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Gehrig or Musial

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  • #31
    I hate this, because one of my all-time favorite players is Musial, but I went with Gehrig. Both are giants of the game.
    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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    • #32
      Two part problem for me.

      One I think a very strong argument for Gehrig is that AL of his career overall was a higher league then Musials NL league. The AL of Gehrigs career was simply better able to gather the better players of that era. But part of the problem is that a lot of those guys did end up as teammates of Gehrigs. So while Gehrig played in a tougher league a good chunk of the reason it was a tougher league was on his team.

      Stan for much of his first half of his career played in a inferior league compared to the AL. WWII years, pre-integration, and small amounts of integration. It wasn't really into well into his 30's that integration would have a widespread effect on league quality

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      • #33
        I will only point out that Gehrig had players named Ruth, DiMaggio, Dickey, Meusel, Lazzeri and Combs in the same lineup as him.

        Musial had Slaughter, Walker Cooper, Joe Cunningham, Ray Sanders, Terry Moore, Don Blasingame, Ray Jablonski and Red Schoendienst. Hardly the same level of talent surrounding the 2 players.

        I call it even. Like choosing between a Rolls and a Bentley.
        "There ain't much to bein' a ballplayer...if you're a ballplayer. "

        --Honus Wagner

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Ubiquitous
          One I think a very strong argument for Gehrig is that AL of his career overall was a higher league then Musials NL league.
          Why do you feel this is the case?

          Originally posted by Ubiquitous
          Stan for much of his first half of his career played in a inferior league compared to the AL.
          I'm still not sure why you say this either. The NL was still far, FAR faster to integrate than the AL. I saw a team picture not long ago of one of the early 60's Yankees squads, I believe there were two non caucasians on the entire roster. The Red Sox didn't have a single black player until mid 1959.

          Does anyone remember the post someone made awhile back on the relative integration of the NL vs. AL? It had exact figures by year, and the disparity, if I recall correctly, was pretty vast.

          Regardless, even slowly progressive integration (Musial) is better than none at all (Gehrig), isn't it?

          Also, awhile back I posted what Ed Lynn had to say in his Williams bio about the proliferation of the slider and other advancements in pitching which (concomitant with other factors) conspired to cause overall offensive levels to become dramatically lower in Stan's time vs. Gehrig's pre-war reign (the greatest offensive period in modern baseball history). I don't have the book in front of me, but he raises some very good points.

          By the end of Stan's career, the game had already shifted back over in favor of pitching in a very big way; Lou never had to play in that kind of environment (with modern basket gloves, 16-18 inch mounds, and immaculate fields producing perfect hops, thereby taking away lots of hits). The NL of the late 50's-early 60's was a damned good league- replacement players and stars both.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by csh19792001
            I'm still not sure why you say this either. The NL was still far, FAR faster to integrate than the AL. I saw a team picture not long ago of one of the early 60's Yankees squads, I believe there were two non caucasians on the entire roster. The Red Sox didn't have a single black player until mid 1959.
            when you had guys like Mantle, Maris, Berra, Ford etc. why do you expect them to load up on blacks just to be politically correct?

            Elston Howard won MVP in 1963, didn't he? its not like they just signed 2 blacks from the street or something

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            • #36
              Originally posted by blackout805
              when you had guys like Mantle, Maris, Berra, Ford etc. why do you expect them to load up on blacks just to be politically correct?

              Elston Howard won MVP in 1963, didn't he? its not like they just signed 2 blacks from the street or something
              And when Mantle, maris, Ford and Berra tailed off or left, what happened? The rest of the league caught up and in a few cases surpassed them for awhile.
              Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
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              • #37
                Fo all the talk of the NL being faster to integrate...there's a reason they were faster to integrate...they were desperate for players. The NL in the early 50s was utterly bereft of anything resembling talent other than the negro leaguers and Musial. the AL was by far the better league from around 1904 all the way through 1960 when the NL began to take over thanks to better integration and smarter owners.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by csh19792001
                  Regardless, even slowly progressive integration (Musial) is better than none at all (Gehrig), isn't it?
                  I certainly agree with that point, but is the very minor intergration of the late 40s and early 50s, enough to improve league quality to point that Stan makes up the 15 and 20 point lag behind Gehrig's best OPS+ seasons from 10-20 years earlier? I don't think so in most years.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by csh19792001
                    By the end of Stan's career, the game had already shifted back over in favor of pitching in a very big way; Lou never had to play in that kind of environment (with modern basket gloves, 16-18 inch mounds, and immaculate fields producing perfect hops, thereby taking away lots of hits). The NL of the late 50's-early 60's was a damned good league- replacement players and stars both.
                    I also agree with that, but again and as I pointed out earlier, from strictly an OPS+ perspective (which admittedly has its flaws), Stan's best years came in the 40's and early 50's. During periods that were one or more of the following:

                    - Not that different from Gehrig's prime (given that it was less than a decade before)
                    - League was depleted by WWII
                    - After WWII, but before intergration, and thus not that different from the 30's
                    - The early years of intergration

                    In all, league quality during Musial's peak years, the mid 40s - earlys 50s, had not advanced far enough to make up the 15-20 point OPS+ advantage Gehrig has in most years over Musial.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose
                      And when Mantle, maris, Ford and Berra tailed off or left, what happened? The rest of the league caught up and in a few cases surpassed them for awhile.

                      I don't think it was only the fact that the Yanks lagged behind in integrating. The fact that CBS bought them in 1964 also played a part. Unlike those before CBS and after CBS, they (CBS) were content to stand pat, not go out and get some of the big players in the game. The intro of the amateur draft in 1965 also made it more difficult for the Yanks to aquire some of the better players in the game.

                      For that matter the Yanks were integrated in 1977 and it took them almost 20 years to get back on top, to take it all. So it was not all a case of black and white that caused the Yanks to fall for a period in the mid 1960s, there were other reasons.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by csh19792001

                        Regardless, even slowly progressive integration (Musial) is better than none at all (Gehrig), isn't it?
                        .
                        The NL of the late 50's-early 60's was a damned good league- replacement players and stars both.
                        For the first question, the answer is not necessarily. The NL was a weaker league almost from the get go and by the time the 30's rolled around I think that fact was pretty well entrenched. Economically and in terms of popularity the AL was the senior league not the NL. The AL from the beginning had the financial muscle to obtain the best players and they did so.

                        I've looked at the 30's in a variety of ways and so have others and from all of that I come to the conclusion that the 30's was about the highest in quality for baseball in pre-integration history, and that with a closer look that is because almost all of the best talent is in one league while the other league has the lesser talent which allows it achieve parity. Integration improved the NL to the point where it was on even footing and perhaps even surpass the AL but that did not happen right away. Like I said above NL in terms of quality didn't really come close to Gehrigs level until the latter half of Musial's career.

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                        • #42
                          Where is this fantasy coming from that the NL was so supposedly "inferior" to the AL in the 40's and first half of the 50's? Granted, year in, year out, the Yankees were the best team in baseball. But the Cardinals in the 40's and the Dodgers in the 40's and 50's were right behind, each team loaded with deep and talented farm systems. Who else in the Al was that good? Granted, the Red Sox had Williams and some other very good hitters, but could only win one pennant. Cleveland was loaded with very good pitching during that period, but their starting lineups weren't really that special. The rest of the AL rarely came close to contending for much of that period. Wasn't that much balance in the NL either, beyond the Dodgers,Cardinals and Giants by the 50's, although the Braves slipped in 48 or the Phils in 50.

                          I'll just make an argument though, that MLB may have been as strong in talent in this period as any, because farm systems were so deep with talent in the post WW2 era. I would just guess that a lot of players, once they were getting a bit older and making big salaries, would get dumped and replaced by a younger player, making about a fourth of what the vet was.
                          It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

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                          • #43
                            I recently read a pretty good biography of Gehrig. Reading this book has convinced me that Lou Gehrig's 1939 season was the most amazing season ever for a player in the history of the game.

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                            • #44
                              There is no fantasy but I think a misinterpretation of what I said. I said that Gehrig's AL years league quality was higher then Musials NL league quality of the 40's and first half of the 50's. And that wasn't really until the end of his career that league quality becomes close or eclipses Gehrigs.

                              After WWII and integration I think the NL in terms of overall quality was higher then the AL's of that era.

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                              • #45
                                Look at the stats.

                                Without Lou Gehrigs disease, is he the best EVER?????
                                Baseball is Life

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