PDA

View Full Version : Greatest Living Ballplayer



Team Clark
01-09-2007, 10:01 AM
I have not seen this posted before so I thought I would take a Poll on the Greatest Living Ballplayer. The current Pete Rose thread really got me thinking about who many would consider as the Greatest Living Ballplayer.

I would have to go with Aaron.

westofyou
01-09-2007, 10:05 AM
I have not seen this posted before so I thought I would take a Poll on the Greatest Living Ballplayer. The current Pete Rose thread really got me thinking about who many would consider as the Greatest Living Ballplayer.

I would have to go with Aaron.

Mays - Musial - Aaron - Koufax

Team Clark
01-09-2007, 10:09 AM
Mays - Musial - Aaron - Koufax

I was really torn between Mays and Aaron. Tomorrow I could pick Mays.

Team Clark
01-09-2007, 10:10 AM
I should have listed Junior. He was an All Century player after all. I'm not sure if you can edit a poll though...

edabbs44
01-09-2007, 10:16 AM
I went with Mays. Could hit and play an outstanding CF.

It's a tougher question for those of us who are a bit younger, as I've never seen him play live. Just going off of film and what I have heard.

Best of my day would be ARod for a position player and Maddux (longevity) or Pedro for a pitcher.

I don't want any steroid clouds around my players. :)

I'm shocked that you included Clemens and not Maddux. Maddux has been more consistent than Roger.

BRM
01-09-2007, 10:17 AM
Where's Tracy Jones?

I voted Mays.

redsmetz
01-09-2007, 10:20 AM
I was torn, but picked Stan Musial based only on seniority. Very close finish with Mays. Perhaps Stan because he knew when to go out, but again a very close finish. Hank Aaron belongs there too and Frankie Robinson gets an honorable mention nod.

PickOff
01-09-2007, 10:26 AM
I picked Bonds. I think he's a jerk and has been bad for the game, but steroids or no, he is the greatest living player, and the most feared hitter to boot.

Team Clark
01-09-2007, 10:26 AM
I went with Mays. Could hit and play an outstanding CF.

It's a tougher question for those of us who are a bit younger, as I've never seen him play live. Just going off of film and what I have heard.

Best of my day would be ARod for a position player and Maddux (longevity) or Pedro for a pitcher.

I don't want any steroid clouds around my players. :)

I'm shocked that you included Clemens and not Maddux. Maddux has been more consistent than Roger.


I struggled with that. That's why I left "other" as an option. For example, I only put I-Rod on because I had Bench on. There are easily 5 more names I could have added to the list. 30 was a good sampling.

Team Clark
01-09-2007, 10:27 AM
I was torn, but picked Stan Musial based only on seniority. Very close finish with Mays. Perhaps Stan because he knew when to go out, but again a very close finish. Hank Aaron belongs there too and Frankie Robinson gets an honorable mention nod.

Frank usually gets the shaft when it comes to these types of Polls and questions. He's the Greatest Living Underappreciated Ballplayer without question.

RedsManRick
01-09-2007, 10:35 AM
I voted Willy Mays but would have an inner circle including Aaron, Bench, ARod, Clemens, Morgan, Bonds (uggh), and Schmidt. It's hard to decide between the offensive players, so I tended towards those that were not just stellar offensively, but amongst the best defensively as well. I consider peak and career value very different things, and the best players had both. It's why I can't put Koufax in that inner circle. For pitchers, outside of ERA+, it's hard to be objective.

UKFlounder
01-09-2007, 10:55 AM
When I saw the title of the thread, my instinct said Aaron, so I went with him, though why I didn't think of Mays or Robbie, I dont' know.

I didn't see any of them play, but Aaron seems to me to have been a complete player, for a long time. I don't know if any one of those 3 is really wrong.

RedsBaron
01-09-2007, 10:58 AM
Frank usually gets the shaft when it comes to these types of Polls and questions. He's the Greatest Living Underappreciated Ballplayer without question.

I was thinking this morning about a list of underrated athletes. Bart Starr was the first football player I thought of, while Frank Robinson headed my list of baseball players.
As for the greatest living baseball player, I have to go with Willie Mays narrowly over Hank Aaron. I take Willie over Hank because when I compare them for hitting for average, hitting for power, getting on base, really everything involved in swinging the bat, I find it to be virtually a dead heat; Willie then gets the nod because I believe he outranks Hank as a baserunner and as a fielder.

MrCinatit
01-09-2007, 11:01 AM
Very tough choice. I chose other, going with a Red (of course) in Junior. Yeah, his Reds years have sucked, but during his prime, there was none better.
Mays and Aaron were close behind. A-Rod could move onto that list in a few years.
Pitching wise, Koufax, Clemmens, Gibby and Steve Carlton.

