Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Ty Cobb discussion

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
    I never tried to carefully quantify either man, but I'd say an incredibly fielding deadball era shortstop was much more valuable than a shortstop now. I'd also say center fielders in the deadball era were less valuable than center fielders now. I suspect Wagner's range made his whole infield better, and infielders were much more important than outfielders then. This would have to be a factor in determining Wagner's value.

    I also think lots of the opinions you list are of people that probably never had much chance to see Wagner in his prime. It would be interesting to focus on the people that had a chance to see both Wagner and Cobb. It must be remembered that Cobb was more... shall we say "ostentatious" than Wagner, and more recent in people's memories, so I'd have to consider such evidence carefully.
    All valid points, Mongoose. And thanks for the restrained, moderate tone, too. Much appreciated.

    Although the furthest thing from a stat man, I choose Cobb over Wagner for 2 main reasons.

    1. Cobb's OPS+ lead over him is 17 points, and that is against a tougher grade of competition.

    The salient question here, stat-wise is if Wagner's superior-quality glove can save as many runs as Ty's bat can generate. And I just can't see how that is possible. And that is why all good judges give 70% of one's case to hitting while only 30% to one's fielding.

    2. Ty had a better skill set than Honus did. Ty could hit significantly better, and against a tougher grade of pitching, and he also ran more disruptively.

    So, in BurgessLand, if you hit/run better, that's the old ballgame.

    If Ty's hitting lead was only very slightly marginal, it would be a different story. But a 17 point OPS+ lead is not just better by a nose. It is a very substantially, significantly better case.

    And please let me expound on their respective skill sets.

    A better glove doesn't overcome everything else.

    Cobb had many other skills. Hitting is actually a quite large set of skills all rolled into one category.

    In BA, Ty led Honus, and in the power dept., I'll give Honus a fairly good lead. Honus had to overcome 2 ballparks which suppressed his power numbers.

    In a modern context, I presume Honus would be good for 50 HRs in his best prime seasons, and give Cobb less than 40.

    I might be all wrong in my judgments, but this is how I see the comparison, and have been seeing it since around 1960.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
      All valid points, Mongoose. And thanks for the restrained, moderate tone, too. Much appreciated.

      Although the furthest thing from a stat man, I choose Cobb over Wagner for 2 main reasons.

      1. Cobb's OPS+ lead over him is 17 points, and that is against a tougher grade of competition.

      The salient question here, stat-wise is if Wagner's superior-quality glove can save as many runs as Ty's bat can generate. And I just can't see how that is possible. And that is why all good judges give 70% of one's case to hitting while only 30% to one's fielding.

      2. Ty had a better skill set than Honus did. Ty could hit significantly better, and against a tougher grade of pitching, and he also ran more disruptively.

      So, in BurgessLand, if you hit/run better, that's the old ballgame.

      If Ty's hitting lead was only very slightly marginal, it would be a different story. But a 17 point OPS+ lead is not just better by a nose. It is a very substantially, significantly better case.

      And please let me expound on their respective skill sets.

      A better glove doesn't overcome everything else.

      Cobb had many other skills. Hitting is actually a quite large set of skills all rolled into one category.

      In BA, Ty led Honus, and in the power dept., I'll give Honus a fairly good lead. Honus had to overcome 2 ballparks which suppressed his power numbers.

      In a modern context, I presume Honus would be good for 50 HRs in his best prime seasons, and give Cobb less than 40.

      I might be all wrong in my judgments, but this is how I see the comparison, and have been seeing it since around 1960.
      Given the active baserunning of the time and the extra number of balls hit on the ground, I wonder what stat could adequately measure the added value of an infielder like Wagner; a lot of his importance would be in making the infielders around him better, which doesn't show up in numbers.

      Cobb played in a more offense driven era and league than Wagner; as you mentioned, his home parks depressed his numbers. Also, a bit of the OPS+ gap could be a question of temperament. Wagner was the best player in his league by a vast margin. Some of the more sportsmanlike players of that time would sometimes do things in the name of sportsmanship that impacted negatively on their stats. For example Mathewson, when ahead in a game, was known to ease up on a slumping opponent if it didn't jeopardize his chance to win. I think Wagner was probably of a similar ethos. I read he once very grandly struck out against Victory Faust, for example (though that one might have just been an exhibition). Cobb played every out like it was life or death. Ultimately I don't think this is a big factor - but I figured I'd mention it; over a span of years it could make a statistical difference.

      BTW, Ed Barrow said Wagner would have been a 50hr guy in the lively ball era.
      Last edited by Mongoose; 12-28-2008, 02:33 PM.


