All-Decade Team: 1960's AL

The 1960's AL team was a fun one for us to put together.  This team was chock full of underappreciated players; guys that played the game the right way.  This team would likely not match up well against some of the other all-time teams that we've put together in terms of talent but I would bet that it would rank among the scrappiest all-time teams that we've ever compiled.  Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of talent; Carl Yazstrzemski and Harmon Killebrew would have anchored this lineup well and defensively, this team boasts some of the best all-time defensive players at their respective positions.  With Brooks Robinson, the Vacuum Cleaner, and Little Louie Luis Aparicio patroling third base and shortstop, respectively, it's safe to say not that not much would have gotten through the left side of the diamond.  In the outfield, we favored Rocky Colavito over Mickey Mantle, amidst slight disagreement but the rest of the names were agreed upon rather quickly. 

The pitching staff was very difficult to iron out as it turned into a classic "prime or longevity" debate.  In the end, we went with the guys that had the most hardware; McLain's two Cy Young Awards and MVP were enough to earn him a nod and Whitey Ford had more hardware as well making him the first pitcher to earn a spot on two all-decade teams.  The hardest name to leave off this list was Jim Kaat.  Kaat won more games (142) in the 1960's than any other pitcher in the American League and he won eight Gold Glove awards in the 1960's but he he was a notch below the rest of the arms on our staff, in terms of talent.  We favored Mel Stottlemyre and his three twenty-win seasons over Kaat, as well.  Again, talent-wise in the 1960's, Stottlemyre was up there among the best and if not for injuries, he would have likely found his way into Cooperstown. 

Here's our list - tell us what you think.

C- Elston Howard
1B- Norm Cash
2B- Bobby Richardson
3B- Brooks Robinson
SS- Luis Aparicio
IF- Harmon Killebrew
OF- Rocky Colavito
OF- Carl Yastrzemski
OF- Tony Oliva
OF- Al Kaline
SP- Dean Chance
SP- Whitey Ford
SP- Dennis McLain
SP- Mel Stottlemyre
RP- Dick Radatz

6 comments:

  1. I had to fight to get Stottlemyre on this team. Also wanted Sam McDowell, but who do you take off? At SS I thought Fregosi might be the better choice, but Aparicio is a hall of famer and Fregosi is more known as the guy traded for Nolan Ryan.

    You could make other arguments, Boog Powell at 1B, Bill Freehan at catcher and Frank Robinson in the of. Perranoski also at closer, but he spent most of the decade in the NL.

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  2. Bill Freehan won 5 straight Gold Gloves, from 1965-69, was an All Star from 64-69. The BEST catcher in the A.L. in the 1960'S, PERIOD.

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  3. I don't think that any of us would disagree that Freehan was a better catcher than Howard but the spirit of the team is to pick the player that best represents the decade at his position and that's not always the beat player. Freehan didn't play a full season until 1964. I will definitely bring it up with my colleagues- thanks for commenting.

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    1. Thanks for responding. I'm very impartial about Freehan. I believe he's a HOF player if he plays in NY, Boston, or LA. Nice job on the team list.

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  4. C- Freehan over Howard; 1B-Killebrew over Cash; 2B- McAuliffe over Richardson; SS-Fregosi over Aparicio; 3B-Brooks is OK;
    LF-Yaz; CF-Mantle; RF-Frank Robinson

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  5. Killebrew made our team as the DH.

    We debated Fregosi; their offensive numbers were comparable but Luis had 5 GG in the decade to Fregosi's 1.

    Richardson and McAuliffe are close... Richardson showed up on the MVP ballots six times in the 1960's compared to once for McAuliffe and he won 5 GG's.

    Robinson has been a tough name for us to peg - he spent four years in the AL and six years in the NL. He won an MVP in both leagues in the 60's and is one of the best that ever played but we slotted him onto our 1960's NL roster. He probably could have made both teams (60's AL and NL) but we decided to sneak the lesser known and underappreciated Rocky Colavito in there instead. We have tried to limit players to one team, with exceptions, of course. We may revise our stance on that at some point but we've tried to touch on as many players as possible for the initial posts.

    Thanks for your comments.

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