Today we reveal our Baseball All-Time Dream Team, the best player at each position in the history of the game.

Choosing the G.O.A.T. [Greatest of All Time] is extremely difficult in any sport, but baseball may be hardest of all.  The game has changed drastically over the years.  So many greats have graced the diamond that it’s nearly impossible to pick the best.

But hey, somebody’s got to step up to the plate – so here goes.

Right-handed Pitcher – Walter Johnson.  With all due respect to Greg Maddux, Tom Seaver and Cy Young, The Big Train is the greatest hurler to ever to toe the slab.  He went 417-279, led the AL in strikeouts a dozen times, and is the all-time leader in shutouts [110].  A two-time MVP and member of the inaugural Hall of Fame class, Johnson had a lifetime ERA of 2.17 and recorded 3,509 strikeouts.  The great Walter Johnson’s career 164.3 WAR is second only to Babe Ruth among all baseball players.  Honorable Mention: Christy Matthewson.

Left-handed Pitcher – Randy Johnson.  The Big Unit gets the nod over Sandy Koufax due to longevity and over Warren Spahn because of his dominance.  Johnson led the league in strikeouts nine times.  The most intimidating southpaw in history won five Cy Young Awards — including four straight — and recorded 303 wins.  He led the league in ERA four times and finished second three times.  Johnson pitched a no-hitter, a perfect game and once struck out 20 in a single game.  Honorable Mention: Sandy Koufax.

Relief Pitcher —  Mariano Rivera.  Mo was simply the best.  When Sandman entered the game, it was over.  Featuring the nastiest cutter in baseball history, Rivera posted records for most games finished [952] and games saved [652].  He saved 40 or more games nine times and his 1.000 WHIP is the best in the past 100 years.  Honorable Mention: Dennis Eckersley.

Designated Hitter — Edgar Martinez.  We hate everything about the DH.  It’s bad for baseball but, for the short term anyway, it appears to be here to stay.  Edgar was a professional hitter and the best DH in history.  He won two batting titles, including 1995 when he hit .356.  He belted more than 25 home runs in five seasons and finished with 309 for his career.  In 18 seasons – all with Seattle – Martinez batted .312, drove in 1,261 runs and posted an OPS of .933.  Honorable Mention: Frank Thomas.

Catcher – Johnny Bench.  The 1968 NL Rookie-of-the-Year was the driving force behind Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine.  The ten-time Gold Glover is the best defensive catcher in history.  With a cannon for an arm, JB also had the ability to call a game and handle a pitching staff, and he did both extremely well.  A two-time MVP, Bench led the NL in homers twice, RBI three times and drove in more than 100 runs in six seasons.  Honorable Mention: Yogi Berra.

First Base – Lou Gehrig.  Along with Rivera, this was the easiest choice on this list.  A baseball immortal, the Iron Horse played every day from June 1925 to May 1939 – 14 straight years.  The two-time AL MVP drove in 1,995 runs while batting behind Babe Ruth, the greatest base-clearer in history.  Gehrig hit 493 home runs – including four in one game — and belted 23 grand slams, both records at the time of his retirement.  The great Lou Gehrig received the most votes of any player on the MLB All-Time Team.  Honorable Mention: Albert Pujols.

Second Base – Rogers Hornsby.  The Rajah was the consummate “complete player,” leading the league in games, runs, hits, doubles, triples, homers, RBI, walks, OBP, OPS and slugging at one point or another during his 23-year career.  A two-time MVP, Hornsby compiled a .358 lifetime batting average and hit over .400 three times.  A seven-time batting champion, Rogers Hornsby collected 2,930 hits, including 301 home runs.  Honorable Mention: Jackie Robinson.

Shortstop – Honus Wager.  In addition to having the most valuable baseball card of all time, Wagner is also the game’s finest shortstop.  One of 10 players with more than 700 stolen bases, the Flying Dutchman won eight batting titles and compiled a .391 OBP and .858 OPS in 21 seasons.  Wagner led the league in RBI and stolen bases five times.  Honorable Mention: Ernie Banks.

Third Base – Mike Schmidt: Michael Jack Schmidt played his entire 18-year career in Philadelphia.  The greatest Phillie in history is also the best ever to play the hot corner.  A 12-time All-Star, Schmidt was as good at the plate as he was in the field.  He won 10 Gold Gloves, hit 548 home runs and was a three-time NL MVP.  Honorable Mention: George Brett.

Left Field – Ted Williams:  Despite missing nearly five seasons to military service, the greatest hitter who ever lived still blasted 521 homers.  His .482 OBP is the best in history.  The last to hit .400 for an entire big-league season, Williams led the league in slugging nine times and was a two-time MVP and Triple Crown winner.  Teddy Ballgame was a larger-than-life true baseball legend.  Honorable Mention:  Rickey Henderson.

Center Field – Willie Mays:  There was nothing Mays could not do.  The epitome of the five-tool player, the 1951 NL Rookie-of-the-Year won a dozen Gold Gloves and was a two-time NL MVP.  Mays led the league in homers and stolen bases four times, amassed a career .941 OPS and made 24 All-Star teams.  Say Hey! Honorable Mention: Mickey Mantle.

Right Field – Babe Ruth:  The greatest and most important baseball player of all time revolutionized the game.  Ruth is first all-time in slugging, OPS and OPS-Plus.  The biggest star in baseball history, the Bambino is second all-time in OBP, RBI and home runs by non-steroid users.  Oh, and he was also one of the best pitchers of his day.  Honorable Mention: Hank Aaron.

Agree or disagree with this list?  Have a favorite player you’d like to see added?  Post a comment here, or reach us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @dailydsports.

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Comments

  1. Good list, hard to argue with your choices. While I grew up loving Willie Mays (even though I was a Dodger fan) and I have an autographed picture of him hanging on my wall, there is a real possibility Mike Trout will top the list of center fielders in the next ten years if he can keep up his pace. “IF.”

  2. Interesting that the majority of the players on your GOAT list played long before we knew anything about sports science regarding training and nutrition. The season was the season and some of these guys had second jobs! Merry Christmas!

  3. Good list. I have been reading about baseball prior to 1940 so nice to see some pluses from that era. Perhaps a fun follow on exercise would be to build an all time roster of 25.

  4. Great list of players, pretty hard to argue for anyone else. I’d empty my bank account to see this team play.

    Like my dad said, once his career is over, I’d be surprised if Trout wasn’t consider the best CF (and possibly the GOAT), but that’s still many years away. I could also see Arenado claiming the top (or at least Honorable Mention) at 3B.

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