What Would A 1997 MLB All-Star Team Made Of 2011 Players Look Like?

As far as interesting sports stories go, right now is a particularly slow time. The NBA lockout is going nowhere, preseason football Is rough to watch because no one cares how many yards Ryan Mallet can throw for against the third team defense, and baseball is in the middle of the home stretch of a season with very few interesting races. Sure, the NL west and AL Central are close, but both divisions are the worst their league, so the teams are just fighting for a spot on the postseason altar of the Phillies or Yankees.

Jim Thome plays for the Twins in 2011. And Wikipedia says he was on the Dodgers last year. And you thought he still played for the White Sox.

With all of these slow days, I was surprised to see a major story go by a few days ago with no real fanfare. I’m talking, of course, about the Danica Patrick news.

But seriously, Jim Thome hit career dingers 599 and 600 in the same game a couple of nights ago, and that’s really something to celebrate. Even more impressive is that he has hit that many home runs in era of rampant drug use without even drawing one pointed finger, a minor miracle.

Let’s take a brief moment to celebrate Thome’s career, which is really something to be appreciated, before we flash back to the 90s, as you should expect.

When I first heard about Thome’s feat, the first thing that went through my mind was hold on, he’s still playing? Thome was great in the mid-90s, when the world was pure. That was a long time ago, how is he still going? Even more remarkable is that if I think about it hard enough, I can make a hall-of-fame worthy all-star team of players from the acid-washed golden age who are still kicking.

So I thought about long and hard and put together a 1990s all-star team made completely of 2011 players. Because that’s what I do in my spare time.

Here it is, the best baseball players of the best decade who still played this season. They’re not all The Sandlot old, but most are at least Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball for SNES old. This would be a good team now. This would have been a better team in 1997.

(Thanks to ESPN.com for the player images)

Catcher: Ivan Rodriguez, 1B: Jim Thome, 2B: Omar Vizquel, 3B: Chipper Jones, SS: Alex Rodriguez, LF: Manny Ramirez, CF:Johnny Damon, RF: Jason Giambi, DH: Derek Jeter, Starter: Tim Wakefield, Closer: Mariano Rivera

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Buckle up for a bunch of fantasy football coverage starting next Monday.

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