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Barry Bonds vs Hank Aaron

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  • Originally posted by pheasant View Post
    So let's see here. A high school runner by the name of Jeff Demps ran a 10.01, a mark not beaten by the best in the World until 1968? Even then, the high altitude aided run 9.95 in 1968 is .06 better than Demps' run, but .36 worse than Bolt's run in 2009. This shows me how much sprinting has progresses since Mays' prime years(1954-1966) I bet the weight lifting records or swimming records have progressed as much, more. The 100 meter freestyle was swam in a record 51.94 in 1970 by Mark Spitz, yet several swimmers have since been under 49.00 seconds since 1985 and the record is now at at 46.91. The top woman swam 52.07 in 2009. The best high school swimmers now match Spitz in his prime. Actually, they beat him.

    Yes, a potential olympic competitor who happens to be 18 could almost beat the best in the world from 40 years before. Competitive swimming was not big when Spitz was setting records. It became popular because of him, and it was technically behind, I mean you don't see many hairy swimmers today-you see bodysuits. There is probably no one today who could break the powerlifting records from the 70s set without special equipment.

    Technique has improved, especially in things like the high jump too. It seems actually that MORE technical track and field events have progressed more, so why would the opposite be true of baseball (more technical) versus track and field?

    I do believe though that there are a lot more pitchers today who throw 95 mph moving stuff than in the 60s or 70s or 80s.
    Last edited by brett; 04-03-2012, 02:32 PM.

    Comment


    • Olympic Sports ≠ Baseball
      "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

      Comment


      • Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
        Olympic Sports ≠ Baseball
        It is a natural offshoot when comparing time periods and athletic endeavors. However, this thread is about Bonds and Aaron . . . .
        Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
        Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
        Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
        Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
        Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
          It is a natural offshoot when comparing time periods and athletic endeavors. However, this thread is about Bonds and Aaron . . . .
          It is an offshoot. Yet for some folks, they think somehow baseball is "different". It's not.
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

          Comment


          • Originally posted by brett View Post
            Yes, a potential olympic competitor who happens to be 18 could almost beat the best in the world from 40 years before.
            The fact that he can compete with olympiads is not a disqualifier. Teenagers tend not to do as well as their fellow athletes that are 5 or more years older than them. So the "happens to be" part is a pretty big deal. But he isn't alone which is one of my points. It isn't just some freak of a high school kid that is running as fast as the best of 40 years ago. It is a bunch of kids doing it virtually every year.

            There is probably no one today who could break the powerlifting records from the 70s set without special equipment.
            You can probably thank the end of the Cold War and steroid testing for that.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by brett View Post
              I do believe though that there are a lot more pitchers today who throw 95 mph moving stuff than in the 60s or 70s.
              Who posited that there is evidence proving (or strongly suggesting) that the average pitcher threw significantly harder during Barry's career than Willie's?

              Comment


              • I would like to suggest, remind, posit that there is a difference between the physical abilities of athletes in an era, and the competitive balance within an era. By the 1960s baseball had been around a long time, had developed minor leagues, and had a lot of participation. The balance of competition, the curve representing player ability from the top to the bottom of the league, I believe was on par with any time since. That is what I would define as league quality. I think league quality in Aaron's time and Bonds' time were both equal in that regard (probably before the 90s expansion it was a little higher, however I also think that in the 70s and 80s, league quality was brought down a little because of wrongheaded hitting strategies which lead to an overvaluing of empty batting averages.

                As for the absolute level of athletes, that has improved, but I don't think as much as some people are lead to believe by apparent improvements in what athletes have done in international sporting events. A lot of that is technique, collective intelligence about what is possible, equipment of all types, performance nutrition, and training methods. I don't, however rate baseball players based on the absolute level of athletes raised by conditions which they did not have available to them, and in fact I think that the gene pool has gotten weaker over the last half dozen or so generations. The top is still the top but there is some reason to believe that a Babe Ruth in today's conditions would be better than the best today.

                Comment


                • OK, so Babe Ruth steps back into the time machine after either dominating or being humiliated at the 2012 home run derby. But then this fan from 2111 steps out of the machine.

                  "You guys make me laugh. Mo Vaughan was a major leaguer? You can't step on the field unless your time to first is under 3.3. We've had to move the fences back an average of 20 feet, and you still can't get a home run unless it's 5 rows back, because all our outfilders have standing jumps of 45" or better. . . ." etc.

                  Does that change anything at all? Does the possibility that A player of Albert Pujol's quality would only be a top twenty, or quadruple A player some time in the future, or in some distant galaxy have ANY effect on how you view what he has accomplished? If not, then why should the superior performances of today's athletes impinge on the accomplishments of those past? To the extent that their supporters feel obliged to construct unverifiable counterfactual histories in their defense.

