Originally Posted by MikeThierry
For me, part of it is about intangible things rather than actual stats. Clemente played in an era that was dominated by pitchers. To me, that has to account for something. Who was the best pitcher of the 80's? Jack Morris or Ryan? Clemente just faced so many more quality pitchers such as Gibson, Drysdale, and Koufax.
He had a higher career BA, OPS, SLG, and OPS+ than Henderson.
I also think that people are focusing too much on offense in this tournament. Clemente was clearly a superior defensive outfielder than Henderson, winning 12 Gold Gloves in his 18 year career.
I also think the Bill James Hall of Fame Monitor carries some weight to it and is a good judge of who is a hall of famer or not. Clemente has 230 points compared to Henderson 178. The Hall of Fame Monitor doesn't even take into account defense.
I personally like Henderson and I love his Ricky is Ricky mentality. I loved the fact that he had swagger on the base paths and at the plate. I just feel that if we are going with the overall package, its Clemente.
Still have to disagree with you. Clemente's career percent stats are aided by the fact that he, tragically, never experienced a major decline phase. Take Rickey's age 36-44 seasons out of the mix and I bet the numbers are more similar in SLG and OPS.
Let's compare their WARs. Clemente's 5 best: 8.4, 7.4, 7.3, 7.1 and 7.1. Rickey's 5 best: 10.0, 10.0, 8.6, 7.4, and 7.4. So, Rickey's 3rd best season is better than Clemente's 1st and Rickey's 5th best season is as good or better than all but Clemente's 1st. Rickey's 1st and 2nd best seasons were worth a combined 4.2 wins more than Clemente's.
I know the SB is overrated, but not when a guy steals 1406 bases at over an 80% clip. As Bill James wrote, "If you cut Rickey in half, you'd have 2 HOFers."