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Polarizing Player: George Sisler

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  • Polarizing Player: George Sisler

    I know we've had a gazillion threads on George Sisler, and don't really need another, but I am curious why there is such a disparity in the way people rank him. It seems that almost everyone either has him as a great player, top 40, let's say, or out of the top 100, maybe top 150.

    I would like the people who either rank Sisler in their top 40, or out of their top 100, to explain in detail why they feel this way. I am limiting the poll to these two choices, because I am interested in the polarizing nature of Sisler when it comes to ranking him. If you put Sisler somewhere in between, that's fine, but that's not what the thread is about.

    Surely someone has a copy of the book, "The Sizzler," so if anyone can give us some stories on Sisler that might help explain why he is viewed as an all-time great by so many, it would help.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I date all my baseball photos using the following book. (Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century: The Official ML BB Guide, Researched, Illustrated & Written by Marc Okkonen, 1991, 1993)

    Also, the following website, hostd by the Hall of Fame, mainly using the same book above, but also using images after 1993, has assisted me in dating some of the photos. http://exhibits.baseballhalloffame.o...e.htm#database

    On this photographic gallery, I have attempted, using the book above, to date all the photos. If I caption a photo with the following, John Smith, Cubs OF, 1910-13, that means that the photo was taken sometime between 1910-13, when the player was on the Cubs. It does NOT mean that the player was only on the Cubs in that time frame. He might have been on the Cubs from 1900-18, but the photo was only taken between 1910-13.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you enjoy this photo gallery, you might also like our other ones, too.

    Historical, Archival Photographs---Pre-1900---Negro L.---Vintage Panoramic Pictures---Members' Gallery---Runningshoes Presents: Photo Op---Meet The Sports Writers

    Photos of the following individual players---Hank Aaron---Pete Alexander---Ty Cobb---Eddie Collins---Sam Crawford---Jimmy Foxx---Lou Gehrig---Rickey Henderson---Rogers Hornsby---Joe Jackson---Walter Johnson---Nap Lajoie---Connie Mack---John McGraw---Mickey Mantle---Christy Mathewson---Willie Mays---Mel Ott---Babe Ruth---George Sisler---Tris Speaker---Pie Traynor---Rube Waddell--- Honus Wagner---Ted Williams---Zack Wheat---Rare Ty Cobb ---Rare Babe Ruth---Bill's Babe Ruth---Rare Ted Williams---Bill's Rare Finds ---Babefan's Fantastic Vintage Baseball photos---GaryL's Boston Public Library Baseball Photo Project

    We also have some very nice, attractive team photo collections---New York Yankees---New York Giants---Detroit Tigers---Pittsburgh Pirates---Brooklyn Dodgers


    George's Relative Stats:

    ----Relative BA-----Rel.Slg.-------Rel.Onbase----Rel.ISO-------OPS+
    ----118.9 (31rd)------117-------------106---------------------124 (239th)

    Hitting Stats Comparison Chart:

    Sisler, Mantle, Cobb, Wagner, Hornsby, Ruth, Gehrig, T. Williams, Mays, Aaron, DiMaggio, Speaker, Lajoie, Musial, Collins, Crawford, J. Jackson, Wheat, Roush, Foxx, Clemente, Schmidt, Yaz, Anson, Bonds, B. Williams, Kiner, Killebrew, Rose, Gwynn, Kaline, Greenberg, Waner, R. Jackson, Boggs, Gehringer, Brouthers, Delahanty, Simmons, Mize, Brett, F. Robinson, Ashburn, Snider, Banks, Molitor, Keeler, Bench, Terry, Henderson.
    Code:
    Sisler-------BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----2---2----0--2---0---1----0---2---0---0---4---0--0
    2nd league----1---1----1--2---2---2----1---1---1---2---2---0--1
    3rd league----2---3----1--1---0---0----0---1---1---0---0---0--2
    4th-----------2---3----1--0---0---1----1---1---0---2---0---0--1
    5th-----------0---0----0--0---0---0----0---3---1---2---1---0--1
    6th-----------0---0----0--0---0---0----2---0---1---0---1---0--1				
    
    Cobb--------BA--Hits-2B---3B---HR---R--RBI-TB---OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league--12---8----3----4----1---5---4---6----7----8----6---0--11
    2nd-league---3---3----4----4----2---2---2---2----7----3----1---1---3
    3rd----------1---3----4----2----2---2---1---2----0----3----2---0---1 
    4th----------2---0----0----1----0---1---0---1----0----1----3---1---1
    5th----------1---0----0----1----0---2---1---0----1----0----0---1---0
    6th----------2---0----2----0----0---0---0---0----0----0----0---0---0
    
    Wagner-------BA--Hits-2B---3B---HR---R--RBI--TB--OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----8---2----7----3----0---2---5----7---4----6----5---0--6
    2nd league----2---2----1----3----1---2---2----1---1----3----0---0--2
    3rd-----------0---5----3----2----0---2---2----4---2----2----2---0--2
    4th-----------2---3----0----0----1---2---3----2---1----1----0---1--1
    5th-----------1---1----1----0----2---1---1----2---2----0----0---0--0
    6th-----------1---0----0----1----2---0---1----0---0----1----0---1--0
    
    Hornsby-----BA---Hits-2B---3B--HR----R--RBI--TB---OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---8----4----4----2---2----5---4----7----9----9----0---3--12
    2nd league---2----1----1----1---2----1---1----2----1----1----0---1---1
    3rd----------1----1----1----1---3----0---2----0----1----1----0---0---0
    4th----------1----3----4----0---1----2---0----0----0----1----0---2---0
    5th----------0----0----0----0---5----0---0----0----0----1----0---0---0
    6th----------0----0----0----1---1----0---1----1----1----0----0---2---1
    
    Ruth---------BA---Hits-2B---3B---HR---R--RBI--TB---OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----1----0----1----0---12---8---6----6----9---13----0--11--13
    2nd league----2----0----1----0----2---1---2--- 3----2----1----0---1---1
    3rd-----------2----0----1----0----1---0---0----2----1----1----0---1---2
    4th-----------1----3----0----0----0---0---3----0----2----0----0---0---0
    5th-----------1----0----0----0----0---1---0----0----0----0----0---0---0
    6th-----------0----2----1----1----0---1---1----0----0----0----0---0---0
    
    Gehrig------BA---Hits-2B---3B---HR--Runs--RBI--TB---OBA-SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league---1----1----1----4----2----4----4----2----4----2---0---3--3
    2nd league---2----3----0----0----4----2----4----3----2----4---0---2--6
    3rd----------3----0----0----1----3----3----2----2----3----1---0---3--3
    4th----------0----1----0----0----1----2----2----0----0----3---0---0--0
    5th----------2----1----0----0----1----0----0----1----1----0---0---0--0
    6th----------1----0----1----0----1----0----0----1----0----0---0---1--0			
    							
    Ted Williams--BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA--SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league-----6----0----2---0---4---6----4----6---12---8---0---8--9
    2nd in league--2----1----2---0---4---1----2----0----0---1---0---1--1
    3rd------------1----2----0---0---2---1----1----4----0---1---0---2--3
    4th------------1----1----2---0---0---1----1----0----0---2---0---0--0
    5th------------0----4----0---0---0---0----1----0----0---0---0---1--0
    6th------------0----0----0---0---3---0----0----0----1---0---0---1--0
    												
    Willie Mays----BA---Hits-2B--3B---HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league------1----1----0---3----4---2----0----3---2---5---4---1--6
    2nd in league---3----1----1---1----1---5----2----5---1---3---0---1--1
    3rd-------------2----1----1---1----3---3----3----5---2---2---0---2--5
    4th-------------0----0----0---0----1---0----2----1---1---2---1---1--2
    5th-------------1----1----0---0----2---0----1----1---5---4---0---1--0
    6th-------------1----2----2---0----2---2----2----0---1---0---0---3--1
    	
    Mickey Mantle--BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR---Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league------1----1----0---1---4----6----1----3---3---4---0---5--8
    2nd in league---1----0----1---0---3----2----3----4---5---0---0---3--3
    3rd-------------1----0----0---0---2----1----1----2---1---2---0---2--1
    4th-------------2----2----0---1---0----0----0----1---2---0---2---0--0	
    5th-------------0----0----0---0---1----0----2----0---0---0---0---0--0
    6th-------------0----0----0---1---0----1----3----0---1---1---0---1--0
    
    Hank Aaron----BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR---Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league-----2---2----4---0---4----3----4---8---0---4---0---0--3
    2nd in league--0---3----2---2---4----1----0---2---2---5---1---1--4
    3rd------------0---1----1---0---1----4----2---2---3---4---0---2--4
    4th------------3---0----1---2---2----2----2---2---1---1---2---2--1
    5th------------4---0----0---0---2----1----1---0---2---1---0---0--1
    6th------------0---3----1---0---2----1----1---1---1---2---2---0--2	
    
    Joe DiMaggio---BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA--SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league------2---0----0---1---2---1----2----3---0----2---0---0--1
    2nd in league---0---1----1---0---0---2----3----2---0----5---0---0--4
    3rd-------------2---1----0---4---1---0----3----1---2----0---0---0--2
    4th-------------0---2----1---0---5---0----1----1---3----0---0---0--0
    5th-------------0---0----0---0---2---2----1----2---0----0---0---0--1
    6th-------------0---1----1---0---1---1----1----0---0----1---0---0--0
    
    Tris Speaker--BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league-----1---2----8---0---1---0----0----1---4---1---0---0--1
    2nd in league--2---1----3---1---2---4----1----3---3---2---0---1--4
    3rd------------7---2----1---1---0---2----1----2---4---4---1---0--5	
    4th------------2---4----0---0---2---2----2----3---3---4---1---4--3
    5th------------1---2----0---0---0---0----0----1---1---2---3---2--3
    6th------------1---0----1---1---0---2----0----0---0---1---1---3--0
    
    Nap Lajoie---BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs--RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league----3---4----5---0---1----1----3---4---2---4---0---0--3
    2nd in league-3---0----4---1---0----1----1---2---2---3---0---0--3
    3rd-----------1---1----1---0---1----0----2---0---1---2---0---0--0
    4th-----------1---1----1---0---0----1----1---2---1---0---0---0--1
    5th-----------0---1----0---0---0----0----1---0---1---0---0---0--0
    6th-----------3---1----0---0---2----0----1---0---0---2---1---0--4
    
    Stan Musial-BA--Hits-2B---3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league---7---6----8----5---0---5----2----6---6---6----0---1--6
    2nd league---2---3----3----1---1---4----0----2---7---3----0---0--4
    3rd----------5---2----1----1---1---4----3----1---0---0----0---2--0
    4th----------2---1----0----2---1---1----2----2---2---3----0---2--3
    5th----------1---0----0----1---1---1----2----2---0---1----0---2--0
    6th----------0---0----2----0---1---0----0----1---1---0----0---0--1
    
    Ed Collins--BA--Hits-2B--3B---HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led League---0---0----0---0----0---3----0---0----0---0---4---1--0
    2nd league---3---2----0---1----0---1----0---0----3---0---4---5--1
    3rd----------0---1----0---0----0---2----1---1----7---1---2---2--2
    4th----------5---1----1---0----0---2----0---0----2---0---2---2--2
    5th----------2---3----0---1----0---0----1---3----2---1---1---1--3
    6th----------1---1----0---2----0---1----0---1----1---2---1---1--0
    
    Crawford----BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR---Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---0----0----1---6---2----1----3----2---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---4----5----4---3---2----1----4----6---0---4---0---0--2
    3rd----------1----4----0---3---2----0----2----2---0---3---0---0--4
    4th----------2----0----1---0---1----1----2----1---2---1---0---0--3
    5th----------0----2----0---0---3----2----1----2---2---2---0---0--0
    6th----------1----0----2---3---1----0----2----1---1---0---1---0--1
    
    J.Jackson---BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---0----2----1---3---0---0----0---2---1----1----0---0--0
    2nd league---3----2----2---1---0---1----0---2---2----3----0---0--3
    3rd league---2----2----2---2---1---2----1---1---0----1----0---1--2
    4th----------2----2----0---1---0---1----4---1---3----2----0---0--1
    5th----------0----0----0---0---1---0----0---0---1----2----0---0--3
    6th----------0----0----0---0---0---1----0---0---0----0----1---0--0
    
    Z. Wheat----BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB---OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---1----0----2---0---0---0----0---0----0----1----0---0--0
    2nd league---1----3----2---0---0---0----0---0----0----0----0---0--1
    3rd league---2----2----1---0---0---1----2---0----0----1----0---0--1
    4th----------2----0----0---0---1---0----0---0----2----2----0---0--1
    5th----------1----1----0---2---2---0----1---0----1----1----0---0--2
    6th----------0----0----0---1---2---1----2---0----0----0----0---0--1
    
    Edd Roush--BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league--2----0----1---1---1---0----0---1---0----1----0---0--1
    2nd league--2----0----1---2---0---0----1---0---0----0----1---0--1
    3rd league--1----3----0---3---0---0----1---0---1----1----0---0--2
    4th---------1----1----0---1---1---0----0---1---1----1----1---0--1
    5th---------1----1----0---0---0---2----0---1---1----0----0---0--0
    6th---------0----1----0---0---0---0----1---2---1----1----1---0--1
    
    J. Foxx-----BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG--SB--BB--OPS+
    led league---2-----0---0---0---4---1----3---3---3---5----0---2--5
    2nd league---2-----1---0---0---3---2----0---1---3---1----0---1--2
    3rd league---1-----2---0---0---2---1----3---0---3---2----0---3--0
    4th----------0-----0---0---0---3---2----2---3---0---1----0---4--3
    5th----------1-----0---0---0---0---1----0---1---2---2----0---0--1
    6th----------0-----0---0---0---0---1----2---1---0---1----0---0--0
    
    Clemente----BA---Hits-2B--3B---HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---4----2----0---1----0---0----0----0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---2----1----1---1----0---0----2----1---1---0---0---0--1
    3rd league---1----1----0---2----0---0----0----1---0---1---0---0--1
    4th----------2----1----0---1----0---2----0----0---1---0---0---0--0
    5th----------1----1----1---4----0---0----0----1---0---1---0---0--0
    6th----------0----1----2---1----0---0----0----0---3---1---0---0--1
    
    Schmidt-----BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---0----0----0---0---8---1----4---3---3---5----0---4--6
    2nd league---0----0----0---0---1---2----1---1---0---2----0---2--1
    3rd league---0----0----0---0---2---6----4---0---0---2----0---3--2
    4th----------1----0----0---0---1---0----0---1---3---3----0---3--1
    5th----------0----0----0---0---0---0----0---4---1---0----0---0--1
    6th----------0----0----0---0---1---1----0---0---0---0----0---1--0
    
    Yaz----------BA---Hits-2B-3B--HR---Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----3----2---3---0---1----3----1---2---5---3----0---2--4
    2nd league----2----0---1---0---0----1----0---0---1---0----0---3--1
    3rd league----0----0---2---1---1----1----1---0---1---0----0---1--0
    4th-----------0----2---0---0---1----1----0---2---0---1----0---1--0
    5th-----------0----1---0---0---0----1----1---0---0---0----0---2--0
    6th-----------0----1---1---0---0----0----0---2---0---0----0---0--1
    
    Anson-------BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR---Runs--RBI-TB--OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league--2----1----3--0---0-----0----8---1---4----0----0---1---1
    2nd league--5----4----2--1---0-----0----3---2---5----4----0---1---2
    3rd league--2----2----2--0---4-----0----3---2---1----1----0---1---1
    4th---------1----0----2--0---1-----2----0---2---1----3----0---2---3
    5th---------2----3----0--1---1-----2----0---0---2----1----0---0---3
    6th---------0----0----1--0---0-----4----0---3---3----0----0---2---1
    
    Bonds------BA---Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league--2----0----0--0---2---1----1---1---8----7----0--10---9
    2nd league--0----0----0--0---5---3----1---0---3----1----0---4---3
    3rd league--1----0----0--0---1---6----0---1---0----1----1---1---2
    4th---------1----0----0--0---4---0----4---0---2----3----1---0---0
    5th---------0----0----0--0---0---1----0---3---1----1----2---0---1
    6th---------0----0----0--2---0---3----2---1---0----1----2---0---0
    
    B. Williams--BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----1---1----0--0---0---1----0---3---0---1---0---0--1
    2nd league----0---0----1--1---2---0----3---1---1---0---0---0--0
    3rd league----0---3----3--1---3---0----0---1---0---2---0---0--1
    4th-----------2---0----1--0---1---1----0---1---0---1---0---0--0
    5th-----------0---1----0--1---0---2----0---1---0---0---0---0--0
    6th-----------0---1----0--0---1---0----0---0---0---1---0---1--0
    
    Kiner-------BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---0---0----0--0---7---1----1---1---1---3---0---3--0
    2nd league---0---0----0--0---0---0----3---2---0---0---0---3--0
    3rd league---0---0----0--0---0---1----1---0---2---1---0---0--0
    4th league---1---0----0--0---0---1----0---2---0---2---0---1--2
    5th----------1---0----0--0---1---1----1---0---0---0---0---0--0
    6th----------0---1----0--0---0---0----1---0---2---0---0---1--0
    
    Killebrew---BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR---Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB--OPS+
    led league---0---0----0--0---6----0----3---0---1---1---0---4---0
    2nd league---0---0----0--0---2----1----2---2---1---3---0---1---1
    3rd league---0---0----0--0---2----1----2---4---2---4---0---3---2
    4th----------0---0----0--0---0----1----1---0---5---0---0---1---5
    5th----------1---0----0--0---2----0----0---2---2---2---0---1---2
    6th----------0---0----0--0---0----1----1---1---0---0---0---0---0
    
    Rose--------BA-Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB--OPS+
    led league---3---7---5--0---0---4----0---0---1---0---0---0---0
    2nd league---2---5---2--2---0---3----0---1---1---0---0---0---0
    3rd league---0---1---4--0---0---3----0---1---3---0---0---0---0
    4th----------1---1---0--0---0---1----0---1---1---0---0---2---0
    5th----------1---2---2--2---0---1----0---1---1---0---0---2---0
    6th----------0---0---0--1---0---0----0---1---0---0---0---1---1
    
    Gwynn------BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR---Runs-RBI-TB---OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league--8---7----0--0---0----1----0---0----1---0---0---0--0
    2nd league--1---0----1--3---0----0----0---0----2---0---1---0--0
    3rd league--2---1----1--0---0----0----0---1----0---0---0---0--1
    4th---------1---0----1--0---0----1----0---0----1---0---0---0--1
    5th---------1---0----0--1---0----0----0---0----2---0---0---0--0
    6th---------0---0----0--0---0----0----1---0----0---0---1---0--1
    
