Brian's All-(my)-time All-Star Baseball Team

1988 was the first MLB season I can remember: Jose Canseco’s 40/40 season (AL MVP), Kirk Gibson’s homerun (NL MVP), Orel Hershiser’s consecutive scoreless streak (NL Cy Young), Walt Weiss (AL) and Chris Sabo (NL) were the Rookies of the Year…

In honor of Andre Dawson’sinduction to the Hall of Fame and Randy Johnson’s retirement, it occurred to me that I am seeing my childhood baseball heroes retire. In fact, only a few remain and those that lingered in 2009 only have one or perhaps two more years left in diminshed and/or supporting roles.

So, I thought I’d make my own All-Star team. Inclusion criteria: the players had to be getting into the league in 1988 or had their best years in or after 1988. Exclusion criteria: any players which are still active or which I deem to have only one or perhaps two more years left in diminished roles.

My 25-man roster:
Pitchers:
1. Greg Maddux
2. Randy Johnson
3. Tom Glavine
4. John Smoltz
5. Pedro Martinez
6. Curt Schilling
7. David Wells
8. Mariano Rivera
9. Rob Nen
10. Trevor Hoffman
11. Dennis Eckersley* (though he had many good years as a starter before, this began his awesome era as a closer, so I’ve included him based on his re-inventing of his career)

Catchers:
12. Ivan Rodriguez
13. Mike Piazza

Infield:
1B
14. Mark Grace
15. Fred McGriff
2B
16. Roberto Alomar
17. Craig Biggio
3B
18. Matt Williams
SS
19. Barry Larkin
20. Omar Vizquel
DH
21. Frank Thomas

Outfielders:
22. Sammy Sosa
23. Ken Griffey, Jr.
24. Barry Bonds
25. Kenny Lofton

Honorable Mentions (i.e. 40-man roster):
Pitching:
26. David Cone
27. Mike Mussina
28. John Wettland
29. Randy Myers

Catchers:
30. Benito Santiago
31. Brad Ausmus

Infielders
32. Jeff Bagwell – 1B
33. Robin Ventura – 3B

DH:
34. Edgar Martinez
35. Jim Thome

Outfield
36. Gary Sheffield
37. Larry Walker
38. Juan Gonzalez
39. Bernie Williams
40. Albert Belle

Baseball creates opinions. These are mine. Pitchers and catchers report in 43 days… Play ball!

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