Story of the Week


    This one is going to be fun; at least it was for me. Itís my version of fantasy baseball. Imagine that you are the owner of a baseball team, and you can select one player per position on that team, plus two pitchers, one left and one right. And you have to name a field manager. And thatís it!

    Rememberóthey donít have to be the best ever at those positions; they are simply the ones you want on your all-time team. You absolutely can use your heart instead of total and complete objectivity in making your selections; I did.

    The one ground-rule is that you have to have seen your selected players play. For example, Babe Ruth was before my time, so I canít pick him.

    My personal fantasy baseball team:

1B. Stan Musial. Left. .331. 3630 Hits. 475 HRís. 1951 RBIís. Second best hitter I ever saw.

2B. Jackie Robinson. Right. .311. Rookie-Of-Year At 28. MVP At 30. He has his own wall in my office.

3B. Pete Rose. Switch. .303. 4256 More hits than I had. Judge him only inside the chalk lines.

SS. Ozzie Smith. Switch. .261. Best ever at the position. This was my easiest pick at his position.

LF. Ted Williams. Left. .344. Missed five years to two wars. Best hitter I ever saw.

CF. Willie Mays. Right. .302. 3283 Hits. 660 HRís. 1903 RBIís. Remember the catch on Wertz in '54?

RF. Henry Aaron. Right. .305. 3771 Hits. 755 HRís. 2297 RBIís. Lots of assists as well. Silky smooth.

C. Roy Campanella. Right. .276. Rookie At 27. Three MVP Awards. Roy vs Yogi was my toughest decision.

LP. Sandy Koufax. 2.76 ERA. Wís vs Lís 2:1. Kís vs BBís 3:1. And all those no-hitters. Too bad short career.

RP. Bob Gibson. 2.91 ERA. Wís vs Lís 6:4. Kís vs BBís 7:3. 1.12 ERA set modern-day record in '68.

Mgr. Leo Durocher. The best managing job I ever saw was 1951; he wouldn't permit the Giants to quit.

    I salivate thinking about Robinson, Rose and Mays being at the top of my lineup, in that order. They would be followed in the order by Williams, Aaron, Musial, Campanella, Smith. Iíve purposely staggered lefts and rights to further complicate the opposition pitching, as if I need to do so with these guys.

    What really makes me salivate is thinking about what my all-time team would do to the ball of the modern era. My team had to hit real baseballs in their era, and not the jet-propelled oversized golf balls of today. And they had to hit them off quality major leaguers; not watered-down AAA and AA pitchers. Yeah, thatís old news.

    And what would Koufax and Gibson roll up in Kís today with the modern baseball and the minor-league hitters they would face? No contest! Thatís old news, too.

    Then thereís Leo as the field boss. None better ever. His players loved him, and he knew every sub-facet of every facet of the game. Just ask Charley Dressen if he knew what he was doing.

    Thatís it! Regrets to Yogi, Joe D, Frank Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Ernie Banks, Roberto Clemente, and the list goes on and on. Iíll now sit back and get ready for all the e-mails. If this one stirs up enough action and controversy, maybe Iíll eventually do my football, basketball and hockey teams as well. After all, who could possibly question my picking Ray Felix as my starting NBA center!

Last Weekís Trivia

    What NBA team won a championship as its starting guards set a game seven record for the poorest % shooting in history for that position? It was the Celtics who did that on April 13, 1957, in game seven of the NBA finals, as they won their very first NBA title in double-overtime over the St. Louis Hawks. Boston won despite the performances of their great guards (Bob Cousy was 2-for-20 and Bill Sharman was 3-for-20 for a combined .125 from the field.)

Trivia Question of the Week

    One team in NFL history lost four games in one season in which they had scored 30 or more points in each game, and at one juncture held a double-digit lead. What team and when? See next weekís Sports Junkie for the answer.