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  • #31
    Originally posted by Buzzaldrin
    Just pure DH?

    Ruth
    Williams
    Cobb
    Hamilton
    Carew
    Barnes
    Lajoie
    Hornsby
    Keeler
    Pujols

    Leaving Hamilton off this list should be a capital crime.

    Do I need to defend my choices?
    Well - Hamilton, Carew, Lajoie, and Keeler were all very good hitters - but all except Lajoie didn't hit for much (and in Keeler's case, any) power. Hamilton's BA is inflated somewhat by the early days of pitchers trying to adjust to 60 feet, 6 inches. Same for Keeler. Lajoie benefitted from hitting against lesser talent for at least the first couple of years in the AL, and hardly ever walked. Carew was Tony Gwynn with a little less power, but even Tony Gwynn wouldn't make my top 10. Barnes - he was great at taking advantage of the fair/foul bunt rule before 1877. I'm not saying that his BA came mostly from that, but I think it was a significant percentage since his BA declined so much after the rules changed. To be in my top 10 you have to be dominant under more or less the same rules as in today's game. Pujols is off to a good start, but I still think it's too early to put him in the top 10.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Wee Willie
      Pujols is off to a good start, but I still think it's too early to put him in the top 10.
      To me, this was about a hitters ability, not career achievement. We've only seen 5 or so years of Pujols, but from what he's shown, he clearly belongs. I think we can judge him right now, because his approach will not change. He's shown what he can do and will only get better. If pitchers haven't exploited weaknesses by now, they never will. His discipline, adjustments, and consistency are remarkable. He's this era's combo of power and average. Not Adam Dunn, and not Ichiro, but rather a combination. He's Arod without the strikeouts and a higher B.A. I'm stickin' with Phat Albert

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Wee Willie
        Well - Hamilton, Carew, Lajoie, and Keeler were all very good hitters - but all except Lajoie didn't hit for much (and in Keeler's case, any) power. Hamilton's BA is inflated somewhat by the early days of pitchers trying to adjust to 60 feet, 6 inches. Same for Keeler. Lajoie benefitted from hitting against lesser talent for at least the first couple of years in the AL, and hardly ever walked. Carew was Tony Gwynn with a little less power, but even Tony Gwynn wouldn't make my top 10. Barnes - he was great at taking advantage of the fair/foul bunt rule before 1877. I'm not saying that his BA came mostly from that, but I think it was a significant percentage since his BA declined so much after the rules changed. To be in my top 10 you have to be dominant under more or less the same rules as in today's game. Pujols is off to a good start, but I still think it's too early to put him in the top 10.
        I don't think it's fair to put down Hamilton quite like that. The three years before the mound was moved back he finished second, first, and second in the league in hitting, then led the league as soon as the plate was moved. He was also amazingly consistent in an inconsistent era and never had a bad season (unless you count his half season finale when he still managed to hit .287, his only time under .300). He had one of the all-time best eyes for a walk, leading the league 5 times, and with his insane speed on the base paths- five sb titles, he remains one of the most deadly men to ever come to the plate.

        And actually, if you're going to discount the players who had good stats in the mid 1890's, you may as well discount good stats in the late 20's and early 30's and make Foxx and Gehrig ineligible. I don't think anyone's quite ready for that. It was really ONLY 1894 until 1897 that hitting stats were inflated anyhow, the league average dropped back to .271 in 1898. By contrast, the NL hit .303 in 1930, and league batting averages from that era were routinely in the .280's and 90's. The NL hit .309 in 1894, but that was the only year of those four inflated ones about .300.

        Keeler still had some fabulous years after 1897, and with his style of play he wasn't really affected too much by the era and would've done well anytime.

        Lajoie I included more from affection than anything. I suppose I do think Brouthers was a better hitter, but perspectives change. I found a reference to an article from 1910 called "who is the greatest hitter who ever lived" that proposes five candidates- Cobb (impressive since he'd only played a few years at that point), Lajoie, Hamilton, Tip O'Neill, and Harry Stovey. Is anyone today willing to put O'Neill and Stovey on their lists?

