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Honus Wagner Thread

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  • Honus Wagner Thread

    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

    Good Guys,

    While we all still agree that Honus Wagner is still the Greatest SS Ever, and may never be supplanted, how close is A-Rod? Is A-Rod pulling on Honus as the Greatest Ever SS?

    My question is how close on his heels is A-Rod, and what are his chances of someday becoming the greatest SS ever? Or do some of you perhaps already feel that he's already ready to assume the crown?

    But please also address if A-Rod's current price tag of $25M per, is worth the investment, or could we perhaps get Vladimir Guerrero & Icharo both for that kind of money?
    Honus' Relative Stats:

    ----Relative BA-----Rel.Slg.-----Rel.onbase-----Rel.ISO----------OPS+
    ----123.1 (16th)---132.9 (34th)---117.6 (48th)---170.9 (44th)------150 (t 31st)


    Hitting Stats:

    Wagner, Cobb, Hornsby, Ruth, Gehrig, T. Williams, Mantle, 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, Sisler, Snider, Banks, Molitor, Keeler, Bench, Terry, Henderson.

    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
    led league--12---8----3----4----1---5---4---6----7----8----6---0--11
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    leecemark; November 11, 19, 2004, 05:56 AM
    The Final Tally
    --Congratulations to Honus Wagner as our first unanimous #1 selection.
    1. Honus Wagner 250
    2. Alex Rodriguez 187
    3. Arky Vaughan 153
    4. Cal Ripken........141
    5. J.H. "Pop" Lloyd 98
    6. Ernie Banks........96
    7. Robin Yount.......67
    8. Luke Appling......61
    8. Joe Cronin.........61
    10. George Davis.....45

    --And the second 10
    11. Barry Larkin........33
    12. Lou Boudreau......22
    13. Derek Jeter.........21
    13. Ozzie Smith........21
    15. Willie Wells.........19
    16. Vern Stephens....14
    17. Hughie Jennings...12
    18. Alan Trammell.......9
    18. Phil Rizzuto..........9
    20. Louis Aparicio.......8
    538280; November 24, 2005, 04:38 PM
    The results are now in. We had 16 ballots. Not surprisingly, Honus Wagner was a near unanimous #1 selection. A-Rod also claimed the #2 spot in a close race against Arky Vaughan. Here are all players who received 10 or more points (first place votes in parenthesis):

    1. Honus Wagner-189 (15)
    2. Alex Rodriguez-120
    3. Arky Vaughan 114
    4. Cal Ripken Jr.-88
    5. Pop Lloyd-83 (1)
    6. Ernie Banks-64
    7. Barry Larkin-55
    8. Robin Yount-51
    9. Luke Appling-31
    10. Joe Cronin-26
    11. George Davis-17
    12. Ozzie Smith-15
    13. Willie Wells-12
    14. Derek Jeter-11
    Bill Burgess; May 2, 2007, 07:13 PM
    OK. This poll/survey has been open for 11 days now, and it it time it closed.
    Here are the results of our 3rd round of Greatest Position Players for Shortstops. I go by the 10-9-8 system.

    1. Honus Wagner - 186
    2. Alexander Rodriguez - 157
    3. Cal Ripken - 122
    4. Arky Vaughan - 92
    5. John Lloyd - 83
    6. Ernie Banks - 79
    7. Robin Yount - 78
    8. Barry Larkin - 53
    9. Luke Applilng - 39
    10. Ozzie Smith - 28
    11. Joe Cronin - 24
    12. Derek Jeter - 22
    13. George Davis - 13
    14. Babe Dahlen - 9
    15. Herman Long - 4
    15. Hughie Jennings - 4
    15. Rabbit Maranville - 4
    15. Willie Wells - 4
    15. Lou Boudreau - 4
    20. Alan Trammell - 3
    21. Miguel Tejada - 2
    22. Joe Sewell - 2
    23. Luis Aparicio - 1
    Greatest Hitter series, conducted by Bill Burgess, ending November 4, 2007, 08:05 AM

    1. Babe Ruth---------68 votes - 95.77%
    1. Ted Williams-------68 - 95.77%
    3. Ty Cobb-----------52 - 73.24%
    4. Rogers Hornsby----36 - 50.70%
    5. Lou Gehrig---------32 - 45.07%
    6. Barry Bonds
    7. Mickey Mantle
    8. Stan Musial
    9. Hank Aaron
    10. Willie Mays
    11. Jimmy Foxx
    12. Honus Wagner
    13. Frank Thomas
    14. Tris Speaker
    15. Frank Robinson
    16. Joe DiMaggio
    17. Joe Jackson
    18. Josh Gibson
    19. Nap Lajoie
    20. Mel Ott
    21. Oscar Charleston
    22. Alexander Rodriguez
    23. Dan Brouthers
    24. Mike Schmidt

    Greatest Hitter series (conducted by Bill Burges, commenced on September 17, 2009. Still in progress.

