By: Hen WTC
Chicago. It’s a place where people are From. In the last 24 seasons, 45 players have played for Chicago for some amount of time. In a perfect world, we could combine all of these players into one beautiful, horrifying, Chicagoan mega-team monstrosity. Alas, the world we live in is not a perfect one. Still, one can imagine— a team of normal size, made up of the best Chicago has had to offer in the time since Blaseball returned. A beautiful dream, to be sure.
Well, as part of BNN’s Dream Teams series, we can make this dream… a team. Get it? Like the name of the series? Do you get it?
LET’S GO TO THE RULES!
- There will be the standard 9 Lineup Players and 5 Pitching Players. Players cannot be considered Elsewhere or Shelled.
- The Selection must represent a single season on that team in their role.
- The player must have played at least one full season with that team.
- A player can only be used once in the 14 positions.
- No Replicas are allowed.
And with that, introducing the Chicago Firefighters Dream Team!
Lou Roseheart (S23) — BA 0.303 – OPS 1.022 – TB 263 – Stolen Bases 83
Justice Spoon (S7) — BA 0.337 – OPS 1.126 – OBP 0.371 – SLG 0.755
Baby Triumphant (S23) — OPS 0.932 – HR 39 – RBI 193.9 – TB 328 – SLG 0.622
The dream Firefighters lineup starts with a trio of original team members. Lou would be a great fit on the Rotation as well (especially their 1.42 ERA/0.682 WHIP in Season 19. I mean COME ON), but their skill at stealing bases makes them a perfect candidate for a leadoff batter. Then comes Justice Spoon, whose performance in Season 7 is without a doubt the best single-season a player has had in franchise history (that slugging percentage, man. I can’t get over it). Those two are backed up by Baby Triumphant, whose slugging skills were made all the more dangerous by them gaining both the Reverberating and Magnified Modifications during the Expansion Era. Lou, Justice, and Baby are all exceptional players and are an easy choice for the start of the dream Firefighters Lineup.
Peanut Holloway (S13) — SLG 0.644 – OPS 1.001 – OBP 0.357 – BA 0.309
Peanutiel Duffy (S11) — SLG 0.631 – OPS 0.973 – OBP 0.342 – BA 0.322
Goobie Ballson (S11) — SLG 0.618 – OPS 0.973 – OBP 0.355 – BA 0.318
Next comes a trio of sluggers, none of whom have committed any crimes, injured any people, or sworn allegiance to any evil gods. You can’t prove anything. Duffy and Holloway came to the team following Season 10 day X, and both quickly proved their use and skill to the team even from the back of the Firefighters’ suddenly long lineup. They’re joined by Goobie, who’s been moved from their usual position at the top of the Lineup to one that’ll hopefully make the best use of their slugging skills. These three are DANGEROUS, figuratively speaking.
Edric Tosser (S4) — BA 0.321 – OPS 0.946 – OBP 0.366 – SLG 0.580
Wesley Poole (S3) — BA 0.328 – OPS 0.816 – TB 155
Isaac Johnson (S10) — BA 0.292 – OPS 0.884 – SLG 0.562 – Sippies 7
We end with three solid Discipline Era seasons. Edric and Wesley would both spend the back half of the era as pitchers, but before the FFs’ full team Reverb in Season 5, both put up great numbers as members of our Lineup. I want to highlight Edric’s Season 4 specifically: Edric was, believe it or not, a genuinely great batter before the Alternate Reality Decree and the Season 5 Reverb turned them into the mediocre pitcher we all know and love. Unlike Edric, Wesley would eventually return to the Lineup, spending a couple of solid seasons as lead-off batter before once again being Reverbed onto the Rotation. I guess the universe just wants him to pitch!
