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Preview: Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

My rankings of the greatest baseball players ever, starting with number 1, in order.

Updated: 2016-08-28T11:49:44.551-07:00


Birthday Team: February 29


You can't really make a Leap Day team, as there's only 13 guys, but there were a few good ones; Pepper Martin of the Gashouse Gang Cardinals, Al Rosen, the fine third baseman whose career was cut short by back injuries, Terrence Long, a solid outfielder for a few years, relief pitcher Steve Mingori, and Dickey Pearce, a shortstop from the pre-history of baseball.

Birthday Team: February 28


Definitely no Hall of Famers here.  Only two guys who made an All-Star team.  Don't expect much. Lineup: 1. Dick Kokos, RF 2. Moose McCormick, LF 3. Frank Malzone, 3B 4. Terry Turner, SS 5. Marty Perez, 2B 6. Jim Wohlford, CF 7. Rufino Linares, 1B 8. Neftali Soto, C Rotation: 1. Jake Miller 2. Lil Stoner 3. Jeff Niemann 4. Brian Bannister Bullpen:  Aroldis Chapman, Ricky Stone, Howie Krist,

Birthday team: February 27


No Hall of Famers here, and the pitching looks really thin. Lineup: 1 Johnny Pesky, SS 2 Denard Span, CF 3 Matt Stairs, 1B 4 Ron Hassey, C 5 Connie Ryan, 2B 6 Craig Monroe, LF 7 Chick Fullis, RF 8 John Wockenfuss, 3B Bench: Cy Perkins, C; Carl Warwick, OF; Sammy Taylor, C;  Pat McNulty, OF. Rotation: 1 Yovani Gallardo 2 Anibal Sanchez 3 Pete Smith 4 Rube Melton Bullpen:  Greg Cadaret, Cliff

Birthday team: February 26


Not much hitting, but a Hall of Famer on the mound. Lineup: 1 Jack Brohamer, 2B 2 Mark DeRosa, RF 3 J.T. Snow, 1B 4 Kelly Gruber, 3B 5 Johnny Blanchard, C 6 Dustin Ackley, CF 7 David Howard, SS 8 Danny Gardella, LF Bench:  Sam LaRocque, IF; Darrell Miller, C-OF; Bill Conroy, C Rotation: 1 Pete Alexander 2 Preacher Roe 3 Rip Collins 4 Josh Towers Bullpen:  Don Lee, Scott

Birthday team: February 25


Two Hall of Famers again, but not much starting pitching. Lineup: 1 Cesar Cedeno, CF 2 Ron Santo, 3B 3 Paul O'Neill, RF 4 Monte Irvin, LF 5 Andy Pafko, 1B 6 Bob Brenly, C 7 Jack Lohrke, 2B 8 Jack Hannifin, SS Bench: Shannon Stewart, OF; Bob Bescher, OF; Danny Cater, 1B-3B; Roy Weatherly, OF; David Hulse, OF. Rotation: 1 Denny Lemaster 2 Al Hollingsworth 3 Ed Lynch 4 Jim Britt Bullpen:  Key

Birthday Team: February 24


On this team, we get two Hall of Famers, and another guy who could be.  Best birthday team in days. Lineup 1 Bob Seeds, RF 2 Honus Wagner, SS 3 Eddie Murray, 1B 4 Mike Lowell, 3B 5 Nick Esasky, LF 6 Bubba Phillips, CF 7 Earl Grace, C 8 Joe Dolan, 2B Bench: DeWayne Wise, OF; Pinky Pittenger, IF; Chris Parmalee, OF-1B; Del Wilber, C. Rotation 1 Wilbur Cooper 2 Bronson Arroyo 3 Bugs Raymond 4

Birthday team: February 23


Our 2/23 team will have a decent lineup, but no real pitching to speak of. 1 Ron Hunt, 2B 2 Rondell White, CF 3 Bobby Bonilla, 3B 4 Elston Howard, C 5 Roy Johnson, LF 6 John Shelby, RF 7 Ken Boswell, 1B 8 Rudy Hulswitt, SS Bench: Mike Tresh, C; Billy Lauder, IF; Willin Rosario, C. SP Scott Elarton SP Edgar Gonzalez SP Luke Prokopec SP Lou Lowdermilk Bullpen:  Juan Agosto, Don Shaw, Jason Boyd

Birthday team: February 22.


