Over the last few weeks, Beyond the Box Score‘s Chris St. John has been creating “All True Teams” for every MLB franchise, made up of the best players who have spent their entire careers with that team:
This past season, Grant Green – a prospect in the Oakland Athletics organization – was moved from shortstop to center field because his defense wasn’t good enough…I snarkily replied that “Cliff Pennington is a True Athletic. Can’t move him from short.”
We often hear about a player being a True Yankee, but what about the rest of the teams?
Last week, Chris unveiled his 25-man roster of the best Indians players (by career WAR) who either spent their entire careers in Cleveland or are still on the club and have yet to be traded or sign elsewhere. So who made the cut?
The left side of the infield is one of the team’s biggest strengths, with Al Rosen at third base and Ray Chapman at shortstop. Asdrubal Cabrera makes the cut at second base, while Luke Easter rounds out the horn at first. Grady Sizemore is slotted in center with Jack Graney in left, while Roy Foster somehow gets the starting right field job.
Meanwhile, catcher Harry Bemis (odds are Carlos Santana will take his spot by the end of next season) shouldn’t have much trouble calling games with Bob Feller, Mel Harder, Bob Lemon, Addie Joss, and Heinie Berger. I wouldn’t imagine this team would need to go to the bullpen very often, but when they did the game would be safe with closer Guy Morton.
Only five current players make the roster—the average team had four. In addition to Cabrera and Sizemore, Rafael Perez makes the club out of the bullpen while Santana and Fausto Carmona are available off the bench.
Overall, I’d say this is a pretty good reflection of the best players to have spent their whole careers in Tribe uniforms—at least, looking at their whole careers. Bemis, for example may have been more valuable in his career than Santana has so far, but he never played as well as Santana has so far in his young career.