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Old March 28th, 2015, 12:39 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoryOMore View Post
Resuming Posnanski's countdown:

46. Sandy Koufax
45. Yogi Berra
44. Pedro Martinez
43. Warren Spahn
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoryOMore View Post
42. Jackie Robinson
Joe Posnanski continuing his countdown after a long hiatus:

41. Pete Rose
40. Eddie Collins
39. Bob Gibson
38. Eddie Mathews
37. Roberto Clemente

Some players in there people have some strong opinions about. If anyone, I think Collins is the one who's rated too low.
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Old March 28th, 2015, 01:13 PM   #82

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Quote:
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Win–loss record 94–46
Earned run average 2.28

Babe Ruth's PITCHING numbers. Probably would have hit over 1,000 HR if not for his early time on the mound.

Not only should he be considered the greatest baseball player of all time IMO but the greatest American athlete of all time who built America's greatest sports franchise.
His pitching is even more remarkable when one considers he had to pitch far more complete games than anyone does today. In 1917, he threw 35 complete games out of a total of 41 plate appearances. Amazingly, by today's standards, he allowed only 2 homeruns the entire season and, over more than 1200 innings pitched during his career, he allowed only 10 homeruns total. Yeah, Ruth was definitely a beast.
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Old June 7th, 2015, 11:23 AM   #83
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So many inspirational ballplayers over only my half century, but still ties lie with the olde-tyme numbers and reputations of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.



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Old June 7th, 2015, 04:28 PM   #84

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Saying who the best is... is rather difficult. Ty Cobb was probably the best of his generation in the early 1900s... though Honus Wagner gave him a good challenge, and Shoeless Joe Jackson had the potential to have challenged him... but his style of game and even the ball used was different from what Babe Ruth had in the 1920s.

Ruth, very much like Shoeless Joe Jackson was more of a slugger at the plate. He went there to hit home runs. Which is ultimately where pitchers soon learned that they could throw Ruth slow breaking pitches and get him out that way. These were pitches that Cobb could probably handle, and at the same time, the ball in Cobb's time was essentially a dead ball... and not being as lively, it wasn't as likely to hit that sweet spot on the bat. Had the "dead ball era" went into the twenties, Ruth's power numbers while impressive would not be anywhere near the numbers he reached because of the changes to the ball. This generally made Cobb's style of play far more important to the game as it required greater control...

But Ruth gained notoriety with a much livelier ball than Cobb had, and while Cobb could still handle the pitches Ruth couldn't, the fact that Ruth was able to hit more home runs and at a greater rate than Cobb could changed the dynamic of the game... and one that generally continues to this day. Today, batters like Cobb who hit singles and doubles and are good at sacrifices bat one or two in the lineup with the intention of either getting on base or advancing a runner on base so that the home run hitters in the third or fourth spot can drive them in...

In this, Ruth would not have performed as great in Cobb's era and Cobb didn't perform as well when the "live ball era" started in the 1920s.

And both of them would have trouble when they're compared to later players simply for how the game had changed by that time. For example, in Cobb and Ruth's era... the farthest west that they would would to Chicago or St. Louis. The farthest south they would go would be Baltimore or St. Louis. At that time there were no teams on the West Coast or in the deep south outside of farm teams. In addition, all of Ruth and Cobb's games were played in the daytime. They didn't play at night. So, how would you compare Ruth and Cobb to someone like say... Roger Marris in 1961 who broke Ruth's home run record, but got hit with an asterisk because Marris had extra games to hit in... and now that does represent a valid difference, BUT Marris also had to play games at night, he saw different pitches than Ruth saw and at the same time he also had to deal with coast to coast travel. Teams in the National League by 1961 would have the potential to go from the East Coast to the West Coast, which from point of travelling can be tiring.

And how would that compare to players in the modern era who now play indoors where there is no real wind and have to alter their game when playing in a indoor stadium like Houston's versus an open air stadium like much of the rest of the league, or with the fact that the teams today regularly play inter-league games, which wasn't done outside of the World Series in earlier years... or play a longer playoff series then before... and the fact that there are now TWO separate rules for baseball. If Ruth came into the league today the way he did in history he wouldn't bat at all because Boston is an American League team. The DH would bat in his place.

So... how do we compare the best of the best of their respective eras? Ruth and Cobb could be tired out by the longer seasons of today, more travel, games played at night, and in some cases the specific rules for the American League while players like Hank Aaron who played in longer seasons wouldn't have had the time to hit as many career totals as they did if they played in Ruth's era... And how would one compare pitchers to hitters. Ruth didn't hit a home run every at bat, and top pitchers even of his era found ways to get him out... so how would he fair against the top pitchers of later eras, like say Sandy Koufax? I think there simply too many variables to be compared that cannot be easily done with regard to who is the best in baseball history.
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Old June 7th, 2015, 07:35 PM   #85
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There's a new biography out about Cobb:

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Ty-Cobb-A-Terrible-Beauty/dp/1451645767"]Amazon.com: Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty (9781451645767): Charles Leerhsen: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514J-diZg5L.@@AMEPARAM@@514J-diZg5L[/ame]
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Old June 8th, 2015, 12:16 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
Saying who the best is... is rather difficult. Ty Cobb was probably the best of his generation in the early 1900s... though Honus Wagner gave him a good challenge, and Shoeless Joe Jackson had the potential to have challenged him... but his style of game and even the ball used was different from what Babe Ruth had in the 1920s.

