An All-Star Team of ex-Major Leaguers in Their 90s
A recent quick visit to Wikipedia produced a list of the ex-major leaguers who are 90 and up, and from there it was an easy process to put together an All-Star lineup for these guys, practically all of whom starred in the ’40s. I’m offering it for consideration and debate:
Catcher: Mike Sandlock, who spent some time with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves.
First base: Phil Cavaretta, who helped the Cubs get to their most recent World Series, in 1945 and ’38, and starred both times.
Second base: Bobby Doerr, the Red Sox star alongside Ted Williams who’s still a Fenway mainstay.
Shortstop: Marty Marion. Johnny Pesky is a rival for this spot, and Eddie Joost, the walking man who played mostly for the Philadelphia A’s, also made multiple All-Star teams.
Third base: Buddy Lewis, who made the All-Star team in 1938 with the Washington Senators, and shifted to right field in the ’40s.
Left field: Monte Irvin, the one-time Negro Leaguer who helped the N.Y. Giants win the pennant in 1951.
Center field: Danny Litwhiler, who made the All-Star team in 1942 with the Phillies. Actually a left fielder, but I’m not seeing a better man for this spot.
Right field: George Binks, who spent three years with the Washington Senators before moving to the Philadelphia Athletics (1947-1948) and St. Louis Browns (1948). Tommy Henrich vacated this spot last December 1.
Pitchers: Bob Feller and Virgil Trucks, both right-handers.
Finally, your manager and backup catcher is Ralph Houk, who spent some time on the field for the Yankees before managing them after Casey Stengel left.
One thing to note is that just four of the 64 ex-major leaguers 90 and up played catcher, and just one of those retirees is over 90. Maybe all that wear on the legs, and knees in particular, curtails the lifespan of a catcher. The best catcher over 80 I know of is Yogi Berra, who’s 85. Also, Tony Malinosky is the one MLB retiree in his 100s, but he played just 35 games for the Dodgers in 1937, then took part in World War II in his mid-30s.