|Giants dominate all-time NL roster
The results for The Community Voice’s all-time National League and American League baseball teams poll are in, and they reveal sharp contrasts in the psyche of each league’s voting.
The National League voting tended to show more a preference to the local team, the Giants, while the American League voting trended toward the more historical figures of the game, as the team was dominated by New York Yankees.
I got the sense, when tallying up the National League, the bulk of the voters were younger and went with their favorite players rather than combing through the Baseball Encyclopedia to check statistics of players from years past. Some of the selections left me shaking my head in utter disagreement. But hey, it’s their choice, so I just tallied up the votes.
It’s amazing there was no room on the voters’ teams for the likes of Cal Ripken Jr., Reggie Jackson, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Willie McCovey, Bob Gibson, Jackie Robinson, Pete Rose, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Al Kaline, Lou Brock, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Kirby Puckett, Henry Aaron or Roberto Clemente.
Some of the players on these lists played for multiple teams, but in the interest of saving space, we’ll list the teams on which they truly made their mark.
Here’s who The Community Voice readers chose:
First base – Will Clark, San Francisco Giants
Second base – Ryne Sandberg, Chicago Cubs
Third base – Matt Williams, San Francisco Giants
Shortstop – Ozzie Smith, St. Louis Cardinals
Left field – Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants
Center field – Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants
Right field – Tony Gwynn, San Diego Padres
Catcher – Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Left-hand pitcher – Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodgers
Right-hand pitcher – Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
Relief pitcher – Rod Beck, San Francisco Giants.
First base – Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees
Second base – Roberto Alomar, Toronto Blue Jays
Third base – George Brett, Kansas City Royals
Shortstop – Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
Left field – Rickey Henderson, Oakland A’s
Center field – Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle Mariners
Right field – George Herman “Babe” Ruth
Catcher – Yogi Berra, New York Yankees
Left-hand pitcher – Randy Johnson, Seattle Mariners
Right-hand pitcher – Roger Clemens, Boston Red Sox
Relief pitcher – Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees.
So there you have it. That’s who voters selected for their all-time NL and AL teams. Obviously, I have some disagreements with both teams, so here are my teams, starting with the NL first.
The voters got it right in picking the NL outfield. The only debate I could make would be whether or not I’d place Henry Aaron or Roberto Clemente above Gwynn. But I went with Gwynn because I had the chance to see him on an every day basis, and he’s the best right fielder I’ve had the chance to see day in and day out.
I’d put Joe Morgan of the Cincinnati Reds at second base over Sandberg, Willie McCovey at first base over Will Clark and Mike Schmidt at third base over Matt Williams. Oh yeah, see ya Buster Posey, that catcher spot belongs to the one and only Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds.
It’s hard to argue against Sandy Koufax as the left-handed starter, but I have to go with Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies only for the fact that I actually got to see him pitch, and he had 27 wins for the 1972 Phillies, who only won 59 games that year. As for Lincecum, and Rod Beck, well, they’d be replaced by Greg Maddux of the Atlanta Braves and Bruce Sutter of the St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.
On the American League side, Brooks Robinson of the Orioles is my third baseman over George Brett by a slim margin, and Ivan Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers over the Yankees’ Yogi Berra.