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  • I have the book "Baseball and the Sultan of Swat: Babe Ruth at 100" edited by Robert N. Keane. The first chapter written by William Jakub on page 7 states:

    While on the field, Babe Ruth was quite a student of the game claiming that "I copied Jackson's style because I thought he was the greatest hitter I had ever seen, the greatest natural hitter I ever saw."

    There is a footnote that cites Harry Frommer's book "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball" as the source, page 52. I don't have the book so I can't verify it. I've read essentially the same thing in several other books including Smelser's. Babe used a closed stance. I'm unsure of Jackson. I've seen a couple of photos where he appears to use a closed stance and in others a parallel one. See photos.

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    ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."

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    • In this video Jackson and Ruth are both using a closed stance, with Ruth's more pronounced.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtXVC1irZGA
      ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Badge714 View Post
        I have the book "Baseball and the Sultan of Swat: Babe Ruth at 100" edited by Robert N. Keane. The first chapter written by William Jakub on page 7 states:

        While on the field, Babe Ruth was quite a student of the game claiming that "I copied Jackson's style because I thought he was the greatest hitter I had ever seen, the greatest natural hitter I ever saw."

        There is a footnote that cites Harry Frommer's book "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball" as the source, page 52. I don't have the book so I can't verify it. I've read essentially the same thing in several other books including Smelser's. Babe used a closed stance. I'm unsure of Jackson. I've seen a couple of photos where he appears to use a closed stance and in others a parallel one. See photos.
        It just seems odd that Ruth would pick Jackson over Ty Cobb as the greatest hitter. Cobb was winning batting titles pretty much every year and led the league in slugging 8 times. How the heck was Jackson the greater hitter?
        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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        • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post

          It just seems odd that Ruth would pick Jackson over Ty Cobb as the greatest hitter. Cobb was winning batting titles pretty much every year and led the league in slugging 8 times. How the heck was Jackson the greater hitter?
          Doing a bit of research I came across this in "Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball." Page 149: "The greatest natural hitter I ever saw was Ty Cobb." He then goes on to say: "I never saw Honus Wagner or Napoleon Lajoie or the other old-timers who loomed as great hitters. Perhaps they were as good as Ty. Some fellows claim they were. But personally I don't believe it. I don't believe there ever was another one like Cobb, or ever will be."

          But did Ruth actually write those words. In the introduction to the book Jerome Holtzman wrote: "More than likely [Ford] Frick wrote 'Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball,' published in 1928. . . . No co-author is listed, only a notation: 'By arrangement of Christy Walsh.' "

          I don't believe Ruth wrote the book. So who knows who he thought was the best hitter.
          ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."

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          • Originally posted by Badge714 View Post

            Doing a bit of research I came across this in "Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball." Page 149: "The greatest natural hitter I ever saw was Ty Cobb." He then goes on to say: "I never saw Honus Wagner or Napoleon Lajoie or the other old-timers who loomed as great hitters. Perhaps they were as good as Ty. Some fellows claim they were. But personally I don't believe it. I don't believe there ever was another one like Cobb, or ever will be."

            But did Ruth actually write those words. In the introduction to the book Jerome Holtzman wrote: "More than likely [Ford] Frick wrote 'Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball,' published in 1928. . . . No co-author is listed, only a notation: 'By arrangement of Christy Walsh.' "

            I don't believe Ruth wrote the book. So who knows who he thought was the best hitter.
            Nice research Badge. That makes more sense. I doubt anyone in the 1910's thought Joe Jackson was a better hitter than Ty Cobb.
            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Badge714 View Post

              Doing a bit of research I came across this in "Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball." Page 149: "The greatest natural hitter I ever saw was Ty Cobb." He then goes on to say: "I never saw Honus Wagner or Napoleon Lajoie or the other old-timers who loomed as great hitters. Perhaps they were as good as Ty. Some fellows claim they were. But personally I don't believe it. I don't believe there ever was another one like Cobb, or ever will be."

              But did Ruth actually write those words. In the introduction to the book Jerome Holtzman wrote: "More than likely [Ford] Frick wrote 'Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball,' published in 1928. . . . No co-author is listed, only a notation: 'By arrangement of Christy Walsh.' "

              I don't believe Ruth wrote the book. So who knows who he thought was the best hitter.
              I doubt we will ever know for sure. As of yet I have seen no comment about either, directly from babe himself, about being the best..
              These comments are like second hand...................some one said that Babe Ruth said that.

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              • Finally, some one figures out how to get Ruth out..................................join the club Rogers.