Ruth, very much like Shoeless Joe Jackson was more of a slugger at the plate. He went there to hit home runs. Which is ultimately where pitchers soon learned that they could throw Ruth slow breaking pitches and get him out that way. These were pitches that Cobb could probably handle, and at the same time, the ball in Cobb's time was essentially a dead ball... and not being as lively, it wasn't as likely to hit that sweet spot on the bat. Had the "dead ball era" went into the twenties, Ruth's power numbers while impressive would not be anywhere near the numbers he reached because of the changes to the ball. This generally made Cobb's style of play far more important to the game as it required greater control...

But Ruth gained notoriety with a much livelier ball than Cobb had, and while Cobb could still handle the pitches Ruth couldn't, the fact that Ruth was able to hit more home runs and at a greater rate than Cobb could changed the dynamic of the game... and one that generally continues to this day. Today, batters like Cobb who hit singles and doubles and are good at sacrifices bat one or two in the lineup with the intention of either getting on base or advancing a runner on base so that the home run hitters in the third or fourth spot can drive them in...

In this, Ruth would not have performed as great in Cobb's era and Cobb didn't perform as well when the "live ball era" started in the 1920s.

And both of them would have trouble when they're compared to later players simply for how the game had changed by that time. For example, in Cobb and Ruth's era... the farthest west that they would would to Chicago or St. Louis. The farthest south they would go would be Baltimore or St. Louis. At that time there were no teams on the West Coast or in the deep south outside of farm teams. In addition, all of Ruth and Cobb's games were played in the daytime. They didn't play at night. So, how would you compare Ruth and Cobb to someone like say... Roger Marris in 1961 who broke Ruth's home run record, but got hit with an asterisk because Marris had extra games to hit in... and now that does represent a valid difference, BUT Marris also had to play games at night, he saw different pitches than Ruth saw and at the same time he also had to deal with coast to coast travel. Teams in the National League by 1961 would have the potential to go from the East Coast to the West Coast, which from point of travelling can be tiring.

And how would that compare to players in the modern era who now play indoors where there is no real wind and have to alter their game when playing in a indoor stadium like Houston's versus an open air stadium like much of the rest of the league, or with the fact that the teams today regularly play inter-league games, which wasn't done outside of the World Series in earlier years... or play a longer playoff series then before... and the fact that there are now TWO separate rules for baseball. If Ruth came into the league today the way he did in history he wouldn't bat at all because Boston is an American League team. The DH would bat in his place.

So... how do we compare the best of the best of their respective eras? Ruth and Cobb could be tired out by the longer seasons of today, more travel, games played at night, and in some cases the specific rules for the American League while players like Hank Aaron who played in longer seasons wouldn't have had the time to hit as many career totals as they did if they played in Ruth's era... And how would one compare pitchers to hitters. Ruth didn't hit a home run every at bat, and top pitchers even of his era found ways to get him out... so how would he fair against the top pitchers of later eras, like say Sandy Koufax? I think there simply too many variables to be compared that cannot be easily done with regard to who is the best in baseball history.

I agree mostly, Sam. Though Cobb was never a slugger (different era), he blazed liners, stretched singles to doubles, doubles into triples, stole at will, spiked infielders just because. Lifetime batting average of .367?! What?! 4,191 lifetime hits with just 117 homers -- eat your heart out Bonds! So the live ball adds 10 to 20 points you figure? Such an ornery, mean, competitive cuss, big ballparks and dead balls be darned, what golden numbers; with glove, arm, and speed, he's more than Ruth! But that's how it was, a running game, kind of personal. Ruth may be the heart of baseball, but Cobb was always the guts.

Despite different generations as you rightly note, the beautiful thing is we can compare statistics from different eras, that's how little the game has changed overall in a hundred years. Aside from the live ball (a hit's still mostly a hit), steroids, and designated hitters (pitchers should hit), what have the majors really done beyond push the mound six inches? For me, that's precisely why baseball is so great: they never pandered the rules, tradition reigns, and a bygone pastime is enjoyed like mint tea on Sunday afternoon. Considering adjustment for "the times", and regrettably despite an odd asterisk, I think we may still luckily put most legends in the same clubhouse.
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Old June 9th, 2015, 08:49 AM   #87
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Thank you to those who love baseball.

One more factor to consider is the size and construction of gloves. That's something old-timers didn't have. Flimsy constructions when examined today, the bearers' next to mythical physical talents are revealed. Shoeless Joe's glove was a postage stamp. Maybe that eases live ball averages if not slugging percentage. The heartbreaker is the use of steroids over the last thirty years, sad reflection of our fickle culture. Every one of those guys gets a double asterisk. That's not how Hank or the Babe did it. And Pete never gets in.

Numbers still talk, and the beauty of baseball has always been a lifting of the proud, yet breaking them too, no balls to inflate, just a strike zone.
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Old June 9th, 2015, 10:21 AM   #88
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Dodgers' Vin Scully chose an all-time team of Dodger opponents he has covered (National League only, since 1950):

1B Stan Musial
2B Joe Morgan
SS Ernie Banks
3B Mike Schmidt
OF Aaron, Mays, Robinson, Clemente
C Johnny Bench
SP Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Tom Seaver, Greg Maddux.
RP Bruce Sutter, Hoyt Wilhelm

Hummel: Musial, Gibson, Sutter on Scully's all-time team : Sports

I'd say it's a pretty good list.
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