Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

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

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Saturday, January 26, 2013
 
The January 8 team has one Hall of Famer, but it's Bruce Sutter, perhaps the worst HOFer.  Ten guys with ten years, 13 more with five.  Let's see what we've got:

Lineup:
1 Mike Cameron, CF
2 Randy Ready, 2B
3 Jason Giambi, 1B
4 Walker Cooper, C
5 Gene Freese, 3B
6 Jeff Francouer, RF
7 Jim Busby, LF
8 Reno Bertoia, SS

Bench: Willie Tasby, OF; Brian Johnson, C; Jim Donahue, C-OF;  Marv Rickert, 1B-OF; Wilbur Howard, OF; Matt LaPorta, 1B.

Cameron, Giambi, and Cooper are three very good players.  The outfield defense would be terrific.  It's not a bad lineup.

Rotation
1 Carl Pavano
2 Jeff Francis
3 Geremi Gonzalez
4 Chauncey Fisher

Bullpen:  Bruce Sutter, Brian Boehringer, Dick Kelley, James Russell.

Not much pitching, though.  Don't think you'd win a lot of games with this rotation, even with the killer closer.


 
The team of 1/7 births includes one Hall of Famer, 13 with ten years' service, and 21 more with five years.  Lots of depth on this club.

Lineup:
1 Al Dark, SS
2 Kevin Mench, LF
3 Johnny Mize, 1B
4 Alfonso Soriano, CF
5 Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
6 Tony Conigliaro, RF
7 Jim Lefebvre, 2B
8 Al Todd, C

Bench: Dick Schofield, IF; Kitty Bransfield, 1B; Craig Shipley, IF; Brayan Pena, C; Joe Keough, OF.

That's a decent lineup, certainly one that could win a pennant.  Some real power here.

Rotation:
1 Jon Lester
2 Ross Grimsley
3 Allan Anderson
4 Jim Hannan

Bullpen:  Jeff Montgomery, Francisco ("K-Rod") Rodriguez, Eric Gagne, Dad Clarke, Jhoulys Chacin.
Not a great rotation, though plenty of lefties, but a very deep bullpen.


Friday, January 25, 2013
 
The birthday team for January 6 has one Hall of Famer, nine players with at least ten years of major league service, and twelve more with five years.  It shapes up like this:

Lineup:
1 Lenny Green, CF
2 George Shoch, LF
3 Lee Walls, 1B
4 Phil Masi, C
5 Marlon Anderson, 2B
6 Chuck Workman, RF
7 Joe Sullivan, 3B
8 Ruben Amaro, SS

Terrible lineup:  good thing the starting pitching is good or they'd never win a game.

Rotation:
Early Wynn
Don Gullett
Ralph Branca
Joe Lake

Bullpen:
Norm Charlton
Casey Fossum
Tom Ferrick
Jose de Jesus
George Grant


Tuesday, January 22, 2013
 
The team with birthdays on January 5th:  No Hall of Famers born this day, but a lot to work with anyway.  17 guys with at least ten big league seasons, eleven more with five.  No problems filling slots here.

Lineup:
1 Milt Thompson, LF
2 Bill Dahlen, SS
3 Riggs Stephenson, RF
4 Benny Kauff, CF
5 Ron Kittle, 1B
6 Art Fletcher, 3B
7 Jim Gantner, 2B
8 Luke Sewell, C

Cheating a little putting Kittle at 1B, but it gets us another power bat.  Not a great lineup, but a decent bunch of hitters.  This is a birthday team that could actually win a pennant if all the players were at least near their primes.

Bench: Bob Dernier, OF; Henry Cotto, OF; Earl Battey, C; Bill Hunnefield, IF; Joe Grace, OF; Fred Marsh, IF; John Russell, C.

Actually got some depth on this squad.

Rotation:
1 Bob Caruthers
2 Charlie Hough
3 Danny Jackson
4 Jack Kramer

That's a pretty good rotation.  You could win a pennant with that rotation.  And, if you needed a fifth guy, the first two relievers could fill the slot.

Bullpen:
Jeff Fassero
Mark Redman
Rube Foster
Chris Nabholz
Tom Kelley

Not super-talented, but usable pitchers.


