If you saw the large headline trumpeting The Daily Item’s all-decade baseball team and decided to quickly flip a few pages inside to learn who’s at shortstop, you’re probably not alone.
So we’ll say this right off the top: there’s no way either Nick Dunn or Brady Lloyd would be left off the team.
Call it rigging the system, if you wish, but we’d have selected a “Northumberland County shortstop” and a “Union County shortstop” if it came to that.
Instead we put Mifflinburg’s Lloyd at shortstop and Shikellamy’s Dunn at designated hitter, which wasn’t as difficult a decision as it was prudent.
If I’m building a Frankenstein shortstop from those two contemporaries/friends, I want Lloyd’s sticky glove and swift legs paired with Dunn’s sweet swing and rifle arm. In other words, it was splitting hairs choosing between two star players who went to Division I top-25 programs as our all-decade shortstop.
However, if I need a hit to win the game — and I can choose any player from the past decade (or maybe any other) — I want Dunn in the batter’s box. That makes him a no-brainer for DH ... although Dunn wouldn’t be at all happy sitting between at-bats.
Constructing the all-decade pitching staff was a can of corn, too, despite the staggering number of bona fide aces that chucked it from 2010-19. Again, we massaged things a bit to make room for five pitchers: starters from both sides, relievers from both sides, and a closer.
Hey! This isn’t softball where one kid throws every pitch for an entire season!
Like colleague Todd Hummel’s all-decade softball team, though, there was far too much talent to make the cut — no matter how many positions we created.