    1. Babe Ruth
    2. Ted Williams
    3. Ty Cobb
    4. Lou Gehrig
    5. Rogers Hornsby
    6. Mickey Mantle
    7. Stan Musial
    8. Barry Bonds
    9. Hank Aaron
    10. Honus Wagner

    How Ty/Honus did before/after the age of 30:
     [B]Relative Slg. Ave.[/B]
    1906--1.18--age 19
    1911--[COLOR=Red]1.64[/COLOR]-----------1898--1.16--age 24
    ------------------------------------Decline phase, age 30
    ---------------------1917--0.86 - 74 games
    Twenty Career Inside the Park Home Runs
    1. Sam Crawford --------- 51  of 97 (52%)
    2. Tommy Leach ---------- 49  of 63 (77%)
    3. Ty Cobb -------------- 46  of 117(39%)
    4. [COLOR="Red"]Honus Wagner---------- 41  of 101(40%)[/COLOR]
    5. Tris Speaker --------- 37  of 117(31%)
    6. Jake Daubert --------- 33  of 56 (58%)
    7. Chief Wilson --------- 31  of 59 (52%)
    8. Rogers Hornsby ------- 30  of 301(9.9%)
    9. Willie Keeler -------- 30  of 33 (90%)
    10. Edd Roush ----------- 30  of 68 (44%)
    11. Max Carey ----------- 28  of 70 (40%)
    12. Ed Konetchy --------- 28  of 74 (37%)
    13. Jesse Burkett ------- 27  of 75 (36%)
    14. Zack Wheat ---------- 25  of 132(18.9%)
    15. Hal Chase ----------- 24  of 57 (42%)
    16. Fred Clarke --------- 23  of 67 (34%)
    17. Earle Combs --------- 23  of 58 (39%)
    18. Rabbit Maranville --- 22  of 28 (78%)
    19. Ginger Beaumont ----- 21  of 39 (53%)
    20. Sherry Magee -------- 21  of 83 (25%)
    21. Sam Rice ------------ 21  of 34 (61%)
    22. Cy Seymour ---------- 21  of 52 (40%)
    23. George Sisler ------- 20  of 102(19%)
    Andy contributed this useful tabulation on February 3, 2006. Based on our polls from 2004-05.

    [U]Rank...Player....Rank from 1st set of polls.....change[/U]
    1)  Babe Ruth         1                         0
    2)  Ty Cobb           2                         0    
    3)  Willie Mays       4                        +1
    4)  Honus Wagner      3                        -1
    5)  Ted Williams      7                        +2
    6)  Barry Bonds       9                        +3
    7)  Tris Speaker      8                        +1
    8)  Stan Musial      11                        +3
    9)  Lou Gehrig        5                        -4
    10) Hank Aaron       10                         0
    11) Mickey Mantle    12                        +1
    12) Rogers Hornsby    6                        -6
    13) Eddie Collins    17                        +4
    14) Mike Schmidt     15                        +1
    15) Oscar Charleston 13                        -2
    16) Josh Gibson      18                        +2
    17) Joe DiMaggio     16                        -1
    18) Frank Robinson   21                        +3
    19) Joe Morgan       25                        +6
    20) Jimmie Foxx      14                        -6
    21) Nap Lajoie       20                        -1
    22) Johnny Bench     24                        +2
    23) Mel Ott          31                        +8
    24) Rickey Henderson 30                        +6
    25) Alex Rodriguez   32                        +7
    Results of the 1st Greatest Player Ever Election: 3rd round; conducted by paulmcgraff1213, September 18-23, 2004.

    Willie Mays----------6 24.00% 
    Barry Bonds----------2  8.00% 
    [B][COLOR="Red"]Honus Wagner--------13 52.00% [/COLOR][/B]
    Hank Aaron-----------0  0% 
    Mickey Mantle--------1  4.00% 
    Joe DiMaggio---------0  0% 
    Rogers Hornsby-------0  0% 
    Lou Gehrig-----------0  0% 
    Ted Williams---------2  8.00% 
    Yogi Berra-----------0  0% 
    Stan Musial----------0  0% 
    Jimmie Foxx----------0  0% 
    Jackie Robinson------0  0% 
    Johnny Bench---------0  0% 
    Pete Rose------------1  4.00% 
    Ernie Banks----------0  0% 
    Roberto Clemente-----0  0% 
    Mike Schmidt---------0  0% 
    Frank Robinson-------0  0% 
    Tris Speaker---------0  0%
    Results of the 2nd Greatest Player Ever Poll on Fever, conducted by ElHalo, September 5, 2005, 08:39 PM; Greek God of Baseball Join Date: Oct 2003; Location: New York City; Posts: 8,549

    Voting is now closed. We'll be moving on to the balloting for number 2.

    Two ballots were not counted. One that included King Kelly and Cap Anson, since no justification was given for that, and one that was given as being in "no particular order."

