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Thread: Best Outfield Arm Ever:

  1. #21
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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.

  2. #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.

  3. #23
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    very nice, 64.

    willie mcgee had one of the stronger arms throughout most of his career.
    "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

  4. #24
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    What about Jessie Barfield?

    I remember him having incredible strength and accuracy.
    "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
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  5. #25
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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

  6. #26
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    I do remember how Willie turned and threw to 2nd base, from 460 feet out, and he threw so hard, he actually fell down. And the ball got to 2nd before anyone could advance on the play. Now that's one mighty peg!

    I had also completely forgotten about Carl Furillo. He was supposed to carry a cannon on his shoulder.

    By the way, do we have any support for today's top guys, Jones, Hunter, Edmonds, Kotsay, Cameron? Looks like Ichiro/Guerrero have some nice support.

    What about Snider, Kaline, Ott, Virdon? Anyone heard/saw/read anything?
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-28-2006 at 11:30 AM.

  7. #27
    Yeah, I'll give a vote for Edmonds as 2nd best CF arm, behind Mays, have seen him make some incredible throws. Kaline's been mentioned by a couple of us. I'm curious about Snider, I know he was a pretty good CFer, don't know much about his arm strength.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 64Cards
    Yeah, I'll give a vote for Edmonds as 2nd best CF arm, behind Mays, have seen him make some incredible throws. Kaline's been mentioned by a couple of us. I'm curious about Snider, I know he was a pretty good CFer, don't know much about his arm strength.
    Edmonds ahead of Andruw?
    "By common consent, Ruth was the hardest hitter of history; a fine fielder, if not a finished one; an inspired base runner, seeming to do the right thing without thinking. He had the most perfect co-ordination of any human animal I ever knew." - Hugh Fullerton, 1936 (Chicago sports writer, 1893-1930's)

    ROY / ERA+ Title / Cy Young / WS MVP / HR Title / Gold Glove / Comeback POY / BA Title / MVP / All Star / HOF

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by BoSox Rule
    Ichiro's arm is so strong, but is also unbelievably accurate.
    Remember the throw when he got Terrance Long on third in his rookie season ? This will be the example for a perfect outfield assist for many years. The only comparable I know was Ferguson nailing that sprinter at home in the 74 series.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    I do remember how Willie turned and threw to 2nd base, from 460 feet out, and he threw so hard, he actually fell down. And the ball got to 2nd before anyone could advance on the play. Now that's one mighty peg!

    I had also completely forgotten about Carl Furillo. He was supposed to carry a cannon on his shoulder.

    By the way, do we have any support for today's top guys, Jones, Hunter, Edmonds, Kotsay, Cameron? Looks like Ichiro/Guerrero have some nice support.

    What about Snider, Kaline, Ott, Virdon? Anyone heard/saw/read anything?
    Bill, I haven't seen nearly as many players as most others on here, but one guy who I've always heard older fans rave about is Jesse Barfield. I was surprised to see him not on your list. Most people who I've talked to have always cited him as having the best arm they're ever seen.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 538280
    Bill, I haven't seen nearly as many players as most others on here, but one guy who I've always heard older fans rave about is Jesse Barfield. I was surprised to see him not on your list. Most people who I've talked to have always cited him as having the best arm they're ever seen.
    I've never even heard of him. I didn't watch baseball from 1966-early 80's.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    I've never even heard of him. I didn't watch baseball from 1966-early 80's.
    Barfield was more of a mid to late 80s player. He was a right fielder mostly known for his throwing arm, universally regarded as the best in baseball. He also had very good power leading the league in home runs in 1986. He didn't have a good batting average though. To leave him out of discussions of the best outfield arms of all time is unfair. From what info I've gathered (statistical and anecdotal) he has had the best arm of the past 25 years, probably the past 50 years, by a wide margin.

  13. #33
    shlevine42 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    I do remember how Willie turned and threw to 2nd base, from 460 feet out, and he threw so hard, he actually fell down. And the ball got to 2nd before anyone could advance on the play. Now that's one mighty peg!

    I had also completely forgotten about Carl Furillo. He was supposed to carry a cannon on his shoulder.

    By the way, do we have any support for today's top guys, Jones, Hunter, Edmonds, Kotsay, Cameron? Looks like Ichiro/Guerrero have some nice support.

    What about Snider, Kaline, Ott, Virdon? Anyone heard/saw/read anything?
    I don't recall Ott or Virdon being credited with unusually strong arms.