    Kaline-----BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs--RBI-TB---OBA-SLG-SB--BB--OPS+
    led league--1----1---1--0---0----0----0---1----0---1---0---0---1
    2nd league--3----1---1--0---0----1----2---1----3---1---0---0---2
    3rd league--2----1---1--0---0----0----0---0----2---1---0---0---1
    4th---------1----1---0--1---0----0----0---2----0---1---1---0---1
    5th---------0----0---2--1---0----1----1---0----2---1---0---1---0
    6th---------0----1---1--1---0----1----1---1----0---1---1---1---0
    
    Greenberg---BA---Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---0----0----2--0---4----1---4---2---0---1---0---2--0
    2nd league---0----0----2--0---2----1---1---3---2---4---0---1--4
    3rd league---0----0----1--1---0----1---1---1---2---2---0---0--1
    4th----------0----1----0--0---0----1---1---0---0---0---0---0--2
    5th----------1----1----0--1---0----0---0---1---0---0---0---0--0
    6th----------1----1----0--0---0----0---0---0---0---0---0---3--0
    
    Waner-------BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB--OPS+
    led league---3---2----2--2---0---2----1---1---0---0---0---0---0
    2nd league---1---3----1--5---0---2----0---0---2---0---1---2---0
    3rd league---0---1----1--0---0---0----0---1---2---1---0---1---1
    4th----------3---1----2--1---0---1----0---2---1---2---0---1---4
    5th----------1---0----0--0---0---0----0---3---1---2---0---0---0
    6th----------0---2----1--0---0---1----0---1---2---0---0---0---1
    
    R.Jackson----BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB--OPS+
    led league----0---0----0--0---4----2---1---0---0---3---0---0---4
    2nd league----0---0----3--0---3----0---0---3---0---2---0---1---1
    3rd league----0---0----0--0---1----1---1---0---0---1---0---0---0
    4th-----------0---0----0--0---1----0---1---1---1---0---0---1---1
    5th-----------0---0----1--0---2----2---0---0---1---2---0---1---1
    6th-----------0---0----0--0---0----0---3---0---2---1---0---0---1
    
    Boggs--------BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---5----1----2--0---0---2----0---0---6---0---0---1--1
    2nd league---1----5----3--0---0---0----0---0---1---0---0---0--2
    3rd league---2----0----2--0---0---1----0---0---1---1---0---3--0
    4th----------1----2----1--0---0---0----0---1---1---0---0---0--2
    5th----------2----0----0--0---0---1----0---1---0---0---0---2--0
    6th----------0----0----0--0---0---1----0---0---1---0---0---0--1
    
    Gehringer---BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR---Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---1---2----2--1---0----2----0---0---0---0---1---0--0
    2nd league---1---2----2--1---0----1----0---0---2---0---1---0--0
    3rd league---0---0----1--1---0----3----0---0---0---0---0---1--0
    4th----------1---0----2--0---0----1----0---2---1---0---0---1--0
    5th----------2---3----0--1---0----2----1---0---1---0---0---2--0
    6th----------0---0----0--0---0----0----0---4---1---0---0---1--1
    
    Brouthers----BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----5---3----3---1---2----2---2---4---5---7---0---0--8
    2nd league----1---2----2---4---1----0---2---2---5---3---0---0--1
    3rd league----2---1----1---2---2----1---1---1---0---0---0---0--2
    4th-----------1---1----2---1---0----0---1---1---1---0---0---2--0
    5th-----------1---2----0---1---2----1---1---0---1---0---0---0--0
    6th-----------0---0----1---0---0----0---1---3---0---0---0---0--0
    
    Delahanty----BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----1---1----5--1---2---0----3---2---2---5---1---0--4
    2nd league----3---1----3--0---0---0----2---2---1---2---0---0--3
    3rd league----2---1----2--2---1---1----1---2---2---1---0---0--1
    4th-----------2---2----1--0---2---1----0---1---0---1---0---2--1
    5th-----------0---1----0--0---1---2----1---0---2---1---0---0--1
    6th-----------2---0----0--2---0---0----0---0---0---0---0---2--1
    
    Mize---------BA-Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB--OPS+
    led league----1---0---1--1---4---1----3---3---0---4---0---0---2
    2nd league----2---0---1--0---2---1----1---4---2---3---0---0---5
    3rd league----0---3---1--2---1---2----3---0---1---2---0---2---2
    4th-----------0---0---0--0---1---0----0---0---1---0---0---0---0
    5th-----------3---1---0--1---1---1----1---0---2---0---0---1---0
    6th-----------0---2---0--0---0---1----0---0---0---0---0---1---0
    
    Brett-------BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB--OPS+
    led league---3---3----2--3---0----0---0---1---3---3---0---0---3
    2nd league---2---0----2--1---0----1---1---2---1---0---0---0---0
    3rd league---0---0----2--0---0----1---0---0---1---0---0---1---0
    4th----------0---0----1--1---0----1---0---1---1---1---0---0---0
    5th----------0---1----1--1---0----1---1---1---0---1---0---0---2
    6th----------2---0----0--2---0----0---1---0---1---2---0---0---0
    
    F.Robinson---BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----1---0----1--0---1----3---1---1---2---4---0---0--4
    2nd league----2---2----0--0---2----2---4---1---6---1---0---1--1
    3rd league----1---1----3--1---3----0---2---1---0---0---1---1--1
    4th-----------1---0----1--0---3----1---0---3---3---5---1---2--1
    5th-----------1---0----0--0---2----2---1---0---0---1---0---1--7
    6th-----------2---1----2--0---1----1---0---1---0---1---1---0--1
    
    Ashburn-----BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB--OPS+
    led league---2---3----0--2---0---0----0---0---4---0---1---4---0
    2nd league---2---1----0--0---0---0----0---0---0---0---2---2---0
    3rd league---0---0----0--0---0---0----0---0---1---0---0---1---0
    4th----------0---0----1--1---0---1----0---0---1---0---1---0---0
    5th----------0---1----1--3---0---2----0---0---1---0---2---1---1
    6th----------2---3----0--0---0---2----0---0---0---0---2---1---0
    
    
    
    Snider------BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB--OPS+
    led league---0----1---0--0---1----3---1---3---1---2---0---1---1
    2nd league---0----1---2--0---1----1---1---1---1---2---0---0---1
    3rd league---2----1---2--2---1----0---1---0---2---0---0---1---2
    4th----------1----0---0--0---1----1---1---0---0---1---0---1---0
    5th----------1----0---0--0---0----0---0---3---0---1---1---1---0
    6th----------0----0---0--0---1----1---1---0---0---1---1---1---1
    
