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63rd Greatest Player

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    Thanks, BigRon for your moderate posting. I'm getting past the days when I'd over-heat and post testy or surly. I just want friendly sparring at this point.

    To address your good points, I think that the big thing, as it seems to me, is that the baseball world in the 1920's went by very different values and criteria than we do. Today, we go by the numbers. They did not. I don't think that their 'Holy Grail' was BA, but overall performance. By that I mean how well a player put all the different elements together, without discernable weaknesses.

    For hitting, then yes, they did over-rate BA, but they really wanted a man who could hit well, field well and run credibly. They might take off some points if one ran alright but not blazing, like Heilmann.

    The kids today would never accept their values. The kids today are all raised on Bill James, Rob Neyer, Tom Tango, John Thorn, Craig Wright, Total Baseball & Baseball Reference. All the non-stat writers are read, but from a recreational perspective. For enjoyment and fun. So, I attribute the varying degrees of praise for George Sisler a function of differnet era values.

    Those like myself are considered too innocent, too-childlike, to satisfy the kids raised on numbers. They consider the stats like DNA, and eye-witnesses, well, eye-witnesses. To unreliable, too subjective and prone to human emotion. East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.
    Well, Bill, I'm an in betweener, and I think that's where the best answers often lie. I DO pay attention to what peers, opponents, scribes of the time said. And I also try to view their comments through a second prism, one that understands the values of some things that weren't paid attention to/well understood a long time ago. There's merit- quite a bit, in fact- to what some of the modern stat heads are up to. But, the good ones understand that there is so much more to the game than numbers on a spreadsheet. Some of the stat types here at BBF understand that very well, and some don't. That's the way the world works.

    In any case, I look much more kindly upon George Sisler than does Bill James. But, I don't view him the way you do. I see him as somewhere around the 15th greatest 1Ber, give or take a couple of places, and somewhere around the 100th greatest position player- probably just a bit outside that point. You've got your opinion, and I've got mine. I doubt either one of us will change.

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    • #17
      Thank, BigRon. And I think that's fair. We all have our own views of things, and that's as it should be. I just enjoy the friendly sparring and give-and-take of sports talk. I don't give my soul to this. This is merely my fun. My hobby. Shooting the breezes with a lot of nice people who read baseball books when we were young and still enjoy talking over who we thinks to be ranked where.

      My hat's off to you for being able to discuss and disagree in such an agreeable way, BigRon. THAT'S what this is all about. And what I'm talkin' bout.

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