Philadelphia. The name comes from the Greek: philos, meaning “filling”, and delphos, meaning “dough” or “pastry”. It’s a city of Pie.
The Philly Pies were early champions in the long-ago first seasons of modern Blaseball, but have spent the past 22 seasons as perennial also-rans, contenders never quite able to capture the crown for that third magical time. A team beloved of and beloved by birds, we have soared to great heights and boasted absolute monster rosters, but in the way of all Philly splorts, we have likewise often been our own worst enemy.
Now we have the opportunity to conduct a thought experiment: with a history filled with fantastic players, what would a team of our best and most-loved look like? Could they stand among the titans of the sport? We must, like the other teams participating, adhere to the following rules:
- There will be the standard 9 Lineup Players and 5 Pitching Players. Players cannot 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.
Got it? Good.
If there’s one thing we love in Philly, it’s democracy, so to choose our team we engaged in the most hallowed of Pies traditions: filling out Google Forms. Here now are the results of those elections: Your Philly Pies, Dream Team Edition.
EDUARDO WOODMAN (Season 19) – BA .342, OPS 1.066
Ed’s been the Pies’ captain since they joined in Season 3, and has been on a long and depressing quest to finally bring them that third ring. Existential exhaustion notwithstanding, Woodman has been a consistently strong player, and after a nice little infusion helped them catch up to the inflated stats of the league’s later seasons, they put in a fantastic performance in a monster season for the Pies (upside-down rankings notwithstanding). A terrific leadoff.
BEASLEY DAY (Season 21) – BA .288, OPS .922
Our three-headed Goodest Boy is a fan favorite, and while they don’t always put up the biggest numbers, Beas reliably gets on base and is known to have a love of going walkies. Perfect for helping load the bases for our bigger hitters.
RUSLAN GREATNESS (Season 19) – BA .275, OPS .947
Formerly one of our worst pitchers, Ruslan’s “NO HIT, ONLY THROW” mantra prevented them from joining the Lineup for many seasons. After it was agreed they could take the plate by throwing the bat at the incoming pitch, their tremendous muscularity made him a valuable hitter who gets on base when they’re not hitting dingers. Our Large Son also loves to skate, at times filling more than one slot in the top 10 highest-scoring tricks for a season. In Season 19, their love of skate crime led to a very respectable 51 steals.
JAXON BUCKLEY (Season 22) – BA .371, OPS 1.266
#1 all-time favorite Pie and cowpoke poet, Jaxon’s cybernetic arms are the epitome of Pies power-hitting. Season 22 saw them put up 125.3 RBIs, as Jaxon loves to hit doubles and dingers. An ideal fourth spot on the Lineup, who reminds us to be rootin’, be tootin’, and by god be shootin’, but most of all: be kind.
LANG RICHARDSON (Season 9) – BA .343, OPS .980
Lang’s flair for the dramatic paired well with Jaxon’s power, and many an inning saw Lang follow our cowpoke with a well-timed hit to send Jaxon home, should Jaxon have merely gotten on base. This duo gives us the beloved “Tootin’ On Broadway!” chant echoing proudly in the stands of Tastycake Stadium.
PEANUT HOLLOWAY (Season 9) – BA .385, OPS 1.034
Our resident mad scientist and invisible person, Peanut spent many seasons as one of the backbones of the Pies lineup before being stolen by the Shelled One. Peanut was a consistent all-rounder, and his knack for getting on base helps keep the back half of our Dream Team Lineup producing.
JESSICA TELEPHONE (Season 6) – BA .340, OPS 1.245
It was, perhaps, inevitable that JT (as we know them) would make our All-Star team. Despite all the discourse, they were our earliest star and is beloved by many of the Pies to this day. Season 6 Jessica put up some of their best numbers, and their ridiculous OPS that season pairs well with Holloway to set things up for our number 8 slot.
