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Best Outfield Arm Ever:

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  • #16
    Tris Speaker on his peers:

    1917 - "A player dislikes to mention other players by name, but I will say that as an outfielder Ty Cobb is unusually good. I think his weakness, so far as he has any, is in his throwing arm. Not that his arm is weak by any means but it is not his strongest point. Joe Jackson has a strong arm but I would say that his aim is not always accurate and that he has not at all times made the most of this undoubted talent which he possesses.

    Clyde Milan is a very fine all round outfielder. Personally I like Hooper's style of play. He is not given as much credit as he deserves. There are no better outfielders than Hooper. Lewis is very good also. But Hooper is fast in getting away after the ball, he lays for the players in a brainy manner, he is sure on the catch and he has an iron throwing arm with excellent sense of direction. Hooper is a great natural ball player in my opinion." (Baseball Magazine, March, 1917, pp. 85, Winning the Batting Championship by Tris Speaker)
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 06-04-2006, 01:57 PM.

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    • #17
      Joe Wood on Speaker, Joe Jackson:

      "I think Speaker is superior to Joe Jackson admitting that Joe is a wonderful player in every department of the game and Joe, too, has one point in which he exceeds not only Speaker and Ty Cobb, but everyone else in the business. He can throw from deep outfield farther than anybody I ever saw. I firmly believe there is no man in either league who can throw a ball as far as Jackson, but in several games where I have watched his peculiar ability in this line I have noticed that he is not always accurate in his throws and much of the advantage which should come to him from this ability is lost through wildness.
      Jackson, of course, is a very great player and still young. He has been greatly handicapped by lack of early training, and I believe has not always had the encouragement or good coaching to bring out the best of his talents. No doubt he will improve in coming seasons and if he could play in the East as well as he does in the west, he would beat them all out. Jackson bats at a .500 clip in his own city or on the average western tour but for some reason cuts that in half on his eastern excursions. Why this is so, no one knows. It is one of the peculiarities of baseball and baseball players.

      It is hard to compare these three players, for they all excel in some one point or more. Oddly enough, they are all Southerners, and all wonders. They are far and away the greatest outfielders in the game, bar none. It is very fortunate for the Red Sox that they have on their club one of these three players. No one can appreciate better than a pitcher the worth of a man who covers acres of ground, has a sure and deadly throwing arm and bats in the near neighborhood of .400. (Baseball Magazine, November, 1912, pp. 52, "Joseph Wood, Esquire--Pitcher.", by John J. Ward, pp. 49-60)
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 06-07-2007, 04:31 PM.

      Comment


      • #18
        Throwing Contests:

        At a long-distance baseball throwing contest in October,1872, John Hatfield of Mutual club, won the contest with a heave of 133 yrds, 1 foot, 7.7 inches. He was followed by Andy Leonard of Boston club (119 yards, 1 ft. 10 inches), George Wright of Boston club (117 yrds. 1 ft. 1 inch), Bill Boydof Mutual club (115 yrds. 1 ft. 7 inches), Wes Fisler of Athletics club (112 yrds. 6 inches), Adrian C. Anson of Athletics club (110 yards, 6 inches),Ned Crane threw a baseball 117 yards (351 feet) in a contest at Worcester, MA in 1879.

        At Cincinnati baseball grounds on Sunday, October 9, 1910, Sheldon Lajeune of the Evansville baseball Club, threw a baseball 426 feet, 9.5 inches (142 yards). He had preceded this throw with heaves of 385' 3", 383' 4", both throws against the wind. He then asked if he could throw in the opposite direction. This was granted and he threw 401' 4.5", he then warmed his arm up and then uncorked a mighty heave of 426' 9.5". Previously he had thrown 399' 10.75" on September 11, 1908 at the Cincinnati grounds.

        Joe Jackson threw a baseball 132 yards (396'9") on September 27, 1917, at Fenway Park, Boston, Mass., in a contest, defeating Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Babe Ruth. It was at a benefit game for Tim Murnane's widow. Duffy Lewis of the Red Sox and Clarence (Tillie) Walker of the Philadelphia Athletics tied for second with tosses of 384'6".
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-14-2010, 10:27 PM.

        Comment


        • #19
          I have heard that Gavy Cravath had a tremendous arm, and his #s seem to back it up. I would venture to say at least 9 of the top 10 are career RFers...
          My list:
          1-Clemente
          2-Meusel
          3-Ichiro
          4-Barfield
          5-Vlad
          6-Colavito
          7-Kaline
          8-Speaker
          9-Carl Furillo
          10-Cravath

          Bill James' Abstract's best arms by decade:
          1870's-Jim Hatfield, CIN
          1880's-George Gore
          1890's-George Van Haltren
          1900's-Mike Mitchell
          1910's-Tris Speaker
          1920's-Bob Meusel
          1930's-Mel Ott/Chick Hafey
          1940's-Bob Johnson /Vince DiMaggio
          Negro Leagues-Jelly Gardner, Martin DiHigo, Cristobal Torriente
          1950's-Carl Furillo
          1960's-Clemente
          1970's-Ellis Valentine
          1980's-Jesse Barfield
          1990's-Vladimir Guerrero

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by ElHalo
            Agree on Mays, disagree on Mantle having the better arm. By all accounts, Mantle was one of the strongest human beings to ever play the game, but I've never heard raves about his arm. Mays is too high on this list, though. I do think that Muesel has to be first, which makes the outfield trio of Meusel-Ruth-Combs one of the oddest ever, with two guys who were ok fielders with spectacular arms and one guy who could have been an all time great defender if he had an arm.
            You think Willie Mays is too high on this list???

            Aren't you the guy that once or twice said Richie Ashburn had a good arm???

            While I don't base my opinion on Willie's arm on one play but the special things about the 'Catch' of Vic Wertz' drive in the '54 Series, was NOT the catch but the throw....the throw was absolutely awesome.

            Yankees Fan Since 1957

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            • #21
              Cannot understand why anyone would not have Willie Mays near the top of that list. That 300 footer to take out Cox during the 51 pennant drive is just as memorable as "the throw" after "the catch" off Vic Wertz. Wertz hit the ball 450 feet, and Mays returned it to the infield after the catch before either runner could take a base. Arms don't get stronger than that.

              However, as to what I personally saw in my life- Dwight Evans takes the cake by a mile.
              "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.

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              • #22
                Clemente and Mays would top the list of players I've seen. Carl Furillo was before my time, but he supposedly had one of the great arms of all time. Dewey Evans and Dave Parker had some guns, too. As was mentioned, Kaline had a helluva arm, as did Roger Maris, if you get a chance, catch the play and throw he made in Game 7 of the 62 WS in the 9th inning, kept Alou at 3rd on a Mays hit in the rf corner. Would have tied the game.

                You probably won't hear anyone else mention this name, but Mike Shannon, who has been in the Cards broadcast booth since 72, started his career in RF, just had a cannon, moved to 3B in 67 after they picked up Maris. Mike came down with a kidney ailment in 70 and had to retire prematurely, but he could throw!

                In Spaceman Bill Lee's book, he told a story about when he was playing for the Bosox in the early 70's. The outfielders were arguing who had the best arm in the group. So they set up a competition, where they could take a running start and throw before they came to the first base line and see how far they could get it up against the wall of the Green Monster. Lee said Reggie Smith went last, just took one step out of the dugout and threw it over the wall and screen.

                However, since we don't know how much Bill had smoked that day [and he INHALED] can't be sure of the authenticity of that story. Reggie did have a pretty good arm though.
                It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

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                • #23
                  very nice, 64.

                  willie mcgee had one of the stronger arms throughout most of his career.
                  "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    What about Jessie Barfield?

                    I remember him having incredible strength and accuracy.
                    "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                    Carl Yastrzemski

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                    • #25
                      not *the best*, but some of the best i've seen

                      jesse barfield
                      roberto clemente
                      dwight evans
                      vladimir guerrero
                      andruw jones
                      willie kirkland
                      garry maddox
                      willie mays
                      dave parker
                      ichiro suzuki
                      "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I do remember how Willie turned and threw to 2nd base, from 460 feet out, and he threw so hard, he actually fell down. And the ball got to 2nd before anyone could advance on the play. Now that's one mighty peg!

                        I had also completely forgotten about Carl Furillo. He was supposed to carry a cannon on his shoulder.

                        By the way, do we have any support for today's top guys, Jones, Hunter, Edmonds, Kotsay, Cameron? Looks like Ichiro/Guerrero have some nice support.

                        What about Snider, Kaline, Ott, Virdon? Anyone heard/saw/read anything?
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-28-2006, 11:30 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Yeah, I'll give a vote for Edmonds as 2nd best CF arm, behind Mays, have seen him make some incredible throws. Kaline's been mentioned by a couple of us. I'm curious about Snider, I know he was a pretty good CFer, don't know much about his arm strength.
                          It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by 64Cards
                            Yeah, I'll give a vote for Edmonds as 2nd best CF arm, behind Mays, have seen him make some incredible throws. Kaline's been mentioned by a couple of us. I'm curious about Snider, I know he was a pretty good CFer, don't know much about his arm strength.
                            Edmonds ahead of Andruw?
                            "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

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by BoSox Rule
                              Ichiro's arm is so strong, but is also unbelievably accurate.
                              Remember the throw when he got Terrance Long on third in his rookie season ? This will be the example for a perfect outfield assist for many years. The only comparable I know was Ferguson nailing that sprinter at home in the 74 series.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by william_burgess@usa.net
                                I do remember how Willie turned and threw to 2nd base, from 460 feet out, and he threw so hard, he actually fell down. And the ball got to 2nd before anyone could advance on the play. Now that's one mighty peg!

                                I had also completely forgotten about Carl Furillo. He was supposed to carry a cannon on his shoulder.

                                By the way, do we have any support for today's top guys, Jones, Hunter, Edmonds, Kotsay, Cameron? Looks like Ichiro/Guerrero have some nice support.

                                What about Snider, Kaline, Ott, Virdon? Anyone heard/saw/read anything?
                                Bill, I haven't seen nearly as many players as most others on here, but one guy who I've always heard older fans rave about is Jesse Barfield. I was surprised to see him not on your list. Most people who I've talked to have always cited him as having the best arm they're ever seen.

                                Comment

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