Who are Your Top 10 Position Players Ever?

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by Bogart, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Bogart He had a dream. A change is gonna come.

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    Pre-1920 pitching is not legit.

    Regular season in no order:


    Babe Ruth
    Barry Bonds
    Willie Mays
    Ty Cobb
    Rogers Hornsby
    Roger Clemens
    Hank Aaron
    Ted Williams
    Honus Wagner
    tie Tris Speaker/Stan Musial/Lou Gehrig
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  2. tony d Registered User

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    1. Willie Mays
    2. Babe Ruth
    3. Barry Bonds
    4. Ted Williams
    5. Ty Cobb
    6. Walter Johnson
    7. Lou Gehrig
    8. Honus Wagner
    9. Mickey Mantle
    10. Stan Musial
     
  3. Neutrinos Registered User

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    So, of baseball's top 10 players ever, only one of them was born within the last 90 years or so, and none within the last 55?
     
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  4. Crazy Cizikas Registered User

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    Yup. How can you actually vote for whose better between Tris Speaker and Honus Wagner? It’s just a stat review without any real observation.
     
  5. darko Registered User

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    What's wrong with that? Which player born in the last 55 years belongs in top-10?
     
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  6. Crazy Cizikas Registered User

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    Which players born before then have you seen? If you’re gonna create a list, at least limit it to players that any living person has seen. Or call it an anecdotal list of stories you’ve heard.
     
  7. Voight #winning

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    Ruth, Bonds, Aaron, Clemens, Cobb, Mays, Musial, Mantle, Williams and Henderson, in no particular order.

    Trout will be in this list by the time he retires.
     
  8. darko Registered User

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    Rickey Henderson is not a top-10 player come on
     
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  9. Neutrinos Registered User

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    They're basically even offensively, so when you take into account their positions, I really don't see the argument for Aaron over A-Rod

    With that said, Aaron had incredible longevity which helps his case as the greater player but, I tend to rank players based on which one I'd rather build around
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  10. Big Phil Registered User

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    Just doing a list with non-pitchers.....................

    Ruth
    Cobb
    Bonds
    Mays
    Williams
    Gehrig
    Aaron
    Musial
    Hornsby
    Wagner

    HM: Good chance Trout is here someday. Guys like A-Rod and Pujols come to mind as well, and while I like Mantle from a peak point, he was done by the time he was 33 and that hurts him on this list. Dimaggio would be a top 20 guy in my opinion, not top 10.

    Pitchers:
    Walter Johnson
    Clemens
    Grove
    Maddux
    Koufax (just incredible peak, hard to ignore)
    Randy Johnson
    Matthewson (why does everyone forget about him?)
    Carlton
    Seaver
    Pedro

    You could put a guy like Walter Johnson on an overall top 10 list for players and he doesn't stand out negatively. Maybe Clemens too.

    By the way, to the people saying there are too many players who weren't born in the last century, the truth is if there is a sport out of the major 4 in North America that has stayed pretty much the same in the last 100 years it is baseball. I don't doubt Ty Cobb wins batting titles in 2020 today as well.
     
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  11. DaaaaB's Registered User

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    These are pretty much what my lists would look like. I'd maybe switch out Carlton for Gibson or Spahn or old boy like Young/Alexander/Plank. I have no problem with Carlton being on the list tho.

    Satchel Paige may have been as good as any of these guys but hard to say since his prime was spent in the negro leagues.
     
  12. Quid Pro Clowe Registered User

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    He definitely has an argument as top-5 OFFENSIVE player of all time, but I wouldn't call him a top-10 hitter.
     
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  13. Big Phil Registered User

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    I thought of Gibson right off the bat. How can I leave Bob Gibson off the list? I guess because it is a really tough list. I like Mathewson on my list because everyone forgets about him. I still have no idea how Gibson with a 1.12 ERA went 22-9 in 1968. How on earth did that man lose 9 games? I realize runs are down around 1968 but even factoring that in it is still surprising.
     
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  14. Maestro84 Registered User

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    Hitters:
    1. Babe Ruth
    2. Willie Mays
    3. Barry Bonds
    4. Ted Williams
    5. Hank Aaron
    6. Ty Cobb
    7. Lou Gehrig
    8. Mickey Mantle
    9. Rogers Hornsby
    10. Honus Wagner

    Pitchers:
    1. Walter Johnson
    2. Cy Young
    3. Roger Clemens
    4. Randy Johnson
    5. Pedro Martinez
    6. Clayton Kershaw
    7. Christy Mathewson
    8. Sandy Koufax
    9. Greg Maddux
    10. Bob Gibson
     
  15. ChiTownPhilly Not Too Soft

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    Hitters:

    1. Babe Ruth
    2. Ted Williams
    3.Barry Bonds

    They're on a tier by themselves- and 4th place is a distant 4th. Now, I really don't particularly like Barry Bonds and his "better-living-through-chemistry" road-show. Still- his performance is manifest and measurable. He had Gehrig-like OPS numbers through 21 significant seasons. [Gehrig himself had 14 significant seasons.]