      "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

      Comment


      • I also have Cobb ranked higher one spot higher than Wagner, but I do think Cobb's 17 pt OPS+ lead becomes less significant when you factor in that Wagner (IMO) had his SLG depressed by the conditions he played in more than Cobb did. I personally don't think Cobb was as far ahead of Wagner as their OPS+ stats show. I know Bill believes Cobb had quite a bit of power, but from what I've read I would give Wagner a significant edge in that category.

        Though ultimately Cobb appears to have been the better deadball era player, and been more valuable to his teams than Wagner. And since that was the era they primarly played in, I've got to give him the edge. But if they'd have started their careers in 1919, I think you can easily make the case that Wagner might have been the more valuable player.
        Last edited by mwiggins; 12-28-2008, 02:24 PM.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
          I also think lots of the opinions you list are of people that probably never had much chance to see Wagner in his prime. It would be interesting to focus on the people that had a chance to see both Wagner and Cobb. It must be remembered that Cobb was more... shall we say "ostentatious" than Wagner, and more recent in people's memories, so I'd have to consider such evidence carefully.
          Well, if you ever have the chance to give the Cobb Consensu more than a passing glance, you might be surprised to discover that a significant number of them did, in fact, have a very extended opportunity to watch Honus play in his prime, peak seasons.

          Many sports writer, many who actually played in the NL during Hans' prime. Where talking about the veterans. Anson, Hanlon, Richter, John Foster, Cy Young, Clark Griffith, ump Tom Connelly, Bill Dinneen, Sam Crane, Tim Murnane, Kid Gleason, Nap Rucker.

          But why take my word? I may be a big liar. Check it out.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
            Well, if you ever have the chance to give the Cobb Consensu more than a passing glance, you might be surprised to discover that a significant number of them did, in fact, have a very extended opportunity to watch Honus play in his prime, peak seasons.

            Many sports writer, many who actually played in the NL during Hans' prime. Where talking about the veterans. Anson, Hanlon, Richter, John Foster, Cy Young, Clark Griffith, ump Tom Connelly, Bill Dinneen, Sam Crane, Tim Murnane, Kid Gleason, Nap Rucker.

            But why take my word? I may be a big liar. Check it out.
            Nobody's calling you a big liar.


            "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

            Comment


            • For what it's worth, I have actually researched the question of who believed that Babe Ruth or Honus Wagner was the greatest ballplayer ever. And I also GIVE YOU THE ACTUAL QUOTES!

              The Babe Ruth Consensus---39 prominent baseball figures who supported Babe as the greatest ever.

              1. Bucky Harris
              2. Jimmie Foxx
              3. Rube Walberg
              4. Waite Hoyt
              5. Whitey Witt
              6. Earle Combs
              7. Red Ruffing
              8. Benny Bengough
              9. Doc Cramer
              10. George Ulhe
              11. Jimmie Reese
              12. Sam Rice
              13. Zack Wheat
              14. Franklin (Whitey) Lewis
              15. Frank (Buck) O'Neil
              16. John Kieran
              17. William O. McGeehan
              18. Frank Gibbons
              19. Grantland Rice
              20. Frank Graham
              21. Al Lopez
              22. Johnny Stone
              23. Westbrook Pegler
              24. Joe Vila
              25. Bill Slocum
              26. Christy Walsh
              27. Mark Roth
              28. Jimmy Cannon
              29. Bob Considine
              30. Herman Masin
              31. Ford Frick
              32. Marshall Hunt
              33. Si Goodfriend
              34. Ping Bodie
              35. Ivy Olson
              36. Mike Gazella
              37. Ralph (Pep) Young
              38. William J. (Bill) Lee
              39. Art B. McGinley

              The Honus Wagner Consensu---36 prominent baseball figures who supported Hans as the greatest ever.

              1. John J. McGraw
              2. Bill Klem
              3. Ed Barrow
              4. Branch Rickey
              5. Sam Crawford
              6. Miller Huggins
              7. John Gruber
              8. Bill (Deacon) McKechnie
              9. Fred Clarke
              10. Jimmy Burke
              11. Jimmy Sheckard
              12. George Moreland
              13. Barney Dreyfuss
              14. Mrs. Florence Dreyfuss
              15. John Tener
              16. Robert Emslie
              17. Michael Joseph Kelley
              18. George (Highpockets) Kelly
              19. Tommy Leach
              20. Edd Roush
              21. Heinie Peitz
              22. Babe Adams
              23. Bobby Byrne
              24. Johnny Evers
              25. Max Carey
              26. Orval Overall
              27. Billy Murray
              28. Bill McGoogan
              29. Jim Long
              30. Ralph Davis
              31. Lou Gehrig
              32. Braven Dyer
              33. Irwin Howe
              34. Albert Lang
              35. Bill Braucher
              36. Chief Meyers
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-28-2008, 02:56 PM.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                For what it's worth, I have actually researched the question of what believed that Babe Ruth or Honus Wagner was the greatest ballplayer ever. And I also GIVE YOU THE ACTUAL QUOTES!

