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  • Originally posted by leecemark
    --Yankee7, I was able to see 4 of my top 10 and 8 of my top 20 play. Admittedly, Mantle was literally on his last legs and Mays was no longer one of the best by the time I saw them. However, I doubt there are many at BBF who actually saw Gehrig, even less Ruth and Cobb, probably none Wagner or Cobb when he was still dominanting the game. Its a pretty distinct minorty who even saw Williams or Musial, at least when they were still at the top of their games. Quite a few of our members never even saw Schmidt or only caught the end of his run.
    --All we can do is look at the records, read the accounts and make our best judgement (Metal Ed is correct when he says it is impossible to rank with any precision). I could easily be wrong, but it will be more fun arguing for Mays than staying on the Babe Ruth bandwagon. As for Schmidt, he was easily the best player I've seen (Aaron was still amoung the best, but not as good as Schmidt when I saw him). The only player I've seen play much who I might rate ahead of him is Bonds, if his best years weren't tarnished, or A-Rod. Rodriguez hasn't been doing it quite long enough to crack my top 20 (although he is in the top 25). If I slightly overrate a hero from my youth, I hope it won't be held against me too much.
    I certainly meant no disrespect sir, I admit I have had the pleasure to see many on your lists, being born in 1941 affords one that luxury. Schmidt while a very good player doesn't have anything on Mathews in my mind at 3rd base. To rank him ahead of Mantle & Musial just shocked me that was all. Your right there isno way to rank players in a manner that could be called completely fair by everyone. I saw many of the greats play in my lifetime, and I can tell you with complete certainty that Mantle was the most complete player I ever saw.
    Mickey Mantle 1956 Triple Crown Winner

    Comment


    • --I can certainly see the arguement for Mantle ahead of Schmidt (or almost anyone else). He was a great player and might have been the best ever had he taken better care of himself. Of course, you would have been about the same age when he came up as I was when Schmidt came up. The heros of our adolescence have a extra halo about them when we are comparing them to later players.
      --As for Schmidt-Mathews they are pretty close as hitters, but Schmidt was the much better defender and baserunner. And Mathews is a greta player in his own right. Had my list gone to 25 he would have been on it.

      Comment


      • I'd say Abacab hit the bulls-eye. It depends on your definition. So now we're dealing with "dueling definitions".

        Without exceptions, everyone says, "Cobb was more skilled as a player, but, . . "
        Why add the but. . . ? If one guy is more skilled, he's better, by definitin. No buts about it.

        But my simple, old-fashioned, traditional definition is now considered too child-like & simplistic for today's mental types. Today's folks seem to require a formula to play with. The mind so loves a toy to play with.

        Now consider the new definition, promoted by the stat-commmunity. If the "purpose of the game is to score runs, and suppress your opponents scoring of runs, and Babe Ruth contributed more runs to his team than anyone else ever did to their teams, than he is the best player ever!"

        What a convoluted assumption! They are assuming that scoring the most runs for your team defines you as the best player. Apparently, in all these years, it has never occurred to these types, that a game can be so manipulated by a lively ball, that a very poor player of limited general skills, can possess 1 supreme skill, which can help his team score more runs than anyone else. That's right. You heard me right. A poor player of very limited skills, compared to the true best players.

        And if such a poor general player as Babe Ruth, by having 1 supreme skill, can be called the "greatest" player, we then make a mockery of definitions. We turn simple English upside down, and call a poor player the "greatest" player. Such double talk has never fooled the older, cooler, wiser heads.

        Moveover, it has like-wise never occurred to such intellectual acrobats, that the only reason that a limited specialist such as Babe Ruth, could dominate a game with one skill, is because the game was rigged that way, by design. If we were to deliven the ball back to pre-1919 levels, the sluggers of today would quickly revert back to the same state they were in then. Crawford, Wagner, Lajoie, Delahanty, Brouthers, Cobb, Jackson, Speaker, Cravath, etc.

        Good men, of real value, but not the elite level, unless like Wagner/Cobb, they had the full range of baseball gifts. But sluggers back then were not without their respective values.

