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Mark McGwire's 1998 season, in historical terms

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  • Mark McGwire's 1998 season, in historical terms

    Without giving this season a big phat steroid discount, and just taking these numbers at face value, where did this season rank historically? top 10 ever? top 20? top 50?


    .299/.470/.752, 70 HR, 147 RBI, 162 BB, 130 Runs, and even a stolen base (not something Big Mac did much in his career)


    Now, Big Mac was never a guy who hit for average, so this a very solid number for him. He produced with great numbers at the plate although he was never much of a defensive player, nor was he a baserun threat despite getting walked so many times.

    Overall, where does it rank before you decide on factoring in his obvious steroid use?

  • #2
    Good question.

    Maybe just outside the top 10, maybe 13-15. I can overlook the steroid use for this exercise, but it's hard to overlook the fact that 60 homers became a meaningless stat in this era. For that reason, 70 holds the weight of probably a normal 52 homer season.

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    • #3
      [QUOTE=blackout805]Without giving this season a big phat steroid discount, and just taking these numbers at face value, where did this season rank historically? top 10 ever? top 20? top 50?


      .299/.470/.752, 70 HR, 147 RBI, 162 BB, 130 Runs, and even a stolen base (not something Big Mac did much in his career)


      Now, Big Mac was never a guy who hit for average, so this a very solid number for him. He produced with great numbers at the plate although he was never much of a defensive player, nor was he a baserun threat despite getting walked so many times.

      Overall, where does it rank before you decide on factoring in his obvious steroid use?[/QUOTE]

      When it comes time to put it in historical perspective for Big Mac's accomplishments 'I am not here to talk about the past. I am here to talk about the future.' Hence, his 'historical records' that happened in the past really don't merit much talk.
      Johnny
      Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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      • #4
        --I rank it about even with Killebrew 1969.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by leecemark
          --I rank it about even with Killebrew 1969.
          And where might that be?

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          • #6
            I have that season at about 12th tied with Hornsby's 1925 season.
            Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KCGHOST
              I have that season at about 12th tied with Hornsby's 1925 season.
              I hope you're talking about purely offensive terms?
              "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

              Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

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              • #8
                --Sultan, I don't have a list of best individual seasons. I just tossed the Killebrew season out as a comp because; a) I think its about right and b) I thought it would take some of the air out of McGwire's season. Like I said, I don't have a list, but here have to be several dozen (or more) seasons where a player was better than Big Mac in 1998.

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                • #9
                  Probably between 10 and 15. OPS+ of 217, that is absolutely incredible, to say nothing of his other stats. I do not have a list, but I think he was one of the more awesome offensive forces ever that year. Maybe top 10. Far above anything Ichiro has done.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by leecemark
                    --Sultan, I don't have a list of best individual seasons. I just tossed the Killebrew season out as a comp because; a) I think its about right and b) I thought it would take some of the air out of McGwire's season. Like I said, I don't have a list, but here have to be several dozen (or more) seasons where a player was better than Big Mac in 1998.
                    Agreed. Most of us probably have a mental list, but only through 5 or so in any type of order. After that it gets a bit tricky. Think of all the players who have had monstrous season. DiMaggio's '37 and '41 gotta be up there; you could probably throw up Rickey's '90 before Mac's '98. Then you've got at least three seasons from Ruth, 2 from Mantle, lord knows how many from Musial, Wagner, Cobb.. I'm changing my vote to outside the top 20. Top 30 maybe.

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                    • #11
                      A great season, probably around 30-40 alltime.

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                      • #12
                        Just chiming in but I am not sure why McGwire is always discounted defensively. He was quite good in his 1997-1999 seasons before the knee started crippling him. No, he didn't have Hernandez' range, but he was so tall it was almost impossible to get a throw over his head and he was above average on scooping balls in the dirt.

                        I do (heavily) discount his offensive numbers because of the steroids, and I was never much of a Big Mac fan but his bulk makes his defense more impressive, IMO.
                        "There ain't much to bein' a ballplayer...if you're a ballplayer. "

                        --Honus Wagner

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                        • #13
                          I don't have a list of all time single seasons, but I find it hard to see how McGwire's would even be top 20 all time.

                          His OPS+ was 217, which is good, certainly, but he was a first baseman, where most offense is expected, and was only okay on defense. I don't see how it's as good as the best years of literally 20 or so players.

                          Just of the top of my head, I would probably take the peak seasons of Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds (even pre steroids), Mike Schmidt, Ted Williams, Honus Wagner, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Joe Morgan, Lou Gehrig, Rickey Henderson, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson, Rogers Hornsby, Joe DiMaggio, Arky Vaughan, Willie McCovey, Johnny Bench, Dick Allen, Carl Yastrzemski, Mike Piazza, Jackie Robinson, Tim Raines, and George Brett over it.

                          I agree with Mark that it's probably about as good as Harmon Killebrew's 1969 season, and not nearly as good as Willie McCovey that same year.
                          Last edited by 538280; 03-23-2006, 12:40 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I'd prefer Sosa's 2001 season......164RBI's!!!
                            "I was pitching one day when my glasses clouded up on me. I took them off to polish them. When I looked up to the plate, I saw Jimmie Foxx. The sight of him terrified me so much that I haven't been able to wear glasses since." - Left Gomez

                            "(Lou) Gehrig never learned that a ballplayer couldn't be good every day." - Hank Gowdy

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Myankee4life View Post
                              I'd prefer Sosa's 2001 season......164RBI's!!!
                              those are a team statistic though


                              but indeed a great year.

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