1. LF: Rickey Henderson – .279/.401/.419
Greatest leadoff hitter of all-time is a good start. He got on base, stole bases, and scored runs. He could hit for power and his charisma was nothing short of spectacular.
2. SS: Derek Jeter – .312/.383/.449
A perfect #2 hitter due to his ability to put the ball in play, Jeter would fill the role of producer and table-setter along with Henderson. In his prime, he wasn’t a terrible shortstop, either.
3. C: Johnny Bench – .267/.342/.476
A two-time MVP and 14-time All-Star, Bench may not have the glamorous numbers that later catchers put up, but he was behind the plate every day (Mauer, cough, cough) and produced at a nearly elite level from 1969-1977 (throw out a couple of low averages in ’71 and ’76). His defense wasn’t bad either, as his 10 Gold Gloves show.
4. 1B: Lou Gehrig – .340/.447/.632
Gehrig hit behind Babe Ruth but he should be recognized for what he was…the greatest cleanup hitter of all time. Gehrig would have averaged 40 2B, 37 HR, 149 RBI and 141 runs scored over a 162 game regular season over his 17 seasons. For all the reverance that we give to Ruth, Williams, and Cobb, I feel that Gehrig gets overlooked. If he wasn’t done at 35, who knows where he would stand in the record books.
5. RF: Hank Aaron – .305/.374/.555
“Hammerin’ Hank” was a 21-time All-Star and was the “clean” version of a homerun record-holder prior to the Steroid Era breakout. 3,771 hits, 755 homers, and a (still record) 2,297 RBI would leave Aaron as the perfect five hitter, clearing off whatever Gehrig didn’t cleanup.
6. CF: Willie Mays – .302/.384/.557
“Say Hey” to a 162 game average of 28 2B, 36 HR, 103 RBI, 18 SB, and 112 runs scored…and that is including his late career fade from 1967-1973 when his production fell terribly. Mays was a 20-time All-Star, a two-time MVP, and 12-time Gold Glover.
7. 3B: Brooks Robinson – .267/.322/.401
A 15-time All-Star, 16-time Gold Glover and protection to the left side in case the poor defensive Jeter is the one who shows up, Robinson brings defensive stability and a solid but not spectacular bat. He is a Hall of Famer, even if he was Buddy Bell with a glove, but he would couldn’t carry A-Rod’s jock offensively…but I told you why I wanted him already.
8. 2B: Roberto Alomar – .300/.371/.443
He spits a mad game and at umpires, but Alomar has to be my second baseman. He was a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glover, but he also averaged 34 2B, 14 HR, 77 RBI, 32 SB, and 103 runs scored over a 162 game season.
1. Greg Maddux – 355-277, 3.16 ERA, 5008 1/3 IP, 3,371 K, 4 Cy Young’s
2. Sandy Koufax – 165-87, 2.76 ERA, 2324 1/3 IP, 2,396 K, 3 Cy Young’s, 1 MVP
3. Walter Johnson – 417-279, 2.17 ERA, 5914 1/3 IP, 3,509 K, 2 MVP’s
4. Steve Carlton – 329-244, 3.22 ERA, 5217 2/3 IP, 4,136 K, 4 Cy Young’s
5. Roger Clemens – 354-184, 3.12 ERA, 4916 2/3 IP, 4,672 K, 7 Cy Young’s, 1 MVP, 1 Federal Perjury Charge
Who would you replace and why? Who would be on your team? Give me some ideas for when I get back!