At least I don’t think they used steroids. Here’s a positional list of the best players who had their best years from 1980 on.
Pitcher: Greg Maddux. Pinpoint control, great poise. 18 Gold Gloves, 4 Cy young Awards and an 8 time All Star. Need I say more?
Catcher: Carlton Fisk. His career began in 1969, yet he still makes this list because he proved to be as durable as any catcher ever. He was an all star 5 times between 1980 and 1993. He’s in the Hall of Fame, too–no small accomplishment for a catcher. Sorry, Ivan Rodriguez. I think you were a ‘roider. You shrunk about two shirt sizes and by about 30 pounds after they started testing, and Canseco dimed you out. Sadly, Canseco has more credibility than many currently in the game.
First Base: Albert Pujols. In the roid ragin’ days of summer, one questions every power hitter. But Pujols’ numbers have gotten better since testing started. A sure Hall of Famer who continues to put up monstrous numbers.
Second Base: Ryne Sandberg. No other second baseman comes close to Sandberg’s combined offense and defense. Brett Boone you say? Riiight. I’m surprised Boone didn’t play a few games with a needle still stuck in his butt. Ok–maybe Craig Biggio, but I’ll stick with Ryne.
Third base: Wade Boggs. The most patient gap hitter I’ve ever seen and the most feared bat in the game during the 1980s. And no roids.
Short Stop: Ozzie Smith.Tough call between Smith and Cal Ripken. I just couldn’t leave the Wizard of Oz off my list. By all counts, the greatest defensive short stop of all time and playing in a time period when speed and defense still mattered because cheaters weren’t just muscling the ball over the wall.
Left Field: Rickey Henderson. With his physique he could have easily passed for a steroid user, but he was producing runs like nobody else, and before people thought muscles helped you play better ball. Stole 130 bases in 1982 and 1406 for his career. The ultimate lead-off man.
Center Field: Ken Griffey Jr. I remember reading a scouting report on Griffey before he joined the Major Leagues. “Boy with a man’s body”, it said. 622 homeruns and 10 Gold Gloves later, he remains the best power hitter of our generation who didn’t use.
Right Field: Dave Winfield. Rocket launcher arm to go with the other four baseball tools at his disposal. Great all around athlete and great human being. Has been doing charity work for over 20 years.
Barry Bonds, you would have been on this list without steroids; you were that good. But you cheated.