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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Giants of Old

There's been a bit of talk this spring about how old the San Francisco Giants are. Particuarly, the fact that all eight positions will be manned by players over 30 years old. They are...

1B J.T. Snow, 37
2B Ray Durham, 33
SS Omar Vizquel, 38
3B Edgardo Alfonzo, 31
LF Barry Bonds, 39
CF Marquis Grissom, 37
RF Moises Alou, 38
C Mike Matheny, 34

While I assumed this was a pretty rare occurrence I found otherwise by doing a quick check using the Lahman database. I wrote a query that determined the 20 oldest teams through 2004. The oldest team was around 34 years old and as you might imagine the list was dominated by teams of the last twenty years. Better conditioning, medical technology, and investment in players has conspired to produce this result.

I then filtered these 20 and found that these six had players at 30+ years of age starting at all eight positions (I calculated ages based on a July 1 cutoff for the season in question).

1983 Angels
1B Rod Carew, 37
2B Bobby Grich, 34
SS Foli, 32
3B DeCinces 32
CF Fred Lynn, 31
LF Brian Downing 32
RF-DH Reggie Jackson, 37
C Bob Boone, 35
UT Ron Jackson, 30

1998 Orioles
1B Rafael Palmeiro, 33
2B Roberto Alomar, 30
SS Mike Bordick, 32
3B Cal Ripken, 37
LF B.J. Surhoff, 33
CF Brady Anderson, 34
OF-DH Eric Davis, 36
DH Harold Baines, 39
OF-DH Joe Carter, 38
C Lenny Webster, 33
C Chris Hoiles, 33

2004 Mariners
1B John Olerud 35
2B Bret Boone 35
SS Rich Aurilia 32
1B-3B Scott Spiezio 31
RF Ichiro Suzuki 30
CF Randy Winn 30
LF Raul Ibanez 32
DH Edgar Martinez 41
C Dan Wilson 35
UT Jolbert Cabrera 31

1981 Phillies
1B Pete Rose 40
2B Manny Trillo 30
SS Larry Bowa 35
3B Mike Schmidt 31
LF Gary Matthews 30
CF Garry Maddox 3
RF Bake McBride 32
C Bob Boone 33

1989 Tigers
1B Dave Bergman 36
2B Lou Whitaker 32
SS Alan Trammell 31
DH-IF Keith Moreland 35
OF Gary Pettis 31
OF Chet Lemon 34
OF-DH Fred Lynn 37
C Mike Heath 34
1B-DH-OF Gary Ward 35

2001 Diamondbacks
RF Luis Gonzalez 33
1B Mark Grace 37
CF Steve Finley 36
UT Craig Counsell 30
2B Tony Womack 31
SS Jay Bell 35
LF Reggie Sanders 33
3B Matt Williams 35
C Damian Miller 31

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