You may recall some time back we introduced a new wing to the Hall of
Names, when in late July we looked at a team composed of players who
had the greatest Age 40 seasons in MLB history, Making the Top 40.
We now revisit that concept with a Plus-One twist and find that indeed, life just begins at 40 and actually gets better with a team we can only call ...
Sum 41 ("All Killer, No Filler")
**indicates Hall of Famer
C Carlton Fisk** (.293/13/68 with 1989 CHW)
1B Cap Anson** (.314/0/91 with 1893 CHC)
2B Honus Wagner** (12 games at 2B; .274/6/78 with 1915 PIT)
SS Luke Appling** (.314/0/47 with 1948 CHW)
3B Wade Boggs** (.301/2/29, final year with 1999 TBD)
LF Stan Musial** (.330/19/82 with 1962 STL)
CF Ty Cobb** (.323/1/40, final year with 1928 PHA)
RF Ted Williams** (.316/29/72, final year with BOS)
DH Dave Winfield** (.271/21/76 with 1993 MIN)
C Bob Boone* (.274/1/42, AL Gold Glove with 1989 KCR)
OF/C/1B Jim O'Rourke** (.304/0/56 with 1892 NYG)
OF Sam Rice** (.310/0/42 for 1931 WSH)
IF/OF Nap Lajoie** (.246/2/35, 15 SB, final season, 1916 PHA)
IF/OF Candy Nelson (.251, 12 SB final season, 1890 Brooklyn Gladiators)
DH/PH Edgar Martinez* (.263/12/63 for 2004 SEA)
RHSP Cy Young** (21-11,, remarkable 1.26 ERA for 1908 BOS)
LHSP Warren Spahn** (18-14, 1962 MLN)
RHSP Roger Clemens*[*] (18-4, 2004 HOU)
LHSP Randy Johnson*[*] (17-8, 2005 NYY)
5SP-RH Pete Alexander** (16-9, 1928 STL)
CL-RH Dennis Eckersley** (30 saves, 1996 STL)
RH-SET Hoyt Wilhelm** (12-9, 27 saves 1964 CHW)
LH-SET Jesse Orosco* (4-1, 7 saves, 1998 BAL)
RHRP Curt Davis* (10-10, 1945 BRK)
LHRP Jim Kaat* (8-8, 4 saves, 1980 NYY, STL)
Some 41 Notes ... Okay, naming this team for a middling pop band probably doesn't do justice to the 19 Hall of Famers (including future Hall of Famers Johnson and Clemens) on this roster, but when the band's first big album is entitled "All Killer, No Filler," well, at least there's a legitimate theme for this squad ... Playing Wagner at 2B is the biggest reach of the lineup, but he played there more than Appling (57 career games to 40) and actually made 12 appearances on the unfamiliar infield side of second base during his age 41 season, while Appling only played short and third base during his age 41 year ...
If for some reason you don't like Hall of Fame 373-game winner Grover Cleveland "Pete" Alexander and his 16 age-41 wins in the fifth spot of the rotation, Phil Niekro and Don Sutton each won 15 while Jerry Koosman and Ted Lyons each copped 14 wins in their own age-41 seasons ... That five-man rotation compiled a combined record of 91-46 at the age of 41; with this roster stuffed with Hall of Fame caliber offensive teammates, that should be a pretty easy mark to surpass ... The bullpen was just a combined 34-34, brought down by Eck's 0-6 mark with the Cardinals, but also racked up 68 saves, so should be okay if that rotation ever actually needs a hand in finishing a game (They combined for 77 age-41 complete games, though Clemens had none and Johnson just four)...
Oddly, just 10 of the 25 men on this roster were also on the All-Age-40 roster mentioned earlier ... Think this team can and should be better? Thanks to the good folks at the incomparable BaseballReference.com, you can search all of the Age 41 Batting Leaders and Pitching Leaders -- suggestions are welcome! ...
Fans of Douglas Adams, one of the greatest British authors of the last century, must all be anxiously awaiting our next installment, The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything ... the All-42 squad.