    Simmons-----BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---2---2----0--0---0----1---1---2---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---2---0----2--0---1----2---2---2---0---3---0---0--0
    3rd league---1---3----0--0---2----0---2---1---0---3---0---0--2
    4th----------3---3----0--0---1----0---1---1---0---0---0---0--1
    5th----------0---0----0--0---3----0---2---1---0---2---0---0--1
    6th----------0---0----0--1---1----0---1---0---1---0---0---0--1
    
    Banks--------BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----0---0----0--0---2---0----2---1---0---1---0---0--0
    2nd league----0---0----0--1---2---2----0---1---0---1---0---0--1
    3rd league----0---0----0--0---2---0----2---3---0---0---0---0--0
    4th-----------0---1----1--0---1---0----1---0---0---1---0---0--1
    5th-----------0---0----1--1---0---0----1---0---0---2---0---0--2
    6th-----------1---0----0--0---1---0----1---1---0---0---0---0--0
    
    Bench------BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league--0---0----0--0---2---0----3---1---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league--0---0----1--0---1---1----1---1---0---0---0---0--1
    3rd league--0---0----2--0---0---0----1---1---0---2---0---1--0
    4th---------0---0----0--0---1---0----0---0---0---2---0---0--0
    5th---------0---0----0--0---0---0----0---0---0---1---0---0--0
    6th---------0---0----1--0---0---0----0---0---0---0---0---0--0
    
    Molitor-----BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---0---3----1--1---0---3----0---0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---2---1----0--1---0---1----0---0---1---0---0---0--0
    3rd league---1---2----0--0---0---0----0---0---0---0---1---0--1
    4th----------1---2----0--0---0---1----0---1---0---0---2---0--0
    5th----------2---1----0--0---0---0----0---0---0---1---0---0--0
    6th----------3---0----0--0---0---0----0---0---0---0---2---0--1
    
    Terry--------BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----1---1----0--1---0---1----0---0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league----3---3----0--0---0---1----0---2---0---0---0---0--0
    3rd league----0---1----1--1---1---0----1---0---0---1---0---0--0
    4th-----------2---1----0--2---1---0----0---2---1---0---0---0--2
    5th-----------0---0----1--1---0---0----2---0---2---1---0---0--1
    6th-----------1---0----0--0---0---2----1---0---0---0---0---0--0
    
    Keeler-----BA---Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league--2----3----0--0---0----1---0---0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league--2----5----0--0---0----5---0---1---1---1---0---0--1
    3rd league--1----1----0--0---0----1---0---1---2---0---0---0--0
    4th---------3----2----0--1---0----1---0---1---0---0---1---0--1
    5th---------1----1----0--0---0----1---0---1---0---0---1---0--0
    6th---------1----0----0--1---0----1---0---2---1---0---0---0--0
    
    Henderson----BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG--SB-BB--OPS+
    led league----0---1----0--0---0----5---0---0---1---0---12--4---1
    2nd league----1---0----0--1---0----1---0---0---2---1----0--2---1
    3rd league----0---0----0--0---0----1---0---0---6---0----0--1---0
    4th-----------2---0----0--0---0----3---0---0---1---0----2--5---0
    5th-----------0---0----0--0---0----1---0---0---2---0----1--0---0
    6th-----------0---0----0--0---1----0---0---1---1---0----2--1---0
    leecemark; October 30, 2004, 08:01 AM
    --Congratulations to Lou Gehrig for his easy and well deserved win here. Foxx was just as easy a second place winner. The big question was who is the third best firstbaseman of all time and our group selected Hank Greenberg for that spot. The most debated issue was whether George Sisler was an all time great or an all time overrated player. The majority here tended to vote closer to great than overrated, as Sisler was voted into the 5th slot. Here are the top 10.

    1. Lou Gehrig 129
    2. Jimmie Foxx 115
    3. Hank Greenberg 67.5
    4. Johnny Mize 60
    5. George Sisler 50
    6. Jeff Bagwell 37
    7. Willie McCovey 36
    8. Frank Thomas 35.5
    9. Mark McGwire 35
    10. Dan Brouthers 32

    --I was surprised by the lack of support for Eddie Murray who has better counting numbers than pretty much all these guys. Of course, he wasn't quite as good at his peak as any of them and nowhere near as good as some of them. I also was surprised by Harmon Killebrew's low vote totals. He is pretty similar to the McCovey, Thomas, McGwire group and probably more consistent over the course of his career than any of them. Also, while Killebrew wasn't a great defender, he was probably the best of that group (maybe the best baserunner too, although that is a dubious distinction here).
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    538280; October 29, 07:05 AM
    The results are now in. We had 18 ballots, and Lou Gehrig was a near unanimous #1 with 17 first place votes (there was also one first place vote for George Sisler). After the automatic two of Gehrig and Foxx, Frank Thomas claimed the #3 spot, and was closely followed by Jeff Bagwell at #4. Here are the final results (first place votes in parenthesis):

    1. Lou Gehrig-213 (17)
    2. Jimmie Foxx-159
    3. Frank Thomas-96
    4. Jeff Bagwell-94
    5. Hank Greenberg-79
    6. Eddie Murray-54
    7. Johnny Mize-53
    8. Willie McCovey-51
    9. George Sisler-40 (1)
    10. Cap Anson-28
    11. Buck Leonard-23
    12. Harmon Killebrew-20

    No one else received more than 20 points. I'll now get the second basemen poll up.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bill Burgess; April 22, 2007, 02:45 PM

    1. Lou Gehrig - 150 points
    2. Jimmy Foxx - 141
    3. Jeff Bagwell - 98
    4. Hank Greenberg - 65
    5. Johnny Mize - 57
    6. Willie McCovey - 53
    7. Frank Thomas - 53
    8. George Sisler - 42
    9. Cap Anson - 32
    10. Eddie Murray - 25
    11. Harmon Killebrew - 24
    12. Dan Brouthers - 20
    13. Bill Terry - 15
    14. Mark McGwire - 12
    15. Dick Allen - 7
    16. Roger Connor - 4
    17. Jake Beckley - 4
    18. Rafael Palmeiro - 2
    Code:
    Top OPS+ seasons of some prominent 1Bmen.  
    (Minimum 500 PA, except for pre-1900, due to fewer games/season.)
    
