The Italian Tribune’s All Italian All Star Team
The ballots have been cast and the votes are in! Thank you to the many readers who sent in their suggestions for this illustrious team. We hope that everyone has enjoyed the series. Here are the selections for the Italian Tribune’s All Italian All Star Team. We have broken the team into American and National Leagues.
The American League
Pitcher - The pitching category has three selections: a right-hander, a lefty and a reliever. For the lefty, Andy Pettitte, also tough in a battle on the mound; while for the righty, the most dominant when in his prime was Vic Rashi. The reliever is converted starting pitcher to dominant closer Dave Righetti.
First Base – Slugger Jason Giambi gets the selection
Second Base – Hall of Famer Tony Lazzari
Short Stop – Another Yankee Hall of Fame player, Phil Rizzuto
Third Base – Frank Malzone
Left Field – We moved “The Little Professor” out of center to get Dom DiMaggio’s speed, smarts and bat into the lineup because there’s no denying who is at the next position…
Center Field – “The Yankee Clipper,” Mr. Baseball, Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio. Oh, by the way, he is another Hall of Fame player.
Right Field – We went with Rocky Colavito.
Manager – This became a battle of the Joes. Should it be Joe Torre Hall of Famer and manager of the four World Series Champion teams for the Yankees, or Joe Maddon, who inherited a bad Tampa Bay team and turned it into a winning franchise? He also took a good Chicago Cubs team and has turned it into a great team. Many have argued that Torre inherited a great Yankee team, stood back and allowed them to play to their abilities. That is certainly an understatement, but in a surprise upset, the fans have spoken and Joe Maddon gets the vote.
The National League
Pitcher – Our right-hander is Hall of Famer John Smoltz. For our left-handed selection we went with Cy Young winner Frank Viola. Coming out in relief with 424 saves is John Franco.
First Base – Soon to be inducted Hall of Famer Mike Piazza. Even though he made his name as a catcher, Mike had plenty of time at first and any team, in fact EVERY team, would want his bat in the lineup.
Second Base - Hall of Famer Craig Biggio.
Short Stop – This was a tough call. Larry Bowa was a great ball player, but Joe Tinker is in the Hall of Fame. The result – Joe Tinker.
Third Base – Ron Santo, another Hall of Fame player gets the vote.
Left Field – We moved Jack Clark over to left to get his fiercesome bat in the lineup
Center Field – For whatever reason, the National League hasn’t had the same depth at this position as the American League. We went with four-time All-Star and National League MVP Phil Cavarretta, who was an excellent first baseman and right fielder. Perhaps a little slower than you’d want in center, but his .355 average in his ’45 could not be ignored.
Right Field – No question about this one – the Reading Rifle Carl Furillo. Seriously, why is this man not in the Hall of Fame?
Manager – Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda