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5+ Batters With WAR >=4 On Same Team

Posted by Steve Lombardi on August 9, 2011

How many teams, since 1901, had 5 or more batters with a WAR of 4 or better on the same roster?

Here is the list -

Rk Year Tm Lg #Matching  
1 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers NL 7 Roy Campanella / Carl Furillo / Jim Gilliam / Gil Hodges / Pee Wee Reese / Jackie Robinson / Duke Snider
2 2002 Anaheim Angels AL 6 Garret Anderson / David Eckstein / Darin Erstad / Troy Glaus / Adam Kennedy / Tim Salmon
3 1939 New York Yankees AL 6 Bill Dickey / Joe DiMaggio / Joe Gordon / Charlie Keller / Red Rolfe / George Selkirk
4 1936 New York Yankees AL 6 Frankie Crosetti / Bill Dickey / Joe DiMaggio / Lou Gehrig / Red Rolfe / George Selkirk
5 1931 New York Yankees AL 6 Ben Chapman / Earle Combs / Bill Dickey / Lou Gehrig / Lyn Lary / Babe Ruth
6 2007 Boston Red Sox AL 5 Coco Crisp / Mike Lowell / David Ortiz / Dustin Pedroia / Kevin Youkilis
7 2007 New York Yankees AL 5 Robinson Cano / Derek Jeter / Hideki Matsui / Jorge Posada / Alex Rodriguez
8 2005 Cleveland Indians AL 5 Coco Crisp / Travis Hafner / Victor Martinez / Jhonny Peralta / Grady Sizemore
9 2004 New York Yankees AL 5 Derek Jeter / Hideki Matsui / Jorge Posada / Alex Rodriguez / Gary Sheffield
10 2003 Atlanta Braves NL 5 Rafael Furcal / Marcus Giles / Andruw Jones / Javy Lopez / Gary Sheffield
11 2001 Seattle Mariners AL 5 Bret Boone / Mike Cameron / Edgar Martinez / John Olerud / Ichiro Suzuki
12 1999 Cleveland Indians AL 5 Roberto Alomar / Kenny Lofton / Manny Ramirez / Jim Thome / Omar Vizquel
13 1993 Detroit Tigers AL 5 Travis Fryman / Chad Kreuter / Tony Phillips / Alan Trammell / Lou Whitaker
14 1977 New York Yankees AL 5 Reggie Jackson / Thurman Munson / Graig Nettles / Willie Randolph / Mickey Rivers
15 1976 New York Yankees AL 5 Thurman Munson / Graig Nettles / Willie Randolph / Mickey Rivers / Roy White
16 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 5 Ron Cey / Willie Crawford / Steve Garvey / Davey Lopes / Jim Wynn
17 1974 Oakland Athletics AL 5 Sal Bando / Bert Campaneris / Reggie Jackson / Joe Rudi / Gene Tenace
18 1973 Oakland Athletics AL 5 Sal Bando / Bert Campaneris / Reggie Jackson / Bill North / Gene Tenace
19 1972 Cincinnati Reds NL 5 Johnny Bench / Joe Morgan / Tony Perez / Pete Rose / Bobby Tolan
20 1972 Oakland Athletics AL 5 Sal Bando / Bert Campaneris / Mike Epstein / Reggie Jackson / Joe Rudi
21 1971 Baltimore Orioles AL 5 Mark Belanger / Don Buford / Davey Johnson / Merv Rettenmund / Brooks Robinson
22 1970 Baltimore Orioles AL 5 Paul Blair / Don Buford / Boog Powell / Merv Rettenmund / Frank Robinson
23 1969 Minnesota Twins AL 5 Leo Cardenas / Rod Carew / Harmon Killebrew / Tony Oliva / Cesar Tovar
24 1965 Minnesota Twins AL 5 Bob Allison / Jimmie Hall / Harmon Killebrew / Tony Oliva / Zoilo Versalles
25 1964 Milwaukee Braves NL 5 Hank Aaron / Rico Carty / Eddie Mathews / Denis Menke / Joe Torre
26 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 5 Tommy Davis / Willie Davis / Jim Gilliam / Frank Howard / Maury Wills
27 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers NL 5 Roy Campanella / Carl Furillo / Gil Hodges / Pee Wee Reese / Duke Snider
28 1953 New York Yankees AL 5 Yogi Berra / Mickey Mantle / Gil McDougald / Phil Rizzuto / Gene Woodling
29 1949 Brooklyn Dodgers NL 5 Roy Campanella / Carl Furillo / Pee Wee Reese / Jackie Robinson / Duke Snider
30 1941 New York Yankees AL 5 Joe DiMaggio / Joe Gordon / Tommy Henrich / Charlie Keller / Phil Rizzuto
31 1939 Cincinnati Reds NL 5 Lonny Frey / Ival Goodman / Frank McCormick / Billy Myers / Billy Werber
32 1935 Detroit Tigers AL 5 Mickey Cochrane / Pete Fox / Charlie Gehringer / Hank Greenberg / Billy Rogell
33 1933 New York Yankees AL 5 Ben Chapman / Bill Dickey / Lou Gehrig / Tony Lazzeri / Babe Ruth
34 1932 New York Yankees AL 5 Ben Chapman / Earle Combs / Lou Gehrig / Tony Lazzeri / Babe Ruth
35 1904 New York Giants NL 5 Roger Bresnahan / Bill Dahlen / Art Devlin / Dan McGann / Sam Mertes
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/9/2011.