        Hamilton still makes mine. As does Barnes. He was one of the best pure hitters ever. His style did indeed cause the fair-foul rule change, but his career was ended by injuries. His 1876 campaign was possibly the most dominant ever (he had 138 hits and 20 walks and scored 126 times. I love that; it's just insane), but he only played 22 games in 1877 and was out the whole season in 1878 and 1880. He'd lost it. Another what might have been story.
        "Here's a crazy thought I've always had: if they cut three fingers off each hand, I'd really be a great hitter because then I could level off better." Paul Waner (lifetime .333 hitter, 3,152 lifetime hits.

        Comment


        • #34
          Sorry to double post, but I was curious and did some checking. Every single year from 1921 to 1930, both the AL and NL averaged at least .280, and usually quite a bit higher. In Jurassic days, only those years 1893-1897 had league averages over .280 (and in 1893 it was exactly .280).

          So, Wee Willie, if you're not going to count players from the 1890's as some of the greatest hitters ever, then you definitely can't count anyone from the 20's. Hornsby, Sisler, Gehrig etc. That can't be right.

          That was quite eye-opening actually. I always figured the 90's were even more lively than the 20's but I was mistaken.
          "Here's a crazy thought I've always had: if they cut three fingers off each hand, I'd really be a great hitter because then I could level off better." Paul Waner (lifetime .333 hitter, 3,152 lifetime hits.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Buzzaldrin
            Sorry to double post, but I was curious and did some checking. Every single year from 1921 to 1930, both the AL and NL averaged at least .280, and usually quite a bit higher. In Jurassic days, only those years 1893-1897 had league averages over .280 (and in 1893 it was exactly .280).

            So, Wee Willie, if you're not going to count players from the 1890's as some of the greatest hitters ever, then you definitely can't count anyone from the 20's. Hornsby, Sisler, Gehrig etc. That can't be right.

            That was quite eye-opening actually. I always figured the 90's were even more lively than the 20's but I was mistaken.
            Not counting anyone from the 1890's has nothing to do with it being an overly offensive-focused era. It has to do with the game being underdeveloped, and the competition level lower.
            "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

            Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

            Comment


            • #36
              Actually, the competition level in the 1890's was, if anything, higher than the 20's since the best players of three leagues had been consolidated into one by 1893, and remained that way until the American League came around. Are you seriously telling that the 1890's game was somehow less worthy than the game after 1900? Which year is the magial cutoff year? And does this mean that Lajoie and Wagner weren't among the best all time because they began playing in the 1890's, although neither won a batting title till after 1900.

              The game before 1900 was the same game it was in the 20's. They're more similar to each other than either of them are to today's game, with the larger rotations, shorter pitching spells, and prominence of the reliever and the DH.

              How exactly, was the game undeveloped in the 1890's anyhow? The players playing had lived in a world of professional ball all their lives (for the most part), and after 1893 all of the modern rules were in place. What was undeveloped that suddenly became developed a handful of years later?
              "Here's a crazy thought I've always had: if they cut three fingers off each hand, I'd really be a great hitter because then I could level off better." Paul Waner (lifetime .333 hitter, 3,152 lifetime hits.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Buzzaldrin
                I don't think it's fair to put down Hamilton quite like that. The three years before the mound was moved back he finished second, first, and second in the league in hitting, then led the league as soon as the plate was moved.
                I wasn't putting Hamilton down. I'm just trying to put things in perspective. He was an excellent offensive performer, but he (as well as others) did have a traditional-stat benefit from the adjustment period pitchers faced when the mound was moved. In the 3 years before the mound was moved, his OPS+ was 139, 152, and 152. Those numbers are hardly worthy of top-10 status.
                Originally posted by Buzzaldrin
                He was also amazingly consistent in an inconsistent era and never had a bad season (unless you count his half season finale when he still managed to hit .287, his only time under .300). He had one of the all-time best eyes for a walk, leading the league 5 times, and with his insane speed on the base paths- five sb titles, he remains one of the most deadly men to ever come to the plate.
                Consistency alone is only part of the formula, though. His 5 consecutive best OPS+ seasons are 152, 152, 169, 157, and 154. While that's very consistent, many others have performed at a much higher level, and for a much longer period of time. As for his stolen bases, those are inflated because he was given a stolen base by going from first to third on a single until 1898. He does have 5 titles though, which is a feather in his cap. But I doubt his speed was "insane" compared to modern players.