    Lou Gehrig........221, 208, 203, 195, 194, 190 Average: 202
    Dan Brouthers.....206, 201, 199, 189, 187, 182 Average: 194
    Jimmie Foxx.......205, 200, 188, 186, 182, 182 Average: 191
    Frank Thomas..-...212, 181, 180, 178, 178, 177 Average: 184
    Mark McGwire......217, 203, 178, 175, 168, 164 Average: 184
    Cap Anson.........200, 191, 180, 178, 176, 176 Average: 183(fewer games/season due to era)
    Roger Connor......201, 185, 184, 176, 171, 168 Average: 181
    Willie McCovey....211, 182, 175, 165, 161, 160 Average: 176
    Dick Allen........200, 181, 174, 166, 165, 162 Average: 175
    Jeff Bagwell......213, 179, 169, 168, 158, 152 Average: 173
    Albert Pujols.....189, 180, 175, 167, 158, 155 Average: 170
    Johnny Mize.......178, 176, 175, 172, 161, 160 Average: 170
    Hank Greenberg....172, 170, 170, 169, 163, 156 Average: 166
    Harmon Killebrew..179, 174, 161, 161, 158, 153 Average: 164
    George Sisler.....181, 170, 161, 157, 154, 140 Average: 161
    Bill Terry........158, 156, 149, 141, 137, 135 Average: 146
    Ted Kluszewski....166, 147, 145, 142, 132, 124 Average: 142
    Gil Hodges........143, 142, 141, 138, 128, 126 Average: 136
    Lou Gehrig - 154.0 - 2 SLG. titles - 9954 PA - 179 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 230. Ave. held up well, of course due to lack of decline phase, hence low PA. Only won 2 titles.
    Jimmie Foxx - 143.7 - 5 SLG. titles - 9,599 PA - 163 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 214. Too few PA relative to Aaron/Mays
    ----------------------
    ...............OPS+....EqA.....BRAR....BRAR/650 PA
    Gehrig.........179.....345......1219........82.02
    Brouthers.....170....324.......780........66.21
    Pujols..........171....343.......515........82.41
    Foxx...........163.....327......1012........68.02
    F.Thomas....160.....342......1146.......81.31
    D.Allen........156.....325.......801........71.19
    McCovey.....148.....318.......960........64.42
    -------------------------------------------------
    Relative ISO:

    Lou Gehrig: 230
    Mark McGwire: 223
    Hank Greenberg: 220
    Jimmy Foxx: 214
    Johnny Mize 209
    Dick Allen: 198
    Willie McCovey: 192
    Harmon Killebrew: 190
    Albert Pujols: 182 (6 seasons)
    Frank Howard 175
    Frank Thomas: 169
    Rafael Palmeiro: 149
    Eddie Murray: 138
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Relative ISO: Some Pre-1920 hitters:

    Dan Brouthers 178
    Roger Connor 172
    Cap Anson 121

    All-Time list for OPS+ (baseball-Reference)
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/le...s_career.shtml

    Relative Stats Chart:
    http://baseball-fever.com/showpost.p...&postcount=161
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Courtesy of David Kent. Here is a list of the top 100 sluggers of all time based on relative isolated power (min 5000 AB). The values are league adjusted but not park adjusted. (NB: If someone has park factor values for average and slugging, I would love to see it.)
    Code:
    Player                AB    Slg    Avg    ISO  Rel ISO
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Lou Gehrig           8001  0.632  0.340  0.292  227.6
    Hank Greenberg       5193  0.605  0.313  0.292  223.1
    Mark McGwire         6187  0.588  0.263  0.325  217.1
    Jimmie Foxx          8134  0.609  0.325  0.284  215.6
    Johnny Mize          6443  0.562  0.312  0.250  209.8
    Dick Allen           6332  0.534  0.292  0.242  199.2
    Willie McCovey       8197  0.515  0.270  0.245  192.3
    Harmon Killebrew     8147  0.509  0.256  0.252  190.8
    Dan Brouthers        6711  0.519  0.342  0.177  181.2
    Frank Howard         6488  0.499  0.273  0.225  175.3
    Roger Connor         7794  0.486  0.317  0.169  171.6
    Frank Thomas         6851  0.567  0.308  0.259  168.3
    Norm Cash            6705  0.488  0.271  0.217  165.2
    Cecil Fielder        5157  0.482  0.255  0.227  157.6
    Jeff Bagwell         7697  0.542  0.297  0.245  157.6
    Jim Bottomley        7471  0.500  0.310  0.191  156.2
    Boog Powell          6681  0.462  0.266  0.196  153.9
    Source: Fourth from Top, Right: Baseball: 100 Years of The Modern Era: 1901-2000: From the Archives of The Sporting News, edited by Joe Hoppel, 2001, pp. 53.

    --------George Sisler, Browns' 1B, 1916-22-------------------------------1916-22---BB Ref---Bill Burgess' write-up


    Browns' 1B, 1926 ----------------------------------------------------------1920


    ----------------1919, Sportsman's Park


    ---- Browns' 1B, 1916-23----------------------------------------------------------1916-27


    George Sisler, Browns' 1B, 1916-21--------------------------------------------------------------1916-23


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1915-22


    -------------1928, Washington Senators' 1B------------------------------------------------1916-27



    Source: Top, Left: Special Baseball Classics (Magazine): 1977, pp. 4.
    Source: Top, Right: Shadows of Summer: Classic Baseball Photographs, 1869-1947, by Donald Honig, 1994, pp. 25.
    Source: Second from Top, Right: 150 Years of Baseball, 1989, pp. 163.
    Source: Third from Top, Left: 150 Years of Baseball, 1989, pp. 154.
    Source: Third from Top, Right: The Story of Baseball, by John Durant, 1949, pp. 250.
    Source: Fourth from Top, Right: Baseball's Dream Teams, by Lloyd Johnson, 1990, pp. 47.

    -----------------September 17, 1921------------------------------------------March 31, 1921, spring training, New Orleans, La.


    -------------------------1926


    --------------------1930.

    93
    George Sisler is a top 40 player
    44.09%
    41
    George Sisler is not a top 40 player
    55.91%
    52
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-30-2011, 07:04 PM.
    "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

    - Alvin Dark

  • #2
    Well, you have to give the guy a zillion breaks in order for him to be considered a top-tier 1B.

