Wednesday, March 28, 2012

All-Time Teams and the Greatest Eligible non-Hall of Famer for Each

Last year around this time I wrote about the greatest eligible player not in the Hall of Fame for each team. With Ron Santo and Barry Larkin getting elected this year, and a slightly revised personal philosophy on the subject, I thought about updating that post. But, instead I decided to go at it from a different angle.

I thought it would be interesting to name an all-time team for each of the current 30 franchises, and then to determine from there which player is most worthy of the distinction of the greatest eligible non-Hall of Famer.

Here are the guidelines for this "little" project:
  • Selection for the all-time teams will be based solely on the players' time spent with that team.
  • Players will be selected from the entirety of each franchise's existence. So, the Atlanta Braves team will include guys who played for the team in Milwaukee and Boston, and the Baltimore Orioles team will include former St. Louis Browns.
  • Each team will consist of 25 players, the exact mix of which will be somewhat dependent on the worthiness of the individuals, but will always include a starter at each everyday position, a starting rotation, at least one true relief pitcher, and a realistic mix of reserves.
  • The greatest eligible* non-Hall of Famer must be a player who would likely be inducted into the Hall of Fame with the cap of the team in question depicted on his plaque.
  • Said player will be determined based on the entirety of his career, but with a little extra consideration going to a player who ranks more highly based on the portion of his career played with that team.
*To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a player must have played a minimum of 10 seasons in the big leagues and be retired for at least five years. The latter condition means anyone who's played more recently than 2006 is not yet eligible.

The teams themselves will be presented without profiles of each player, but I will be doing a short write-up on each of my choices for greatest eligible non-Hall of Famer.

I'm going to try to do one team per week, beginning next week. If my math is correct, this will take the series through the end of October. However, I have been known to not live up to my own expectations, so don't hold your breath...please.

Since I'll be going through the teams in alphabetical order (by current geographic locale), I'm excited to announce the history-rich Arizona Diamondbacks will kick off the series. I hope you're as eagerly awaiting that one as I am.

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