The 2011 Boston Red Sox have a chance to join this list.

  Age PA WAR 6
Dustin Pedroia 27 525 6.3
Jacoby Ellsbury* 27 518 5.5
Adrian Gonzalez* 29 514 5.2
Kevin Youkilis 32 454 4.3
David Ortiz* 35 443 2.5
Josh Reddick* 24 159 1.8
Jarrod Saltalamacchia# 26 266 1.3
Marco Scutaro 35 278 0.8
Carl Crawford* 29 364 0.4
Jason Varitek# 39 189 0.4
Jed Lowrie# 27 220 0.3
Drew Sutton# 28 60 0.2
John Lackey 32 3 0.1
Darnell McDonald 32 96 0.1
Team Total 30.3 4539 27.3
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/9/2011.


Maybe the 2011 Yankees too?

  Age PA WAR 6
Brett Gardner* 27 410 4.0
Curtis Granderson* 30 492 3.5
Nick Swisher# 30 453 3.3
Alex Rodriguez 35 344 3.2
Robinson Cano* 28 477 2.9
Mark Teixeira# 31 496 2.4
Russell Martin 28 349 1.1
Eric Chavez* 33 76 0.5
Chris Dickerson* 29 31 0.3
Derek Jeter 37 420 0.1
Andruw Jones 34 133 0.1
Eduardo Nunez 24 214 0.1
Team Total 30.9 4383 19.9
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/9/2011.


45 Responses to “5+ Batters With WAR >=4 On Same Team”

  1. Johnny Twisto Says:

    The 8th "regular" on the '53 Dodgers was Billy Cox, a great defensive 3Bman who had one of this best seasons at the plate. However, he only played 100 games and Total Zone isn't *that* high on his defense, so he only amassed 1.8 WAR. Jackie Robinson had become sort of a super-utility man by this time, so he took a lot of the starts at third.

    Setting my parameters just so, the '53 Dodgers were the first NL team to ever have 8 players with at least 371 PA and a 103 OPS+. Only one more has done it since ('76 Reds). The '31 Yankees and '50 Red Sox also did it, and several more AL teams have since the DH came along (the '09 Angels actually had 10 such players).

  2. kingturtle Says:

    i have a hard time buying into statistical measures i cannot compute myself. what is the formula being used here?

  3. Genis Says:

    Interesting how the only team from the last 50 years is the 2002 Angels. Talk about an underrated team!

  4. RobMer Says:

    I find the 1977-1993 gap interesting. I still wonder if there was something about the 1980s we don't understand. Is it possible that the competitive level was so high during that period that it made it more difficult for players -- be they hitters or pitchers -- to truly stand out?

    It's this same period that has many near-HOF players, but many that just fall short for a variety of reasons.

    Is it just noise in the machine, or is there something here we don't understand?

  5. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Kingturtle, are you asking about WAR? You've been around this blog for a while so it seems odd you'd just be wondering what it is now. Anyway, you could start with the summary here:

  6. Johnny Twisto Says:

    RobMer, I've wondered about that myself.

