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Who Is the Greatest Postseason Performer of All Time

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  • Who Is the Greatest Postseason Performer of All Time

    One hitter and one pitcher. Only including players with a decent sample size.

    Hitter: Carlos Beltran over Babe Ruth by a hair. Very similar hitting-wise, but the 11 SB with 0 CS gives him the edge.

    Pitcher: Mariano Rivera. I can't think of anyone who would be close. As far as starting pitchers, I might have to go with Curt Schilling. I think what he did in his environment is even more impressive than Christy Mathewson or Bob Gibson, for example.

    Thoughts?
    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

  • #2
    Reggie Jackson is famous for his postseason heroics. However, he has some really extreme postseason splits.

    ALCS (45 G, 181 PA)
    .227/.298/.380

    World Series (27 G, 116 PA)
    .357/.457/.755
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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    • #3
      Good choices, Giambi.

      I still give Ruth a paperthin margin over Beltran. But either has been great. Ruth's hitting stats(when he wasn't busy pitching in the World Series; i.e, 1921 on) were .347/.500/.788, which is similar to Beltran's. But Ruth's were all in the World Series against pitchers that he really hadn't seen before. The clincher is the fact that Ruth really finished well. During his last 5 World Series, he smashed at least 2 HRs, batted .300+, and had an OPS of at least 1.200 in all 5. That's pretty consistent.

      For pitching, Rivera has competition from the following:

      Schilling 11-2, 2.23 ERA in 133.1 IP, and
      Smoltz, 15-4, 2.67 ERA in 209 IP

      I'll go with Smoltz and Ruth. You can have Beltran and Rivera. Both of us will be just fine.
      Last edited by pheasant; 11-29-2012, 11:45 AM.

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      • #4
        Speaking of World Series hitting, here's a list of players that have hit at least 2 HR in a World Series game more than once:


        Player----------------- # of 2+ HR games------------- #of 3+HR games
        Babe Ruth----------------- 4----------------------------- 2
        Lou Gehrig---------------- 2------------------------------ 0
        Duke Snyder-------------- 2------------------------------ 0
        Mickey Mantle------------ 2------------------------------ 0
        Willie Aikens-------------- 2------------------------------ 0
        Last edited by pheasant; 11-29-2012, 11:44 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pheasant View Post
          Speaking of World Series hitting, here's a list of players that have hit at least 2 HR in a World Series game more than once:


          Player----------------- # of 2+ HR games------------- #of 3+HR games
          Babe Ruth----------------- 4----------------------------- 2
          Lou Gehrig---------------- 2------------------------------ 0
          Duke Snyder-------------- 2------------------------------ 0
          Mickey Mantle------------ 2------------------------------ 0
          Willie Aikens-------------- 2------------------------------ 0
          Wow, that's a blast from the past. Willie Mays Aikens! The 1980 World Series is still one of my favorite World Series.
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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          • #6
            It's pretty unfair to give it to the more modern guys, with the 3 tier playoffs. Of course they will have a greater volume of stats.

            Batting I'll go Ruth, Gehrig, Beltran

            Pitching I can't pick a closer I'l go Gibson, Matthewson , Ford, Koufax

            Honorable mention LCS Steve Garvey WS Lou Brock
            This week's Giant

            #5 in games played as a Giant with 1721 , Bill Terry

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            • #7
              Originally posted by pheasant View Post
              Good choices, Giambi.

              I still give Ruth a paperthin margin over Beltran. But either has been great. Ruth's hitting stats(when he wasn't busy pitching in the World Series; i.e, 1921 on) were .347/.500/.788, which is similar to Beltran's. But Ruth's were all in the World Series against pitchers that he really hadn't seen before. The clincher is the fact that Ruth really finished well. During his last 5 World Series, he smashed at least 2 HRs, batted .300+, and had an OPS of at least 1.200 in all 5. That's pretty consistent.

              For pitching, Rivera has competition from the following:

              Schilling 11-2, 2.23 ERA in 133.1 IP, and
              Smoltz, 15-4, 2.67 ERA in 209 IP

              I'll go with Smoltz and Ruth. You can have Beltran and Rivera. Both of us will be just fine.
              I don't know. It gets boring saying Ruth all the time.

