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  • Gehrig or Musial

    What the heck..... alot of VS threads on now so......

    Musial has many cumulitive stat leads. He's in the top 5 on many all-time hitting list.I feel he generally gets shortchanged.

    Gehrig was a MONSTER hitter. Whose behind only Ruth and Williams in many hitting categories. If it wasn't for his illness he'd have a comfortable margin in RBI's and RUNS. I think we'd all agree Gehrigs the better hitter. Is this enough to make him a better player. He placed behind Musial in our positional player polls.

    Whose the better player?
    62
    Lou Gehrig
    58.06%
    36
    Stan Musial
    29.03%
    18
    Even
    12.90%
    8
    "I was pitching one day when my glasses clouded up on me. I took them off to polish them. When I looked up to the plate, I saw Jimmie Foxx. The sight of him terrified me so much that I haven't been able to wear glasses since." - Left Gomez

    "(Lou) Gehrig never learned that a ballplayer couldn't be good every day." - Hank Gowdy

  • #2
    I like Musial, but Gehrig was a beast at the plate. Everyone knows Gehrig was a great ballplayer, but I don't think people realize just how great he was. I think he's one of the rare exceptions in baseball history in that he gets a ton of praise and respect, but he's still underrated.

    Considering that Gehrig was as productive as ever at age 34 in 1937, and given his great durability, it's very reasonable to believe that he would have gone on to have had 3-5 more very productive seasons if not for the fatal disease (that also stunted his numbers in 1938). He would likely still be the all-time leader in RBI and Runs, both by huge margins; have well over 600 homeruns and over 3500 hits, and still have finished with an average around .340. With those kind of numbers, there could be a decent argument made for him as the best hitter ever (I actually place him behind Ruth and Williams - if Williams hadn't missed 4+ seasons to military service, he too with have monstrous numbers across the board).

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    • #3
      --They were about the same quality, so Stan wins on longevity.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by leecemark
        --They were about the same quality, so Stan wins on longevity.
        Playing everyday at the highest levels imaginable for almost 14 years certainly must count for a lot. And it's not like those 14 years came to a dubious ending (Jackson) or an abrupt decline (Allen), it came to an end because of the most unfortunate and dire of circumstances that were completely beyond Gehrig's control. Gehrig did enough for long enough, and was still young enough to have done a lot more, that he'll lose to no one in my book, on account of longevity. If he loses, it's because the other player was simply better, and I don't think that holds true in this case.

        Given that Gehrig did so much over a significant time, I actually think it's unfair to hold longevity against him in this instance. If you think Musial was flat out the better player, that's one thing, but to say Musial was better only on account of longevity (and I don't if that is what you're saying), isn't right. It's not Gehrig's fault he couldn't keep playing. He was fatally ill. And it wasn't like he just had a few years of dominance, he had nearly 15! That should certainly be a long enough run.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by leecemark
          --They were about the same quality, so Stan wins on longevity.
          Is that like a tie going to the baserunner?
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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          • #6
            --He had 15, but Stan had 20. Lou's illness wasn't his fault, but neither are most illness or injuries. That Gehrig's was fatal and not just career ending/disrupting is not a factor in my rankings.

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            • #7
              I would agree it's harsh to hold longevity against Gehrig in one sense. However, Gehrig had natural abilities which enabled him to be great. He also had a disease which cut that career short. He has to be credited with the former, but are we obligated to ignore the latter simply because it's tragic? Ross Youngs was on or near a HOF trajectory before his life was cut short (6 of his 10 most similar at age 29 [his last season] are in the HOF), but he doesn't get much sympathy for it. It's harsh to hold the tragedies of Ross Youngs and Ray Chapman and Lou Gehrig and maybe even Dickie Thon and Tony Congiliaro and a bunch of other cases (maybe hundreds if you include pitchers who got hurt) as sad facts of life, but I happen to feel it's the only fair and reasonable way to do things without getting into a never-ending fantasy land of what-ifs.

              Jim Albright
              Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
              Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
              A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

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              • #8
                Gehrig OPS+ 179 Musial OPS+ 159
                Gehrig RC 11.14 Musial RC 9.00
                Gehrig Eqa .344 Musial Eqa .330
                Gehrig Rel.avg 1.193 Musial Rel.avg 1.217
                Gehrig Rel.OB 1.256 Musial Rel.OB 1.216
                Gehrig Rel.Slg 1.534 Musial Rel.Slg 1.370






                Musial also added to his counting stats in the 40's while most major leaguers were out at war. After integration he wasn't as dominant as before. He had weak competion in the 40's while Gehrig was up against titans. Gehrig was clearly the better hitter and unless you think Musial was that much of a better fielder and baserunner then its not nearly that close.