        Some of the posters have asked, Come back when your candidate was a good pitcher. How quaint. Your limited Mr. Ruth could pitch. Now, I will grant you the full scope of your heinous argument. Yes, he could pitch. Does that make Babe Ruth a world-class all-purpose, general, overall-best player for you, in your mind? Does his two gifts, throwing and hitting stamp your candidate as the best over-all, most skilled performer? Well, in your baseball universe, I guess it does. But not mine. Not by about 20 other skills, which he could do, but no better than anyone else in the league.

        Your candidate has 2 skills, mine about a dozen. By my definition, they makes my man the best player of the game. And your candidate a poor, limited player of the game, with 1 supreme gift, which is only the decisive factor if we play Ruthian baseball. If we play Cobbian baseball, your man is good, but no world-beater. Unless you believe he will pitch and play OF at the same time. Which he did try to do and rebelled against.

        For me to consider your man Ruth, the best, most skilled performer, he will need to step his game up a whole lot. But this he cannot do. Why? Because he is Babe Ruth and cannot run faster. And since foot speed is such a big part of hitting, running and fielding, your guy cannot up the ante, and become a better over-all, general-purpose player. Likewise, because he is Babe Ruth, he cannot discipline himself to practice to learn how to slide better, field better, bunt better, run bases better, or think more intelligently.

        Yes, your man lacks the intellegence. He does have baseball instinct. He throws to the right base. Yawn. Since when is not screwing up a boost towards the best ever title. Cobb suckered base runners to think he couldn't make a play, then made it and doubled runners off base. That's great baseball. How often do you think Cobb threw to the wrong base? Or Speaker? Sounds like someone is looking to divert attention away from the possibility that perhaps your candidate wasn't running down as many OF shots coming your way as you should.

        It has often been said, but not around here lately, that in any given baseball skill, Ty Cobb rated in the top 5. Bunting, getting down to 1st, taking a lead, taking extra bases, winning slugging titles, stolen base titles, BA titles, place hitting, sliding, extra base hitting, psyching out opponents, out-thinking opponents, teaching hitting, starting a rally, etc.

        As an all-around hitter, Babe couldn't match Ty. Babe had his specialty, and walked, due to his not being a threat on base. Cobb had an arsenal that could only make Ruth salivate. Bunt, chop-hit, long placed liners, HRs, place hit, poke over the infielders heads, slow rollers, etc. Babe hit 714 HRs, and Ty hit 4,191 hits, so Babe contributed his specialty to winning in 714 games, while Ty figured in almost all of his. Who affected the outcomes of more games? And since Babe sometimes hit more than 2 HRs in a game, the number goes down. And Ty also contributed in so many running events.

        Now, a few shallow folks will comment dryly, "Well, Bill, if Ty contibuted so much more than Ruth, how did Ruth end up on 7 pennant winners and Cobb only 3. The answer to that question, can be found in the owners.

        Jake Ruppert had far deeper pockets, and was a millionaire many times over, and a deeper desire to field great teams. Frank Navin was a world-class jackass who should never have been allowed to own a dog-pound. Refused to invest in the team, even when it was within his reach.

        This post is getting too long. Hope it did somebody some good.

        Dueling defintions. I don't ever expect others to understand that the one who played the game, across the board, at the highest levels, IS THE BEST.


        Bill Burgess
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-24-2005, 08:50 PM.

        Comment


        • Eddie baby,

          I do indeed have Historical Files. I have taken most of the stuff from Cobb's life and tried as honestly as I know how to give an objective, comprehensive treatment to them.

          One, "Assessing Ty", I have collected the opinions of 250 respected baseball figures, to compare Cobb with his peers, including the more-glorified Babe.

          I have offered them to anyone who provides me with an email address. These are Excell spreadsheets. I hope you can open them. Some here have mocked and riducules them, but those are just the defeated jerks, who had not response to them.

          Let me know. All I need is an email address, and I'll share them with anyone. Thou art forewarned. Some of my non-Ty stuff might surprise you.

          Bill Burgess

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Metal Ed
            Thanks for all the kind words, guys. It's good posting here.

            Leece - the only real writing experience I have is from writing my thesis. Not baseball related.

            I don't know about "seminal". Whenever I get the feeling that I've thought of something new, I read where somebody else already thought of it.

