Who is better? Ruth, Williams … How about Ty Cobb?

BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,601 ✭✭✭✭✭

I gave this post a provocative title to get your attention, but there was a time when most baseball historians considered Ty Cobb to be the greatest all-time player. On this 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats card, he is described as “generally recognized by baseball historians as the greatest player of all time.”


At the time that this card was issued, Cobb held the most all-time records in baseball, even more than Babe Ruth. I think that it’s safe to say that Cobb’s lifetime batting average of .367 will never been beaten. Of course, baseball was different then, and if there is interest I’ll relate some stories to you about how different it was.

This generation of baseball chroniclers had a different perception of the game. They were most impressed by the “inside game” where tight pitching, batting average, stolen bases, hit and runs and strategy mattered more than clubbing the ball into the stands or out of the park. They were like my late father who was a boxing fan. He admired the pugilists who could jab, slip punches and throw well-timed counter blows. He had little use for “club fighters” whose main strategy was to knock their opponent out. For the Ty Cobb enthusiasts, Babe Ruth was “a club fighter.”

Among the modern players of his day, Cobb most admired Ted Williams. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that they both had volatile personalities, but the fact that both of them were great students of hitting also had something to do with it.

In 1936 Cobb received more votes to enter the Hall Fame. He was named on all but four ballots. The other players whom the baseball writers elected that year were Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.

BTW I have complete set of these 1961 Fleer cards. They served as my introduction to baseball history when I was kid. I collected all of them “back in the day” except the Grover Cleveland Alexander card, which was #1. I never picked up the right package of gum, I guess. Years later I was at one of the few baseball card shows I have even attended, and a dealer had that card, which I was more than happy to buy to complete the set.

Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
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Comments

  • DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 17,237 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would put Williams, Cobb, Mantle, Mays and a few others over Ruth. Ruth is the only one of this group that couldn't play in today's game.


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  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,601 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cobb would not have lasted very long in today's game. His racial attitudes would have gotten him in big trouble, and his aggressive play, sometimes with spikes flying, would have gotten him suspended.

    Here are a couple stories about how the game was played in the ‘teens. Germany Shafer was a teammate of Cobb’s who had a sense of humor and the ability to get under the opposing players’ skin. In a game circa 1912, he got on first base and promptly stole second. On the next pitch, he backtracked and “stole first.” Ultimately these shenanigans rattled the pitcher enough to get him off his game, and Detroit won the game. Still it’s unthinkable to that any player in the modern era would “steal” first from second base.

    In another instance Cobb took a sacrifice fly on an infield pop-up. Apparently, the player who caught the ball was so rattled by Cobb’s audacity, that he didn’t know what to do. In another incident, a player fired the ball to third after Cobb hit a single because he didn’t want Cobb to make get a triple on him. Cobb ended up on second base. Today the defenses are much better, and Cobb would never have gotten away with such antics.

    Here is a famous photo of Cobb "slding into home plate." How long do you think his suspension would be for this move?

    Cobb had a tremendous talent, but he played a brand of baseball that would not be tolerated today.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 17,237 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Coinstartled said:
    Cause he is dead. Otherwise he would be the star of any MLB team.

    LOL. He wouldn't hit today's pitching and you couldn't afford to play him on defense (way too slow). And he would be lucky to hit .250 and 20 HR's a year......if that!


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  • bigmarty58bigmarty58 Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭✭

    The evolution of baseball players conditioning, equipment, travel, and ball park dimensions over the past 130+ years makes a comparison difficult at best. But just talking baseball still feels great!

    Pancreatic Cancer Survivor (2011) "I will take the support I have had and try to pay it forward whenever I can" Enthusiastic collector of milled English coins.
  • CoinstartledCoinstartled Posts: 6,044 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 6, 2018 2:57PM

    @DIMEMAN said:

    @Coinstartled said:
    Cause he is dead. Otherwise he would be the star of any MLB team.

    LOL. He wouldn't hit today's pitching and you couldn't afford to play him on defense (way too slow). And he would be lucky to hit .250 and 20 HR's a year......if that!

    Last I checked, pitching was a defensive position. Ruth excelled.

    ""In the 1918 World Series, Babe Ruth pitched 29 1/3 scoreless innings, a mark that stood until 1961 when Whitey Ford finally broke it. ... In the four and a half seasons that Babe devoted to pitching, he amassed the following statistics: ERA – Earned Run Average (2.28 career): #1 in ERA in the American League (AL) in 1916.""

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,034 ✭✭✭

    @DIMEMAN said:

    @Coinstartled said:
    Cause he is dead. Otherwise he would be the star of any MLB team.

    LOL. He wouldn't hit today's pitching and you couldn't afford to play him on defense (way too slow). And he would be lucky to hit .250 and 20 HR's a year......if that!

    If he were playing today, Ruth would likely be at least relatively in-shape. And, when was in shape during his career, he was a very good athlete who could run. Even as late as 1930, Ruth had 9 triples in one season. He had 16 in 1921. The common image is of him being fat and waddly - the reality is he was in good shape for most of his career and hardly immobile.

    And, really, "too slow". Last I looked, David Ortiz, Prince Fielder, and Miguel Cabrera, among others, have all had long, productive careers despite being 3-second underdogs in a 100-yard dash race vs a statue.

  • JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 17,687 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:

    @DIMEMAN said:

    @Coinstartled said:
    Cause he is dead. Otherwise he would be the star of any MLB team.

    LOL. He wouldn't hit today's pitching and you couldn't afford to play him on defense (way too slow). And he would be lucky to hit .250 and 20 HR's a year......if that!

    If he were playing today, Ruth would likely be at least relatively in-shape. And, when was in shape during his career, he was a very good athlete who could run. Even as late as 1930, Ruth had 9 triples in one season. He had 16 in 1921. The common image is of him being fat and waddly - the reality is he was in good shape for most of his career and hardly immobile.

    And, really, "too slow". Last I looked, David Ortiz, Prince Fielder, and Miguel Cabrera, among others, have all had long, productive careers despite being 3-second underdogs in a 100-yard dash race vs a statue.

    Indeed

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  • DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 17,237 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Coinstartled said:

    @DIMEMAN said:

    @Coinstartled said:
    Cause he is dead. Otherwise he would be the star of any MLB team.

    LOL. He wouldn't hit today's pitching and you couldn't afford to play him on defense (way too slow). And he would be lucky to hit .250 and 20 HR's a year......if that!

    Last I checked, pitching was a defensive position. Ruth excelled.

    ""In the 1918 World Series, Babe Ruth pitched 29 1/3 scoreless innings, a mark that stood until 1961 when Whitey Ford finally broke it. ... In the four and a half seasons that Babe devoted to pitching, he amassed the following statistics: ERA – Earned Run Average (2.28 career): #1 in ERA in the American League (AL) in 1916.""

    Do you really think he would fair that good against today's hitters........NOT!!!! They would eat him up!


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  • CoinstartledCoinstartled Posts: 6,044 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DIMEMAN said:

    @Coinstartled said:

    @DIMEMAN said:

    @Coinstartled said:
    Cause he is dead. Otherwise he would be the star of any MLB team.

    LOL. He wouldn't hit today's pitching and you couldn't afford to play him on defense (way too slow). And he would be lucky to hit .250 and 20 HR's a year......if that!

    Last I checked, pitching was a defensive position. Ruth excelled.

    ""In the 1918 World Series, Babe Ruth pitched 29 1/3 scoreless innings, a mark that stood until 1961 when Whitey Ford finally broke it. ... In the four and a half seasons that Babe devoted to pitching, he amassed the following statistics: ERA – Earned Run Average (2.28 career): #1 in ERA in the American League (AL) in 1916.""

    Do you really think he would fair that good against today's hitters........NOT!!!! They would eat him up!

    Dimeman, this forum cannot agree on whether Tiger is better than Jack , Brady is better than Montana or commie LeBron vs MJ.

    To pull all stars from the last century and try to compare them is of course an endeavor of fools. That has never stood in our way. Do I expect Ruth to morph into 2018 unblemished and strike out the Red Sox 18 times? No.

    Give him a spring training, wholesome food and ration his booze and yes, he is a Cy Young contender.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 20,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Coinstartled said:

    @DIMEMAN said:

    @Coinstartled said:
    Cause he is dead. Otherwise he would be the star of any MLB team.

    LOL. He wouldn't hit today's pitching and you couldn't afford to play him on defense (way too slow). And he would be lucky to hit .250 and 20 HR's a year......if that!

    Last I checked, pitching was a defensive position. Ruth excelled.

    ""In the 1918 World Series, Babe Ruth pitched 29 1/3 scoreless innings, a mark that stood until 1961 when Whitey Ford finally broke it. ... In the four and a half seasons that Babe devoted to pitching, he amassed the following statistics: ERA – Earned Run Average (2.28 career): #1 in ERA in the American League (AL) in 1916.""

    Babe Ruth is clearly the greatest baseball player of all time, and it shouldn't be debatable.

    His great pitching that you mention, cannot be ignored when discussing greatest players.

    Another factor of greatness which although it has nothing to do with statistics, however I do believe is of overall great importance, and that is Ruth was probably the greatest goodwill ambassador ever to the game of baseball.

    An example, i once knew an old man who was a retired high school principal, wasn't prone to exaggeration, and he was a huge baseball fan. As a kid, going to Philadelphia A's games, he said that Ruth would walk into the ball park and sign an autograph for every single kid who wanted one, always with a smile and happy to chat about the game.

    I saw the old man's autograph collection - dozens of Babe Ruth autographs as well as a number of other Hall of Famers. But he had considerably more Ruth autographs than from even the A's players. Three shoe boxes, filled to the brim with MLB player autographs on plain white paper - just astonishing.

  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭

    Ty Cobb was great, and if someone wants to throw his name in the ring for greatest ever I have no objection. What I see is a career that overlapped with Wagner's at the front end and Ruth's at the back end and loses to both of them. But Cobb doesn't lose by that much, and he deserves his place at the table.

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  • markj111markj111 Posts: 2,787 ✭✭✭

    Of course Ruth is the greatest baseball player of all time. To argue otherwise is silly.

  • DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 17,237 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @markj111 said:
    Of course Ruth is the greatest baseball player of all time. To argue otherwise is silly.

    Totally disagree........Willie Mays is better all around.


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  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 4,259 ✭✭✭

    Here's a story about how players MIGHT do playing in a different era;

    When Ted Williams was managing the Senators, they played a game in Boston. There happened to be some kind of "old timers" thing going on that Ted had refused to participate in.

    I can't remember which Senator player told the story but it goes something like this; "The Boston crowd began to chant "we want Ted, we want Ted" Williams started getting angry and said (Insert much swearing here) "They want me ok I'll hit". Ted threw off his warm up jacket and stepped up to the plate, gesturing to the pitcher to give him his best stuff. What followed was what the Senators player described as "the most amazing hitting performance he saw in his entire career", line drives crushed all over the field. When Ted was done he tossed the bat aside and stormed off the field. The player couldn't believe a 50 year old ex player could do it.

    First off, trying to say what one guy would do in a different era is beyond idiotic. Second, to assume Babe Ruth (or Jim Brown) would simply be plucked out of their time and brought forward is even more incredibly moronic. Ty Cobb was a racist, but guess what, so was just about everyone else, of course he would have to change his attitudes and style of play. He might not have hit .400 several times but I would think he would be one of the top hitters in the league, maybe lower BA and more HR.

    No way to prove anyone's opinion, but mine is that all of these players were dominant playing against the best talent there was and they would do VERY well in any era.

    AND BABE RUTH WAS NOT "FAT AND SLOW" FOR HIS ENTIRE CAREER!!!!!!

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  • ebaytraderebaytrader Posts: 3,322 ✭✭✭
    edited August 8, 2018 6:11AM

    @DIMEMAN said:

    @markj111 said:
    Of course Ruth is the greatest baseball player of all time. To argue otherwise is silly.

    Totally disagree........Willie Mays is better all around.

    The best 5 tool player? Yeah, probably.

  • ebaytraderebaytrader Posts: 3,322 ✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:
    Cobb would not have lasted very long in today's game. His racial attitudes would have gotten him in big trouble, and his aggressive play, sometimes with spikes flying, would have gotten him suspended.

    The racist claims about him are single sourced from a book and thoroughly debunked.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 4,259 ✭✭✭

    Most of you should skip this, unless you are a Teddy Ballgame guy. I found the story, and while I got it close to being correct, thought I would post it as written by the author.

    Note; Lee Stange's final year pitching in majors was 1970. "The Colonol" was a sportswriter from Boston who Ted hated. Rich Billings and Tom Grieve played for the Senators and Rangers while Williams was manager.

    From the book "Ted Williams" by Leigh Montville (GREAT read).

    A home run hitting contest between radio personalities and retired ballplayers was held before the Rangers game with the Red Sox. An announcement in the press box had said Williams would not be part of it, but the fans started chanting "We want Ted, we want Ted..."

    The Rangers players watched their manager. He was wearing the blue zipper jacket to cover his big stomach. He was muttering.
    "you want me to hit you ##%&%#?" he said. "You ##%&%#, ##%&%#. ##%&%#. You want me? I'll show these ##%&%#.
    "Why don't you wave to them?" someone suggested.
    "I'm gonna ##%&%# hit" Williams said grabbing a bat from the bat rack.
    The bat didn't feel right. Grabbed another. Didn't feel right.
    "Anyone here got a W-183?" he shouted.
    Tom Grieve used a W-183 Louisville Slugger. He suddenly realized-why hadn't he thought of it before?-that the "W" meant Williams. He used a Ted Williams bat. He handed it to his manager.
    "Yeah this will do the job" Williams said.

    He marched towards the plate with Grieve's W-183 as the crowd went wild. His players, caught in the last place woes of their situation had never heard this kind of ovation. They also had never seen the look on the face of their manager that he had now. What was it? Determination? That was an understatement. He ripped off the blue jacket on the way, never stopped, threw it on the ground, cursing with each step. He stood at the plate. All the old demons had returned. Same place. All over again. The Colonol could have been typing in the press box.

    Red Sox coach Lee "Stinger" Stange was the pitcher. He threw a couple of lollipops towards the plate. Williams let them go past, stepped back and made a motion to Stange that translated to "Bring it, come on willya?" Stange threw the next pitch with speed.

    Williams sent it back at him with faster speed. A liner. Next pitch? Another liner. Next pitch? Next? Next?

    "It was the most electrifying thing I've ever seen in my life," Rich Billings says, "He hit line drive after line drive. He hit them every where. He hit them off the wall. He hit a home run that was just foul. Everything was a shot. Guys in the dugout were just looking at each other. Staring. How old was he?"

    The date was August 25 1972. He was 5 days short of his 54th birthday.

    "The players were just stunned" Grieve says. "Most of them, in their hearts, were hoping he'd look foolish, maybe whiff on a bunch of balls. The old thing...yeah, Well maybe it isn't as easy to do as you say it is. To see him do that."

    "You would have though he was 22," Billings says. "I never have seen a batting practice exhibition like that from anyone of any age. Had he been taking batting practice in secret getting ready for this? Or did he just step up there and do it? No one knew."

    Ten swings, maybe 15 and Williams was done. He came back through the cheers, threw the W-183 bat down, and stormed back into the runway toward the club house and his office. He never said anything to his players about the moment, and they never said anything to him.

    You want me to hit? Ok I'll hit.

    I don't know if this has any other meaning, but I thought you guys might enjoy reading it as written. Brings a smile to my face.

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  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,601 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 8, 2018 8:50AM

    @ebaytrader said:

    @BillJones said:
    Cobb would not have lasted very long in today's game. His racial attitudes would have gotten him in big trouble, and his aggressive play, sometimes with spikes flying, would have gotten him suspended.

    The racist claims about him are single sourced from a book and thoroughly debunked.

    I have read that Cobb went to Negro League games and even sat in the dugout. I've also read that he said that Africa-American players should get their shot in the big leagues. Still, I have read, however, that he made some disparaging remarks about Willie Mays' abilities in the 1950s which seems out character with his other actions if he really did those comments about African- Americans in the big leagues.

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  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 4,259 ✭✭✭

    @dallasactuary said:
    Ty Cobb was great, and if someone wants to throw his name in the ring for greatest ever I have no objection. What I see is a career that overlapped with Wagner's at the front end and Ruth's at the back end and loses to both of them. But Cobb doesn't lose by that much, and he deserves his place at the table.

    Yes Cobb's offensive WAR is #2 all-time.

    Question(s) for you; is Williams' offensive WAR below both Mays and Aaron's because of fewer years played? Mays' 1964 and 1965 was "better" than Ted's 1941 in offensive WAR!?!?!?!?!?!? Replacement players must have sucked in the mid 1960's.

    Seems like offensive WAR is NOT a good stat to compare two hitters in different eras?

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  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:
    Question(s) for you; is Williams' offensive WAR below both Mays and Aaron's because of fewer years played? Mays' 1964 and 1965 was "better" than Ted's 1941 in offensive WAR!?!?!?!?!?!? Replacement players must have sucked in the mid 1960's.

    Seems like offensive WAR is NOT a good stat to compare two hitters in different eras?

    Yes, Williams career WAR is less than Aaron and Mays because he didn't play as long; his WAR rate is higher than both.

    With respect to Williams '41 vs. Mays '64 / '65, Williams offensive WAR is higher; you are probably looking at total WAR. Defensive WAR is more or less a random number, so total WAR is very unreliable, but Mays' 1965 season was better, IMO, than Williams 1941 season, and his 1964 season was worse.

    dallasactuary

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  • DarinDarin Posts: 2,928 ✭✭✭

    Really Dallas? Ted's OBP of .553 not good enough to beat out Mays' 1965 season.
    I could possibly see it if Mays' had stolen a lot of bases or something, but he only stole 9.
    Mays had a good year, but I think now you're probably trying to over prove your point
    that batting average means nothing to you.
    You can't tell me Mays' defense at 34 years of age is enough to say he had a better year
    than the last time anyone hit over .400, Williams in 1941.
    May have to redo my sigline after your latest post, you have officially lost it.

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  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 4,259 ✭✭✭

    @dallasactuary said:

    @JoeBanzai said:
    Question(s) for you; is Williams' offensive WAR below both Mays and Aaron's because of fewer years played? Mays' 1964 and 1965 was "better" than Ted's 1941 in offensive WAR!?!?!?!?!?!? Replacement players must have sucked in the mid 1960's.

    Seems like offensive WAR is NOT a good stat to compare two hitters in different eras?

    Yes, Williams career WAR is less than Aaron and Mays because he didn't play as long; his WAR rate is higher than both.

    With respect to Williams '41 vs. Mays '64 / '65, Williams offensive WAR is higher; you are probably looking at total WAR. Defensive WAR is more or less a random number, so total WAR is very unreliable, but Mays' 1965 season was better, IMO, than Williams 1941 season, and his 1964 season was worse.

    Yes, I was looking at regular WAR for Mays. I don't agree that Mays' 65 was better than Ted's 41 from an offensive standpoint.

    It's been said many times, I would love to have seen the numbers Williams would have put up with out the years he missed!

    Career WAR totals are then a bad way of comparing players. There should be (prolly already is) an average WAR number that doesn't inflate the guys who hung around to pad the stats, even if they were still average or above average players.

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  • DarinDarin Posts: 2,928 ✭✭✭
    edited August 8, 2018 7:11PM

    Joe- Dallas is just trying to prove a point that batting average means nothing to him, but
    he's gone off the deep end this time. Who in the hell gets on base 55.3 percent of the time, I'm
    surprised Mr. Ballgame didn't drop from exhaustion before the 41 season was over.

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  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:
    Yes, I was looking at regular WAR for Mays. I don't agree that Mays' 65 was better than Ted's 41 from an offensive standpoint.

    It wasn't; Williams' offense was better. But not by enough that Mays' defense doesn't make up the difference.

    Any comparison between Williams and Mays has to include the enormous difference between 1941 AL (4.74 runs per game) and 1965 NL (4.03) in terms of offense. It was simply harder - almost 20% harder - for Mays to produce a run than for Williams to produce a run. You can ignore that, and declare Chuck Klein an all-time great (Tony Oliva was a LOT better), or you can give it the attention it deserves. The offensive difference between Williams '41 and Mays '65 is not large. As for the better overall season, we're comparing a man who played in the smallest slice of the outfield in MLB, and played it poorly, to a man who played in the the largest slice of outfield in MLB, and played it exceptionally well. Defensive value isn't nearly as much as offensive value for either of them, but the gap in defensive value is massive.

    dallasactuary

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  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 17,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @markj111 said:
    Of course Ruth is the greatest baseball player of all time. To argue otherwise is silly.

    Mark, I know you are a smart baseball guy but sometimes being too smart leaves very little room for common sense, I think you might fall into that category. To just say there is no argument to Babe Ruth being the greatest ever is just silly.

  • JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 17,687 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 8, 2018 8:41PM

    @perkdog said:

    @markj111 said:
    Of course Ruth is the greatest baseball player of all time. To argue otherwise is silly.

    Mark, I know you are a smart baseball guy but sometimes being too smart leaves very little room for common sense, I think you might fall into that category. To just say there is no argument to Babe Ruth being the greatest ever is just silly.

    I read that as him facetious and him taking a friendly shot at others. A lot of posters here try to end a debate by saying, “ there can be no arguement” or “ that everyone knows” something. Or the timeless classic, “ Most football fans feel this way or most Americans think the same way to justify a point with zero proof nor chance of proof. Like any of that means anything. If anything it weakens ones “arguement”. Whenever, someone types that stuff I cringe. I think he was playing.

    For the record I agree that Babe Ruth was the greatest ever

    m

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  • stevekstevek Posts: 20,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Justacommeman said:

    @perkdog said:

    @markj111 said:
    Of course Ruth is the greatest baseball player of all time. To argue otherwise is silly.

    Mark, I know you are a smart baseball guy but sometimes being too smart leaves very little room for common sense, I think you might fall into that category. To just say there is no argument to Babe Ruth being the greatest ever is just silly.

    I read that as him facetious and him taking a friendly shot at others. A lot of posters here try to end a debate by saying, “ there can be no arguement” or “ that everyone knows” something. Like that means anything. If anything it weakens ones “arguement”. Whenever, someone types that stuff I cringe. I think he was playing.

    For the record I agree that Babe Ruth was the greatest ever

    m

    Of course Babe Ruth is the GOAT. We all know that.

    Boston area fans are still hissed off that Ruth was basically given away to the Yankees, and they just can't get over it almost 100 years later. Their descendants 100 years from now will likely be pouting about the same damn thing.

    Even though the "Curse of the Bambino" was lifted in 2004 because the Red Sox opened up their checkbook to buy enough mercenaries, their fans still won't admit the fact that Babe Ruth is the greatest of all time, and I think he probably still will be 100 years from now.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 17,278 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 9, 2018 2:01AM

    @Justacommeman said:

    @perkdog said:

    @markj111 said:
    Of course Ruth is the greatest baseball player of all time. To argue otherwise is silly.

    Mark, I know you are a smart baseball guy but sometimes being too smart leaves very little room for common sense, I think you might fall into that category. To just say there is no argument to Babe Ruth being the greatest ever is just silly.

    I read that as him facetious and him taking a friendly shot at others. A lot of posters here try to end a debate by saying, “ there can be no arguement” or “ that everyone knows” something. Or the timeless classic, “ Most football fans feel this way or most Americans think the same way to justify a point with zero proof nor chance of proof. Like any of that means anything. If anything it weakens ones “arguement”. Whenever, someone types that stuff I cringe. I think he was playing.

    For the record I agree that Babe Ruth was the greatest ever

    m

    That’s fine Mark I can appreciate your post. I’ve been around longer than most here and am well versed on who’s who. I look at the Babe Ruth comments and don’t agree, I look at him as the Jim Brown of Baseball, definitively an iconic all time great without question I just think that there is some sort of legend or hero trait that follows him and he gets that “Greatest ever” tag too quickly

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,601 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Babe Ruth revolutionized baseball and saved at it, after the Black Sox scandal, at the same time. He combined power and batting average and was even a great pitcher. No one else has ever done that. It's not his fault that he left Boston. Blame Harry Frazee, who was a disreputable sports team owner, one of many, I might add.

    Ruth holds a special place in baseball history, and no one, who doesn't have an ax to grind, can deny that. As for how good he was relative to players from other eras, that is an argument that can never be settled. Like any other historical figure, it's hard and often unfair to take them out of context of their times.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • stevekstevek Posts: 20,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    <<< and saved at it, after the Black Sox scandal >>>

    This fact cannot be ignored when discussing GOAT, not that Ruth even needs it to be the GOAT, he'd be the GOAT anyway. However this fact simply puts even more distance between him at #1, and Ted Williams at #2.

    If Ted Williams was never born, MLB would be in the exact same position as it is today.

    If Babe Ruth was never born, we might be discussing here at Sports Talk about how our favorite Major League Cricket team is doing. ;)

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 17,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

  • stevekstevek Posts: 20,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @perkdog said:
    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

    I'll make note of that...Paul doesn't particularly like the "It's a Wonderful Life" analogies. ;)

  • stevekstevek Posts: 20,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    BTW Paul, in case you aren't aware of it. There are weekly meetings all throughout the Boston area where Red Sox fans can attend, stand up and shout as loud as they want something like, "Oh my gosh, we messed up, we traded away the GOAT!"

    Expletives are permitted if the participants choose to do that.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 17,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:
    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

    I'll make note of that...Paul doesn't particularly like the "It's a Wonderful Life" analogies. ;)

    That’s one of my favorite movies actually :*

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 17,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:
    BTW Paul, in case you aren't aware of it. There are weekly meetings all throughout the Boston area where Red Sox fans can attend, stand up and shout as loud as they want something like, "Oh my gosh, we messed up, we traded away the GOAT!"

    Expletives are permitted if the participants choose to do that.

    90% of Sox fans don’t even know Ruth was a Red Sox, and we don’t dwell on the past, we get winners quite often in New England B)

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 4,259 ✭✭✭

    @dallasactuary said:

    @JoeBanzai said:
    Yes, I was looking at regular WAR for Mays. I don't agree that Mays' 65 was better than Ted's 41 from an offensive standpoint.

    It wasn't; Williams' offense was better. But not by enough that Mays' defense doesn't make up the difference.

    Any comparison between Williams and Mays has to include the enormous difference between 1941 AL (4.74 runs per game) and 1965 NL (4.03) in terms of offense. It was simply harder - almost 20% harder - for Mays to produce a run than for Williams to produce a run. You can ignore that, and declare Chuck Klein an all-time great (Tony Oliva was a LOT better), or you can give it the attention it deserves. The offensive difference between Williams '41 and Mays '65 is not large. As for the better overall season, we're comparing a man who played in the smallest slice of the outfield in MLB, and played it poorly, to a man who played in the the largest slice of outfield in MLB, and played it exceptionally well. Defensive value isn't nearly as much as offensive value for either of them, but the gap in defensive value is massive.

    I was a bit in a hurry and screwed up by looking at the wrong column.

    No argument that Willie was a TREMENDOUS fielder and Williams was not interested in that part of the game. I would put Mays at the GOAT in CF with Joe D and The Mick very, very close behind. Ted would be an outfield GOAT too, Willie could cover the ground Ted wasn't worried about.

    Oliva was a great hitter with a short career. I saw him play and he was outstanding as a hitter. Klein certainly had some advantages, he didn't walk much either. Great run from 1929-33.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • stevekstevek Posts: 20,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:
    BTW Paul, in case you aren't aware of it. There are weekly meetings all throughout the Boston area where Red Sox fans can attend, stand up and shout as loud as they want something like, "Oh my gosh, we messed up, we traded away the GOAT!"

    Expletives are permitted if the participants choose to do that.

    90% of Sox fans don’t even know Ruth was a Red Sox, and we don’t dwell on the past, we get winners quite often in New England B)

    You do have a GOAT with Bill Belichick, who I think is still coaching.

    i'm not sure if Belichick retired or not after having gotten out-coached in last season's Super Bowl.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 20,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:
    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

    I'll make note of that...Paul doesn't particularly like the "It's a Wonderful Life" analogies. ;)

    That’s one of my favorite movies actually :*

    Jimmy Stewart as GOAT actor, I think would receive a lot of votes.

    Both him and Ted Williams are great Americans. They flew in combat during war, and I can't think of much else that takes more stones to do than that. I mean i still get a bit nervous flying in modern commercial airlines, and nobody is shooting at me.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 17,278 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 9, 2018 7:14AM

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:
    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

    I'll make note of that...Paul doesn't particularly like the "It's a Wonderful Life" analogies. ;)

    That’s one of my favorite movies actually :*

    Jimmy Stewart as GOAT actor, I think would receive a lot of votes.

    Both him and Ted Williams are great Americans. They flew in combat during war, and I can't think of much else that takes more stones to do than that. I mean i still get a bit nervous flying in modern commercial airlines, and nobody is shooting at me.

    Ofcourse we both know it goes without saying that Tom Brady belongs in there as the GOAT QB, but yes great Americans Jimmy Stewart and Teddy Ballgame were, it definitely takes stones to fly combat missions unlike Joe D sitting on a beach getting fat during his service tenure.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 20,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:
    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

    I'll make note of that...Paul doesn't particularly like the "It's a Wonderful Life" analogies. ;)

    That’s one of my favorite movies actually :*

    Jimmy Stewart as GOAT actor, I think would receive a lot of votes.

    Both him and Ted Williams are great Americans. They flew in combat during war, and I can't think of much else that takes more stones to do than that. I mean i still get a bit nervous flying in modern commercial airlines, and nobody is shooting at me.

    Ofcourse we both know it goes without saying that Tom Brady belongs in there as the GOAT QB, but yes great Americans Jimmy Stewart and Teddy Ballgame were, it definitely takes stones to fly combat missions unlike Joe D sitting on a beach getting fat during his service tenure.

    That's exactly what Joe D basically did during his three years of military service during WW2, and he didn't even like doing that from what I've read. Quite pathetic really.

    If Joe Montana was never born, then Tom Brady would be right up there for consideration as the GOAT.

    However if Bill Belichick was never born, Brady would have been picked lower than the 6th round, may not have developed properly under the tutelage of a different coach, and right now might be out there on a sales call trying to sell life insurance.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 17,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:
    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

    I'll make note of that...Paul doesn't particularly like the "It's a Wonderful Life" analogies. ;)

    That’s one of my favorite movies actually :*

    Jimmy Stewart as GOAT actor, I think would receive a lot of votes.

    Both him and Ted Williams are great Americans. They flew in combat during war, and I can't think of much else that takes more stones to do than that. I mean i still get a bit nervous flying in modern commercial airlines, and nobody is shooting at me.

    Ofcourse we both know it goes without saying that Tom Brady belongs in there as the GOAT QB, but yes great Americans Jimmy Stewart and Teddy Ballgame were, it definitely takes stones to fly combat missions unlike Joe D sitting on a beach getting fat during his service tenure.

    That's exactly what Joe D basically did during his three years of military service during WW2, and he didn't even like doing that from what I've read. Quite pathetic really.

    If Joe Montana was never born, then Tom Brady would be right up there for consideration as the GOAT.

    However if Bill Belichick was never born, Brady would have been picked lower than the 6th round, may not have developed properly under the tutelage of a different coach, and right now might be out there on a sales call trying to sell life insurance.

    And if Joe Montana never had Jerry Rice and the other boatload of HOF’ers supporting him on both sides of the ball being coached by Bill Walsh he probably would have been another Rick Mirer. Argument destroyed, thanks for playing

  • stevekstevek Posts: 20,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:
    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

    I'll make note of that...Paul doesn't particularly like the "It's a Wonderful Life" analogies. ;)

    That’s one of my favorite movies actually :*

    Jimmy Stewart as GOAT actor, I think would receive a lot of votes.

    Both him and Ted Williams are great Americans. They flew in combat during war, and I can't think of much else that takes more stones to do than that. I mean i still get a bit nervous flying in modern commercial airlines, and nobody is shooting at me.

    Ofcourse we both know it goes without saying that Tom Brady belongs in there as the GOAT QB, but yes great Americans Jimmy Stewart and Teddy Ballgame were, it definitely takes stones to fly combat missions unlike Joe D sitting on a beach getting fat during his service tenure.

    That's exactly what Joe D basically did during his three years of military service during WW2, and he didn't even like doing that from what I've read. Quite pathetic really.

    If Joe Montana was never born, then Tom Brady would be right up there for consideration as the GOAT.

    However if Bill Belichick was never born, Brady would have been picked lower than the 6th round, may not have developed properly under the tutelage of a different coach, and right now might be out there on a sales call trying to sell life insurance.

    And if Joe Montana never had Jerry Rice and the other boatload of HOF’ers supporting him on both sides of the ball being coached by Bill Walsh he probably would have been another Rick Mirer. Argument destroyed, thanks for playing

    You may very well have been right.

    However I don't think that 49ers fans spend much time, if any time at all knocking Bill Walsh, like Patriots fans do knocking Bill Belichick as often as they can for some inexplicable reason.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 17,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:
    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

    I'll make note of that...Paul doesn't particularly like the "It's a Wonderful Life" analogies. ;)

    That’s one of my favorite movies actually :*

    Jimmy Stewart as GOAT actor, I think would receive a lot of votes.

    Both him and Ted Williams are great Americans. They flew in combat during war, and I can't think of much else that takes more stones to do than that. I mean i still get a bit nervous flying in modern commercial airlines, and nobody is shooting at me.

    Ofcourse we both know it goes without saying that Tom Brady belongs in there as the GOAT QB, but yes great Americans Jimmy Stewart and Teddy Ballgame were, it definitely takes stones to fly combat missions unlike Joe D sitting on a beach getting fat during his service tenure.

    That's exactly what Joe D basically did during his three years of military service during WW2, and he didn't even like doing that from what I've read. Quite pathetic really.

    If Joe Montana was never born, then Tom Brady would be right up there for consideration as the GOAT.

    However if Bill Belichick was never born, Brady would have been picked lower than the 6th round, may not have developed properly under the tutelage of a different coach, and right now might be out there on a sales call trying to sell life insurance.

    And if Joe Montana never had Jerry Rice and the other boatload of HOF’ers supporting him on both sides of the ball being coached by Bill Walsh he probably would have been another Rick Mirer. Argument destroyed, thanks for playing

    You may very well have been right.

    However I don't think that 49ers fans spend much time, if any time at all knocking Bill Walsh, like Patriots fans do knocking Bill Belichick as often as they can for some inexplicable reason.

    Steve, Belichek gets hammered by us nearly every year because of the opposite scenario to what Joe Montana got!! That’s what I’m trying to tell you over and over again,every year Big Bill refuses to give Brady great players to support him, I mean Brady is hanging on at 41 and look at his receiving corps! Look at last years Super Bowl, Brady is playing his heart out to win that Super Bowl and Bill refuses to play Malcom Butler for goodness sakes! You saw it and you know it was one of the reasons why we potentially lost, it was a glaring problem in that game finding someone to fit Butlers shoes and stubborn Bill just refused to play him. I have a love hate relationship ship with Belichek, I’ve stated numerous times over the years that Belichek has actually held back Brady and the Pats from their full potential with his stubbornness and god like attitude. True story

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,601 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:
    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

    I'll make note of that...Paul doesn't particularly like the "It's a Wonderful Life" analogies. ;)

    That’s one of my favorite movies actually :*

    Jimmy Stewart as GOAT actor, I think would receive a lot of votes.

    Both him and Ted Williams are great Americans. They flew in combat during war, and I can't think of much else that takes more stones to do than that. I mean i still get a bit nervous flying in modern commercial airlines, and nobody is shooting at me.

    Ofcourse we both know it goes without saying that Tom Brady belongs in there as the GOAT QB, but yes great Americans Jimmy Stewart and Teddy Ballgame were, it definitely takes stones to fly combat missions unlike Joe D sitting on a beach getting fat during his service tenure.

    That's exactly what Joe D basically did during his three years of military service during WW2, and he didn't even like doing that from what I've read. Quite pathetic really.

    If Joe Montana was never born, then Tom Brady would be right up there for consideration as the GOAT.

    However if Bill Belichick was never born, Brady would have been picked lower than the 6th round, may not have developed properly under the tutelage of a different coach, and right now might be out there on a sales call trying to sell life insurance.

    And if Joe Montana never had Jerry Rice and the other boatload of HOF’ers supporting him on both sides of the ball being coached by Bill Walsh he probably would have been another Rick Mirer. Argument destroyed, thanks for playing

    This why I say the coach and the front office are the heart of the team. Without them making the right choices, a winning franchise never comes together. That's why I say that Belichick is more important to the Patriots than Brady.

    If you want to see what bad management does, look at the Cleveland Browns. After they made a trade this week, not one of their recent first round picks are still with the organization, despite very high first round draft picks. The reserver they just traded for a seventh round draft pick in 2020 was part of the deal that let the Eagles draft Carson Wentz. Moe, Larry and Curley are managing the Cleveland Browns.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • BrickBrick Posts: 3,800 ✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:

    Moe, Larry and Curley are managing the Cleveland Browns.
    All this time I thought it was the Witt triplets, Nit, Half, and Dim.

    Collecting 1960 Topps Baseball in PSA 8
    http://www.unisquare.com/store/brick/

    Ralph

  • keetskeets Posts: 19,859 ✭✭✭✭✭

    back when most of these guys were playing, a good portion of the country was racist. it explains why Hank Aaron got death threats when he was set to break Bambino's record. come to think of it, not much has really changed in over 100 years so it probably isn't fair to pick on Ty Cobb.

    image
  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 17,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:
    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

    I'll make note of that...Paul doesn't particularly like the "It's a Wonderful Life" analogies. ;)

    That’s one of my favorite movies actually :*

    Jimmy Stewart as GOAT actor, I think would receive a lot of votes.

    Both him and Ted Williams are great Americans. They flew in combat during war, and I can't think of much else that takes more stones to do than that. I mean i still get a bit nervous flying in modern commercial airlines, and nobody is shooting at me.

    Ofcourse we both know it goes without saying that Tom Brady belongs in there as the GOAT QB, but yes great Americans Jimmy Stewart and Teddy Ballgame were, it definitely takes stones to fly combat missions unlike Joe D sitting on a beach getting fat during his service tenure.

    That's exactly what Joe D basically did during his three years of military service during WW2, and he didn't even like doing that from what I've read. Quite pathetic really.

    If Joe Montana was never born, then Tom Brady would be right up there for consideration as the GOAT.

    However if Bill Belichick was never born, Brady would have been picked lower than the 6th round, may not have developed properly under the tutelage of a different coach, and right now might be out there on a sales call trying to sell life insurance.

    And if Joe Montana never had Jerry Rice and the other boatload of HOF’ers supporting him on both sides of the ball being coached by Bill Walsh he probably would have been another Rick Mirer. Argument destroyed, thanks for playing

    This why I say the coach and the front office are the heart of the team. Without them making the right choices, a winning franchise never comes together. That's why I say that Belichick is more important to the Patriots than Brady.

    If you want to see what bad management does, look at the Cleveland Browns. After they made a trade this week, not one of their recent first round picks are still with the organization, despite very high first round draft picks. The reserver they just traded for a seventh round draft pick in 2020 was part of the deal that let the Eagles draft Carson Wentz. Moe, Larry and Curley are managing the Cleveland Browns.

    Did you not understand my post? I’m spelling out clear cut reasons why NE fans get on Belichek and Kraft for not putting great players around Brady and your saying that Belichek has been more important than Brady? Sorry but your way off

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,601 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 9, 2018 10:09AM

    @perkdog said:

    @BillJones said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:

    @stevek said:

    @perkdog said:
    Stop it Steve, your getting a little crazy

    I'll make note of that...Paul doesn't particularly like the "It's a Wonderful Life" analogies. ;)

    That’s one of my favorite movies actually :*

    Jimmy Stewart as GOAT actor, I think would receive a lot of votes.

    Both him and Ted Williams are great Americans. They flew in combat during war, and I can't think of much else that takes more stones to do than that. I mean i still get a bit nervous flying in modern commercial airlines, and nobody is shooting at me.

    Ofcourse we both know it goes without saying that Tom Brady belongs in there as the GOAT QB, but yes great Americans Jimmy Stewart and Teddy Ballgame were, it definitely takes stones to fly combat missions unlike Joe D sitting on a beach getting fat during his service tenure.

    That's exactly what Joe D basically did during his three years of military service during WW2, and he didn't even like doing that from what I've read. Quite pathetic really.

    If Joe Montana was never born, then Tom Brady would be right up there for consideration as the GOAT.

    However if Bill Belichick was never born, Brady would have been picked lower than the 6th round, may not have developed properly under the tutelage of a different coach, and right now might be out there on a sales call trying to sell life insurance.

    And if Joe Montana never had Jerry Rice and the other boatload of HOF’ers supporting him on both sides of the ball being coached by Bill Walsh he probably would have been another Rick Mirer. Argument destroyed, thanks for playing

    This why I say the coach and the front office are the heart of the team. Without them making the right choices, a winning franchise never comes together. That's why I say that Belichick is more important to the Patriots than Brady.

    If you want to see what bad management does, look at the Cleveland Browns. After they made a trade this week, not one of their recent first round picks are still with the organization, despite very high first round draft picks. The reserver they just traded for a seventh round draft pick in 2020 was part of the deal that let the Eagles draft Carson Wentz. Moe, Larry and Curley are managing the Cleveland Browns.

    Did you not understand my post? I’m spelling out clear cut reasons why NE fans get on Belichek and Kraft for not putting great players around Brady and your saying that Belichek has been more important than Brady? Sorry but your way off

    If Belichick is making so many bad decisions, why is the team so successful year in and year out? Do the New England fans think that they can hold on to every star player given the salary cap restrictions placed on Belichick and Kraft? Even if they could, the nature of football careers, which are of short duration (around four seasons for most running effective backs), make "standing pat" a very risky strategy.

    Sorry, you are way off, and we shall agree to disagree on this issue. The front office and the coach are the foundation for a successful franchise. Without them, the championship house does not stand.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 17,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bill, tell me who these star players are year after year?

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