George Anderson
01-09-2007, 11:08 AM
If Willie Mays was playing in todays craker jack parks with the diluted pitching, he would have in excess of 800 home runs.Factor in his amazing defense and stolen base excellence and I dont see how it could be anyone but him. He was about as perfect a ballplayer as there ever was.

cumberlandreds
01-09-2007, 11:12 AM
If Willie Mays was playing in todays craker jack parks with the diluted pitching, he would have in excess of 800 home runs.Factor in his amazing defense and stolen base excellence and I dont see how it could be anyone but him. He was about as perfect a ballplayer as there ever was.

Remember too that Mays was taken out of NYC at his prime and placed in a wind tunnel called Candlestick Park. If he had played his entire career in NYC he would have most likely had over 800 home runs.

RANDY IN INDY
01-09-2007, 11:17 AM
Mays by a long shot, then Robinson and Aaron.

Jpup
01-09-2007, 11:33 AM
Bonds, of course.

thatcoolguy_22
01-09-2007, 12:09 PM
other- jim abbott

:)

Raisor
01-09-2007, 12:12 PM
It's Ted Williams.

They'll thaw him out eventually, and he'll still be the best player.

M2
01-09-2007, 12:18 PM
Hank Aaron, the man banged his way to the top of baseball's Olympus.

RedsManRick
01-09-2007, 12:37 PM
This thread raises the top of a different conversation -- longevity vs. peak. Does greatness refer to a single point in time? If not, what length of time is required to established greatness? And from the other direction, does being a very good player for a very long time make one great (ie. Eddie Murray)?

I think there are more shades of gray than perhaps we realize. On one end you have Sandy Koufax who was one of the best pitchers in the game, but only won 165 games. Murray hit over .500 career homers and drove in 1900 RBI, but only topped .900 OPS 5 times and spent 20% of his career DH'ing.

I'm not thinking specifically about HoF, but more along the lines of "So and so was one of the greatest _______"

RichRed
01-09-2007, 01:54 PM
Mays. He did everything at the highest level but pitch. And 660 HRs from a 180-pound body just amazes me every time I think about it.

Roy Tucker
01-09-2007, 02:13 PM
Just a nit, but when I think of "greatest living ballplayer", I generally think of a non-pitcher, at least with the current crop of players.

I think Koufax, Gibson, Clemens, et al were fabulous pitchers, but I can't put any of them above the guys I put at the top of this list, e.g. Mays, Aaron, Musial, etc.

Somewhat akin to the "can a pitcher be the MVP?" debate. Just how I view the world, YMMV.

RFS62
01-09-2007, 03:14 PM
Say hey to the greatest living ballplayer and the second greatest player of all time, living or dead.

dfs
01-09-2007, 03:19 PM
It's an interesting question. Let's look at the list. How many of these guys can legitmately say they were the best ever at there position? By my count that shorten's the list in order to...

Hank Aaron
Sandy Koufax
Barry Bonds
Stan Musial
Bob Gibson
Roger Clemens
A-Rod
Tom Seaver
Yogi Berra
Ernie Banks
Willie Mays
Frank Robinson
Johnny Bench
Steve Carlton
Mike Schmidt
Joe Morgan

Reorder by position and select the best.
Catcher
Yogi Berra Johnny Bench
It pains me as a reds fan, but Yogi gets the nod.

1st
Stan Musial
I put him here, so he wouldn't have to stand next to Bonds in left. I'll take Yogi over Musial.

2nd
Joe Morgan
It must be the homer in me, but I'll take little Joe over Yogi.

3rd
Mike Schmidt
It pains me, but Schmidt was better overall player than Joe.

short
A-Rod
Ernie Banks
I won't choose between the two. Career's too short to match Schmidt. IF A-rod keeps it up another 5 years, I'll grant him the nod.

Left
Barry Bonds
He was a devasting offensive weapon for a long time. I'll take Schmidt. You can argue with me if you want. Barry was never in it to get me to love him.

center
Willie Mays
Longer career to Willie. He played center. He hit better. I gotta give the nod here to Mays over Schmidt.

Right
Frank Robinson
Hank Aaron
Aaron was better than Robbie. Sorry, it's true. Mays and Aaron is tough.
Not a whit's difference in the quality of their hitting. I'll give the nod to Willie for playing Center.

Pitcher
Steve Carlton
Tom Seaver
Roger Clemens
Sandy Koufax

Koufax was great for too short a period of time and too much of his record is park and era illusion. If I'm going to pass on Bonds for being Bonds, I've pretty much gotta do the same thing for lefty. Put Seaver's career next to Clemens and I think you'll take Clemens 9 times out of 10.

Roger Clemens or Willie Mays? It's not an easy decision, but I'll take Clemens.

