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MLB General Discussion (Official Thread)

Discussion in 'Professional Baseball' started by Sloopy45, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. Sloopy45

    Sloopy45 Pimp Minister Sinister

    Ok, here's the first installment of my rankings of the greatest players to ever step on a baseball diamond. Because I want to research this a bit, and due to the fact that I want to write a lot on each player, I'm doing this in increments. Today will be # 1 and # 2, and the next few will come this week going down to # 25. I invite your comments.

    1. Unquestionably George Herman "Babe" Ruth: Even Di can't say this has anything to do with Yankee bias. Ruth is to baseball what Marconi is to the radio and what Edison is to the lightbulb all rolled into one. He's the only player great enough to curse a franchise for 85 years. Here's my case:

    Ruth is 10th all time in lifetime batting average (.342), second all time in lifetime OBP (.474), 1st in Slugging (.690), third all time in Runs (2,174), 37th in hits (2,873), 5th in Total Bases (5,793), 2nd in Home Runs (714), 2nd in RBI (2,213), 3rd in Walks (2,062), and oh yeah: he's also 15th all time in lifetime ERA (2.28), and 10th all time Win PCT (.671).

    He is the most feared offensive machine in the history of baseball, and was on course to be possibly the greatest lefthander of all time before he gave up pitching. He lead the league in OBP 10 times. He lead the league in Slugging PCT 13 out of 14 seasons from 1918 to 1931. He's the only man not on steroids to slug .800, and Ruth did it twice. He lead the AL in runs eight times, and had the unbelivable total of 177 in 1921. He lead the league in Total Bases six times, and had another unfathomable number in 1921 (457). He has six RBI Titles, lead the league in walks 11 times, and won his only Batting Title in 1924 (.378).

    Am I missing something here? Oh yeah, Ruth also hit home runs. A lot of 'em. He won 12 Home Run Titles, and the ones in the begining of his career were by a very, very wide margin. In 1920, Ruth hit 54 Home Runs. The next highest total? George Sisler, with 19.

    Bottom Line:
    Any way you want to slice it, The "Bambino" is Number One. Not only is he the greatest baseball player of all time, but he's the greatest athlete in the history of team sports. Next!

    2. Tyrus Raymond "Ty" Cobb: Because of the Home Run's infulence on modern baseball, Cobb gets lost in the shuffle, but if you look at his numbers, the Georgia Peach is the second greatest player of all time.

    Cobb won the AL Triple Crown in 1909. He hit .400 THREE times, and one of those times was at the ripe ol' age of 35. Batting Titles? How bout eleven of 'em. He had 200+ hits in a season NINE times. He's 1st all-time in lifetime Average (.367, a record that will stand for the rest of time), 2nd in Runs (2,246), 2nd in hits (4,189), 4th in Total Bases (5,854), 4th in Doubles (724), 2nd in Triples (295), 6th in RBI (1,937), and 4th in Stolen Bases (892).

    For the Philadelphia A's, at the ages of 40 and 41, Cobb hit .357 and .323, respectively. The man could hit in his sleep.

    Bottom Line:
    I've heard a lot of people mentioned for this spot (Willie Mays and Ted Williams are the most prominently mentioned), but it still belongs to Cobb. He hit .370 or better TWELVE times. He has as many batting titles as the two greatest pure hitters of our era (Wade Boggs and Tony Gwynn) COMBINED! And lets face it: no one, and I mean no one is hitting .400 three times. Not a chance. When it comes down to it, Cobb gets the edge here because as great as the accomplishments of Williams, Mays, Aaron, or whoever else you want to argue for this spot are, they still aren't as imposing as Cobb's resume. Everyone else's totals may be topped one day, but no one will ever touch .367 or (again) touch 4,189.
  2. OH10

    OH10 *

    The only quarral I would have with the Babe Ruth segment is calling him the greatest "athlete". Now, I'm not naive enought to say that what he did wasn't amazing or athletic, but it was definately not more athletic than what Michael Jordan did during his career - or even what Lebron James is doing now.

    Athleticism is an entirely different category than "greatest player" in my opinion. And when it comes to athleticism, Babe Ruth just does not match up with today's modern pro basketball players.
  3. Alan

    Alan Banned

    ruth always was and always will be the greatest baseball player to ever is absolutely impossible for anyone to ever surpass him....ever....
  4. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Sloops, how would a Ruth or a Cobb do today? On one hand you have to count on the influence of the specialist pitchers....situational relief, closers, etc. Both of these guys played in the Iron Man age when 100 pitches wasn't jack. However, you also have to look at hitter-friendly ballparks and a miniscule strike zone...both designed to enhance offense.

    I was thinking about Cobb's spread hand batting style. How in the world would that work today? Ichiro is the closest thing to Cobb's slap-swing style...

    Just some thoughts that popped in my head when reading...
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2004
  5. Alan

    Alan Banned

    all i will say is this.....having studied ruth's is pure classic....

    i have no doubt ruth would be a stud today....his swing is beautiful....
  6. JXC

    JXC '01'02'04'05'06'07'08'09'10'12'13'14'15'16‘17’18

    All I have to say is this is pretty much an impossible list to make. I don't know if you all saw Cobb or Ruth play, but I never have. We really don't much about those players except for what is on paper. Baseball was a completely different game back then. I'm not saying Ruth or Cobb aren't #1 or #2...they very well could be...I just don't really know because baseball has changed and has been around for such a very long time.
  7. Sloopy45

    Sloopy45 Pimp Minister Sinister

    Luca: "Sloops, how would a Ruth or a Cobb do today?"

    I'm not arguing with you about that. My list is basically in a vaccum, and I'm going on pure stats, plain and simple. I'm not taking into account integration, relief pitching, etc.