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                • This is what I call confidence.................such a young age. Babe greatest pitcher.jpg

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                  • Babe Ruth was a decent hitter whenever he was healthy and not distracted by pitching. I wanted to see how Ruth did in seasons where he played 140+ games. Ruth had 9 seasons in which he played 140+ games. Here are his cumulative stats for those 9 seasons(1920,1921,1923,1924,1926,1927,1928,1930,19 31):

                    G------- PA------AB-------R------- H---------HR-----RBI-----TB--------BB------AVG----OB%----SLUG%
                    1346----6053---4672----1388---1715-----456-----1336----3550---1289----.367----.506-----.760

                    Per season, that breaks down to:

                    G------- PA------AB-------R------- H---------HR-----RBI-----TB--------BB------AVG----OB%----SLUG%
                    150----- 673-----519-----154-----191-------51------148------394-----143-----.367-----.506-----.760



                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Badge714 View Post

                      Doing a bit of research I came across this in "Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball." Page 149: "The greatest natural hitter I ever saw was Ty Cobb." He then goes on to say: "I never saw Honus Wagner or Napoleon Lajoie or the other old-timers who loomed as great hitters. Perhaps they were as good as Ty. Some fellows claim they were. But personally I don't believe it. I don't believe there ever was another one like Cobb, or ever will be."

                      But did Ruth actually write those words. In the introduction to the book Jerome Holtzman wrote: "More than likely [Ford] Frick wrote 'Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball,' published in 1928. . . . No co-author is listed, only a notation: 'By arrangement of Christy Walsh.' "

                      I don't believe Ruth wrote the book. So who knows who he thought was the best hitter.
                      Hey Badge,

                      It was in a sense, a ghost written book, but Ruth was present and was there for the input. He needed "polishing" of words and at that time he was slightly busy. Not exactly lounging on the couch just relaxing. As you know, he still made time for what mattered and I believe a man like him who understood his importance took the time to over-see the finshed product.

                      I have very little doubt, that when it came to subject matter of that importance, his actual opinions wouldn't be reflected. He would not allow that imo. He was happy-go-lucky- but not when it came to his opinions of ballplayers, especially one with the history that he and Cobb had.

                      More to the point, nobody involved in that project would take that liberty and make that statement, unless given concrete affirmation from Ruth.

                      Important to note also though, the mindset and definitions of the times. "Natural" hitter does not necessarily mean "best" hitter. Or best slugger. Ruth understood the game and included ALL ASPECTS when evaluating Cobb. That is; his mental approach, manipulation, speed, bat control...essentially just his ability to get on base by way of a hit. Standards and expectations have changed over the years. Just something to keep in mind.

                      Comment


                      • Omaha World June 7, 1947.jpg Grantland Rice column appeared in papers on June 7, 1947.

                        Rice: I once asked Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker to name the greatest natural hitter of all time. Without hesitation all three answered ---"Joe Jackson".
                        "I copied Jackson," Babe told me, "because I thought he was the greatest hitter I had ever seen. I still think the same way."
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by pheasant View Post
                          Babe Ruth was a decent hitter whenever he was healthy and not distracted by pitching. I wanted to see how Ruth did in seasons where he played 140+ games. Ruth had 9 seasons in which he played 140+ games. Here are his cumulative stats for those 9 seasons(1920,1921,1923,1924,1926,1927,1928,1930,19 31):

                          G------- PA------AB-------R------- H---------HR-----RBI-----TB--------BB------AVG----OB%----SLUG%
                          1346----6053---4672----1388---1715-----456-----1336----3550---1289----.367----.506-----.760

                          Per season, that breaks down to:

                          G------- PA------AB-------R------- H---------HR-----RBI-----TB--------BB------AVG----OB%----SLUG%
                          150----- 673-----519-----154-----191-------51------148------394-----143-----.367-----.506-----.760


                          Small sample but here are the only two seasons Babe pitched and played some outfield and first base.
                          Total for 1918-1919.

                          Pa.-----Ab.------2b-----3b------Hr-----SB------Ba.------OBP-------Slugging--------RBI------OPS +
                          925---749------60------23------40------13-----.312-----.438----------.617------------174-------207------------------BB 159
                          1918 59 games outfield--1919 11 games outfield

                          Pitching 1918-1919---22-12-- Games started 34---Complete games 30--- ERA 2.55

                          Talk about a one man gang, he was underpaid. Under those conditions to start 34 games and complete 30 games.
                          You can see the fear factor coming in so early in his career, 159 walks.
                          SHOELESSJOE3
                          Registered User
                          Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 12-30-2017, 05:43 AM.

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                          • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                            How the heck was Jackson the greater hitter?
                            Perhaps because he was totally unscientific and swung from the handle. AND hit .356 with more raw power than Cobb during Cobb's own prime.

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                            • Originally posted by Floyd Gondolli View Post

                              Perhaps because he was totally unscientific and swung from the handle. AND hit .356 with more raw power than Cobb during Cobb's own prime.
                              Yet, Cobb won 12 batting titles and 8 slugging titles. Jackson never won a batting title and led the AL in slugging just once. How is a hitter with zero batting titles and one slugging title greater than a hitter with 12 batting titles and 8 slugging titles in the same league? Being unscientific vs scientific is not really that relevant here. Only production is.
                              Honus Wagner Rules
                              xFIP?! I laugh at you!
                              Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 12-31-2017, 12:38 AM.
                              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                                Being unscientific vs scientific is not really that relevant here. Only production is.
                                Actually only perception is relevant here. We're talking about Ruth modeling himself. His skill set and approach was vastly closer to Jackson than Cobb.

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