                  One of my favorite memories is watching game 1 of the 1963 world series, with Koufax going through the Yankee lineup like a hot knife through butter. Whether Pedro or Maddux, or Clements, or even Addie Joss was better is to me unanswerable and irrelevant in equal measure.
                  Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Imapotato View Post
                    As someone who would have died 100 yrs ago and is in horrible shape now at age 37. I agree, that humans are becoming weaker due to the stronger genes not surviving and not populating as much as the weak ones. Poor people who get entitlement programs the more kids they have...pop out kids at a much higher rate than richer and stronger individuals who usually try to not have kids until they are older.
                    We are not talking about the average person. I agree that the average person in America is in worse shape than they were a few decades ago. I'm not sure if this is true in other countries however. That being said, this is irrelevant, we are talking about elite athletes here. They are definitely better today than they were in the past.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by brett View Post
                      By the 1960s baseball had been around a long time, had developed minor leagues, and had a lot of participation.
                      By the 1960's the minor leagues were in a serious decline and almost died.


                      however I also think that in the 70s and 80s, league quality was brought down a little because of wrongheaded hitting strategies which lead to an overvaluing of empty batting averages.
                      I think that had more to do with the sinker/slider combo than anything else.

                      As for the absolute level of athletes, that has improved, but I don't think as much as some people are lead to believe by apparent improvements in what athletes have done in international sporting events. A lot of that is technique, collective intelligence about what is possible, equipment of all types, performance nutrition, and training methods. I don't, however rate baseball players based on the absolute level of athletes raised by conditions which they did not have available to them, and in fact I think that the gene pool has gotten weaker over the last half dozen or so generations. The top is still the top but there is some reason to believe that a Babe Ruth in today's conditions would be better than the best today.
                      All those things you listed is what makes people better at things. Those things aren't disqualifiers. As for the generation thing you are overlooking the fact that this supposed "gene pool" of 1900 wasn't setup to produce athletes but to survive. Hitting a baseball and surviving are not analogous. Secondly, nobody was bred in 1900 to excel at baseball. The "gene pool" was simply not set up to excel at baseball so it is an empty argument. People were not faster or stronger or quicker in 1900 or 1910 or 1920. They may have been hardier (they weren't) but they weren't better athletes.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
                        As for the generation thing you are overlooking the fact that this supposed "gene pool" of 1900 wasn't setup to produce athletes but to survive. Hitting a baseball and surviving are not analogous. Secondly, nobody was bred in 1900 to excel at baseball. The "gene pool" was simply not set up to excel at baseball so it is an empty argument. People were not faster or stronger or quicker in 1900 or 1910 or 1920. They may have been hardier (they weren't) but they weren't better athletes.
                        If you time machined the stars of today back to the 1890s, think how many of them would die at birth or before they even picked up a baseball.
                        Evolutionary pressure at that time would seem to work most of all in favor of resistance to infection and childhood diseases. Unless these are linked to the ability to hit and throw a baseball, it is far less likely that an individual will excel at both athletics and disease immunity than that he will excel at athletics alone. (Of course it's less likely even if they are linked.)
                        Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 04-03-2012, 05:59 PM.
                        Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

                        Comment


                        • A cup of coffee player in the deadball era was clocked going 3.2 seconds from home to 1st base

                          The idiocy that OVERALL people are faster now than back then is revisionist history with no logic or backing

                          Comment


                          • "Nobody runs a 4.3": On the Inflation of High School 40 Times

                            One of these young men, wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers, ran a blistering 4.34 40-yard dash at a mind boggling 6'2, 197-lbs. Another prospect, defensive back Ryan Ayers, ran an insane 4.31. And don't forget about quarterback Qudral Forte, who posted an impressive 4.38. The only problem is that he didn't. In fact none of them did. Rogers ran a 4.55, Ayers a 4.49, and Forte a 4.59. The discrepancy you ask? The former times were taken from a hand-timer, the latter from an electronic timer

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Imapotato View Post
                              A cup of coffee player in the deadball era was clocked going 3.2 seconds from home to 1st base

                              The idiocy that OVERALL people are faster now than back then is revisionist history with no logic or backing
                              The athletic ones are. Jesse Owens 1939 will still beat me easily in a race, but he's coming in last in the Olympics 2012.
                              Lou Gehrig is the Truest Yankee of them all!

                              Comment


                              • Baseball is not a one tool athletic endeavor. That point holds no merit.

                                Baseball players are not 'athletes' they are ballplayers

                                If a guy could hit a fastball in 1902, he could do it in 2012

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