Just a bit of off-season fun. Put together the finest 25-man roster you can, drawing from all those who've ever played the game - but you are only allowed one player whose last name starts with each letter of the alphabet. So if you want Ty Cobb in the outfield, that's fine - but you then can't have any other C's on your roster, so no Clemens, Clemente or Campanella. No major-leaguer has ever had a last name which started with the letter X, so that leaves tthe remaining twenty-five letters for the twenty-five positions. These should be broken down as follows:
- 8 starting position players
- 1 backup catcher
- 1 backup corner infielder (1B or 3B)
- 1 backup middle infielder (2B or SS)
- 2 backup outfielders
- 5 starting pitchers
- 1 left-handed reliever
- 4 general relievers
- 1 set-up man
- 1 closer.
To stop you from stuffing the bullpen with closers, the closer is the only one allowed to have more than 50 career saves. Here is a convenient form you can use to copy and paste in the comments, with your efforts:
I've started work on my team, and it's an interesting exercise. You have to trade off letters for utility. Dan Quisenberry is easily the best Q player - but that would lock up your closer's spot immediately, so do you really want to do that? Or should you pick a better closer, and use a lesser Q, perhaps for one of the backup spots? [Pagin Carlos Quentin!] The aim is to create a roster that's strong overall, remember.
There's also a lot of difference in available talenty between the individual letters. A quick check reveals the letter C has most members in the Hall of Fame - 31, albeit including umpires and owners. While some of the short-stacked letters are unsurprising, with no Qs, U's, X's or Z's, there are also only three N's [all pitchers: Newhouser, Nichols and Niekro] and six T's enshrined in Cooperstown. Here's an alphabetical list of all current Hall of Fame inductees, which might help with the process. Baseball-Reference.com's list of most-searched players is another good place to start with this.
Doing this as a Fanpost, since I think it might take a few days for me to come up with a complete roster!