This draft was a ridiculously good time. I honestly expected for all us writers to be scrounging for players by Round 9, but in the end, picks got far more obscure and interesting than I would have expected. I tried to draft a team that could somewhat plausibly exist in the real world by drafting only humans and animals, though I do cheat a bit at the end. Overall though, I feel like this team would have a strong, strong chance against any other in the circuit.
Round 1, Pick 9: Tommy “Santa” Santorelli, The Sandlot: Heading Home
I’d expect a vast majority of readers probably haven’t heard of Santa, and there’s a very, very good reason for that. In fact, good on you if you haven’t, because that means you’ve never endured the pain of watching the third Sandlot movie, Heading Home. 95% of you are probably asking yourself, “there was a third Sandlot movie?”, and 90% are probably asking “There was a second?” Neither are worth watching if you value your time in any capacity, but Tommy Santorelli, the protagonist of the third movie, was simply too valuable a prize to let anyone else snatch up. As the movie’s beginning narration tells us, Santorelli is a thirteen-time All-Star and a surefire Hall of Famer, among the greatest to ever play the game. And, as Santorelli brags later in the film, he batted .328 at the age of 41. Even if I’m only getting a Santorelli on the verge of retirement, I’ll take .328 with power any day in the first round.
Round 2, Pick 12: Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, The Sandlot
Here’s a more familiar name. Though the adult Rodriguez may be lacking the PF Flyer shoes that made him a certifiable weapon in the first film, he’s still plenty fast, and has an excellent major league career. Had his career not been derailed by a severe knee injury in 1976 (detail courtesy of Sandlot 3), Benny might have been among the all-time great speedsters. As is, we get excellent speed and batting average here in the second round. As a useless bit of trivia I gleaned when watching Sandlot 3, Rodriguez batted at least .320 in the year 1975. Whether or not high batting average was a trend in his fictional major league career, I’m rolling with it.
Round 3, Pick 29: Yamcha, Dragon Ball Super
I want to start this recap off with a shout out to fellow PitcherLister Dave Cherman, whose selection of Gohan in the second round made my nerdiness not stick out quite as sorely. Yamcha is shown to be an absolute monster at baseball both in Dragon Ball Z, as well as Dragon Ball Super; like Shohei Ohtani if he had superpowers. Between a 3-3, 3 HR game in Dragon Ball Z and his striking out literal deities with his patented “Wolf Fang Pitch,” Yamcha is a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball, even before mentioning his superhuman reflexes and speed.
Round 4, Pick 32: Roger Clemens, The Simpsons
I snagged Clemens here, knowing he likely wouldn’t make it back to me in the 5th, and wanting to round out a strong front of my rotation. His career mostly speaks for itself, but I’ll list off a few highlights:
- Eleven-time All-Star.
- Seven-time Cy Young winner.
- Seven ERA titles.
- Two-time Pitching Triple Crown winner.
Round 5, Pick 49: Ed, Ed
Needing a third baseman, I decided to snag pro baseball’s most prominent primate, Ed. He may not come packaged with Matt LeBlanc, but he plays a very solid 3B, and will be right at home in my starting lineup featuring three other animals.
Round 6, Pick 52: Air Bud, Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch
Fun Fact: the twelve players on my team combine for three World Series MVP Awards, and Air Bud accounts for 1/3 of them. I haven’t the slightest clue how a golden retriever who can only bunt the ball managed to win World Series MVP, but it still makes more sense than Malcolm Smith winning Super Bowl MVP in 2014. His skill set may be limited, but he makes the absolute most of what he does. Speed, defense and loyalty. What more could you ask for?
Round 7, Pick 69: Sandy Koufax, Mister Ed
Not a lot to say here. Koufax is an absolute legend, and I feel great anchoring a rotation that already features Roger Clemens with him. Even if his only contribution on this episode of Mister Ed was getting homered off of by a horse. A HORSE!
Round 8, Pick 72: Mister Ed, Mister Ed
The one time we see the titular horse play baseball in Mister Ed, he hits a home run off my previous pick, Sandy Koufax. I love taking animals for my team, and Mister Ed has shown he can hang with the best baseball can offer. Combine that with a horse’s ability to reach top speeds above 40 MPH and you’ve got a weapon. Granted, he’s not able to play defense, but as a DH/pinch runner? Aces.
Round 9, Pick 89: Buster Posey, Splash Hit
I cheated a bit for this pick because I needed a catcher. “Splash Hit,” according to IMDB, is a seven-minute animated short that apparently features Buster Posey. That’s good enough for me. You can never argue with elite catcher production this late in a draft.
Round 10, Pick 92: Ling Ling, Mr. Go
I can never get enough baseball-playing animals. While Air Bud and Mister Ed are faster, more agile players, Ling Ling is a massive, hulking gorilla who tore up the KBO League. Per my hastily-done research, a silverback gorilla can deadlift up to 1800 pounds of weight, which is absolutely insane. While this still may not compare to James Harrison’s workouts, it does mean that this gorilla is going to pimp some baseballs like baseballs have never been pimped before.
Round 11, Pick 109: Trunks, Dragon Ball Super
I tried to keep my picks constrained to only humans and animals for the sake of at least a bit of realism, but here near the end, I caved. You can largely copy and paste what I wrote about Yamcha for Trunks here, though to an even larger extent in terms of freakish athleticism and reflexes. Add to that the ability to go Super Saiyan, and we’ve got yet another five-tool player whom we can plug in just about anywhere.
Round 12, Pick 112: Bill Mazeroski, The Odd Couple
This last pick was a bit lazy, as I was essentially just looking for a second middle infielder. A quick Google search turned up Bill Mazeroski in The Odd Couple, so that was that. Mazeroski is one of the most defensively gifted players the MLB has ever seen, and that prowess should come in handy when he’s facing off against the best teams the world can offer.