The Orioles have been a consistently good team for the better part of their history in Baltimore, winning nine division titles, seven AL Pennants, and three World Series titles. Those teams have come with some really notable stars like the ace Jim Palmer, who pitched in the World Series as both a 20-year-old and a 37-year-old, and Cal Ripken Jr., who is most noted for breaking what was seen as the most unbreakable record in baseball, and possibly all of sports, Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played.
Ripken Jr. didn’t just break Gehrig’s record, he shattered it, playing in 2,632 straight games, more than 500 games beyond Gehrig’s 2,130 games. Ripken Jr.’s career also coincided with the massive popularity of the baseball card collecting hobby, which made his rookie card and his other baseball cards hot commodities. He will always be associated with baseball cards for those in the Hobby.
The Orioles also had many other classic players, like Brooks Robinson, one of the best third basemen of all time, and almost undoubtedly the best fielding third baseman ever. And Baltimore holds it’s own when it comes to modern-day stars, like Manny Machado and Adam Jones.
You can purchase these cards on the Beckett Marketplace: Jim Palmer, Matt Wieters, Eddie Murray, Bobby Grich, Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr., Boog Powell, Adam Jones, Frank Robinson, Manny Machado and Gregg Olson.
The Detroit Tigers are deeply woven into the fabric of baseball history. Sporting the old English “D” on their cap since 1924, the Tigers are a reminder of the nostalgic appeal of the sport. The fact that one of the greatest hitters in the modern era, Miguel Cabrera, plays in essentially the same uniform as one of the greatest (if not the greatest) hitters of any era Ty Cobb is something that makes baseball unique.
As we get closer to the most legendary card lineup of all time we will begin seeing more and more players from the early 20th Century on the list, making their Topps cards a little more difficult to find. Obviously there isn’t a contemporary Ty Cobb Topps card, but there is a 1976 Topps All Time Greats card, so that’s what we chose for Cobb. The same goes for a player like “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, who played from 1899-1917.
But the Tigers had great players in many different eras, from the “Dead Ball” era, to the 1960s, 1980s, 2000s, and 2010s, all eras when they won AL Pennants and a few World Series titles. Check out the legendary lineup and let us know who we got right and who we should have included!
Cards of these players can be purchased on the Beckett Marketplace: Justin Verlander, Bill Freehan, Miguel Cabrera, Lou Whitaker, George Kell, Alan Trammell, Hank Greenberg, Ty Cobb, Al Kaline, Sam Crawford and John Hiller.
The 1970s were undoubtedly the best times in the 100-plus year history of the Reds franchise. “The Big Red Machine” dominated the National League, with the “Hit King” Pete Rose and Hall of Famers Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, and Tony Perez. They won four NL Pennants and two-straight World Series in 1975-76.
Not everyone on the team made the Hall of Fame, but there were several players who played like Hall of Famers for some of those years, like slugger George Foster who crushed 52 home runs in 1977 and won the NL MVP.
The Reds won another World Series in 1990, with Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin leading the way. It’s the last World Series title for the franchise, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t had some legendary players on the team in the 21st Century. Joey Votto is one of the best pure hitters in the league and Aroldis Chapman lit the league on fire as a Cuban defector throwing harder than anyone ever recorded.
You can purchase any of these cards on the Beckett Marketplace: Jim Maloney, Johnny Bench, Joey Votto, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, Barry Larkin, George Foster, Vada Pinson, Frank Robinson, Tony Perez, and Aroldis Chapman.
As we get closer and closer to the most legendary card lineup of all time, our team selections will inevitably leave out some legends of the game. For the Braves, it seems insane that we couldn’t find a place for two-time Cy Young Award winner Tom Glavine, but when his competition for starting pitcher was four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux, it makes total sense. The other option would have been putting Glavine in the Utlity spot, like we did with Max Scherzer on the Nationals. However, that would be at the expense of two-time NL MVP Dale Murphy. It’s getting pretty tough to choose these teams over at Beckett HQ.
