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Thread: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

  1. #1
    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    I watched a documentary about Mickey Mantle the other night. In his prime, was he the greatest centerfielder of all time? Junior? I'm curious what people think.

    What centerfielder, in his prime, was the best of all time?

    I know it's difficult to compare eras, but is there a general consensus of who was the best?
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    Off the top of my head, I'd go with Willie Mays. But, I never saw Joe D. and Ty Cobb dominated his era when baseball was much different. And, of course Tris Speaker and.....oh, never mind....

    You could check the Redszone HOF poll that Cyclone did. That might give you some idea....

    Rem

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    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    Willie Mays, no doubt.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    In his peak seasons of 1956-57 and 1961, Mickey Mantle was probably the greatest centerfielder of all time. For career value, or just for a longer number of prime years, I'd say the Willie Mays of 1954-66 was the greatest centerfielder ever.
    As usual, the contemporaries of Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio would probably pick "their guy" as the greatest ever, and it should be noted that DiMaggio, not Mantle or Mays, was voted baseball's greatest living player in 1969. DiMaggio was great, but when I look at their numbers Mantle in his peak seasons appears to be even better to me, and niether Mickey nor the Yankee Clipper sustained their greatness for as long as the Say Hey Kid.
    As for Cobb, his greatness is unquestioned, as is his racism and the fact he played a whites only game. I'd rather have Mantle or DiMaggio or Mays on my team.
    Tris Speaker was a terrific player, but everything I've read indicates that his contemporaries ranked him behind Cobb, and the statistics do not convince me otherwise.
    I would rank Ken Griffey Junior behind Mantle, Mays, DiMaggio, Cobb and Speaker.
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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    Ty Cobb
    Willie Mays
    Tris Speaker
    Mickey Mantle
    Oscar Charleston
    Joe DiMaggio
    Duke Snider
    Ken Griffey, Jr.
    Christobel Torriente
    Billy Hamilton

    That's my overall top 10 (Charleston and Torriente are Negro Leaguers).

    For peak value, it's very very close for me between Cobb and Mantle. They're very close in five year peak, Cobb has Mantle beat in a seven year peak, but Mantle has Cobb beat in a three year peak. People think of Cobb more as a longevity guy, but he had eight seasons with 40 or more win shares and four seasons with 45 or more win shares ... that's simply incredible.

    As far as greatest overall single season by a center fielder, solid arguments could likely be made for any of the following ...

    Ty Cobb - 1911
    Ty Cobb - 1915
    Ty Cobb - 1917
    Ty Cobb - 1910
    Ty Cobb - 1909

    Tris Speaker - 1912
    Tris Speaker - 1914

    Mickey Mantle - 1957
    Mickey Mantle - 1956
    Mickey Mantle - 1961
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    Say Hey



    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    Which year of Junior's career were his abilities at their zenith?
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    Mays was the best that I ever had the opportunity to watch.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    If Mays had played in Altanta and Aaron at Candlestick, Willie would be the HR king. Throw in the all-world defense and #24 gets the nod
    Never overlook the obvious

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    Member Cedric's Avatar
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    In my opinion Mantle, Cobb, Speaker, and Mays could all be argued and you couldn't be wrong. The most prestigious position in the sports history.
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  12. #11
    smells of rich mahogany deltachi8's Avatar
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    Willie, Mickey and the Duke.

    Just like that song, and the softball version that appeared on the Simpsons.
    Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

  13. #12
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    Willie led the Giants in Win Shares from 1955-1966 in each year he was number one, pretty good run.

    FWIW I'll say Richie Ashburne is the best fielding CF of all time.

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    Quote Originally Posted by gm
    If Mays had played in Altanta and Aaron at Candlestick, Willie would be the HR king. Throw in the all-world defense and #24 gets the nod
    Aaron played most of his prime with Milwaukee's County Stadium, not Atlanta, as his home park, and County Stadium was a tougher park in which to hit HRs than was Candlestick. Atlanta did greatly help Aaron after the Braves moved there in 1966, when Aaron was 32 years old.
    Hank did gain an advantage over Willie in that Mays missed almost two full seasons in 1952-53 because of military service, while Aaron never missed any seasons because of milkitary committments. Had Mays played full seasons in 1952-53, his career total for HRs would probably have been more in the range of 725 rather than 660.
    I do regard Mays as a greater player than Aaron. Their hitting stats are remarkably similar, but Willie was the better baserunner. In the field, Aaron was a good rightfielder; Mays was a very, very, very great centerfielder.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  15. #14
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    Mays played a decent SS as well. He used to do this at the All-Star Game.

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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: Greatest Centerfielder of all time

    Quote Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS
    Which year of Junior's career were his abilities at their zenith?
    Griffey's win shares per season ...

    1989 - 14
    1990 - 24
    1991 - 30
    1992 - 25
    1993 - 29
    1994 - 20 (strike-shortened ... adjusted for a full season is approx. 28 win shares)
    1995 - 9 (he was injured)
    1996 - 28
    1997 - 36
    1998 - 29
    1999 - 31
    ---------
    2000 - 24
    2001 - 14
    2002 - 5
    2003 - 6
    2004 - 16
    2005 - 22

    Total - 362 win shares (370 if you give him credit for the '94 strike).

    Obviously Griffey's missed significant time due to injuries during most of his Cincy years, but his rate of production in 2005 was up near what it was during most of his Seattle years. Griffey's best season was 1997, the year he hit 56 bombs and put up a line of .304/.382/.646 for a 1.028 OPS. His raw OPS in 1994 was higher at 1.076, but the league OPS was also 19 points higher in 1994 than it was in 1997.
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

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