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AstrosFan
08-20-2007, 12:40 PM
http://baseball-fever.com/showpost.php?p=977145&postcount=1

http://baseball-fever.com/showpost.php?p=980189&postcount=20


The first post covers what skills the players will be judged on. The second is the list of the 20 players who are competing. I know, I know, you could think of better choices. Some people beat you to the punch when it came to nominating.

As you can see, players are going to be rated in this portion according to their speed. Judge them on how they would do in the competition explained in the first link. Rank each player 1-20. Players will receive 10 points for first place, 9 for second, and so on down to 1 for tenth. All players outside of tenth place receive zero points.

Let the voting begin.

baseballPAP
08-20-2007, 01:05 PM
For pure, straight ahead blazing speed......
1-Mickey Mantle
2-Bo Jackson
3-Eric Davis
4-Jim Thorpe
5-Ty Cobb
6-Honus Wagner
7-Willie Mays
8-Oscar Charleston
9-Joe Morgan
10-Mike Cameron

It is likely all would be below 4.6 in the 40, the top 5 under 4.5, and Mantle and Jackson in the 4.4 range.

AstrosFan
08-20-2007, 01:26 PM
Remember, it's straight ahead and circular. Who has the best combination of the two.

I'm going with:

1. Jackson
2. Mantle
3. Thorpe
4. Davis
5. Cobb
6. Charleston
7. Mays
8. Wagner
9. Morgan
10. Jensen

I'm trying to take my best guess as to who was fastest in the context of their time. A lot of these players are just so close that where they rank is going to be nothing more than a guess. I've read a lot of people quoted as saying that Charleston was faster than Mays, but that doesn't mean he was. I'm sure many could find evidence that Mays was faster. This is just the best I could do.

baseballPAP
08-20-2007, 01:29 PM
Pretty similar list AF.... I would think some would have DiMaggio on their list, but he doesn't crack either of ours...I'd have had him next.

AstrosFan
08-20-2007, 01:31 PM
I don't find that too surprising. I expect most of our ten to show up on most people's lists, whichever way they are ranked.

ChrisLDuncan
08-20-2007, 01:34 PM
For pure, straight ahead blazing speed......
1-Mickey Mantle
2-Bo Jackson
3-Eric Davis
4-Jim Thorpe
5-Ty Cobb
6-Honus Wagner
7-Willie Mays
8-Oscar Charleston
9-Joe Morgan
10-Mike Cameron

It is likely all would be below 4.6 in the 40, the top 5 under 4.5, and Mantle and Jackson in the 4.4 range.

1 -Mantle
2 - Hornsby
3- Bo Jackson
4 - Jim Thorpe
5 - Eric Davis
6 - Tris Speaker
7 - Rickey Henderson
8 -Oscar Charleston
9- Tim Raines
10 - Joe Morgan

AstrosFan
08-20-2007, 01:36 PM
Chris, click on the link I provided. It shows who the twenty players you have to make a top ten out of are. No worries about the mix-up.

Babe is the best
08-20-2007, 02:55 PM
Well, I guess he wouldn't be a contender for the all-around competition, but I'd have to say the fastest pro baseball player ever was Deion Sanders. I also find it hard to believe Mickey Mantle was faster than Bo Jackson, an NFL running back. I believe Cool Papa Bell was reported to be the fastest negro league player. Also, didn't Hans Lobart and Evar Swanson have the circling the bases record? Like 13.3 seconds?

leecemark
08-20-2007, 05:17 PM
1) Mays
2) Mantle
3) Jackson
4) Thorpe
5) Charleston
6) Cobb
7) Davis
8) Wagner
9) Morgan
10) Rodriguez

538280
08-20-2007, 06:07 PM
For pure, straight ahead blazing speed......
1-Mickey Mantle
2-Bo Jackson
3-Eric Davis
4-Jim Thorpe
5-Ty Cobb
6-Honus Wagner
7-Willie Mays
8-Oscar Charleston
9-Joe Morgan
10-Mike Cameron

It is likely all would be below 4.6 in the 40, the top 5 under 4.5, and Mantle and Jackson in the 4.4 range.

I'd bet they're all faster than 4.4. I could run around a 4.9-5 right now and I'm 15 years old. I'll probably be able to run at least a 4.7 in the next 3 years. My football team has two kids who run around a 4.6, and neither one of them is coming close to knocking at the NFL, though they're very good players. I believe Thorpe was timed running a 100 yard dash in under 10 seconds so his 40 should be at least under 4.1. Willie Wilson also ran around a 10 second 100 yard dash and Barry Bonds ran a 10.68 in a 1988 Superstars show, according to CTaka on another thread.

baseballPAP
08-21-2007, 02:47 PM
Chris, anything under 4.2 is absolute world class sprinter speed. As far as I can remember, Joey Galloway coming out of OSU held the record for the NFL combine at 4.16. Those guys are way more used to sprinting than baseball players, so I'd doubt that even the best baseball players could break even 4.25.

4.4 is still top 5% for skill position players at the NFL combine....4.5 to 4.7 is considered "average"...average for the fastest athletes in football that is.

ChrisLDuncan
08-21-2007, 03:33 PM
1-Mickey Mantle
2-Bo Jackson
3-Eric Davis
4-Jim Thorpe
5-Ty Cobb
6-Honus Wagner
7-Joe Morgan
8-Oscar Charleston
9-Willie Mays
10-Mike Cameron



Err...sorry about that AF

538280
08-21-2007, 05:39 PM
Chris, anything under 4.2 is absolute world class sprinter speed. As far as I can remember, Joey Galloway coming out of OSU held the record for the NFL combine at 4.16. Those guys are way more used to sprinting than baseball players, so I'd doubt that even the best baseball players could break even 4.25.

4.4 is still top 5% for skill position players at the NFL combine....4.5 to 4.7 is considered "average"...average for the fastest athletes in football that is.

So I'd think that the absolute fastest baseball athletes should be well above the range of an average NFL skill player. I'd think the absolute fastest in the over 100 years of baseball history should be around the same speed as those from the combine-probably a little higher because the combine has players in their early 20s, when they may be a little faster in the their mid 20s. I'm sure the fastest players in baseball history would be a lot higher than 4.4 speed.

Honus Wagner Rules
08-21-2007, 05:46 PM
Well, I guess he wouldn't be a contender for the all-around competition, but I'd have to say the fastest pro baseball player ever was Deion Sanders. I also find it hard to believe Mickey Mantle was faster than Bo Jackson, an NFL running back. I believe Cool Papa Bell was reported to be the fastest negro league player. Also, didn't Hans Lobart and Evar Swanson have the circling the bases record? Like 13.3 seconds?
Don't forget Willie Wilson.

ChrisLDuncan
08-21-2007, 06:32 PM
Well, I guess he wouldn't be a contender for the all-around competition, but I'd have to say the fastest pro baseball player ever was Deion Sanders. I also find it hard to believe Mickey Mantle was faster than Bo Jackson, an NFL running back. I believe Cool Papa Bell was reported to be the fastest negro league player. Also, didn't Hans Lobart and Evar Swanson have the circling the bases record? Like 13.3 seconds?

Mickey Mantle, before the injury, was regarded as one of the fastest men in the world....afterwards he had to settle for the fastest in baseball.

Wee Willie
08-21-2007, 07:20 PM
I believe Thorpe was timed running a 100 yard dash in under 10 seconds so his 40 should be at least under 4.1.

That's actually highly unlikely, Chris. Just under 10 seconds in the 100 yard dash would actually be quite slow compared to today's top runners. In fact, many of today's top sprinters don't run the 40-yard dash any faster than today's top NFL receivers or defensive backs. What separates them from other runners is their ability to achieve a higher level of acceleration in the last 50 meters. I think Thorpe was probably around a 4.4 in the 40, if I had to guess.

hellborn
08-22-2007, 06:25 AM
Don't forget Willie Wilson.

My thoughts exactly...Vince Coleman, too. There was a reason that guy could steal 100 bases when he was only reaching base 102 times a season.

I don't know where he'd fit in with all these guys, but the fastest guy I've seen in recent years was Donnie Sadler...I think he was faster than Ichiro. There have probably been dozens of guys who were blazing fast but just didn't have the baseball ability to stick around.

KCGHOST
08-22-2007, 07:33 AM
To think at one time the Royals had Willie Wilson and Bo Jackson in the OF. And, in my mind, there is no doubt that at their best Willie was the faster man. Straight ahead, in a circle, or backwards Wilson was faster.

TRfromBR
08-22-2007, 07:55 AM
Jim Thorpe was undoubtedly one of the fastest men that ever lived - lightning fast on a track, as well as in athletic competions, including football and baseball. At the time of his death, in 1953, he New York Times reported that he ran a 10-flat hundred at his peak. If true, that would likely translate to a sub-9 second world-record today, after properly factoring in the conditions under which he ran. Everything from shoes to cinders significantly made his times slower than those recorded since his day.

Add to his natural speed his unparalled competitive nature and skills, and his on-field speed becomes even more impressive. So much so that he may very well be the greatest running back in the history. In baseball, of course, pure speed is of little use without the on-field skills with which Thorpe also excelled. I would suppose guys that only a handful of men - ever ran on a ballfield with as much speed as Thorpe. He may still be America's greatest athlete, as he was voted to be in 1950.

hellborn
08-22-2007, 09:22 AM
To think at one time the Royals had Willie Wilson and Bo Jackson in the OF. And, in my mind, there is no doubt that at their best Willie was the faster man. Straight ahead, in a circle, or backwards Wilson was faster.

And, just a few years earlier, the Royals had Willie Wilson in LF while Amos Otis played CF....Amos was certainly a fast man, but nothing like Willie. But, Amos was just such a good CFer, and had an arm, which Willie didn't.

Any truth to the rumor that Bo Jackson tried to arrange to have Brian Bosworth sign as a C for an AL team so Bo could wipe Brian out at home plate, too?

Wee Willie
08-22-2007, 11:04 AM
[COLOR="Blue"] At the time of his death, in 1953, he New York Times reported that he ran a 10-flat hundred at his peak. If true, that would likely translate to a sub-9 second world-record today, after properly factoring in the conditions under which he ran. Everything from shoes to cinders significantly made his times slower than those recorded since his day.

While the last part is true (better equipment would allow him to run faster), the ten-flat was not at 100-meters, it was 100 yards. I doubt he'd be anywhere close to to today's fastest hum. Then 10-second 100-meters wasn't even broken until the 1960s, and actually, no-one had gotten under 10.5 in the 100-meters until the early 1930s.

That being said, Thorpe is still one of the very greatest athletes in American history.

538280
08-22-2007, 12:29 PM
That's actually highly unlikely, Chris. Just under 10 seconds in the 100 yard dash would actually be quite slow compared to today's top runners. In fact, many of today's top sprinters don't run the 40-yard dash any faster than today's top NFL receivers or defensive backs. What separates them from other runners is their ability to achieve a higher level of acceleration in the last 50 meters. I think Thorpe was probably around a 4.4 in the 40, if I had to guess.

Thanks. I wasn't really aware of that. How could he be 4.4 in the 40 though when he's at 10 seconds in the 100? Thorpe wasn't a sprinter, he was a football/baseball player. 4.4 in the 40 would prorate to a 11 second 100. If he could run a 10 second 100, then you'd think his 40 would be quite a bit lower than 4.4.

EDIT: I now realize Thorpe also was an Olympic sprinter. Maybe he wouldn't do as well in the 40.

TRfromBR
08-22-2007, 12:32 PM
While the last part is true (better equipment would allow him to run faster), the ten-flat was not at 100-meters, it was 100 yards. I doubt he'd be anywhere close to to today's fastest hum. Then 10-second 100-meters wasn't even broken until the 1960s, and actually, no-one had gotten under 10.5 in the 100-meters until the early 1930s.

That being said, Thorpe is still one of the very greatest athletes in American history.

Of course, the New York Times was referring the 100-yard dash, when they cited his 10 flat time, as was I. In his day, and for many decades following his career, that was the standard of reference for all American sprinters, outside of Oympic events. In his historic Olympic track & field performance of 1912, it is believed he ran the 100 meters in a (world record) 10.6 seconds. And, that was in the midst of a decathlon and pentathlon!

Considering the extremely inhibiting factors of his times - such as extremely primitive track materials, extremely poor track conditions, archaic shoe design and fabrication, and the nature of hand-dug starting holes, inter alia -it's safe to say Thorpe could have run a sub-9 hundred (yard) dash with today's advantages, excluding steroids. He was the fastest man in the world then, and he likely would be today. Making him all the more impressive is the fact that he was able to use his speed so effectively on the ballfield, as well as anyone who's ever lived. I see no reason to believe there has ever been a faster player in the history of baseball ... or, football, track & field, basketball, billiards, or ballroom dancing - at which he also excelled.

baseballPAP
08-22-2007, 12:49 PM
Thanks. I wasn't really aware of that. How could he be 4.4 in the 40 though when he's at 10 seconds in the 100? Thorpe wasn't a sprinter, he was a football/baseball player. 4.4 in the 40 would prorate to a 11 second 100. If he could run a 10 second 100, then you'd think his 40 would be quite a bit lower than 4.4.

EDIT: I now realize Thorpe also was an Olympic sprinter. Maybe he wouldn't do as well in the 40.

Its the start Chris.... you only have to start once, so theoretically, in the 100m you're still at top speed from meter 40 to 100. The first 10 is slow, the second ten perhaps 80%, then full speed through the end.

Also(the rest NOT directed to our youngest star member:) ), Thorpe was outstanding in every sport he attempted, and was an Olympic level athlete before he was a pro. Having said that, I am more than willing to say there are 3 or 4 players playing right now that are just as fast(and probably faster) than Thorpe at his best... it's called evolution.

TRfromBR
08-22-2007, 12:57 PM
I am more than willing to say there are 3 or 4 players playing right now that are just as fast(and probably faster) than Thorpe at his best... it's called evolution.



Can you name those "3 or 4" incredible sprinters for us, and tell us how and why you've concluded they have more speed than, Jim Thorpe ... it's called evidence

TRfromBR
08-22-2007, 01:03 PM
Thorpe wasn't a sprinter, he was a football/baseball player.

EDIT: I now realize Thorpe also was an Olympic sprinter. Maybe he wouldn't do as well in the 40.

Jim Thorpe was the fastest man in the world. He could beat anyone in the 40 or 100. He was legendary out of the 'pits' and 'off the line'. Moreover, his speed was manifested both on archaic dirt tracks, as well as on ballfields. Very few of today's world class sprinters can utilize their track speed as effectively on a ballfield, as on a track. Thorpe could, and did. I would imagine that Cobb & Bell exhibited similar abilities, though there's no recorded evidence I know of that they had pure world class speed.

Wee Willie
08-22-2007, 01:32 PM
Thanks. I wasn't really aware of that. How could he be 4.4 in the 40 though when he's at 10 seconds in the 100? Thorpe wasn't a sprinter, he was a football/baseball player. 4.4 in the 40 would prorate to a 11 second 100. If he could run a 10 second 100, then you'd think his 40 would be quite a bit lower than 4.4.

EDIT: I now realize Thorpe also was an Olympic sprinter. Maybe he wouldn't do as well in the 40.

The thing about it is, it's really hard to prorate 100-meter times based on 40-yard times. Some people accelerate quickly (within 30-40 yards), others build speed more slowly but explode in the last 50 meters (Bob Hayes was a good example of that).

Wee Willie
08-22-2007, 01:45 PM
[COLOR="Blue"]
Considering the extremely inhibiting factors of his times - such as extremely primitive track materials, extremely poor track conditions, archaic shoe design and fabrication, and the nature of hand-dug starting holes, inter alia -it's safe to say Thorpe could have run a sub-9 hundred (yard) dash with today's advantages, excluding steroids.

I don't think he would be able to cut an entire second off just based on today's advantages if the same Jim Thorpe were transported to today's time. One second is an enormous amount of time to cut off. The advantages of training and equipment of today are probably worth less than half a second. Most of the difference comes from evolution, IMO. He was the fastest human in the world at his time, but I don't think he would be able to stay with today's fastest.

TRfromBR
08-22-2007, 01:48 PM
The thing about it is, it's really hard to prorate 100-meter times based on 40-yard times. Some people accelerate quickly (within 30-40 yards), others build speed more slowly but explode in the last 50 meters (Bob Hayes was a good example of that).

Bob Hayes was an excellent example of that, Wee Willie. In fact, as a prelude to our discussion this afternoon, I met today with a great sprinter* who ran against Hayes (and many other world class sprinters). He told me of how Hayes was so impressive, in both size and muscularity, and his ability to come from behind. Hayes also used his speed quite effectively in on-field sports, unlike the vast majority of sprinters.

Thorpe was different, though. He exploded off the line and left everyone in the dust (literally). This attribute would have been of great benefit to him in baseball, where quick jumps spell greater success, both at the plate, and in the field.

*We agree, on the bases of our experiences running on all types of tracks, as well as on his collegiate coaching, that one should strike, at a minimum, one second off of Thorpe's 100 yard time, in order to estimate what it would equate to if he ran with today's advantages related to running tracks and equipment. (BTW, one of his college teammates was Bill Cosby.)

TRfromBR
08-22-2007, 01:49 PM
I don't think he would be able to cut an entire second off just based on today's advantages if the same Jim Thorpe were transported to today's time. One second is an enormous amount of time to cut off. The advantages of training and equipment of today are probably worth less than half a second. Most of the difference comes from evolution, IMO. He was the fastest human in the world at his time, but I don't think he would be able to stay with today's fastest.

On what evidence do you base that, Wee Willie?

Wee Willie
08-22-2007, 02:09 PM
On what evidence do you base that, Wee Willie?

I'm basing it on the fact that world records in the 100 have been broken many times over since Thorpe's time, and the majority of the reduction in world record times came during a time when steriods and other advantages of today's athlete were not prevalent. Plus, Thorpe did not exactly compete against the fastest African-Americans in the world at his peak (due to segregation), so we don't know definitively if he really was the fastest man in the world in his heyday. Jesse Owens was able to run a 10.2 in the 1930's.

Wee Willie
08-22-2007, 04:20 PM
[COLOR="Blue"]
Of course, the New York Times was referring the 100-yard dash, when they cited his 10 flat time, as was I. In his day, and for many decades following his career, that was the standard of reference for all American sprinters, outside of Oympic events. In his historic Olympic track & field performance of 1912, it is believed he ran the 100 meters in a (world record) 10.6 seconds. And, that was in the midst of a decathlon and pentathlon!


TR, after looking at the 1912 Olympics results, it doesn't look like Thorpe even approached 10.6 in the 100. Ralph Craig actually won the 100 meter final - in 10.8, and Don Lippincott set the world-record at that same Olympics with a 10.6. When Thorpe competed in the 100 in the decathlon - he finished third. That makes me very skeptical that he was even the fastest man in the world at that time.

TRfromBR
08-22-2007, 04:54 PM
I don't think he would be able to cut an entire second off just based on today's advantages if the same Jim Thorpe were transported to today's time. One second is an enormous amount of time to cut off. The advantages of training and equipment of today are probably worth less than half a second. Most of the difference comes from evolution, IMO. He was the fastest human in the world at his time, but I don't think he would be able to stay with today's fastest.

What I'm trying to determine, Wee Willie, is the reasoning behind your conclusions that "[t]he advantages of training and equipment today are probably worth less than half a second," and that "[m]ost of the difference [in time improvement] comes from evolution." Also, by equipment, are you including track materials?

Wee Willie
08-22-2007, 05:06 PM
What I'm trying to determine, Wee Willie, is the reasoning behind your conclusions that "[t]he advantages of training and equipment today are probably worth less than half a second," and that "[m]ost of the difference [in time improvement] comes from evolution." Also, by equipment, are you including track materials?

Oh, I know TR. Look at post #32. Yes, I'm including track materials.

TRfromBR
08-22-2007, 05:09 PM
TR, after looking at the 1912 Olympics results, it doesn't look like Thorpe even approached 10.6 in the 100. Ralph Craig actually won the 100 meter final - in 10.8, and Don Lippincott set the world-record at that same Olympics with a 10.6. When Thorpe competed in the 100 in the decathlon - he finished third. That makes me very skeptical that he was even the fastest man in the world at that time.


Thanks for that info, Wee Willie. I just returned from the library, so please forgive my delayed response.

My source or recollection on Thorpe's running a 10.6 100 meters may be wrong, I don't know. I do know he broke and/or tied the world records for both the 110 high hurdles and 220meters, during the same Olympic competition you refer to. He did place third in the 100m, but that does not at all, particularly in the context of a decathlon, indicate he was not the fastest man in the world (as he was regarded.) This becomes more evident when one notes that he won the decathlon by an astounding 688 points, diminishing the importance of his 100 meter performance.

Regarding all his times - collegiate, Olympic & otherwise - they were achieved on far slower and environmentally-sensitive dirt and cinder tracks, without blocks, and inferior spikes. One a ballfield, no one could touch him. If you think there was someone who could, please tell me who - in chronological order, if you like.

If any of the above data on Thorpe's achievements is incorrect, please correct it. I don't have all his times and records available to me, as you may. Below is a chart which may be helpful to this discussion.

Wee Willie
08-22-2007, 05:19 PM
My source or recollection on Thorpe's running a 10.6 100 meters may be wrong, I don't know. I do know he broke and/or tied the world records for both the 110 high hurdles and 220meters, during the same Olympic competition you refer to. He did place third in the 100m, but that does not at all, particularly in the context of a decathlon, indicate he was not the fastest man in the world (as he was regarded.) This becomes more evident when one notes that he won the decathlon by an astounding 688 points, diminishing the importance of his 100 meter performance.

Regarding all his times - collegiate, Olympic & otherwise - they were achieved on far slower and environmentally-sensitive dirt and cinder tracks, without blocks, and inferior spikes. One a ballfield, no one could touch him. If you think there was someone who could, please tell me who - in chronological order, if you like.

I'm sure he was one of the fastest people in the world, TR. But those Olympics results are what they are. They suggest to me that he probably wasn't the fastest in the world - particularly when we also have to factor in that the African-American population was excluded from that Olympics.

As for his contemporary ballplayers, I agree there were few - if any - who could touch him. Maybe Max Carey and later Cool Papa Bell. But his 200-meter times are certainly faster than that of Oscar Charleston, so I think we can rule him out as competition.

brett
08-22-2007, 05:37 PM
Chris, anything under 4.2 is absolute world class sprinter speed. As far as I can remember, Joey Galloway coming out of OSU held the record for the NFL combine at 4.16. Those guys are way more used to sprinting than baseball players, so I'd doubt that even the best baseball players could break even 4.25.

4.4 is still top 5% for skill position players at the NFL combine....4.5 to 4.7 is considered "average"...average for the fastest athletes in football that is.

A few things

1) 7.1 for 60 yards is considered middle of the pack for outfield prospects by scouts. 7.3 is slow for an outfielder. 6.8 is considered FAST and 6.6 is really fast which would correspond to a 4.6-4.7 second 40 yards. It was suggested that Willie Wilson was about 6.35 or about there.

2) Most NFL combine timing is done with the stopwatch starting on the first movement of the sprinter. In other words, the timer is reacting, which is going to take .2 off the time. A 4.4 timed at a combine is probably a "real" 4.6, and a 4.15 is probably 4.4 (and probably a tad late start by the timer).

3) Some players are definitely faster on the fly-they have great peak speed for triples, but they are not fast in the first 20, and not spectacular through 40.

You might find a guys with the following different breakdowns:

20 yards: 3.0
40 yards: 4.9
60 yards: 6.7
80 yards: 8.5

And another guy who is

20 yards: 2.6
40 yards: 4.7
60 yards 6.8
80 yards: 9.0

The second guy will be faster in many situations.

TRfromBR
08-22-2007, 05:56 PM
I'm sure he was one of the fastest people in the world, TR. But those Olympics results are what they are. They suggest to me that he probably wasn't the fastest in the world - particularly when we also have to factor in that the African-American population was excluded from that Olympics.

As for his contemporary ballplayers, I agree there were few - if any - who could touch him. Maybe Max Carey and later Cool Papa Bell. But his 200-meter times are certainly faster than that of Oscar Charleston, so I think we can rule him out as competition.

To me, that appears a very shallow reading of Thorpe's performance at the 1912 Olympics, Wee Willie. While competing in both the decathlon and the pentathlon, he performed at incredible levels in every event, breaking or tying several world records. In the sprints, he won both the 220m and 110m high hurdle - both with world records, I believe. In fact, his 110m high hurdles time was so great that no man - black or white - touched it for 36 years, when it was broken by only a 1/10 of a second.

Before I could possibly accept your argument that his 3rd place 100m finish in the decathlon meant he wasn't the world's fastest man, I would need more evidence, including the comparative performances of the other two sprinters in other events - who we know, at a minimum, lost to him in both the 110 high hurdles and the 200m. We also know that both of them were more than 688 points behind him in total. Thorpe was clearly exerting more than all his competition across the board.

But, all that aside, there's zero evidence that either of those guys, even on their best day, could touch Thorpe on a ballfield, which is the real question at hand. And, Thorpe went to the Giants the very next year. So, every indication is that he would have been flying during his rookie year. Moreover, in Thorpe's day, world class athletes had only two opportunities to make money. Guys with leg speed - if they had enough skill - would go into Baseball. (Boxing was the other avenue.) Since immediately subsequent to Thorpe's days, great sprinters could choose other routes. Indeed, it's been a long time indeed since Baseball has been the choice of most world class sprinters.

TRfromBR
08-22-2007, 05:59 PM
A few things

1) 7.1 for 60 yards is considered middle of the pack for outfield prospects by scouts. 7.3 is slow for an outfielder. 6.8 is considered FAST and 6.6 is really fast which would correspond to a 4.6-4.7 second 40 yards. It was suggested that Willie Wilson was about 6.35 or about there.

2) Most NFL combine timing is done with the stopwatch starting on the first movement of the sprinter. In other words, the timer is reacting, which is going to take .2 off the time. A 4.4 timed at a combine is probably a "real" 4.6, and a 4.15 is probably 4.4 (and probably a tad late start by the timer).

3) Some players are definitely faster on the fly-they have great peak speed for triples, but they are not fast in the first 20, and not spectacular through 40.

You might find a guys with the following different breakdowns:

20 yards: 3.0
40 yards: 4.9
60 yards: 6.7
80 yards: 8.5

And another guy who is

20 yards: 2.6
40 yards: 4.7
60 yards 6.8
80 yards: 9.0

The second guy will be faster in many situations.

Great info, Brett. Amazingly, the 1912 Olympics was the first electronically-timed one, as well as the first one to photographically record the crossing of the finish line.

Wee Willie
08-22-2007, 06:27 PM
To me, that appears a very shallow reading of Thorpe's performance at the 1912 Olympics, Wee Willie. While competing in both the decathlon and the pentathlon, he performed at incredible levels in every event, breaking or tying several world records. In the sprints, he won both the 220m and 110m high hurdle - both with world records, I believe. In fact, his 110m high hurdles time was so great that no man - black or white - touched it for 36 years, when it was broken by only a 1/10 of a second.

TR, I'm well aware of all the events in which he competed. I'm not denying that he was the greatest athlete of his time. I'm simply saying that there evidence of that Olympics doesn't indicate to me that he was the fastest man of all time. There's no need to start disparaging my interpretation as "shallow" just because it disagrees somewhat with yours.



I could possibly accept your argument that his 3rd place 100m finish in the decathlon meant he wasn't the world's fastest man, I would need more evidence, including the comparative performances of the other two sprinters in other events - who we know, at a minimum, lost to him in both the 110 high hurdles and the 200m. We also know that both of them were more than 688 points behind him in total. Thorpe was clearly exerting more than all his competition across the board.

I said that it PROBABLY means he wasn't the world's fastest man....I never said conclusively. I just don't think the evidence we do have is convincing that he was the fastest, but there is PLENTY of evidence that indicates he was the greatest athlete. And I think that distinction needs to be made.

538280
08-22-2007, 06:30 PM
Its the start Chris.... you only have to start once, so theoretically, in the 100m you're still at top speed from meter 40 to 100. The first 10 is slow, the second ten perhaps 80%, then full speed through the end.


You are correct. Generally 10 yard dash times prorate into very slow 40 yard dash times, just because there is very little acceleration that can be gained in 10 yards. You can gain more in 40, and some can gain even more in 100.

AstrosFan
08-22-2007, 07:55 PM
Rank FName LName Score
1 Mickey Mantle 38
2 Bo Jackson 36
3 Jim Thorpe 29
4 Eric Davis 27
5 Ty Cobb 21
6 Willie Mays 20
7 Oscar Charleston 17
8 Honus Wagner 16
9 Joe Morgan 10
10 Mike Cameron 2
11 Jackie Jensen 1
12 Alex Rodriguez 1

Leaders so far. I'm going to let it run one more day to see if any more votes come in, as we've had only four people vote. I would like to ask the people who have been giving their thoughts on the issue to cast their votes. I'm pleased by the discussion on the topic, and hope that the voting can reflect that.

CTaka
08-22-2007, 10:22 PM
Also(the rest NOT directed to our youngest star member:) ), Thorpe was outstanding in every sport he attempted, and was an Olympic level athlete before he was a pro. Having said that, I am more than willing to say there are 3 or 4 players playing right now that are just as fast(and probably faster) than Thorpe at his best... it's called evolution.

I understand the concept of evolution. Assuming you are factoring in LQ factors, what 3 to 4 players playing right now are just as fast (or probably faster) if they ran under the same conditions/equipment/time period as Thorpe?

TRfromBR
08-22-2007, 10:25 PM
TR, I'm well aware of all the events in which he competed. I'm not denying that he was the greatest athlete of his time. I'm simply saying that there evidence of that Olympics doesn't indicate to me that he was the fastest man of all time. There's no need to start disparaging my interpretation as "shallow" just because it disagrees somewhat with yours.



I said that it PROBABLY means he wasn't the world's fastest man....I never said conclusively. I just don't think the evidence we do have is convincing that he was the fastest, but there is PLENTY of evidence that indicates he was the greatest athlete. And I think that distinction needs to be made.

I should have used a better word than shallow, Wee Willie. I'm a fan of your posts, so please don't take my comments as disparaging. I see great merit to your arguments, most particularly with reference to the exclusion of Blacks. Among the ballplayers eligible for the MLB, however, I see no evidence that any one could sprint in the league of Thorpe. And, certainly, one third place finish in the greatest decathlon performance of all time (plus, the pentathlon) should not be taken as evidence that he wasn't the fastest man in the world. Even Jesse Owens lost many key races, but was universally regarded the fastest human. (Just ask the often faster Mr. Eulace Peacock.) Remember my opening premise was that the NY Times reported that Thorpe once ran a 10 flat hundred yard dash. That equates to a sub-9 hundred today, IMHO. No one in Baseball approaches that.

I have ran on dirt, cinders, hard (banked) wood, the springier banked wood, asphalt, concrete, and all of the modern composite surfaces. I did not have world class speed, but my team included seven Olympic runners, and I've played a great deal of baseball and football. Based on my personal experience, and on my extensive observations and knowledge of sprinters, I can tell you that the difference between running on dirt, cinders, and modern high-tech track, is huge. I used blocks when I sprinted, so I can't say from personal experience whether digging holes to sprint out of is much slower, but I would have bet my Nike's on it.

All in all, I would definitely give anyone who ran a 10 flat 100 yard dash in 1911 or 12, a 8.9 today. Now, factor in Thorpe's ability to run on athletic fields and you have a guy who's near impossible to outsprint. Maybe there's been some, as you maintain, but I've never seen one. I suspect that Cobb & Bell were as fast on the the bases, as to be interchangeable. And I'm sure Mantle had to be world class, before his injuries, from everthing one hears. I've seen Brock live many times, who really knew how to use his speed, as did Henderson. Jackson, Wilson & Coleman were somewhat less impressive to me, though they were certainly fast sprinters. Jackson was a great on-field athlete, but Wilson looked faster. Coleman seemed really one-dimensional to me. Mays was definitely on-field fast, too, though I don't know how fast he would have been on a track. I really don't know much about guys like Max Carey & Billy Hamilton, and many others. I should know more about Eric Davis and Jackie Jensen, but I don't.

