Here is a list of who I consider the best players per position in the history of baseball's American League. Altogether I have placed 12 players on my list who I think would be the best of any American League team there is. Some of you may agree and some may not, but please keep in mind that this is my first article. Please comment and all criticism is appreciated.
Walter Johnson dominated his time spending 21 seasons in the MLB all with the America League Washington Senators. During his tenure in he had a record of 417-279 with an ERA of 2.17 while giving up only 97 HR's! He topped all this of with 2 MVP awards and becoming a member of the inaugural Hall of Fame class.
Lefty played his 17 seasons all in the AL with both the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox. He had a record of 300-141! With an ERA of 3.06, Lefty polished his career with 298 CG, 1934 MVP, 6 All-Star games including the very first one and 5 of them consecutive, and was inducted into the Hall in 1947.
Yogi was not only great defensively, but offensively as well. With a career Batting Average of .285, Yogi consistently scared the greatest pitchers of his time with his hitting style. Hector Lopez was quoted saying "Yogi (Berra) had the fastest bat I ever saw. He could hit a ball late, that was already past him, and take it out of the park. The pitchers were afraid of him because he'd hit anything, so they didn't know what to throw. Yogi had them psyched out and he wasn't even trying to psych them out."
Along with his great offense, Yogi threw out 49% of base runners attempting to steal. He topped all these extraordinary stats with 10 World Series rings (most ever), 3 MVP awards, 15 All-Stars Games, and an induction to the Hall of Fame.
Oh and by the way, he was out!
This one was pretty easy. In 17 seasons with the Yankees, Lou Gehrig helped lead his team to 7 World Series appearances, 6 of them resulting in rings. With a career AVG of .340, an OBP of .447, and a SLG % of .632, Gehrig is considered one of the best offensive players of all time. He also holds 2 MVP awards (with one of them being when he lead the 1927 Murderers Row Yankee team) and is a member of the Hall of Fame.
This was another easy one seeing as most of the great second baseman have been in the National League. Collins played a remarkable 25 seasons in the MLB playing with the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White sox. He had a career AVG of .333, an OBP of .424, a SLG % of .429 and 744 SB. He also won the 1914 MVP award and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939.
George Brett may be known best by many as the hot headed Kansas City Royal player who stormed out of the dugout in what is now known as the pine-tar incident. But for those of us who know a thing or two about baseball, we remember him as possibly the greatest third baseman of all time. He ended his career with an AVG of .305, and OBP of .369, and a SLG % of .487. He also won the 1980 MVP award, is a member of the 3,000 hit club, and was inducted into the Hall in 1999.
I know I'm going to get alot of comments about this one but hear me out before you judge. Derek Jeter won the 1996 Rookie of the Year award on the biggest stage in baseball. Not only was he on the Yankees, but he won a world series, and another, and another, and another. In his first 5 years as a Major League Baseball player, DJ won 4 World Series rings, and the Yankees are currently on there way to another World Series birth.
While DJ has not won an MVP award yet (and I do say yet with confidence), he has taken all criticism given to him with stride. He has a career AVG of .316, an OBP of .386, and a SLG % of .458. He is also one of the best clutch hitters in the game. And all this together has made him just the 11th Yankee captain in the illustrious history of the best team in sports history.
Many people consider him to be the greatest baseball player of all time. Whether its the immediate fame he earned during his career with the Yankees, or his overall skills at the plate we will never know, but I'm hoping it was his skills and not only the ones at the plate. Ruth was not only a great hitter, but a great pitcher. As a pitcher, Ruth had a record of 94-46 with an ERA of 2.28. But thats not why we're here.
After his pitching career was over, Ruth preceded to grow his world famous career. As a hitter, he had an AVG of .342, OBP of .474, a record SLG % of .690, and 714 career HR's. Along with these numbers he earned the 1923 MVP and an induction into the Hall of Fame inaugural class.
It pains me inside to say this seeing as i am a devote Yankee fan, but in my opinion Ted Williams was the greatest hitter of all time. The god of hitter had an AVG of .400 or more 3 times in his career. He also ended his career with an AVG of .344, a record OBP of .482, and a SLG % of .634 with a total of 521 HR's. And all this was accomplished even though he lost 4 years of his career due to his enlisting in the US Army during WW2.
What can any one say about Ty Cobb. He's a player many people consider to be the best of all time. Along with his fielding excellence, he had a record AVG of .366, an OBP of .433, and a SLG% of .512. He topped this off with the 1911 MVP award and being apart of the inaugural class of Hall of Fame members.
In 22 seasons in the bigs, Rich "Goose" Gossage played with 9 different teams, but spent his most notable time with the Yankees. He ended his career with 310 saves, a 3.01 ERA, and 1502 strike-outs. He also appeared in 9 all-star games and was inducted into the hall in 2008.
This was probably the easiest devision I've had to make on this list. Everytime the song "Enter Sandman" by Metallica plays over the PA system at Yankee Stadium, the entire eastern seaboard knows the Mariano Rivera has just left the bullpen and stepped onto the field.
Over the past 14 seasons, Mariano Rivera has over powered opponents with his o-so-famous cut-fastball that comes in on the hands of of lefty's and moves away from righty's causing all of them to look like fools. With his 514 career saves, Rivera has the second most saves of all time and he's still going. He also has an ERA of 2.27 with a ratio of 4 K's per walk. But his dominance truly shows in the post season.
In October, MO has 34 saves, 93 strikeouts, and an astonishing ERA of just 0.77! Mariano Rivera is without question the greatest closer in the history of baseball.