Last week I determined the greatest statistical postseason hitter of all time. This week it’s time to name the all-time all postseason team. The selection criterion is based on each player’s performance in postseason play only. This is a difficult exercise due to small sample sizes as well as the ever-changing postseason format. With all that said, here is my all-time all postseason team.
He was a cog of the Big Red Machine in the 70’s. He put up a robust playoff slash line of .266/.335/.527. In addition to this slash line, he and the Reds won back to back World Series in 1975 and 1976.
The iron horse ranks 5th all-time in postseason slugging percentage and on base percentage. In the 1928 World Series he had 4 home runs in the Yankees’ sweep of the Cardinals. Throughout his career with the Yankees, he won 6 World Series titles.
Chase Utley was among the core of the Phillies teams that went to the playoffs five straight years from 2007-2011. He was particularly potent in the 2009 World Series, in which he tied Reggie Jackson for the record for most home runs in a World Series.
His nickname is Mr. November. He holds the record for most hits, runs, total bases, doubles, and triples. He ranks 3rd overall in postseason home runs and has 5 World Series rings.
Third base is a difficult position to fill as no one immediately comes to mind as an obvious choice. Ultimately George Brett earns this position with his slash line of .337/.397/.627. He also has a World Series ring from the Royals victory over the Cardinals in 1982.
Mr. October is another easy selection. His name is littered across the postseason and World Series record books. His performances for both the A’s and Yankees cement him into a spot on this team.
As I wrote last week, Carlos Beltran is statistically the greatest postseason hitter of all time. The only negative is that he has yet to have an at bat in a World Series game.
The Great Bambino is also a legend of October. He ranks 3rd and 6th respectively in slugging percentage and on base percentage in postseason history. He won 7 World Series titles for both the Yankees and Red Sox in his career. Also, he has a .87 postseason ERA. He can truly do it all.
David Ortiz won championships in 2004 and 2007 with the Boston Red Sox. He has a career slash line of .284/.394/.542. He hit a huge home run in the Red Sox shocking game two win against the Tigers in this year’s ALCS. He is a proven playoff performer.
Manny Ramirez is first all-time in playoff history in home runs with 29 and he can’t even crack the starting lineup.
Pujols had a great postseason run with the Cardinals. He will forever be remembered by Cardinals fans for his titanic home run against Brad Lidge in the 2005 NLCS.
Freese has been a clutch postseason performer throughout the past three years with the Cardinals. His performance in game 6 of the 2011 World Series was something to behold. He had the game tying hit in the 9th inning and hit a walkoff home run in the 11th. He is Mr. Clutch.
He ranks 9th in runs and 2nd in stolen bases in postseason history. He is tied for the single postseason stolen base record. The Hall of Famer earned a spot on this team with his legs.
Mathewson holds the postseason record for consecutive scoreless innings with 27 consecutive scoreless innings in the 1905 World Series. Additionally, he ranks 6th all-time with a .97 postseason ERA in 101.2 innings.
Schilling was the co-World Series MVP in 2001 when he won it with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Perhaps even more memorable was Schilling’s performance in game 6 of the 2004 ALCS with the Red Sox. Schilling had torn the tendon sheath in his right ankle in an earlier start in the playoffs and went on to pitch with this injury. This game would be referred to as the “bloody sock” game as blood could be seen coming from Schillings injured ankle. His determination to win and history of World Series success gets him in the rotation.
Smoltz had a career 15-4 postseason record to go along with a 2.67 ERA. Additionally, he ranks 2nd all-time in postseason wins. Although the Braves teams he was a part of only won the World Series once, it wasn’t Smoltz’s fault.
Koufax also has dominating postseason numbers. He ranks 5th all- time with a .95 postseason ERA. Additionally, he won three World Series titles during his time with the Dodgers.
The bulldog was 8-3 with a 2.59 ERA during his postseason career. He won 4 games in the postseason during his 1995 run with the Indians. He went 2-0 in the World Series when the Dodgers won it in 1988. He has an outstanding postseason resume.
Statistically, a case can be made that Mariano Rivera is the greatest postseason pitcher of all time. He ranks 1st in postseason ERA, 1st in WHIP, and 1st in saves. He has allowed fewer earned runs (11) than people who have walked on the moon (12). His postseason career is truly amazing.
The following pitchers just missed the cut for making the postseason rotation. Roy Halladay and Don Larsen are the last pitchers to throw a no hitter and perfect game, respectively, in the postseason. Bob Gibson has truly outstanding numbers in the postseason, but just missed out. Andy Pettitte has the most postseason wins of all time, but his ERA keeps him out of the rotation. Matt Cain, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels are active players who have dominated postseason play, but need to continue working on their postseason resumes to make the cut for the starting rotation.