Shortstop – Cal Ripken was the Orioles second round selection (48th overall) in the 1978 June amateur draft. With the Twins first round pick (16th overall) in that same draft the Twins chose shortstop Lenny Faedo. But don’t feel bad because in the first round the Orioles chose infielder Robert Boyce who only reached as high as “A” ball.
You might think that picking the shortstop for this team would be easy but you would be wrong, it was difficult and I almost selected Omar Vizquel but finally decided on Ripken primarily because of his power and ability to show up and play every day. The numbers that Ripken and Vizquel put up against Minnesota were almost identical except in power and speed. They were both great players.
Ripken a Hall of Famer was the 1982 ROY award winner beating out Kent Hrbek and Wade Boggs. During his 21 year career he was a two-time MVP, 19 time All-Star (every year except his rookie season), 8 time Silver Slugger, and a 2 time Gold Glove winner not to mention a host of other awards.
But what did Ripken do against Minnesota that earns him the right to be a part of the Twins all-opponent team? Well, he went to the plate 725 times and had a .307 average with 197 hits, 47 doubles, 24 home runs, 105 RBI, with an OPS of .874. Not too shabby for a shortstop, plus the Twins decided to give him 15 IBB to make sure he didn’t do even more damage.
Looks like it is time to look at the outfielders.
Our previous selections for the Twins all-opponent team
Catcher – Ivan Rodriguez
First Baseman – Paul Konerko
Second Baseman – Lou Whitaker
Third Baseman – Wade Boggs