All day Tuesday, Times readers were asked to vote in a series of polls to select the greatest players at each position in baseball history. Readers were able to vote for three people at each position (except right-handed starter, where the limit was five). There were 8,608 ballots cast, and some interesting choices, so without further ado, here is your team:
Catcher: Johnny Bench, Roy Campanella, Yogi Berra. Injury replacements (finished fourth and fifth in voting: Josh Gibson, Mike Piazza. Just missed (finished 6th through 8th):
First base: Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial,
Second base: Rogers Hornsby,
Third base: Mike Schmidt,
Left field: Ted Williams, Rickey Henderson,
Center field: Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb. Injury replacements: Joe DiMaggio,
Left-handed starters: Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn, Randy Johnson. Injury replacements: Steve Carlton, Lefty Grove. Just missed: Whitey Ford, Tom Glavine, Carl Hubbell. Notes: Koufax was named on 91% of the ballots, Spahn and Johnson on 51%. There was a large gap between those three and the rest of the list.
Closer: Mariano Rivera, Dennis Eckersley, Goose Gossage. Injury replacements: Trevor Hoffman, Rollie Fingers. Just missed: Lee Smith, Hoyt Wilhelm, Bruce Sutter. Notes: Rivera was the runaway winner, named on 91% of ballots.
So there it is. The starting lineup:
C: Johnny Bench
1B: Lou Gehrig
2B: Rogers Hornsby
3B: Mike Schmidt
SS: Cal Ripken Jr.
LF: Ted Williams
CF: Willie Mays
RF: Hank Aaron
SP: Sandy Koufax.