All-time Greatest Players

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Updated in May 2015

The All-time Greatest Players set gives you a great way to play games using more than 4000 of the best players in baseball history.

All of the players have been selected and rated based on their best series of peak seasons (more on this below), with each season evaluated relative to the norms for that era and adjusted for park effects. The players are organized into two separate databases of 24 teams based on the real-life franchises they were most closely affiliated with during their peak periods.

Everything is in place to allow you to start playing games the moment you install the set, but remember that there's almost no limit to the ways you can use these players and teams. You can also run a draft, restructure the league, generate a new schedule, change the manager profiles, and move players and teams to/from other Diamond Mind seasons.

The All-time Greatest Players set is priced at $29.95 per volume.

Organizing the teams

The players are organized into teams based primarily on real-life franchises. Certain franchises (e.g. New York, Boston, Chicago) have too many stars for one team, so we split them into two or three. Other franchises are too young to have accumulated a full and balanced roster, so we combined them.

Every team has a manager profile with starting rotations, bullpen assignments, starting lineups against left- and right-handed pitchers for both DH and non-DH games, and depth charts for each of those starting lineups.

During our testing, we autoplayed a number of seasons and found these teams to be remarkably balanced. Some are better than others, of course, but it was rare to see a team with a winning percentage above .600 or below .400. Most of the divisional races were hotly contested, often decided during the season's final series.

Player ratings

We rated the players based on their best series of consecutive peak years that met a minimum playing time threshold. Let's take a moment to go over what that means.

To select each player's best series of seasons, we began with his rookie year, collected enough future seasons to meet or exceed our minimum playing time threshold, and evaluated that group of seasons. We repeated the process for the seasons beginning with his second year, then his third year, and so on. The group of seasons that provided the highest level of league- and park-adjusted performance became the basis for that player's ratings.

We used consecutive peak seasons rather than unconnected peak seasons because players change with age. A player may start out as a superior fielder with great speed and enough hitting skills to be an asset at the top of the order. As he matures, adds muscle, or recovers from a serious injury, he might move to a less demanding fielding position, run less, take more walks, and add power. If we rated such a player based on a mix of early, middle, and later years, we might end up creating a power hitter who could also play great defense and steal bases, even if that player never did all of those things at the same time at any point in his career.

We chose to use peak years rather than entire careers because some all-time greats had mediocre-to-poor seasons at the start or end of their careers because they were called up at a very young age and/or they kept their jobs after they had lost much of their ability. If we used entire careers, these stars would not stand out from the crowd as much as they should.

We felt it was important to include a lot of playing time. That way, lesser players with one or two really good seasons wouldn't rank as highly as others who sustained their success over a much longer period.

If a position player had a short career -- less than 4000 plate appearances -- he was not eligible for this set. If he reached that threshold but fell short of 6000 PA, we used his entire career. If he exceeded 6000 PA, we used his best run of consecutive seasons that include at least 6000 PA.

Similarly, we had two thresholds for pitchers. To qualify for the set, a pitcher needed at least 200 career starts, 400 career relief appearances, or a suitable combination of the two. To qualify for the peak-years treatment, those limits were raised to 250 starts or 500 relief appearances.

This approach favors players with longer careers because their weaker seasons are excluded. We feel that's appropriate. The best players start sooner and last longer than everyone else.

This set also includes over 100 players from the Negro Leagues who didn't also play in the majors along with some of the All Time Great Japanese League Baseball Players.

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  • Jim Wheeler