Recte's Hustlers History Vol 2: All-Time Original Era Team

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Recte's Hustlers History Vol 2: All-Time Original Era Team

Post by recte44 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:08 pm

Recte's Hustlers History
Vol 2: All-Time Original Era Team

With my time running the Hustlers coming to an end, it's time for me to take a look back at the franchise under my direction from 1973-2039. In this Volume we'll unveil the "All-Time Original Era Team". Enjoy!

All Time Hustlers- Original Era (1973-1994)

Catcher: Riley "Diamond Ri" Hinson (1984-1999, 2001-2002)
Could it be anyone else? Perhaps the most beloved and revered player in the history of the franchise. He's a BBA Hall of Famer, though some naysayers still don't agree with the selection. How much do you believe in the impact of a premier defensive catcher on a team? How much do you value the impact of a true leader on a team? And by the way, he could hit a little. 3rd in WAR, 1st in Games, 1st in AB, 2nd in Runs, 3rd in Hits, 2nd in TB, 3rd in Singles, 1st in Doubles, 9th in Triples, 3rd in Homers, 2nd in RBI, 1st in Walks, 1st in HBP.

First Base: Terry Franciscen (1986-1992, 1993, 1994)
The Hustlers first base situation was mostly fluid in the early years, but Franciscen was the exception. Your prototypical first base slugger, he hit as many as 52 in a season (1987) and also struck out a lot while batting mostly about .250. Sadly contracted AIDS and died from complications. 10th in Runs, 10th in Doubles, 7th in Home Runs, 8th in RBI.

Second Base: Archie "Cotton" Ayrault (1990-1993)
A premier power-hitting middle infielder. Certainly good enough to play shortstop but was truly exceptional at second base. Another player whose career faded quickly in his mid thirties. 9th in SLG.

Third Base: Luke Zalusky (1988-1991)
If you love the speed game, Zalusky was a dream to watch. Great defense, and gap power for days. Doubles and triples were his game. The BBA's All-Time leader in Triples. Hard to figure why he's not in the Hall of Fame. 6th in BA, 6th in SLG, 8th in OPS, 1st in Triples, 7th in SB.

Shortstop: Keith "Captain" Minuso (1973-1979)
One of the down sides of the league's start up was that players like Minuso who were in their thirties when the league started would always be underrated by history. He was a solid offensive contributor and an outstanding defensive shortstop. While Elroy Futon was the start of the 70's Hustlers, Minuso was the heart and soul, and later went on to manage the team for many years. 9th in Singles.

Left Field: Medric Wood (1985-1990, 1994)
While Wood doesn't appear on any Hustlers Leaderboards, we couldn't keep him off the list. In 1985, Wood played in 110 games as a 17-year old. Unprecedented. The next three seasons he blossomed into one of the most promising youngsters in the game, all before being legally able to buy a beer. In 1988 he batted .369 and everyone associated with the franchise felt they had their next Elroy Futon. After a period of decline and injury, Vegas fans looked on from afar as Wood turned into one of the top players in the league in his late twenties and thirties. On balance, his career was on the cusp of being a Hall of Famer had it not been for the unfortunate bumps in his twenties.

Center Field: Reddie Ray (1990-1993)
There was an awful lot of turnover at this position over the years as well and that made this choice extremely difficult. Ultimately Ray was the choice. A good defender, he was a "ball-in-play" offensive guy with good speed, though he was caught stealing a lot. His last season in Vegas was his best as he hit .328 with 20 homers, both career highs at the time for Ray.

Right Field: Elroy Futon (1973-1979, 1981)
Like Minuso, Futon was 31 years old when the league began. Many of the current BBA fans and observers may have seen his name in the Hall of Fame and thought to themselves, who is this guy? Only 1334 hits? Only 117 homers? What gives? I'll make this as brief as possible- Futon was perhaps the most feared hitter of his generation without having home run power. Bear in mind, the Original Era of the BBA was extremely pitcher heavy. Guys just didn't walk 100 times a year. Futon did (105 in 1976). You weren't supposed to hit .376 in a season. Futon did (1973). You didn't hit .300 every season in the decade (Futon did, and added 1980 for good measure; 1981 was more of a swan song season to honor the fans in Vegas). You didn't score 100 runs in a season four straight years. Futon did (1974-1977). His career .408 OBP is 14th All-Time on the BBA Leaderboard. His lifetime .323 average is 28th All-Time on the BBA Leaderboard and there is only one player above him who played throughout the entire decade as Futon did (Splinter Donaher .325). Truly a once in a lifetime player. 2nd in BA, 2nd in OBP, 10th in SLG, 3rd in OPS, 6th in WAR, 9th in Runs, 9th in Hits, 10th in Singles, 8th in Doubles, 3rd in Triples, 4th in SB, 7th in Walks.

