The twelfth letter in the alphabet is not one to be desired in the world of sports. Too many L’s gets a coach or manager fired. Any pitcher who has too many of them beside his name in the box score is certain to be traded or denied big money in free agency.
However, if one were to put a team together with players whose last names begin with L, they would most likely get a lot of W’s. Even the Lemons in this lineup are more like Rolls Royces.
Here is the lineup, and it’s one worth taking the El to see.
First Base – Derrek Lee: He quietly hits .300 or better every year, and he just as quietly hammers out over twenty homers a season. He also has become one of the best defensive firstbasemen ever. His defense is a big reason the Cubs have consecutive division championships ad the Marlins won the World Series in 2004.
Second Base – Davey Lopes: The perennial All-Star was the catalyst at the top of the Dodgers’ feared lineup in the 70s. He was a consistent base stealer, and he even developed 20-homer power later in his career.
Shortstop – Barry Larkin: The Reds captain throughout the 80s and 90s was the first shortstop to hit for power before the era of the long ball. He also had speed and hit for a high average, winning the MVP in 1995.
Third Base – Carney Lansford: The stable force on the Oakland championship teams of the late 80s and early 90s, Lansford had a career average just shy of .300.
Catcher – Ernie Lombardi: One of the few backstops to ever win a batting title, this Reds legend had a career average near .330.
Outfield 1 – Fred Lynn: The first player ever to win MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season, Lynn hit for power and average and made highlight catches almost nightly. His MVP season was 1975, the year the Red Sox came just one game short of winning the World Series.
Outfield 2 – Carlos Lee: He is a tremendous hitter who has power and a high career batting average. He was the best hitter for the World Series Champion White Sox in 2005.
Outfield 3 – Kenny Lofton: One of the fastest to ever play the game, Lofton made a great table setter for the slugging Indians teams of the 90s. He hit .299 for his career and swiped over 600 bases.
Designated Hitter – Greg Luzinski: The Phillies/White Sox slugger belted over 300 career homers and helped the Phillies win the World Series in 1980.
Pitcher 1 – Ted Lyons: The Hall of Fame hurler won 260 games for the White Sox of the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
Pitcher 2 – Bob Lemon: The Indians legend won over 20 games in six different seasons before his Hall of Fame career ended after just 13 seasons.
Pitcher 3 – Mickey Lolich: This big lefty helped the Tigers to the 1968 World Series Championship, and then he won 25 games three years later.
Relief Pitcher – The Giants lefty saved over 20 games in each of three seasons, and his ERA was always among the lowest in the Majors.