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Let's see, now. We could go with Santiago, Stargell, Sandberg, Ozzie Smith and Schmidt around the infield, Strawberry, Singleton and Reggie Smith in the outfield, Staub the DH, Seaver to start and Sutter to close. Yup, we could pretty much have an All-Star reunion from the late 1970s and early- to mid-1980s and come up with a pretty fair All-S lineup and call it a day.

Of course, if we did that, we'd miss out on more than a dozen Hall-of-Fame quality players, and that'd be ... well, bad if we want to keep up with the Joneses (and all the other J's) not to mention the Robinsons (and all the other R's).
So we probably don't need a team nickname, given the built-in cool logo (see image, left), but let's build the team up anyway in the hopes of assembling a roster that the other all-letter teams won't be able to look at and say "oh, yeah, we'll kick their ... S." So, then, it's not the Baltimore Baseball team (the Orioles, or birds) or the New York football team (the Jets, or planes), it's ...

** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

MGR Casey Stengel** (1905-1842, 10 NYY pennants, seven rings)
Bench Coach: Frank Selee** (1284-862, 6 pre-World Series flags)
Coach: George Stallings (879-898, one WS title -- '14 Miracle Braves)
Coach: Billy Southworth (1044-704, four pennants, two titles)
Coach: Mayo Smith (662-612, one title -- '68 Tigers)
Player/Coach: Red Schoendienst (1041-955, two pennants, one title)
Player/Coach: Tris Speaker (617-520 as player/manager; one title w/ '20 Indians)

C Ted Simmons* (.285, 248 homers, 2472 hits)
1B George Sisler** (.340, 2812 hits)
2B Ryne Sandberg** (282 homers, nine straight Gold Gloves
SS Ozzie Smith** (2460 hits, 580 SB, 13 Gold Gloves)
3B Mike Schmidt** (548 homers, 10 Gold Gloves)
LF Al Simmons** (.334, 2927 hits)
CF Tris Speaker** (.345, 3514 hits)
RF Ichiro Suzuki* (.339 through 2004)
DH Rusty Staub* (.279, 2716 hits, 292 homers)

C Jim Sundberg* (.248 over 16 seasons)
1B/3B George Scott* (.268, 271 homers)
MID IF Red Schoendienst** (.289, 2449 hits)
OF/LHP Cy Seymour (.303, 61-56 in 140 games pitched)
OF/LHP Elmer E. Smith (.310, 75-57 in 149 games pitched)

RHSP Tom Seaver** (311-205)
LHSP Warren Spahn** (363-345)
RHSP Al Spalding** (253-65)
LHSP Johan Santana* (43-18 through 2004)
RHSP Hilton Smith** (Negro league great)

CL-RH Bruce Sutter* (300 saves)
RH-SET Lee Smith* (478 saves)
RH-SET Jeff Shaw* (203 saves)
RH-LONG John Smoltz* (163-121, 154 saves through '04)
LH-LONG Bobby Shantz* (119-99, 48 saves)

Super-ficial Commentary... The "Ol Perfesser" referenced in the team's name, of course, is of course squad skipper Casey Stengel, not George Bernard Shaw (though he, too, has the proper last initial) ... One sucessful manager who didn't make the coaching staff is current Texas skipper Buck Showalter (723-668 through 2004); of course, the Yankees in 1996 and the D-Backs in 2001 both won the World Series the year immediately after Showalter left the organization, and we're waiting for the Rangers to figure that out ...

Ted Simmons is the starting catcher, with Benny Santiago backing him up, meaning the only S-catcher in the Hall of Fame, Ray Schalk, doesn't even make the team -- and he probably doesn't deserve to ... In fact, can someone explain why Schalk (.253, 177 SB in 18 seasons) is enshrined while Wally Schang (.284 , 121 SB in 19 seaons) isn't? It's likely neither should be ... Actually, in addition to the four already mentioned, there are lots of fine backstop candidates, including Manny Sanguillen* (.296, 1500 hits even), Mike Scioscia* (.259 in 13 seasons), Terry Steinbach* (.271, 162 homers) and Andy Seminick* (.243, 164 homers), and if you want to go offense/defense, how about Mike Stanley* (.270, 187 homers) and Luke Sewell* (.259, 20 homers in 20 pre-Gold-Glove era seasons) ...

Let's not forget Ossee Schreckengost; his .271 average and nine homers from 1897-1908 won't earn him any playing time ahead of those already mentioned, but what a great name ... After all that, Simmons was only adequate defensively, so we'll go with a defensively-oriented backup, and there's never been one better than Jim Sundberg* ...

Not only won't Luke Sewell make the team, neither will his Hall of Fame shortstop brother, Joe ... Remember RHSP Billy C. Swift, a 20-game winner with the Giants a few years back? Well, his 94-78 career mark not only doesn't come anywhere near cracking the list of all-time "S" winners, he's not even MLB's all-time leader in Bill Swift wins, as another RHSP, Bill V. Swift, cobbled together a 95-82 careeer mark in the 1930s ...