At the rarified level of speed we're talking, I'm sure Baseball know-how really becomes the deifferentiating factor. But, in any case, I vote for the following (at their peaks):

1. Jim Thorpe
2. Cool Papa Bell
3. Mickey Mantle
4. Willie Wilson
5. Willie Mays

CTaka
08-22-2007, 10:41 PM
My thoughts exactly...Vince Coleman, too. There was a reason that guy could steal 100 bases when he was only reaching base 102 times a season.
.

Vince Coleman had blazing speed for a baseball player, running a 10.09 100 yard dash in 1986 and a 9.9 in 1987. Certainly not competetive among track athletes of his day, but extremely fast for a baseball player. But I'm not convinced that someone running between a 9.9 and 10.09 in 1986-87 would be faster than someone like Thorpe who ran between a 9.8 to 10.0 75 years earlier when you factor in LQ adjustments.

Wee Willie
08-23-2007, 12:17 AM
I should have used a better word than shallow, Wee Willie. I'm a fan of your posts, so please don't take my comments as disparaging. I see great merit to your arguments, most particularly with reference to the exclusion of Blacks. Among the ballplayers eligible for the MLB, however, I see no evidence that any one could sprint in the league of Thorpe. And, certainly, one third place finish in the greatest decathlon performance of all time (plus, the pentathlon) should not be taken as evidence that he wasn't the fastest man in the world. Even Jesse Owens lost many key races, but was universally regarded the fastest human. (Just ask the often faster Mr. Eulace Peacock.) Remember my opening premise was that the NY Times reported that Thorpe once ran a 10 flat hundred yard dash. That equates to a sub-9 hundred today, IMHO. No one in Baseball approaches that.

I have ran on dirt, cinders, hard (banked) wood, the springier banked wood, asphalt, concrete, and all of the modern composite surfaces. I did not have world class speed, but my team included seven Olympic runners, and I've played a great deal of baseball and football. Based on my personal experience, and on my extensive observations and knowledge of sprinters, I can tell you that the difference between running on dirt, cinders, and modern high-tech track, is huge. I used blocks when I sprinted, so I can't say from personal experience whether digging holes to sprint out of is much slower, but I would have bet my Nike's on it.

All in all, I would definitely give anyone who ran a 10 flat 100 yard dash in 1911 or 12, a 8.9 today. Now, factor in Thorpe's ability to run on athletic fields and you have a guy who's near impossible to outsprint. Maybe there's been some, as you maintain, but I've never seen one. I suspect that Cobb & Bell were as fast on the the bases, as to be interchangeable. And I'm sure Mantle had to be world class, before his injuries, from everthing one hears. I've seen Brock live many times, who really knew how to use his speed, as did Henderson. Jackson, Wilson & Coleman were somewhat less impressive to me, though they were certainly fast sprinters. Jackson was a great on-field athlete, but Wilson looked faster. Coleman seemed really one-dimensional to me. Mays was definitely on-field fast, too, though I don't know how fast he would have been on a track. I really don't know much about guys like Max Carey & Billy Hamilton, and many others. I should know more about Eric Davis and Jackie Jensen, but I don't.

At the rarified level of speed we're talking, I'm sure Baseball know-how really becomes the deifferentiating factor. But, in any case, I vote for the following (at their peaks):

1. Jim Thorpe
2. Cool Papa Bell
3. Mickey Mantle
4. Willie Wilson
5. Willie Mays

I enjoy your posts also, TR. No hard feelings. I still feel the 8.9 figure you're giving for Thorpe (or anyone else who might have run a 10-second 100 yard sprint back then) is too much a reduction. Even today's Olympic sprinters would be hard pressed to run 8.9 today. Remember, these guys run a little under 9.9 in the 100 meters on a good day, and usually the last 10 meters are covered in no more than 1 second (and most times a little less). By estimating Thorpe could run an 8.9 today, you're basically attributing all of the historic reduction of time to track conditions and equipment, and none to evolution of the human body. I think the evidence is strong that humans are simply faster today than they were then - regardless of the conditions under which they run. I agree that the difference between running on dirt and running on a modern track is significant - but then again, even just a half second off a 100-yard dash time is also significant.

Also, it's fine if you don't want to take the Olympics results as evidence that Thorpe wasn't the fastest in the world - but I just don't think they support the case that he was, either.

I agree that he probably was the fastest in baseball during his time. Actually, I remember reading where Ty Cobb said that Harry Bay could also run the 100-yards in 10-flat. I think Bay played in the majors a decade before Thorpe, but I could be wrong. I'd say Bell was probably the fastest on the bases pre-Mantle, as Bell held the record time for circling the bases (and may still hold it, for all I know). Willie Wilson was probably the fastest on the bases among players I saw growing up.

TRfromBR
08-23-2007, 12:45 AM
I enjoy your posts also, TR. No hard feelings. I still feel the 8.9 figure you're giving for Thorpe (or anyone else who might have run a 10-second 100 yard sprint back then) is too much a reduction. Even today's Olympic sprinters would be hard pressed to run 8.9 today. Remember, these guys run a little under 9.9 in the 100 meters on a good day, and usually the last 10 meters are covered in no more than 1 second (and most times a little less). By estimating Thorpe could run an 8.9 today, you're basically attributing all of the historic reduction of time to track conditions and equipment, and none to evolution of the human body. I think the evidence is strong that humans are simply faster today than they were then - regardless of the conditions under which they run. I agree that the difference between running on dirt and running on a modern track is significant - but then again, even just a half second off a 100-yard dash time is also significant.

Also, it's fine if you don't want to take the Olympics results as evidence that Thorpe wasn't the fastest in the world - but I just don't think they support the case that he was, either.

I agree that he probably was the fastest in baseball during his time. Actually, I remember reading where Ty Cobb said that Harry Bay could also run the 100-yards in 10-flat. I think Bay played in the majors a decade before Thorpe, but I could be wrong. I'd say Bell was probably the fastest on the bases pre-Mantle, as Bell held the record time for circling the bases (and may still hold it, for all I know). Willie Wilson was probably the fastest on the bases among players I saw growing up.

All great points, Willie. And thanks for the info on Cobb's assessment of Harry Bay. I never knew that. I find those kind of opinions very valuable, so I'll have to do some research on Mr. Bay. I did go to my town's library late yesterday afternoon to see if I could find Thorpe's collegiate times, but all five of the books on him were checked out. I'm glad he's still so well regarded.

