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  • Originally posted by scooterfan View Post
    Mickey Mantle was built like an ox in an era when just about all the guys were either skinny or out shape. If he played today he'd belt over 60 homers a year. Anybody remember how Mickey did as a broadcaster for Sportschannel?
    I don't know how Mantle would do today, but that advantage you're talking about against his peers when he played wouldn't exist today. As a matter of fact, he'd look and be built more like a second baseman compared to today's players and the pitchers would dwarf him in stature and athleticism.

    No knock on Mantle, it's just the way it is.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by mandrake View Post
      I bought that book about the 1921 season and it is one of the best documented baseball books that I ever read. I actually bought it for my 83 yr old dad, who actually was too young to recall Ruth as a player. He did grow up listening to all 3 teams on the radio, his only escape from extreme poverty (one time the family radio was repo'd because they did not pay the electric bill). Anyway, he loves the book and thinks everyone baseball fan should read it.

      I am glad I had a chance to take him to NYS in 2009 to show him around .(due to health issues I could not take him to RYS in 2008)

      BTW, the short 257 fence in RF....it quickly dropped off very deeply and balls hit around the foul pole back then and then landed in the stands were not considered HR's back in the 1920's. They had to land in fair territory.
      Babe needed no advantage, did he hit some down that short RF line at the Polo Grounds, later some down that short RF line 296 at Yankee Stadium, I'm sure he did but he was not a pull hitter. If one goes to Proquest and read hundreds of game write ups in the news archives as I have, you will come to the conclusion that most of his homers would be home runs even with a deeper RF.

      Also Yankee Stadium overall was not a homer friendly park over all. Deep right center field 429 feet, deeper than most dead CF distances today. Dead CF in Ruth's time, 487 feet and just to the left of dead center 490. How many 450 feet drives did he hit to CF that were just outs, maybe some EBH's. Drives that deep today, ESPN highlight home runs.

      A bit on Babe at the Polo Grounds. Not only was he changing the philosophy of the game, window breaking he forced changes on the field. That line that was painted high on the stands was a precursor to what we now call the foul pole.

      Here it is, Babe and the Polo Grounds.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • Originally posted by doctor_gogol View Post
        You've got to wonder if players like Ruth and Mantle played in today's game, would they even be All Stars? Or would they even make it to the majors? As you know, Babe Ruth wasn't exactly a fitness fanatic. He'd stay out all night drinking. Would have a six pack and 3 steaks for dinner. 10 hot dogs for lunch. Mantle frequently came to the park hung over with no sleep.

        It's impossible to really say for sure.
        Whats up Doc? Your correct impossible to really know.
        How ever, actually Ruth was one of a small number of players back then that took whipping into shape seriously. One of the few that put to use the services of a physical trainer, Artie McGovern's gym. Many could not afford their own personal trainer, that should not have stopped them from doing so on their own. The complete opposite of the image most have of the Bam, he did work out, not many did back then.

        As he got older, around 1925 every winter he would take to the gym, get into shape. Sure he probably packed on some weight during the season but worked very hard to start the season in good shape.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 01-01-2010, 08:02 PM.

        Comment


        • Great photos!


          He obviously did more than most players in his day. But looking at his workout, most regular citizens these days (who are really into fitness) have a more rigorous workout. Not to mention what professional athletes do.

          One more reason why we'll never know for sure if players like Ruth could make it in today's game: Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, etc... played their entire careers with some of the greatest players in the world banned from the game just because they were black.

          People like Ruth weren't playing against all the best talent of their day.

          Lets look at this another way: plop A-Rod or Pujols into 1925 against 1925 talent and I bet they are breaking records left and right.
          Last edited by doctor_gogol; 01-01-2010, 08:36 PM.
          Vintage Photos of Detroit Ballparks:
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/doctor_gogol/sets/

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/4[email protected]/sets/

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Rob R View Post
            I don't know how Mantle would do today, but that advantage you're talking about against his peers when he played wouldn't exist today. As a matter of fact, he'd look and be built more like a second baseman compared to today's players and the pitchers would dwarf him in stature and athleticism.

