Author Picks Mantle Over DiMaggio As Yankees' Greatest CF

Tom Stone's new book gives the ideal all-time 30-man roster for every MLB franchise

The DA Show
May 04, 2020 - 10:56 am

If you like fantasy baseball – or just a good sports debate – Tom Stone’s new book is for you. 

Indeed, “Now Taking the Field: Baseball's All-Time Dream Teams for All 30 Franchises,” provides the ideal 30-man roster for every MLB franchise. Selection was based on Wins Above Replacement (WAR), regular-season statistics, awards and postseason accomplishments. 

WAR was particularly useful for this exercise.

“It really helps you to compare players across different eras – like from the dead ball era or the 1800s – with players today,” Stone said on The DA Show. “A lot of stats are biased in one direction or another.”

If you’re curious, Stone went with Mickey Mantle over Joe DiMaggio as the New York Yankees’ starting center-fielder.

“I rated Mantle over DiMaggio because he had a longer career than DiMaggio did,” Stone said. “You couldn’t go wrong with either, of course. Babe Ruth played mostly right field, so he gets the nod there. They didn’t have nearly as many strong left-fielders – Charlie Keller would be the best pure left-fielder that they had – so you could slot Mantle over in left and have DiMaggio in center. Of course you’ve also got a DH spot you could work with.”

In giving Mantle the nod, Stone knows that a generation of DiMaggio fans will be upset with him.

“Well, and that’s the thing,” he said. “On defense, particularly when you consider Mantle’s later career, you’d probably want DiMaggio roaming out in center field and play Mantle in left or DH. Of course, if I had gone the other way, I’d have a whole generation of Mantle lovers that would be upset, too.”