Mantle or Mays? A-Rod or Jeter? Clemens, Maddux, and Randy Johnson—or Pedro, Palmer, and Carlton? These are questions baseball fans can spend endless hours debating, and My Team will provide more fuel for the fire as former All-Star pitcher and National League Manager of the Year Larry Dierker shares his opinions on who would make the cut for the ultimate Dream Team.
Choosing from the greatest players he has seen in his four decades in the major leagues, Dierker selects twenty-five players for My Team and another twenty-five for the opposition, the Underdogs. All are players that Dierker has played with or against or watched in his years as player, coach, manager, and commentator. Each athlete must have played at least ten years in the major leagues to qualify, and players are judged on their ten best seasons. So is it possible to select two teams comprised of outstanding ballplayers from the past forty years and not have room for Sandy Koufax, Reggie Jackson, Carl Yastrzemski, or Cal Ripken Jr.? Dierker's choices may be unorthodox, but that's part of the fun.
My Team may start more controversies than it settles, but Dierker's insights, insider anecdotes, and passion for the game will be irresistible to true baseball fans.
Larry Dierker pitched for the Houston Astros from 1964 to 1976. He made his debut on his eighteenth birthday and in his first inning struck out Willie Mays. In 1969 he became the Astros' first 20-game winner. He was named to the National League All-Star team in 1969 and 1971. As a pitcher he remains the franchise career leader in innings pitched and complete games, and is second in wins. After doing color commentary on Astros' radio and television broadcasts, Dierker managed the team from 1997 to 2001. He led Houston to a first-place finish in four of these five seasons. In 2004 he returned to color commentary. He is the author of This Ain't Brain Surgery: How to Win the Pennant Without Losing Your Mind.