    Sisler's closest comparisons include seven Hall of Famers, but the top three are Heinie Manush, Zach Wheat, and Kiki Cuyler, none of whom are considered top-rank HOF outfielders.

    His career OPS+ is 124. I really don't think that's out of line with what an average first baseman should be putting up as offensive numbers.

    Sisler was all about batting average. He's remembered today for a couple gaudy .400 seasons and for holding the single-season hits record for over 80 years. But his BA is almost as high as his OBP. He had a good three-year run as a slugger, helped by Sportsman's Park and the clean baseball, and actually led the American League in Total Bases in 1920 - you could win a lot of bets on that stat! When Babe Ruth had his mysterious disease in 1922, Sisler had his last great year and won an MVP. His glove work at first was apparently amazing, but nobody's ready to put Keith Hernandez in the Hall of Fame, and in my opinion, Hernandez had a better career, but a shorter peak, than Sisler.

    His years following his eye disease aren't pretty - adjusted for era and park, they look like Enos Cabell. He accumulated 1314 hits after his eye disease, making his raw totals look good. He's better than George Kelly and Jim Bottomley, but gets blown away by the real first basemen that followed him - Gehrig and Foxx and Greenberg.






    Babe Ruth/George Sisler------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1915


    -------------1923


    ------------------1929



    Sisler Joins The Boston Braves - May 29, 1928: Sisler/Rogers Hornsby

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-02-2009, 11:39 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sisler is seen by his contemporaries as an amazing defensive first baseman, and by metrics as just an average defensive first baseman. The explanation most often given is that Sisler was great at his peak, but the eye trouble turned him into a subpar defender. Contemporaries will remember him for what he looked like at his best, while most defensive metrics make no attempt to factor peak value into the equation (I think PCA does).

      The Babe and the Sizzler:

      Babe Ruth/George Sisler----------------------------------------------------------------------------------George Sisler/Babe Ruth
      May 14, 1924, Yankee Stadium---------------------------------------------------------------------------1922, Sportsman's Park



      October 4, 1924: George Sisler, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb at the first game of the 1924 World Series at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C.



      George Sisler, Browns' 1B, 1927,---BB-Reference------------------------------------------ Senators' 1B, 1928


      Braves' 1B, 1930-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1917.
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-23-2011, 03:01 PM.
      "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

      - Alvin Dark

      Comment


      • #4
        Wait, if I vote "He's not top 100" Means he really is top 100? I think he is top 100.
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-29-2009, 07:00 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think I've got him in the 80's.
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-29-2009, 06:59 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Would you mind if I see your top 100?

            Comment


            • #7
              Astros Fan: I think part of the disconnect between the two groups is the question whether you should judge a player by the standards of the era in which he played, or whether you should judge him by the standards of some later era.

              In Sisler's day batting average was the main meaure by which players were judged, and Sisler had a run of 6 straight .340+ seasons, including two .400+ seasons, a 370+ season, and two other 350+ seasons. During this peak he not only hit for a great average, he also fielded spectacularly and was an excellent baserunner who led the league 4 times in that category. It was this seemingly great peak that was engraved on the public consciousness.

              You can judge Sisler if you want by the new stats and standards that didn't even exist when Sisler played, however its a bit like changing the rules of the game after it has already been played. I' m reminded of something Mickey Mantle once said around the late 1980's after players in a later era were being lionized for stealing a lot of bases. Mantle said if I knew they were going to make such a big deal about stealing bases, I would have also stolen a lot of bases.

              I also think people probably had enough common sense during that era to understand that after Sisler had to sit out the 1923 season with eye trouble, after having batted .420 the previous season, the Sisler who returned in 1924 and afterwards had been prevented by circumstances beyond his control from playing at his peak, and that the Sisler of the previous peak years was the real Sisler.

              Are fielding metrics really reliable? I question that assumption. I think opinions of unbiased and reliable contemporaries may be more accurate.

              c JRB
              Last edited by JRB; 07-28-2007, 06:32 PM.

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              • #8
                A first basemen with a career .287 EqA? No I don't think he's top 100 material. At his peak he was able to string together six good seasons, and two very good ones (20 and 22/19 depending on how you evaluate his defense in each season) I do not feel that he was one of the greatest defensive first basemen ever. I don't even think he's as good as Keith Hernandez, who has a .301 EqA and actually has some substance to his glove.
                "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

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                • #9
                  I think Sisler's fielding, taken as a whole, is not anywhere near all-time great, but he may have been an excellent fielder in his 1917-22 peak.

                  Sisler gets a lot of flak for his failing to walk and his lack of power. The problem is, he's not just a bad walker and mediocre power hitter for the modern era, he's bad and mediocre at each for his era as well. I'm not docking him because he wasn't a great sabermetrics batter. He just wasn't good at drawing walks or hitting for power.
                  "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

                  - Alvin Dark

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lin_Kuei_Fighter View Post
                    Wait, if I vote "He's not top 100" Means he really is top 100? I think he is top 100.
                    If you think he's in the 41-100 range, just stay out of the poll. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on Sizzler, but the poll is for the opposite sides of the issue.
                    "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

                    - Alvin Dark

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AstrosFan View Post
                      I think Sisler's fielding, taken as a whole, is not anywhere near all-time great, but he may have been an excellent fielder in his 1917-22 peak.

                      Sisler gets a lot of flak for his failing to walk and his lack of power. The problem is, he's not just a bad walker and mediocre power hitter for the modern era, he's bad and mediocre at each for his era as well. I'm not docking him because he wasn't a great sabermetrics batter. He just wasn't good at drawing walks or hitting for power.
                      Even by sabermetrics standards he was outstanding at his 1917-22 pre eye problem peak. Per the official encylopedia he had OPS+ of 163, 159, 153, 179, 137, and 169, for an average OPS+ of 160 per year.

                      By comparison, in his peak years of 1934 to 1940 slugger Hank Greenberg had a yearly average of 164+ per year. During his peak Sisler was renowned for making spectacular fielding plays and getting to balls no one else could get to, and he was considered by many the best ever at his position. Cobb said that Sisler's reflexes were unbelievable.

                      So, in his peak Sisler gives you great fielding, outstanding baserunning, and a hitter almost as productive by modern standards as a Hank Greenberg.

                      c JRB

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JRB View Post
                        Even by sabermetrics standards he was outstanding at his 1917-22 pre eye problem peak. Per the official encylopedia he had OPS+ of 163, 159, 153, 179, 137, and 169, for an average OPS+ of 160 per year.

