As this holy week of baseball continues and teams across the country honor the old - legendary players, memorable moments, meaningful anniversaries - and the new - a new season, new ballparks, new management - I thought it might be fun to think about some of those players and/or franchises that have no one left to remember them: the defunct ballclubs of baseball's past.
Listed below is an All-Star team made up entirely of players who made their mark on baseball's defunct ballclubs. To put it simply, if a player were to be elected to the Hall of Fame and the most likely candidate for which cap to include on his plaque was a now-defunct club, then he'd be considered for this list. Players like Pedro Martinez or Larry Walker don't quite make the grade.
My definition of defunct is hard to elucidate with anything other than "I know it when I see it", but I'll do my best. To me, a team is defunct if it has moved across the country somehow, changed it's name, and refused to embrace the old franchise. Teams like the Angels don't count here because only their name is changing. Teams like the Giants and Dodgers also don't count because their history transferred with the clubs. For the purpose of this list, the defunct teams that I considered were the Montreal Expos, Seattle Pilots, St. Louis Browns, and Washington Senators (both versions).
With that out of the way, here are your All-Time Defunct All-Stars. Feel free to tell me who I left out in the comments below.
Catcher: Gary Carter, Montreal Expos
One of the easiest choices for this team. Carter may be more famous for his time as a New York Met (though I think that's only true for those raised by the New York media), but, when the Hall of Fame made the choice to put an Expos cap on his plaque, it was the absolute right call. In terms of WAR, Carter earned 52.6 of his 66.3 career WAR in Montreal.
Firstbase: George Sisler, St. Louis Browns
Another no-brainer. Sisler's career may be a little overrated these days (batting average isn't all it's cracked up to be, of course), but that shouldn't diminish him completely. And, as the greatest St. Louis Brown of all time, there's no way we could forget him here. If we were to expand the team to include a few bench players, Washington Senator Frank Howard would be the first one added.
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