  7. kingturtle Says:

    hi johnny, this isn't the first time i've broached this subject. the link you've given provides 'rough sketches', it does not provide the actual formula. or am i missing it?

  8. Doug Says:

    Hard not to be a championship caliber team with 5 guys like this.

    Unless you're the '33 Yanks or '64 Braves or '93 Tigers and have team ERA+ well under 100. But, most times management will evdiently make sure they have adequate pitching to ensure a top-flight team.

  9. Mike L Says:

    Another thing I find striking. the 1998 Yankees (114 wins), the 1954 Indians (111) wins, the 1906 Cubs (an absurd 116-36), and for that matter the 1907 Cubs (107-45), and the 1975 Reds (108-54) didn't do it.

  10. Johnny Twisto Says:

    King, you're not missing it. To my knowledge, the complete system isn't published in one place. Parts of it may not even qualify as a "formula"; for instance, I think analyzing players' baserunning or defense involves parsing thousands of play-by-play logs to make estimates of league average and then how each player compares. I don't think you can just drop a bunch of numbers into Excel to get those. So yes, accepting the numbers requires a bit of faith and if you don't have it, that's understandable.

    The nice thing is that all the components of WAR are provided on the site, so you can see where a particular player's value is coming from. That makes it easier to identify where you think the total might be "wrong," or remove the components you have less faith in or don't care about at that time.

  11. jim Says:

    only one big red machine year on here? that's a little surprising

  12. Thomas Says:

    "To my knowledge, the complete system isn't published in one place."

    When I read this I thought of the Coke secret forumla... like two people can't know the whole thing... and they certainly can't both be on the same plane together.

  13. Anon Says:

    What is the record for most seasons where a particular position was filled by 2 people consecutively. Is Williams/Yaz the record?

  14. John Q Says:

    That '53 Dodger team was such a great team. I remember having them in Strat-O-Matic and them being such a dominate team.

    Other than Carl Erskine their pitching was kind of weak. Don Newcombe didn't play on that team because he was in the Army in Korea. Had he been able to play on that team, it may have been remember as the greatest team in baseball history.

  15. Liam Says:

    all of the advanced stats are telling me that Mark Teixeira is having just an average season despite being among the league leader in HR and RBI... the kind of seasons Joe Carter used to have, but watching him everyday you feel like his gold glove defense, his ability to draw a walk and such off set the fact he is hitting .250 I feel Tex is an MVP candidate

  16. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    One statistic I’m still getting used to is Rbat, defined as "Number of runs better or worse than average the player was as a hitter." As I understand it, Rbat is one of the five factors added together to obtain oRAR, Offensive Runs Above Replacement Level, the counting stat representing the offensive component of the frequently cited rate stat Wins Above Replacement Level (WAR). For more recent seasons Rbat includes factors for inducing reached on error and avoiding double plays. Rbat appears to me to be the simplest way on B-Ref to measure with a single integer, and without positional adjustments, a player’s effectiveness with a bat in his hand over the course of a single season. (Whether Rbat is the most effective way to measure offensive effectiveness, I don’t know. As I say, it’s a stat I’m still getting used to.)

    Please feel free to poke holes in my characterization of Rbat. I’m open to readjusting my thinking on this stat.

    Now, with those preliminaries out of the way, here are the teams since 1919 with most players at -10 Rbat or fewer:

    • 2003 Tigers, 9 — Bobby Higginson, Omar Infante, Brandon Inge, Gene Kingsale, Dean Palmer, Alex Sánchez, Ramón Santiago, Andrés Torres, Matt Walbeck
    • 2001 Royals, 9 — Luis Alicea, Dee Brown, Carlos Febles, A.J. Hinch, Brent Mayne, Héctor Ortiz, Neifi Pérez, Joe Randa, Rey Sánchez
    • 2001 Devil Rays, 9 — Mike Difelice, John Flaherty, Aubrey Huff, Félix Martínez, Damian Rolls, Jared Sandberg, Andy Sheets, Jason Tyner, Gerald Williams
    • 1998 Devil Rays, 9 — Rich Butler, Miguel Cairo, Mike Difelice, John Flaherty, Dave Martinez, Quinton McCracken, Paul Sorrento, Kevin Stocker, Randy Winn
    • 1951 Reds, 9 — Joe Adcock, Grady Hatton, Dixie Howell, Ted Kluszewski, Roy McMillan, Lloyd Merriman, Johnny Pramesa, Virgil Stallcup, Bob Usher
    • 1932 Red Sox, 9 — Ed Connolly, Marty McManus, Tom Oliver, Marv Olson, Urbane Pickering, Hal Rhyne, Bennie Tate, Al Van Camp, Rabbit Warstler
    • 1930 Red Sox, 9 — Johnnie Heving, Otto Miller, Tom Oliver, Bobby Reeves, Bill Regan, Hal Rhyne, Russ Scarritt, Phil Todt, Rabbit Warstler

