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Thread: Mickey Mantle V. Willie Mays

  1. #81
    Yet the yankee teams that accomplished that streak did not have many Afro-American players. They weren't quite the Red Sox, but they weren't looking for the Larry Dobys either .

  2. #82
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    Why am I listed as starting this thread? I just realized there are a number of other threads as well that I'm listed as the starter but I didn't really start.

    EDIT; I just realized why. It's because of that strange day we had where the clock was WAY off and thought it was January 2002.

  3. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by leecemark View Post
    --Willie has 2 other advantages besides playing in the better league. He was a MUCH better defensive player and he was MUCH more durable. Willie was a guy you could count on to be in the lineup everyday, while Mickey was always going to miss some games. That reduces the value of Mantle's rate advantage. That said, I agree that Mantle's very best years (56-7 and 61) were better than Mays' best. Outside of those three years though I'd be inclined to go with Willie. For sure, if I got to go back to 1951 and grab one to play out their career as my centerfielder I wouldn't hesitate to choose Mays.
    Wouldn't 1951 be pre-Mick sprinkler injury?

    Just looking at them then I would think you would have to choose the Mick. He had the speed of a sprinter and the power of the Babe (allegedly). He also had tremendous defensive talent in his athletic prime (ie. 1951) and also was willing to take his walks. If he is this close, or better to some, to Mays already, I could only imagine how badly he would destroy Mays had he been healthy.

    Going back to 1951 allows you to eliminate Mick's health issues and that crazy sprinkler drain. That being said, I would easily choose Mantle if I was a GM with a roster spot in 1951. I tend to believe he would have gone down as the greatest ever had he not had injuries.

    As far as rating their peaks, I think it is Mantle fairly easily, for reasons already outlined by others in this thread. I go back and forth on which one should rate higher overall, but since I tend to favor peak more than most, I'd probably be rating Mantle higher if I were to make a list right now.

  4. #84
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    Flash, I think Mark meant he would take Willie assuming that their careers would go the way they actually did. I think Mickey was better at his best, but Mays lasted longer, and while Mantle was a better hitter while he was playing, it was usually in less games than Mays, and Mays also the advantage of being a better defensive player to make the offensive edge probably even out (or perhaps not even). The point with the durability point is that the rate can be misleading because in a season Mays might play 160 and Mantle 145, Mantle might be better per game but with Mays playing 15 more games that might make it unclear or at least cut into the rate edge by quite a bit.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisLDuncan View Post
    I dunno for the reasons I listed above I'll take Mantle, Mays' peak wasn't all that great...I think he's really overrated. To me it isn't even close, Mays is my 5th best CF.
    Mays never had an OPS+ above 185

    Mantle from 1956-1963 had an OPS+ below 185 only twice

    and Mantle walked alot more and was much better in the post season

  6. #86
    I love both.

  7. #87
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    hmmm.... most posters pick Mantle, but when we have thread threads where posters rank players, Mays wins easily.
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  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR Hart View Post
    hmmm.... most posters pick Mantle, but when we have thread threads where posters rank players, Mays wins easily.
    It is very common here and elsewhere for vocal and passionate minorities to make the minority side seem bigger than what it is. Just like even though a hotel can have a 4/5 on Trip Advisor, a majority of the comments can be negative.

    Also - there has been TONS of turnover here in the past 10 years. Most of the Mantle fans from this thread have been long-gone for a while.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR Hart View Post
    hmmm.... most posters pick Mantle, but when we have thread threads where posters rank players, Mays wins easily.
    Also, JR, most of the posters who posted in this thread 10+ years ago no longer post here at BBF. There was no WAR then, also. Win Shares and WARP3 were used back then but nowhere near the extend that WAR is used today in these types of threads. WAR brings forth Mays apparently massive edge in defense over Mantle. Mays had six seasons of 10+ WAR and three more season of 9+ WAR. Mantle only had three 10+ WAR seasons and one other 9+ WAR season.
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  10. #90
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    I'm a big fan of Mantle and damn if I could have seen him play in his prime.
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  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1905 Giants View Post
    I'm a big fan of Mantle and damn if I could have seen him play in his prime.
    Yeah. One of the biggest what-ifs in baseball is what Mantle would have done if he never hurt his knee and wasn't a drunk. I mean look what he did anyways, he was amazing.
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  12. #92
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    I think the only the lists where Mantle would belong ahead ahead of Mays.