HUBER FRUMPLE (Season 21) – BA .280, OPS 1.057
Our beloved woerms, Huber and Frumple might boast a softer batting average than much of our Lineup, but they always swung for the fences. “Never Bunt, Hit Dingers” was their motto, and despite some inconsistency, they regularly were at or near the top for home runs on the team. Hube gains to be made, and Frumple don’t crumple. A good at-bat here sends anyone left on base to score, and a miss still leaves:
JODE PRESTON (Season 12) – BA .368, OPS 1.005
Though they may have been a collective hallucination caused by spores from a stadium-infesting fungus, Sicko Jode spent a number of seasons anchoring the back half of our Lineup, a role they fill well here. Jode could be relied upon to put up some numbers, and her 92 RBIs in Season 12 makes them well-suited to both clean up anything left from the previous at-bats as well as set up the top of the order quite nicely.
TIANA TAKAHASHI (Season 21) – ERA 2.05, W-L .73
They are the meta. It took four seasons to pull Tiana from the Shadows, and when we finally did she quickly became invaluable. A great performer in the tough later seasons of blaseball, TT is a fan favorite. In Season 21, they T-posed on ‘em to a whopping 9 shutouts.
HENRY MARSHALLOW (Season 18) – ERA 1.92, W-L .88
Stay-Buft Hank has had ups and downs on the Pies, but always gave it their all— never more so than in Season 18, where they put up these ridiculous stats, helping us reach an all-time Wins record of 79. Marsh now rests in our Shadows, but here they shine their brightest for our Dream Team.
ELVIS FIGUEROA (Season 18) – ERA 1.58, W-L .84
Converting Elvis from a Lineup player to a pitcher was one of the earliest and best roster moves the Pies ever made, and it paid dividends. The seven gnomes (eight on a good day) have been the rock upon which all good Pies pitching has been built, and while these insane numbers came in an era of inflated pitching stats, they aren’t terribly different from his performance even as far back as Season 9. The quintessential good Pies pitcher.
BETSY TROMBONE (Season 6) – ERA 3.59, W-L .70
After the above three, the dropoff in Pies pitching talent is pretty stark, and the Brass Lass makes the fourth spot less on the basis of their record and more for being a beloved Pie from the early days. Despite their middling statistics, Betsy was a decent part of our Rotation before her departure to our friends the Garages, and it warms many a Pie’s heart to see them here one more time.
BRIGHT ZIMMERMAN (Season 5) – ERA 3.0, W-L .65
It’s almost physically painful to see them here. Bright Zimmerman might be the single-most decorated player in Blaseball, with four championships to their name, but they’re a historically a terrible pitcher and the Pies spent many, many seasons hoping to be rid of them. But the Pies have always Needed to Fix Our Pitching, our Rotation being a major factor holding us back, and when we look over the players eligible for this Dream Team, this one season example of Bright is, unfortunately, the best option we have to fill the fifth slot. We have always hated them, we still hate them, and we hate them even more for giving us no choice here.
NERD PACHECO: It’s against the rules, but many, many Pies wanted to replace Bright Zimmerman with Pacheco, who spent several seasons on the Pies trapped in a peanut shell. The pitcher-doubling effect of Shelled Pacheco was at times a curse upon us (when a bad pitcher had to pitch twice), but at others formed a key part of our pitching strategy (when they made Elvis pitch twice as often). We are respecting the letter of the law, but in our hearts, the immobilized Nerd makes the Dream Team.
DOC ANICE: Doc was a near-miss contender for both the Lineup and Rotation, just barely being edged out by Lang Richardson in the former case and Bright Zimmerman in the latter. Of special note is Doc’s Season 23 in the Lineup, where they almost single-handedly countered the effect of Jaxon Buckley being a Subtractor with a huge 120 RBIs.
And that’s it. The Philly Pies All-Star Dream Team. We’ve been at the top, we’ve been at the bottom. We won the first Championship and we caused the Apocalypse. We still want that third title.
Never estimate the Pies.
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.