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Thread: Best Outfield Arm Ever:

  1. #1
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    Best Outfield Arm Ever:

    I'd like to see some of your Top 10's, for Best Outfield Arm Ever.

    1. Bob Meusel
    2. Roberto Clemente
    3. Joe Jackson
    4. Willie Mays
    5. Babe Ruth
    6. Tris Speaker
    7. Ichiro Suzuki
    8. Vladimir Guerrero
    9. Jesse Barfield
    10. Carl Furillo

    Honorable Mentions: Happy Felsch, Duffy Lewis, Harry Hooper, Jimmie McAleer.

    I'm not that familiar with this particular topic, and am open to suggestions. My own selections do not really satisfy me.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-29-2006 at 05:04 PM.

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    Of the players I have seen I would rank them like this:

    1) Dwight Evans
    2) Dave Parker
    3) Ellis Valentine
    4) Larry Parrish
    5) Ichiro

    There are many others but these five all had great arms. Dwight Evans had perfect footwark on his throws as well.
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  3. #3
    Like the lists. I'd also add Vladimir Guerrero and Jeff Francoeur (although inclusion of the latter may be a bit too premature).
    Last edited by rsuriyop; 01-28-2006 at 09:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    I'd like to see some of your Top 10's, for Best Arm Ever.

    1. Bob Meusel
    2. Roberto Clemente
    3. Joe Jackson
    4. Willie Mays
    5. Babe Ruth
    6. Tris Speaker
    7. Ichiro Suzuki
    8. Harry Hooper
    9. Duffy Lewis
    10. Jimmie McAleer

    Honorable Mentions: Bill Lange, Max Carey, Happy Felsch.

    I'm not that familiar with this particular topic, and am open to suggestions. My own selections do not really satisfy me.
    No Vladimir Guerrero, Bill? I've seen both him and Ichiro, and while Ichiro certainly has a great arm, he doesn't compare to Vlad.

    I never got to see him, but I've heard others rave about the arm of Jesse Barfield. Stats seem to support the claim he had a TREMENDOUS arm. He had three 20+ assist seasons and his career low for a full season was 12 assists. He is second all time in assists per inning I believe.
    Last edited by 538280; 01-27-2006 at 08:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 538280
    No Vladimir Guerrero, Bill? I've seen both him and Ichiro, and while Ichiro certainly has a great arm, he doesn't compare to Vlad.
    I disagree. Vlad's arm is not that accurate. Ichiro's arm strength is 98% of Vlads & Ichiro has the accuracy of a lasar beam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joltin' Joe
    I disagree. Vlad's arm is not that accurate. Ichiro's arm strength is 98% of Vlads & Ichiro has the accuracy of a lasar beam.
    Vlad got a reputation for having an inaccurate arm from his younger years, when it was innaccurate. He's gotten much better over the years and now is very accurate. Vlad does still seem to carry that hanging reputation though.

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    Ichiro is the better fielder, but Vlad has the stronger arm

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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    I'd like to see some of your Top 10's, for Best Arm Ever.

    1. Bob Meusel
    2. Roberto Clemente
    3. Joe Jackson
    4. Willie Mays
    5. Babe Ruth
    6. Tris Speaker
    7. Ichiro Suzuki
    8. Harry Hooper
    9. Duffy Lewis
    10. Jimmie McAleer

    Honorable Mentions: Bill Lange, Max Carey, Happy Felsch.

    I'm not that familiar with this particular topic, and am open to suggestions. My own selections do not really satisfy me.
    That's awful high for Willie. Just in the centerfield category, Mantle and Andruw would be ahead of him wouldn't they?

    I'd put Ichiro in the top 3, Clemente top 3, and Meusel in the top 3 (biggest waste of talent perhaps in history. Was once quoted saying something to the effect of "hustling is over-rated.")

    Babe somewhere in the top 12, and Speaker in the top 20. He was smart, and had a quick release, but his shallow play led to most of his success.

    How bout Jesse Barfield?
    Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 01-27-2006 at 09:14 PM.
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    Barfield definitely should be on any list. He had the best arm I've ever seen. Mark Whiten had a tremendous arm, too.

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    Dwight Evans

    Mondesi - didn't he get a "El Cannon" tattoo on his right arm? lol
    "Everyone left here, but I remain at my post, documenting my sports writers and photos. I don't do Ty Cobb anymore. I did for him everything I could do. Work will live on. Personalities will fade.

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  11. #11
    Ichiro's arm is so strong, but is also unbelievably accurate.

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    How about Al Kaline?
    Bobby Higginson had a very accurate arm.
    Formerly known as EricGotMunsoned

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    Lou Pinella

    during an interview with ESPN MAG "... with a few things he had to say about Ichiro, such as, he's the best defensive rightfielder I've ever seen. Yes, that list would include the likes of Dwight Evans, Dave Parker and even the late, great Roberto Clemente."

