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Ty Cobb vs. Hank Aaron

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  • Ty Cobb vs. Hank Aaron

    Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron are two of the highest-ranked players of all-time. Ty Cobb held the record for most hits in a career, Hank Aaron held the mark for most home runs. Cobb, hit .366 with nearly 900 steals, Aaron had over 2,200 RBI and nearly 3,800 hits.

    But which one was better?
    20
    Hank Aaron
    20.00%
    4
    Ty Cobb
    80.00%
    16

  • #2
    Going by the stats, Ty Cobb. What would arguably give Aaron the edge is if you believe he played against stronger quality competition than Cobb.

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    • #3
      Don't know how to compare them, really. Two very different players from two very different eras.

      Ultimately, I give it to Ty Cobb. During his peak, he was undisputably considered the best player in the league. Aaron, even in his best day, was arguably second to Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, and Roberto Clemente.

      Of course, this doesn't mean Cobb was more talented than Aaron. It just means Aaron played in a league with better competition. Can you penalize him for that?
      Last edited by redban; 07-27-2012, 04:24 AM.

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      • #4
        Cobb was the dominant player in his league for a decade or more. Aaron while sublimely great, and maybe this is a point in his favor, was on a par with or a tick behind, Mays and Mantle and for a spell Musial, Williams and Snider. You could say Cobb only had Wagner, Lajoie and later Speaker or Jackson as peers but in every case 9 times out of 10 Cobb was better. That being said I probobably would have then ranked from 3-6 and 5-8 respectively so it is really splitting hairs.

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        • #5
          I take Cobb by a very small margin here. His positional value and exceptional baserunning allow him to sneak ahead of Aaron. I believe that Aaron has slightly more offensive value than Cobb, when factoring his power and his tougher era. But Cobb pulls ahead by a very small margin due to positional value. This is very close.

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          • #6
            Can't really see a case for Aaron. Cobb was a better hitter, with much more base running value, who played a more valuable position.

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            • #7
              I have Cobb as 3-4 alltime as a position player, and Aaron at 7-8. Close, but the edge to Cobb. He was so dominant for so long. He played a good CF, was a great baserunner. Aaron was a splendid player, too. His run of excellence was just about as long as Cobb's but at a slightly lower pitch. He may have been a slightly better RFer than Cobb was a CFer, but Cobb still gets a small edge due to position. Aaron was a fine baserunner the first dozen years of his career, but not as dominant as Cobb. Completely different eras, but Cobb's relative power- in his era- was close to Aaron's.

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              • #8
                Cobb lead all position players in his league in WAR 5 times and finished second 3 times and third 2 x.
                1st: 5
                1st or second: 8
                1-3: 10

                Aaron is actually quite comparable
                1st: 2
                1st or second: 8
                1-3: 13

                Cobb really lost his dominance with the live ball game. Do we penalize him because he was not as good in the more modern environment or praise him because he HAD to deal with changes in the game?

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                • #9
                  --I would say that his failure to adjust as well to the live ball as some of his contemporaries is at least a slight demerit for Cobb. OTOH when you have been the biggest star in the game for over a decade its pretty understandable that you would stick with what you'd been doing. Its not like he wasn't still quite successfull using the old style.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by leecemark View Post
                    --I would say that his failure to adjust as well to the live ball as some of his contemporaries is at least a slight demerit for Cobb. OTOH when you have been the biggest star in the game for over a decade its pretty understandable that you would stick with what you'd been doing. Its not like he wasn't still quite successfull using the old style.
                    Didn't he set a single-game record for most bases in AL history the one game he decided to abstain from his deadball-era offensive style and "swing for the fences"? Sample size is obviously awful, but still...

                    My vote is for Cobb. Mad intangibles considering his high intelligence.

                    "Were my goal to win one game, a masher I'd pick over the Georgian great. Given the PR nightmare he'd cause in the modern game, I don't doubt I'd take a bevy of other greats over the Peach had I the task of creating a roster given hypothetical 2012 temporal mastery. Still, never have I once considered Mr. Cobb inferior to any man who's had the chance to play the child's game."

                    - Tony La Russa
                    Last edited by wu-tang clan; 07-28-2012, 04:40 AM. Reason: Fixing minor late-night clerical errors; adding in trademark imposter quote
                    "Baseball is really fun"~ Joe Dimaggio
                    "I really like baseball"~ Babe Ruth
                    "Baseball is my favorite sport"~ Pete Rose

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