    4. Mickey Mantle
    5. Ty Cobb
    6. Willie Mays

    Here, I'll take Mantle's rate of performance over the quantity of performance from Cobb & Mays. Mantle's HR-rate is known- but perhaps not as known is that he had seasonal BAs over .300 more often than not, and a career On-Base-Percentage of .421.

    7. Oscar Charleston- is there any reason to believe Charleston was not at least in the area-code of Willie Mays as an offensive force? I don't think so.

    8. Honus Wagner... Honus Wagner's dominance over his NL peers in offense would be without parallel were it not for the fact that the young Ty Cobb was kind-of doing the same thing in the junior circuit.

    9. Lou Gehrig. Lou Gehrig v. Stan Musial is an interesting comparison. Musial was known as a BA king, led the league seven times, and had a career BA of .331. Gehrig was not known as a BA king, led the league in BA just once, and had a career BA of .340. Musial was sneaky powerful, had 475 career HRs, and had an HR% of 4.33. Gehrig was shadow-of-Ruth powerful, had 493 career HRs, and had an HR% of 6.16.

    The only thing Musial had over Gehrig was longevity- but then, most semi-sentient sports observers know why that happened.

    10. Rogers Hornsby. Damn- I guess I have to. The interesting thing about Hornsby is that just about ALL of his value as a player is as a hitter- because the statistical record, such as can be ascertained, show that he was a complete suck as a fielder. [And 2B is a horrible place to have a suck fielder!] Even though there are at least two, maybe three or more 2Bs I'd rather have on my all-time team, PLUS the fact that his reputation is that of an epic jerk, we ARE rating players as hitters- and he belongs.
    _________________________________________________________

    Addendum- supplemental: upon a nearly a week of reflection, I found it interesting that I allowed myself quick consideration of Oscar Charleston-- but not Josh Gibson. Why? I guess it's because it's commonly acknowledged that Charleston is a better ballplayer- at least, that's the conclusion of most people who study the matter carefully.

    Does that make him a better hitter, though? If you measure by rate, no. There's more to the evaluation than rate, however.

    Josh Gibson has greater name recognition than anyone occupying the unfortunate side of Segregated Ball, with the possible exception of Satchel Paige. We'll set aside the Ruth comparisons for now. It's enough to make the Charleston comparison- which is at least apples-to-apples. Gibson had better ratios in everything that matters- BA/SLG/OBP. But that's NOT the end of the assessment. Gibson was wrapped up as a Ballplayer at age 34, whereas Charleston soldiered along as a full-timer for another 4+ years. Thus, Gibson was spared a greater portion of the decline phase of a batter's career. What happens if we remove post age-34 years from Charleston, though? The BA & OBP percentages shift to nose Charleston ahead... but the (admittedly more important) SLG & OPS stats still favor Gibson... but the gap narrows considerably. What has to be calculated is that whether the +6% (to the nearest whole number) difference in through-age-34 OPS in favor of Gibson is worth the sacrifice of the 4+ years where Charleston "only" has a collective line of- BA=.318, OBP=.441, SLG=.529 & OPS=.970.

    I'm all right keeping Charleston where he is. Gibson deserves some consideration. Would I entertain him over Hornsby? Absolutely. Of course, I believe that Hornsby is a career tool-sack... but I shouldn't make the decision on emotion. Then how 'bout if I contrast Gibson to the more likeable and more inarguably heroic figure of Lou Gehrig? I think Gibson holds up quite well in that comparison, too. So- bye bye, Rajah...
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
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  16. ChiTownPhilly Not Too Soft

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    The pitching list's equivalent to Barry Bonds, in so many ways.
    One of two lonely mentions of Lefty Grove. Thank you. A Top-10 pitchers list that excludes Lefty Grove is a contribution that I would struggle to take seriously.
    All right, you have the biggest Johnson... but a couple of the other posters have brandished a longer-lasting and more highly-functioning Johnson.

    Since there's only a couple of mentions of Lefty Grove, AND only one mention of Cy Young (ffs) [among other glaring shortcomings], the Pitcher Lists presented here are generally quite dire.
     
  17. ChiTownPhilly Not Too Soft

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    Wow. One of these things sure ain't like the others...

    Great work mentioning Pete Alexander- but Plank isn't even the next best 'Ed.' [Not that the other one has any business being on a top-10 Pitchers List, either.]