    The only players to make every ballot were Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. Honus Wagner and Willie Mays both were left off of one ballot. 1at place received 12 points instead of 10.
    1. Babe Ruth ---------- 480
    2. Ty Cobb ------------ 393
    3. Willie Mays -------- 318
    4. [B][COLOR="Red"]Honus Wagner ------- 258[/COLOR][/B]
    5. Ted Williams ------- 230
    6. Barry Bonds -------- 148
    7. Lou Gehrig --------- 118
    8. Mickey Mantle ------- 91
    9. Stan Musial --------- 75
    10. Oscar Charleston --- 64
    11. Rogers Hornsby ----- 61
    12. Tris Speaker ------- 54
    13. Hank Aaron ----------52
    14. Josh Gibson -------- 30
    15. Joe DiMaggio ------- 22
    16. Alex Rodriguez ----- 14
    17. Mike Schmidt ------- 11
    18. Eddie Collins ------- 9
    19. Pop Lloyd ----------- 8
    20. Nap Lajoie ---------- 7
    20. George Sisler ------- 7
    22. Jimmie Foxx --------- 5
    23. Buck Ewing -----------4
    24. Joe Jackson --------- 2
    25. Jackie Robinson ----- 2
    26. Frank Robinson ------ 1
    ----------------------Honus Wagner, Pirates' SS, 1907, Exposition Park---BB-Reference------------Obviously, same photo session.

    ---Honus Wagner, Pirates' SS, 1908, Home---------------------------------------- 1908-09------------------------------------------------1909, Polo Grounds---BB Reference

    --------------------------1910, cropped-----------------------------------------------------------1910, uncropped


    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-04-2012, 09:42 AM.

  • #2
    Wagner is what I would call a classic player. A classic player is one who others are measured against. A Rod is probably the best shortstop playing today useing todays standards. According to everything written about him Wagner will always be in a class by himself.
    Source: Left: Honus Wagner: Baseball: A Celebration!, by James Buckley, Jr./Jim Gigliotti, 2001, pp. 114-115.

    -------------------------------------1908, Polo Grounds -------------------------------------------------1908-09----BB Reference

    Source Left: The Story of Baseball in words and pictures, by John Durant, 1947, pp. 49. Or one can alternately use the much more cropped version; Pictorial History of American Sports, by John Durant/Otto Bettmann, 1952, pp. 131
    Source: Right: Baseball, by Mike Kennedy, 2003, pp. 47.
    Awesome photo, Bill!! I'd never seen it before..

    -------------------------Pirates' SS-------------------------------------------------------- 1908, Polo Grounds (Bresnahan catching)



    1904: Nap Lajoie/Honus Wagner

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-29-2013, 09:40 AM.
    Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.


    • #3
      A Brief (Unsupported) Summary of My Opinion:

      Despite the fact that his team paid about 25% more than it had to in order to sign him, and that a quarter-billion dollar contract is an anomoly the likes of which we should never see again, Alex Rodriguez has earned every penny of his paycheck since signing with Texas. I'd rather spend $25 million on Rodriguez than any lesser amount on any player (or combination of players).

      Alex Rodriguez is the best player in baseball. His salary is commensurate with that distinction.

      Having said that now, Honus Wagner is the greatest shortstop in history and certainly one of the five greatest players - period - in the game's 135-years of professionalism. He is so far ahead of the next-best shortstop that Rodriguez would have to elevate his game to even greater heights to even begin to match the impact that Wagner had on the game.

      Even if their career numbers look similar when all is said and done (and I hope Rodriguez has a long and successful career), Rodriguez is fighting against the impossible task of absolutely dominating the game to the extent that Wagner did.

      Rodriguez's only hope (and it's a very likely scenario) is that he'll wind up as the second-greatest shortstop in the game's history. Joe Cronin, Ernie Banks, Arky Vaughan and Cal Ripken vie for that honor now. If the first-half of Rodriguez's career is pretty much what we can expect from his for his remaining years in baseball, then there's no doubt in my mind that Alex Rodriguez will wind up as the greatest shortstop in baseball history...

      ...not named Honus Wagner.
      Top, Left: The History of Baseball, by Alison Danzig/ Joe Reichler, 1959, pp. 162.
      Top, Middle: The Pirates Reader, by Richard Peterson, 2003, pp. 84.
      Top, Right: The Great Baseball Players: from McGraw to Mantle: by Bert Randolph Sugar, 1997, pp. 8.

      Honus Wagner: Pirates' SS,


      Source: Left: Baseball: The Illustrated History of America's Game, by Donald Honig, 1990, pp. 41.


      Source: That Old Ball Game: rare photographs from baseball's glorious past, Compiled and Edited by David R. Phillips, text by Lawrence Kart, 1975, pp. 49.

      --------------------------------------------1909, Forbes Field

      Source: Left: Heroes of Baseball: The Men who Made It America's Favorite Game, by Robert Lipsyte,
      OR, . . . one can alternately use the more cropped Total Baseball, 8th. Edition, 2004, pp. 950.


      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-20-2009, 06:33 AM.
      "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
      "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
      "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
      "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe


      • #4
        and how about Willie "Devil" Wells, said to be the greatest post-Lloyd NL shortstop. If Lloyd was comparable to Wagner, I would guess that Wells was something like Joe Cronin, though probably a better fielder.


        Arod can break the all time HR record, record 3,000 hits, and keep up with his current pace of great seasons, and still not be as dominant was Wagner was in his day. He has to go beyond that even.

        Perhaps I am just old fashioned. I love the old players, and often will not admit that any current players are superior. That being said, I supported Arod for MVP this year and believe he should have won it last year as well. He is one of the greats. But remember when Griffey was the next Willie Mays? One injury can kill all that, and everyone's perception of him. Arod needs to keep it up for a few more years.