                        By comparison, in his peak years of 1934 to 1940 slugger Hank Greenberg had a yearly average of 164+ per year. During his peak Sisler was renowned for making spectacular fielding plays and getting to balls no one else could get to, and he was considered by many the best ever at his position. Cobb said that Sisler's reflexes were unbelievable.

                        So, in his peak Sisler gives you great fielding, outstanding baserunning, and a hitter almost as productive by modern standards as a Hank Greenberg.

                        c JRB
                        Let me use this post as a springboard. It will let me bring up some pros and cons about Sisler and at least figure this whole thing out for myself.

                        What I knew about Sisler 10 years ago was that he hit .400 twice, was considered by many to be more valuable than Babe Ruth in 1920, and that in 1969 he was voted the greatest NL and greatest living first baseman.

                        The cons are basically that his value as a hitter, both peak and career OPS+ of 160 and 124 are pretty low compared to historic first basemen. His peak is almost identical to Don Mattingly or Will Clark, and he is below them in career rates. Historically, first baseman produce about 128. 160 is real good. Foxx' peak 6 years were 179. A 160 is 32 points above an average first baseman (historically) and about 59 above a replacement level guy.

                        That would be comparable to a shortstop doing 123 versus a replacement-in line with Ripken's 6 year peak.

                        His first 10 years he was at 138 (which is Will Clark's career rate). Dick Allen was 156 for about an equivalent of 11-12 full years.

                        Some plusses to consider.

                        First baseman did not produce near 128 OPS+ during Sisler's peak.

                        The average first baseman in 1917 only put up an OPS+ of 110.

                        Here's some straight averages of the other 7 primary first baseman during Sisler's big 6 years:

                        1917: 110
                        1918: 111
                        1919: 112
                        1920: 93
                        1921: 93
                        1922: 110

                        Total average of primary first basemen: 105

                        So comparing him to an historical average of 128 is not accurate.

                        The best explanation is that first base was a more premium defensive position at that time, maybe on par with the role of a modern third baseman.

                        If he was a great fielding first baseman, a 124 OPS+ with great base-stealing moves him up a lot.

                        George Brett was 135 and a good fielder and baserunner, but not equal to Sisler in either category.

                        Ron Santo was 125 for his career.

                        If first base was truly RELATIVELY equivalent to a third baseman of a later era, then I think I'm gonna have to move Sisler up.

                        Lets say he's about on par with a modern gold glove third baseman with a 118 OPS+ for his career and 154 for his peak, and excellent baserunning.

                        That would be a lot like Ken Boyer plus very good steal totals.

                        So maybe I could move him to the 50s.

                        I don't actually think that first base was THAT imporant (as much as a modern third baseman) I think in part it was just a weak position for the time.

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                        • #13
                          On the issue of whether George Sisler is still a top 40 player all time I'm not sure. I think the only way he might still be top 40 is if you elect to judge him by his performance prior to his eye problem.

                          I do feel comfortable in asserting my opinion that Sisler was the best first baseman of the first quarter of the 20th Century.

                          To keep things in historical perspective it should be noted that in the Hall of Fame balloting in 1938 Sisler finished second to Grover Cleveland Alexander, and though he missed out he did finish ahead of Willie Keeler and Eddie Collins.

                          In the 1939 Hall of Fame selection Sisler finished first in the Hall of Fame balloting with 235 votes, finishing ahead of Eddie Collins with 213 votes and Willie Keeler with 207 votes. I think there is a consensus that Collins is a top 40 all time player. It appears that the only players chosen for the HOF before Sisler were Cobb, Ruth, Wagner, Mathewson, Johnson, Lajoie, Speaker, Young, and Alexander, which demonstrates the incredibly high esteem in which Sisler was held by those who actually saw him play.

                          c JRB

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JRB View Post
                            Astros Fan: I think part of the disconnect between the two groups is the question whether you should judge a player by the standards of the era in which he played, or whether you should judge him by the standards of some later era.

                            In Sisler's day batting average was the main meaure by which players were judged, and Sisler had a run of 6 straight .340+ seasons, including two .400+ seasons, a 370+ season, and two other 350+ seasons. During this peak he not only hit for a great average, he also fielded spectacularly and was an excellent baserunner who led the league 4 times in that category. It was this seemingly great peak that was engraved on the public consciousness.

                            You can judge Sisler if you want by the new stats and standards that didn't even exist when Sisler played, however its a bit like changing the rules of the game after it has already been played. I' m reminded of something Mickey Mantle once said around the late 1980's after players in a later era were being lionized for stealing a lot of bases. Mantle said if I knew they were going to make such a big deal about stealing bases, I would have also stolen a lot of bases.

                            I also think people probably had enough common sense during that era to understand that after Sisler had to sit out the 1923 season with eye trouble, after having batted .420 the previous season, the Sisler who returned in 1924 and afterwards had been prevented by circumstances beyond his control from playing at his peak, and that the Sisler of the previous peak years was the real Sisler.

                            Are fielding metrics really reliable? I question that assumption. I think opinions of unbiased and reliable contemporaries may be more accurate.

                            c JRB
                            JRB, I don't really agree with your analogy that judging Sisler by what we now know about values of events in the game is like changing the rules. The object of baseball is to win the game. All the players are doing what they can to win the game. What Sisler does as a player (or any player from any era does) should be evaluated keeping that in mind-that the goal of the game is to win. Things about the game have changed since then-but the basis on which new stats are created has not. The relationship of OPS to runs scored has not changed all that much over the years. It is clear that what is important in scoring runs today was important then as well. Sisler's contributions as a winning player were just not up to what many thought they were back then, and it is not changing the rules one bit to realize this. The game has always been about winning.

                            I do think, however, that there are a few factors that we should keep in mind when evaluating older players that aren't really important in the modern game. One of them is that 1Bmen had a heavier defensive responsibility back then, and Sisler probably deserves a little more defensive credit because of that. That's not going to make him even close to a top 40 player in my book and not even a top 100 one, but still those things should be kept in mind.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How do we vote if we think he's a Top 41-100 player?
                              I mean is he really that polarizing?

                              I have him about 58-62.
                              Last edited by dgarza; 07-28-2007, 09:43 PM.

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