              I mean, he was 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA in 31 innings pitched, including a 29.2 consecutive scoreless innings streak that lasted over 40 years until Ford broke it. Why count that though?

              1922 is what kills Babe's overall numbers. McGraw ordered the Giants pitchers to throw nothing but slow curves out of the zone. He was smart because it frustrated Ruth. After a dreadful season, Babe was anxious to prove himself, and that over-aggression played into the Giants' hands.

              Jenkinson notes that Ruth was a bit unlucky, hitting a few balls very hard, just right at fielders, including a 450 footer to center field.

              In Creamer's book, he states that "The Giants 'book' on Yankee hitters appeared in print after the Series, and included the entry: During the series, Ruth saw three fast balls (off the plate) and nine curves. All his other pitches were offspeed junk. To the credit of the Giants, be it remembered, they pitched to him. He walked only twice."

              Hard to go against Beltran's numbers, I'm actually a fan of his and predicted (humbly just to my brother) that he'd have a great year in St. Louis. I'm wondering though, has he ever been THE FOCUS from the opponents pitching staff during post season play? I know in Houston he had Bagwell, Kent, Biggio and Berkman in the lineup with him. I dunno.

              Probably go with Rivera although I tend to favor starters. Numbers have shown (was it Bill James?) that a very high % of the time, you could bring in an average pitcher, and he would get the save. Probably Schilling now that I think about it.
              Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 11-29-2012, 09:40 PM.

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              • #8
                It's Ruth...

                Pitching 0.87 ERA at a time when the NL was at 2.68 and each time he faced the best scoring team from the NL.

                Batting an OPS of 1.211 when the NL was around .740, and against the best pitching staffs from the NL each year.


                Pitching: 29 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings.
                Batting: from 10/11/23 through 10/1/32: 23 games-103 PA: .421/.563/1.026/1.589 - 14 HR - 26 BB - 13 K

                I guess he didn't run the concession stand or mow the outfield grass, but I don't think they asked him.
                Last edited by drstrangelove; 11-29-2012, 11:00 PM.
                "It's better to look good, than be good."

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                • #9
                  Not the greatest postseason performer, but why does it seems that Dave Henderson always pops up in so many 80s postseason highlight reels?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                    Not the greatest postseason performer, but why does it seems that Dave Henderson always pops up in so many 80s postseason highlight reels?
                    I think he played in every world series from 1985 through 1992, with a different team every time.
                    Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                    Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                    Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                    Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                    Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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                    • #11
                      I can't consider Ruth for pitching. Way too few innings. Can't compare 31 IP and only 3 games pitched to guys with well over 100.
                      Last edited by GiambiJuice; 11-30-2012, 05:14 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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
                        I think he played in every world series from 1985 through 1992, with a different team every time.
                        Actually, Henderson appeared in the WS in 1986 with Boston, and 1988-1989-1990 with Oakland.

                        I met him last summer at the Hawkeye Grill in the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown. I was there having lunch with my wife and two of her aunts, Henderson was there for the annual HOF golf tournament. He was 53 at the time, and looked like he could still play.
                        They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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                        • #13
                          My favorite postseason player that I watched play was George Brett(excludes my hometown Twins). Brett seemed to have Gossage's number.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
                            I can't consider Ruth for pitching. Way too few innings. Can't compare 31 IP and only 3 games pitched to guys with well over 100.
                            I agree, too small a sample to consider Ruth for the pitching category.

                            We also can't pretend it never happened, so if one chooses to factor in his pitching underneath his overall postseason umbrella, that seems fair.

                            Babe never had any division series remember. If you only take Rivera's World Series innings, he's at 36.1 innings pitched. Just food for thought.

                            Ps. What do Rickey's postseason numbers look like?

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                            • #15
                              Beltran: arguably greatest postseason hitter in MLB history...and no WS rings. No WS trips either, right? Just shows you the uniqueness of baseball in the fact that the best players have such a limited chance to impact the game compared to the other sports. Imagine the best postseasons best NBA center or NHLs best postseason goalie with no rings.
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                              The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
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