    Outfielder Tom Oliver (2,072 PA, 1,931 AB with the 1930-33 Red Sox) still holds the all-time career record for PA and AB without a home run. Oliver and infielders Rhyne and Warstler hit a combined one home run in 3,694 plate appearances for the 1930-32 Sox. Ecccch. At least Mike Difelice and John Flaherty, the two players appearing on the lists for the 1998 and 2001 D-Rays, had the excuse of being catchers for a newly formed expansion team.

    Teams with most players at -20 Rbat or fewer:

    • 1984 Rangers, 4 — Billy Sample, Wayne Tolleson, Curt Wilkerson, Ned Yost
    • 1970 Expos, 4 — Coco Laboy, Marv Staehle, Gary Sutherland, Bobby Wine
    • 1936 Red Sox, 4 — Mel Almada, Doc Cramer, Eric McNair, Ski Melillo
    • 1930 Red Sox, 4 — Tom Oliver, Bill Regan, Hal Rhyne, Russ Scarritt
    • 1925 Red Sox, 4 — Dud Lee, Billy Rogell, Bill Wambsganss, Denny Williams
    • 1923 Red Sox, 4 — Shano Collins, Norm McMillan, Johnny Mitchell, Howie Shanks
    • 1911 Dodgers, 4 — Bill Bergen, Bob Coulson, Bert Tooley, Eddie Zimmerman

    Bill Bergen and Coco Laboy on the same list! And Bill Wambsganss! Score!

    Team with most players at -30 Rbat or fewer:

    • 1937 Browns, 3 — Tom Carey, Rollie Hemsley, Bill Knickerbocker

    Team with most players at -40 Rbat or fewer:

    • 1933 Browns, 2 — Jim Levey, Art Scharein

    That is one weak-hitting left side of the infield.

    Teams with most players at -50 Rbat or fewer:

    • 1970 Reds, 1 — Tommy Helms
    • 1953 Browns, 1 — Billy Hunter
    • 1936 Athletics, 1 — Skeeter Newsome
    • 1933 Browns, 1 — Jim Levey (-58 Rbat, lowest single-season total since 1919)

    Counting upwards, that’s a 96-loss team, two 100-loss teams, and . . . a pennant winner. Hmmm.

  17. John Q Says:


    I think it's two things that make the 1977-1993 time period stand out.

    First, it was the introduction of Free Agency that changed baseball quite drastically. I think it became next to impossible for a team to stack a lineup of all stars during the era because there was no longer the reserve clause and there was a lot of player movement.

    If there hadn't been free agency it's quite possible that the Big Red Machine would have continued well into the 80's.

    Secondly, most of this time period was before the big problems of Big Market vs. Small Market teams. Teams like the Royals could actually have the highest payroll in baseball and make the playoffs 6 out of 9 years and finish second a great deal of the time.

    A team like the Blue Jays could make the playoffs 5 out of 9 years and win Two World Series.

    A team like the Pirates could win the Easter Division 3 consecutive years in a row and win a WS in 1979.

    Basically there was a lot more parity in baseball payrolls and teams like the Yankees & Red Sox couldn't just load their lineups with a ton all stars because of their far superior revenue streams.

  18. Doug Says:


    Evidently, the '70 Reds were strong enough to carry a -50 Rbat Tommy Helms. They almost made this list with three guys (Bench, Perez, Tolan) over 4 WAR and two more (Carbo, Rose) just under the line. And, their 113 team ERA+ also certainly helped.

    I guess the real question is why did they carry Tommy Helms. He played 150 games with 605 PA, but only a .543 OPS and just 21 walks. To his credit, he only struck out 33 times, but his contact was evidently so feeble that he could only muster a .248 BABIP. So, Helms must have been their guy because he was such a slick fielder, right? Doesn't seem like it - he contributed a miniscule 0.1 dWAR. Like Kahuna says - hmmm.