            Bill......what about these files?
            Ed-
            I was asking if you were a writer, not Leecemark (Mark).

            As to knowledge being seminal; you're correct- anytime one thinks they have something truly novel, they remembers that the idea has almost certainly been propogated already. As to ideas posted on this message board, however, I think it's safe to say that (at least since I've been here) nobody has been so concise or displayed such acumen as you have on this particular topic.
            Last edited by csh19792001; 02-24-2005, 11:47 PM.

            Comment


            • My great-grandfather was born in 1900 and died in 88'. He played baseball for the yankees farm system, but quickly was released and became a scout for the next 35 years. I look back now and wish I would have asked him some more complicated questions, but I was young and only wanted to know one thing...who was the greatest he ever saw?

              He said Ruth was amazing! He never met or witnessed anybody else who had more natural ability. He said his brain only held baseball. But he said Cobb was the greatest he ever saw. He said he could never decide who was more fun to watch, but there was no comparison to who was the better ball player. Cobb was baseball. Then he would go on to say how he wished they could fuse Cobb and Ruth into the same man.

              He said how excited everybody was about signing a potential "Cobb/Ruth mix". How he would be the best player who ever lived and would surpass Ruth and Cobb. It was Mantle.
              "Baseball is something more than a game to an American boy. It is his training field for life's work. Destroy in his faith, its squareness and honesty, and you have destroyed something more. You have planted of all things, suspicion in his heart."
              -Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis

              Comment


              • I know this is not any kind of proof of anything. Just thought I'd share it.
                "Baseball is something more than a game to an American boy. It is his training field for life's work. Destroy in his faith, its squareness and honesty, and you have destroyed something more. You have planted of all things, suspicion in his heart."
                -Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis

                Comment


                • Jeffrey,

                  And we can give you consideration because the stats agree, not because you want to, eg., champion Lange's cause

                  (Bill - We're discussing Ty/Babe once more. Not Lange.)

                  He had a fine OFer's arm, but when he hurt it around 1918, the runners started to run on him. But by learning to get rid of the ball instantly, with momentum byhind him, his assists went up, and they stopped running on him.



                  His assists did go up in '19, then down in '20, then up in '21, then down in '22. What was your point?

                  (Bill - In 1920, Ty incurred one of his few serious injuries. During a game on June 6, while chasing a fly ball in right center, Ty collided with his RFer Ira Flagstead and sprained his left knee so badly, he was out action till July 31, save a couple of games. They went down again in '22, because the boys learned that they could not get away with running on him and stopped running. He tied his second highest amount in '21. Point: Brains, my lad, brains. Compensated for a serious setback with his brains. Big point towards being the best ever. Any more questions?)


                  The best by far, and he never had a close second. And all history until 1960 concurred.

                  I'm glad you were able to interview the entire world.

                  (Bill - Not quite the ENTIRE world, simply all those who expressed an opinion in Sporting News, between 1920-1990, and many dozens of BB reference books, magazine, baseball guides, Baseball Magazine, 1908-1954, Baseball Digest, and lots of other sources. So, my cards are face up on the table. You holding any cards in your hand? And the results of your surveys are . . .?)

                  Bill Burgess
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-24-2005, 09:07 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Brian,

                    You Dad told you the same thing my Dad told me. Cool.

                    Bill Burgess

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Astro
                      Please... pitching back then is A LOT different than it is now... They'd probably tee off on Ruth, and Ruth probably wouldnt do aswell as he did back then against pitchers now... You cant compare them really because the game has evolved so much
                      Here we go again, we will now diminish Babe Ruth the pitcher because of the period he pitched in. How can one say they would tee off on Ruth, how could we know what might happen.

                      I agree, Ruth's ERA would have been higher had he pitched in the live ball era, the leagues ERA went up in the live ball era, that in no way means dead ball era pitchers could not do well in the live ball era.

                      Let me first say, I can't say how well Ruth would have done in the live ball era, but "tee off " is a bit strong.

                      Here is where Ruth ranked in both leagues in the years he was a pitcher only 1915-16-17. I had to go with a minimum of 865 innings pitched since Ruth pitched 867 innings in that time period.