            No knock on Mantle, it's just the way it is.
            Not true. Mantle had huge back and neck muscles from working in the mines as a kid in Oklahoma. Your analogy may have merit with skinnier guys like Dimaggio, Mays, Bird and Russell but not with specimens like Gehrig and Mantle.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by doctor_gogol View Post
              Great photos!


              He obviously did more than most players in his day. But looking at his workout, most regular citizens these days (who are really into fitness) have a more rigorous workout. Not to mention what professional athletes do.

              One more reason why we'll never know for sure if players like Ruth could make it in today's game: Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, etc... played their entire careers with some of the greatest players in the world banned from the game just because they were black.

              People like Ruth weren't playing against all the best talent of their day.

              Lets look at this another way: plop A-Rod or Pujols into 1925 against 1925 talent and I bet they are breaking records left and right.
              OK, only if we put them into that time subject to the conditions at that time. That they were born in that time, subject to growing up in that time, nutrition, training methods, therapy, surgical methods to treat injuries, not as advanced as today.

              If born in that time as the others, odds are they are not the physical specimens they are today. We can't just take them as they are and transfer them into a time and compare them to players who did not benefit from all the advancements over the years, how is that a fair comparison. We're speaking of a time difference of around 80 years.

              Comment


              • Plop A-Rod and Pujols into 1925, and guaranteed they don't look the way they do phyiscally today. They'd be par for the times in terms of physical conditioning. Not to diminish their talent (A-Rod is one of the purest hitters of all time....just as Babe Ruth was); But they wouldn't be in the condition they are today. That said, If Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, lived in today's time, they'd have the same physical conditioning available to modern athletes. I suggest that they would succeed quite well...if not surpass their legendary successes. My point is that comparisons like this are moot for obvious reasons.

                As for the banning of Black athletes back in the day....it is a shame that Ruth, Gehrig, etc didn't get a chance to compete with the known talent in the Black leagues. That is a blemish on history for sure. But I think Players like Ruth stand on their own merits...and their successes can not and should not be diminished as such. to suggest that they didn't compete with the best talent of their day is wrong. To suggest that they didn't compete with all the best out there is a fair statement. But you are suggesting that the best talent was banned and that the talent playing in MLB was inferior. I'll need to disagree respectfully.

                Originally posted by doctor_gogol View Post
                Great photos!


                He obviously did more than most players in his day. But looking at his workout, most regular citizens these days (who are really into fitness) have a more rigorous workout. Not to mention what professional athletes do.

                One more reason why we'll never know for sure if players like Ruth could make it in today's game: Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, etc... played their entire careers with some of the greatest players in the world banned from the game just because they were black.

                People like Ruth weren't playing against all the best talent of their day.

                Lets look at this another way: plop A-Rod or Pujols into 1925 against 1925 talent and I bet they are breaking records left and right.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by doctor_gogol View Post
                  Great photos!


                  He obviously did more than most players in his day. But looking at his workout, most regular citizens these days (who are really into fitness) have a more rigorous workout. Not to mention what professional athletes do.

                  One more reason why we'll never know for sure if players like Ruth could make it in today's game: Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, etc... played their entire careers with some of the greatest players in the world banned from the game just because they were black.

                  People like Ruth weren't playing against all the best talent of their day.

                  Lets look at this another way: plop A-Rod or Pujols into 1925 against 1925 talent and I bet they are breaking records left and right.
                  I can agree, Ruth would most likely not dominate today as he did then. That of course does not mean that he would not be near the top today.
                  Ruth was a rare talent, 714 home runs, a free swinger yet his .342 batting average is 5th best all time of modern players. Never a combination of hitting and also hitting for power in one player.

