What if Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City transformed into Ray Kinsella's Field of Dreams for one night only? What if the most iconic players -- past, present and future -- ever to clout souvenirs into the stands could stride to home plate at the site of the 2012 MLB All-Star Game and take just a few more swings? What if they pushed aside Robinson Cano, Matt Kemp and the rest of the participants in the 2012 Home Run Derby and took on the event themselves? Who would participate? Who would win? How would the legendary ballplayers from yesteryear stack up against their modern counterparts?
Borrowing the format of the 2012 Home Run Derby, let's presume that the American League and National League each had a captain with the chance to pick three leaguemates to battle with him for the Derby crown.
Picking players for the Senior Circuit.. Barry Bonds of the 2001 San Francisco Giants.
Choosing for the American League.. Babe Ruth of the 1927 New York Yankees.
There is little doubt that fans would thrill to this headline matchup for reasons ranging from nostalgia to revenge. Would Ruth castigate Bonds on media day about his reputed PED use? Or would he leave the controversy to Reggie Jackson? More importantly, who would each superstar select to stand and swing by his side? Would Ruth load up the A.L. lineup with Yankees, or would he prefer to leave fellow pinstripers off the squad to keep them in his ample shadow? Would Bonds pick contemporaries also linked to steroid use? Or would he defer to players from the generation of his godfather, the one and only Willie Mays?
Not even Chris Berman's "back.. back.. back.." schtick could ruin this. Right?
Here is a crack at the lineups that would go at it in the All-Time Home Run Derby. With so many players through the years to choose from there are bound to be several deserving candidates not on the list. Let us know who you would pick in the comments section.
Babe Ruth - AL
Career HR: 714 Bats: L Years Active: 1914-35
Barry Bonds - NL
Career HR: 762 Bats: L Years Active: 1986-2007 * 12x Silver Slugger Award winner * Home Run Derby winner (1996)
Harmon Killebrew - AL
Career HR: 573 Bats: R Years Active: 1954-75
Willie Mays - NL
Career HR: 660 Bats: R Years Active: 1951-73 * Hit 4 home runs in one game on April 30, 1961
Ken Griffey Jr. - AL
Career HR: 630 Bats: L Years Active: 1989-2010 * 3x Home Run Derby Winner
Hank Aaron - NL
Career HR: 755 Bats: R Years Active: 1954-76 * 2x NL Batting Title (1956, 1959) * 4x NL Home Run Champion
Manny Ramirez - AL
Career HR: 555 Bats: R Years Active: 1993-present * 9 Silver Slugger award * AL Batting Title (2002) * AL Home Run Champion (2004)
Frank Robinson - NL
Career HR: 586 Bats: R Years Active: 1956-1976 * NL MVP (1961) * AL MVP (1966) * AL Home Run Champion (1966)