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Best Decade for Centerfielders

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  • Best Decade for Centerfielders

    The 50's were a great decade for CF talent. Mays, Mantle, Snider, Ashburn, Doby, Virdon, Piersall, Bell.

    So were the 90's. Griffey, Edmonds, Jones, Williams, Puckett, Lankford, Lofton, Grissom, Finley, Johnson.

    Guys can count for two decades too (in the case of Cobb - 3), i.e. Mays - 50's/60's, Griffey 90's/00's. I generally gave guys - Virdon, Puckett - 5 years a decade. Let's not get crazy, for example: I didn't count Dale Murphy in the 90's. Consider whole career contributions, how guys were viewed at the time, how they are viewed in hindsight.

    Which decade do you think had the most talent in CF?
    Last edited by bluesky5; 03-05-2012, 09:42 AM. Reason: verbage
    "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

  • #2
    The 50's may take it with the top heavy Mays and Mantle but the 90's have a lot of depth. There are also 30 teams in the 90's as compared to the standard 16 in the 50's.

    I'm really having a hard time deciding.
    "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
      The 50's may take it with the top heavy Mays and Mantle but the 90's have a lot of depth. There are also 30 teams in the 90's as compared to the standard 16 in the 50's.

      I'm really having a hard time deciding.
      I'm not saying it's the best, but the 2000's were pretty darn good.

      Jim Edmonds
      Andruw Jones
      Carlos Beltran
      Johnny Damon
      Torii Hunter
      Mike Cameron
      Curtis Granderson
      Grady Sizemore (HOF level from 05-08, before the injuries started)
      Vernon Wells (was a very good player for a while, though he stinks now)

      The 90's were better, though. The 1950's were very top heavy, but not as deep as the 1990's.
      Last edited by GiambiJuice; 03-05-2012, 10:41 AM.
      My top 10 players:

      1. Babe Ruth
      2. Barry Bonds
      3. Ty Cobb
      4. Ted Williams
      5. Willie Mays
      6. Alex Rodriguez
      7. Hank Aaron
      8. Honus Wagner
      9. Lou Gehrig
      10. Mickey Mantle

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
        The 50's were a great decade for CF talent. Mays, Mantle, Snider, Ashburn, Doby, Virdon, Piersall, Bell.
        The 50s was probably the peak,and it bled in to the 60s.
        Mays, Mantle, and Snider...
        And Stan Musial had one of his better years playing CF in 1952.

        The 60s not only kept Mays and Mantle, but Hank Aaron played significant CF in 61-62.
        Add Jimmy Wynn, Vada Pinson, and Willie Davis for a minute.

        In 1915, 1952, 1955, 1961, & 1962 (the last time it happened I believe), 3 of the Top 5 WAR for position players were CFers.
        Last edited by dgarza; 03-05-2012, 11:52 AM.

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        • #5
          In intensity of talent/performance, I think it's pretty clear that the 50s wins. As mentioned, there were only 16 teams, but there are 5 HOFers- Mays, Mantle, Snider, Doby, Ashburn. The 90s had a lot of good CFers, but there were 30 teams. Out of that group, thee are only 2 dead-certain HOFers- Griffey Jr. and Puckett- though Edmonds certainly deserves induction, and a decent argument can be made for Lofton. Jones is unlikely unless he has a late career resurrection.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
            I'm not saying it's the best, but the 2000's were pretty darn good.

            Jim Edmonds
            Andruw Jones
            Carlos Beltran
            Johnny Damon
            Torii Hunter
            Mike Cameron
            Curtis Granderson
            Grady Sizemore (HOF level from 05-08, before the injuries started)
            Vernon Wells (was a very good player for a while, though he stinks now)

            The 90's were better, though. The 1950's were very top heavy, but not as deep as the 1990's.
            Biggio played a decent CF for a while in the 00's too.
            "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dgarza View Post
              The 50s was probably the peak,and it bled in to the 60s.
              Mays, Mantle, and Snider...
              And Stan Musial had one of his better years playing CF in 1952.

              The 60s not only kept Mays and Mantle, but Hank Aaron played significant CF in 61-62.
              Add Jimmy Wynn, Vada Pinson, and Willie Davis for a minute.

              In 1915, 1952, 1955, 1961, & 1962 (the last time it happened I believe), 3 of the Top 5 WAR for position players were CFers.
              That is an interesting way of looking at it. If you see the 50's as peak talent and the 90's with overall steady depth. Almost akin to evaluating a players peak value vs. longevity.
              "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
                That is an interesting way of looking at it. If you see the 50's as peak talent and the 90's with overall steady depth. Almost akin to evaluating a players peak value vs. longevity.
                But, in terms of percentage, I don't think the 90s were deeper than the 50s. Only 16 teams then, 30 (almost twice as many) in the 90s. There were 5 greats (HOFers) in the 50s plus Bruton, Virdon, Bell, and a couple of others. Over 50% coverage, in one sense. You'd have to name 16 or 17 or 18 exceptional/good CFers in the 90s to come up with the same percentage. I don't think you'll find that many.

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                • #9
                  The 1910's saw peak production from Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker, plus the beginning of Oscar Charleston's career. That's three of the top ten of all time. Throw in a second string of Sam Rice, Edd Roush, and Max Carey, and that's an awfully good bunch.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gee Walker View Post
                    The 1910's saw peak production from Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker, plus the beginning of Oscar Charleston's career. That's three of the top ten of all time. Throw in a second string of Sam Rice, Edd Roush, and Max Carey, and that's an awfully good bunch.
                    Don't forget Benny Kauff...

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                    • #11
                      I decided to take a look at individual seasonal WAR percentages for CFers in each decade. I wanted to see which decade had the highest percentage of better CF seasons in comparison to itself. I am counting individual seasons here, not individual players. So a player could have up to 10 individual CF seasons in a decade, obviously.

                      I defined a CF season as 100+ games, 50%+ in CF. I was also using WAR as the measure. Of course, season lengths skew the results a little, but even that can reveal some insights.

                      So, for example, looking to see which decade had the highest percentage of CF seasons with a WAR of 4.0 or better, we can see that in the 1920s, over 30% of individual CF seasons were 4.0+.
                      image007.png

                      And the chart for WAR 5.0...
                      The 1950s are looking pretty strong here.
                      image008.png

                      WAR 6.0...
                      image009.png

                      WAR 7.0...
                      image010.png

                      WAR 8.0...
                      image011.png
                      Last edited by dgarza; 03-06-2012, 10:56 AM.

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                      • #12
                        War 9.0...
                        [ATTACH]105703[/ATTACH]

                        war 10.0...
                        [ATTACH]105704[/ATTACH]

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                        • #13
                          And for curiosity's sake, the 1970s had the highest percentage of awful CF seasons. 16.9% of CF seasons in the '70s were of negative WAR.
                          image001.png

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                          • #14
                            Going to bump this, so I don't have to look for it later. Wanted to see if anything comes up from another thread going on now, and I will add it here.
                            "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

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                            • #15
                              Oh 1950s of course... here is a song for you. And with a nice Garvey/Cooperstown reference too.

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWKA9Zi5-_Y
                              Your Second Base Coach
                              Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey started 833 times and the Dodgers went 498-335, for a .598 winning percentage. That’s equal to a team going 97-65 over a season. On those occasions when at least one of them missed his start, the Dodgers were 306-267-1, which is a .534 clip. That works out to a team going 87-75. So having all four of them added 10 wins to the Dodgers per year.
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5hCIvMule0

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