    Not a bad group. All three had great arms as does Ichiro. Of course, when he first came into the league it was fun watching teams try and run on him.
    Johnny
    Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sultan_1895-1948
    That's awful high for Willie. Just in the centerfield category, Mantle and Andruw would be ahead of him wouldn't they?
    Agree on Mays, disagree on Mantle having the better arm. By all accounts, Mantle was one of the strongest human beings to ever play the game, but I've never heard raves about his arm. Mays is too high on this list, though. I do think that Muesel has to be first, which makes the outfield trio of Meusel-Ruth-Combs one of the oddest ever, with two guys who were ok fielders with spectacular arms and one guy who could have been an all time great defender if he had an arm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHalo
    Agree on Mays, disagree on Mantle having the better arm. By all accounts, Mantle was one of the strongest human beings to ever play the game, but I've never heard raves about his arm. Mays is too high on this list, though. I do think that Muesel has to be first, which makes the outfield trio of Meusel-Ruth-Combs one of the oddest ever, with two guys who were ok fielders with spectacular arms and one guy who could have been an all time great defender if he had an arm.
    Glad you mentioned Mantle, I was wondering about that. I know he was freaky genetically, and I've heard good things about his arm, just maybe not "all-time" good things about it. Mays is definately too high. What are your thoughts on Speaker, Lewis, and Hooper El Halo? It's a shame that trio couldn't stick together past age 27.
    "Everyone left here, but I remain at my post, documenting my sports writers and photos. I don't do Ty Cobb anymore. I did for him everything I could do. Work will live on. Personalities will fade.

    Fever members come and go. Not relevant. Your documentations will live FOREVER, my brother. That outweighs all the Fever jack-asses. Ignore what you must, document all you can."
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    Tris Speaker on his peers:

    1917 - "A player dislikes to mention other players by name, but I will say that as an outfielder Ty Cobb is unusually good. I think his weakness, so far as he has any, is in his throwing arm. Not that his arm is weak by any means but it is not his strongest point. Joe Jackson has a strong arm but I would say that his aim is not always accurate and that he has not at all times made the most of this undoubted talent which he possesses.

    Clyde Milan is a very fine all round outfielder. Personally I like Hooper's style of play. He is not given as much credit as he deserves. There are no better outfielders than Hooper. Lewis is very good also. But Hooper is fast in getting away after the ball, he lays for the players in a brainy manner, he is sure on the catch and he has an iron throwing arm with excellent sense of direction. Hooper is a great natural ball player in my opinion." (Baseball Magazine, March, 1917, pp. 85, Winning the Batting Championship by Tris Speaker)
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 06-04-2006 at 02:57 PM.

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    Joe Wood on Speaker, Joe Jackson:

    "I think Speaker is superior to Joe Jackson admitting that Joe is a wonderful player in every department of the game and Joe, too, has one point in which he exceeds not only Speaker and Ty Cobb, but everyone else in the business. He can throw from deep outfield farther than anybody I ever saw. I firmly believe there is no man in either league who can throw a ball as far as Jackson, but in several games where I have watched his peculiar ability in this line I have noticed that he is not always accurate in his throws and much of the advantage which should come to him from this ability is lost through wildness.
    Jackson, of course, is a very great player and still young. He has been greatly handicapped by lack of early training, and I believe has not always had the encouragement or good coaching to bring out the best of his talents. No doubt he will improve in coming seasons and if he could play in the East as well as he does in the west, he would beat them all out. Jackson bats at a .500 clip in his own city or on the average western tour but for some reason cuts that in half on his eastern excursions. Why this is so, no one knows. It is one of the peculiarities of baseball and baseball players.

    It is hard to compare these three players, for they all excel in some one point or more. Oddly enough, they are all Southerners, and all wonders. They are far and away the greatest outfielders in the game, bar none. It is very fortunate for the Red Sox that they have on their club one of these three players. No one can appreciate better than a pitcher the worth of a man who covers acres of ground, has a sure and deadly throwing arm and bats in the near neighborhood of .400. (Baseball Magazine, November, 1912, pp. 52, "Joseph Wood, Esquire--Pitcher.", by John J. Ward, pp. 49-60)
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 06-07-2007 at 05:31 PM.

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    Throwing Contests:

    At a long-distance baseball throwing contest in October,1872, John Hatfield of Mutual club, won the contest with a heave of 133 yrds, 1 foot, 7.7 inches. He was followed by Andy Leonard of Boston club (119 yards, 1 ft. 10 inches), George Wright of Boston club (117 yrds. 1 ft. 1 inch), Bill Boydof Mutual club (115 yrds. 1 ft. 7 inches), Wes Fisler of Athletics club (112 yrds. 6 inches), Adrian C. Anson of Athletics club (110 yards, 6 inches),Ned Crane threw a baseball 117 yards (351 feet) in a contest at Worcester, MA in 1879.

