The Dog Days of August? For the players, sure. For a baseball writer, though, the true "dog days" of the year fall between the Hall of Fame vote and the beginning of spring training. Sometimes a good project can help pass the time. On those notes, we often discuss postseason numbers during the Hall of Fame voting period and I thought it might be fun to go through and put together a subjective All-Time Postseason team.

The overall numbers will be the guiding factor and larger samples of numbers trump very small samples. In fact, I essentially eliminated players with fewer than 50 postseason plate appearances. Other things that matter -- call them tiebreakers -- will be career stature, number of rings, volume of appearances in bigger series (stockpiling numbers in the World Series is better than the divisional round) and MVPs.

And, again, this was subjective and far from scientific. It's possible I missed some who deserve inclusion. Feel free to disagree with the selections in the comments, too. Just remember, sometimes your mind plays tricks on you (Jack Morris' postseason ERA was 3.80, for example).

We'll do three teams and the "others considered" category is generally in order.

Off we go.


First team: Yogi Berra. It sounds ridiculous to even say, but Yogi won 10 rings. Ten! He got on base at a .359 clip while compiling 10 doubles, 12 homers and 39 RBI in 75 games to go along with his solid work behind the dish.

Second team: Rick Dempsey. The venerable Orioles backstop won two rings and the 1983 World Series MVP. In 25 career postseason games, he hit .303/.370/.515 with 11 doubles.

Third team: Johnny Bench. One of the best defensive catchers of all-time and the backbone of the Big Red Machine, Bench "only" hit .266 with a .335 OBP (which aren't bad at all), but he also had eight doubles, three triples, 10 homers and 20 RBI in 45 postseason games.

Others considered: Hank Gowdy, Tim McCarver, Yadier Molina

First base

First team: Lou Gehrig. The Iron Horse won six rings and had a hell of a lot to do with it. In 34 games and 150 plate appearances, he hit .361/.483/.731 with 10 homers and 35 RBI. Ridiculous.

Second team: Albert Pujols. Most other positions and Pujols would've been the easy choice. He's one of a handful with a three-homer World Series game, has two rings and a career .323/.431/.599 slash line. In 77 postseason games, he has 18 doubles, 19 homers and 54 RBI. He's also walked (49 times) more than he's struck out (40).

Albert Pujols has quite the postseason resume. USATSI

Third team: Steve Garvey. A winner of five pennants and one World Series, Garvey was widely known as a clutch postseason performer. He hit .338 with a .910 OPS, 11 homers and 31 RBI in 55 postseason games.

Others considered: Hank Greenberg, Mark Grace, Bill Skowron

Second base

First team: Roberto Alomar. The Hall of Famer played in 58 postseason games for three different teams, winning an ALCS MVP and two rings. Along the way, he hit .313 with a .381 OBP, 17 doubles, 33 RBI, 32 runs and 20 steals.

Second team: Eddie Collins. He won four rings from 1910-17, hitting .328 with a .381 OBP, 11 RBI, 20 runs and 14 stolen bases in 34 World Series games.

Third team: Billy Martin. Now known mostly as the fiery manager of the Steinbrenner Yankee years, Martin stepped up his game amazingly as a player in the World Series. In 28 games, he hit .333/.371/.566 with five homers and 19 RBI.

Others considered: Daniel Murphy, Ian Kinsler, Phil Garner, Chase Utley, Marty Barrett


First team: Derek Jeter. Since he played in 158 postseason games, we have essentially a full "season" and can easily judge his numbers. He hit .308 with an .838 OPS, 200 hits, 32 doubles, five triples, 20 homers, 61 RBI, 111 runs, 18 steals and a truckload of clutch hits. Mr. November has five rings and the 2000 World Series MVP.

It's no surprise to see Mr. Jeter on here. USATSI

Second team: Dave Concepcion. Another Big Red Machine member, he hit .297/.333/.455 in 34 postseason games.

Third team: Ozzie Smith. We don't have a ton of great offensive performances at shortstop in large samples, but in Smith we have the best defensive shortstop of all-time with a .325 OBP in 42 games and a clutch home run to boot. That's plenty good for our third-teamer.

Others considered: Alcides Escobar, John Valentin

Third base

First team: Troy Glaus. You ready for this one? Glaus was the 2002 World Series MVP and in 88 career postseason plate appearances, he hit .321/.398/.756 (!) with five doubles, a triple, nine homers and 16 RBI. Fifteen extra-base hits in 24 games did a number on that slugging.

Second team: George Brett. I'm good with arguments for Brett over Glaus, especially given the career stature difference. Maybe I'm too enamored with the slugging percentage. Regardless, Brett hit .337/.397/.627 with eight doubles, five triples (!), 10 homers, 23 RBI and 30 runs in 43 postseason games. And, I mean, he's George Freaking Brett.

Third team: Pablo Sandoval. Panda joins Pujols and two outfielders listed below with a three-homer World Series game. He's also a career .344 hitter with 20 RBI in 39 postseason games with three rings and a World Series MVP.

Others considered: Brooks Robinson, Chipper Jones, Justin Turner, Kevin Youkilis, David Freese, Scott Spiezio


First team: I'm going the All-Star Game route here of figuring out the defensive alignment after I pick my guys. First up, Babe Ruth. Come on. Not only did he win seven rings, but he hit .326/.470/.744 with 15 homers and 33 RBI in 41 World Series games. He's one of four players ever with a three-homer World Series game and he did it twice. Lou Brock only played in three postseason series, but they were all World Series and his team won it all twice. He hit .391/.424/.655 with seven doubles, two triples, four homers, 13 RBI, 16 runs and 14 stolen bases in 16 attempts. The third choice is Mr. October, Reggie Jackson. He joins Pujols, Sandoval and Babe as the three-homer in a World Series game guys. He has four rings and two World Series MVPs. He homered 18 times with 48 RBI in 77 postseason games.

Second team: The all-time leader in postseason home runs? Manny Ramirez. In 111 games, he hit 29 homers and drove home 78 with a .937 OPS. He also needs to be given some extra credit for being part of the "Idiots" who broke the supposed Curse of the Bambino in 2004. Mickey Mantle wasn't far off in homers, despite playing in "only" 65 postseason games. All were World Series and he hit 18 home runs with 40 RBI and a .908 OPS. He won seven rings. Next up, the Hit King. Pete Rose had 86 hits in 268 at-bats (.321 average) with 13 doubles, two triples, five homers, 22 RBI and 30 runs in 67 games. He won the 1975 World Series MVP and three rings in all.

Third team: A ring has eluded Carlos Beltran to this point and far too many people pay attention only to one at-bat (even though he carried his team that series). In all, he's hit .323/.432/.646 with 13 doubles, 16 homers, 41 RBI, 45 runs and 11 steals in 55 postseason games. Hammerin' Hank Aaron only appeared in three postseasons, but he packed it in, hitting .362/.405/.710 with six home runs and 16 RBI in 17 games. Lance Berkman played in 52 postseason games, hitting .317/.417/.532 with 11 doubles, nine home runs, 41 RBI and one of the three ridiculously clutch hits in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

Beltran has been a postseason stud, even if some only remember one plate appearance. USATSI

Others considered: Nelson Cruz, Pepper Martin, Billy Hatcher, Fred Lynn, Tris Speaker, Darin Erstad, Duke Snider, Kirby Puckett, Marquis Grissom, Ryan Braun, Devon White, Juan Gonzalez, Jim Edmonds, Paul O'Neill

Designated hitter

First team: David Ortiz. Big Papi went out with a whimper this past season, but he still hit .289/.404/.543 with 22 doubles, 17 home runs and 61 RBI in 85 postseason games. And, of course, with him it was more about all the clutch hits he got en route to getting the Red Sox three rings in nine years when they previously hadn't had one in 85 years.

Second team: Paul Molitor. The Hall of Famer won the 1993 World Series MVP and in his career hit an absurd .368/.435/.615 with five doubles, three triples, six homers, 22 RBI and 28 runs in 29 games.

Third team: Hideki Matsui. The 2009 World Series MVP played in 56 postseason games, hitting .312/.391/.541 with 15 doubles, 10 home runs and 39 RBI.

Others considered: Kyle Schwarber. Seriously. Only 14 games so far, but he's hitting .364/.451/.727.

Starting rotation

First team: Before we trudge forward, please keep context in mind. The Deadball Era ERA is obviously going to be substantially lower than the so-called Steroid Era. Still, my ace comes from a down era for offense: Sandy Koufax. He won two World Series MVPs. He had a 0.95 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 57 World Series innings. In seven starts, he had four complete games and two shutouts. Bloody sock or no, Curt Schilling was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 133 1/3 career postseason innings through one of the greatest offensive eras. He has three World Series rings and one MVP, just as Madison Bumgarner does. In 102 1/3 postseason innings, Bumgarner has a 2.11 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 87 strikeouts. He also has three shutouts in 14 starts and that amazing Game 7 relief performance. Bob Gibson only made nine postseason starts, but he went 7-2 with a 1.89 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 92 strikeouts in 81 innings. He had eight complete games, two shutouts and won two World Series MVPs. That'll play, even in a down era for offense. John Smoltz worked 209 career postseason innings, so -- like Jeter -- we have basically a full season to judge. He went 15-4 with a 2.67 ERA. He also had four saves.

Postseason monster Madison Bumgarner celebrates with Buster Posey after their 2016 wild-card win. USATSI

Second team: Fresh off being a major player in the Cubs first World Series title since 1908, we're going with Jon Lester here. So far, he has a 2.63 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 133 2/3 career playoff innings. He also has rings with both the Red Sox and Cubs. Ever heard of Monte Pearson? He only made four playoff starts, but all came in the World Series and he won four rings. In 35 2/3 innings, he had a 1.01 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, three complete games and a shutout. Another Yankee -- a far more well-known one -- also joins the party here. Whitey Ford won the 1961 World Series MVP and six rings. He had a 2.71 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 146 career World Series innings, throwing seven complete games and three shutouts in 22 starts. Let's head back over to the opposite coast and grab Dodgers icon Fernando Valenzuela next. In nine playoff appearances, he was 5-1 with a 1.98 ERA. Our last starter here is original Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson. In 11 World Series starts, he had a 0.97 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. Why isn't he higher? It was the Deadball Era. A nice indicator is that even with that ERA, he was only 5-5. I know record isn't a great indicator these days, but back then starters completed almost every game so it was much more telling.

Third team: Cliff Lee was headed for a shot at the first team here. Through his first eight playoff starts, he was 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA. Two of his last three starts were terrible, knocking him down here, but he's still 7-3 with a 2.52 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 89 strikeouts in 82 innings. Let's go with a pair of Orioles next. Jim Palmer was 8-3 with a 2.61 ERA in 124 1/3 innings, winning three rings. Dave McNally was in on two of those, going 7-4 with a 2.49 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven wasn't known for a while as a big-time postseason guy, but he did go 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 47 1/3 innings. He won two rings. As noted in the intro, sometimes your memory plays tricks on you. Our final entrant is Orel Hershiser. He won three series MVPs (one NLCS, one ALCS, one World Series) while going 8-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 132 innings.

Others considered: Dave Stewart, Chris Carpenter, Josh Beckett, Catfish Hunter and Don Larsen (the perfect game does a lot of heavy lifting in his case). And I guess I considered Morris, but not very strongly. He had a few outstanding games but those were balanced out by some awful outings and his 3.80 ERA was hardly the result of this revisionist history that is "pitching to the score."


We'll ditch the three-team format here and throw out a nine-man bullpen. Again, these are power ranked.

Mariano Rivera - The most ridiculous stat I can find in this entire exercise is that Rivera is seventh in career postseason innings pitched. Yes, that includes starters. In his 141 innings, he had a 0.70 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and 110 strikeouts against only 17 unintentional walks. He saved 42 games in 47 chances, won five rings, an ALCS MVP and a World Series MVP.

The best reliever ever, whether we discuss regular season or postseason. USATSI

Andrew Miller - Though the heavy lifting was done in 2016, Miller previously had 8 1/3 innings of postseason experience with nary an earned run allowed. In all, he has a 0.98 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and 40 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings.

Wade Davis - In 32 1/3 postseason innings, Davis has a 0.84 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 46 strikeouts.

Rollie Fingers - In 30 appearances, Fingers racked up 57 1/3 innings, posting a 2.35 ERA. He won three rings and the 1974 World Series MVP.

Goose Gossage - Back in the iron man relief days -- which Miller is apparently trying to resuscitate -- Gossage worked 31 1/3 innings in just 19 appearances. He posted a 2.87 ERA and 0.89 WHIP with 29 strikeouts.

Brad Lidge - His neck seemed to recover nicely from that Pujols moonshot in Minute Maid Park. Lidge ended up with 18 saves in 20 chances while pitching to a 2.18 ERA. He struck out 62 in 45 1/3 innings and is the lasting image of the Phillies winning the 2008 World Series.

Randy Myers - One of the Nasty Boys, Myers won the 1990 NLCS MVP and a ring with the Reds that year. In 30 2/3 innings, he pitched to a 2.35 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and 32 strikeouts.

Blue Moon Odom - Here's our swing guy with an excellent nickname to boot. Odom started four games and appeared in relief -- sometimes as a setup man for Fingers -- six times. He won three rings with Fingers on those '70s A's teams. In 39 2/3 innings, Odom had a minuscule 1.13 ERA and 0.88 WHIP.

Jeremy Affeldt - Surprised? In 31 1/3 career postseason innings, the reliable lefty had a 0.86 ERA and 0.70 WHIP. He inherited 23 runners and only one scored while the opposing teams slashed .139/.216/.168 against him. Pretty stellar.

And I'm spent. Enjoy the dog days of January and let me know who else should be on here.