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Dark horse candidate for best baseball team of all-time

Monday 11/20/23

I saw where this guy was ranking every major league baseball team in history, from best to worst. What I mean by that is every edition of every team there has been. All of the Cubs teams. All of the Red Sox teams. The Seattle Pilots. It's like 2400 teams, or, put another way, as many teams as there are entries in this journal.

I admire people who have a passion for something because passion is so rare. Having a passionate interest in anything is so rare now.

It'll take him a while, obviously, so I don't know when anyone will see his results, but most people who know baseball history--small number though that is--would have the 1927 Yankees and the 1939 Yankees as the two best teams in history.

Things open up with the three spot. You could go 1998 Yankees, or 1976 Reds. The 1975 Reds had a better record, but they easily could have lost to the Red Sox that year, were it not for that dumb pitch that Bill Lee threw Tony Perez, or if Jim Rice had been available.

But you know who has an intriguing case as the best team of all-time? I'm not saying they are, because it would be the 1927 Yankees for me. But consider the 1932 Yankees. They went 107-47-2, with a line-up that boasted five Hall of Famers, and three Hall of Famers in the pitching rotation. One of those pitchers, Herb Pennock, was near the end of his career, but that's still an abundance of talent. Consider that line-up. You had Bill Dickey in his breakout year behind the plate. Dickey gets overlooked by baseball historians. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because he was followed by Yogi Berra.

Four players had over 100 RBI: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, and Ben Chapman, Chapman being the non-Hall of Famer. Hall of Famer Earl Combs hit .321. Gehrig had an OPS+ of 181...which was twenty points behind that of Ruth. Imagine that? You're second with that number?

This was the final historical hurrah for the Ruth and Gehrig Yankees. They never lost more than three games in a row, and get this: They weren't shut out a single time. (The 1927 and 19389 Yankees were each shut out once.)

The swept the Cubs in the World Series in which Babe Ruth supposedly called his shot at Wrigley Field. It's wild to me that you can still go to a ballpark that looks much the same was when Ruth played there. Fenway has changed a lot. Parts are the same. The shape is the same. But some parts look different. Manager Joe McCarthy was another Hall of Famer, but frankly how could you not be managing these Yankees teams?

As for that alleged called shot in Game 3 on October 1: I have no reason to think Ruth didn't do this. The players in the Cubs' dugout were giving it to Ruth pretty hard, as were the fans; Ruth loved hitting at Wrigley; he was angry, he was theatrical, he was a showman, he was confident.

A little mystery is good in life. These days, there would be countless videos of the event, and there'd be no romance or intrigue whatsoever. Baseball benefits from those kinds of things. We all do, I think, at least from time to time.


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