Wait, Ichiro Suzuki* in RF over Sammy Sosa*? Uh, yeah. Not only that, but Sammy could do no better than bronze as runner-up for the position was Gary Sheffield* ... RHSP Johnny Sain* (139-116) was a heck of a real-life righty complement to Hall of Fame southpaw Warren Spahn** with the Braves of the late 1940s and early 1950s, but if we took both Spahn AND Sain in the rotation, we'd have all kinds of people, just out of force of habit, praying for rain, and Seaver** and the other guys would never get the ball ...

Though only four of them made this squad -- wait, that's a full 16 percent of the roster! -- we should recognize the previous Hall of Names All-Smith team as a "S"ource for this one ... The 2005 All-Star Game also had a heavy "S" presence, though clearly the AL is leading in that respect, as only John Smoltz was with the Senior Circuit, while Sheffield, Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano, Mike Sweeney and C.C. Sabathia represented the Junior Circuit ...

Gosh, it was tempting to make a PH/DH slot on the roster for Fred Schemanske ... who? This is a guy, who made his major league debut with the 1923 Senators at the age of 20, pinch-hit three times and had two singles and a walk ... he never made it back to the major leagues, so retired with a career OBP of 1.000 ...

We could have a five-man All-Hall of Famers rotation, but that would mean having no second lefty, so youngster Johan Santana*, who's been pretty good so far, bumps Don Sutton** ... What, the all-time saves leader -- and by a lot -- isn't thc closer? If you're thinking that, you never saw Bruce Sutter* pitch ... Speaking of closers, the boys in Seattle (Kaz Sasaki*, Mike Schooler, even briefly Heathcliff Slocumb) amd Houston (Dave Smith*, Joe Sambito*) seem to strongly prefer the "cloSer" approach ...

And sure, the bullpen is right-handed heavy, but rather than dropping Jeff Shaw* and his 203 saves for Sambito, which was another viable option, we note that our two backup OFs on the banch, Cy Seymour and Elmer Smith, while both .300+ career hitters, each also enjoyed marked success as a left-handed pitcher (combined 136-113) early in the last century, so we can always call on one of them to play LOOGY for a day ...

Another Hall of Famer doesn't make the roster in Willie Stargell** -- gee, it was hard to cut "Pops" -- as his contemporary George Scott* actually beats him out despite being outhomered by more than 200; Willie's defensive versatility only took him into LF, while George played more than 200 games at 3B, giving us a viable backup for Schmidt -- much to the continuing disappointment of Ron Santo*.

We assumed Juan Samuel*, who seemed to play everywhere, would grab a utility role on the bench, but believe it or not, he never played a single inning in the big leagues at shortstop -- so Red Schoendienst**, who made the Hall of Fame as a 2B, but who also made nearly 50 appearances at short and even more at the hot corner, joins Tris Speaker** as a player/coach, though the Grey Eagle will start in CF while the ol' Red head will be a utilityman.

So, Bauxites, can you make Sense of this team, or can it be even more super?

S is for Speaker, Seaver and Spahn (Super!) | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
smcs - Sunday, September 18 2005 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#128252) #
Perhaps the reason Ray Schalk is in the Hall of Fame is because he was part of the Infamous 1919 Chicago White Sox and didn't get kicked out. It might have been a spite pick just to burn the guys who did get thrown out.
Smithers - Sunday, September 18 2005 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#128267) #
What, no home-team love? Can Dave Steib at least be a non-roster invitee to spring training?
Mick Doherty - Sunday, September 18 2005 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#128281) #
Good catch, Smithers. I normally include a list of everyone in the letter who didn't make the rotation but who had at least 125 wins (or 100 wins and a stupidly good winning percentage) but to be honest, I lost the list I compiled for the S team and figured we had enough TWIB-type notes as it was.

I don't think Steib makes the team, of course, but he would be one of the four or five guys anchoring the S-AAA rotation.
Nolan - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 01:37 AM EDT (#128287) #
Anyone else believe that Ted Simmons should be in the Hall of Fame?

He was a great offensive catcher who made himself into a good defensive player. In my opinion, he was as good as or better than Hall of Fame catchers Rick Ferrell, Gary Carter, and Ernie Lombardi; probably just a little behind Fisk.

Yet another great job on the Hall of Names...
Mike Green - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#128309) #
Simmons' defence was average, at best. His bat was superior to that of Carter or Lombardi, and underappreciated at the time. I make him better than Lombardi, but not as good as Carter, and a marginal Hall of Famer.

As for the S's, Pops and Santo were both considerably better players than Boomer Scott. I'd change the bench, dropping Scott and one of the turn of the century OF/LOOGYs for Pops and Santo. Pops was actually a better hitter than Simmons, but not as good in the field. With Speaker in centre, you might very well start Pops at least some of the time. If you're nervous about not having 2 lefties in the bullpen, Sambito for Shaw would be a reasonable trade.

S is for Speaker, Seaver and Spahn (Super!) | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.