        Top, Left: The Baseball Anthology: 125 Years, ed. by Joseph Wallace, 1994, pp. 104. (UPI/Bettman)
        Top, Right: The Game That Was: The George Brace Baseball Photo Collection: by Richard Cahan/Mark Jacob, 1996, pp. 6.

        Honus Wagner; Pirates SS, 1910; Catcher might be Cubs Jimmie Archer.

        Source: Left: SABR's The National Pastime: Special Pictorial Issue: The Dead Ball Era, Spring, 1986, #5, pp. 12 is less cropped, but much less detailed. This one is better
        Source: Right: Baseball . . . The Perfect Game, edited by Josh Leventhal, 2005, pp. 121.


        Source: Right: Smithsonian Baseball: Inside The World's Finest , Private Collections, by Stephan Wong, 2005, pp. 217.

        ------------------------1910-----------------------------------------------------------------------------1912, Forbes Field

        Source: Left: The New Biographical History History of Baseball, by Donald Dewey/Nicholas Acocella, 2002, pp. 330.
        Source: Right: Baseball Between the Wars, by Bill Hageman, 2001, pp. 11.



        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-04-2012, 09:50 AM.
        I share pictures from my collection of baseball photographs on twitter @PastimeClassics


        • #5
          Well, I'm pleased that we're all in violent agreement on this topic. Honus is the tops in my book - a great player and a great man. I look at photo's of him, particularly that one in "The Glory of Their Times" with him sitting on his bat, and think - there's a ballplayer.

          His 1908 season is by many reckonings, the best single season ever by a position player. In 1908, he led the National League in :

          OPS (by 140 points!!)
          Total bases
          OPS+ (more than double the league average)

          He came second in :


          So, in 1908, Wagner, a short stop, came in the top 2 in every single offensive category - some season. No wonder he received 59 win shares - the highest total ever by a position player. To put this into context, Bonds "only" received 54 in his monster 2001 season.

          A titan of the game, and long may his memory be celebrated by true fans of the game.

          Baseball's Dream Teams: The Greatest Major League Players Decade by Decade, by Lloyd Johnson, 1990, pp. 20.

          Honus Wagner, Pirates' SS, 1901-06, Polo Grounds

          May 4, 1933: Hans Wagner Waving to Crowd, Brooklyn, NY
          Original caption: Hans Wagner Honored. It was Hans Wagner Day at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, May 4th, and the old-time star, now coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates, was honored at a reception preceding the Dodgers-Pirates game. In his palmy days Wagner led the National League in batting eight times. Here he waves his acknowledgement of cheers from the fans.

          Source: Below, Left: The Baseball Story, by Fred Lieb, 1950, pp. 115.
          ---Pirates SS, 1908-09.


          Source: Right: The History of Baseball, by Allison Danzig/Joe Reichler, 1959, pp. 162.

          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-23-2013, 01:00 AM.
          "baseball is religion without the mischief" thomas boswell


          • #6
            Here's another view of the matter. ARod is highly unlikely to do what would be necessary to be better than Wagner. I believe it is necessary for him to start hitting for average, and then let the homers take care of themselves.

            With ARod's ability, strength and whatnot, if he concentrates on a higher average, then I believe the homers would take care of themselves. However, to earn his paycheck, he's forced to focus on the home runs. For this reason, I can see Arod as satisfied with .295, 50+, and 120+ RBI a year. The problem with this scenario is that all that happens is that Arod will be perceived as a modern day player who pursues power numbers.

            I am saying that to truly match up with Wagner, he has to try to be a similar player first. Otherwise, we'll just be arguing apples and oranges.

            And then, we might still be arguing apples and oranges because of the ridiculous growth in the size of gloves. Wagner played ball with a glove which was less than half the size of Arod's. This is how Wagner accumulated 676 errors at SS in 21 years, and 825 errors overall (

            Anyway, he isn't approaching Wagner.
            Source: Right: Who's Who in Major League Baseball, ed. by Harold (Speed) Johnson, 1933, pp. 458. (Moffett-Russell Studio)

            Honus Wagner, Pirates' SS, 1908-09, Polo Grounds------------------Honus, 1933

            Bresnahan meeting Hans Wagner at the Home Plate, 1909------------------------------------------------1913

            ------------------------Honus Wagner, Pirates' SS, ---------------------1908-09

            --------------------Honus Wagner, Pirates' SS, 1908-09------------------------------------------------1908-09


            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-19-2009, 03:12 PM.
            Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

            A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Winston Churchill. (Please take note that I've recently become aware of how this quote applies to a certain US president. This is a coincidence, and the quote was first added to this signature too far back to remember when).

            Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later. -- Dan Quisenberry.


            • #7
              lets not forget that the flying dutchman played everthing and shortstop, I remember some quote from Ken Burns BASEBALL that said if you went and named the best player at every position Honus Wagner would be the whole field. Cal Ripken comes in at second, he was the epitome of the word "class" and he was a great all- around player too.


              Left: The photo upon which they based the famous 'Wagner baseball card'.

              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-09-2010, 03:20 PM.


