|My Favorite All-Time Teams|
By Eddie Gold
Selecting an all-time baseball team is an extremely precarious pastime, frought with difficulties and likely to induce mental anguish. Therefore, we shall forego the best in favor of the jest.
We could be Poles apart in naming our all-time Ski team, but our squad prefers fastballs to snowballs and running bases to running noses. It wasn't tough sledding picking Ted Kluszewski at first base, Bill Mazeroski at second, Dick Tracewski at short, and Whitey Kurowski at third.
In the outfield we'll ski-daddle with Greg Luzinski, Carl Yastrzemski, and Al (Simmons) Sysmanski. The battery is Stan Coveleski pitching and Carl Sawatski catching.
Now that you're hooked, we hope you'll take the bait for our all-time Fish team. We'll get into the swim with a pitching quartet of Catfish Hunter, Art Herring, Dizzy Trout and Norm Bass. To make our hurling go upstream, we can add Warren Spawn. Making the outfield catches will be Lipman Pike, Ralph Garr, and George Haddock. Our infielders are Catfish Metkovich, Chico Salmon, Bobby Sturgeon and Jim Ray Carp. We couldn't land a catcher, so we'll have to make do with Yogi Berracuda.
Here's a squad that's for the birds. Strutting behind the plate is Johnny Peacock, with Mark (The Bird) Fidrych and Mr. Roberts, the first Robin of Fling, on the mound. Feathering the infield is George Crowe, first, Sam Crane, second, Jiggs Parrott, short, and Alan Storke, who could really deliver, at third. Catching the fowl balls in the outfield could be Ducky Medwick, Goose Goslin, Turkey Mike Donlin, and Chick Hafey.
How about a historical team to remind us of our multifaceted heritage? We could have the Washington Senator Henry Jackson scooping them up at first base, with John Kennedy at second and Robert Kennedy at third. This would give Walt Whitman a chance to wax poetic at short. What better place than the outfield for that Green Mountain boy Ethan Allen, and the great John L. Sullivan, who never wanted to be boxed in, and the adventuresome Albert Schweitzer, who could also serve as team doctor and park organist. Catching would be Jimmy Byrnes' department, and the opposition would be kept at sea by the pitching of John Paul Jones.
What would be more colorful than a team of Lu Blue, 1B, Jimmy Brown, 2B, Alvin Dark, SS, and Red Rolfe, 3B? In the outfield, Roy White, Pete Gray and Lenny Green. If they needed help, maybe Rusty Staub, "Le Grand Orange" could provide the proper mix. Pitcher Joe Black would apply the whitewash with the help of Pinky Hargrave.
Maybe even more interesting to watch would be a girls team made up of Kitty Bransfield at first, Nellie Fox at second, Minnie Minoso at third, and Lena Blackburne at short. The garden girls would be Tilly Walker, Eva Lange and Ginger Beaumont. Bubbles Hargrave could catch the curves of Connie Johnson, Sadie McMahon, and Dolly Gray, who couldn't make the colorful team above. Bunny Brief would be available for pinch duties.
Speaking of briefs, if Tuesday Weld had wed Rick Monday, she'd be Tuesday Monday . . . If Manny Mota collected a single, double, triple, and homer in the same game-it would be a Mota cycle . . . If backstop Joe Torre ducks a fight at the plate, you could call him Chicken Catcher Torre.
And a little longer story: The temperature hovered around 150 degrees at St. Louis' Sportsman's Park one day in 1920 as pitcher Allen Sutton Sotheron of the Browns sweated off 15 pounds going nine innings against the White Sox. One Chicago scribe penned this lead: "Allen S. Sotheron pitched his initials off as the St. Louis Browns defeated the Chicago White Sox 4-2."