If you are like me, you are desperately missing baseball. We don’t know when, or if, baseball – or any other sport will resume. So, today is as good of a day as any to dream of what the all-time Fictional Baseball players team would look like.
C Jack Parkman (Major League 2)
Parkman was a clear clubhouse cancer who was truly a legend in his own mind. He considered himself to be the best player on the team, and had no issue letting everyone else know. He also wasn’t afraid to rip his teammates – privately and publicly.
But, power-hitting catchers are hard to come by. He came to the Indians in 1994 following a 42-homer season with the A’s, a simply monstrous showing from a catcher in that time and he drove the women in Cleveland crazy. Is not the greatest defender at the position, and would spend some time at DH
He is an epic trash talker who also talked to pitchers while at the plate and will do anything to win – as displayed in the 1994 ALCS when he ran over former teammate Rube Baker, while mashing multiple DONGS.
1B Jimmy Dugan (A League of Their Own)
We don’t know a lot about Dugan other than the stories of his legendary power. He hit nearly 500 HR, including 58 in 1938, and was a legit Hall of Fame candidate as a Chicago Cub. He likely would have approached 600 DONGS had he not drank himself out of baseball.
His comparison is Jimmie Foxx, a MLB Hall of Famer, who hit 534 HR with a career .325/.428/.609 slashline, so we’re going to go with Dugan’s numbers were similar.
Mainly a first baseman, he can also play third, outfield and can go behind the plate. With so many studs on this 26-man roster, we’re going to need versatility to get everyone into the lineup.
He later managed the Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL).
2B Marla Hooch (A League of Their Own)
One of Dugan’s players for the Peaches, her scouting reports mentions that she is not much to look at, but, man could she hit – and from both sides of the plate.
We don’t see her flashing the leather a lot, but she could out-hit many male counterparts at the time, so that’s enough for us.
To paraphrase her father, if she was a dude, she’d be playing anywhere. Downside is, however, that she left her team in the middle of the season to start a family.
3B Sam Tuttle (For the Love of the Game)
Announcer Vin Scully tells a story of Tuttle compiling three 30/30 seasons, and he was hitting .300 with 39 homers in Billy Chapel’s final start on the last weekend of the season.
It’s a pretty weak position, but Tuttle put up big numbers, which is enough to edge him out over Ray Mitchell (Angels in the Outfield), who we knew was a star with a big time glove and a gold glove, but we don’t have any real numbers.
SS Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez (the Sandlot)
Benny could play any position on the field, but scouts drool over the Jet playing shortstop. Everyone knew when he was younger that he was destined for greater things in baseball. Hence his nickname, we know he can run, and as we saw at the end of the movie – even though we do not have a lot of info – we know he made it to bigs, even in his hometown of L.A.
He has 50-steal upside, but his hit tool is an unquestioned 80. Once literally hit the cover off of a baseball and has shocking pop for a player with a thinner frame. Rodriguez is a very able directional hitter who can put the ball WHEREVER he wants on the baseball field. I’ve seen him hit the ball directly into an outstretched glove from over 300 feet. I know, amazing.
Plate discipline could be an issue, as we have never once seen him take a pitch, but has 30/30 potential. Also, a natural leader and a perfect as a captain candidate.
LF Stan Ross (Mr. 3000)
“Mr. 3,000” was a career .314 hitter and hit 312 homers, stole 504 bases and is third all-time in walks (2,218). He drove in 100 in 11 of his last 13 seasons and had some monster seasons in 1985 (.336, 17 HR, 123 RBI, 129 runs, 29 SB), 1988 (.306, 19 HR,129 RBI, 122 runs, 151 walks, 40 SB), 1993 (.328, 20 HR, 137 RBI, 129 runs, 177 walks) before hitting .370 and .341 in his final two seasons, and here’s the back of his baseball card to prove it:
Like many others on this roster, he was a selfish, narcissistic asshole that gave no regard to his teammates, and even retired in the middle of the 1995 playoff race after recording his 3,000th hit.
