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Apples vs. oranges part II: Rickey Henderson vs. Eddie Mathews

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  • Apples vs. oranges part II: Rickey Henderson vs. Eddie Mathews

    Here's a battle of two different kinds of greats. One was a speed-demon outfielder, while the other was a slugging third baseman. Rickey Henderson stole over 1,400 bags in his career, scored over 2,200 runs and even hit nearly 300 dingers. Eddie Mathews hit 512 home runs, had over 1,400 RBI and posted a 143 OPS+ (to Henderson's 127). Mathews hit at least 40 home runs four times, Henderson stole at least 90 bases four times. Mathews had OPS of .800 or better 12 times, Henderson scored at least 100 runs 13 times.

    Two amazing players...but which one was better?
    Rickey Henderson
    Eddie Mathews

  • #2
    Interesting thread concept.

    I would take mathews because of his positional advantage and better hitting. on the other side of course henderson was a much better runner and had more time to ad career value over 3000 more PAs (which also shows in WAR). but I would still take mathews.

    had henderson played CF I would have probably changed my opinion but 3B is a big positional advantage over LF.
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.


    • #3
      Wow Cowtipper. You have stumped me here. This one is tough!

      After using league quality and basrunning, I have Henderson nudging ahead of Mathews by a paper-thin margin in offensive value. In additional, Henderson played MUCH longer. However, Mathews positional value nearly erases Henderson's advantages. This one can go either way. I will give Henderson the tiniest of all victories. I was going to flip a coin, but decided to use the most recent era as the tiebreaker.


      • #4
        Good matchup

        Mathews was an excellent player and until Schmidt and Brett had a legitimate claim as the game's all time best 3B

        He had two main strengths (besides being a LH power hitting 3B which is a tremendous asset) walks and home runs

        But Henderson was not only better at walks, he was a world class base runner, cleary way better than Mathews and therefore his lead in walks is even stronger

        I think Henderson also has a decided advantage as a fielder. Great OF coverage and could play CF or LF and won a GG.

        Henderson had 6 top ten MVP votes including a 1 and 2 and 3 in a 14 team league.

        Mathews had 4 top ten MVP votes including two 2's in mostly an 8 team league

        Henderson easily, though Mathews certainly has great value
        Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 10-10-2012, 04:28 PM.
        1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
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        • #5
          Rickey Henderson sez he is the best, despite Rickey's obvious respect for the great left handed Mike Schmidt of the Fifties. Rickey takes Rickey.


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