    Snider had a decent arm, but Furillo set the standard for powerful, accurate arms in that era. The Pirates' Mel Queen once singled to right against the Dodgers, and Carl threw him out before Queen could reach first.

    I think he threw better than Mays and Clemente.

    Furillo's throws were low, straight and hard, and when I threw with him at Dodger Camp in 1986, they still burned my hand.

    And he was 64 at the time.

  14. #34
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    juan pierre + andruw jones

    he is as good as they comes. saw him make a spectacular throw to home against the senators last year.

    clemente for sure.

    wondering about reggie jackson when he was with the a's.

    best all time, not sure i am qualified to say, but here's a stab:

    mays
    snider
    mantle
    musial
    aaron
    joe jackson

    and nowadays, wow, that andruw jones is something else. I saw him play against the giants. he was fantastic. what a jump he got on every hit. a natural. one of the best in the game.

  15. #35
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    --Barfield by a wide margin? Barfield is one of the top half dozen or so outfield arms of my lifetime (which still is short of 50 years). Kaline and Clemente were the great ones when I first started watching. Reggie Jackson and Reggie Smith were the guys who wowed me the most as a kid fan though. Dave Parker came along a little later and had a great arm. Dwight Evans and Dave Winfield were probably just a little behind the guys previously mentioned. Barfield might have had a little more zip than those guys, but he didn't exactly make me thinkign I was seeing something new.
    --Ichiro actually doesn't have quite the pure arm strength (although he doesn have an outstanding arm) as any of the guys I mentioned above. What makes him great is he always gets in a good throwing position, plus he is very accurate (certainly moreso than Clemente, Jackson or Smith). Vlad clearly has the stronger arm, but is not nearly as accurate (or smart) about using it, although he has improved his accuracy as he aged. If Barfield was the best arm of the modern era it was because he had both the cannon and the accuracy

  16. #36
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    Pretty much everyone has been mentioned so far, but another incredible arm from the modern game was Mark Whiten. Cardinals and Indians, maybe a few others.

    His throws from Right Field to Third were incredible... in that they really did not lose much altitude from one point to the other. When sitting in the box seats, especially on the first base side, his arm was something to behold.

    Certianly not in Clemete, or Ichiro's league, but worth a mention.
    "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."

  17. #37
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    Among current guys, Wily Mo Pena may well have the strongest throwing arm. Unfortunately for us Reds fans, he hasn't a clue where its going!

  18. #38
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    --Whiten is easy to forget because his throwing was the only thing great about him. He had a hard time just getting a starting job. That said, he probably DID have as good an arm as anybody else.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by leecemark
    --Barfield by a wide margin? Barfield is one of the top half dozen or so outfield arms of my lifetime (which still is short of 50 years). Kaline and Clemente were the great ones when I first started watching. Reggie Jackson and Reggie Smith were the guys who wowed me the most as a kid fan though. Dave Parker came along a little later and had a great arm. Dwight Evans and Dave Winfield were probably just a little behind the guys previously mentioned. Barfield might have had a little more zip than those guys, but he didn't exactly make me thinkign I was seeing something new.
    I said the best by a wide margin over the past 25 years, or since 1980. That would take guys like Kaline and Clemente out. Both Reggies were in decline by then also. I never saw Barfield, so I can't say first hand but Jesse does do better statistically than Parker, Evans, Winfield, Ichiro, and Guerrero:

    Ass./162 gm.
    Barfield-18.92
    Guerrero-14.04
    Parker-12.41
    Evans-11.85
    Winfield-10.89
    Ichiro-10.22

    THR+ (stat in Baseball Encyclopedia which is supposed to give an accurate measure of a player's throwing ability)

    Barfield-176
    Guerrero-131
    Evans-103
    Ichiro-103
    Parker-101
    Winfield-92

    I don't have that much confidence in these measures, but when they show Barfield to be this far ahead I have to pretty much give in to the evidence.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by west coast orange and black
    jesse barfield
    roberto clemente
    dwight evans
    vladimir guerrero
    andruw jones
    willie kirkland
    garry maddox
    willie mays
    dave parker
    ichiro suzuki
    Garry Maddox!!! How could I forget?! BIG kudos to you for reminding me, West Coast, thanks a s***load- the 76 batting race was the first one I ever followed closely (I was 9) and still one of the best- and I mean either AL or NL (although AL went to the last game), but Maddox, man, that man had the arm of a generation. Can't say whether it was better than Evans or not, but when it's that good, what's the difference?

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