Nine years later in 2004, the Brewers retired his number, but star teammates Robin Young, Paul Molitor and Cecil Cooper stay away. Only his best friend Anthony (Boca) Carter and middle relief pitcher from his early days in the majors named Bill “Big Horse” Berelli attend, and the ex-pitcher chastises Ross for his arrogant attitude.
Later that same year, it was revealed that he actually retired with 2,997 hits because of a record-keeping error – which kept him out of the Hall of Fame, so at age 47, Ross attempts a comeback so he can get three more hits. Added to the roster in September when rosters expanded, despite a manager that refused to talk to him due to his selfish retirement, teammates that thought he was too old and reporters that consistently criticized him. Ross was hitless in his first 27 AB, but then had a two-hit day, including a HR to get him to 2,999. During the process, Ross reflects back on his career, and begins mentoring the younger players, including star CF Rex “T-Rex” Pennebaker, who shared many on the characteristics that Ross displayed during his prime.
In his final plate appearance of the season, in the season finale, Ross sacrifices a chance at 3,000 hits by laying down a sac bunt to help the team win. Mr. 2,999 is eventually elected to into the Hall.
A natural outfielder, Ross played first in his later years, and would also spend time as a designated hitter on our roster.
CF Rex “T-Rex” Pennebaker (Mr. 3000)
Ross’ teammate when he made his comeback, Pennebaker was a legit star and the locker room leader. He was hitting roughly .330 with 50 home runs. He combines those monster numbers with speed and defense. He is and egocentric 5-tool player and could be the fifth player in MLB history with a 40/40 season.
RF Bobby Rayburn (The Fan)
Rayburn is basically the Barry Bonds of fictional baseball characters. A 3-time MVP in Atlanta, he comes to San Francisco on a huge (at the time) $40M contract.
After a chest injury and a slow start, he comes to life, coinciding with the murder of his teammate Juan Primo (a stud in his own right, think Johnny Damon/Brady Anderson) – who was wearing Rayburn’s No. 11, but wouldn’t give it up – by a lunatic fan so Rayburn could have his number back. Rayburn, who was suspected of the Primo murder, stayed with No. 33, felt guilty about his death but then starting mashing again, stating that he “just stopped caring, relaxes and rediscovers his swing.”
But, we know better.
A natural center fielder, Rayburn is a 5-tool player and a future Hall of Famer.
DH Roy Hobbs (the Natural)
Obvious by the nickname, Hobbs was a natural hitter. He only played a partial season, but put up full-season numbers (51 HR, 106 RBI, 42 doubles, 13 triples, 101 runs with 30 walks and 44 strikeouts) in 72 games (307 plate appearances), with an astounding slash line of .557/.655/1.415. Eye-popping. He also once had an 18 for 25 (.720) stretch, where hit 13 home runs, added a double, a triple and knocked in 21 runs… all seven of his outs were strikeouts. He had a four homer game on Sept. 1 in what was the greatest month by any player – hitting .622 with 92 hits, 28 of them home runs. He scored 61 runs in the 34 games. He drove in another 58. He also hit a walk-off homer in a one-game playoff to send the Knights to the World Series.
He could have been the greatest player to ever play the game, and the announcer even said as much, “There goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in this game.” But, unfortunately, we’ll never know as he missed 16 years of his prime after he was shot and wounded back in 1923. But I think his season stats tells us enough. He can hit the cover off the ball, literally, and has the most-iconic hit in baseball movie history when he knocked the lights out.
His bat – Wonderboy, and the jersey he bled through in that one-game playoff, are on display in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Once a phenom pitcher growing up – where he threw eight no-hitters as a senior in high school, he can also strike a batter or two out if you need an emergency pitcher.
SP Steve Nebraska (the Scout)
An absolute freak of nature on the mound with triple digit heat, who consistently hit 109 on the gone and topped out at 112 mph, he was also a total whack-job, who’s jitters get the best of him in front of big crowds. Eventually, he gets over it and throws an 81-straight strike perfect game in Game 1 of the World Series and let’s not forget that he can also mash 500-foot DONGS, as he hit two of them in his 2-0 World Series win over the Cardinals.
