At the close of the second major era of Blaseball, and with an immense amount of time on our hands, what better to do than to sift through 24 seasons of data?
And what better way to do that than to create each team’s All-Star Roster?
This is one of what we hope will be a series of articles where writers examine a team’s all-time best Roster in the first year of Blaseball. We agreed on a few rules to start with:
1. Team sizes will be standard. 9 in the Lineup and 5 in the Pitching Rotation. Players cannot be considered Elsewhere or Shelled.
2. The Selection must represent a single season played with that team.
3. The player must have played at least one full season with that team.
4. A player can only be selected once across all 14 slots.
5. No Replicas are allowed.
These rules are set in place in order to capture the journey and essence of each of Blaseball’s teams. We want to avoid a replicalooza or a team of all honses. In addition to these standard rules, I also opted not to consider Season 24. It was weird, and difficult to parse, and unnecessary for getting a picture of who the Wings stars have been.
With that in mind, I present “The All Sauce Wings” (and I want you to know, I seriously considered just listing the Championship-winning Season 7 roster, but that’s hardly the point of this exercise now, is it?).
Summers Preston (S23)— BA 0.297 – OPS 1.01 – Runs 82 – RBI -76
Huber Frumple (S23)— BA 0.282 – OPS 1.027 – TB 355 – RBI 134
José Haley (S7)— BA 0.322 – OPS 1.04 – OBS 0.364
When you need the ball hit a long way with a minimum of fuss, these three are who you call (though José will answer you from the Hall of Flame). It is impossible to overstate the long-lasting performance of Summers Preston; of the top 26 Wings batting seasons by OPS, 14 belong to Summers, and it is no coincidence that the Season 17 Feedback that sent them to the Dale started the string of performances that led to the Wings tanking. Huber Frumple is the new kid on the block for the Wings, having ridden The Fifth Base to the Bucket, and their early work with the Wings are among the best Wings hitting seasons by a number of metrics. José turned in a fantastic performance to power the Wings to the Season 7 postseason, leading to the eventual Championship.
Brock Watson (S23): BA 0.225 – OPS 0.831 – Stolen Bases 95
Josh Watson (S22): BA 0.269 – OPS 0.891 – Doubles 38 – Triples 29
Fran Beans (S19): BA 0.273 – BA/RISP 0.379 – OPS 0.793
Sosa Hayes (S8): BA 0.282 – BA/RISP 0.393 – RBI 78
As the Expansion Era wore on, the Watsons turned into the fastest way on or around the bases for the Wings, while still crushing it when it came to contact. Fran spent a long period of time putting in consistent performances without ever being the number one option for the Wings, with Season 19 being their highpoint, and while I begrudgingly accept that original Wing Sosa Hayes has now spent more time away from The Bucket than in it, their Season 8 showed the promising signs that would later be expanded on in Houston and Atlantis.
Miguel Wheeler (S6): BA 0.269 – OPS 0.806
Larwrence Horne (S5): BA 0.284 – BA/RISP 0.414 – Bases 198
Finally, a look at two Discipline Era seasons from Wings residing in the Hall. Miguel’s Season 6 was the highpoint of a career that would be cut tragically short in the Season 7 postseason, where they became a victim of Jaylen Hotdogfingers, the first Wing incineration, and indeed the first Wing to ever leave the team. Larry Horne was a steady (if unspectacular) contributor to the Lineup who had an unbelievably clutch Season 5, especially by their standards. While not seeming like it now, 198 bases in the Discipline era with its full Lineups was not a bad effort at all; Dominic Marijuana was 10th on the leaderboard that season with 230.
Burke Gonzales (S12)— 17-3 – ERA 1.12 – QS – 20 – BB 0.
Rafael Davids (S13)— 14-6 – ERA 1.95 – QS 17
Silvia Rugrat (S3)— 13-6 – ERA 2.32 – QS 16 – HR9 0.79
Cell Barajas (S22)— 15-7 – ERA 2.89 – H9 0.843
Stephanie Winters (S7)— 9-11 – ERA 6.67 – Postseason ERA 2.67
1, 2, 3, 3, 7, 6. That’s not the pin-code for the Wild Wings Legal Team’s office, but the position Burke Gonzales finished on the ERA leaderboard from Seasons 12-17. By ERA, Burke has 7 of the 8 best Wings Pitching regular seasons, and the only reason it isn’t more is because of a Reverb that drove them to the Lineup late in Season 17 to the collective sighs of relief of the Wild High batters. If Burke had been given any run support, they would have won every game of Season 12. They once won a game by themself through a combination of Coffee 3 and sheer refusal to lose. If Burke had played for the Tigers, they would have played for four different teams and been the target of more Equivalent Exchanges, but as they avoid the press down in Mexico City, they may well be the best player who never became a star.
If Burke is the engine room of the Rotation, then Rafael Davids is its pitching-fuel-drinking heart. While never having as strong a showing as Burke in any individual season, they were just as rough on opposing batters and are the proud owner of the 5th and 9th best Wings Pitching seasons (again, by ERA).
Coming in at the 10th best season is Silvia Rugrat’s Season 3, the best Wild Wings pitching season of the Discipline era. For a long time, Silvia was the queen of the Wings’ Rotation, before their status was gradually eclipsed, first by Burke and then Raf, and finally by Cell Barajas. Cell was originally a Lineup player before the Wings were able to secure their place in the Rotation through The Best Offence Blessing during the Season 12 Elections (before Wills were adjusted to make this a thing anyone could do any season). Since then, they have developed into a fine (if somewhat inconsistent) pitcher, with season 22 being their high point.
At first glance, Stephanie Winters does not belong on this list. Their Season 7 regular season stats aren’t great. They were low enough on the pitching pecking order by stars that they were swapped for Cell as the other half of Best Offence, and they are probably best known for being Shelled in Season 12. But despite the Wings’ reputation as a pitching team, there really hasn’t been a standout season outside of the four previously mentioned players, which leaves this spot wide open for a pick that’s light on stats. Sure, Steph’s stats in the Season 7 Postseason are good (based on a really small sample size), and yes, I freely admit that, as the most prolific author of Summers Preston/Stephanie Winters fiction on Ao3, I am hopelessly biased, but the story of the Wild Wings can’t be told without the Season 7 Championship, and that Championship ends with Steph on the mound doing just enough to hold the Lovers at bay so the Lineup could do their job.
Jessica Telephone (S13)— BA 0.309 – OPS 1.092 – RBI 80.
Jessica Telephone spent one season with the Wild Wings, and that season was a good batting season. But including the legendary JT on this list would be like referring to legendary Wild Wings Nagomi McDaniel or Wyatt Glover, and there were enough candidates for the Lineup that their inclusion wasn’t necessary. Jessica will be on many of these lists, I’m sure.
Case Sports (S12)— BA 0.216 – BA/RISP 0.313 – OPS 0.56
While they didn’t have a single season deserving of making this list, the story of the Mexico City Wild Wings could not be told without Case Sports. They came into the Lineup in Season 7 to replace the incinerated Miguel Wheeler, returned to the Shadows to allow their dear friend Brock Watson to play, was returned to the active roster as part of the verdict in New York Millennials v. Parker MacMillan III, and was the first player incinerated in the Expansion era.
We did it, Case. We did it. She can’t hurt us anymore. She can’t hurt anyone anymore. We did it. Rest in Violence.
This article is part of the Dream Team Series, in which our writers look back on the Discipline and Expansion Eras to create the strongest version of our beloved teams. Read the first in the series here.