                Originally posted by Buzzaldrin
                And actually, if you're going to discount the players who had good stats in the mid 1890's, you may as well discount good stats in the late 20's and early 30's and make Foxx and Gehrig ineligible. I don't think anyone's quite ready for that. It was really ONLY 1894 until 1897 that hitting stats were inflated anyhow, the league average dropped back to .271 in 1898.
                As for the 1890's, might want to go back and check your league stats. The league average was .282 in 1899 and .279 in 1900. And even .271 is a high league average, relatively speaking. The offensive stats from the entire 1890's are inflated - some pitchers were figuring things out in the second half of the decade, but others were still struggling with the adjustment.

                As for Gehrig and Foxx, it's a totally different situation than with Hamilton. This is where relative stats become more important. Gehrig and Foxx were much more dominant relative to their leagues than Hamilton was. This was mainly due to their power, but they also hit for a high average. They also did it for a longer period of time than Hamilton.
                Originally posted by Buzzaldrin
                Keeler still had some fabulous years after 1897, and with his style of play he wasn't really affected too much by the era and would've done well anytime..
                That may be true, but his lack of power alone keeps him out of the top 10.

                Originally posted by Buzzaldrin
                As does Barnes. He was one of the best pure hitters ever. His style did indeed cause the fair-foul rule change, but his career was ended by injuries. His 1876 campaign was possibly the most dominant ever (he had 138 hits and 20 walks and scored 126 times. I love that; it's just insane).
                Sure, the numbers look insane - doesn't necessarily mean he had insane hitting ability per se. Injuries certainly took their toll on Barnes, but I just think the bunting was a big part of his game, too much for him to be considered one of the greatest "pure" hitters.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Buzzaldrin
                  Actually, the competition level in the 1890's was, if anything, higher than the 20's since the best players of three leagues had been consolidated into one by 1893, and remained that way until the American League came around. Are you seriously telling that the 1890's game was somehow less worthy than the game after 1900? Which year is the magial cutoff year? And does this mean that Lajoie and Wagner weren't among the best all time because they began playing in the 1890's, although neither won a batting title till after 1900.

                  The game before 1900 was the same game it was in the 20's. They're more similar to each other than either of them are to today's game, with the larger rotations, shorter pitching spells, and prominence of the reliever and the DH.

                  How exactly, was the game undeveloped in the 1890's anyhow? The players playing had lived in a world of professional ball all their lives (for the most part), and after 1893 all of the modern rules were in place. What was undeveloped that suddenly became developed a handful of years later?
                  The game was undeveloped in many, many ways in the 90's - even compared to the 20's. For one thing, the process of scouting and identifying the best players in America was very crude and unorganized in the 19th century. The process still wasn't nearly as refined in the 20's as it is today, but there was a much more concerted and organized effort to find and train the best talent. Many players were spending a greater period of time learning the game and refining their skills in the minors by the mid-20's as well.
                  Even though there was only one major league in 1895, there were 12 teams, as opposed to 16 teams (from two leagues) in 1925. The U.S. population was about 70 million in 1895, and about 115 million in 1925. So, I'm sure there was a broader talent pool in the 20's. Plus, scouts could travel more easily and more widely in the 1920's to find the talent. Also, pitchers had learned a wider array of pitches by the 20's. Catchers had better equipment by the 20's, and defensive play had improved greatly. In general, an average player of the 20's was much more skilled and had higher performance standards to meet in order to make a team.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by bkmckenna
                    I don't think today's fans give Ty Cobb enough respect. The Dead Ball Era spawned many ridiculous pitching numbers which we can't fathom today. In my estimation the relative value of Cobb is increased and conversely the value of Mathewson, Alexander, Johnson, Walsh, Brown, Joss, Ruth, Young, Plank and the like are decreased because of the era.
                    I think today's fans (at least on this board) give Ty Cobb too much respect. They look at his Relative BA (which is impressive, no doubt), and take it without adjusting for quality of play. You'll find almost everyone on here who supports Cobb as their #1 player is biased towards old timers and make almost no quality of play adjustments. To prove even more how much his Rel. BA isn't as impressive, his average didn't raise at all the 1920s when averages went up. That, to me, is alarming.