SP1: Justin "The Great" Alexander (1976-1984, 1991-1992)
Hall of Famer, though most of his success came later in his career. Won the Gillstrom Award in 1977 en route to a Landis title. Then he pitched for a bunch of not-so-good teams for the Hustlers before we finally traded im away. His run with Valencia and Long Beach was truly spectacular. 6th in WAR, 5th in GS, 9th in IP, 6th in K, 7th in K/9.

SP2: Shamus "Perfecto" Perfetto (1985-1994)
Never missed a start with the Hustlers. Reliable, consistent and extremely stingy with the long ball. Endurance wasn't his strong suit unlike many of his contemporaries. 5th in Wins, 3rd in WAR, 4th in GS, 4th in IP, 5th in K, 4th in RWAR.

SP3: Sam Kirkpatrick (1987-1992)
Kirkpatrick was a lefty who was extremely consistent and just won games for the Hustlers, and throughout his career. It's astonishing that on a franchise loaded with Hall of Fame starting pitchers it's Kirkpatrick who is 1st in ERA as a Hustler All-Time. The similarities to Manny Bautista are there to be seen fairly clearly. 2nd in Win%, 5th in WHIP.

SP4: Scott Finister (1973-1978)
When the league started Finister was a 27 year old in his prime and was one of the best righties in the game. Unfortunately injuries and ineffectiveness knocked him out of the league at age 32, but his early years (specifically 1973-1975) were good enough that he had to be on this list. Looking back, we probably worked him too hard in 1974 (36 GS, 292 IP, 16 think that's too much?) and if I could take it back I would.

SP5: Al Nipper (1985-1994)
During the Original Era there was a way for MLB players and prospects to make their way to the new MBBA. Nipper was one of these players. Afte a year of scuffling in Washington the Hustlers picked him up and by 1987 he'd establish himself as one of the best starters in the league. 6th in Wins, 5th in WAR, 7th in GS, 4th in SHO, 7th in IP, 4th in BB/9, 8th in K/BB, 7th in RWAR.

RP: Bryan Canniff (1973-1978)
An original Hustler, he was their primary closer from 1974-1977. He was a pitch to contact groundballer who kept the ball in the park. In 1974 he saved 43 games with an amazing 1.40 ERA, the best season in his career. Redefined himself as a starting pitcher later in his career with Salt Lake City and Seattle. 4th in Saves.

RP: Mark Everett (1990-1992)
His time with the Hustlers was brief, so he doesn't appear on the leaderboards. However, he was outstanding in his two plus seasons with Vegas, especially in 1990 when picked up from the Tropics midseason (14 SV, 1.88 ERA). Barely walked anyone and really didn't allow many homers either.

RP: Daniel Gassaway (1986-1997)
Picked up from Louisville midway through the 1986 season, he served as the closer in 1987 before moving to the middle relief role he'd serve in for most of his Hustlers career. Two bad seasons with the team (1988, 8.63 ERA and 1994, 7.88 ERA) were the exception, not the rule. 5th in Games.

RP: Chuck Robbins
A 29 year old in 1973, Robbins was a workhorse out of the pen in 1973 and continued to be a solid middle reliever in 1974 and 1975. Largely on this list due to his 1975 season (44 games, 0.83 ERA).

RP: Paul Mirabella
Former MLB'er had the best seasons of his career with the Hustlers in 1988 and 1989, saving 40 and 39 games in those years. This guy would take the ball as much as you wanted to give it to him.
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Re: Recte's Hustlers History Vol 2: All-Time Original Era Team

Post by RonCo » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:20 pm

Doing these has got to be fun. Thanks.
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Re: Recte's Hustlers History Vol 2: All-Time Original Era Team

Post by HoosierVic » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:41 am

Fun to learn about guys like Medric Wood - was essentially killing it in the BBA as a high school junior. His early years, in particular, must have been really fun to manage.

And how can you not love a guy named “Perfecto” Perfetto?

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