  19. Doug Says:

    @15 and Texeira.

    I was with you Liam until you said "I feel Tex is an MVP candidate". I think that's taking your argument much too far.

  20. Rich Says:

    @ 19
    Agreed. Even using traditional stats, Curtis Granderson is having a far better year, so Tex isn't even the best player on his own team this year, let alone the AL.

  21. LJF Says:

    First name that grabbed me was Belanger for the 1971 O's. It was the ONLY year form 1967-1981 that his rBat was positive (generally in the -15 to -20).

  22. Andy Patton Says:

    seems unlikely, but the 2011 Tigers have an outside shot at this too:

    Cabrera 4.1
    Avila 3.8
    Peralta 3.5
    Victor Martinez 2.0
    Austin Jackson 1.8

  23. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Kahuna/16, et al, Rbat is a runs created calculation. It's just that rather than absolute runs created (counting up from zero), it's showing how many more or fewer runs the player created than an average player in the same amount of playing time. It's directly comparable to "Batting Runs," shown on the Advanced Batting page.
    Both are based on linear weights, and measured compared to average.


    all of the advanced stats are telling me that Mark Teixeira is having just an average season

    Which ones? I doubt that.


    John Q/17, I agree with your points about team parity during that era. But I don't think that sufficiently explains why there was so much player parity. The league-leading performances of that era were generally not as impressive as at other times. As RobMer mentioned, it seems like a lot of potentially great careers got sidetracked for whatever reasons (more than in other eras). There are almost no pitchers who were successful across the entire decade. It could just be an accident of timing or coincidence, but I don't know.

  24. Doug Says:


    "There are almost no pitchers who were successful across the entire decade" (of the 80s)

    Agreed. Of guys that came immediately to mind for me (Morris, Welch, Sutcliffe, Martinez, Stieb, Candelaria, Flanagan), probably only Morris was consistently good year-in and year-out.

    And, then there were guys (Eckersley, Righetti) who might have had solid careers as starters, but were converted to outstanding relievers.

  25. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    Liam @15. 2.4 WAR in 496 PAs is hardly an average season, unless you mean average for all-star caliber players.

    Joe Carter, to whom you compare him, had only 3 seasons out of 16 with >2.4 WAR, and one of them was at a lower WAR/PA (i.e. Tex is on track to beat it). But no way does Tex deserve the MVP.

    Carter had a number of season that looked like Tex's this year looking just at HR and RBI, but except for his best seasons, Tex's solid defense and walks put him pretty far ahead of the typical Joe C season.

  26. Neil L. Says:

    @11 @18

    "And, their [Cincinnati Reds] 113 team ERA+ also certainly helped."
    Doug, are we saying the Big Red Machine did it with pitching as much as their bats. That would be a major revision of baseball history.

    John Q., a thought-provoking post, in my opinion.

    I'm not sure what you meant by
    "A team like the Pirates could win the Easter Division 3 consecutive years in a row."

    The Blue Jays were masters of the rent-a-player philosophy, particularly in the latter part of 1977-1993 time period, so I get that reference.

  27. Neil L. Says:

    Way off topic and I know it, but I'm beginning to understand why the A.J. Burnett detractors in the New York market feel the way they do.

    Why does he always have a blow-up inning that includes a wild pitch? JA has been charitable to AJ in previous blogs.

    Even the blonde look didn't help him.

  28. Jimbo Says:

    Coca Crisp's name jumped out at me, as I had read batters with 4.0 WAR and had remembered him hitting poorly that year.

    Sneaky guy, he had 2.6 dwar that year and stole bases well. His OPS+ was only 83.

  29. Neil L. Says:

    Why did the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers line-up not get the moniker "Murderers' Row"?

    And only five years before their ownership bailed on Brooklyn.

  30. Pete Says:

    The '76 Reds had only 4 with 4+ WAR (Morgan, Rose, Foster, Griffey), but Bench had 3.9 and Concepcion had 3.8.

    Setting my parameters just so, the '53 Dodgers were the first NL team to ever have 8 players with at least 371 PA and a 103 OPS+. Only one more has done it since ('76 Reds).
    Of course, if you set the parameters to 550 PA and 107 OPS+ it's only that Reds team in the NL and the '31 Yankees in the pre-DH AL.

