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Sliding Billy Hamilton

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  • Sliding Billy Hamilton

    One of my all-time favorite players. Maybe the greatest leadoff hitter ever.

    I would've made this thread in the 19th century forum but there's not enough action there.

    Where do you rank Hamilton?
    Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

  • #2
    He's good, no dooubt, but its hard to rank 19th century players.
    “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

    "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 1905 Giants View Post
      He's good, no dooubt, but its hard to rank 19th century players.
      It's hard to rank players across eras anyway, but just for fun.....anybody?
      Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

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      • #4
        One of the game's greatest lead off men.

        http://www.amazon.com/dp/0786446390?...-hamilton.html
        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
          One of the game's greatest lead off men.

          http://www.amazon.com/dp/0786446390?...-hamilton.html
          Yes, I plan on purchasing that book soon. Should be very interesting reading about his life and career in detail.

          For the record, I rank him as the 7th best centerfielder of all time, behind the Fab Five (Cobb, Mays, Mantle, DiMaggio, Speaker) and Griffey, but maybe he should be ahead of Griffey.....
          Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 1905 Giants View Post
            He's good, no dooubt, but its hard to rank 19th century players.
            Thank J. Henry Waugh for small favors. One of the things I like about early baseball is that the difficulty of ranking players means people spend time on other things, like trying to fathom and describe all the different playing environments and the roster of characters that inhabited them.

            Thanks for the link to the Hamilton bio, Honus. I'm going to order the Kindle version right now. I don't know much more about Hamilton than I did on that fateful day when, at the age of ten, I opened the Encyclopedia of Baseball for the first time and learned that the all-time leaders in runs and RBI per game weren't Cobb or Ruth but two guys I had never heard of.
            Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 05-23-2012, 09:48 PM.
            Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

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            • #7
              In the 19th century, he'd be a first choice for center.
              “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

              "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                One of the game's greatest lead off men.

                http://www.amazon.com/dp/0786446390?...-hamilton.html
                you should ask for a commission. i just ordered it.

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                • #9
                  To get to the original post I would have him anywhere from 8-10 all time among MLB CF. The first seven are the usual suspects: Mays, Cobb, Mantle, Speaker, DiMaggio, Griffey, Snider. Hamilton, Edmonds, Andruw Jones and maybe a few others would be in the mix for the next spots. Check out the CF rankings done each year if you are so inclined.

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                  • #10
                    We have him ranked as the #85 position player in baseball history. We've tried to do a decent job in our system of ranking players across eras, and Hamilton comes up pretty high, between Sammy Sosa and Andre Dawson. I know a PED player surrounding Hamilton does not seem right. On the centerfielder Hall of Fame list, we also list him as #7, but he'll slide to #8 once Griffey is in. And he's one of the best Philly players ever, which I don't think most realize. Still better than the current big three even though he only played 6 seasons there. #12 All-Time on the best Phillies position player list for us, right behind Callison. He'd be higher if he played more seasons there, actually having the 2nd best per season average of any Philly position player.
                    http://baseballevaluation.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by torez77 View Post
                      One of my all-time favorite players. Maybe the greatest leadoff hitter ever.

                      I would've made this thread in the 19th century forum but there's not enough action there.

                      Where do you rank Hamilton?
                      Where you rank Hamilton depends on your own criteria. Are we ranking him relative to his own era or to everyone else across all the eras? If the former, then I'd place him somewhere between 25-35 among position players and forth among CF'ers (after Mays, Cobb, and Mantle in that order, but ahead of DiMaggio, Griffey, and Snider). I'd place him forth among CF'ers because I'd consider him to be a greater player relative to his own era than DiMaggio, Griffey, and Snider were to their respective eras. If your criteria is meant to refer to the later, then I'd place him somwhere between 75-90 among position players and seventh among CF'ers due to the stronger competition of the later eras.

                      I hope that makes sense.
                      "Age is a question of mind over matter--if you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
                      -Satchel Paige

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                      • #12
                        I think he can rank as high as number 5 for center fielders, depending on whether you give Dimaggio war credit and/or league quality credit.

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                        • #13
                          I'd like to hear from people that know interesting bits about Hamilton, who- as the intro to that book suggests- has somehow become a phantom, nearly lost to history entirely if not for his ridiculous runs and SB totals. Anybody have interesting stories about his life and career? Who was he closest with during his playing days?

                          Why was the stolen base rule changed? I wonder how the players felt about it? I was really interested to read about how the player/pitchers felt about the rule changes from the late 1880's through 1901-03, when the pitcher box was changed to a mound with a rubber, and foul strike rule was put in place......MAJOR overhauls....some superstars managed to adjust well, some simply could not. Especially the pitchers who were superstars/mid career when 1893 rolled around....

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                          • #14
                            Sliding Billy Hamilton is one of my favorite players also, definitely my all time 19th century center fielder and lead-off batter. I am working on a new ranking system, but would guess the best Hamilton would place is top 50, and right around 50. I would have Cobb, Mays, Speaker, Mantle, DiMaggio, for sure above him as center fielders, probably Griffey, then not sure. Probably the best run scorer ever, still holds the record with 198, and his runs, walks and steals are phenomenal. But, only played 14 years, only 11 full seasons, and played in the highest run scoring era ever. Still, he was the best run scorer of that period.

                            I will have to get his book as well, all other 19th century baseball books I've read basically say he was short and stocky, but was much faster than he looked, and there are no anecdotes or stories about him. He just came to the park, got on base, stole a base, and scored a run.

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                            • #15
                              A very similar player from the (slightly more) modern era: Max Carey.

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