I thought we all needed a break from the endless parade of obituaries around here, so I am starting a new series on this blog.
"Prime 9" (Wait, what? The MLB Network already did this?
) will feature nine of the best players per team from the 1966-70 era. Not necessarily one player per position, just the best overall 9 per team.
"How am I choosing the best 9?" you may ask. Well, I'm not going to spend the time crunching every player's stats and then ranking them. Instead, I have dumped my entire baseball card collection into the hopper on top of the Bat-Computer*, and asked it to give me the best 9 per team.
The teams will be posted in order of their total wins between 1966 and 1970. (The 1969 expansion teams are excluded because a) there's too small a sample size for them during those years, b) I would have trouble finding 9 "adequate" players per team from 1969-70, let alone "best" players, and c) they have already had enough blog time here
Some interesting things I found while researching the number of wins:
There were 6 teams that won over 100 games (3 in each league), with the Orioles the only team to do it twice. (Those two O's seasons were also the 2 highest win totals.)
There were 2 teams that won less than 60 games - 1 in each league, but both from Chicago ('70 White Sox, '66 Cubs).
The White Sox came in dead last with 363 wins - the only team to win less than 70 games in 3 different seasons. (As I recall, they finished behind the expansion Royals in 1969.)
The worst NL team was the Astros, but they were 18th overall.
Of the bottom 8 teams, only the Mets (in 1969) won 90+ games in any season.
First up – the Baltimore Orioles, with 481 wins during that 5-year span (27 more than the next team).
"ROBIN! What's a 'Don Mossi'?"
What surprised me the most about all of this:
1. How bad the White Sox were
2. How good the Giants were. Imagine if the front office hadn't given away all those players to the Cubs and others?
3. How good the Twins were
4. How good the Orioles were in 1968
5. The Yankees' improvement in 1970