                The Babe Ruth Consensus---39 prominent baseball figures who supported Hans as the greatest ever.

                1. Bucky Harris
                2. Jimmie Foxx
                3. Rube Walberg
                4. Waite Hoyt
                5. Whitey Witt
                6. Earle Combs
                7. Red Ruffing
                8. Benny Bengough
                9. Doc Cramer
                10. George Ulhe
                11. Jimmie Reese
                12. Sam Rice
                13. Zack Wheat
                14. Franklin (Whitey) Lewis
                15. Frank (Buck) O'Neil
                16. John Kieran
                17. William O. McGeehan
                18. Frank Gibbons
                19. Grantland Rice
                20. Frank Graham
                21. Al Lopez
                22. Johnny Stone
                23. Westbrook Pegler
                24. Joe Vila
                25. Bill Slocum
                26. Christy Walsh
                27. Mark Roth
                28. Jimmy Cannon
                29. Bob Considine
                30. Herman Masin
                31. Ford Frick
                32. Marshall Hunt
                33. Si Goodfriend
                34. Ping Bodie
                35. Ivy Olson
                36. Mike Gazella
                37. Ralph (Pep) Young
                38. William J. (Bill) Lee
                39. Art B. McGinley



                The Honus Wagner Consensu---36 prominent baseball figures who supported Hans as the greatest ever.

                1. John J. McGraw
                2. Bill Klem
                3. Ed Barrow
                4. Branch Rickey
                5. Sam Crawford
                6. Miller Huggins
                7. John Gruber
                8. Bill (Deacon) McKechnie
                9. Fred Clarke
                10. Jimmy Burke
                11. Jimmy Sheckard
                12. George Moreland
                13. Barney Dreyfuss
                14. Mrs. Florence Dreyfuss
                15. John Tener
                16. Robert Emslie
                17. Michael Joseph Kelley
                18. George (Highpockets) Kelly
                19. Tommy Leach
                20. Edd Roush
                21. Heinie Peitz
                22. Babe Adams
                23. Bobby Byrne
                24. Johnny Evers
                25. Max Carey
                26. Orval Overall
                27. Billy Murray
                28. Bill McGoogan
                29. Jim Long
                30. Ralph Davis
                31. Lou Gehrig
                32. Braven Dyer
                33. Irwin Howe
                34. Albert Lang
                35. Bill Braucher
                36. Chief Meyers
                The guys on the top list supported Hans?


                "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                  Nobody's calling you a big liar.
                  Oh, I know you weren't. I was just trying to get you to take a look at my Cobb Consensus. The research took about 10 years, and I'm extremely proud of it being so comprehensive.

                  I was once asked if I thought it 'proved anything'. And modesty made me say, "No."

                  But now I think it does. It proves Ty had the best skill set, and for people like me, that tips the balance. If Cobb had punk stats, it wouldn't have proven anything. But he had world-class stats, which makes it possible for opinion to tip the balance.

                  I realize this infuriates the Babe supporters. So, please no letters. I already know you disagree with my conclusions.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                    The guys on the top list supported Hans?
                    Darn it all! Will I ever stop committing dumb typos!

                    Please forgive me, Mongoose. I'm working furiously, pulling stuff from all over the place, via copy/paste, and making stupid mistakes.

                    Thanks for the heads up.

                    Of course the top list is of Babe's supporters, while the bottom list is for Honus.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                      Oh, I know you weren't. I was just trying to get you to take a look at my Cobb Consensus. The research took about 10 years, and I'm extremely proud of it being so comprehensive.

                      I was once asked if I thought it 'proved anything'. And modesty made me say, "No."

                      But now I think it does. It proves Ty had the best skill set, and for people like me, that tips the balance. If Cobb had punk stats, it wouldn't have proven anything. But he had world-class stats, which makes it possible for opinion to tip the balance.

                      I realize this infuriates the Babe supporters. So, please no letters. I already know you disagree with my conclusions.
                      McGraw, Barrow and Rickey might be the best judges of talent in history.

                      All support Wagner.


                      "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                        McGraw, Barrow and Rickey might be the best judges of talent in history.

                        All support Wagner.
                        Quite impressive, INDEED! And I, too, support Wagner. For my #2!

                        Please don't get the wrong impression of me, here, Mongoose. I love The Dutchman like no other save one.

                        Honus has been my #2 Greatest Ever since 1960 or so. I back off to no one in my love of his baseball greatness. How many others here rank him as high as me?? Few, I'll tell you that. And I know that Sultan is peeved with me to rank Honus over the Babe!