                    Also, they claim Cobb had great power. Cobb did have decent power, and probably would hit around 25 HRs today, but why didn't his power increase in the 1920s? That also alarms me. Cobb goes very overrated on this board. I have yet to see a good argument for him over Mays as the #1 MLB CFer. Mays was a better fielder, and virtually the same as a hitter.

                    Many would say Cobb was far superior as a hitter, but I'd take Mays. Mays has a similar OPS+, he faced better competition, and is more of my style (that's subjective, but it does factor into my rankings).

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Wee Willie

                      As for the 1890's, might want to go back and check your league stats. The league average was .282 in 1899 and .279 in 1900. And even .271 is a high league average, relatively speaking. The offensive stats from the entire 1890's are inflated - some pitchers were figuring things out in the second half of the decade, but others were still struggling with the adjustment.

                      As for Gehrig and Foxx, it's a totally different situation than with Hamilton. This is where relative stats become more important. Gehrig and Foxx were much more dominant relative to their leagues than Hamilton was. This was mainly due to their power, but they also hit for a high average. They also did it for a longer period of time than Hamilton.
                      Well, during Barnes' day, he was regarded as the premier hitter of both the NA and the beginning NL, but I think his inclusion or exclusion on the all-time list is a matter of personal opinion, and really unprovable one way or the other.

                      I don't however, believe that a player needs power to be on the all-time list. Hamilton's career OBP depends on his walking ability as much as his average, and with his speed he used that to an incredible advantage to run up his run totals. To take them with a grain of salt because of higher league averages in the 1890's is unfair. Every single year from 1921 to 1930 in both leagues the league average was above .280.

                      As to relative stats- have you looked at www.baseballprospectus.com? Enter a player and scroll down to translated stats. That puts things in perspective pretty well, I think at least, when trying to compare players from different eras. Deflating Hamilton's stats still gives him a lifetime .326 average. Look at his deflated stats for the late 1890's, though. They're still remarkable. Type in Gehrig and he gets deflated further, to a lifetime .317 with a high of .355 in 1934. His homers, however, go through the roof. Foxx makes out the worst- his lifetime BA drops to .299, although his 32, 33, and 38 seasons still rule.

                      I firmly believe that batting averages from the 20's and 30's are at least as inflated as the second half of the 90's, and I don't think that either Gehrig or Foxx dominated their league any more than Cap Anson or Dan Brouthers who were, if you think about it, remarkably similar to them. Gehrig and Anson are the all-time RBI guys, I don't think anybody will argue that, and they were iron men (in different senses, but the word applies to both). Brouthers and Foxx were big sluggers who hit for high average. I just think Brouthers did a better job of dominating the competition (5 batting titles and 7 slugging titles).
                      "Here's a crazy thought I've always had: if they cut three fingers off each hand, I'd really be a great hitter because then I could level off better." Paul Waner (lifetime .333 hitter, 3,152 lifetime hits.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Buzzaldrin
                        Well, during Barnes' day, he was regarded as the premier hitter of both the NA and the beginning NL, but I think his inclusion or exclusion on the all-time list is a matter of personal opinion, and really unprovable one way or the other.

                        I don't however, believe that a player needs power to be on the all-time list. Hamilton's career OBP depends on his walking ability as much as his average, and with his speed he used that to an incredible advantage to run up his run totals. To take them with a grain of salt because of higher league averages in the 1890's is unfair. Every single year from 1921 to 1930 in both leagues the league average was above .280.
                        I can understand your preference to place some non-power hitters on your list. But again, I'm not taking Hamilton's accomplishments with a grain of salt - just putting them in what I see is in their proper historical context. For what it's worth, he's in my top 75 players and is a bona fide HOF'er. And batting average only tells part of the story as a hitter. I just think Foxx's and Gehrig's power/average combo trumps Hamilton's high average/speed.

                        I go to baseballprospectus a lot. I think their EqA and WARP figures, however flawed, are somewhat helpful in assessing performance. The translated stats are interesting but I don't take the translated HR's seriously. They have Tris Speaker hitting 50 homers in one year, I believe.

