Late in 1999, we asked our readers to give us their picks for baseball’s
Team of the 1990s. More than 1,000 people voted in the poll, held over
three months, and the results have been tabulated. The outfielders and
designated hitter for the Team of the 1990s are:
Very little surprise here, as Barry Bonds walks away with an easy
win in left field. Bonds’s career arc has been perfect for a competition of
this type; his first truly great season was in 1990, and we probably
haven’t seen his last one yet. Rickey Henderson, on the other hand,
was doing some of his best work when we were accepting votes for the
Baseball Prospectus Team of the 1980s, which hurts him here.
Player Name Points Barry Bonds 884 Rickey Henderson 51 Albert Belle 27 Moises Alou 6 Greg Vaughn 4 Tim Raines 3 Marty Cordova 2 Dan Gladden 2 Mike Greenwell 2 Candy Maldonado 2 Troy O'Leary 2 B.J. Surhoff 2 Mark Carreon 1 Luis Gonzalez 1 Rusty Greer 1 Al Martin 1 Derrick May 1 Kevin McReynolds 1 Henry Rodriguez 1 TOTAL 994
This one wasn’t too difficult either, as Ken Griffey takes 90% of
the ballots to win the starting spot on the team. As with Bonds, Griffey’s
career fits well in the framework of this competition; in this case,
Bernie Williams‘s career didn’t really take off until 1994, and
Puckett was out of baseball by 1996.
Player Name Points Ken Griffey Jr. 797 Bernie Williams 21 Kirby Puckett 20 Kenny Lofton 13 Brady Anderson 3 Eric Davis 3 Lenny Dykstra 3 Carl Everett 3 Andruw Jones 3 Ray Lankford 3 Brett Butler 2 Doug Glanville 2 Robin Yount 2 Chad Curtis 1 Mike Devereaux 1 Jim Edmonds 1 Billy Hatcher 1 Lance Johnson 1 Andy Van Slyke 1 Devon White 1 Rondell White 1 TOTAL 883
Ahhh, finally some competition. Four players ended up in the triple digits
in right field, and in the end it came down to the two players who have
accounted for the last six National League batting titles between them.
Tony Gwynn ended up with a slim victory over Larry Walker;
Gwynn was entering his prime when Walker was just getting started, which
helped him combat Walker’s big finish. Juan Gonzalez finished in
third place despite nearly outhomering Gwynn and Walker combined, and
Sammy Sosa got exactly 100 votes to finish fourth.
Player Name Points Tony Gwynn 243 Larry Walker 231 Juan Gonzalez 141 Sammy Sosa 100 Manny Ramirez 35 Paul O'Neill 32 Gary Sheffield 22 Jose Canseco 12 Tim Salmon 11 Joe Carter 10 Raul Mondesi 5 Vladimir Guerrero 4 David Justice 4 Willie McGee 4 Andre Dawson 3 Bobby Bonilla 2 Rob Deer 2 Kevin Bass 1 Derek Bell 1 Dante Bichette 1 Darren Bragg 1 Tom Brunansky 1 Jay Buhner 1 Shawn Green 1 Bob Higginson 1 Joe Orsulak 1 Cory Snyder 1 Matt Stairs 1 Darryl Strawberry 1 TOTAL 873
The ageless Harold Baines did his best to make this a race, but
Edgar Martinez overcame injury woes in 1993 and 1994 to easily rank
as the best DH of the 1990s.
Player Name Points Edgar Martinez 519 Harold Baines 115 Paul Molitor 92 Chili Davis 18 Dave Winfield 8 George Brett 5 Brian Downing 4 Jack Clark 3 George Bell 2 Geronimo Berroa 2 Kirk Gibson 1 TOTAL 769