                        But like I said many times, Ty/Honus have been my twin Gods of the Game, Forever to be revered, since my childhood.

                        Comment


                        • For the record, John McGraw, Bill Klem, Ed Barrow, Branch Rickey, Sam Crawford, Miller Huggins, John Gruber, Bill McKechnie all supported Honus Wagner as the Greatest Ever.

                          And they also support Ty Cobb as the #2 Greatest Ever. Just thought you should know.
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-28-2008, 03:11 PM.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                            Oh, I know you weren't. I was just trying to get you to take a look at my Cobb Consensus. The research took about 10 years, and I'm extremely proud of it being so comprehensive.

                            I was once asked if I thought it 'proved anything'. And modesty made me say, "No."

                            But now I think it does. It proves Ty had the best skill set, and for people like me, that tips the balance. If Cobb had punk stats, it wouldn't have proven anything. But he had world-class stats, which makes it possible for opinion to tip the balance.

                            I realize this infuriates the Babe supporters. So, please no letters. I already know you disagree with my conclusions.
                            Speaking of Babe supporters, here comes one now. I'm sure you speak in general terms Bill.............the words, infuriates the Babe supporters.

                            First let me say this reply is not because I may be offended by the words. On the contrary as always you make a good case. Because I say Babe and you say Ty is not a problem at all. Thats what it's all about, weighing the skills, brand of play, value to the team and some other factors. Some place greater values on some of those factors than others.

                            I've said it more than a few times on this board and other boards, I'm a Babe man but I can certainly see others making a case for Ty.

                            And without reopening the case, I like the words I saw in one article some years ago on the subject of Ty and Babe. Don't recall much of it except that the author had some difficulty make a clear cut choice, ended by saying, how do you want to get beat........ by a cunning, cerebral daredevil opponent of great skill with the bat or one wielding a giant war club, pick your poison.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
                              Speaking of Babe supporters, here comes one now. I'm sure you speak in general terms Bill.............the words, infuriates the Babe supporters.

                              First let me say this reply is not because I may be offended by the words. On the contrary as always you make a good case. Because I say Babe and you say Ty is not a problem at all. Thats what it's all about, weighing the skills, brand of play, value to the team and some other factors. Some place greater values on some of those factors than others.

                              I've said it more than a few times on this board and other boards, I'm a Babe man but I can certainly see others making a case for Ty.

                              And without reopening the case, I like the words I saw in one article some years ago on the subject of Ty and Babe. Don't recall much of it except that the author had some difficulty make a clear cut choice, ended by saying, how do you want to get beat........ by a cunning, cerebral daredevil opponent of great skill with the bat or one wielding a giant war club, pick your poison.
                              Now this is the kind of post I like, Joe. Civil, respectful. This proves that members on opposite sides of a discussion can be the best of friends.

                              And for the benefit of Babe's supporters, I have consistently maintained that Babe was the greatest statistical player. Did Ty have a statistical case?

                              Yes, but not a very convincing one. His case is hypothetical. And based largely on historical opinions. Which in turn is based on skill sets, not stats.

                              See, everyone? Arguments are not necessary among us. We can disagree with civility and respect, and remain great baseball buddies!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                                Given the active baserunning of the time and the extra number of balls hit on the ground, I wonder what stat could adequately measure the added value of an infielder like Wagner; a lot of his importance would be in making the infielders around him better, which doesn't show up in numbers.
                                This is a very good point. It's nice to see some intelligent discussion return to this thread!!

                                Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                                Wagner was the best player in his league by a vast margin.
                                That's true, but the best players in Cobb's league were far better than Wagner's.

                                Lajoie
                                Speaker
                                Collins
                                Jackson
                                Ruth
                                Gehrig

                                Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                                For example Mathewson, when ahead in a game, was known to ease up on a slumping opponent if it didn't jeopardize his chance to win.
                                Very interesting....competitive benevolence. Where'd you read this about Matty?

                                Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                                BTW, Ed Barrow said Wagner would have been a 50hr guy in the lively ball era.
                                Wagner certainly was the premier power hitter of his league and era. Whether he was a greater slugger than Cobb is open to question; I'd say in According to Clem's Baseball, here are the dimensions for Exposition Park (Honus' home park till 1909).

                                Code:
                                LF  	LC  	CF  	RC  	RF
                                400  	461  	515  	439  	380
                                Absolutely brutal!!

                                Forbes Field (1909-17 for Honus) was about 320 down the LF line in Wagner's time. Pretty awful for lefties, but relatively speaking, actually not that bad for RH power hitters.
                                Attached Files

                                Comment

                                Ad Widget

                                Collapse
                                Working...
                                X