Twitter has seen many of these recently, but one that caught my eye that could generate good conversation here is this...
Create a team - 26-man roster, DH or non-DH lineup/roster by your own choice (though we'll get into something with that later), full rotation
The team should consist of your personal favorite players that you have seen in your lifetime (TV or in-person is fine). They can play any position, but it must be a position that the player played for a majority of at least one season. Not required as part of this - but something that could be a fun addition - is to list your favorite season of that favorite player!
I'll start with mine
C - Ivan Rodriguez. No one has even come close to his combination of offense and defense. Defense that I've not seen matched behind the plate in my life along with athleticism offensively that was remarkable. While many will remember his monster 1999 season, I recall his 2004 when he moved to the Tigers on a free agent deal. He was 32 and the numbers didn't appreciate his defense as much, but he hit .334/.383/.510 with 19 HR and 7 SB. (I'll add more write-ups later)
1B - Albert Pujols. Fielding Bible recently mentioned that Pujols graded as the best defensive first sacker in the last 25 years due to the distance he played off the bag. He was brilliant from day one, with a smooth swing and plenty of athleticism. His crowning season, IMO, was 2009, when he led the majors in home runs, runs, total bases, OPS, OPS+, and he still stole 16 bases with nearly twice as many walks as strikeouts.
2B - Ryne Sandberg: My great-grandma made me into a baseball fan, and she was a die-hard Cubs backer. Sandberg was the newest young star of the team as I was being introduced to the game, so 5-year old me really heard plenty about Sandberg's 1984 MVP season.
3B - Chipper Jones: Being a Braves fan, this is pretty easy. Chipper was a guy who was an ultimate team guy on the field, and while many would mention his 1999 season when he didn't even earn an All-Star nod but had an incredible second half to win the MVP, but I love looking back at 2008 as Jones was on his last legs after the outfield had ripped up his knees when he voluntarily changed positions (and of course, he delayed his debut a full season after a devastating knee injury that began to groan more in his mid-30s). In the 2008 season, Jones led all MLB in hitting and OBP, and he recorded his highest OPS+ of his HOF career.
SS - Andrelton Simmons: I've been lucky to see some excellent defenders in my lifetime, but on the dirt, none hold a candle to Simmons. His incredible arm adds to the ability to get to so many balls that only he can reach. While he's not known for his bat, 2017 showed what he can do with a contact-focused swing that has some natural gap power. Health has been a struggle in the past, and that's really the one thing that could hold him back from a Cooperstown role eventually as one of the elite defenders in the game's history.
LF - Rickey Henderson: Getting to see the remarkable blend of power and speed rolled into Rickey was always a display. I thought it was interesting that an old Negro League ballplayer that I talked with recalled the players of 1980s and 1990s, and he remembered before PEDs came around that only Bo Jackson was more impressive with his shirt off than was Rickey. I was too young to remember his brilliant 1982 season, but after some time in the Bronx, Rickey returned to Oakland in 1990 in the midst of the A's dynasty, and he led the majos in OPS and OPS+ while also stealing 65 bases.
CF - Andruw Jones: Bar none, the best defender I've ever seen in my life at any position. Jones doesn't get the credit he deserves with many who don't trust metrics because he made it look so easy, but as metrics have begun to review his positioning and realize how he was able to cover incredible amount of ground, his brilliance is finally being fully realized. Hopefully it gets there before he falls off the HOF ballot because he absolutely should be there. The 2000 season is the one I mentioned as he made his first All-Star game and was able to showcase nationally as he hit .300 for the only time in his career.
RF - Kirby Puckett: Growing up in Twins territory, I used to tell my local barber to give me a "Kirby Puckett haircut", but he was not given permission by my parents. Oddly enough, now I shave my head daily, so I got there anyway! Puckett's turn of the decade performance from 1986-1992 (avg. 207 hits, 20 HR, and a .329 BA) was incredible, but the 1988 season was definitely his best overall as he hit .356 with 24 home runs. A little trivia...did you know Kirby was leading the AL in RBI in 1994 when the strike hit?
DH - Juan Gonzalez: When he first came up, his birthday on his baseball card was listed as exactly 10 years earlier than mine, and that was a big deal to me at that age. His age was later corrected when he had to clear when returning the DR one winter rather than Puerto Rico, and his birthday was moved to four days later. By then I was already hooked as a fan, and he was already a full-time player, coming off a 100-RBI year and about to win his first home run title. I have two years that I loved with Gonzalez. The first was 1998, when he had 101 RBI at the All-Star break and went on to win the MVP, but in 1993 when he was still fairly unknown, I was one of few that knew of him and he went .310/.368/.632 with 46 HR, 105 R, and 118 RBI. Injuries really wore him down (and yeah, I know what the accusations are), but he finished just a couple seasons shy of 500 homers.
Bench - Tony Phillips: The ultimate jack-of-all-trades. Phillips had multiple years where he played significant time at three or more positions. The 1992 season was a crazy one as Phillips played at least 10 games at 5 positions and had a single game at every infield position but first base and all three outfield positions. He was no slouch with the bat, though, leading the majors that year in runs scored, hitting .276/.387/.388 with 10 homers and 12 steals to go with 32 doubles.
Bench - Eddie Perez: Growing up watching Perez as Greg Maddux's personal caddy, I had a huge appreciation for the backup catcher. Perez was/is an awesome dugout guy and really could handle a staff. While he hit fairly well throughout his career as a backup, 1996 was his pinnacle, as he hit .336/.404/.537 in 167 PA over 61 games.