Future Hall of Famer written all over him…IF he doesn’t have a mental breakdown.
SP Bingo Long (The Bingo Long Traveling All-Star’s and Motor Kings)
Long is basically a Satchel Paige clone. He is arrogant, and like Satchel, would pull off outlandish stunts, like having teammates stand along the base line for the first pitch of the game, which the batter would never hit, or calling in all of the outfielders with a lead in the ninth inning before striking out the side.
SP Billy Chapel (For Love of the Game)
The future Hall of Famer won 288 games in a 20-year career, all with the Detroit Tigers. He was not the same pitcher at the end of his career as he was before, like almost every other pitcher, but in his final career start he tossed a perfect game at Yankee Stadium.
Would bring a veteran presence to the pitching staff and also a contrary pitching style to the power pitchers in the rotation.
Had a 2.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP in 600 career games (599 starts), was a 9-time All-Star, three time Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and was the AL MVP in 1987. He also led the league in wins three times and was a four-time AL ERA champ and twice the AL strikeout leader.
SP Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh (Bull Durham)
Dude was one of the most talented prospects in baseball movie history – a $3 Million arm, but along with a 2-cent brain. Dude had no idea how to pitch, but that changed thanks to career minor-league catcher Crash Davis, who taught him some hard life lessons.
He has a funky delivery, a power arsenal and likes to “bring the heater” and “announce my presence with authority!”
SP Eddie Harris (Major League)
Harris was the Gaylord Perry of fictional pitchers. He couldn’t get any hitters out unless he had extra “stuff” on his pitch.
He pitched well into his 40’s, and was the classic junk-ball pitcher, who’s fastball likely didn’t hit 80. He stays relevant by doctoring the baseball, thanks to assistance from Crisco, Vaseline, Vagisil and even jalapeno byproduct for his famous “snot ball.”
With several power arms in the rotation, and one on either side of him, he will be a perfect change-of-pace arm in the rotation.
Nicknamed “Old Reliable,” Harris’ 1989 season was likely his last. Sporting a 4.32 ERA and an 11-11 record (only 81 K compared to 95 walks in 210.1 IP) in 34 starts, he holds the Yankees to two runs on eight hits in eight-plus innings in an AL East playoff game.
He threw 5,000+ innings and won more than 300 games (318), while losing 274 games with a 3.55 ERA in his career, which featured 245 complete games, 45 shutouts and even 29 saves.
Closer Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn (Major League)
A former 5th round draft pick who was released by the Dodgers after grand theft auto, Vaughn went straight from the California Penal League to the show. A classic hard thrower, who had no idea where the ball was going – he set a MLB record with 4 wild pitches in one inning (tied with Hall of Famer’s Walter Johnson and knuckleball legend Phil Niekro). That, was perfect, because neither did the batters. Think Mitch Williams or John Rocker, or for Royals fans, Mike MacDougall.
In his MLB debut, he walked the bases loaded on 12 pitches (remind you of Miguel Asencio, Royals fans?) and then allowed a grand slam to Yankees slugger Clu Haywood, and is thrown out of the game the following pitch after beaning a hitter.
He was in and out of the rotation the rest of that season (we do know he throws at least one complete game), with mixed results as a starter, with lowered velocity in 1994, but like he was in the 1989 playoffs, Vaughn was dominant as a closer, where he reared back and let it fly, with the bone-skull glasses, vest, dramatic entrance and mound rituals.
He had Wade Davis-sized balls when the game was on the line, too. Called on to face Haywood – who had owned him all season– in the 1989 play-in game, in what catcher Jake Taylor labeled, “this guy is the out you have been waiting your whole life for,” and struck him out in the top of the ninth. He earned the win when Taylor scored Willie Mays Hayes from second on a bunt, and again in 1994 when he walked the bases loaded to face Parkman, even though everyone wondered what the hell then-manager Jake Taylor was thinking – magically found the gas that evaded him most of the season, which resulted to a demotion to the bullpen. But, “Wild Thing” was back and he threw GAS passed Parkman, who was hitting just over .900 against Vaughn, to win the series.
