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  • Slowest Players

    A thread dedcated to the real slugs, burly base-trodders, and stone-footers. There are many throughout history of baseball, but I gotta go with Johnny Estrada, Frank thomas, Paul Konerko, or Javy Lopez.
    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

  • #2
    Big Daddy, Cecil Fielder.
    "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"

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    • #3
      --By reputation, Ernie Lombardi. By personal observation, Edgar Martinez.

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      • #4
        Mark, I'd say David Ortiz is easily slower (and more awkward) than Edgar. He's laughable. My football friends say things like: "You think baseball is a real sport? Look at that clown run and tell me you're serious..."

        Ernie Lombardi is probably the greatest "hitter" who ever lived. Seriously. Have you read about how slow this guy was?

        Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
        There might be others as well, but for sure Ernie Lombardi has him beat (and GIDP's weren't even tracked his first two years in the league!). His lack of speed is simply legendary- and that he was able to hit .306 for his career (and win two batting titles, as a catcher no less) is simply astounding; the third baseman used to play him at the edge of the outfield grass. He also interlocked his fingers (as Nicklaus and Woods hold a golf club) when he hit.

        "I don't think anybody could top him. But he was so slow afoot that those infielders could play him so deep that he just didn't have any place to hit the ball. He had to hit it over the fence or against the fence or just too hard for anybody to be able to make a play." -Billy Herman

        "He is easily the slowest player since Ernie Lombardi was thrown out at first base trying to stretch a double into a single." Frank Stanley, speaking on Lou Boudreau


        He was apparently as affable and beloved in Cincinnati as he was slow afoot.
        Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
        Now I see the point you're making.

        Maybe Ernie Lombardi belongs in the discussion if speed is completely removed from the discussion, then. He was by all accounts the slowest player that ever had a real major league career, yet hit .306 in 6400 PA with good power (and only 262 career strikeouts!) and all of that while playing every single game of his career at catcher. They used to play Schnozz all the way on the outfield grass, and he hit the ball so ridiculously hard and so consistently in the holes that he still managed to somehow hit .306. I've read several biographies of Ruth and Williams, and have absolutely no doubt that both were vastly quicker and/or faster than Ernie Lombardi. Look at Ernie's GIDP rate, and take into account the first two years are left off; I think he's the worst in history by a WIDE margin, further indicative of his impossible lack of speed (and also what a powerful hitter he was...)

        How many players with absolutely no speed whatsoever have won batting titles? How about 2 batting titles?
        How many who have played long careers have hit .306 with good power (top 10 every year in slg%) and fantastic bat control, and from the catcher's spot? I think he's singular in his historical distinction. Lombo might be one of the top few greatest "hitters" in history, given your criteria.

        If speed is completely irrelevant, other (serious) candidates for greatest hitter ever might be:
        --Pujols (how much would that guy produce if he could get out of the box like Ty Cobb or Jose Reyes?)
        --Greenberg (have you seen film of that guy run?)
        --Frank Thomas...well, he's dropped off so much.....but boy was he awesome....

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        • #5
          Greg Luzinski was pretty slow, especially in his Chisox days.
          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


          • #6
            Anybody ever see Calvin Pickering run? He had such a brief ML career, he was easy to miss. The only time I saw him, he tried to slide into 2nd to break up a DP, ended up well short of the bag, and hurt himself in the slide and had to leave the game. Think he left a crater in front of the bag that would have swallowed up Pedroia, too...
            Sid Bream was quite the slug...I love the footage of him steaming around 3rd and beating the throw from Bonds in '92, Sid really made the moment last!
            I don't know if Ron Cey was really that slow, but he really LOOKED slow when he ran. Keith Moreland was probably actually slower than Cey...Gary Mathews was pretty glacial with the Cubs then, too. They made Bob Dernier really work in CF.
            Erubiel Durazo and Frank Thomas were back-to-back DHs for the A's who could barely get out of their own ways.
            Lance Parrish ran like a guy who lifted way too much and never stretched or jogged.

            Based on what I've read, Lombardi must have been the slowest really good player in history. It's too bad that almost all the photos I've seen of Ernie show him in a crouch, because it's hard to gauge just how big he was...written accounts stress how huge his hands and arms were (nose, too, of course).
            I've heard that Frank Howard compounded the issue of his size with a really odd running style (lifted his feet way too high?), and Killebrew certainly was never invited to run anchor for any sprint relay team. Boudreau's lack of speed is well attested, but I wonder how much of the furor had to do with the oxymoron of him being a SS with excellent reactions and quickness who just wasn't fast.

            About young Frank Thomas...I remember him being comparatively agile back in the day. He was fast enough to play a little tight end in college...of course, the weight really caught up to him as he aged, and his running was like a fast walk a few years ago (hear he's doing better now).
            Last edited by hellborn; 05-09-2008, 01:02 PM.
            "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial

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            • #7
              Ed Herrmann.

              Absolutely the slowest, squatiest player I've ever seen. I remember one year with the Yankees he actually hit 2 triples. The announcers were hysterical.

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              • #8
                Sean Casey. Slow & awkward running style. Only 17 career stolen bases in 12 seasons!

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                • #9
                  Anyone ever heard this when walking through an airport?

                  "Hector Villanueva... Mr. Hector Villanueva, please pick up the white courtesy phone. Faster, Mr. Villanueva, please run to the phone ............................................. for the love of God Mr. Villanueva, forget it! They will call back."
                  "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I still think any of these fellows (maybe Ortiz) has yet to "out-slow" Johnny Estrada.
                    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd pay to see Jason Phillips footrace Ramon Castro.
                      THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                      In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mo Vaugh was a walking short bus.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dmitri Young. May not be the slowest player ever, but he turns into Jose Reyes when running to the clubhouse spread.

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                          • #14
                            They used to time Ernie Lombardi with a calendar.
                            They could only use a FIVE-YEAR one!
                            Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                            Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              He's surely not the slowest player ever but Jason Giambi is Sloooow. Last year there was a play where he was on first and someone hit a double that might have been a triple and Jason barely made it to third. When I saw the hit I assumed he was going to score on the play. I swear to god I thought he fell down. It was one of those plays that you had to see to believe. He is a little faster this year after losing some weight.

                              Scott
                              I told you not to be stupid you moron.

                              Comment

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