Bench - Julio Franco: Interestingly, I was a fan of Franco back in his Indians days when he was a very talented middle infielder, but then he became a forever favorite when he became the modern version of Satchel Paige when he returned to the majors in 2001 with the Braves. He'd be exclusively my bench/pinch hit guy, but that batting stance is a favorite, and his best year after he returned was 2004 when he was 45 years old and hit .309/.378/.441 over 361 PA.
Bench - Bip Roberts: The National League's answer to Phillips, Roberts spent a dozen years in the majors with a .294 career batting average. His 1992 season was the best example of what I remember of Roberts, when he played double-digit games at four positions and slashed .323/.393/.432 with 44 stolen bases.
SP - Greg Maddux: Growing up a Braves fan in the 1980s and then the 1990s, the pitching of the 1990s was amazing. Maddux was the peak of it. Arguably the greatest right-hander of a generation, Maddux had two of his best years around the strike, with the 1995 season my favorite as Maddux would have had more wins than walks in a season when he made 28 starts and tossed 209 2/3 innings if not for a horrific August start against Cincinnati when he accumulated one quarter of his entire season's total of walks, allowing five free passes in the game of 23 that season.
SP - Randy Johnson: No one was more fun to watch in the 1990s and early 2000s than Johnson, from his long frame with endless arms and legs in his delivery that generated top velocity along with a killer slider. While he had elite years in the middle, my two favorite seasons for Johnson were his bookend seasons in Arizona, 1999 and 2004. While he didn't have great win-loss records in those two seasons, Johnson combined those two seasons to go 33-23 over 70 starts, completing 16 of them, 4 shutouts, tossing 517 1/3 innings. In that time, he struck out 654 while walking 114, giving him a 2.54 ERA and 0.96 WHIP.
SP - Johan Santana: No one on this board needs to be told how great Johan was. Of course, many believe that he should have won three CY awards in a row, but I would even argue that the year he didn't win, 2005, was actually his best season. He simply saw Bartolo rack up 22 wins that season and take the award. He had his lowest FIP and his best K/BB in 2005. It was also the season I got to watch him strike out double digits in a late-season start against the Indians that Casey Blake ended up ruining for him as Joe Nathan blew the save but the Twins won it in the bottom of the inning on a Punto bunt.
SP - Dave Stewart: The most intimidating starter growing up, I copied Stewart's stare over the top of his glove from the mound as a youth on the mound. He struggled to establish himself until Oakland signed him off waivers in 1986. He was a staff leader starting in 1987, but he often had plenty of walks along with a mediocre strikeout rate. The 1990 season was his exception, as he walked around 7.8% of hitters instead of exceeding 10%.
SP - Nolan Ryan: The Ryan Express was impressive to witness on the mound., Incredibly, Ryan holds 51 major league records. However, in his final tour with the Rangers, he struck out 300 just once, in 1989, his first year with the Rangers.
Closer - Joe Nathan: Part of the greatest trade in Twins history, Nathan was elite for six seasons in Minnesota before going through Tommy John surgery. He had seasons as good as or even better than Mariano during that time, but 2006, at age 31, was his best, as he posted the lowest FIP and WHIP while posting the highest strikeout rate of his career.
RP - Kerry Ligtenberg: South Dakota-born, Minnesota high school grad, and former Gopher, I was a huge fan of Ligtenberg, especially his back story, being acquired for balls and bats and other equipment. His first full season, 1998, he was the Braves' closer, saving 30 games for arguably the best Braves team in their 1990s run.
RP - Mike Fetters: One of my favorites on the mound, Fetters' head snap on the mound was amazing. Watching Fetters with the 2000 Dodgers was a great experience, especially when you could watch Fetters come in for Kevin Brown.
RP - Dan Quisenberry: He wasn't the first submariner, and he wouldn't be the last, but when you think of submariners, Quisenberry is naturally the first to come to mind. H was an elite reliever for a seven season period, but once he was hurt, he lost his feel quickly and was out of the game two seasons later. His peak was 1983, but I never saw him pitch then, catching him first in 1984, when he was barely a tick off that 1983 pace.
RP - Craig Kimbrell: His fastball was not the fastest; his curve was not the best, but when you added in his lean and his fast-paced delivery with an awkward low 3/4 delivery, Kimbrel was brilliant for the game. He exploded on the scene, but his second full season was his most incredible to watch as he posted a 1.01 ERA in 2012 with an unheard of 0.78 FIP while striking out 116 over 62 2/3 innings, walking just 14.
RP - Billy Wagner: The small lefty could dial up incredible velocity, reaching and exceeding triple digits. His career as a reliever was as worthy of the Hall of Fame as any reliever in there outside Rivera based on just how he performed as a reliever. After missing much of the 2008 and 2009 seasons, many figured Wagner was done, but he pitched 2010 with the Braves to a 1.43 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, saving 37 games and striking out 104 over 69 1/3 innings. He stated that he felt he'd shown all he needed to in the game after returning from injury, and he retired.
RP - Aroldis Chapman: Off-field stuff nearly completely took him off this list, but 104 is 104, and there are few things more exciting than his lanky lefty delivery resulting in the ball exploding from his hand, so when he took over as Reds closer in 2012, it was incredible to watch.
RP - Juan Berenguer: Senor Smoke was nearing the end of his career when he joined the Twins in 1987, his second year as a primary reliever. He was tremendously valuable for the 1987 Twins and then faced his former teammates in 1991 with the Braves when he had one of his best years, saving 17 games with a 2.24 ERA for Atlanta. He would be out of baseball after the next season.
Toughest cuts: Bob Horner, Mariano Rivera, Pedro Martinez, Jim Abbott