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Mickey Mantle V. Willie Mays

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  • #16
    Mickey Mantle was the Micheal Jordan of baseball imo. He was immortal, and he did this while drunk most of the time! Imagine a healthy Mantle?????? Sorry Sayhey, Mantle is the best player ever!

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Bench 5
      Which league was better in your opinion? Do you have any statistical evidence to back up your claim or is this entirely subjective. Looking at World Series inter-league play, the leagues appear fairly even. All Star games favored the NL but I don't consider that the definitive source for making a determination. I don't think that there was a perceptible difference. Certainly not enough to discount Mantle's performance.
      I think looking at the WS is very misleading, because the Yankees were a real dynasty in that time. But a dynasty doens't always have a good effect on league quality, the Yankees often dominated the talent market and the rest of the league was not so strong.

      The main argument for the NL being much stronger is that they were much quicker to integrate and had many more black players and black stars. The AL was basicaly half integrated in the 50s, with many teams like the Red Sox, Tigers, and Yankees not getting black players until the late 50s or even the 60s. The 60s the leagues started to get closer, but there was still that hangover effect and blacks still often preferred to sign with the NL teams. By the 70s the effect had probably worn off. This is what Craig Wright says in The Diamond Appraised:

      "A key factor during the first half of this era (the 60s) was that the NL still had a clear edge in the depth of star talent. This was the residue of the National League's edge in signing the best black talent before the draft was instituted in 1965. Even when the American League was pushing hard to be competitive in scouting and signing black players, those with a real choice-the ones with the kind of star potential that guaranteed serious suitors in both leaugues, tended to sign with the NL.

      Look at the distribution of black All-Stars coming into baseball before the draft. Joining Robinson, Campanella, Irvin, Aaron, Banks, and Mays as a new generation of black NL superstars: Fergie Jenkins, Willie McCovey, Bob Gibson, Billy Williams, Lou Brock, Willie Stargell, and Dick Allen. The AL had to settle for the lesser stars like Willie Horton, Mudcat Grant, Reggie Smith, Tommie Agee, Carlos May, Rod Carew, Blue Moon Odom, Roy White, George Scott, Al Downing, and Paul Blair. That group had trouble competing with just the second level of the NL's black stars, players like Bobby Bonds, Jimmy Wynn, Curt Flood, Alex Johnson, Vada Pinson, Tommy Davis, Willie Davis, Dock Ellis, Don Wilson, and Al Oliver."

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by 538280
        Also, I strongly believe that during Mays' and Mantle's time the gap bewteen the leagues was rather large.
        And Mays was born closer to Ruth than he was to Griffey Jr

        Anyway, I take Mays. Mantle's speed was amazing when healthy, but his baserunning and instincts aren't all they're cracked up to be imo, given his poor extra base hit numbers in a great park for them. However, that makes his SA even that much more impressive, considering it was put up without gaudy double and triple numbers. I also don't think his defense lives up to the legend.

        Mays 3rd
        Mantle 12th
        "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

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
          And Mays was born closer to Ruth than he was to Griffey Jr
          [/QUOTE]

          I would take Mays' leagues over Griffey's as well. It's not all based on timeline, you know.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
            Anyway, I take Mays. Mantle's speed was amazing when healthy, but his baserunning and instincts aren't all they're cracked up to be imo, given his poor extra base hit numbers in a great park for them. However, that makes his SA even that much more impressive, considering it was put up without gaudy double and triple numbers. I also don't think his defense lives up to the legend.

            Mays 3rd
            Mantle 12th
            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.
            "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

            "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqul1GyK7-g

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by 538280
              I think looking at the WS is very misleading, because the Yankees were a real dynasty in that time. But a dynasty doens't always have a good effect on league quality, the Yankees often dominated the talent market and the rest of the league was not so strong. The main argument for the NL being much stronger is that they were much quicker to integrate and had many more black players and black stars.
              Dynasties also can have the impact of making other teams stronger due to the fact that they have to face tougher competition during the regular season. I think the anecdotal evidence that you can derive from looking at head to head in the WS is stronger evidence than basing league quality soley on racial composition. Your line of thinking was popular in the 70's to answer why the NL won the AS game so many times. I don't see any evidence that there was a noticeable difference in league quality between the leagues during the time that they played.
              "Batting slumps? I never had one. When a guy hits .358, he doesn't have slumps."

              Rogers Hornsby, 1961

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by KCGHOST
                And, to me, it doesn't matter why Mantle's career was shorter. All that matters is that it was.
                This, to me, doesn't make sense. People remember a lot about Mickey, but one thing they don't remember is that he wasn't forced to retire because of injuries.

                Mick didn't retire until spring training in '69. He was still eminently capable of playing baseball (don't forget; he finished in the top 10 in the AL in OPS his final season, and Roy White has consistently maintained that he was still BY FAR the best player on the Yankees at that point, although in fairness that might not have been saying much).

