A couple of weeks ago, the question was posed on Twitter: What’s your all-time all-defensive infield? In response, Truly the GOATs assembled such a list with the help of the miraculous Baseball-Reference.com.
What would your all-time defensive infield look like? Catchers included. Pitchers don’t need to be.
C: Bench 1B: K. Hernandez 2B: B. Mazeroski SS: H. Wagner 3B: Brooks Robinson
From our The 90s Were Weird Department comes a reminder of the 1999 ESPN mini-series entitled “Matchup of the Millennium” which pitted, in a tournament made possible after the invention of time travel, all-decade teams for four NFL franchises in the Super Bowl era: the 1960s Green Bay Packers host the 1980s San Francisco 49ers while the 1970s Pittsubrgh Steelers visit the 1990s Dallas Cowboys.
The series was essentially a more in-depth version of the “NFL Dream Season” series the network had run in 1989; NFLDS featured 20 great one-year teams playing a six-game scheuule followed by two rounds of playoffs.
The pretentious title is exactly the sort of aggrandizing that Truly the GOATs rails against – Come on, if this is really a “Matchup of the Millennium”, why are only 20th-century teams represented? But it an interesting enough idea to check out with sports off everywhere outside of Belarus.
In researching 20th-century newspaper reportage for the stories of the great all-time athletes (thus far Jim Thorpe, Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Angelo Mosca), it is becoming pointedly obvious that much sports journalism was not subject to, likesay, very rigorous editorial scrutiny.
As an example, check out the below story published in the Evening Star newspaper of Washington, D.C., following Thorpe’s incredible success at the 1912 Olympic Games.
The entire premise of Truly the GOATs is about challenging the notion of labeling sports’ players, teams or events hastily and clichédly “Greatest of All-Time.” My theory – still doing research on this – is that the tendency began with Michael Jordan and/or the 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball team, a.k.a. The Dream Team.
One can easily see why: Not since the days of Pelé and his Team Brazil football sides of the 1950s and 60s had the wide world of sports so clearly witnessed once-in-a-century greatness. Team USA ultimately lived up to the pre-Olympics hype by winning every game – by an average score of 43.8. Even Brazil drew a couple of matches in their three World Cup-winning runs.
The Dream Team was so great that they even enjoyed one of the best Hall of Fame enshrinement speeches 20 years after the 1992 Olympics Games, courtesy Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
Bird, in fact, solidifies his bid for the Greatest Trash-Talker of All-Time by closing out the speech with the last word on the ridiculous 1960 Team USA vs 1992 Team USA debates leading into both squads’ indubction in Springfield. Check it out: Even Jordan can’t maintain his cooler-than-thou demeanor when Larry starts dropping bombers like he was killing the Lakers with jumpers.
The complete transcript of the speech runs below the video.
Due to the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus, Truly the GOATs will likely be calling an audible for episode 3, and instead of the regularly scheduled story of Raiden, Hakuhō and the centuries-old sport of sumo, we’ll probably instead drop our ep on Angelo Mosca.
In terms of a real mind-blowingly successful pro wrestling career, Angelo may have been born about five to 10 years too early, juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust missing the insane rise in popularity of pro wrestling in the 1980s as driven by Vince McMahon and Hulkamania.
I always go back to this one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched the amazing performance of Secretariat (and his trusty jockey Ron Turcotte) in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. At 66½ years and counting, Secretariat’s world record time in this race has got to be the longest-held speed record in all of sports.
And while “dominance” cannot really be quantified – truth be told, this noun technically cannot carry qualifiers despite the evermore frequent use of terms such as “more dominant” and “the most dominant” – Secretariat certainly set a record in the category that will never be broken. Seriously, how does he win by this freakin’ much…?