    Greatest hitting peaks
    Greatest hitters
    Greatest raw talents
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    Is it a given that Mantle was a better hitter? Mays had a higher batting average despite playing in almost 600 more games, and, shockingly, had the same slugging percentage. He hit many more doubles and triples and nearly as many homers. All Mantle did better was walk.

  14. #94
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    Well if career value is considered, then Mays probably has a case, despite the 10 point gap in OPS+. Greatest hitter was meant as at their very best.
    "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)

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  15. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by willshad View Post
    Is it a given that Mantle was a better hitter? Mays had a higher batting average despite playing in almost 600 more games, and, shockingly, had the same slugging percentage. He hit many more doubles and triples and nearly as many homers. All Mantle did better was walk.
    Mantle's higher walk rate, combined with their very similar BAs and ISOs, made him a more valuable batter in a number of seasons. But whether he was a better hitter is unclear. I think that at his very best- 1956 and 1957- Mantle probably was a slightly better hitter than Mays was at his best.

  16. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by BigRon View Post
    Mantle's higher walk rate, combined with their very similar BAs and ISOs, made him a more valuable batter in a number of seasons. But whether he was a better hitter is unclear. I think that at his very best- 1956 and 1957- Mantle probably was a slightly better hitter than Mays was at his best.
    More than slightly.

    Mays best ever OPS+ was 184 in 1965. This was the only time that he got to 180 or higher. Mantle was 180+ in 7 different seasons. His top 5 seasons are 223, 213, 210, 198, 197.
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  17. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    More than slightly.

    Mays best ever OPS+ was 184 in 1965. This was the only time that he got to 180 or higher. Mantle was 180+ in 7 different seasons. His top 5 seasons are 223, 213, 210, 198, 197.
    By OPS+, true. But the difference between the two is completely walks driven. That makes Mantle a more valuable batter, but not necessarily a better hitter. Career-wise, Mays had higher rates in BA, doubles rates, triples rates. They were identical in SA. Mantle had a tiny ISO edge and a modest HR rate advantage. Just in terms of hitting the ball they are a wash, except that Mays did it for many more games. Mantle's advantage came in getting more walks, thus making a smaller percentage of outs per PA. That's value as a batter, not necessarily as a hitter.

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRon View Post
    By OPS+, true. But the difference between the two is completely walks driven. That makes Mantle a more valuable batter, but not necessarily a better hitter. Career-wise, Mays had higher rates in BA, doubles rates, triples rates. They were identical in SA. Mantle had a tiny ISO edge and a modest HR rate advantage. Just in terms of hitting the ball they are a wash, except that Mays did it for many more games. Mantle's advantage came in getting more walks, thus making a smaller percentage of outs per PA. That's value as a batter, not necessarily as a hitter.

    How is drawing walks not a hitting skill?
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  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturg1dj View Post
    How is drawing walks not a hitting skill?
    In case anyone cares - there is a higher year-2-year correlation with walking than there is slugging% or BA. Walking is one of the most repeatable and highly influential skills in baseball.

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  20. #100
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    Does OPS+ really tell us was the better hitter? Mantle's OPS+ is referenced against the AL of his time. Mays OPS+ is referenced against the NL of his time. This is where LQ is important. How much stronger was the NL compared to the AL during Mantle's and Mays playing career? I seem to remember a thread where someone tracked players who changed leagues in the 1960's, I believe, and as a group the players who went from the NL to the AL saw a significant increase in OPS+ while players going from the AL to the NL saw a decrease in OPS+ as a group.
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