                  He could hit the best back then.
                  He had 10 career home runs off of Walter Johnson. He never hit against Johnson after 1927, Walter left the game

                  He had 9 career home runs off of Lefty Grove, one of the greatest ever left handed pitchers. Consider this, Babe never faced Lefty until 1925, Ruths 11th year in MLB. Also lost one home run against Grove in 1930, Shibe Park. A drive that cleared the wall in right centerfield, struck speaker supports and bounde back on to the playing field, he was sent back to second base, a double.

                  Very possible, had he faced Johnson after 1927 and Grove before 1925 he may have hit a combined total of 30 career homers off two of the greatest.

                  Black pitchers told of the respect they had for Ruth, playing some exhibition games. Ace black star Dick "Cannon Ball" Redding advised to walk Ruth in one at bat, he chose to pitch to Ruth. Redding's own words, how Ruth hit the ball into the next county and in another at bat how one of Ruths drives nearly killed their second baseman.

                  One drive he hit off of Satchel Paige far into a vacant field. The game was held up while a young boy retrieved the ball. Satch had Babe authograph the ball, they shook hands.
                  Admitted, only small samples, he certainly did not "own" thse great pitchers, white or black but he did have some success against them, some great ones.

                  Also I have a photo from a black newspaper from the 1920s, Babe promoting black players. praising their talent and how MLB would benefit from allowing them to play.
                  Sadly, this article appeared in only one black newspaper, none of the major newspapers displayed that article.
                  Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 01-01-2010, 09:22 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Yankee1965 View Post
                    Plop A-Rod and Pujols into 1925, and guaranteed they don't look the way they do phyiscally today. They'd be par for the times in terms of physical conditioning.
                    This is why this entire debate is moot. There is superior opportunity for conditioning now than there was under Ruth's time. This started with someone saying how many HR's Ruth would have hit if he was playing now.

                    There are SOOOO many other variables to look at other than just the fences are closer. As seemed to be the point earlier.

                    Originally posted by Yankee1965 View Post
                    But you are suggesting that the best talent was banned and that the talent playing in MLB was inferior. I'll need to disagree respectfully.
                    No, I wasn't suggesting that. You had it right the 1st time. They weren't playing against ALL the best. But some of the black players WERE the best. In a different world, we'd be debating whether Josh Gibson would succeed in today's game.


                    Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
                    One drive he hit off of Satchel Paige far into a vacant field. The game was held up while a young boy retrieved the ball. Satch had Babe authograph the ball, they shook hands.
                    You are 100% correct. Ruth did a LOT to promote black baseball. I'm sure he would have loved to have played with and against many of the Negro league players.

                    But you can't really compare his performance while having fun in exhibition games with the competitiveness of a real MLB game.

                    But like I said, this debate can go nowhere as there are way too many variables. But, it's interesting as hell! Thank you!
                    Last edited by doctor_gogol; 01-01-2010, 10:25 PM.
                    Vintage Photos of Detroit Ballparks:
                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/doctor_gogol/sets/

                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
                      Babe needed no advantage, did he hit some down that short RF line at the Polo Grounds, later some down that short RF line 296 at Yankee Stadium, I'm sure he did but he was not a pull hitter. If one goes to Proquest and read hundreds of game write ups in the news archives as I have, you will come to the conclusion that most of his homers would be home runs even with a deeper RF.

                      Also Yankee Stadium overall was not a homer friendly park over all. Deep right center field 429 feet, deeper than most dead CF distances today. Dead CF in Ruth's time, 487 feet and just to the left of dead center 490. How many 450 feet drives did he hit to CF that were just outs, maybe some EBH's. Drives that deep today, ESPN highlight home runs.

                      A bit on Babe at the Polo Grounds. Not only was he changing the philosophy of the game, window breaking he forced changes on the field. That line that was painted high on the stands was a precursor to what we now call the foul pole.

                      Here it is, Babe and the Polo Grounds.
                      Ruth was basically a freak. If you look at the distances from that book, they are just insane and all documented. I have no doubt if he played today with today's conditioning he would dominate.
                      27/40

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by doctor_gogol View Post
                        I maintain that these outrageous records of the first part of the 20th century weren't because players were better. It was because there were a few seriously dedicated athletes playing against people who weren't the same caliber.
                        You may be contradicting yourself if you're including Ruth in there. Otherwise he could put up astounding numbers despite being out of shape and not exactly living clean.