                Also Musial played 1st so not much of a positional adjustment is required.
                "I was pitching one day when my glasses clouded up on me. I took them off to polish them. When I looked up to the plate, I saw Jimmie Foxx. The sight of him terrified me so much that I haven't been able to wear glasses since." - Left Gomez

                "(Lou) Gehrig never learned that a ballplayer couldn't be good every day." - Hank Gowdy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DoubleX
                  Playing everyday at the highest levels imaginable for almost 14 years certainly must count for a lot.
                  True, but remember that Musial also played almost 900 games in a row (7th most alltime) at an extremely high level. The guy an true iron man himself. And the average guy he was playing against was undoubtedly better. I don't see how anyone could argue otherwise.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by leecemark
                    --He had 15, but Stan had 20. Lou's illness wasn't his fault, but neither are most illness or injuries. That Gehrig's was fatal and not just career ending/disrupting is not a factor in my rankings.
                    To me, that's essentially awarding points to Musial because he didn't get sick. I'm all for the longevity argument when there is a big difference in the number of years between the two players being compared, but 15 years of extremely high production is a lot, and I think had Gehrig not been ill, it could easily have been 18-20 years of great production. I think Gehrig did enough for long enough to give him the benefit of the doubt in this case and that the difference between 20 and 15 years isn't that great (in that both are a long time for a player to be dominant), especially when one of the players didn't get an opportunity to reach 20.

                    Let me ask you this then. For 15 years, who was the better player? If you were forming a team, who would you pick first?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by csh19792001
                      True, but remember that Musial also played almost 900 games in a row (7th most alltime) at an extremely high level. The guy an true iron man himself. And the average guy he was playing against was undoubtedly better. I don't see how anyone could argue otherwise.
                      My point wasn't really about the streak, it was about Gehrig having a long period of high production himself, and not just having like 8-10 years of dominance (like Allen or Jackson or Kiner). This was a guy who was as dominant as any player ever for nearly 15 years, and would have gone on for longer if not for dying. When you get to that point of a career, and dying is what cut it off, I think comparing player's based on longevity isn't the appropriate thing to do. If Gehrig had been great for only 8-10 years, I'd definitely see the argument in favor of Stan, but 15 is nothing to sniff at. That proves something. And it's not as if it was 15, then decline for three then retire (because in that case, I could see an argument for Musial, such as comparing Musial to Frank Robinson). No it's 15, then decline for a year because of fatal illness, then retire and die. Remove illness from that equation, and consider what Gehrig did his last healthy year, and you got a guy that likely would have gone 18-20. Gehrig easily did enough in my book to overcome any longevity argument, and thus the only way to compare someone to Gehrig is if they were a better ballplayer, period. Not if they played longer. And Musial, though an extremely great ballplayer, was not better than Gehrig.
                      Last edited by DoubleX; 01-11-2006, 06:57 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Playing that many straight games while battling so many injuries, and putting up those numbers, is more impressive than playing twice as long under normal conditions. Musial's numbers are phenominal though.

                        Had Kathryn and George Ruth not hooked up sometime around May of 1894, Gehrig very well could have ended up being an outfielder with more black ink than a Sharpie factory. Or he might have chosen football.

                        I gotta go with Gehrig although it's close.
                        Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 01-11-2006, 07:00 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Gehrig definetely

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jalbright
                            I would agree it's harsh to hold longevity against Gehrig in one sense. However, Gehrig had natural abilities which enabled him to be great. He also had a disease which cut that career short. He has to be credited with the former, but are we obligated to ignore the latter simply because it's tragic? Ross Youngs was on or near a HOF trajectory before his life was cut short (6 of his 10 most similar at age 29 [his last season] are in the HOF), but he doesn't get much sympathy for it. It's harsh to hold the tragedies of Ross Youngs and Ray Chapman and Lou Gehrig and maybe even Dickie Thon and Tony Congiliaro and a bunch of other cases (maybe hundreds if you include pitchers who got hurt) as sad facts of life, but I happen to feel it's the only fair and reasonable way to do things without getting into a never-ending fantasy land of what-ifs.

                            Jim Albright
                            But that's the crux of my point. What separates Gehrig is the fact that he did what he did for 15 years before getting sick, and he was as good as ever in his last healthy year. He proved he could play at that level for a long time, and thus it's much easier to assume Gehrig could do it for a few more years than it is for Youngs or Chapman or Thon or Congiliaro, since they only did it all for a few years. We know Gehrig was more than just a player with a few years of dominance, and we know he was a player with more than a decade of dominance. We know that he had longevity in him. We don't know that about Youngs and the others. It's apples and oranges in my book.

                            Given what we know of Gehrig (15 years of dominance, great year his last healthy year, great durability), it's much easier to assume that he could be productive for a few more than it is to assume that say Youngs could even get to 10 years of high production (since so many players sparkle and fade, but we know Gehrig wasn't one of them).
                            Last edited by DoubleX; 01-11-2006, 07:06 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I just want to apologize to everyone if I'm sounding belligerent. Gehrig is just one of the few players I feel very strongly about. I think it's pretty rare that I get this uppity on these boards about any one player.

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