RANDY IN INDY
01-09-2007, 03:20 PM
Yogi Berra better than Bench? Not in my opinion.

Team Clark
01-09-2007, 03:23 PM
It's an interesting question. Let's look at the list. How many of these guys can legitmately say they were the best ever at there position? By my count that shorten's the list in order to...

Hank Aaron
Sandy Koufax
Barry Bonds
Stan Musial
Bob Gibson
Roger Clemens
A-Rod
Tom Seaver
Yogi Berra
Ernie Banks
Willie Mays
Frank Robinson
Johnny Bench
Steve Carlton
Mike Schmidt
Joe Morgan

Reorder by position and select the best.
Catcher
Yogi Berra Johnny Bench
It pains me as a reds fan, but Yogi gets the nod.

1st
Stan Musial
I put him here, so he wouldn't have to stand next to Bonds in left. I'll take Yogi over Musial.

2nd
Joe Morgan
It must be the homer in me, but I'll take little Joe over Yogi.

3rd
Mike Schmidt
It pains me, but Schmidt was better overall player than Joe.

short
A-Rod
Ernie Banks
I won't choose between the two. Career's too short to match Schmidt. IF A-rod keeps it up another 5 years, I'll grant him the nod.

Left
Barry Bonds
He was a devasting offensive weapon for a long time. I'll take Schmidt. You can argue with me if you want. Barry was never in it to get me to love him.

center
Willie Mays
Longer career to Willie. He played center. He hit better. I gotta give the nod here to Mays over Schmidt.

Right
Frank Robinson
Hank Aaron
Aaron was better than Robbie. Sorry, it's true. Mays and Aaron is tough.
Not a whit's difference in the quality of their hitting. I'll give the nod to Willie for playing Center.

Pitcher
Steve Carlton
Tom Seaver
Roger Clemens
Sandy Koufax

Koufax was great for too short a period of time and too much of his record is park and era illusion. If I'm going to pass on Bonds for being Bonds, I've pretty much gotta do the same thing for lefty. Put Seaver's career next to Clemens and I think you'll take Clemens 9 times out of 10.

Roger Clemens or Willie Mays? It's not an easy decision, but I'll take Clemens.

Pretty neat idea. I like that. If you could start a club with Mays and Clemens... you'd be of to a good start.

RANDY IN INDY
01-09-2007, 03:26 PM
Clemente is still very underated. He was one of the most exciting players to watch that I have ever seen.

Cyclone792
01-09-2007, 03:26 PM
My top 30 position players of all-time ... I've bolded living guys ...

1) Babe Ruth
2) Ty Cobb
3) Honus Wagner
4) Ted Williams
5) Barry Bonds
6) Willie Mays
7) Tris Speaker
8) Mickey Mantle
9) Stan Musial
10) Hank Aaron
11) Eddie Collins
12) Lou Gehrig
13) Rogers Hornsby
14) Joe Morgan
15) Mike Schmidt
16) Oscar Charleston
17) Josh Gibson
18) Mel Ott
19) Frank Robinson
20) Nap Lajoie
21) Rickey Henderson
22) Joe DiMaggio
23) Eddie Mathews
24) Johnny Bench
25) Jimmie Foxx
26) Pete Rose
27) Arky Vaughan
28) Alex Rodriguez
29) Joe Jackson
30) Yogi Berra

#5 is far from a popular choice, I know.

Yachtzee
01-09-2007, 04:32 PM
I voted for Joe Morgan in this poll, just to give him some love, because he was a great player. Of course I did this knowing Mays, Aaron and Musial would get much love. If I were voting for real, I would go with the "Say Hey Kid."

Goten
01-09-2007, 04:53 PM
Bonds, hands down. Numerically, he's 1 of the two greatest players ever - It's REALLY close between him and the Babe, and I could be swayed to pick either one.

Even prior to Steroids Bonds was better than everyone on the list - With probably the exception of Mays.

PickOff
01-09-2007, 05:18 PM
Left
Barry Bonds
He was a devasting offensive weapon for a long time. I'll take Schmidt. You can argue with me if you want. Barry was never in it to get me to love him.


Mike vs Barry:

Below are some relevant stats and awards through 2000 for Bonds and through 1987 for Schmidt, not including Mike's first year. This puts them both at 15 seasons and takes out Barry's superoid stage altogether. It also only uses Mike's top years. Per season stats, and plate appearance per stat are to the right.