Bill Burgess
08-23-2007, 11:39 AM
Evolution of the World Record 100 Meters.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Record_progression_100_m_men

Wagner was timed in 3.4 going down to first, and once did a 100 yd. dash in 10. flat, in baseball uniform and spikes.
Ty was also timed in 10.0 in the the 100.

Ty Cobb was timed going down to first many times, but was never known to break, 3.2. Mickey Mantle's best was 3.1 from the left side of the plate.

In 1921, Maurice Archdeacon timed 13.4 in circling the bases, while 10 yrs. later, Evar Swanson timed 13.3. in circling the bases. Ty Cobb's best was 13.5.

So, both were real fast runners. But that is fast for baseball players, not for trained sprinters of Olympic caliber.

A 10.0 flat for 100 yards is about equivalent to a 10.9 for 100 meters. Just a a 10.00 for 100m is about equivalent to 9.1 for 100 yards.

So, both Honus/Ty were good for about 10.9 for 100 meters when the WR for 100M was 10.6. or so.

I still believe that Jim Thorpe proved himself among the very best athletes who ever lived in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. Even though the Olympic Committee stripped Jim of his medals when it was discovered he had played baseball for money, they restored his name in the Olympic record books October 13, 1982, and returned his Olympic medals to his children on January 18, 1983.

If Jim broke the WR in the hurdles, and won the Olympic 200m, that means he was fast for his day. I don't think running was his greatest athletic area. He was a superbly coordinated athlete, whose jumping/throwing were also great. He wasn't much of a baseball player though. He couldn't hit the curve ball, and hence didn't make much of a splash in baseball. I believe he was briefly with McGraw's Giants.

His sport was football. He could run fast, powerfully, and he could nimbly evade tacklers, much like Jim Brown. I still put Jim Thorpe among the very greatest runners in FB history, along with Red Grange, Jim Brown and Walter Payton.

If Jim only came in 3rd. in his Decathlon 100M, that is very good. I would like to know his time. The Olympic Decathlon schedules the 100M on the first day, along with the 400M, LJ, HJ, 100H.

I just looked up in my record book this information. In the 1912 Olympic Pentathlon, Jim Thorpe recorded these times/distances in his winning the Gold medal.

Long Jump - 7.07
Javelin - 46.71
200M - 22.9
Discus - 35.75
1,500M - 4.44:8

He also won the Gold Medal in the Decathlon, registering these marks.
100M - 11.2; LJ - 6.79; SP - 12.89; HJ - 1.87; 400M - 52.2; Second Day: Discus - 36.98; 110H - 15.6; PV - 3.25; JAV - 45.70; 1,500M - 4.40:1

His winning total was 8,412, over second place Silver Medalist Hugo Wieslander of Sweden with 7,724. Third place was 7,414. Quite a staggering lead. Crushing in fact. No wonder the King of Sweden said, "You sir, are the greatest athlete in the world."

Incidentally, during that same 1912 Olympics, Jim took 4th. place in the High Jump, and 7th in the Long Jump. It was his first ever try at a decathlon, and he had only thrown a javelin for the first time 2 months earlier. Get this. His performances would have earned him a Silver Medal in the 1948 London Olympics!

He was so impressive in that 1912 competition, that in addition to his gold medals, Czar Nicholas of Russia gave him a jewel-encrusted chalice, and the King of Sweden gave him a bronze bust of King Gustav V of Sweden. In February, 1950, a poll of sports writers taken by the Associated Press voted Jim Thorpe the greatest athlete of the first half century. The next year, a film of his life, starring Burt Lancaster was released. Too bad Jim had sold the rights to film his story to MGM, in 1931, for $1,500.

TRfromBR
08-23-2007, 12:36 PM
Evolution of the World Record 100 Meters.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Record_progression_100_m_men

Thanks for that, Bill. In this link, Thorpe is said to have ran an [unconfirmed]10.9 100m. Since he rarely ran the 100m (possibly only once in 1912), I imagine that's in reference to his Olympic Decathlon. That sprint was on cinders - an excellent track for its time, but much slower than those found today at most community high schools. The NY Times evidently had Thorpe at 10 flat in the hundred (yards), which would have been quite impressive.

Being as knowledgeable as you are about track, what are your thoughts?

Bill Burgess
08-23-2007, 01:02 PM
Thanks for that, Bill. In this link, Thorpe is said to have ran an [unconfirmed]10.9 100m. Since he rarely ran the 100m (possibly only once in 1912), I imagine that's in reference to his Olympic Decathlon. That sprint was on cinders - an excellent track for its time, but much slower than those found today at most community high schools. The NY Times evidently had Thorpe at 10 flat in the hundred (yards), which would have been quite impressive.

Being as knowledgeable as you are about track, what are your thoughts?
My thoughts are that Jim was well capable of running a 10.9 100M. He might have done so in a training session at the Olympics. His official 100m time for his decathlon is 11.2. As I put in my above post.

His time in the decathlon would never be referred to as unconfirmed. Even in the decathlon, they would have had scads of officials timing all of them. But it is quite possible he ran a 10.9 during training.

That reminds me of when I was a kid. They had a track meet for all the grade schools at the high school, 1964. I ran the 100 yard dash in the second 'B' round. I ran 11.6, or 11.8. My time ended up being the fastest time, and I won the blue ribbon.

That fall, I entered HS, and they were all looking to me to go out for the track team. But I was still holding on to my childhood dream of being the next Walter Johnson. I went out for the freshman baseball team, and the coach sat me on the bench all season, and put me in the last game for 1 at bat. Struck out.

But during the fall, as part of gym class, they made us all run 100 yards on the football field. The grass was wet with morning dew, and I had rubber-soled sneakers on. But I ran and was timed in 10.9. Was real happy, until I went in and told the gym teacher my time. He looked at me like a cheater. He said no freshman could run that fast and ordered me back out to run again! The idiot!! So, the same classmate that timed me had to time me again, and I had to run tired, all by myself, without the benefit of others to push me. I timed only 11.6 that time, and the stupid gym teacher looked pleased. He said, "I told you so. You're not that fast, Burgess."

But the head of the athletic dept. must have gotten wind of my times, cause he called me in and gave me a pep talk to turn out for the track team. Didn't faze me cuz I was still trying to be Walter Johnson.

