Sunday, May 9, 2010

BEST TEAMS I EVER SAW (1 MLB, 1 NBA, 1 NFL).......Craig Ballard coming to you once again folks and today's entry is a nod to the 3 greatest teams I have ever seen in my 34+ years on Earth......so not the best teams ever - just my opinion of the best that I personally have seen in my lifetime

1984 Detroit Tigers....104-58 record....World Series Champions

Best baseball team I have ever seen (honorable mention to the '92,'93 Jays and the '98 Yankees)

This Tigers team was managed by the Legendary Sparky Anderson (pictured right) who was already a 2-time World Series Champ, but after being fired from Cincinnati Anderson considered this dream season to be his told ya so response......Sparky also won the 1984 Manager Of The Year Award

104-58 overall record included a 10-0 start, 35-5 after 40 games, and 17-0 road record to open the '84 campaign......1984 is several years before the Wild Card even entered the conversation as a potential idea so imagine the rest of the AL East (which at that time had a different look then how we know it today as there were only 2 Divisions - AL East and AL West - and the AL East had Detroit-Boston-New York-Milwaukee-Toronto-Cleveland-Baltimore) to be looking up at a Tigers team that started 35-5?!?!? WOW....Heck Toronto-New York-Boston-Baltimore all won at least 85 games that year but all finished at least 15 games behind this Tigers unit

Let's take a look at the contributors......

C Lance Big Wheel Parrish.......AL All-Star......Silver Slugger.......team leader in HR's (33) and RBI's (98)

2B Lou Whitaker (pictured right with Alan Trammell)....Gold Glove.......Silver Slugger
SS Alan Trammel.....AL All-Star......Gold Glove......1984 World Series MVP....... .314 Batting Average led the team

RF Kirk Gibson (pictured right)......1984 ALCS MVP.......27 HR's......91 RBI's

CF Chet Lemon.......great outfield defender.......AL All-Star.......20 HR's
The Tigers were able to win with those guys of course but also had key contributions from Darrell Evans, Rupert Jones, Marty Castillo, Howard Johnson, Larry Herndon, and Dave Bergman


  • SP Jack Morris........no-hitter - I have several fond memories of watching that game which was the first Saturday game televised for NBC.....19-11 record.........AL All-Star.....3-0 in the Post-Season
  • SP Dan Petry 18-8............plus SP Milt Wilcox 17-8

The Bullpen was lights out thanks to guys like set-up man Aurelio Lopez aka Senior Smoke who was 10-1 with a 2.94 era......

The Tigers made a trade just prior to the start of the 1984 season and picked up Willie Hernandez (pictured left) who appeared in a team record 80 games with a 1.92 era.....his numbers also included 33 saves and a 9-3 record.....Hernandez had a historic season as he won both the AL Cy Young and the AL MVP awards......

Another great memory for me from this team is from the World Series vs the San Diego Padres when the Public Address Announcer introduced the starting line-ups for the Padres at Tigers Stadium......even the Padres players had grins on their faces in laughter as the 51,000+ crowd would reply WHO CARES in unison after every Padres name was announced

1995-1996 Chicago Bulls (Honorable mention to the 1985-86 Celtics and the 1986-87 Lakers)

This team played 100 games in total this season and won a whopping 87 of them...72-10 all-time best Regular Season record.....18 game winning streak.......2 home loses all year

We know this team was led by the great Michael Jordan (30.4 Points Per Game.....Regular Season MVP -NBA All-Star game MVP -NBA Finals MVP) but this team could not have won on such a historic level without the play of several others......

We touched on Superman, now let's look at Batman aka Scottie Pippen..........Pippen scored 19.4 ppg for this team and he joined MJ on the All NBA 1st Team, and he joined MJ and Dennis Rodman on the All NBA Defensive Team

A pre-season trade for Dennis Rodman gave the Bulls a trio of Superman-Batman-Rodman......we know Dennis to be one of the all-time great defenders and rebounders the game has ever seen.....he did get a 6 game suspension from the NBA for a run-in with a referee but for the most part MJ and Phil Jackson got a great effort from Rodzilla
sooooo Best player - MJ......Best #2 player - Pippen.......Best rebounder/defender - Rodman, and how about best coach also (Phil Jackson won the NBA Coach Of The Year) and for good measure this team had Jerry Krause (pictured right with Toni Kukoc) who would win the Executive Of The Year for this season......all that is already off-the-charts, but we still need to BIG UP the 6th Man Of The Year Toni Kukoc who brought his 13.1 ppg off the bench and provided instant-impact every time he checked into the game

The Bulls would also get solid contributions all year from Ron Harper (7.4 ppg) ....Steve Kerr (8.4 ppg plus gaudy .515 shooting percentage from 3-point land) .....Luc Longley (9.1 ppg) and even Canadian Bill Wennington provided 5.3 ppg

....and value?!?! WHOA talk about value compared to today's standards.......sit down if not already seated for this one: every single one of SHAQ, T-Mac, Jermaine O'Neal,Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Michael Redd, Andrei Kirilenko, Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas, Zach Randolph, and Chris Bosh ALL made more $$$$ this year then MJ/Pippen/Rodman/Harper/Kukoc COMBINED during this historic season!!!!!!!!

2007 New England Patriots

(honorable mention to 1985 Chicago Bears, '89 49ers, '98 Broncos, '92 Cowboys)

This is the only team on my list that did not win a Championship.......if you saw the 2007 Pats play though then you are already on-board as to how I could perceive them as one of the best teams ever.......

Pre-Season acquisitions included Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Donte Stallworth.

This team won 3 games by 3 points (and one by 4) and lost the Super Bowl by 3 points but every other game was an ass-kicking placed on the opponents by the Pats

This team scored at least 31 points 13 times and got to at least 48 points on 4 different occasions

The #1 seed was wrapped up by week 12 but the Pats still were able to keep their foot on the gas and finish the Regular Season at an amazing 16-0

The Defense was stellar too allowing no more then 14 points on 10 occasions

This team featured 8 players named to the NFL Pro-Bowl

The New York Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 in the Super Bowl this year but the tenacity and execution from this 2007 Pats team throughout the previous 18 games was 2nd to none, and one of the great teams I have ever seen