The Braves history dates all the way back to their Boston Red Stockings days in 1871. The team has changed names six times and cities three times, stopping in Milwaukee before finally settling in Atlanta. As we have done for every other team, this legendary lineup will only consist of players who played for the Atlanta Braves. The greatest victim of this decision is Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews who only played one season in Atlanta near the end of his career.
Card collectors will likely have fond memories of the 1990s Braves who dominated the National League, winning five NL Pennants and one World Series. That team was lead by the pitching staff of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz, plus the slugging of the extremely popular Chipper Jones and the flashy fielding of Andruw Jones.
Check out the lineup and let us know who we got right and who we left off!
You can find these cards on the Beckett Marketplace: Greg Maddux, Javy Lopez, Freddie Freeman, Glenn Hubbard, Chipper Jones, Rafael Furcal, Rico Carty, Andruw Jones, Hank Aaron (1994 reissue), Dale Murphy, and John Smoltz.
The Astros are the team of now, with young, elite talent all over the field, one of the best records in baseball, and the 2017 World Series title. Frankly, their legendary lineup could be almost totally filled with the players on their current team. Guys like George Springer, Alex Bregman, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Evan Gattis and more could all make an argument for inclusion. But to do that would discount other eras of greatness in Astros history.
It would be impossible to make an Astros lineup that didn’t include the “Killer B’s” of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, and Lance Berkman carried the Astros in that era, culminating in the first NL Pennant in the history of the Houston franchise. Bagwell and Biggio are the only two Hall of Famers who sport an Astros cap on their Hall of Fame busts.
We’d also be remiss if we dismissed the late 1970s and 1980s in which the Astros reached the playoffs several times behind the great outfield play and offensive production of Jose Cruz and Cesar Cédeño.
On the current Astros, we had to put the incredible Jose Altuve and the budding superstar Carlos Correa, but if this lineup is made again in 20 years, there’s no doubt more of this team would work their way into the list.
If you want to purchase any cards from this lineup, you can find them on the Beckett Marketplace:
Roy Oswalt, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Jose Altuve, Doug Rader, Carlos Correa, Jose Cruz, Cesar Cédeño, Hunter Pence, Lance Berkman and Billy Wagner.
The White Sox were one of the original members of the American League, being founded in 1901. They started very strongly, winning the World Series in 1906. That feat would be repeated 11 years later in 1917. However, 1919 the White Sox became embroiled in one of the worst scandals in baseball history. Eight players on the team were accused of intentionally losing the World Series at the behest of gamblers. The “Black Sox” scandals stained baseball forever, and caused all eight of the accused to be banned for life from baseball. The best of the eight, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, became one of the saddest stories in baseball as many believe he was not really part of the scandal (he hit .375 in the series and made 0 errors). His lifetime ban robbed baseball fans of one of the greats of all time as his career ended at age 32.
This scandal rocked the entire franchise for almost 100 years, the White Sox didn’t win another World Series until 2005. They did win the 1959 AL Pennant, but lost the World Series that season. Our White Sox Legendary Lineup features players from those teams, like Nellie Fox, Minnie Minoso and Luis Aparicio from the 1959 team and Mark Buerhle and Paul Konerko from the 2005 team. However, the White Sox had legendary players throughout their history, even if they were unable to win the World Series or Pennants. Carlton Fisk is one of the greatest catchers of all time and knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm was a great reliever who pitched until he was almost 50-years-old. And, of course the team features the legendary Frank Thomas. “The Big Hurt” dominated the 1990s and was easily the first name on the list.
You can purchase any of these cards on the Beckett Marketplace: Mark Buehrle, Carlton Fisk, Frank Thomas, Nellie Fox, Robin Ventura, Luis Aparicio, Minnie Minoso (1983 reprint), Jim Landis, Harold Baines, Paul Konerko, and Hoyt Wilhelm.
The Oakland A’s had two periods of sustained success which put them at the forefront of America’s baseball consciousness. The first period was the “Swingin’ A’s” teams of the early ’70s, featured larger-than-life personalities like Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, and Rollie Fingers. Those teams won three-straight World Series titles and were the envy of baseball fans across the country. More than a decade later, the A’s would rise again, this time behind massive human beings like Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, along with the incomparable Rickey Henderson and the game-changing Dennis Eckersley. Those teams won three-straight AL Pennants and won the World Series in 1989.