                        My counterpoint is then, if Ruth and Mantle could play that well while STILL maintaining the lifestyles they did, woudl they beat out guys who were great but lived much healthier, like Gehrig or Joe D?

                        Look at Maris... good shape, not a heavy partier, sure he smoked (a lot) but it still took almost 40 years for a couple of guys to beat him, and they were doped up on hormones. Granted pitching is a totally different story, but I contend that a hitter is a hitter. It's not always about strength or shape (although upper body strength definitely has proven to help), it's about how you can manipulate your body to achieve the desired result.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by giantsean View Post
                          You may be contradicting yourself if you're including Ruth in there. Otherwise he could put up astounding numbers despite being out of shape and not exactly living clean.

                          My counterpoint is then, if Ruth and Mantle could play that well while STILL maintaining the lifestyles they did, woudl they beat out guys who were great but lived much healthier, like Gehrig or Joe D?

                          Look at Maris... good shape, not a heavy partier, sure he smoked (a lot) but it still took almost 40 years for a couple of guys to beat him, and they were doped up on hormones. Granted pitching is a totally different story, but I contend that a hitter is a hitter. It's not always about strength or shape (although upper body strength definitely has proven to help), it's about how you can manipulate your body to achieve the desired result.
                          I think right around 60 HR is the most a normal, non enhanced power hitter can hit. Ruth in today's parks might hit around 65, MAYBE...but he was a freak of nature. Guys like Junior Griffey who I do trust hit around 58 in their best seasons under current playing conditions.
                          Last edited by Kurosawa; 01-01-2010, 11:39 PM.
                          27/40

                          Comment


                          • Something else to consider....Ruth never benefited from uniform baseballs or modern bats. In today's game, if a ball touches the dirt it is thrown out. Also, he lost many home runs to two things. If a ball landed foul, it was foul regardless if it was fair when it left the park. Secondly, if you hit a home run with men on and one of them is the game ending run...you only got credit for a single.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Yankee1965 View Post
                              Plop A-Rod and Pujols into 1925, and guaranteed they don't look the way they do phyiscally today. They'd be par for the times in terms of physical conditioning. Not to diminish their talent (A-Rod is one of the purest hitters of all time....just as Babe Ruth was); But they wouldn't be in the condition they are today. That said, If Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, lived in today's time, they'd have the same physical conditioning available to modern athletes. I suggest that they would succeed quite well...if not surpass their legendary successes. My point is that comparisons like this are moot for obvious reasons.

                              As for the banning of Black athletes back in the day....it is a shame that Ruth, Gehrig, etc didn't get a chance to compete with the known talent in the Black leagues. That is a blemish on history for sure. But I think Players like Ruth stand on their own merits...and their successes can not and should not be diminished as such. to suggest that they didn't compete with the best talent of their day is wrong. To suggest that they didn't compete with all the best out there is a fair statement. But you are suggesting that the best talent was banned and that the talent playing in MLB was inferior. I'll need to disagree respectfully.

                              Also, Rodriguez & Pujols may stand noticeably taller than the average MLB player of 80 years ago.

                              I'm 5'8" - average for 1910 but certainly not for 2010!
                              RYS to NYS: "Obi-Lonn never told you what happened to your father."

                              NYS: "He told me enough. He told me you killed him - in the 1970s!!"

                              RYS: "No, I am your father..."

                              NYS: "No, it's not true, that's impossible!!!!"

                              RYS: "Look beyond my respirator pods and my upper crown; you know it to be true!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Yankee1965 View Post
                                But you are suggesting that the best talent was banned and that the talent playing in MLB was inferior. I'll need to disagree respectfully.
                                A lot of the best talent WAS banned. I am not saying the MLB was inferior, but just look at the ROY and MVP awards for the first 25 years after Jackie was finally allowed in.

                                Comment

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