Sunday, January 20, 2013
 
January 4, like the third, is a quantity not quality day.  Seven players had ten years in the majors, twelve more had five.  Again, no Hall of Famers.

Lineup
1 Alex Metzler, LF
2 Darryl Boston, CF
3 George Selkirk, RF
4 Al Bridwell, 3B
5 Ossie Vitt, 1B
6 Tito Fuentes, 2B
7 Tommy Corcoran, SS
8 Herman Franks, C

Bench: Blondy Ryan IF, Scott Sizemore IF, Jason Bourgeous OF.

Rotation
1 Ted Lilly
2 Jay Tibbs
3 Bob Spade
4 Ken Reynolds

Bullpen
Don McMahon
Tom Gorman
Paul Gibson
Kevin Wickander

Again, a minor league pennant winner.  Not a great team in the majors.  Did manage to fill every position.


 
The January 3 birthday team has few stars, and no Hall of Famers, but nine players with ten or more years and ten more with five years.  Quantity more than quality.

Lineup
1 Frenchy Bordagaray, CF
2 Buzz Arlett, LF
3 Gus Suhr, 1B
4 Darren Daulton, C
5 Bill Cissell, 3B
6 Barney Gilligan, RF
7 Luis Sojo, 2B
8 Luis Rivera, SS

Bench: Virgil Stallcup IF, Roy Brashear 1B-OF, Ed Sauer OF

Rotation
1 AJ Burnett
2 Sid Hudson
3 Cliff Melton
4 Bart Johnson

Bullpen
Gary Lavelle
Mark Dewey
Russ Swan
Brian Allard

Looks like a team that won a minor league pennant in the 1920s.


 
The team of birthday boys from Jan. 2 has no Hall of Famers, but several good players, including a number of recent vintage.  Nine played at least ten years in the majors, and seven more at least five.

Lineup
1 Royce Clayton, SS
2 Bill Madlock, 2B
3 Edgar Martinez, LF
4 Red Kress, 1B
5 Pinky Whitney, 3B
6 Jim Essian, C
7 Merlin Kopp, RF
8 George Jackson, CF

A lot of infielders and a decent catcher, but not really any infielders.  Putting Edgar in the OF is stretching it, but there isn't anyone else:  Kopp and Jackson, the others listed, barely played at all.  Madlock, Kress, and Whitney were all mostly third basemen, and Edgar was that mostly before becoming a DH.  Sadly, this isn't the sort of grouping where you can make trades.

Bench:  Ryan Garko, 1B; Sam Crane, IF; Ted Gullic, IF.

Staff
Starters:
1 David Cone
2. Jeff Suppan
3. Greg Swindell
4. Garrett Stephenson

Bullpen:
Scott Proctor
George Boehler
Bobby Reis

That's three starting pitchers with at least 100 wins, a pretty good group.  Not much after that.


 
All-star teams by birthdays:  today, the team of players born on the initial day of the year, January 1.

Two Hall of Famers, Hank Greenberg and Tim Keefe, share this birthday.  Nine players who played ten years in the majors share a Jan. 1 birthday, and seven more with at least five years.  This team is a pretty good one on the birthday scale.

Lineup:
1 Ethan Allen, CF
2 Hugh Nicol, RF
3 Earl Torgeson, 1B
4 Hank Greenberg, LF
5 Fernando Tatis, 3B
6 Sherry Robertson, 2B
7 Tom Downey, SS
8 Dave Zearfoss, C

Not bad in the OF and corner infield, but we're stretching in the middle infield and Zearfoss is a reach as a catcher.  Those first five guys aren't bad, though.  Might lead off Nicol, who was very fast, but he wasn't that good at getting on base.

Bench:  Hack Miller and Lynn Jones, OF; Foster Castleman, IF

Staff:
Tim Keefe
Lamarr Hoyt
Ned Garvin (the earlier one)
Carl Schieb
Bob Owchinko

It's Keefe, who won over 300, and nobody else who won 100 games in the majors, although Hoyt did win a Cy Young (that he didn't really deserve).  Schieb and Owchinko were both used more as relievers, but there's not a lot of depth here.  They would start over the other guys.

This team would score some runs, and would be OK on the mound part of the time, but defense would be a problem.