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Okay, I should start by admitting that this piece has absolutely zero research support; everything here is strictly from memory. That's an invitation for you all to interject, disagree, expand -- whatever feels right.

Basically, I started wondering about a question and figured to myself, "Self, this would be a great arguing point for Da Box." So here we go. The question? What team has had the most consistent greatness at a single position in baseball history?

Some examples ...

... from other sporting venues, then. For instance, if we're talking football, we might start with Cowboys Quarterback and "throw" (har!) out examples like Don Meredith, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, all Ring of Honor recipients, and even point to Danny White and Tony Romo as All-Pro-level interims.

Talking basketball? I"d think Lakers Center would be hard to beat, with George Mikan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain (briefly!) and Shaquille O'Neal all part of the discussion.

As for hockey, well -- okay, I don't know enough about hockey to make a sensible suggestion here, but am beyond certain that someone will offer and Original Six line of goalies or centermen that carries into the present day.

But baseball ... a longer history than any of those, with longer "dry" periods at positions for any team. Let's think about it ... maybe we can consider ...

  • Yankees CF... Earle Combs, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Bobby Murcer, Mickey Rivers, Rickey Henderson, Bernie Williams ... okay, the current situation is murky, and that list is a little more uneven than most Bronx fans would admit, but in any case, that's gonna be hard to beat!
  • Reds LF... In no particular order, Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, George Foster, Adam Dunn ... hmm, I need to go back farther than that. Wally Post? Joe Adcock? Bob Bescher? 
  • Tigers 2B ... Charlie Gehringer Dick McAuliffe, Lou Whitaker ... and some pretty big gaps, apologies to Placido Polanco, Damion Easley and others.
  • Red Sox LF ... Ted Williams, check. Carl Yastrzemski, check. Jim Rice, check. Manny Ramirez, check. Duffy Lewis, Mike Greenwell and Troy O'Leary didn't embarrass the position. Tony Conigliaro -- if only! And yes, for one year way back when, a guy named Ruth. I think we may have a winner!

But again, that's just off the top of my head. What teams/positions are missing? And who's the best of the best?

The greatest position ever?? | 19 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Matthew E - Monday, November 23 2009 @ 10:10 PM EST (#208633) #
What do we think about first base for the Cardinals? There's been Musial, McGwire, Hernandez, Pujols, Clark...

I think shortstop for the White Sox was pretty decent too, with that one long streak of Appling/Carresquel/Aparicio.

smcindoe - Monday, November 23 2009 @ 10:32 PM EST (#208634) #

For the Cards 1B, don't forget Johnny Mize. His 51 HRs came for another team but he had some big years in St. Louis.

Still think Sox LF takes it, though.

Magpie - Monday, November 23 2009 @ 10:40 PM EST (#208635) #
The Yankees do OK behind the plate. They may start the reign of terror with Benny Bengough and Pat Collins, but pretty soon they're running through Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, Elston Howard, Thurman Munson and Jorge Posada.

We won't mention the Jake Gibbs Era.
Mick Doherty - Monday, November 23 2009 @ 11:59 PM EST (#208636) #

The Jake Gibbs Era was just  a smidge before my time, but I am still trying to block any remnant memory of what was The Matt Nokes Era.

Seriously, I thought about including a couple of other Yankee positions including catcher -- and first base was no slouch, for instance (Gehrig, Skowron, Chambliss, Mattingly, others) but didn't want to make this all Yankees allatime and figured their CF run was clearly the best.

What's the Blue Jays best?

ayjackson - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 08:36 AM EST (#208638) #

Danny White and Tony Romo I think are better described as "pro-bowl" level, as opposed to "all-pro".  I think there are only two QB's in any given season that are named All Pro.

As for the Jays, it has to be 1B - Upshaw, McGriff, Olerud, Delgado, Overbay have resulted in pretty good production over the years.

Dan Daoust - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 09:40 AM EST (#208640) #
Here's the Original Six line of goalies, from the Habs:

Georges Vezina: 1910-1926
Jacques Plante: 1952-1963
Gump Worsley: 1963-1970
Ken Dryden: 1970-1979
Patrick Roy: 1984-1996
Jose Theodore: 1996-2006

Then Cristobal Huet, then Carey Price.

Not bad.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 09:47 AM EST (#208641) #
The Cardinals had Jacques Fournier, Jim Bottomley and Ripper Collins at first base before Mize, Bill White in the early 60s, and then Orlando Cepeda.  They have had a very good player or Hall of Famer at the position almost every year since 1920.  It all starts (of course) with Branch Rickey's acquisition of Fournier.
lexomatic - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 09:57 AM EST (#208642) #
ay you also forgot a couple of lee mayberry years that were passable. i agree though, far and away the strongest position.
cf seems ok too moseby . devo, stewart/cruz jr, wells (rios)
rf barfield green rios -quality but not in the same league
2b garcia (singles+ speed) alomar bush hill again, not the same.

for pitchers (1)ace sp or (2)closer/relief ace
1- stieb, clemens, key, halladay ( i guess hentgen qualifies with a cy?)
2-henke, ward eichorn uh... hm

Geoff - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 10:04 AM EST (#208643) #
What about George Hainsworth and Bill Durnan? They have nine Vezina trophies between them, unlike the zero won by the first guy on your list.

He just doesn't belong on the list with all those other Vezina winners.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 11:06 AM EST (#208645) #

Homer Bush and not O-Dog? 

Incidentally, there was a BP Unfiltered interview with Brian Butterfield two days ago.  The interesting part (of which more could have been asked) was the impact of "ambidexterity"/dominant arm strength on defensive play for second baseman.  There was no mention, alas, of the importance of grit.  For this Canadian, there is some similarity between the second baseman making the pivot with the runner bearing down and the winger heading into the corner with a defenceman coming at him. 

lexomatic - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 11:32 AM EST (#208647) #
bush did have one good year. but i was doing this quick off the top of my head. i'm embarrassed i forgot o-dog though.

i was wondering if anyone had mentioned that. it was interesting, though somewhat disappointing ( i mean he really thinks jeter is great (barring the past few years) and that eckstein was too?)
Geoff - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 12:05 PM EST (#208649) #
This all seem a little bit familiar.

Matthew E - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 12:22 PM EST (#208650) #

bush did have one good year.

I know the year you mean, but even then, his OPS+ was 96. It was an excellent year by his standards, but I don't think you can call it a good year.

lexomatic - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 01:19 PM EST (#208651) #
i didn't call it a valuable year, just good, i'm not going to argue semantics though because i'm not disagreeing with you. you can call it a good year because by traditional standards a 320 average IS good (but not always valuable).
i'd say it was pretty comparable to damaso garcia at his peak, except with better defense. i was just throwing names out there, not trying to make a case for the position as the best in jays history.
1b, then cf i think are pretty clearly the best two.

James W - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 03:02 PM EST (#208657) #
The 2005 Yankees preview on this site also mentions the Lakers centers and Cowboys QBs when looking at the CF position.
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 05:16 PM EST (#208661) #
Yes, yes it does. I steal ideas only from the truly genius writers out there ...
James W - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 05:21 PM EST (#208662) #
Well, it's not plaigirism if you're using your own material, right?
92-93 - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 07:34 PM EST (#208666) #
Reminds me of John Fogerty getting sued for plagiarizing his own song - he brought a guitar to court to prove his case.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 08:08 PM EST (#208668) #
Lisa Winston has a nice little review of the highlights of the Jays system.
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.