Vote for NYPL All-Time Team
The New York-Penn League is celebrating its 72nd year of operation in style. You, the fans, can help the league select the All-Time team of the oldest continually-operated Class-A league in baseball.
“This league has such a great history and it’s something we wanted to celebrate,” said league president Ben J. Hayes. “Over 2,400 players who have played in the NYPL have gone on to appear in Major League Baseball, from Hall-of-Famers like Jim Rice and Tony Perez to present day stars such as Ryan Howard, Johan Santana and C.C. Sabathia. Back in 1960 the Geneva (NY) Redlegs had both Tony Perez and Pete Rose on the same team.”
Some of the other players on the list include: AJ Burnett, Chris Carpenter, Phil Niekro, Al Leiter, Randy Johnson, Jonathan Papelbon, Jason Isringhausen, Jorge Posada, Carlos Delgado, Chase Utley, Hanley Ramirez, Wade Boggs, Kenny Lofton, and Bernie Williams.
The New York-Penn League All-Time Team is presented by the 300,000 members of CSEA – New York’s leading union. “CSEA is proud to be associated with the New York-Penn League and its rich history in our region,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “CSEA is marking our centennial anniversary in 2010, which makes it natural to be involved in a project that provides historical perspective. CSEA’s centennial provides a chance to reflect on where we’ve come from and how we can become better in the future – it’s a lot like what the New York Penn-League is all about.”
The New York-Penn League All-Time Team will be chosen by fan voting online at http://www.VoteNYPL.com through August 1, 2010. In addition to choosing players at each position, fans will also have a voice in picking a manager of the team.
More information can be found at the New York-Penn League website. The NYPL All-Time Team will be unveiled at the league’s All-Star game in Staten Island on August 17.
Evan Valenti’s All-Time Selections:
Pitcher (Right Handed):
Phil Niekro – He’s a HOF’er. Enough said.
Curt Schilling – This was a tough one. I went back and forth between Schill and Doc Gooden. It was a toss up until I got to the post-season numbers. Gooden went 0-4 in October with a 3.97 ERA, while Schilling, who’s considered one of the best post-season pitchers of all time, was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA. Schilling also has two rings. Gooden has one.
Pitching (Left Handed):
Randy Johnson – This was another easy one. Johnson is one of the most dominant pitchers of all time, and did most of his damage during the “Steroid Era.” He won the Cy Young five times, went over 300 strikeouts five times, and is second all time in punch outs.
Johan Santana – Again, another toss up (probably won’t be the last time I say this). This time it was a head-to-head showdown between Johan and C.C. Sabathia. Both of them have very similar numbers. Santana has a better ERA and more strikeouts in just one more season than C.C.
Billy Wagner – One of the best closers in baseball history. Ranks fifth in saves all-time, won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year in 1999, and has rekindled some of his old magic so far this season with the Braves. And it’s always nice to have a lefty come out of the pen.
Kent Telkuve – Deciding who gets the final slot with these pitchers has been tough. I had narrowed it down to Telkuve, Jason Isringhausen, and Jonathan Papelbon, but I eliminated Paps right off the bat because he hasn’t been playing for that long. After having a brief discussion with Assistant GM Vic Christopher, I picked Telkuve because of his durability. He made 70 or more appearances ten times and logged over 100 innings seven times. Posting a 2.85 ERA over a 16-year career doesn’t hurt either.
Jorge Posada – This was the first no-brainer. Posada is still an offensive threat, even though his durability behind the plate is now in question. He has the best offensive numbers out of all the catchers, besides Victor Martinez, and has played many more seasons than V-Mart. He was the guy behind the plate for the last four Yankee championships.
Andres Galarraga – Beats out Tony Perez, a HOF’er, and Ryan Howard. Won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger twice. One year he hit .370. Let me say that again. .370. Also, in 1997 he hit 47 homers and had 150 RBI.
Pete Rose – I don’t care if he bet on baseball, he is one of the best pure hitters of all-time. Charlie Hustle is first all time in the following categories: hits, at-bats, games played, plate appearances, and singles.
Robin Yount – Another HOF’er. Two-time MVP, three-time Silver Slugger winner, and won one Gold Glove. After it is all said and done, Hanley Ramirez could dethrone the Milwaukee legend.
Wade Boggs – Multiple Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner. He appeared in 12 straight All-Star games and won a World Series with the Yankees in 1996. Considered one of the best hitting third basemen ever, Boggs hit above .320 11 times. Oh and did I mention he’s in the Hall of Fame?
Jim Rice – Played his entire 16-year career with the Boston Red Sox. He led the American League in home runs three times and was top-five in a lot of other categories during his tenure. His numbers won’t blow you away, like Moises Alou and Larry Walker, but Rice was one of the most consistent players in his era. He was finally selected to the Hall of Fame in 2009.
Bernie Williams – Bern baby Bern. In the grand scheme of Yankee legends, Bernie is not at the top of anyone’s list, but was a huge reason why the Bombers were so successful in the 90’s. Always hit around .300, 15-20 homers, and was a great defensive center fielder. He also plays a mean blues guitar.
Miguel Cabrera – Last, but not least, we have Miggy. He plays first base for the Tigers now, but he came up as an outfielder for the Florida Marlins. I’m going to speculate that by the time Cabrera retires that he will have the best offensive numbers out of anyone on the outfielder list. The guy is a dynamo. He hits around .320 with 30 home runs and 100 RBI. Not too many people in the majors today can do that.
Earl Weaver – Won 100 or more games five times. He had a winning record 16 times of his 17-year career with the Orioles.