Mike:

games: 2241
ab: 7780
pa: 9399
runs: 1433 / 95.53 / 6.56
hr: 529 / 35.27 / 17.77
rbi: 1502 / 100.13 / 6.26
sb: 171 / 11.4 / 54.96
bb: 1432 / 95.47 / 6.56
so: 1809 / 120.60 / 5.19
tb: 4181 / 278.73 / 2.25
ba: .269
obp: .384
slg: .537
adj ops+: 150
RC/27: 7.20

NL MVP: 3
Gold Glove: 10


Barry:

games: 2143
ab: 7456
pa: 9141
runs: 1584 / 105.6 / 5.77
hr: 494 / 32.93 / 18.50
rbi: 1405 / 93.67 / 6.51
sb: 471 / 31.4 / 19.41
bb: 1547 / 103 / 4.82
so: 1189 / 79.27 / 7.69
tb: 4228 / 281.87 / 2.16
ba: .289
obp: .418
slg: .567
adj ops+: 167
RC/27: 7.81

NL MVP: 3
Gold Glove: 8


You can draw your own conclusions, but even taking away Barry's best years, he is still superior to Schmidt. Marginally so, but superior, and he had more competition in the outfield for Gold Gloves. It is his SB that put him over the top vs. Mike more than anything, IMO. But it is also worth noting that while Bonds had a slightly lower HR rate, his slugging percentage was still higher.

Bonds leads in RC/27, adj OPS+, slg, obp, ba, tb, so, bb, sb, and runs.

Schmidt leads in HR and RBI.

Put back in 2001-2006 and a Barry/Mike comparison is not even warranted.

Edge: Bonds

George Anderson
01-09-2007, 05:25 PM
Yogi Berra better than Bench? Not in my opinion.

I agree. In fact I thought Campy was better than Yogi but not better than J.B.

cincinnati chili
01-10-2007, 12:47 AM
A-Rod or Bonds.

RedsBaron
01-10-2007, 06:56 AM
I can't see naming Barry Bonds alone as the game's greatest living player; I could see naming BALCO and its creature, Mr. Bonds, as a joint entry.

RFS62
01-10-2007, 07:10 AM
I can't see naming Barry Bonds alone as the game's greatest living player; I could see naming BALCO and its creature, Mr. Bonds, as a joint entry.




http://technolog.it.umn.edu/technolog/fall2002/film_yf.jpg

Bob Borkowski
01-10-2007, 09:05 AM
http://technolog.it.umn.edu/technolog/fall2002/film_yf.jpg



:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Good one, '62. You have provided my laugh for the morning. I am now ready for the day! :)

Gallen5862
01-10-2007, 09:29 AM
I voted Hank Aaron. This was tough between Him and Mays and Bench.

dfs
01-10-2007, 10:16 AM
Thanks for the comments all. Interesting that of all the complaints about what I wrote, nobody questioned the final decision to take the Rocket over Mays. In my mind that's probably the least comfortable choice I made.


I agree. In fact I thought Campy was better than Yogi but not better than J.B.

Well, for the sake of this argument, campy isn't alive. The decision about ranking campanella involves peak vs career and how much weight do you give the negro leagues and injury. I don't weigh heavily towards peak and I don't tend to give credit for what might have been, but if you want to that's cool.

The difference between Yogi and Bench is small enough that if you want to take the other one, I'm not going to disagree with you. Strangely enough , the argument for Bench is a bit more time at catcher. The argument for Yogi involves rings and awards. In the end, I'll still take Little Joe over any of the catchers.

As to Barry Bonds...I fully recognize the magnitude of Barry Bonds as an offensive player. I'll still take Schmidt. Maybe that's punitive, but it's a team game and there are guys I just don't want on my team.

PickOff
01-10-2007, 01:20 PM
I can't see naming Barry Bonds alone as the game's greatest living player; I could see naming BALCO and its creature, Mr. Bonds, as a joint entry.

It is easy for some to put into context Bonds' talent and accomplishments with his steroid use. For others the combination of his behavior and the steroid use renders Bond not worthy of consideration.

Mays (Career): Adj OPS+: 156
RC/27: 7.86
Plate Appereance/SB: 36.96
PA/HR: 18.93
PA/TB: 2.06
PA/R : 6.06

Bonds (through 2000): Adj OPS+: 167
RC/27: 7.81
PA/SB: 19.41
PA/HR: 18.50
PA/TB: 2.16
PA/R: 5.77

Mays was a better fielder, but Bonds was equally better if not more so on the basepaths. It is very close, when you take out 2001-2006 and then project his previous averages through five years. I'll take bonds speed and on base skills, even before his steroid explosion, over Mays' defense. I can see the other arguement, but Bonds has to be in it on the merits.

Always Red
01-10-2007, 01:40 PM
Frank usually gets the shaft when it comes to these types of Polls and questions. He's the Greatest Living Underappreciated Ballplayer without question.

amen, brother!

BoydsOfSummer
01-10-2007, 03:02 PM
Since Juan Castro was left off for unknown reasons, I went with Hank. Tough call between he and Willie.

My heart wants to vote John Lee Bench.