Opinion: The Perfect Starting Nine

Baseball has the oldest and richest pro sports history in the United States. The National League was founded in 1876, giving us nearly 150 years of MLB lore.The longevity and richness of MLB makes the following task nearly impossible: building the best all-time MLB starting lineup. *This is not necessarily a ranking of the best players at each position, but rather the best one-through-nine hitting order that can possibly be created

  • CF, Rickey Henderson

Henderson is the perfect leadoff hitter for this stacked lineup. His 3,055 career hits are reason enough for the top spot. However, his speed is the real deciding factor. The MLB’s greatest bag swiper, with 1,406 stolen bases, gives the heavy hitters behind him an even easier job (like they need any help).

  • 3B, Pete Rose

In the two hole, this lineup needs a reliable contact hitter. Rose is the MLB’s all-time hits leader. He slots nicely between the leadoff speed and the power in the middle of the lineup. If Henderson fails to get on base, the lineup has security in Rose’s .375 on-base-percentage. If Henderson does get on, Rose can easily put the ball in play and advance Henderson around the bases.

  • LF, Barry Bonds

The third spot in most MLB lineups is reserved for power. Nobody had more power than Barry Bonds. His MLB-record 762 career home runs makes him a shoe-in.

  • DH/SP, Babe Ruth

Do I really need to explain this one? Ruth gives this offense gravitas, power, and versatility. People forget that Ruth pitched and hit, laying the foundation for today’s two-way players like Shohei Ohtani. No all-time MLB lineup would be complete without the Great Bambino.

  • 1B, Stan Musial

Musial gives Ruth and Bonds great protection. In a lineup this deep, the middle hitters need to be balanced. Musial, with the MLB’s 25th-best career batting average and 476 career home runs, he slots nicely in the middle of the lineup. Musial’s .417 on-base percentage provides great opportunities for the hitters behind him.

  • RF, Hank Aaron

Aaron was one of the game’s greatest power hitters. His 755 home runs are second-all time. Aaron, hitting behind players who consistently get on base and hit for power, will anchor the center of the lineup. He will get numerous at-bats with opportunities to knock in runs. He’s one of only five players with at least 2,000 RBI.

  • SS, Alex Rodriquez

A-Rod is another player with 2,000 runs-batted-in. His power at shortstop is incredibly valuable. His 3,115 hits and .380 OBP give opportunities to the bottom hitters.

  •  2B, Joe Morgan 

Morgan sures up the middle infield while bringing contact and power to the eight spot. His .392 OBP, .271 BA and 1,133 RBI are hard to top at second base.

  •  C, Johnny Bench

Behind the plate, the lineup needs a stable presence. Bench rounds out this squad with 389 career home runs, a .267 BA, and legendary defense. The ten-time gold glover could get it done on both sides of the ball.

Author: TantaloTakes.com

Ryan Tantalo - University at Buffalo Student, Journalist, Hockey Announcer, Broadcaster

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