Best Historical Baseball Lineup

Pretty good lineup.  Now you can add 5 more pitchers and 5 more position players to get a 25 man roster.

In pitching, I would add left handers Sandy Kofax and Whitey Ford and right handers Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson.  And Mike Marshall with 188 career saves and 3.14 lifetime era.  I believe he was the first reliever called a "closer" because they would bring him in and he would close the door on you.

For outfielders I would add

Stan the Man Musial - 22 seasons .331 batting average, 3630 hits, 475 home runs.  He was a real clutch hitter and played the harmonica on road trips.  And Musial also played well at first base.

Hammerin Hank Aaron was consistently good throughout his career - 23 seasons, 3 gold gloves for his fielding, .305 batting average, 3771 hits, and of course 755 home runs without steroids.

For an additional catcher, I would take Yogi Berra for "gettin r done" on great championship teams and for being so funny at the same time.
For infielders, I would add Joe Morgan for his steadiness and great knowledge of the game and 5 gold gloves.  And Mike Schmidt with 10 gold gloves at third base and 548 career home runs in 18 seasons without steroids.

Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2010 4:17 pm

Best Historical Baseball Lineup

For once I am very much in agreement with an original post. This is a lineup that is very represented throughout the era's and a very good(in my opinion) set of major league players. I have only one change that I would make. Arod is off my list due to steroids. Insert Brooks Robinson,Mike Schmidt,or George Brett. Me personally, I would go with Mike Schmidt. I know he didn't have the BA that some of his contemporaries had, but with that many strikeouts, he still had a .380 lifetime OB %. Add the Homeruns, and the amazing defense and arm that he had and wow. And don't give me the George Brett is a cheater because of excess pine tar deal either..LOL!

As a note, (and also part of my Randy Johnson obsession) I think since the tag was added to Greg Maddux about how impressive it was that Maddux pitched so well in the steroid era, so did Johnson.and several other notables, but I get why he mentioned Maddux. Mainly due to his velocity(or lack there of). Maddux was a control pitcher, and was never considered(even when young) as a power pitcher.  So a well deserved note there. But don't forget that the Big Unit pitched right thropugh the heart of that era as well....

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2010 1:37 pm

Best Historical Baseball Lineup

There is plenty of room for debate on this topic, and you could argue each position before settling on a squad.

My leadoff would be Ty Cobb -OF (L).  He has the highest lifetime batting average of any player, one of the highest on-base percetnage, and was a threat on the basepaths.
Batting second, Rogers Hornsby - 2B (R).  He's second on the career batting average list and he hits with ome pop
3rd Teddy Ballgame - OF (L).  'nuff said
4th:  Babe Ruth - OF (L).  The highest on-base+Slugging percentage ever, and you could make a case for him being one of your starting pitchers.  In my humble opinion, when factoring in this ability to pitch, the best baseball player ever.
5th: Albert Pujols - DH (R).  Averages 42 HRs and a .344 batting average, and he has one of the highest slugging percentages ever.
6th: Lou Gehrig - 1B (L).  Ranks third on that all time On-Base+Slugging percentage list behind the Babe and Teddy Ballgame.
7th: Johnny Bench - C (R).  Gehrig benefitted from having Ruth behind him in the lineup, and with Bench in this slot, you still can't pitch around him.
8th: Brooks Robinson - 3b (R).  Doesn't have the stats the ret of this lineup does, but he was best in the clutch. He took runs off the board with his defense, which is a pitcher's best friend.  He won 16 Gold Gloves because he made the ridiculous look routine and sometimes turned a bunt into a double play.  After all, the game isn't all about offense.
9th: Honus Wagner - SS (R).  Multiple batting titles and can steal bases.  Kinda like having a leadoff hitter batting 9th.

Notable ommissions:  Frank Robinson, Nap Lajoie, Joe Jackson, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Stan Musial,

Starting Pitchers (2 lefties and 3 righties):  Sandy Koufax (L), Bob Gibson (R), Christy Matthewson (R), Walter Johnson (R), Warren Spahn (L)

Notable ommissions:  Lefty Grove (L), Whitey Ford (L), Joe Wood (R), Randy Johnson (L), Nolan Ryan (R), Cy Young (R) do you leave off a guy that hold the record that will never be broken...511 wins?  That would be my bullpen.

Relief Pitchers: Mariano Rivera (R) and Trevor Hoffman (R),

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2010 1:15 pm

Best Historical Baseball Lineup

You may see some bias here (see if you can guess for what team!) but here it goes:

1) 2B - Joe Morgan
2) SS - Derek Jeter
3) 1B - Lou Gehrig
4) DH - Barry Bonds
5) RF - Babe Ruth
6) LF - Joe DiMaggio
7) 3B - Alex Rodriguez
8) C - Yogi Berra
9) LF - Mickey Mantle

P - Bob Gibson
P - Sandy Koufax
P - Randy Johnson
P - Roger Clemens
P - Whitey Ford

Closer - ummmm lemme think - Mariano Rivera

Since: Jan 15, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2010 8:09 am

Best Historical Baseball Lineup

(Don't know why it posted with nothing in here before ... mut have bene operator error).
1. Are we talking the best team over careers or best players in ther prime? Warren Spahn may have been the best lefty over a career, but he was certainly not as good as some others in their prime. And I'm a Milwaukee Braves fan, so I love Spahnnie.
2. I would caution the use of raw stats to compare players of different generations. Pitching was a completely different animal years ago. The roles of relief pitchers have evolved, the introduction of the five-man rotation, the save rule making some guys seem more valuable than they really were, the condition of ballparks and the technology changes. All of these things, and many others such as the introduction of the DH, have had effects on the numbers. (You did mention this, but I wanted to re-emphasize the point).
3. All in all, a good lineup you've got here. I haven't really looked into such a lineup in years. But most of the guys you have, I'd have, too. I think Ted Williams, had his career not been stopped by military service, would have gotten his proper due as a hitter. Simply amazing what the man did.

Since: Jan 15, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2010 8:01 am

Best Historical Baseball Lineup

Since: Jan 15, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2010 8:01 am

Best Historical Baseball Lineup

Since: Mar 30, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2010 7:09 am

Best Historical Baseball Lineup

How about paul byrd? or vance law? just cause paul byrd got caught doing roids, shouldn't exclude him from your list.  You could also be a racist, asuming that you are not white.

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