He’s our closer.
RP Henry Rowengartner (Rookie of the Year)
He was a one-year wonder, due to a freak injury, but it was a great year and he was the Cubs closer right away. The 12-year old sensation threw 103 mph. In the final game of the regular season, we saw him stretched out to three innings, and he did just fine. Also has a nasty underhanded eephus pitch named “the floater.”
The World Series Champion will do just fine in a set-up role.
RP Willie “The Duke” Mueller (Major League)
Sure, he’s an asshole that threw at his one son in a father-son game, but he also strikes dudes out. Harry Doyle tells us that he stuck out 147 batters in 118 innings out of the pen in 1989 – good for a league-leading K/9 (11.2). He also led the American League in saves.
Another power arm in front of Vaughn.
The 7-8-9inning combination looks legit.
RP Kenny Powers (Eastbound and Down)
Powers broke into the big leagues at age 19, and was soon closing for the Braves, leading them to the World Series. The “People’s Champion” had an abrasive personality, which cost him his job in Atlanta and he then bounced around to New York to San Francisco, Boston and finally to Seattle. He wore his welcome out pretty quickly in each stop – playing for five teams in five years, but you could tell the talent was still there. His velocity was ticking down at the end, and he tried to make up for it with steroids, but was out of baseball in less than seven seasons. He made a comeback in the Mexican League, ala Jake Taylor, is signed by the Rangers and eventually makes it back to the show. However, he faked his own death and is eventually arrested.
The most obnoxious jerk to ever to step on the mound had a career 4.40 ERA, with each stop being worst than the ones before it, but he believes in himself when no one else does. He even doubled as a sheriff in Seattle before stepping down.
RP Ryan Dunne (Summer Catch)
Even though he used a Rawlings that was probably bought at Old Navy, this southpaw could deal. He does have a few things working against him. He has dropped out of two colleges and self-destructs during games, but he also threw a perfect game in the Cape Cod League, which features college players and has a long history of featuring future big leaguers, so it’s not a stretch to assume he eventually makes it to the show. He’s a natural starting pitcher, but as a lefty, we’ll need him in the pen, for now. He is the next dude to enter the rotation, when Chapel retires at the end of the season, or Harris’ arm falls off.
RP Chet “the Rocket” Steadman (Rookie of the Year)
By time we see Steadman, he is nearing the end of his career. Washed up, he has to turn to finesse to get through games, as opposed to power. He even told Rowengartner to no longer call him the Rocket because that’s not who he was anymore. He already knows that his contract won’t be renewed, added with an arm injury tagging a runner out at home plate in Game 162, retirement is inevitable.
However, you don’t earn the nickname “Rocket” without reason, so we can assume he used to be able to throw GAS. He’s also a mentor and personal pitching coach to Rowengartner.
RP Henry Wiggen (Bang the Drum Slowly)
Nicknamed “the Southpaw,” he, like Dunne, he is a natural starting pitcher. But, every bullpen needs lefties. He indicates that he is good enough to be a Hall of Famer, and we know he has been described as “Dizzy Dean with a typewriter.” Like Dunne, he would be in the rotation, soon.
RP Sam “Mayday” Malone (Cheers)
A Boston bar-owner in Cheers, Malone was once a right-handed relief pitcher for the Red Sox. It is unclear if an injury, or alcoholism – or both (or one as result of the other) ended his seven-year career (1972-1978). His career numbers (16-30 in 207 G (1 GS) with a 4.01 ERA in 312.2 IP with 109 BB and 240 K) were pedestrian, but we need the arms.
Perfect in long relief.