                        I've always liked Brouthers, much more so than Anson. Actually, I like Connor even more than Anson. Brouthers in particular probably did dominate his league to a greater extent than Foxx did, although not as much as Gehrig. I just think the quality of play/player was better in Gehrig's and Foxx's time. Some people (like Bill James) almost completely discount the 19th century players and leave guys like Brouthers off their top-10 1B's. But I definitely think Brouthers is a top 6-or-7 1B, and Connor has a case for top 10, too.
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-30-2005, 08:46 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          You'll find almost everyone on here who supports Cobb as their #1 player is biased towards old timers and make almost no quality of play adjustments.
                          This is a generalzation which may or may not have merit. My list.
                          1. Cobb 2. Wagner 3. Mays 4. Bonds 5. Ruth 6. Charleston.

                          I believe you will find the lists of ElHalo/Imapotato do not confirm to your stereotype either.
                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------It seems like many of us here at Fever favor the same players at the top of our Top 20 lists. To demonstrate the similarity of our lists, here are some of our top players.
                          Code:
                          [B][COLOR=Red]Bill--------Nolan--------Mark--------Zeth------ElHalo------BillyF29[/COLOR]-----[/B]
                          Cobb--------Ruth---------Ruth--------Bonds-----Ruth---------Ruth-----
                          Wagner------Cobb---------Mays--------Wagner----Cobb---------Cobb
                          Mays--------Wagner-------Cobb--------Mays------Mays---------Wagner
                          Bonds------ Mays---------Wagner------Cobb------Wagner-------Williams
                          Ruth--------Williams-----Williams----Ruth-------------------Mays
                          Charleston--Bonds--------------------Charleston-------------Bonds
                          ------------Charleston----------------------------------------------------
                          ------------Speaker--------------------------------------------------------
                          
                          
                          [B][COLOR=Red]BoSox----Torez77----Prof93------DoubleX-----Baseball Guru----Lou Gehrig[/COLOR][/B]
                          Bonds------Ruth-----Cobb--------Ruth--------Ruth-------------Cobb
                          Williams---Mays-----Ruth--------Mays--------Musial-----------Ruth
                          Ruth-------Cobb-----Wagner------Cobb--------Bonds------------Wagner
                          Cobb-------Gehrig---------------Bonds-------Mays--------------------
                          Mays-------Williams-------------Wagner------Williams------------------
                          --------------------------------Williams----Cobb--------------------
                          
                          
                          
                          [B][COLOR=Red]Mr.Russ--EdgarHoF---Catfish---Pretorius-----Bump11--MetsFan---Abacab[/COLOR][/B]---------------Ruth-------Ruth--------Ruth------Ruth---------Ruth------Ruth------Ruth
                          Williams--Cobb-------Cobb------Mays--------Mays------Mays------Mays
                          Cobb------Mays-------Mays------Bonds-------Aaron-----Williams--Cobb
                          Bonds-----Wagner-----Williams--Cobb--------Bonds-----Hornsby---Wagner
                          Musial----Bonds------Bonds-----Williams----Williams--Wagner----Williams
                          Mays---------------------------Wagner----------------Cobb-----------
                          
                          
                          [B][COLOR=Red]Catcher24--dudecar----Chancellor---4Tool[/COLOR]- [/B] 
                          Ruth---------Mays------Cobb--------Ruth
                          Mays---------Cobb------Ruth--------Cobb
                          Cobb---------Ruth------Williams----Wagner
                          Wagner-------Gehrig----Mays
                          Williams-----Wagner----Mantle
                          Bonds--------Musial----Bonds
                          -------------Williams
                          It would appear from these 24 posters, that the top players still are:
                          Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, Mays, Bonds, Williams.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            --Bill, assuming I am who you mean by "Mark" your list is badly out of date. Currently; 1) Mays, 2) Ruth, 3) Aaron, 4) Williams, 5) Schmidt, 6) Mantle, 7) Musial, 8) Wagner, 9) Cobb, 10) Bonds or Charleston. This is how I have been voting in the current series of polls on best all time position players. Some of the other posters on your list disappeared from this board long ago, so whether their old opinions reflect current sentiment at BBF is debateable.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              --No. I posted a list based strictly on the criteria of this thread earlier. However, the lists you posted were not taken from this thread either. I assume they were people's all time player lists you have collected over the years.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                That is correct. I was responding to Chris' allegation that Cobb supporters are unbalanced in their support of "old-timers".

                                That was what I was attempting to address. We are a rather balanced, motley crew.

                                Comment

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