              • #8
                A-Rod shouldn't even be in the same sentence as Wagner. Wagner could do anything. he could play any position and i believe is one of the few, if not the only guy, to play Every position except P during ONE game. A-Rod would kill himself trying to do that, hell, he wouldn;t even have the guts to try it. Another point, not to start a big battle but, Do you think he is using steroids? -Sasha.

                Honus Wagner Pirates' SS, 1901-09,---BB Ref------------------------------------------------------Max Carey/Honus Wagner: 1913


                Honus flanked by 2 ladies who might be his grown daughters. Might be the 1940's.-------------------------------Perhaps the mid-1930's.


                A rare, unique and beautiful photo of Honus Wagner. I was just sent this photo via the internet by Mical Mladen. Enjoy!


                1927: Honus Wagner Helps A Kid Pick A Bat---The kid looks pretty happy to meet old Honus!

                "To my little friend, Honus Wagner, April 10, 1927, Pittsburgh, Penn"

                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-09-2010, 11:06 AM.
                “it is impossible to understand America without a thorough knowledge of baseball” -Mcafee


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sashag
                  A-Rod shouldn't even be in the same sentence as Wagner. Wagner could do anything. he could play any position and i believe is one of the few, if not the only guy, to play Every position except P during ONE game. A-Rod would kill himself trying to do that, hell, he wouldn;t even have the guts to try it. Another point, not to start a big battle but, Do you think he is using steroids? -Sasha.

                  If anyone has any valid arguments as to how A-ROD is better than Wagner, or how he could possibly end up being greater than Wagner, I'd love to hear it, because I don't think A-Rod is even close, or ever will be.

                  I don't think anyone is close to Cobb all-time, either, and he played a long, long time ago, too. (I've spent years researching Cobb and didn't come to this conclusion lightly, by the way)

                  And as far as strength goes (people always harp on how modern players and bigger and faster), just look at pictures of Honus in his prime, and look at his SB numbers. He was a hulk, almost like a Gehrig, and he could run like the wind.

                  If guys like Wagner and Ruth and Cobb had had access to steroids, weightlifting, personal trainers, jets, personal chefs, and the array of comforts and luxuries that being a multi-multi millionaire afford, they would have been bolstered tremendously.

                  I know both sides of the argument about the timeline adjustment, but I think people always harp on the old timers as being absolutely no comparison to modern players, without looking at the obvious converse.

                  All Honus Wagner, Pirates' SS---BB Reference





                  1933: John Heydler, NL President, in dark suit.



                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-16-2012, 02:58 PM.


                  • #10
                    Contemporary Hans

                    G.H. Fleming's 1981 book,The Unforgettable Season, offers contemporary newspaper accounts of how shortstop Wagner was viewed by managers, players, and sportswriters ninety-six years ago. He was Jordan, Pele, Ali, and Jesus Christ rolled into one. Justifiably so.

                    Honus Wagner, Pirates' SS, 1908-09.
                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-30-2013, 06:08 PM.


                    • #11
                      I'd like to show this former thread so that Honus Wagner Rules can see the big time support for Hans.
                      In 1924 Honus Wagner picked an All-Time All-Star Team.

                      ---------------------------------------Hans Wagner's Team of Baseball "Immortals"
                      --------------------------------------------------The Literary Digest, January 26, 1924

                      Baseball Players a plenty have come and gone since the national game got under way in these United States, but, says Hans Wagner, affectionately known as "Honus," the greatest of shortstops, it is not very difficult to pick out a team deserving to rank as "the best." John McGraw, Connie Mack, and Babe Ruth, recalls Honus, who is now writing a series of syndicated articles for the North American Newspaper Alliance, have picked their all-American, all-time, baseball teams. The official guide-book gives another selecting, but that, says, Honus, is made up in exact accordance with records, "the human element not being taken into account." He modestly adds that, "All of those baseball men and the guidebook have been good enough to place me at shortstop, a fact that is my greatest pride in life. It is not for me to pass judgment on myself, naturally." If his selection is not the best of all time, he goes on, at least it is his own idea of the best that can be p picked from the players of the last thirty years, during which time, nobody will deny, practically all of the supermen of baseball have appeared. His team-of-teams lines up in this way, as presented by the New York World:

                      Manager--John J. McGraw of New York.
                      Captain--Fred C. Clarke of Pittsburgh
                      First Base--George Sisler of St. Louis Browns.
                      Second Base--Bobby Wallace of the old St. Louis Browns.
                      Third Base--Jimmy Collins of Boston.
                      Extra Infielder--Eddie Collins of Philadelphia and Chicago.
                      Left Field--Fred Clarke of Pittsburgh.
                      Center Field--Tris Speaker of Cleveland.
                      Right Field--Ty Cobb of Detroit.
                      Extra Outfielder--Babe Ruth of New York.
                      Catcher--Johnny Kling of the Cubs, Roger Bresnahan of the Giants, Ray Schalk of the White Sox.
                      Pitchers--Walter Johnson of Washington, Christy Mathewson of the Giants, Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Cubs, Cy Young and Rube Waddell.
                      Pinch hitters--Sammy Strand and Ham Hyatt.

                      "To be prepared for a lot of arguments that are sure to come," continues Mr. Wagner:

                      I will explain in detail why I have made these selections. I have looked over the selections of others, but in no way have I allowed them to influence me in making my own. Whether or not you agree with me, these are my selections and, like the fellow who went home to his wife with a poor alibi, I'm going to stick to them.

                      I have selected McGraw as manager because of his great record and also because of his knowledge of every angle of the game as a player as well as a manager. He knows his business. McGraw also knows how to handle men. He is a great executive as well as a field manager. At no time in his life did McGraw ever allow club owners to influence him in the signing or purchase of players. His strong will-power made that possible.

                      With the team I have selected, however, little managing would be necessary. All my manager would have to do would be to make out a schedule and then come around on pay-day. Incidentally, it would be interesting to speculate on just how much a manager would pay each of those men according to present-day rates of salary. Who would get the most money?

                      Already I have a feeling that some of the critics will say that I have selected too many left-handed hitters. They may have an idea that this team would be weak on left-handed pitching. But I have taken that into consideration. Every man I have selected can hit left-handers as well as right-handers. I have purposely left out those left-handed hitters who have to be taken out against southpaws in a pinch. I never thought much of a ball-player as a star hitter who was weak against left- or right-handed pitching. A good hitter can hit any kind. Fred Clarke, for example, was the best left-handed hitter against left-handed pitching that I ever saw.

                      I have taken several qualities into consideration--batting, fielding, base-running, and love of the game. More important, however, are brains, aggressiveness, length of service and team-work.

                      Now, when you consider length of service, which is probably the most important of all, you will see that this club could be kept on the field for many years without falling apart. There would be no worry about filling up weak places ever year. Every one of those not playing now lasted fifteen years or more.

                      I have limited myself to five pitchers, because I consider that enough. All pitchers do better with plenty of work.

                      My reason for selecting three catchers is that I could use Bresenham, in a pinch, as a pitcher, an infielder or an outfielder. That is true also of McGraw. Even tho McGraw is my manager, he could be used in the infield, as a pinch-hitter or a base-runner. He is the best I ever saw to get on base either by walking, being hit by the pitcher, or hitting the ball.

                      I am assuming, of course, that all these players would be in their prime when I started my club on the field the first season. As a matter of fact, some of those had retired before the others were born. I guess old Cy Young was through when George Sisler was a baby. It's sort of funny, at that, to think of old Jimmy Collins and Babe Ruth on the same team.

                      They were putting Jimmy on the All-American teams of all time when Babe Ruth was born.

                      To my club I have added pinch-hitters because they are an important part of any team nowadays. I have selected Sammy Strang and Ham Hyatt. They were the best I ever saw. Sammy made eleven pinch-hits in a row one season.

                      To be a good pinch-hitter requires a peculiar sort of temperament, an easy-going , unexcitable disposition. Both Hyatt and Strang had that. Either of them could go into a game without warming up. Mighty few ball-players can do that. Nothing seemed to bother them, however.

                      The status of the game meant nothing to those boys, whether there were three on bases and a pennant depending on a hit or not. They would simply amble up there to the old pan as if they had not even heard about what was going on.

                      I have eliminated several wonderful players because of faulty dispositions. Also I have not even considered men who ever had done anything questionable in baseball. A man who does not give his best to a club is no good on a team, even if he is the best mechanical player in the world. I won't mention one or two that I have in mind, but I guess you can guess. They are better forgotten.

                      The hard part about this job was the elimination of certain players rather than the selection of others. It's awful hard, for instance, to leave off a man like Willie Keeler. I would like to give my reasons for leaving these old friends out, but, naturally, there isn't room here. I want you to remember, tho, that I have considered all of them as carefully and sincerely as I could. For every one left off I have a good reason.

                      There is no doubt in my mind as to the superiority of my pitching staff, even tho it doesn't agree with many others.

                      I'd like somebody to show me where they could dig up five better winning pitchers than Johnson, Mathewson, Alexander, Cy Young and Rube Waddell.

                      Picking this team has given me a laugh. I get a smile every time I think of what the opposing pitchers would be up against with John McGraw on one coaching line and Fred Clarke on the other.
                      In 1935, Honus picked an All-Time All-Star Team.

                      He had done one in the 1920's and later another in 1949.

                      1B - Bill Terry
                      2B - Larry Lajoie
                      3B - Pie Traynor/Jimmy Collins
                      SS - ?
                      C - Johnny Kling
                      LF - Fred Clarke
                      CF - Clarence 'Ginger' Beaumont
                      RF - Bill Lange
                      P - Christy Mathewson/Cy Young
                      His Commentary.
                      He had picked this team for Sec Taylor of the Des Moines Register. And they constituted his choices for the Hall of Fame. If he selected a SS, it was considered silly to list his own name.

                      "Matty was the best of all pitchers because he never gave you all he had until he had to. Then he poured it on. The three shutouts he pitched in one world's series weren't accidents. Young won more than 500 games, the only pitcher who ever went over that mark. He had a fine fast ball--much faster than he was ever given credit for--and perfect control. His curve didn't break much more than a couple of inches, but he knew when to throw it, and it was enough to keep a batter fidgety.