    I will say this: I've done my research on the next nine, and I am going to get killed (AND I MEAN KILLED) when I post who I'm thinking for # 3.
  8. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    I gotcha. Wasn't trying to argue your choices (bought the famous spikes high picture of Cobb in Cooperstown and hang it in my classroom). I was just interested in your opinion on the matter.
  9. Sloopy45

    Sloopy45 Pimp Minister Sinister

    Ok, here's where the fun begins. Here's where I came to this conclusion. I took the next eight players that I thought would round out the Top 10. I plugged all their totals into Excel, and prorated their stats over 162 games (yes, I know that most of these guys didn't play a 162 game schedule, but bear with me).

    What I came up with is this: there are only two men of the eight who can vie for the # 3 slot: Ted Williams, and Lou Gehrig. But, if you look at the numbers, there really is only one man for the spot. I know I'm gonna get murdered for this, I know I'm gonna be told, "Put those Yankee pom-poms away," and all that crap, but I'll make my case. That man's name is:

    3. Henry Louis "Lou" Gehrig. The Iron Horse: Gehrig and Williams' careers can be compared with some ease because they played in almost the same amount of games (2,292 for Ted, and 2,164 for Gehrig). Now here's where the seperation begins:

    Even though Gehrig played in about 128 less games (almost a full season in those days) than Ted, he blew him away in a lot of categories: he scored 90 more runs than Williams. He has 67 more hits than Williams, slightly more doubles (534 to 525), WAY more triples (163 to 71), are about the same in Home Runs (493 for Gehrig and 521 for Williams), are the same in average (.344 to .340), Slugging (.634 to .632), but Lou has a decided advantage in Total Bases (5,060 to 4,884). Williams only significantly beats Gehrig in two categories: OBP, which Williams is # 1 all-time with a .482 clip, and Lou's lifetime total is .447, and walks, where Williams has about 500 more.

    But here's where the seperation is confirmed: RBIs. If you prorate Gehrig's run production over 162 games, he averaged (yes, AVERAGED) 149 RBIs per season. Wow! Williams came in with an impressive 130 clip, too. Gehrig has 156 more RBIs than Williams and played in 128 less games. You can't argue that. Gehrig topped 175 RBIs three times in his career! Just simply unbelivable.

    Gehrig is a two time MVP ('27 and '36) and won the AL Triple Crown in 1934 with .363, 49, and 165.

    Bottom Line:
    When Gehrig's stats are prorated, he's the only man (of a list that includes the cream of the crop in baseball history) to project to 200+ hits, 40 Doubles, 12 Triples, 37 Home Runs, 140+ RBI, 100+ Walks, and blows every other man out of the water in Total Bases (379) over 162 games.

    You can make an argument that Gehrig batted behind Ruth and then later DiMaggio, and you can tell me that Williams lost five prime seasons because of WWII and the Korean War. They're both valid points, but remember this: Gehrig had to give up baseball with a lot in the tank at age 36, and if you work out the numbers yourself, they will not lie: the 3rd best hitter in baseball history is the Iron Horse, Henry Louis Gehrig.

    Oh, and he also played in 2,130 straight games too. Teddy Ballgame and someone else to come tomorrow.
  10. OilerBuck

    OilerBuck Sweet Crude

    I could've saved you a lot of time...

    ...Presenting Sloop's top 10:

    1. Babe Ruth
    2. Lou Gehrig
    3. Joe DiMaggio
    4. Mickey Mantle
    5. Yogi Berra
    6. Whitey Ford
    7. Reggie Jackson (Yankee years only)
    8. Derek Jeter
    9. Roger Clemens (Yankee years only)
    10. Lefty Gomez

    Not knocking your picks because you've done a lot of awesome research...but, like most fans, you have a SLIGHT skew towards your team. Anyway...those were just my predictions for the rest of your rankings. :biggrin2:
  11. powerlifter

    powerlifter ▪█───────█

    One word keeps me from jumping on the new athletes bandwagon. Steroids. It's been there for years. It's impossible to say exactly when it happened,because I know a lot of guys on shit and you can't even tell they are on it.

    It happens in every sport,and honestly this is totally biased but that pushes my choices more towards the older players. You put an asterik besides one person you might as well throw them on every record every broken since 1980.
  12. JXC

    JXC '01'02'04'05'06'07'08'09'10'12'13'14'15'16‘17’18

    It seems like Lou and Ted were pretty close in every catagory...except for one big one, on base %. Ted is #1 in that catagory, and that's what made him so impressive. Plus the Yankees suck.
  13. Sloopy45

    Sloopy45 Pimp Minister Sinister


    If my list was up to me, Donald Arthur Baseball would be # 1. I even knew that a post like that was coming from you, so I tried to make an argument against Gehrig. But in the end, I couldn't do it. Gehrig is a better hitter than Ted Williams. I will argue this with anybody, and have the stats to back it up.

    P.S. I guarantee this: no more Yankees will make the Top 10. At least not from what I've seen so far.
  14. OilerBuck

    OilerBuck Sweet Crude

    I wasn't serious with the list Sloop :biggrin: . I'd give you a greenie if I could right now because the research on your list is really amazing. Other than the fact that I dislike the BCS and like to make fun of the Yankee's at every chance...I like your posts, and it's fun to talk baseball with you (as long as I have my stats database handy). Keep up the good work on the top 10, I'll be checking in.
  15. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    I agree with Cobb and Gehrig being very high, but subjectively I'd put Wililams ahead of them.

    Based on what I've see you post so far, I'm awaiting the flack you'll get when people see how high Jimmie Foxx ends up.

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