  31. rogerbusby Says:

    Re: 1977-1993 @robmer & john q

    Any thoughts on how the lull in expansion may have had an effect? Is it possible that 26 teams is the optimal number for competitive balance.

    The other factor that comes immediately to mind is hard drugs. If nothing else that alone will level a playing field pretty quickly.

  32. rogerbusby Says:


    I'm not positive but I think there really should have been a question mark at the end of that first paragraph.

  33. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Roger, I don't think it's that 26 teams is a magic number. But MLB only expanded by 2 teams from 1970-1992 (and a lot of baby boomers were coming of age during the '70s), plus I think that's when Latin American scouting/signings really started to increase, so it may have been a peak as far as MLB-quality players compared to available MLB teams.

    And I agree that coke may have had a large effect on curtailing great careers. Don't think it explains everything, but it's part of it.

    Doug/24 mentioned Jack Morris, and this is why I'm not so adamantly opposed to his HOF candidacy as many other "statheads." He's one of very few pitchers of his era who were positive contributors for many years. I'm not sure why that is, but it's something I consider.

  34. jason Says:


    1906-07 cubs were notorious for amazing pitching, above average fielding and below average hitting. people know about three finger brown but the entire staff was awesome. they would have guys go 10-20 with 130 era+ and junk when they weren't winning the pennant. if i'm not mistaken the 54 indians rotation was loaded too, that should be feller and lemon and i think they did have a couple of big bats. as for the 98 yankees, if you look at the hitting roster it is a ton of above average guys, but not the all-star teams they've been putting out the last decade, along with better pitchers than they have now. several of them had seasons way above their normal hitting years. it really was a team that gelled.

    my surprise was the 27 yankees. gehrig and ruth had to be there, combs and lazerri probably, there had to be one more guy you would think.

  35. John Q Says:

    @23 Twisto,

    It's an interesting question about player parity from 1977-1993. I've never really thought about it but I'll give you my perspective from someone who started following baseball in '73.

    The thing that drastically changed post '77 was the money & player salaries in baseball. It just changed the whole dynamic of how players were perceived by fans. Also the whole notion of free agency really bothered a lot of people because there was this whole mercenary aspect of players switching teams for more money. The idea that Pete Rose would leave the Reds to play with the Phillies for more money or that Steve Garvey would leave the Dodgers for more money in San Diego was just viewed as vile and disgraceful.

    I think the money also put a lot of new found pressure on players and they had difficulty living up to those contracts. You had star players going from making $100, 000 over several years to suddenly getting a 5 year $6 million dollar contract. I think for a lot of guys they could never live up to those contracts. George Foster and Dave Parker come to mind. Also with the money the players might have begun to live more lavishly and indulged in drugs, alcohol, and women much more frequently.

    I think what also hurts from that time period (1977-1993) is that the best player is really kind of underrated (Rickey Henderson). He really should have won 4 MVP's but he was a lead off hitter and he was odd and he walked a lot & had a high on base percentage. Wade Boggs is another great player from that era who's also underrated. He probably deserved an MVP award or two but he was a lead-off hitter who walked a lot etc.

    Then there were a lot of star players who were great from relatively small markets, (Brett, Yount, Ripken, Murray, Trammel, Molitor, Whitaker, Gwynn, Carter, Dawson, Raines, O. Smith, J. Clark, B. Bonds, D. Murphy, Puckett), Rickey split time in NY so did K. Hernandez.

    Here's a list of the top ten WAR from players from 1977-1993:

    R. Henderson-96.6
    M. Schmidt-80.3
    W. Boggs-75.2
    R. Yount-74.7
    C. Ripken-72.1
    G. Brett-71.3
    A. Trammell-67.5
    E. Murray-66.7
    P. Molitor-66.3
    L. Whitaker-65.3

    It would be interesting to compare that 17 year span to other 17 year spans.

    There's also players who are very underrated like Tramell, Whitaker, Raines, Randolph and Hernandez from this era.

  36. John Q Says:

    @26 Neil,

    I basically meant that a small market team like the Pirates could win 3 consecutive division titles during that time period because there was much more parity in team revenues and payrolls. And on top of that, that was still in a time period when the Cardinals and the Cubs were in the NL East with the Phillies and the Mets.