                      In my day, the most important item on the catcher's calendar, in addition to his handling of pitches, was throwing out base runners. They ran hard and often. They don't run so much these days. I don't know anything Kling couldn't do. The one catcher today who reminds me of Johnny is Gabby Hartnett. They ought to find a place somewhere for him too."

                      He explained that he hadn't seen much of Mickey Cochrane and therefore wasn't competent to compare the Detroit receiver with the two he had named.

                      While he picked Traynor for third base, Wagner had high regard for Jimmy Collins, too, and added him to his team:

                      "Collins was the first third baseman to field a bunt with his bare hand and throw the ball underhand while running at top speed. The custom before that had been to take the ball with both hands. The next move was to stop and come out of the crouch. It all took time, and when Jimmy came along with his running toss he caught a lot of them before they got wise.

                      Lajoie was his pick at second base, both for his "efficient and graceful fielding and his heavy hitting." Commenting on his omission of Ruth, Cobb and Speaker from the outfield, Wagner said, "I'll just struggle along with Fred Clarke and Clarence Beaumont of the Pirates and Bill Lange of Chicago.

                      "Beaumont was a wicked hitter--he topped me by two points one season--and fast! He beat out six infield hits one afternoon, still a record, I guess.

                      "As for Clarke, he hit .300 or better eleven years and over .400 for two. That entitles him to something, I reckon."
                      In 1949, Honus Wagner picked his 3rd All-Time All-Star Team:

                      In 1949, Honus Wagner picked his 3rd and last All-Time All-Star Team. This time he limited himself to the National League.
                      He didn't feel qualified to judge AL players he hadn't, for the most part, seen.

                      1B - Bill Terry
                      2B - Lajoie/Hornsby
                      3B - Pie Traynor
                      SS - left blank
                      LF - Fred Clarke
                      CF - Clarence 'Ginger' Beaumont
                      RF - Willie Keeler
                      C - Roger Bresnahan/Johnny Kling
                      P - Christy Mathewson/Cy Young

                      "I haven't seen much of the American League, but I regard Stan Musial as one of the best young players I have looked at," Wagner says. "I hesitate to pass complete judgment on anyone until he's been in the majors at least ten years."

                      "When queried about a shortstop for this team, Wagner has a stock reply. "That team wouldn't need a shortstop." he says with a chuckle.
                      (The Sporting News, March 2, 1949, pp. 7.)
                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-11-2008, 08:08 PM.


                      • #12
                        I'm inclined to say Honus is the best, but I always wonder how era effects things. Like if we were to take Honus and put him in today's league with A-Rod, how would he fair? Woud he have that athletic ability and strength of modern players to keep up? I tend to believe that in modern times, athletes from one generation are as a whole, more talented and athletic than athletes of the previous generation. Just picture an olympic race, say the 100 Meters. Pluck someone out of the 1912 Olympics and pit them against someone from the 2004 Olympics, the 2004 guy will leave the 1912 in the dust, probably by a good second. The general mindset of society is to be bigger, better, faster, and stronger so we can outdo what has already been done. In 1912, the goal in the 100 Meters was to break it in 11 seconds (I don't know that, it's just a hypothetical example), once that was broken, the goal became 10.9, then 10.8, then 10.7, and so on, until the athletes work themselves in such away that they are built to break it in a faster time that was once inconceivable.