    A Top-10 pitchers list without Cy Young or Grover Cleveland Alexander is just risible. Christy Mathewson seems to be remembered more than ol' Pete- but it's not difficult to construct the statistical case for Alexander as superior to Mathewson.

    Mathewson was voted into the Hall of Fame earlier- the inaugural class, even-- and that counts for something. However, it's important to remember the currents surrounding that reality. Christy Mathewson was a highly intelligent, clean-living Little-Ivy-college guy who served as the Cassandra to the possibility of a ghastly baseball corruption scandal, regrettably fulfilled by The Black Sox. He also died tragically- so added that increased sympathy to his legacy.

    Alexander, by contrast, was a life-long, intermittently dissolute alcoholic who never succeeded in getting himself clean-and-sober. It's also verified that he was epileptic- would take great pains to hide the epilepsy. (Understandable, considering the lessened medical enlightenment of those times.) On those occasions when his seizures were impossible to ignore, I wonder how many put them down to the DTs, rather than epilepsy?

    Judge by what they did on the field, though- and if you have Mathewson on your list, Alexander should be no worse than right there with him.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
  18. DaaaaB's Registered User

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    I don't think Plank is that far behind Young or Alexander. He has less wins, partly due to having less starts but his other numbers are comparable. As for Walsh, I don't disagree that he was better than Plank but he also had a short career with less than 200 wins. Koufax could've been left off the list for that reason too.
     
  19. ChiTownPhilly Not Too Soft

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    The Pitchers List- preview...

    Wow. Pitchers- particularly 6-10, is a tough task. Here's how I see it-

    There are five pitchers whom I consider to be completely non-negotiable. I've already mentioned three of them- Grove, Young, and Alexander. I'll understand if they're not in your top-5-- but I believe they must be in the Top-10.

    There are ten powerful candidates for the other 5 positions. A reasonable case may be made for any of these ten- but the remainder of the list should be filled out by someone in that grouping of ten.

    Among names already mentioned whom I believe to be NOT real candidates for a serious Top-10-pitchers list... Pedro Martinez, Plank, Walsh, Carlton*, and Kershaw. My #10 spot is a pitcher mentioned by no-one, yet- but (as I said) that spot could go to five other players and not have any of them look out-of-place.

    Thought's crossing my mind to have a go at this in "countdown" format...

    * Carlton: not the top LH pitcher in history. Not the top LH pitcher in National League history. Not the top LH pitcher in Philadelphia history. Not the top pitcher in Phillies history...
     
  20. ChiTownPhilly Not Too Soft

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    This is probably the best list submitted so far. [It has almost all the right names on it, anyhow.] If we're committed to ignoring all of Black Baseball prior to Jackie Robinson (as most are wont to do), it's a sound list. Hornsby over Mantle isn't a decision I'd make- but I suppose it's defensible (if just barely) if one uses a "career-value-über-alles" approach.
    I can't figure out the shape of a measuring stick that results in Tris Speaker being judged superior to Lou Gehrig, as an offensive player.
    You could make a case for Aaron as a superior offensive force to Musial. (I wouldn't, though. The skinny: Aaron's advantages: HRs & the fact that he didn't lose a prime year to Military Service. Musial's advantages: every other measurement that matters.) Even if one does find in favor of Aaron, I don't think one can justify Aaron in the top-5 and Musial outside the top-10, looking in.
     
  21. Big Phil Registered User

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    I would say for a season, 1956 is just about the best season someone had outside of say, Ruth or Williams up to that point. And this is Mantle at his best right there. Also, with the exception of perhaps one of the seasons of Bonds late in his career (steroid aided or not) it is probably the best season in the last 65 years.

    But yeah, there does have to be some longevity attached to it. Not like still playing like a superstar up until 33 is a bad thing (Mantle finished 2nd in MVP voting in his last great year in 1964) but when you compare him to other stars in history, he falls short, and that career value thing factors in.
     
  22. Miguel Cairo Registered User

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    Mantle was better in 1957 than he was in ‘56.
     
  23. Big Phil Registered User

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    Perhaps, but he won the Triple Crown in 1956.
     
  24. Miguel Cairo Registered User

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    A lot of winning the Triple Crown comes down to factors outside the players control. In fact I’d say most of the Triple Crown winners since 1900 had their best season in a year they didn’t win it. Mantle’s no exception. His 1956 is one of the ten or so best offensive seasons since baseball was integrated and maybe one of the five best since 1900 if you exclude Bonds, Williams, and Ruth seasons. He was just such a great player he was even better the next year.
     
  25. Big Phil Registered User

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    He sure was great in 1957. Good grief, you hate to say "what could have been" about a guy who cracked 536 home runs and won 7 World Series but if he took better care of himself and didn't have that injury in the 1951 World Series what could have been?
     

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