C Leon Carter (The Bingo Long Traveling All-Star’s and Motor Kings)
Everyone would assume Jake Taylor (Major League) or Crash Davis (Bull Durham) would be the choice here, but we’re going with the lesser known, but more talented Carter.
A Josh Gibson-like power-hitting catcher, who for sure would eventually end up in bigs. He was so good that he was kidnapped in a winner-take-all game between Long’s All-Star’s and the Negro League’s All-Star’s for the right for Long’s team to join the league or get dis-banded back to their prior teams.
1B Clu Haywood (Major League)
Played by former MLB pitcher Pete Vuckovich, who won the 1982 Cy Young with the Brewers and was a porous hitter – hitting .159 with 0 HR in his 11-year MLB career, but as the fictional Haywood, he led most offensive categories in baseball, including nose hair.
He won the 1989 Triple Crown – the AL’s first since Carl Yastrzemski ‘s in 1967, with .341 average, 48 homers, 121 RBI.
He once asked Jake Taylor, “how are your wife and my kids?” and tells opposing pitchers he is going to light their ass up. Winner mentality.
OF Pedro Cerrano (Major League)
Cerrano came to America in search of religious freedom (voodoo), and hit the ball a mile, but couldn’t hit a curveball to save his life. Think of Jorge Soler.
40-HR potential with a cannon of an arm, but his glove is suspect.
Cerrano emasculated his teammates in batting practice and hit some clutch postseason DONGS for the Indians, and once carried his bat all the way around the bases after a HUGE homer against the Yankees in the 1989 play-in game.
OF Willie Mays Hayes (Major League)
The the dude ran his way into Spring Training – literally – and then onto the Indians. He is an elite fielder and base stealer, a better version of Jarrod Dyson and Terrance Gore, and even starred in a movie (Black Thunder and White Lightning). He also had one of the most iconic plays in baseball movie history when he scored from second on Jake Taylor’s bunt to send the Indians to the playoffs.
Early on, he could not hit a lick, yet claims “I play like Mays, and I run like Hayes.”
“You may run like Mays, but you hit like shit.” – Indians manager Lou Brown said. He did mirror Mays with a smooth basket catch, which Brown responded with “don’t ever f***ing do it again.”
He transformed into a solid leadoff hitter by season’s end by hitting the ball on the ground and running, avoiding hitting the ball in the air. He fell in love with the long ball in warm Florida air in Spring Training in 1994, after beefing up for his movie role, but returned to his former self after a slow start to the season. He also has intangibles, attitude and a goal of stealing 100 bases.
Utility Kelly Leak (Bad News Bears)
Leak was a CF in the original and a SS in the remake, so I think it’s safe to assume he can play pretty much anywhere, which makes him the perfect super-utility bench player. He is a gifted athlete. He hits homers, has a cannon arm that makes any MLB outfielder envious and is even intentional walked with the bases loaded.
On screen, Leak goes 3 for 3 (1.000) with two homers, a triple and 5 RBI (in the original). But he must make an out somewhere because his pickup line with a ballet student is “I’m hitting .841. You live around here?”
.841? That’ll play.
Likely to run into some off-field troubles with his risky behavior, and hopefully he doesn’t turn into some drugged-out hippie living in Flint, Michigan, where he would be a season ticket holder for the local ABA team, the Tropics; but dude could play…As seen in Bad News Bears, he simply took over games and made plays all over the field.
Catchers: Jake Taylor (Major League) and Crash Davis (Bull Durham)
1B: Jack Elliot (Mr. Baseball) and Lou Collins (Little Big League)
2B: Mickey Dominguez (Summer Catch) and Tony Micelli (Who’s the Boss)
3B: Ray Mitchell (Angels in the Outfield)
OF: Billy “Downtown” Anderson (Major League 3), “Esquire Joe” Joseph Vanderbilt Calloway (The Bingo Long Traveling All-Star’s and Motor Kings), Joe Hardy (Damn Yankees)
Pitchers: Jim Bowers (Little Big League)
Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianGraham624
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