The most recent sustained success for the franchise came with quite a bit less starpower, but with a philosophy that changes the way teams were built forever. The “Moneyball” A’s of the early and mid-2000s were built on tight budgets, but GM Billy Beane was amazing at finding untapped talents and players who’s value was not recognized by other teams. Those teams won six AL West division titles, but because of the lack of star power as compared to the previous eras, only Mark Ellis makes it on the all-time legendary card lineup.
If you want to purchase any of these cards, you can find them on the Beckett Marketplace: Catfish Hunter, Terry Steinbach, Mark McGwire, Mark Ellis, Sal Bando, Bert Campaneris, Rickey Henderson, Dwayne Murphy, Reggie Jackson, Jose Canseco, and Dennis Eckersley.
The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the oldest franchises in baseball, having been established in 1883. Unfortunately for the Phils and their fans, the team spent a majority of their history as a losing franchise. In fact, they were the first team in professional sports history to lose 10,000 games. But, in 1980 at long, long, long last, the franchise was delivered from their losing ways, winning the World Series over the Kansas City Royals. That team was led by legendary players like Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Greg Luzinski and more.
Since 1980, the Phillies’ fortunes have turned around, winning four more NL Pennants, seven more division titles, and one more World Series, the 2008 World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. That 2008 team was led by modern legends like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins. The Phillies’ Legendary Lineup consists of many players on the two World Series teams. Due to the lack of cards for players from the early days of the franchise and the fact that they just weren’t that good for a long time, the only older era player to make the team is the great Richie Ashburn, who spent decades as a Phillies’ broadcaster after his Hall of Fame playing career ended.
If you want to purchase any of these cards, they can be found on the Beckett Marketplace: Steve Carlton, Darren Daulton, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Mike Schmidt, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Luzinski, Richie Ashburn, Bobby Abreu, Dick Allen, Steve Bedrosian.
The heyday of the Seattle Mariners just so happened to coincide with the heyday of card collecting, making the Mariners Legendary Lineup one which will surely bring back fond memories for card collectors of the late 1980s and 1990s. The first name that comes to mind when it comes to the Mariners is the great Ken Griffey Jr. “The Kid” was possibly the most sought-after player in card collecting history, and for good reason. He more than lived up to every expectation placed on him, especially during his Mariners career. But he wasn’t the only highly collectable player from that era. Randy Johnson was the definition of a dominating pitcher, Jay Buhner was a slugging outfielder who even became a ’90s pop culture icon after a famous scene in Seinfeld.
And just when it appeared that Seattle would be without their iconic, collectable stars, a man from Japan arrived. Ichiro would be the face of the Mariners franchise for the 2000s decade. The Mariners legendary lineup features the icons mentioned as well as other stars that are instantly identified with the Seattle franchise.
If you want to purchase any of these cards they can be found on the Beckett Marketplace:
Randy Johnson, Dan Wilson, John Olerud, Bret Boone, Edgar Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, Raul Ibañez, Ken Griffey Jr., Ichiro Suzuki, Jay Buhner and Kazuhiro Sasaki.
The Toronto Blue Jays won back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993 and then spent 22 years without making an appearance in the playoffs. They returned to the playoffs in both 2015 and 2016. The players that made up both of those Blue Jays make up quite a bit of our Legendary Lineup, like Roberto Alomar, Tom Henke, Jose Bautista, and Josh Donaldson. But that interlude in between playoff runs also included many great players, it was just very tough making the playoffs out of the AL East against the perennial World Series contenders New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Great Blue Jays that didn’t make the playoffs with Toronto include Roy Halladay, Carlos Delgado, and Vernon Wells.
Check out the list below and if you want to purchase any of these cards, go to the Beckett Marketplace: Roy Halladay, Pat Borders, Carlos Delgado, Roberto Alomar, Josh Donaldson, Tony Fernandez, George Bell, Vernon Wells, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Tom Henke.