                      Both leagues 1915-16-17 and where Ruth was ranked in stats for those 3 seasons..

                      Base runners/9Ip-----------5th
                      Complete games------------5th
                      ERA------------------------3rd. Alexander 1.54, Johnson 1.88, Ruth 2.02
                      Hit/9 Innings pitched--------1rst
                      Shutouts-------------------3rd
                      Strikeouts------------------5th
                      SO/BB per 9 Inn. Pitched----4th
                      Winning percentage---------2nd
                      Wins-----------------------3rd

                      Ruth and his defense while on the mound 1915-16-17

                      Range----------------4th
                      Assists---------------5th
                      Double plays ---------1rst
                      Fielding Percentage---1rst

                      Ruth and Walter Johnson faced off 9 times.
                      Ruth won 6 times, Johnson won 3 times.
                      Three of Ruth's wins were by scores of 1-0.
                      One of Johnsons wins over Ruth was in relief.
                      May 5, 1918. Johnson beat Ruth, 4-3 in 10 innings. In that game Ruth was 5 for 5, one single, 3 doubles and a triple.

                      I think it's clear that Babe Ruth was a very talented ballplayer, on the mound or in the batter's box.

                      Yes that pitching was in the dead ball era, but everthing was equal, same ball, same rules, same conditions as Alexander, Johnson and all the rest pitched under. And remember, Ruth was a LH pitcher facing a great number of RH hitters. If all those stats were for LH pitchers only Ruth would be on top in almost all of them.
                      Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 02-24-2005, 10:14 PM.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3

                        Ruth and Walter Johnson faced off 9 times.
                        Ruth won 6 times, Johnson won 3 times.
                        Three of Ruth's wins were by scores of 1-0.
                        One of Johnsons wins over Ruth was in relief.
                        May 5, 1918. Johnson beat Ruth, 4-3 in 10 innings. In that game Ruth was 5 for 5, one single, 3 doubles and a triple.

                        I think it's clear that Babe Ruth was a very talented ballplayer, on the mound or in the batter's box.
                        The Babe was an outstanding pitcher and an incredible raw talent- and I won't diminish his accomplishments on the mound. He was incredibly raw, period. Cobb said after his passing in 1948, that Babe was: "The most unaffected man I ever knew"

                        You outline the litany of impressive statistics he put up- but there is one caveat here- talking about Big Train vs. Ruth is unfair. The three 1-0 games is a microcosm of the run support Johnson got for his teams over his career- generally awful.

                        Any comparison of Ruth vs. Johnson is going to be unfair, because Ruth's teams won 3 World Series titles during those years and had a .612 WPCT. Johnson's teams won no pennants and had a .522 WPCT.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by csh19792001
                          You outline the litany of impressive statistics he put up- but there is one caveat here- talking about Big Train vs. Ruth is unfair. The three 1-0 games is a microcosm of the run support Johnson got for his teams over his career- generally awful.

                          Any comparison of Ruth vs. Johnson is going to be unfair, because Ruth's teams won 3 World Series titles during those years and had a .612 WPCT. Johnson's teams won no pennants and had a .522 WPCT.
                          It was for that very reason that I stated that 3 of the games were by scores of 1-0, to illustrate that it was not a case of the more potent Red Sox bats that were responsible for at least 3 of those 6 victories. Both pitchers pitched outstanding games in those 3 match ups.

                          Glad to see you point out what is also my belief, no way do I compare Babe Ruth the pitcher to Walter Johnson the pitcher. I usually close with that thought when I post the Ruth/Johnson games, I did forget to do so in my previous post.

                          Ruth did not pitch long enough to be compared to Johnson so I do agree with your post. No way to tell what Ruth might have accomplished had he stuck to pitching but he was very good in those 3 seasons. Johnson proved that he was one of the best over a whole career and did it with not much support.

                          Comment


                          • Bill, with your speech on smarts, you've convinced me that I need to rank Johnny Bench higher than I currently do.

                            Brian, interesting comments about Mantle. I've long thought that Mantle had as much raw talent as anybody who ever lived. He could've been the greatest player who ever lived, "if only...."

