Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine

Sure, Detroit, West Pennsylvania and San Pedro de Macorís are nice places, but can they boast the first man on the moon, Opie Taylor, the host of Reading Rainbow, and the director of Howard the Duck? Or, if you prefer some sort of baseball connection, who could be more related to the pastime than Tom Selleck himself?

Okay, so city-based teams are harder to put together than this college-based one, and thus, USC has a much better team than most metropolitan areas can claim. 96 former members of the University of Southern California Trojans have played in the major leagues, more than any other school. So you'd expect a rather good team, right? If you remember Da Box's own John Gizzi's contributions in the It's Alma Mater of Perspective thread, you might recall that there is a very good team here.

In fact, everyone in the starting lineup and four-man rotation was an All-Star at least once, and there's a Hall of Famer who is only our #2 pitcher. Why? Well, Randy Johnson will make it to Cooperstown soon enough. Until then, Tom Terrific is our only enshrined member.

Speaking of possible Hall of Famers, Mark McGwire is undoubtedly the best hitter on this team, though Dave Engle did manage to outhit him in 1986 and out-triple him over their careers.

Other notes: Both Boone brothers make the squad, but only one is in the lineup... Former Brewers and Astros everywhere, including our C, LF, 3B and 3B-turned-DH... We have an outfielder who won MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same year (not Ichiro, natch)... There are 9 Cy Young Awards in the rotation and four no-hitters (including a perfecto) among the eight pitchers...

So let's meet...

* All-Star
** Hall of Famer

MGR Rod Dedeaux (1-4 over two games with 1935 Dodgers)

C Dave Engle* (.266/.308/.353 = All-Star 1984?)
1B Mark McGwire* (career 163 OPS+, 245 HR in '96-'99)
2B Bret Boone* (252 career bat flips)
3B Jeff Cirillo* (career .297 hitter, 2000: 226 R+RBI in Coors)
SS Roy Smalley* (103 OPS+ over 13 seasons, got a ring in final year with '87 Twins)
LF Geoff Jenkins* (29th among active HBP leaders)
CF Fred Lynn* (306 HR, '75 MVP, one broken rib, two torn knees)
RF Steve Kemp* (career highs in 1979: .318/.398/.543, 26 HR, 105 RBI)
DH Morgan Ensberg* (aside from Berkman, best hitter on '05 Astros)

C Chad Moeller (part of one-sided Sexson-Overbay trade)
IF Aaron Boone* ("YANKEES 11th: Boone homered")
IF Gary Sutherland (no-hit MI with 7 teams, once cracked .270)
OF Ron Fairly* (original Jay hit .266 with 215 homers over 21 years)
OF Dave Kingman* (48 HR in 1979)

SP Randy Johnson* (perfect game in '04, you know the rest)
SP Tom Seaver** (311 wins, 2.86 career ERA, no-hitter in 1978)
SP Barry Zito* (2002 Cy Young, made 174 starts in past five years)
SP Mark Prior* (132 ERA+, but only one season with 200 IP)

RHRP Steve Busby* (two no-no's in first two years, injuries thereafter)
RHRP Bill "The Spaceman" Lee* (nuts)
RHRP Jim Barr (239 IP, 2.74 ERA in 1974)
CL-R Tom House (103 IP, 1.93 ERA in 1974)

The Viterbi Team of Baseball Supremacy | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Friday, January 20 2006 @ 02:05 PM EST (#140073) #
Thankfully, Johnson and Seaver are around to prevent Tom House from exerting too much influence on the "younger" pitchers. The short staff is delightfully retro.
Mick Doherty - Friday, January 20 2006 @ 02:25 PM EST (#140075) #
I've no doubt that Bill Lee believes he could throw righty, but he was the quintessential lefty!

1974 was a down year for Seaver, just 11-11 in his heyday, but that bullpen put it all together that year; usby won 22, Lee won 17 and as you note parenthetically, both Barr and House had what might be their best individual season.

Great job, and thank you for not making any "Trojan" jokes.
The Viterbi Team of Baseball Supremacy | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.