Finally, the team is rounded out by Isaac Johnson. Ike was a very consistent player across their 22 Seasons on the team, making it hard to pick just one season. Eventually, I settled on Season 10, not because of his performance as much as because that was the season when Ike used their new siphon mod to boost their defense to frankly terrifying levels. The 2.41 defense stars Isaac gained in Season 10 cemented them as the defensive backbone of the team and laid the groundwork for the defense-heavy Firefighters of the Expansion Era. Big ups to The Him!
There’s the Lineup! Big thanks to Vince for helping me put this together with actual real-world stat knowledge. I also want to give a quick honorable mention to Firefighters player Declan Suzanne, who ended the regular season of Season 5 with a bizarrely good 0.299 BA and 0.920 OPS, then ate a peanut in Game 4 of the Internet Series and went 0.228 BA/0.587 OPS the next season. If Dec was never allergic to peanuts they would now be an absolute nightmare of a batter.
Gabriel Griffith (S17) — 18-2 – ERA 1.54 – HR 12 – SHO 8
Wanda Schenn (S22) — 16-0 – ERA -0.21 – R -3.40
The FFs Rotation starts off with a pair of Expansion Era fan faves who’ve put up unreal numbers on the Rotation. Gabriel Griffith, much like Lou Roseheart, has played great seasons both as a pitcher and a batter (shoutout to their .324 BA/1.114 OPS in Season 23), but I had to put them here for Season 17 Gabe’s league-best ERA and 8 shutouts in 20 games.
Wanda Schenn, on the other hand, spent their last season on the Firefighters both Underhanded and undefeated Wanda’s Underhanded mod also led to them having a hilarious negative ERA, a beautiful data crime if I ever saw one. It’s worth saying that Wanda missed four games of this season due to being Elsewhere— I think their stats in the games she played are good enough to justify the edge case in the rules, but I’ll also shoutout their 1.19 ERA/1.227 WHIP Season 21 performance in case you, dear reader, disagree. Either way, this spot on the Rotation belongs to Wanda.
Kennedy Rodgers (S13) — 17-3 – ERA 2.25 – WHIP 0.750 – HR 16
Rivers Rosa (S13) — 15-5 – ERA 2.53 – WHIP 0.825 – QS 15
Caleb Alvarado (S14) — 14-6 – ERA 2.68 – WHIP 0.792
The Rotation is rounded out by a trio of early Expansion Era seasons from now-Shadowed fan faves! First is Kennedy Rodgers, who spent their first four seasons on the team as, and I say this affectionately, an absolutely miserable pitcher. When they received the Over Under mod in the Season 12 Reading, Kennedy abruptly became a force to be reckoned with. Season 13 was Ken’s first full season with the mod (which makes them overperform when fewer than 5 runs have been scored by the opposing team), and that boost propelled them to end the regular season tied for the best win-loss percentage in the League.
We finish off the roster with two long-time members of the Firefighters rotation. First, there’s Rivers Rosa, who was a rock-solid pitcher before being done extremely dirty by Consumer attacks. Their last season on the Firefighters featured a career-best ERA! Go Rivers! Finally, there’s Caleb Alvarado, a deeply underrated pitcher who spent twelve seasons holding down the fort as the only remaining member of our original Rotation. Caleb, frankly, has a half dozen seasons good enough to make this list, but I had to go with their career-best ERA and WHIP in Season 14. Fingers crossed that the boost they received from Night weather in Season 24 will return them to their pre-peanut glory days and they can continue striking fear into teams’ hearts in the next era.
A case could be made that Axel Trololol’s one full season on the Firefighters should have made the cut instead of Rivers and Caleb. Don’t get me wrong, Axel was very very good, but their 2.11 ERA and 0.836 WHIP from Season 4 are comparable to Rivers and Caleb at their best. For longtime fans, Caleb and Rivers are synonymous with Firefighters pitching, and no team of iconic FFs players would be complete without them on it.
And that’s it! There’s no telling what the future holds for the Firefighters— if this lineup makes anything clear, it’s that the shape of the team can change in an instant. I’m sure the next era will be filled with even more weird shakeups and great performances. For now: We Are From Chicago!
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.