                        That's not to say someone from say 1984 couldn't compete with the person from 2004, but I believe the 1984 person would be the exception of his generation, the model of which the next generation aspires to. So whereas the 1984 person would have stood out from the pack in 1984, by 2004 however, the pack would be catching up to them. Transcend this example to baseball, and we have 90 years of the pack catching up to (and perhaps surpassing) Honus Wagner, including the huge boost from integration. So my question is, where has the packed move in relation to Honus Wagner? And where is Alex Rodriguez in relation to the pack? A-Rod has a pretty good lead on the pack. Would Wagner if dropped into today's game after 90 years of evolution? Doubful imo.
                        Last edited by DoubleX; 02-20-2005, 07:39 AM.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DoubleX
                          I'm inclined to say Honus is the best, but I always wonder how era effects things. Like if we were to take Honus and put him in today's league with A-Rod, how would he fair? Woud he have that athletic ability and strength of modern players to keep up? I tend to believe that in modern times, athletes from one generation are as a whole, more talented and athletic than athletes of the previous generation. Just picture an olympic race, say the 100 Meters. Pluck someone out of the 1912 Olympics and pit them against someone from the 2004 Olympics, the 2004 guy will leave the 1912 in the dust, probably by a good second. The general mindset of society is to be bigger, better, faster, and stronger so we can outdo what has already been done. In 1912, the goal in the 100 Meters was to break it in 11 seconds (I don't know that, it's just a hypothetical example), once that was broken, the goal became 10.9, then 10.8, then 10.7, and so on, until the athletes work themselves in such away that they are built to break it in a faster time that was once inconceivable.
                          If Honus Wagner played today and had the use of all the advances and equipment as todays athlete he would still be among the all time best. Same thing with A Rod if he played under the same conditions as Wagner he would still do well.Outstanding athletes would compete in any era , as long as the playing field is equal.
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-18-2006, 03:31 PM.
                          Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DoubleX
                            I'm inclined to say Honus is the best, but I always wonder how era effects things. Like if we were to take Honus and put him in today's league with A-Rod, how would he fair? Woud he have that athletic ability and strength of modern players to keep up? I tend to believe that in modern times, athletes from one generation are as a whole, more talented and athletic than athletes of the previous generation. Just picture an olympic race, say the 100 Meters. Pluck someone out of the 1912 Olympics and pit them against someone from the 2004 Olympics, the 2004 guy will leave the 1912 in the dust, probably by a good second. The general mindset of society is to be bigger, better, faster, and stronger so we can outdo what has already been done. In 1912, the goal in the 100 Meters was to break it in 11 seconds (I don't know that, it's just a hypothetical example), once that was broken, the goal became 10.9, then 10.8, then 10.7, and so on, until the athletes work themselves in such away that they are built to break it in a faster time that was once inconceivable.
                            As always, Double X, you bring up great points. That's why it is so hard to compare players 90 years apart. Sometimes I say, why bother? It's impossible. But here are a few of my thoughts:
                            When comparing strength and conditioning, common sense tells you there is no doubt A-Rod is the superior athlete to Wagner. Wagner dominated his league (the National League, not the entire MLs) in offensive stats year after year. However, as he neared the end of his career, newer talents such as Cobb, Speaker and Jackson entered the league and eclipsed his stats. The game was growing year by year, and players kept getting better. Wagner was the best during his time, though I think others, such as Lajoie, could be argued were better. Anyway, assuming Wagner was the best in the 1900's, Ty Cobb had come along and taken his throne in the 10's, then Ruth became king in the 20's, and so on through the eras.
                            Now, putting all speculation and the era and physical differences aside, Wagner dominated his respective league like no other SS ever has. That's why I'll never say A-Rod is better than Wagner. I'll also never come out and say Wagner is better than A-Rod. Consider that A-Rod has done something no other SS has ever done - compile monster HR totals. Consider A-Rod's career numbers when he retires (of course, now he's a 3B, so that may mar his legacy)
                            What do I believe? I believe it's an interesting argument, and I really don't have an opinion on who's better. I only state what I see, and I'll leave it up to you guys to decide.
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-18-2006, 03:32 PM.
                            Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.


                            • #15
                              It is always an interesting subject as to whether or not a baseball player from the 1910 period, or even earlier, could cut it today. While the journeymen of that day probably couldn't cut it today, some no doubt could have.

                              Heck, the journeymen of 1910 had a hard time cutting it then. But a very few, select players, by concensus - Ewing, Wagner, Cobb, Ruth - could have starred whatever era we droppped them into.

                              I would go so far as to add others. Speaker, Jackson, Colllins. I have this thing for catchers. Bennet, Kelly, Kling, Schalk, Archer, Bergen. I also happen to believe that Walter Johnson, Matty, Alexander could have done very well too. I also believe that Negro Leaguers Charleston, Mackay, and Lloyd possessed skills which transcended the eras.

                              Whenever I hear about the Olmpics, track times, 100m times, I must explain this a little. In the times from 1896-1936, those Olympics didn't represent hardly any of the many countries. In 1912, perhaps 20 countries sent teams to the Olmpics. So those sprinters were only from 20 countries, and even then, they only trained perhaps an hour a day, if that. Since the 60's, athletes started training full time, often 3 times a day.

                              Today, many Kenyan distance runners train all day long. So to compare the track runners from the 1910 world, who hardly trained at all, by comparison, to today's runners, is a fictitious comparison. 1910 world records were artificially slow, due to the runners not training more than an hour a day. Or coming from more than a dozen countries, at best.

                              Those runners hardly knew anything about modern training methods. Paavo Nurmi didn't have access to vitamin, nutritional suppliments.

                              One of the things which few consider, is that baseball is not limited to pure speed, strength, reflexes, etc. Baseball includes skills. Intelligence. Instinct. Baseball is as much art as strength. And art is not related to eras. Playing shortstop like Hans Wagner has as much to do with knowing your hitters, and your own pitchers, knowing where the ball will probably go, knowing how to make the play in the best possible way, knowing your DP partners habits, etc. And none of that relates to how fast you can run, how tall you are, or how much you can bench press.

                              It's the artistry of a play that makes the era you played in irrelevant. A player like Bid McPhee might have been possessed of more playing artistry than later players. Wagner, Bobby Wallace, Herman Long, Buck Ewing, John "Pop" Lloyd, Biz Mackey also. Why should it matter when a guy played shortstop or caught, if they had such magical baseball instincts, feel, rhythm, inner knowingness as to the hitters?

                              Am I saying that strength, speed, arm, reflexes play no part? No. But that is only the prerequisites, and that they are not enough. They are only the starting point, and one must have much, much more to be a stellar, creative baseball artist. Ozzie Smith had that. Brooks Robinson, Maz, Jim Edmonds, Mays, Bench, I-Rod have these things. In great abundance. I just don't see era as such a critical factor as some others.

                              Bill Burgess
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-09-2008, 05:23 PM.


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