    At Cincinnati baseball grounds on Sunday, October 9, 1910, Sheldon Lajeune of the Evansville baseball Club, threw a baseball 426 feet, 9.5 inches (142 yards). He had preceded this throw with heaves of 385' 3", 383' 4", both throws against the wind. He then asked if he could throw in the opposite direction. This was granted and he threw 401' 4.5", he then warmed his arm up and then uncorked a mighty heave of 426' 9.5". Previously he had thrown 399' 10.75" on September 11, 1908 at the Cincinnati grounds.

    Joe Jackson threw a baseball 132 yards (396'9") on September 27, 1917, at Fenway Park, Boston, Mass., in a contest, defeating Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Babe Ruth. It was at a benefit game for Tim Murnane's widow. Duffy Lewis of the Red Sox and Clarence (Tillie) Walker of the Philadelphia Athletics tied for second with tosses of 384'6".
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-14-2010 at 11:27 PM.

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    I have heard that Gavy Cravath had a tremendous arm, and his #s seem to back it up. I would venture to say at least 9 of the top 10 are career RFers...
    My list:
    1-Clemente
    2-Meusel
    3-Ichiro
    4-Barfield
    5-Vlad
    6-Colavito
    7-Kaline
    8-Speaker
    9-Carl Furillo
    10-Cravath

    Bill James' Abstract's best arms by decade:
    1870's-Jim Hatfield, CIN
    1880's-George Gore
    1890's-George Van Haltren
    1900's-Mike Mitchell
    1910's-Tris Speaker
    1920's-Bob Meusel
    1930's-Mel Ott/Chick Hafey
    1940's-Bob Johnson /Vince DiMaggio
    Negro Leagues-Jelly Gardner, Martin DiHigo, Cristobal Torriente
    1950's-Carl Furillo
    1960's-Clemente
    1970's-Ellis Valentine
    1980's-Jesse Barfield
    1990's-Vladimir Guerrero

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHalo
    Agree on Mays, disagree on Mantle having the better arm. By all accounts, Mantle was one of the strongest human beings to ever play the game, but I've never heard raves about his arm. Mays is too high on this list, though. I do think that Muesel has to be first, which makes the outfield trio of Meusel-Ruth-Combs one of the oddest ever, with two guys who were ok fielders with spectacular arms and one guy who could have been an all time great defender if he had an arm.
    You think Willie Mays is too high on this list???

    Aren't you the guy that once or twice said Richie Ashburn had a good arm???

    While I don't base my opinion on Willie's arm on one play but the special things about the 'Catch' of Vic Wertz' drive in the '54 Series, was NOT the catch but the throw....the throw was absolutely awesome.

    Yankees Fan Since 1957

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    Cannot understand why anyone would not have Willie Mays near the top of that list. That 300 footer to take out Cox during the 51 pennant drive is just as memorable as "the throw" after "the catch" off Vic Wertz. Wertz hit the ball 450 feet, and Mays returned it to the infield after the catch before either runner could take a base. Arms don't get stronger than that.

    However, as to what I personally saw in my life- Dwight Evans takes the cake by a mile.

  22. #22
    Clemente and Mays would top the list of players I've seen. Carl Furillo was before my time, but he supposedly had one of the great arms of all time. Dewey Evans and Dave Parker had some guns, too. As was mentioned, Kaline had a helluva arm, as did Roger Maris, if you get a chance, catch the play and throw he made in Game 7 of the 62 WS in the 9th inning, kept Alou at 3rd on a Mays hit in the rf corner. Would have tied the game.

    You probably won't hear anyone else mention this name, but Mike Shannon, who has been in the Cards broadcast booth since 72, started his career in RF, just had a cannon, moved to 3B in 67 after they picked up Maris. Mike came down with a kidney ailment in 70 and had to retire prematurely, but he could throw!

    In Spaceman Bill Lee's book, he told a story about when he was playing for the Bosox in the early 70's. The outfielders were arguing who had the best arm in the group. So they set up a competition, where they could take a running start and throw before they came to the first base line and see how far they could get it up against the wall of the Green Monster. Lee said Reggie Smith went last, just took one step out of the dugout and threw it over the wall and screen.

    However, since we don't know how much Bill had smoked that day [and he INHALED] can't be sure of the authenticity of that story. Reggie did have a pretty good arm though.

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    very nice, 64.

    willie mcgee had one of the stronger arms throughout most of his career.
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    What about Jessie Barfield?

    I remember him having incredible strength and accuracy.
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    not *the best*, but some of the best i've seen

    jesse barfield
    roberto clemente
    dwight evans
    vladimir guerrero
    andruw jones
    willie kirkland
    garry maddox
    willie mays
    dave parker
    ichiro suzuki
    "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

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