I think the February 22 team will be our worst yet.    Best players are relief pitchers, some of which will be starters on our roster. 1 Russ Johnson, 3B 2 Kelly Johnson, 2B 3  Joe Lefebvre, RF 4 Casey Kotchman, 1B 5 Daniel Nava, LF 6 Johnny Lucadello, SS 7 Eric Yelding, CF 8 Roy Spencer, C Bench: Bill Baker, C; Marty Hopkins, IF. SP Steve Barber SP Clarence Mitchell SP Jumbo McGinnis SP Tom

Birthday team: February 21


We will resume the birthday teams with the February 21 group.  No Hall of Famers, but a guy who should be. 1 John Titus, RF 2 Alan Trammell, SS 3 Joe Foy, 3B 4 Ted Savage, LF 5 Franklin Gutierrez, CF 6 Joel Skinner, C 7 Oscar Azocar, 1B 8 Tom Shopay, badly out of position at 2B Bench: Brandon Berger, OF; Rene Reyes, OF SP Jouett Meekin SP Jack Billingham SP Dummy Taylor SP Fred Newman Bullpen

Baseball Hall of Fame Alternative History Part 5: the 1970s


Part 5: The 1970s. The membership of our alternative history Hall of Fame now stands thus: 20th century players: Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson; Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Pete Alexander; George Sisler and Eddie Collins; Rogers Hornsby and Rube Waddell, Lou Gehrig, Sam Crawford, Eddie Plank, Harry Heilmann, Three-Finger Brown, Frankie Frisch, Frank

Baseball Hall of Fame Alternative History Part 4


Part 4: the 1960s. We continue our look at what an ideal Hall of Fame selection process might have accomplished, with a better thought out election process, groups dedicated to selecting 20th century and 19th century players, and money committed to doing research years before the actual fact of the Baseball Encyclopedia and the Society for American Baseball Research happened in the real

Baseball Hall of Fame Alternative History Part 3


Part 3: the 1950s. Our alternative history Hall so far: 20th century players: Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson; Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Pete Alexander; George Sisler and Eddie Collins; Rogers Hornsby and Rube Waddell, Lou Gehrig, Sam Crawford, Eddie Plank, Harry Heilmann, Three-Finger Brown, Frankie Frisch, Frank Baker, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Terry,

Baseball Hall of Fame Alternative History Part 2


Part 2: The 1940s. In our alternative Hall, we have 33 members compared to the 26 in the actual HOF in Cooperstown at this point, the first induction ceremony in 1939. To recap, our members are: 20th century players: Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson; Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Pete Alexander; George Sisler and Eddie Collins; Rogers Hornsby and Rube

An Alternative History Baseball Hall of Fame Part 1


Beginning a new series: Baseball Hall of Fame Alternative History Part 1 Anyone who follows the game knows that a number of mistakes have been made in the history of Hall of Fame balloting, both by the BBWAA and the various incarnations of the Veterans' Committee. Let's imagine what might have happened if better choices had been made, right from the beginning. First, let's imagine that

Birthday team: February 20


The 2/20 team shows some early promise:  a Hall of Famer, four guys who made five or more All-Star teams, 12 guys with ten major league seasons, a total of 21 with five.  We should at least have some material to work with this time. Lineup: 1 Sam Rice, LF 2 Muddy Ruel, C 3 Tommy Henrich, RF 4 Brian McCann, 1B 5 Ryan Sweeney, CF 6 Frankie Gustine, 2B 7 Tom O'Brien, 3B 8 Charlie Babb, SS Bench:  

Birthday team: February 19


The February 19 team isn't looking any better than the Feb. 17 squad.  Only three All-Star Game players, with one time each.  Only six guys got in ten major league seasons, and only 15 had at least five.  Tumbleweeds here. Lineup: 1 Dick Siebert, LF 2 John Morrill, 2B 3 Gail Hopkins, 1B 4 Josh Reddick, RF 5 Alvaro Espinosa, SS 6 Russ Nixon, C 7 Chuck Aleno, 3B 8 Don Taussig, CF Bench:  Chris

Birthday team: February 18


The February 18 birthday team will be better than the previous day:  we've got one Hall of Famer and 20 guys with 10 years of big league experience.  It already shapes up as pretty good. Lineup: 1 John Valentin, SS 2 Manny Mota, LF 3 Joe Gordon, 2B 4 John Mayberry, 1B 5 Alex Rios, CF 6 Jerry Morales, RF 7 Jamey Carroll, 3B 8 Frank House, C Bench:  Rafael Ramirez, SS; Dal Maxvill, IF; Frank

Birthday team: February 17


Time to get back to this long-neglected series.  We get back into it with the birthday boys of February 17, which may be the worst team we have yet compiled.  Only one All-Star appearance in the group, just one guy that reached 15 years, 9 with ten, 21 total with five years in the majors.  Not promising. Lineup: 1 Alan Wiggins, 2B 2 Nemo Liebold, CF 3 Wally Pipp, 1B 4 Josh Willingham, LF 5

A History of Hall of Fame Voting Part 6


Resuming a dormant series: 1970s Hall of Fame voting was a mixed bag.  The BBWAA did a good job with their votes, and a Negro Leagues committee was formed to deal with those players and did a fantastic job.  The Veterans' Committee, however, opened a time of great shame for those people. 1971 was the first year for the Negro Leagues Committee and they took the very logical step of electing

A History of Hall of Fame Voting 5


Our look at voting for the Hall of Fame moves into the 1960s.  The early to mid 1950s had been an era of clearing up a backlog and electing some deserving candidates, moving the Hall in a good direction.  But as the end of the 1950s approached, most of the top candidates had been inducted, the lull caused by the Second World War had set in, and the baseball writers (BBWAA) was having trouble

A History of Hall of Fame Voting 4


In our fourth installment we will be looking at the voting in the 1950s.  After some lurching back and forth about defining the Hall, it was during this era that the Hall really came into its own, and became a respected institution.  We have some very smart votes during this time period, with just a few  hiccups. In the 1951 BBWAA vote, Mel Ott and Jimmie Foxx were elected as a very strong class

A History of Hall of Fame Voting 3


When last we left the Hall voting, the baseball writers (BBWAA) charged with doing the voting had elected 12 players to Cooperstown's museum, while various committees of voters had elected seven early executives (including the first president of the NL and AL, respectively), two managers (the redoubtable John McGraw and Connie Mack, even though Mack was still active), and three 19th century

A History of Hall of Fame Voting II


Part 2:  The Voting Begins. Bill James calls the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum "a self-defining institution that has failed to define itself."  This is true, although the Hall has tried, and tried, and tried.  The first vote was scheduled for 1936, with the rule that 75% of voters must choose a great for him to gain election, They also added rules limiting voters to listing no more than ten

A History of Baseball Hall of Fame Voting I


Part 1:  Introduction The mistake that most people make when thinking about the past is that the way things are now is the way things have always been.  They ignore technology changes, attitude changes, all kinds of differences.  For this reason, history remains a mystery to many people; therefore, they are doomed to repeat it. Biblical example:  there is a verse that is often translated to the

Birthday Team: February 16


The February 16 birthday team is not in a promising position.  No Hall of Famers, seven guys with ten years, 16 more with five years.  Looks like depth but no great height to the talent. Lineup: 1Jerry Hairston Sr. 3B 2 Herbie Moran, CF 3 Eric Byrnes, LF 4 Bobby Darwin, RF 5 Terry Crowley, 1B 6 Bill Pecota, SS 7 Barry Foote, C 8 Tim Cullen, 2B Bench:  Don Landrum, OF; Ben Sanders, OF; Creepy