                            "If only." If only what? If only he wasn't injured all the time? That was part of it, but Mantle was also his own worst enemy. His fatalistic attitude probably hurt him as much as his injuries.

                            And he wasn't smart. He once confessed to "trying to hit a home run every single time I came to the plate." Imagine what Ty Cobb's brains could've done in Mantle's body.
                            Last edited by Metal Ed; 02-25-2005, 08:02 AM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Metal Ed
                              Bill, with your speech on smarts, you've convinced me that I need to rank Johnny Bench higher than I currently do.

                              Brian, interesting comments about Mantle. I've long thought that Mantle had as much raw talent as anybody who ever lived. He could've been the greatest player who ever lived, "if only...."

                              "If only." If only what? If only he wasn't injured all the time? That was part of it, but Mantle was also his own worst enemy. His fatalistic attitude probably hurt him as much as his injuries.

                              And he wasn't smart. He once confessed to "trying to hit a home run every single time I came to the plate." Imagine what Ty Cobb's brains could've done in Mantle's body.

                              I thought he did'nt have the attitude change until his father died. I'm not sure about how smart Mantle was. Like I said, I wish I would have asked my g-grandfather more detailed questions about certain players. Besides what I know from him, all these players are just pictures and stats.

                              But, I would'nt call the guy "not smart" from one statement. I watched a tape of the interview when he said that. In my opinion, he said it in a joking manner. But Stengel said a lot worse, and a whole lot funnier comments, but I doubt there is a man on earth that would call him not smart.

                              But your right about Cobb. He was the -Einstein/michelangelo/Isaac Newton- of baseball. There will never be another.
                              "Baseball is something more than a game to an American boy. It is his training field for life's work. Destroy in his faith, its squareness and honesty, and you have destroyed something more. You have planted of all things, suspicion in his heart."
                              -Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis

                              Comment


                              • Brian,

                                I collect many things. Fever members all time teams, and certain opinions. Would it be incorrect to say that Cobb is your greatest, best player? If so, I'll add you to the Cobb list. I also document the Babe list.

                                So far, here what the lists look like.

                                Ty list: 25 members

                                Bill Burgess--BR-4
                                Chris--BR-3
                                2Chance
                                fryj?
                                kelo80
                                Eddie Collins--TC-1, BR-2
                                Sandman
                                Tearforamariner
                                Zito75
                                mpacy
                                blighty baseball bloke
                                TXRangerfan
                                George Steinbrenner
                                Luke Appling
                                Chad
                                Brad Harris--BR-2
                                Murph8283
                                Dizzy (HS in '04)
                                LouGehrig--BR2
                                Prof93--BR-2
                                Tibber; TC over BR
                                Impotato---
                                Dudecar00--Mays, Cobb, Ruth
                                Windy City Fan
                                William Lee


                                Babe list: 26 members

                                ElHalo--------TC-2, Mays-3, Wag-4
                                four tool player--TC2
                                Zeth------TC-2
                                Julusnc--TC-2
                                Catfish--TC-2
                                Edgartohof--TC-2
                                TheOnlyRyan -TC-2
                                ShoelessJoe3
                                wrgptfan------Ruth, Williams, TC-3
                                BoSoxRule----TW-1, BR-2, TC--3
                                abacab---TC-3
                                MikeCameron--TC-4
                                Baseball Guru---TC-5
                                BillyF29------TC-5
                                Metsfan11--TC-6
                                Mac195---TC-7
                                depstein
                                westsidegrounds
                                Chisox73
                                Dayton Dog
                                froshman2002
                                BABBMALLEY29--My.7,1939
                                bluezebra
                                Roy Hobbs
                                Santotohof
                                WLH99raiders--
                                RuthMayBonds

                                The Babe list just lost a member, with Mark Leece's defection to the Mays camp. So, if you join the Cobb camp, you will even up the score again. Actually, I've fudged the count by 2. Tibber and Dudecar rate over over Ruth, but someone else over both.

                                Actually, I have no illusions that this list is truly accurate. I assume that the great majority of Fever's unaccounted for members are solidly in Babe's camp. But it's delightful to pretend.



                                Bill Burgess
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-25-2005, 07:31 PM.

                                Comment

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