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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Most Hall of Famers and MVP in a Starting Lineup.

In 2008 I did some research on Hall of Fame Teammates:

The Yankees are the only team with nine: 1930, 1931, 1932 and 1933.  Ironically, only the 1932 team finished first, also winning the World Series.

Recently I wondered what were the most Hall of Fame players in the same starting lineup.  It made sense to look at those Yankee teams especially 1931-1933 when only three of the Hall of Famers were pitchers, not four as in 1930.  Here is a game that I found on Sunday July 19, 1931 at Yankee Stadium.  Yanks beat the St. Louis Browns 8-2 for new manager Joe McCarthy who was lucky that he was not fired after his first season as Yankee manager finishing a distant second with all that talent.  Here is the starting lineup that day:

Earle Combs CF
Joe Sewell 3B
Babe Ruth RF
Lou Gehrig 1B
Ben Chapman LF
Lyn Lary SS
Bill Dickey C
Tony Lazzeri 2B
Lefty Gomez P

There are probably other Yankee lineups in those seasons with seven Hall of Fame players in the starting lineup but I doubt that there are any starting lineups with more.  Not by the Yankees.  Not by any team.  In fact I am guessing that no other team ever started as many as seven Hall of Fame players.

Allowing for wrap around, all seven batted in a row.  For five in a row without interruption check the Yankees 1951 opening day lineup Tuesday, April 17, 1951 at Yankee Stadium:

Jackie Jensen LF
Phil Rizzuto SS
Mickey Mantle RF
Joe DiMaggio CF
Yogi Berra C
Johnny Mize 1B
Billy Johnson 3B
Jerry Coleman 2B
Vic Raschi P

Yanks beat Boston 5-0.  The Red Sox had three Hall of Fame starters: Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Lou Boudreau.

That Yankee lineup had something else that might never have been matched: eleven MVP awards.  Three each for DiMaggio, Berra and Mantle plus one each for Jensen and Rizzuto.  Jensen won in 1958 for Boston.

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