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In 1999, Major League Baseball All-Century Team was chosen. To select the team, a panel of experts first compiled a list of the 100 greatest players from the past century. Fans then voted on the players using paper and online ballots.

The top two vote-getters from each position, except outfielders (nine), and the top six pitchers were placed on the team. There were some notable omissions, and an oversight committee included an additional five players who did not garner enough initial votes.

Preceding game 2 of the 1999 World Series, the All-Century Team took center stage in a rousing ceremony. Every living player who was named to the team attended, including Ted Williams, 81 years old and ailing; and Sandy Koufax, who in his post-baseball life had become renowned for staying out of the spotlight.

During the ceremony, the loudest ovations were given to Ken Griffey, Jr., possibly due to the fact that he was a current star and popular with the fans; and Pete Rose, despite his banishment from baseball.


The team

First Basemen
Second Basemen
Third Basemen
* indicates player added later by panel,
** indicates active player at the time,
# indicates Hall of Fame member.

Most Votes Received



Jim Gray interview with Pete Rose

With the announcement of the team, there was controversy over the inclusion of Pete Rose, who had been banned from baseball for life 10 years earlier. Some questioned Rose's presence on a team officially endorsed by Major League Baseball. But fans at the stadium during the introduction of the team were overwhelmingly supportive, giving him a standing ovation. Following the on-field ceremony, which was emceed by Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, an aggressive interview by NBC Sports' Jim Gray resulted in further public sympathy for Rose:

Jim Gray: Pete, let me ask you now. It seems as though there is an opening, the American public is very forgiving. Are you willing to show contrition, admit that you bet on baseball and make some sort of apology to that effect?

Pete Rose: Not at all, Jim. I'm not going to admit to something that didn't happen. I know you're getting tired of hearing me say that. But I appreciate the ovation. I appreciate the American fans voting me on the All-Century Team. I'm just a small part of a big deal tonight.

Gray: With the overwhelming evidence in that report, why not make that step...

Rose: No. This is too much of a festive night to worry about that because I don't know what evidence you're talking about. I mean, show it to me...

Gray: Well, the Dowd Report says, but we don't want to debate that, Pete.

Rose: Well, why not? Why do we want to believe everything he says?

Gray: You signed a paper acknowledging the ban. Why did you sign it if you didn't agree with it?

Rose: It also says I can apply for reinstatement after one year, if you remember correctly. In the press conference, as a matter of fact, my statement was I can't wait for my little girl to be a year old so I can apply for reinstatement. At my press conference. So you forgot to add that clause that was in there.

Gray: Well, you have reapplied. ... You've applied for reinstatment in 1997. Have you heard back from Commissioner Selig?

Rose: No, and that kind of surprises me. It's only been two years, though, and he's got a lot of things on his mind. But I hope to some day.

Gray: Pete, it's been 10 years since you've been allowed on the field. Obviously, the approach that you have taken has not worked. Why not, at this point, take a different approach?

Rose: Well, when you say it hadn't worked, what do you exactly mean?

Gray: You're not allowed in baseball. You're not allowed to earn a living in the game you love. And you're not allowed to be in the Hall of Fame.

Rose: Well, I took that approach and that was to apply for reinstatement. I hope Bud Selig considers that and gives me an opportunity. I won't need a third chance. All I need is a second chance.

Gray: Pete, those who will hear this tonight will say you have been your own worst enemy and continue to be. How do you respond to that?

Rose: In what way are you talking about?

Gray: By not acknowledging what seems to be overwhelming evidence.

Rose: Yeah, I'm surprised you're bombarding me like this. I mean I'm doing an interview with you on a great night, a great occasion, a great ovation. Everybody seems to be in a good mood. And you're bringing up something that happened 10 years ago.

Gray: I'm bringing it up because I think people would like to see ... Pete, we've got to go, we've got a game.

Rose: This is a prosecutor's brief, not an interview, and I'm very surprised at you. I am, really.

Gray: Some would be surprised that you didn't take the opportunity.[1][2][3]


Some Latino fans were unhappy that no Latino players had been elected, in particular Roberto Clemente, who had finished 10th among outfielders and missed the cut. Baseball tried to assuage fans' complaints in 2005 by announcing the "Latino Legends Team."

Missed the cut

Players with high vote totals who did not make the team:

First Basemen
Second Basemen
Third Basemen

See also


External links


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