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1970s All-Decade Team

Major League Baseball during the 1970s usually brings a few things to mind: The Big Red Machine, Charley Finley’s Oakland A’s and those uniforms, Earl Weaver and the Baltimore Orioles, and the beginning of free agency. The 70s was the last decade in which baseball ruled the American sports landscape. Some of the greatest careers in the game’s history ended and a few others began. We said goodbye to Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, and we were introduced to George Brett, Robin Yount, and a skinny slick fielding shortstop named Ozzie Smith.

With the culmination of so many great careers the decade saw many career milestones reached. Seven hitters, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Al Kaline, Pete Rose, Lou Brock, and Carl Yastrzemski all joined the 3,000 hit club. Ernie Banks, Harmon Killebrew, Frank Robinson, and Willie McCovey all joined the the 500 home run club taking the total from eight to 12. While no pitcher collected their 300th career win Bob Gibson and Gaylord Perry did strikeout their 3,000th batter.


  1. We didn’t say goodbye to Yaz in the 70’s. He actually played four years into the 80’s — and made two more All-Star appearances…


  2. I grew up watching 1970s Baseball. The first half and the second half have different players so ts hard to create a best team of the 1970s.

    C Johnny Bench, Thurman Munson. then Gary Carter, Ted Simmons, Manny Sanguillen, Carton Fisk
    1B Tony Perez, Willie Stargell. then Lee May, George Scott, Steve Garvey .
    2B Joe Morgan, Rod Carew
    3B Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Ron Cey, Bill Madlock, Graig Nettles… The first half was Brooks Robinson and Sal Bando
    SS Dave Concepcion, Bert Campaneris
    LF Pete Rose, Carl Yastrzemski
    CF Cesar Cedeno, Amos Otis, Al Oliver
    RF Reggie Jackson, Bobby Bonds, Rusty Staub, Dave Parker, Dave Winfield

    DH Hal McRae

    Every team went at least three deep with quality starters.

    SP Steve Carlton
    SP Tom Seaver
    SP Jim Palmer
    SP Gaylord Perry
    SP Fergie Jenkins
    SP Vida Blue
    SP Nolan Ryan
    SP Don Sutton
    SP Bert Blyleven
    SP Phil Niekro
    SP Tommy John
    SP Catfish Hunter
    SP Luis Tiant
    SP Frank Tanana
    SP JR Richard
    SP Dennis Leonard

    RP Rollie Fingers
    RP Rich Gossage
    RP Tug McGraw
    RP Mike Marshall
    RP John Hiller
    RP Sparky Lyle
    RP Bill Campbell
    RP Kent Tekulve


  3. It’s almost impossible to disagree with having Bench on top for catchers. One of the all time greats. However, as runner up I’d have to pick Thurman Munson, Carlton Fisk or even…. Jim Sundberg (based on his defense).

    By the way, love the site. Keep up the good work!


    • Scott, I’m glad you enjoy the site. The 70s, unlike a majority of decades, produced several great options to backup Bench. I wouldn’t argue with any of your alternatives except Jim Sundberg. Because I never saw Sundberg play and nearly all of his value is defense I’d pass on him.


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