                The point is this: Mantle had spent his entire career a winner. Going into 1969, he was playing in tremendous pain (had been for years) for a team that had finished outside the top four in the AL for four straight years. They had no prospect of turning things around any time soon.

                He could have kept playing through pain, as an extremely productive hitter... but for what? Winning, the only thing he'd ever known, was beyond him. He had accomplished everything he'd ever could have dreamed of accomplishing and more. It hurt him to play, and when he did play, all his team did was lose. His legacy was cemented, and wasn't going to be improved any more by trudging on.

                I think of an analogy to my single favorite athlete as a teenager (well, in the pre-Derek Jeter years), Barry Sanders. Barry Sanders was, without question, the single most entertaining athlete I have ever bared witness to (and this is taking into account the fact that I can't stand football). The things he could do on a playing field could make you cry. He was easily the best runner in the game when he retired, and could have gone on playing another four or five years or more, putting everybody in his taillights on the career rushing list. But he didn't. Why?

                The Lions were losers. They were always going to be losers. Nothing he could ever do was going to change that. His legacy was complete: one of the, if not the single, greatest running backs in the history of football. He could go on and rack up the individual numbers while he team stayed mired in mediocrity, but why? What was he to gain from that? The team wasn't going to progress as long as they stayed with the mentality of building around Barry. He wasn't going to win any championships there. There was just no point in him continuing to play the game of football.

                Likewise for Mantle. Yes, you can say that the booze and hard life hit him hard (and they did). But they didn't hit him so hard that he wasn't a productive player. They didn't hit him so hard that he couldn't have gone on playing as a productive player. But what was to be gained? The Yankees wouldn't start rebuilding while Mickey was there. The Yankees wouldn't win championships, the only thing Mick had ever known, while he was there. The only Mickey could do was show up on the field and maybe help them finish in fifth place instead of seventh, and add to his own personal numbers. Mickey had too much pride, too much integrity, for that.

                How can you fault him? What was to be gained by him doing anything else?
                "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by 538280
                  I think looking at the WS is very misleading, because the Yankees were a real dynasty in that time. But a dynasty doens't always have a good effect on league quality, the Yankees often dominated the talent market and the rest of the league was not so strong.

                  The main argument for the NL being much stronger is that they were much quicker to integrate and had many more black players and black stars. The AL was basicaly half integrated in the 50s, with many teams like the Red Sox, Tigers, and Yankees not getting black players until the late 50s or even the 60s. The 60s the leagues started to get closer, but there was still that hangover effect and blacks still often preferred to sign with the NL teams. By the 70s the effect had probably worn off. This is what Craig Wright says in The Diamond Appraised:
                  Chris. You seem to be relying a great deal on this book by Craig Wright in forming your views. However, the passage you cited seems partially inaccurate. If you've quoted him correctly, he seems to be making the claim that a second wave of Feguson Jenkins, Willie McCovey, Dick Allen, Willie Stargell, Billy Williams, Bob Gibson etc. joined Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron, etc, in the National League However, Jackie Robinson, Campanella and Irvin were long out of baseball before those other players came into the National league, and the players he is referring to came into the league in a staggered fashion, and not really a wave. Jackie's last year was 1956. Roy was paralyzed in an auto accident and didn't play after 1957. Monte Irvin's last year was 1956. Ferguson Jenkins made his first minimal appearance in 1965, appearing in just a few games, and the next year was just 6-8, and it wasn't until 1967 that he started making any impact, which is more than a decade after these other players stopped playing. Richie Allen's rookie year was 1964. Willie Stargell made his first appearance in 1962, however he wasn't making any impact until the 64-65 time frame. McCovey was rookie of the year as a part time player in 1959, however he did not become a full time player until 1963, and then he again slipped in 1964 and did not become a full time player for good until 1965. Although, Billy Willliams made some appearances as early as 1959, he was essentially a rookie in 1961. Bob Gibson made his first appearance in 1959 but didn't become a regular pitcher until 1961, and didn't really become a star pitcher until 1963. I hope you weren't trying to create the impression that Mays had to compete against all these players at the same time, because that would be misleading. Mays had been in the league 10 years before Billy Willliams made any impact. Mays had been in the league 13 years before Allen's rookie year, and 13 years before Stargell started making any impact. Mays had been in the league 16 years before Ferguson Jenkins made any impact, etc. Most of these players didn't become impact players until Mays' late prime and twighlight years.
                  Last edited by JRB; 11-28-2006, 08:17 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by ElHalo
                    This, to me, doesn't make sense. People remember a lot about Mickey, but one thing they don't remember is that he wasn't forced to retire because of injuries.

                    Mick didn't retire until spring training in '69. He was still eminently capable of playing baseball (don't forget; he finished in the top 10 in the AL in OPS his final season, and Roy White has consistently maintained that he was still BY FAR the best player on the Yankees at that point, although in fairness that might not have been saying much).

                    The point is this: Mantle had spent his entire career a winner. Going into 1969, he was playing in tremendous pain (had been for years) for a team that had finished outside the top four in the AL for four straight years. They had no prospect of turning things around any time soon.