    As far as the Blue Jays, they won the AL East 5 times over a 9 year span, and 4 times over a 5 year span. That would be virtually impossible in today's baseball because of the disparity in team revenues between Toronto and Red Sox and the Yankees.

  37. Doug Says:


    "The thing that drastically changed post '77 was the money & player salaries in baseball."

    You've got the timing bang on, John Q.

    It's hard to appreciate now how big a deal it was when Steinbrenner signed Reggie to that 5-year $3.75M deal ($750K per) after the '76 season. It was talked about and talked about endlessly. For months.

  38. John Q Says:

    I actually really like that era of baseball because teams played with several different styles of plays. There was a lot of parity in the league and almost any team could win. You had a bunch of small market teams go to the WS. It's the last time the Pirates, Royals, Blue Jays, Reds, Orioles, Twins, Tigers won the WS. You had a few big market teams win the WS, Yankees, Mets and Dodgers.

    Some teams bashed HR like the '82 Brewers and some teams had good gloves and speed like the '82 Cardinals.

    You had players hit 50 HR or steal over 100 bases and you had a guy hit .390.

  39. Dave Says:

    Wow, I expected to see the 75/76 Reds but they aren't there...only an earlier version of the Big Red Machine shows up.

  40. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @15, 19, 20, 25 - How good _is_ Mark Texeira this year? Agree with #20 and #25, he's not having an MVP-type season, but it's certainly better than a typical Joe Carter-type season.

    **Why is his WAR "only" 2.4?**
    Let me try to break it down:
    - His BA is .256, exactly league-average.
    - he's 13th in Walks with 57, but that only gets his OBA up to .344, versus a league-average of .321. This is a relatively small positive value, as #10 in OBA in the AL is .376
    - he's 2nd in HR with 32 (yes, very impressive), but he's only 9th in SA with .516, versus a league-average of .400. This is impressive, but not dominant.

    Baserunning: Player Value in BB-r credits him as -1 in Baserunning and -1 for Reaching On Errors. Nothing gained there.
    Defense: This is the one area where BB-r deviates from common perception, it gives him a "0" for Rfield, which I interpret as meaning that he is exactly average as a defensive first baseman. That's a loooong ways from "gold glove defense" mentioned in #15. I disagree a bit, I think he's one of the better defensive first baseman around (blame "small sample size"), but I have not analysized the numbers.

    To summarize, BB-r sees him as a power-hitting average-fielding first baseman, whom most of his value {this year} comes from his home runs, a little from the walks. He's a very good, useful player this year, but a ways from serious MVP consideration.

  41. Mike L Says:

    I don't think money and free agency is the entire explanation: otherwise you would have the fiscal powerhouses (Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies), as well as the other big market teams up there all the time-and they aren't. And, with the sidetrack of collusion, free agency was in place from 1979-1999, and only two teams made the list.

  42. Paul E Says:

    Somehow this batter play index could probably figure out which "stars" were surrounded by the "shittiest" cast of teammates. I've got to believe Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter, and Pete Rose had some pretty good teammates compared to guys like Frank Thomas and Dick Allen....just sayin'

    Teixeira MVP? Well, not even on his own team. Granderson is having a fairly decent season. And then, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Gonzalez, M. Cabrera, A. Cabrera, Peralta, Konerko......not too close at this point

  43. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @40/ I meant to add to my "Teixeira MVP?" comments:

    Only the most extreme baseball tradionalists who place great weight on HR/RBI totals (2nd and 3rd) would consider him a serious MVP contender. That doesn't mean he won't get a few MVP votes down-ballot.

  44. John Q Says:

    @41 Mike L,

    Well that time period is mostly before all that local cable t.v. money starting pouring in to baseball. That's what really changed the dynamic between big market and small market teams.

    It really started changing by the mid 80's but collusion delayed the gap until the early 90's. I think the Royals still had the highest payroll in baseball in 1990.

  45. John Autin Says:

    Another slight problem in building a case for Teixeira as MVP is that he ranks 44th in the AL in Win Probability Added, with a paltry 0.614 -- less than 1/10 of Jose Bautista's total.

    Teix has hit a lot of tack-on HRs this year; he's had few impact games.