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Wagner/Mays: Who Do You Rank Higher as Historical Players?

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  • Chris, do you like intangibles? Part of intangibles is post season performance. Another edge for Wagner.


    • Originally posted by Minstrel View Post
      He said the run contexts were somewhat similar. Not the quality of the leagues. Mays played in an integrated league which almost everyone agrees was a significantly stronger league than Cobb's.
      Not so sure around here, Minstrel. I started a whole thread on that point and there were actually people arguing that the talent pool after the integration, and decades of population growth in general, is not greater in the 2nd half of this century than the first Why? Because if they admit the talent pool is greater as the years go on, they would no longer be able to explain why, for instance,, 80% of their 10 all-time greatest player picks are from the first half of the century. People are fierce about defending their favorite legends.

      Mays over Wagner, and it's not even that close.
      Last edited by PeteReiser; 10-31-2007, 01:15 PM.


      • Here's an older thread that will become relevant in our Greatest Player series shortly, as in our Round 3!

        Anyone up to voting here anyway?


        • After all the fire and fury, it's almost a draw. Who would've thought?


          • As requested I voted here and went for Honus.


            • I chose Honus but I wouldn't bet my life on the difference.
              Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball


              • As some of you may know - i believe Willie Mays to be the best all around player EVER. He is my #1. I would have Wagner somewhere around 4 or 5.

                G Man


                • Honus Wagner.

                  The difference isn't too great, though, and I could probably be persuaded to vote the other way. Both are, at the very worst, in my top-six or top-seven.


                  • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                    We've done this debate before, but its been a little while, and I'd like to see how we rank these 2 superstars today.

                    Please use all the normal criteria.

                    Honus Wagner

                    Willie Mays

                    I rank Wagner higher.
                    IMHO Mays does not rank among the top players in history.
                    Last edited by ItsOnlyGil; 06-12-2009, 02:00 PM. Reason: Edited because I am stoopit. Oh, and a bit inexperienced.


                    • This is strange. Nine members who voted for Willie due to LQ adjustments, failed to vote for Willie.

                      This is a multiple choice poll. You can and should check more than one box.


                      • The tail Wagnering the dog

                        This is a somewhat specious argument. On the one hand/tail, we have probably the greatest all-around SS in history- too bad about the A-Rod/Jeter imbroglio. On the other, we have Mays, who many call the top CF, whilst others argue for Mantle, DiMaggio, Cobb, etc. I reckon they are both top ten, Mays and Wagner. I voted for Honus for peer separation. He was simply better than anyone else he played against. As for the NL being so weak at the time, didn't he face Christy and McGinnity and Brown? Perhaps I'm wrong, yet it seems there were some mighty fine pitchers he was hitting against.

                        In terms of relative positional importance, it rather depends on pitching staff preference. If a staff tends towards the high strike and thus fly ball outcome of an at-bat, then the CF is quite a bit more relevant. In addition, the CF has the responsibility for 2/3 of the outfield (center, and both gaps, he calls off his mates on close plays). The SS runs the IF, makes double plays, makes the key cutoff catches/throws, is the fellow that tosses it back to the P. I've played both positions, SS is more mentally challenging, CF is harder.

                        This is a rather interesting poll, apples and oranges and all that folderol. I do so wish that A-Rod had continued at SS, then we could have a fair positional poll for at least that position. Gets back to my subjective opinion about peer separation: who besides Honus, realistically, at short? Banks had a shot, as did A-Rod. Who besides Mays? Start slowly, and name all the all-time CFs, there are a slew.

                        It's still Ruth, then Cobb, then Wagner, then Mays, then a whole confused bunch including Bench and Gibson, Mantle and DiMaggio and Musial and Williams, Bonds and Schmidt, Greenberg and Gehrig and Foxx, see how confused I get? Yet, who can ever forget the immortal Dave Kingman?


                        • Something often overlooked towards Mays is the mindset he played under. He had to face racism, near-bankruptcy, and divorce. Having to play every day with these things in the back of your mind is very difficult. Yet Mays continued to thrive. This a phenomenal skill.
                          "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


                          • Mays was also known as a player who would allow himself to stop at first with a single when a double was very possible, because he knew they would INT walk McCovey

                            some of RBI totals were amazing considering he hit on teams that featured season long starters that had less than 10 walks over a complete season (see 1966 Alou, Fuentes, etc.)

                            He is ridiculed for never leading the league in RBI when he had 141 in 1962, except Mays was not hitting behind Wills, Gilliam and Willie Davis who all had career years for the Dodgers which allowed T. Davis' phenomenal number

                            Ditto 1964 when Ken Boyer was NL MVP mostly because he was famous, hit team capitalized on the Phillies collpase, and he hit behind Lou Brock and Curt Flood allowing him to get a few more RBI than Mays who dominated the league in home runs and slugging and was his usual self in CF but hit behind guys like J Alou, and Lanier whose OB % looks like their weight

                            I would not choose Boyer first second or maybe third on my NL team as a 3B that year, yet he won MVP

                            Santo definitely, Allen probably, Hart maybe

                            I once saw Mays make a crucial mistake (I thought) in a heated pennant race game against he Dodgers in the mid 60s. He was trying to score cant remember the specific circumstances and it was a key run but the throw to Roseboro clearly beat him, Roseboro tagged him and the umpire threw up his hand and shouted "Out!". Then Mays pointed to the screen and the umpire changed the call to safe. When Roseboro went to tag him, Mays had kicked the ball cleverly out of ROseboro's glove so skillfully and cleverly Roseboro did not even know it

                            Mays is also seen making a tremendous catch flying over Bobby Bonds circa 1970 on a Game of The Week, not bad for a 39-40 year old guy, imagine what he did in his 20s
                            Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 06-12-2009, 12:34 PM.
                            1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
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                            • I was a Giants fan in the early fifties in NYC, and in that city baseball was a part of everyone's life, at that time. The Giants were rarely a big part of the bottom line of "who will win", but one (or more) of the NY teams did every year.

                              Mays was enormous ! He could do it all, and he did. And he was quite the showman. Heck, he was tutored by the best baseball showmen in history. The show does not take away from the athletics, it adds to it.

                              By comparison, there was no real "Willie, Mickey, or the Duke". It was Willie, and everyone knew it.
                              Attached Files


                              • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                                After all the fire and fury, it's almost a draw. Who would've thought?
                                I'm not suprised...because it's very, very close in my mind too. I don't personally get too involved with 'Top' 10 lists and all the deep statistical analysis that can/should go into it...but because Bill asked me to vote, I will.

                                I voted for Mays in a slight edge...although I feel that comparing two guys from 2 different eras is very difficult, if not impossible...especially players who were at the top of their game in their own era (at 2 very different positions no less).
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