                    He could have kept playing through pain, as an extremely productive hitter... but for what? Winning, the only thing he'd ever known, was beyond him. He had accomplished everything he'd ever could have dreamed of accomplishing and more. It hurt him to play, and when he did play, all his team did was lose. His legacy was cemented, and wasn't going to be improved any more by trudging on.

                    I think of an analogy to my single favorite athlete as a teenager (well, in the pre-Derek Jeter years), Barry Sanders. Barry Sanders was, without question, the single most entertaining athlete I have ever bared witness to (and this is taking into account the fact that I can't stand football). The things he could do on a playing field could make you cry. He was easily the best runner in the game when he retired, and could have gone on playing another four or five years or more, putting everybody in his taillights on the career rushing list. But he didn't. Why?

                    The Lions were losers. They were always going to be losers. Nothing he could ever do was going to change that. His legacy was complete: one of the, if not the single, greatest running backs in the history of football. He could go on and rack up the individual numbers while he team stayed mired in mediocrity, but why? What was he to gain from that? The team wasn't going to progress as long as they stayed with the mentality of building around Barry. He wasn't going to win any championships there. There was just no point in him continuing to play the game of football.

                    Likewise for Mantle. Yes, you can say that the booze and hard life hit him hard (and they did). But they didn't hit him so hard that he wasn't a productive player. They didn't hit him so hard that he couldn't have gone on playing as a productive player. But what was to be gained? The Yankees wouldn't start rebuilding while Mickey was there. The Yankees wouldn't win championships, the only thing Mick had ever known, while he was there. The only Mickey could do was show up on the field and maybe help them finish in fifth place instead of seventh, and add to his own personal numbers. Mickey had too much pride, too much integrity, for that.

                    How can you fault him? What was to be gained by him doing anything else?
                    I totally agree this is why I don't like career value, why can't people just appreciate what a player did when he was playing? I mean when Mickey was playing he left the rest of baseball in the dust. I agree with you totally on this execpt for Sanders, Emmitt was better he was tough a true man's running back didn't need any flashy moves just beat you head on and got the tough yards even won Dallas Home Field Advantage in the playoffs with a separated shoulder at Giants Stadium. But that's off topic.
                    "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

                    "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqul1GyK7-g

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by ChrisLDuncan
                      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.

                      Just wondering, who are the 4 ahead of Mays?

                      1. Mantle
                      2.

                      ....

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Cobb, Ruth, Wagner --- I think thats who he has

                        I have those 3 plus Hornsby

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          You know what, I was just thinking, if Mays hadn't missed those years (1952-1953), he could have made up those 55 HR's over those two seasons, and passed Ruth before Aaron did, assuming the rest of his career was the same. Because he would have passed Ruth in 1973, whereas Aaron didn't pass Ruth until 1974. Now Aaron would still eventually have become the HR king, but that definitely puts a change on things.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Edgartohof
                            Just wondering, who are the 4 ahead of Mays?

                            1. Mantle
                            2.

                            ....
                            His list on the Members Official Opinions thread has Cobb, DiMaggio, Mantle, and Speaker ahead of Mays...in that order.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I've read a few thing above that I feel deserve a closer look.

                              About Mantle's fielding:
                              Mays was one of the greatest fielders ever. Mantle's range factors were near average, and sometimes below average. The impression some people have is that Mantle was an indifferent fielder. But the Stengel-era Yankees were a consistently great defensive team season after season. And they often led the league in doubleplays, suggesting that Stengel favored groundball pitchers. Mantle's low range factors despite his terrific speed can be interpreted as there simply being fewer plays for him to make. Mantle probably had better corner outfielders alongside him compared to Mays, and didn't need to cover as much ground.

                              Baserunning:
                              Mantle's success rate when attempting a steal was 80%, higher than Mays at 77%. But the Yankees didn't steal much. The steal had gone out of favor as HRs increased through the 1920s and beyond. The steal returned as an offensive threat in the NL when Negro League players came in. The NeL style of play featured aggressive baserunning. In the AL the steal didn't make a comeback until Luis Aparicio came up in the late 1950s. As for extra base hits, one comment suggested that Yankee Stadium was a good park for XBH, and that Mantle wasn't a good baserunner. This is absolutely false. Yankee Stadium was a good park for triples, but poor for doubles. But the primary reason Mantle hit relatively few doubles is probably the same reason he hit into so few doubleplays. He was a flyball hitter. Most doubles don't come from deep flys, they are usually shots down the line or liners in the gaps. And, from about 1963 to the end of his career, Mantle essentially stopped trying to take the extra base.

                              Mantle, in his prime, was a greater player than Mays. But Mays was able to stay healthy and aged better.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Hard to say who's the best, but...

                                Mantle posted prodigious numbers DESPITE playing in constant pain. He basically played his entire career handicapped, and STILL had numbers equal to, if not better than, Mays. Given the choice between the two at the peak of their careers, I'd take Mantle for the simple reason that he can bat from both sides of the plate.

                                Comment

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