Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
So we are well past the time of this season's Midsummer Classic, headed into the heat of the pennant races and still months off from the annual awards-fest that follows the crowning of the World Series champion. But favorites are already emerging to win, for instance, the '07 Rookie of the Year awards (FWIW, Vegas says Ryan Braun in the NL and Daisuke Matsuzaka in the AL).

But that leads to an interesting question ... historically, which league produces the best Rookies of the Year? And to answer that, let's dive into a special edition of Baseball's Hall of Names ...

... in which we construct rosters for each league based on the 60-some men on each side who have won the award. Then ask yourselves -- which has the better "team"?

The year each individual won the Rookie of the Year (ROY) award is shown after each name.

** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

MGR Bill Virdon '55

C Johnny Bench** '68
1B Willie McCovey** '59
2B Jackie Robinson** '47 MLB
SS Hanley Ramirez '06
3B Pete Rose* '63
LF Frank Robinson** '56
CF Willie Mays** '51
RF Darryl Strawberry* '83
DH Albert Pujols* '01

C Mike Piazza* '93
IF Jeff Bagwell* '91
IF Rafael Furcal* '00
OF Andre Dawson* '77
OF Billy Williams** '61
UTIL Orlando Cepeda** '58

RHSP Tom Seaver** '67
LHSP Fernando Valenzuela* '81
RHSP Doc Gooden* '84
RHSP Don Newcombe* '49
LHSP Dontrelle Willis* '03

CL-RH Todd Worrell* '86
RHRP Steve Howe* '80
RHRP Scott Williamson* '99
RHRP John Montefusco* '75
RHRP Kerry Wood* '98

NL Notes ... If you can judge the quality of a team by the types of players who DIDN'T make the cut, consider these names of "other" National League Rookies of the Year: Frank Howard, Dick Allen, Scott Rolen, Tommy Helms, Benito Santiago, Rick Sutcliffe, Jon Matlack, Jack Sanford, Jason Bay, Ryan Howard, even Alvin Dark, the '48 MLB ROY when it was a one-plaque thing covering both leagues ...

No left-handed reliever has ever won an NL ROY, but at least we found two for the rotation ... Virdon will manage the NL, as he spent all but two of his 15 seasons as a big league skipper in the Senior Circuit ...

** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star

MGR Harvey Kuenn* '53

C Carlton Fisk** '72
1B Mark McGwire* '87
2B Rod Carew** '67
SS Luis Aparicio** '56
3B Cal Ripken Jr.** '82
LF Tony Oliva* '64
CF Carlos Beltran* '99
RF Ichiro Suzuki* '01
DH Eddie Murray** '77

C Thurman Munson* '70
IF Derek Jeter* '96
IF Nomar Garciaparra* '97
OF Roy Sievers* '49
OF Tim Salmon* '93
UTIL Gil McDougald* '51

RHSP Justin Verlander '06
LHSP Gary Peters '63
RHSP Mark Fidrych* '76
LHSP Herb Score '55
RHSP Bob Grim '54

CL-LH Dave Righetti* '81
RH-SET Huston Street* '05
RH-SET Gregg Olson* '89
RH-SET Kaz Sasaki* '00
RH-LONG Stan Bahnsen* '68 (as SP)

AL Notes ... The pitching options were thin; in fact, the only AL ROY pitcher to NOT make the team in some capacity is RHSP Don Schwall '61 ... The AL is overloaded at the middle infield in this award listing; other than Jeter, Garciaparra, Aparicio and Carew (not to mention Ripken), who are actually on the roster, options also included Bobby Crosby '04, Angel Berroa '03, Pat Listach '92, Chuck Knoblauch '91, Walt Weiss '88, Ozzie Guillen '85, Alfredo Griffin '79, Tom Tresh '62, Ron Hansen '60, Tony Kubek '57, Harvey Kuenn '53 and Gil McDougald '51 ... Wow.

Kuenn will manage the AL, as he did for the '82 Brew Crew, also known as "Harvey's Wallbangers" ... That starting rotation is massively injury-prone, with Fidrych and Score in the heart of the five-man, so Bahnsen might see significant time as a swing starter ...

So, Bauxites, what do you think? I see the AL with having only one positional advantage, at shortstop (as noted earlier) and maybe in the bullpen. Put these two squads on a neutral field over a full season, and I see the Nationals winning out, maybe 88-74.

Any AL supporters out there? And did I miss anyone who should be on one team or the other? See this page on the greatness of for a complete list of all ROY winners ...

Move Your Rook | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
lexomatic - Friday, August 10 2007 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#172820) #
i would switch dh1b for both teams as you have players with great defensive reputations DH'ing and those with lesser defensive reps playing the field.
rpriske - Friday, August 10 2007 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#172839) #

I like the AL lineup <i>marginally</i> over the NL one (and I mean <i>marginally</i>), but the pitching on the NL side is going to make this a mismatch, in my opinion.


The NL is better.

Move Your Rook | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.