By the way, at the grade school track meet, I came in second in the 220, in around 28 something. Led the whole way, but in the last 20 yards, Richie Hynes pulled ahead, after cruising the whole way and letting me do all the work. Somehow, those little moments of glory stay with you a lifetime. Ha ha. Always was a glory hound!

Wee Willie
08-23-2007, 01:33 PM
Evolution of the World Record 100 Meters.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Record_progression_100_m_men

Wagner was timed in 3.4 going down to first, and once did a 100 yd. dash in 10. flat, in baseball uniform and spikes.
Ty was also timed in 10.0 in the the 100.

Ty Cobb was timed going down to first many times, but was never known to break, 3.2. Mickey Mantle's best was 3.1 from the left side of the plate.

In 1921, Maurice Archdeacon timed 13.4 in circling the bases, while 10 yrs. later, Evar Swanson timed 13.3. in circling the bases. Ty Cobb's best was 13.5.



Bill, which source has Cobb and Wagner running a 10-flat 100 yards? Bill James quotes Cobb as saying "There were faster players around than me, such as Harry Bay...a 10-second man at 100 yards". (which suggests that perhaps Cobb couldn't quite run that fast).

Also, I remember reading where Cool Papa Bell circled the bases in 12.9, but I don't know if that was counted as an official timing.

Bill Burgess
08-23-2007, 01:50 PM
I don't have sources on the times for Wagner/Cobb. It might have been a field day. I believe that Cobb was timed circling the bases on a field day.

One of Ty's team mates, I think it was Davey Jones or Donie Bush, used to say that he could beat Ty on the straight. And he also said that there were guys on every team who could beat Ty on a straight sprint.

It was in circling the bases that Ty shone. And taking long leads, reading pitchers moves, and sliding. He also got a real good start, and everyone said that he was almost full speed by 3-4 steps. That is an exaggeration, but what they were trying to say is that he had great acceleration.

CTaka
08-23-2007, 03:13 PM
At the rarified level of speed we're talking, I'm sure Baseball know-how really becomes the deifferentiating factor. But, in any case, I vote for the following (at their peaks):

1. Jim Thorpe
2. Cool Papa Bell
3. Mickey Mantle
4. Willie Wilson
5. Willie Mays

In terms of pure speed, I wouldn't put Mays fifth on this list. Just in his own era, Willie Davis was considered faster than Mays in pure foot speed. In a race, I'd put my money on Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders to finish ahead of Mays as well. Mays may have been a smarter (better) baserunner than them, but not faster.

For those who may have missed it, Hall of Famer Edd Roush played one season with Jim Thorpe in Cincinnati. Roush's recollection of Thorpe from Glory of Their Times:

"We even had Jim Thorpe there one year, you know. By thunder, there was a man could outrun a deer. Beat anything I ever saw. I used to be pretty fast myself. Stole close to 300 bases in the Big Leagues. And I had a real long stride, for the simple reason that in the outfield if you don't take a long stride your head bobs up and down too much and makes it hard to follow theflight of the ball. But Jim Thorpe would take only two strides to my three. I'd run just as hard as I could, and he'd keep up with me just trotting along. One day I asked him, 'Jim, anybody in those Olympic games ever make you really run your best?' 'I never yet saw the man I couldn't look back at,' he says to me. I believed him."

TRfromBR
08-23-2007, 05:29 PM
In terms of pure speed, I wouldn't put Mays fifth on this list. Just in his own era, Willie Davis was considered faster than Mays in pure foot speed. In a race, I'd put my money on Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders to finish ahead of Mays as well. Mays may have been a smarter (better) baserunner than them, but not faster.

For those who may have missed it, Hall of Famer Edd Roush played one season with Jim Thorpe in Cincinnati. Roush's recollection of Thorpe from Glory of Their Times:

"We even had Jim Thorpe there one year, you know. By thunder, there was a man could outrun a deer. Beat anything I ever saw. I used to be pretty fast myself. Stole close to 300 bases in the Big Leagues. And I had a real long stride, for the simple reason that in the outfield if you don't take a long stride your head bobs up and down too much and makes it hard to follow theflight of the ball. But Jim Thorpe would take only two strides to my three. I'd run just as hard as I could, and he'd keep up with me just trotting along. One day I asked him, 'Jim, anybody in those Olympic games ever make you really run your best?' 'I never yet saw the man I couldn't look back at,' he says to me. I believed him."

Fascinating, CT. And, if I calculate it right, Thorpe would have been thirty years old when he played with Roush.

With respect to Mays, I was torn on how to rate him, so I went with how well he used his speed on the bases, and in the field. I remember Sanders being very quick, but I'm not sure - one way or the other - about his sprinting times. He grew up in the days when guys were all timed in high school track competitions. He was from North Fort Meyers, but I don't recall him winning the State 100's, or anything along those lines. I'm also not sure how fast Jackson was on the track, but he, too, used his speed very well indeed. Most world class sprinters can't adapt that well. In high school, I personally knew Leon Bright (later of the NFL). He was blazing fast, on and off the field. More important, is how well these guys think, react, pivot, accelerate & decelerate. That's the key, and that's why what Bill relates about Cobb rings so true.

AstrosFan
08-23-2007, 05:36 PM
Voting is over. Results can be found on post 42 of this thread. I will post the overall leaders in the points standing on the next thread, and each subsequent thread.

cbenson5
08-23-2007, 05:38 PM
I don't have sources on the times for Wagner/Cobb. It might have been a field day. I believe that Cobb was timed circling the bases on a field day.

One of Ty's team mates, I think it was Davey Jones or Donie Bush, used to say that he could beat Ty on the straight. And he also said that there were guys on every team who could beat Ty on a straight sprint.

It was in circling the bases that Ty shone. And taking long leads, reading pitchers moves, and sliding. He also got a real good start, and everyone said that he was almost full speed by 3-4 steps. That is an exaggeration, but what they were trying to say is that he had great acceleration.

According to Mr. Stump (COBB p. 166), "At Chicago, he beat some of the top runners by going from home base to first in 3.5 seconds and touring four bases in 13.5 seconds."

He doesn't give an exact date, but I believe this field day occurred sometime in 1908.

Charles

PeteReiser
09-12-2007, 02:07 PM
For pure, straight ahead blazing speed......
1-Mickey Mantle
2-Bo Jackson
3-Eric Davis
4-Jim Thorpe
5-Ty Cobb
6-Honus Wagner
7-Willie Mays
8-Oscar Charleston
9-Joe Morgan
10-Mike Cameron

It is likely all would be below 4.6 in the 40, the top 5 under 4.5, and Mantle and Jackson in the 4.4 range.

Hey - who's missing here? :rant: