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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ESPN’s Hall of 100

We haven’t really seen a new top 100 players list in about a dozen years. So I thought this might be interesting to look at. Voters are told to look strictly at playing records and not to consider steroid use or off field behavior.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:00 PM | 79 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4323231)
Hope you guys find it interesting - this was a project I was pretty involved in. We tried our best to make sure it was about the baseball, not the character quagmire.
   2. esseff Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4323233)
Linked this late in yesterday's dugout, but here's player-by-player reaction on Twitter from Old Hoss Radbourn
   3. Steve N Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4323242)
Hard to take a list seriously when it has Nolan Ryan in the list of the top 50 players of all time.
   4. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4323248)
Hard to take a list seriously when it has Nolan Ryan in the list of the top 50 players of all time.

I voted him lower, certainly.

I hope we put together an initial ballot that the Hall of Merit crew would be happy with. Matt Meyers and I were very cruel to the panel, making them (and us) individually deal with not only the greats, but players such as Charlie Buffinton and Doug Jones.
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4323252)
Hard to take a list seriously when it has Nolan Ryan in the list of the top 50 players of all time.

My initial reaction is it's hard to take that list seriously at all. But then I realized I'd ahve to do the work of coming up with my own top 100 to compare and I don't wanna. So good work ESPN!
   6. JJ1986 Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4323256)
Some of the old-time pitchers are very low.
   7. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4323257)
I should note that Ryan's 65th all-time in WAR, 23rd among pitchers. Lot of mediocre years and an irregular peak, but he does have a shitload of career value.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4323258)
#2 beat me to it. That twitter feed is awesome.


Hard to take a list seriously when it has Nolan Ryan in the list of the top 50 players of all time.


Or Brooks Robinson. Or Clemente over Griffey. Or Roy Halladay at #92 already.

Also, Negro League players are conspicuously absent.

On the plus side they have Jeff Bagwell at #68, and the voters haven't even voted him in the Hall yet.
   9. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4323260)
I hope we put together an initial ballot that the Hall of Merit crew would be happy with. Matt Meyers and I were very cruel to the panel, making them (and us) individually deal with not only the greats, but players such as Charlie Buffinton and Doug Jones.

How did the final list compare with what you had personally, just in general terms so you don't get in trouble? I honestly wonder if I spent the time to do my own list if it would really be much different despite my knee-jerk reaction. I'm reminded of Bill James' story about his friend making fun of Mike MacFarlane as his inspiration for the BJHA.
   10. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4323262)
Some of the old-time pitchers are very low.

Some of the voters gave significant penalty on the old-timers. Can't single out names, though Kahrl is one of them (since she already said so publicly). We had 30 panelists and I was the highest ranker on a bunch of old-timers, most notably Tim Keefe, Kid Nichols, and John Clarkson.
   11. JJ1986 Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4323265)
This is my favorite:

#65: E. Murray. Versatile player who hit his peak in his breakout 1983 with Trading Places.
   12. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4323274)
How did the final list compare with what you had personally, just in general terms so you don't get in trouble?

I was a bigger peak voter than some of the others, plus I looked more kindly on some of the 19th century guys. I also generally ranked recent players higher than the average panelist (Beltran, Schilling, Rolen, Andruw, etc.)

One notable thing I found funny. The last name in the final rankings was an actual Hall of Famer (Tommy McCarthy). Poor McCarthy was like 100 places behind guys like Mark Langston and Jerry Reuss.

We're keeping this at 100. So in future votes, we won't just be adding players, we'll be voting guys off the island, too!
   13. OsunaSakata Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4323287)
68. Jeff Bagwell
69. Frank Thomas


I see what they did there.
   14. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4323291)
We're keeping this at 100. So in future votes, we won't just be adding players, we'll be voting guys off the island, too!

Good luck with the project. Keep pushing the high peak guys over the career value guys and, remember, no Josh Gibson no peace. Just so you know...
   15. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4323306)
It looks like the usual list, but with more attention paid to modern guys (and less to 19th century guys).

A good place to check is Sandy Koufax. Apparently this group thought he was better than Lefty Grove.
   16. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4323319)
Good luck with the project. Keep pushing the high peak guys over the career value guys and, remember, no Josh Gibson no peace. Just so you know...

We're still trying to figure out how to give Negro Leaguers proper credit in an exercise like this.

I see what they did there.

I swear, it's a coincidence!
   17. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4323320)
Dan - When you did your list at what number was your personal Hall of Fame cutoff? Poz' piece on the small number of players voted into the Hall got me thinking about how many players in baseball history I would have in my Hall if I were to take the time. (if you can't answer I understand).
   18. Rob_Wood Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4323331)
Brooks Robinson right behind Eddie Collins is kooky. BRobby way too high and ECollins too low.
   19. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4323336)
38. Derek Jeter, SS

39. Eddie Mathews, 3B


just...wow
   20. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4323339)
Dan - When you did your list at what number was your personal Hall of Fame cutoff?

Haven't really thought of where my personal Hall cuts off.

For these purposes, everybody graded hundreds of players and the top 100 scores formed the Hall of #100.
   21. something like a train wreck Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4323344)
Hard to take a list seriously when it has Nolan Ryan in the list of the top 50 players of all time

Not defending the list, but requiring a list of 100 players to have no clinkers is an impossible standard. Might as well not even try.
   22. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4323354)
The Old Hoss Radbourn feed is just priceless today....

#70: J. Marichal. Under-appreciated ace who in a moment of passion made the key mistake of not swinging the bat hard enough. 


I laughed uncontrollably at this.

   23. bjhanke Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4323365)
Tommy McCarthy is not in the Hall of Fame as a player. He is in there as an innovator; specifically, he is credited with inventing the hit and run, plus some of the other plays that came out of the Boston franchise in the 1890s-1900s. I have no way of finding out just how much contribution McCarthy made, but the people who remembered him elected him into the Hall, so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was certainly not one of the best 100 players in the game's history, but the early Hall didn't really differentiate between player and contributor, if someone did both. They have George Wright, who was the consensus best player in the game when the National Association got started, listed as an executive. John McGraw is, I think, counted as a manager. Sometimes, it's clear that someone belongs in the Hall, but it's hard to figure out exactly how much of his credentials is in which field. I, personally, think that it is VERY sad that Buck O'Neill didn't get elected to the Hall while he was still alive, but he wasn't a Hall player. He was a Hall contributor in the form of giving us loads and loads of info about the Negro Leagues, and for working tirelessly to see that modern analysts know who was whom in the NgL. - Brock Hanke
   24. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4323376)
What is this supposed to convey? If it's a list of the most valuable MLB players in history, why not just take JAWS on rWAR or something? Is it supposed to also consider intangibles? Postseason? WWI and WWII and other war credit? Segregation credit for Negro Leaguers? Impact on history? Am I supposed to conclude that Derek Jeter is the 38th greatest baseball player in MLB history according to the collective opinion of ESPN people? If so, why should I care? Wouldn't everyone just form their own opinion using their own criteria? The HOM has some credibility because voters have to state the reasons for their votes and they have the chance to change others' opinions in the discussion threads, and they only consider a few new people every "year". This list is based on an opaque process that leads to apparently non-objective results, but we don't know that because we don't know that the purpose is, nor what the criteria were. I've no idea what to make of it.

Hard to take a list seriously when it has Nolan Ryan in the list of the top 50 players of all time

Well he is 24th all time in fWAR, so there is probably some combination of peak, prime and career that gets him into the Top 50 but not #24. Since we've no idea how the voters made their decisions, we've no idea whether the ranking has merit or not.
   25. Bruce Markusen Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4323379)
I think O'Neil also deserves credit for what he did as a manager in the Negro Leagues, which is perhaps the most underrated part of his resume. I'd also like to give him credit for what he did as a Cubs scout (I believe he signed Ernie Banks and Oscar Gamble among others), but that is going beyond the Hall's parameters of election.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4323383)
I have a few quibbles with this list, but for the most part it's ok. Yes some of the modern players are overrepresented, and the more recent peak candidates probably scored better than they should have, but for the most part it seems to be fairly good. Off the top of my head the only names that stand out as being "wrong" from where I would place them are Koufax, Pedro, Halladay, Chipper, Jeter, Jackie Robinson and Joe Jackson(who is underrated here) (Eckersley being in the top 125 is ridiculous also, not sure he makes top 225)

   27. dlf Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4323394)
(I believe [Buck O'Neil] signed Ernie Banks and Oscar Gamble among others) ...


Not that Buck doesn't deserve a lot of credit for a lot of things, but Banks was playing for the cubs while Buck was still managing in KC. Ernie played for Buck as a Monarch, but I think it is usually Cool Papa Bell who is the scout given credit for first identifying Banks before he began his professional career in the NeL.
   28. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4323396)
Wait, that Roy Halladay? In the top 100? Already?
   29. cardsfanboy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4323465)
Old Hoss's take on this is great.
   30. Moe Greene Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4323493)
Eddie Collins at #42 doesn't seem right, unless you're crushing him for playing in the non-integrated era.

Collins at #42 and Jeter at #38 isn't justifiable under any conditions.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4323499)
My initial reaction is it's hard to take that list seriously at all. But then I realized I'd ahve to do the work of coming up with my own top 100 to compare and I don't wanna. So good work ESPN!

It's too bad b-r doesn't have some form of ELO rating or something. :-)

Of course Ryan is rated the #16 pitcher there (pitchers and hitters aren't comped), between Niekro and Glavine. Dead ball pitchers and Lefty Grove seem pretty over-rated in that list -- Maddux at #6 is the first post-war pitcher. It also has Fergie ahead of Pedro and Feller which I think is pretty hard to justify and I love Fergie. And Tiant ahead of Perry which is just bizarre. Pettitte's at #117 which is just behind Chuck Finley ... but ahead of Schilling ... that's kinda weird.

Interestingly, the ELO voters are not punishing Clemens -- he's #7, right behind Maddux. Bonds though is #47 ... even well behind ARod (who's just ahead of Chipper) and Rose for some reason. Sosa is #206, behind Kirk Gibson. McGwire is #191 between Jack Clark and Norm Cash which is probably about right if PEDs actually have a significant effect. Palmeiro is 259, behind Magglio and Cano. Giambi is 301, behind Willie Wilson. Manny is at 113.

Those rankings suggest that it's only the "evil 4" who are anathema. ARod is well ahead of Bonds at #31. Pudge is at #69, Bagwell at 34, Piazza at 76. Kevin Brown is #89 which (again weird) is 1 spot ahead of Marichal. I am guessing that Manny will drop as more votes roll in.

b-r should probably re-promote its ELO rankings to get more people voting again. Although it clearly has some problems. They report the W-L record of each player and even Ruth has only a 75% WP -- he's lost 559 matchups. Unless they were all against Bonds, Williams, Cobb, Wagner and Mays (and even then), there are some major (what's the polite word for "idiots"?) voting.
   32. UCCF Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4323500)
Collins at #42 and Jeter at #38 isn't justifiable under any conditions.

The whole list is kind of funny, and seems very slanted toward the modern era. Pete Alexander at 50 is tough to defend.
   33. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4323502)
Pete Alexander at 50 is tough to defend.

Especially when Christy Mathewson is #29.
   34. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4323510)
Yeah, Old Hoss is fantastic today:

#49: L. Jones. Remember when he hit .364 as a broken 36-year-old and faced no scrutiny? It's nice to be white.


#34: K. Griffey, Jr. In a perfect world he is frozen in time in 1999, leaving us the memory of absolutely joyful base ball.
   35. phatj Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4323520)
#90: C. Biggio. In my day, a man hit by 285 pitches dies 285 times.
   36. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4323532)
Old Hoss Radbourn ?@OldHossRadbourn

#62: F. Jenkins. Canadian (-1) Pharmaceutical smuggler (+1) who has compromising photos of a prominent Sweet Spot Blogger.
   37. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4323534)
#40: C. Yazstremski. Polish potato farmer who went to Notre Dame. Overcame these handicaps to have a very fine career
   38. Cblau Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4323559)
His best comment has to be this one:
#43: B. Robinson. As a rule I never found that having the reputation of "able to catch anything" paid off in the places I frequented.
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4323568)
Any list that claims to rate the "100 greatest baseball players of all time" but also says

"We're still trying to figure out how to give Negro Leaguers proper credit in an exercise like this."

is an epic fail.

Listen, it's not like Smokey Joe Williams never pitched against Grover Cleveland Alexander in a real pitcher's duel where both teams were playing to win.

And the 1900-1940 white baseball greats who saw the Negro Leaguers play were not offering up ivory-tower white guilt bouquets for the great unwashed Negro Leaguers they played against before full houses in places like.... Yankee Stadium. They were just baseball players stating what to them was obvious.

I vividly remember when Tony Gwynn was coaching Stephen Strasburg in San Diego as a college kid, and writers asked Gwynn if Strasburg could handle "real competition" per his hype. Gwynn couldn't laugh hard enough - as if he couldn't tell killer stuff when he saw it. Scouts and ex-players and others get some talented players wrong as far as their prospects. But the greatest ones? A better track record.

The best thing our Hall of Merit did was have us rank Negro Leaguers right alongside their compatriots, right from the beginning. Harder? Sure. But worth it? Absolutely.

ESPN doesn't have the 100 best baseball players on that list, and that is undeniable.


   40. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4323569)
Finally looking at the actual list (what!):

If we're going strictly on performance, I find Manny at #85 a bit hard to take. He's one of the greatest hitters, especially RH, of his or any other era. I know the defense sucked but even if we take bWAR at face value, he had 65 WAR. Just sticking him at DH probably gives him something like another 10 wins. OK, let me clarify, I might buy him at 85 but I can't buy him as being behind Stargell or Molitor and I'm trying to decide how he ranks relative to McGwire. Heck, the line between him and Frank Thomas is razor thin. I'm probably in the camp who can't believe that he was THAT bad defensively and, if he was, it was his team's fault for continuing to trot him out there so I suppose I give him unofficial credit for those extra wins.

Santo looks low to me too. I can't see him behind Biggio, Raines or Sosa. Thome looks too low. At first blush I don't have a problem with Halladay at #92 "already" but my "raised on 70s pitcher self" raises an instinctual objection to placing him above Glavine.

On 26-75 ... Bench ahead of Carlton, on "greatness" grounds if nothing else. Griffey probably ahead of Clemente on greatness grounds too. I am baffled how Mel Ott and Pete Rose end up next to each other. Ott has 104 WAR, 22nd overall, 16th among position players. Even the writeup mentions he was quite good defensively. This looks like the biggest mistake so far ... Brett over Ott? That's some serious time-lining there.

Banks over Yount ... I'll assume this is a peak over career argument. Now, I always always always point out that, as SS, Banks was way ahead of Yount; but Yount's post-SS career blows Banks' post-SS career out of the water even more so Yount did have the better career. But Banks was roughly AROD in his prime.

The gap from McCovey to Thome seems too large.

Rivera ahead of Bagwell? OK, a new leader for WTF. Bring an objective pipe to the next meeting.

OK, now we got ourselves a problem -- Sandberg at 112? Well behind Alomar and Biggio? Behind Winfield? Somebody's asking for a neck-stabbing.

   41. Booey Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:18 AM (#4323634)
Other than the Yankees (Jeter and Rivera), I actually thought most the 90's/00's players were ranked pretty fairly. Guys like Griffey, Chipper, Thomas, Bagwell, Pudge, Alomar, Larkin, etc, seemed to rank right about where they should. They've been almost completely ignored in past lists (like that Sports Century Top 100 which was updated with a new book around 2005 or so). Biggio, Manny, and Thome were a little lower that I would've ranked them, but not unreasonably so.
   42. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:48 AM (#4323637)
Not feeling Brooks over Larry. At all.
   43. Ebessan Posted: December 13, 2012 at 05:17 AM (#4323641)
Arky Vaughan was #124, which was a line-in-the-sand moment where I just couldn't take it seriously. Sosa's in and Vaughan's not?
   44. TomH Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4323710)
If you compare this list with the TSN top 100 or SABR top 100 from the 1999 timeframe, I think you will find (among players retired pre-2002) some ways this list makes more sense from a perspective of history; i.e., balance of positions, understanding of eras. I mean, I disgaree with Matty or Alexander, but Matty was top 10 on the previous lists I mentioned (I hope that proves my point above).

I have a spreadsheet of various top 100s (including NHBJA) and I will include this one when it is complete. Maybe I can post it somewhere?
   45. TomH Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4323712)
other items to note: no Arky Vaughan on either 1999 list. Brooks Robby = 34 on SABR list, 80 on TSN.
   46. Eugene Freedman Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4323727)
Boggs was far superior to Brooks. But, tell that to anyone who doesn't look at stats, and you're considered crazy.
   47. TomH Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4323744)
Boggs did not even make the 1999 (top 100) all-century team, which was one of THAT project's bigger mistakes.
   48. DanG Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4323819)
Here's a good top 200 list we put together 3 years ago in a project called The Collaboration Game v2.0:

1. Babe Ruth, 2. Ty Cobb, 3. Willie Mays, 4. Honus Wagner, 5. Ted Williams, 6. Walter Johnson, 7. Hank Aaron, 8. Barry Bonds, 9. Stan Musial, 10. Mickey Mantle
11. Lou Gehrig, 12. Rogers Hornsby, 13. Tris Speaker, 14. Oscar Charleston, 15. Cy Young, 16. Mike Schmidt, 17. Eddie Collins, 18. Greg Maddux, 19. Josh Gibson, 20. Lefty Grove
21. Frank Robinson, 22. Joe Morgan, 23. Pete Alexander, 24. Roger Clemens, 25. Jimmie Foxx, 26. Joe DiMaggio, 27. Mel Ott, 28. Nap Lajoie, 29. Alex Rodriguez, 30. Johnny Bench
31. Rickey Henderson, 32. Eddie Mathews, 33. Tom Seaver, 34. Satchel Paige, 35. Pop Lloyd, 36. Warren Spahn, 37. Cap Anson, 38. George Brett, 39. Yogi Berra, 40. Christy Mathewson
41. Jackie Robinson, 42. Randy Johnson, 43. Dan Brouthers, 44. Ed Delahanty, 45. Cal Ripken, 46. Ken Griffey, Jr., 47. Kid Nichols, 48. Turkey Stearnes, 49. Arky Vaughan, 50. Carl Yastrzemski
51. Reggie Jackson, 52. Steve Carlton, 53. Smokey Joe Williams, 54. Frank Thomas, 55. Bob Feller, 56. Pete Rose, 57. Charlie Gehringer, 58. Mike Piazza, 59. Al Kaline, 60. Wade Boggs
61. Jeff Bagwell, 62. Sam Crawford, 63. Johnny Mize, 64. Bob Gibson, 65. Robin Yount, 66. Mickey Cochrane, 67. Roberto Clemente, 68. Duke Snider, 69. Tony Gwynn, 70. Rod Carew
71. Pedro Martinez, 72. Craig Biggio, 73. Carl Hubbell, 74. Buck Leonard, 75. Roy Campanella, 76. Hank Greenberg, 77. Frankie Frisch, 78. Harmon Killebrew, 79. Buck Ewing, 80. Paul Waner
81. Willie McCovey, 82. Roger Connor, 83. Martin Dihigo, 84. Eddie Murray, 85. Ernie Banks, 86. Robin Roberts, 87. Nolan Ryan, 88. Frank Baker, 89. King Kelly, 90. Gary Carter
91. Cristobal Torriente, 92. Billy Hamilton, 93. Gaylord Perry, 94. Al Simmons, 95. Chipper Jones, 96. Sandy Koufax, 97. Tim Raines, 98. Willie Stargell, 99. Phil Niekro, 100. Ryne Sandberg
101. Harry Heilmann, 102. Ed Walsh, 103. Ron Santo, 104. Mule Suttles, 105. Jesse Burkett, 106. Carlton Fisk, 107. Albert Pujols, 108. George Davis, 109. Roberto Alomar, 110. Eddie Plank
111. Jim Palmer, 112. Barry Larkin, 113. Bert Blyleven, 114. Joe Cronin, 115. Tim Keefe, 116. Mark McGwire, 117. John Clarkson, 118. Dick Allen, 119. Bullet Joe Rogan, 120. Jim O'Rourke
121. Paul Molitor, 122. Juan Marichal, 123. Whitey Ford, 124. George Wright, 125. Ivan Rodriguez, 126. Bill Dickey, 127. Dave Winfield, 128. Mordecai Brown, 129. Luke Appling, 130. Fergie Jenkins
131. Tom Glavine, 132. Gabby Hartnett, 133. Dazzy Vance, 134. Bill Dahlen, 135. Deacon White, 136. Manny Ramirez, 137. Gary Sheffield, 138. Mariano Rivera, 139. Paul Hines, 140. Joe Jackson
141. Alan Trammell, 142. Fred Clarke, 143. Billy Williams, 144. Larry Doby, 145. Ozzie Smith, 146. Bobby Grich, 147. Willie Wells, 148. Hal Newhouser, 149. Dennis Eckersley, 150. Louis Santop
151. Kirby Puckett, 152. Jim Thome, 153. Hoyt Wilhelm, 154. Curt Schilling, 155. Pee Wee Reese, 156. Amos Rusie, 157. Goose Goslin, 158. Derek Jeter, 159. Joe Medwick, 160. Jud Wilson
161. John Smoltz, 162. Brooks Robinson, 163. Minnie Minoso, 164. Rube Waddell, 165. Cool Papa Bell, 166. Mike Mussina, 167. Jimmy Collins, 168. Ross Barnes, 169. Richie Ashburn, 170. Lou Whitaker
171. Sherry Magee, 172. Zack Wheat, 173. Lou Boudreau, 174. Ted Lyons, 175. Ray Brown, 176. Ted Simmons, 177. Billy Herman, 178. Don Sutton, 179. Red Ruffing, 180. Max Carey
181. Enos Slaughter, 182. Don Drysdale, 183. Vladimir Guerrero, 184. Goose Gossage, 185. Jeff Kent, 186. Willie Keeler, 187. George Sisler, 188. John Ward, 189. Joe Gordon, 190. Jim Bunning
191. Stan Coveleski, 192. Pete Hill, 193. Bid McPhee, 194. Eppa Rixey, 195. Early Wynn, 196. Joe Torre, 197. Charley Radbourn, 198. Edgar Martinez, 199. Ichiro Suzuki, 200. Rube Foster
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4323855)
Santo looks low to me too. I can't see him behind Biggio, Raines or Sosa. Thome looks too low. At first blush I don't have a problem with Halladay at #92 "already" but my "raised on 70s pitcher self" raises an instinctual objection to placing him above Glavine.


The problem I have with Hallady right now, is that I don't really see much of a difference between Kevin Brown and Halladay if Halladay's career ended right now. Brown was one and done in hof voting, and Halladay is considered by this list to be a guy clearly ahead of Schilling? ESPN's defense of it, is the Jack Morris defense. "Best over a decade". How many pitchers do you include in a list of 100 best of all time? I don't think Halladay crosses the top 20.(top of my head without looking at all you have 1.Maddux 2. Clemens 3. Randy 4. Pedro 5. Glavine 6.Seaver 7.Gibson 8.Koufax 9.Feller 10.Spahn 11.Marichal 12.Walter Johnson 13. Cy Young 14. Mathewson 15. Alexander.....that is a quick off top head and I imagine that Ryan and Drysdale and Blyleven and Niekro and Perry are all probably better also. Just seems like way too many pitchers on a list of 100. (note Mariano and Eckersley shouldn't come close to breaking top 100 list.)
   50. andrewberg Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4323871)
They just announced Musial at 8 on ESPN. I will guess the top 7 go: Clemens, Williams, Bonds, Cobb, Aaron, Mays, Ruth.
   51. andrewberg Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4323878)
Dan is killing the ESPN chat right now: "Dan Szymborski: Jerry, american history has an east coast bias. Have you ever seen a map of the colonies? East Coast bias to the extreme!"
   52. Danny Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4323892)
If you're ignoring steroids, how do you end up with Aaron ahead of Bonds?
   53. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4323896)
If you're ignoring steroids, how do you end up with Aaron ahead of Bonds?


Squinting really hard?

I think you probably have to be making a league adjustment for the fact that the NL during much of Aaron's career was the superior league while Bonds played in a lesser version. Not saying it's the right call but that's the only logic for it that I can see.
   54. andrewberg Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4323903)
They didn't put Aaron ahead of Bonds. Aaron was at 5, Bonds at 3. I was guessing what they would do, and I figured they wouldn't really ignore steroids altogether.
   55. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4323907)
We all know Ruth is getting the #1 spot, so the list is now complete.
   56. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4323955)
Old Hoss Radbourn is at it again;

#22 F. Robinson. Ordered a lad off his lawn then beat him with a tire iron anyway. Golfed his way to Washington as the Expos burned.
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4324007)
They didn't put Aaron ahead of Bonds. Aaron was at 5, Bonds at 3. I was guessing what they would do, and I figured they wouldn't really ignore steroids altogether.


I still don't really get Aaron ahead of Musial, but that is partially my personal bias of course.
   58. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4324031)
Was Jack Morris #1?
   59. Rob_Wood Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4324110)
Wow, top 25 rankings were actually very good. Of course there is going to be a strong recency bias. We have to expect that and make allowances for it.

While everyone can quibble here and there, the only significant ranking I object to is Tris Speaker coming in at 25. I have him at #10 all-time.
   60. Walt Davis Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4324125)
On Halladay ... when I say I don't really have a problem with him at #92, I'm saying that not having put a full list together ... and, all my petty griping aside, the difference between #92 and #112 is gonna be pretty thin.

But Halladay does have 2 CYAs, 2 2nds and a 3rd. The comparison to Morris is of course absurd -- Halladay has a decade of something close to dominance and a career 134 ERA+ while Morris's career best ERA+ was a 133. Halladay dominated a decade in the way that Gibson or Feller dominated, not in the way that Morris just managed to be the only survivor.

Halladay 2002-11: 2200 IP, 148 ERA+, 170-75 (694 WP).
Gibson 1961-79: 2650 IP, 139 ERA+, 184-106
Feller 1938-1950: 2700 IP, 130 ERA+, 194-113 and a war

Halladay's "problem" is the same problem that all current starters have -- usage has changed so they don't build up the IP totals. Pitchers are notoriously challenging to adjust for era due to regular and sometimes dramatic changes in usage. If you ignore that completely and just focused on quality, Halladay would be much higher on the list (Gibson is #32, Feller is #59). We can debate whether they've come up with the right balance for adjusting eras but that is one awesome pitching peak.

   61. Walt Davis Posted: December 13, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4324144)
Aaron vs. Musial ...

PA 13,900 vs 12,700 (plus 1 war year)
OPS+ 155 vs 159
R 2174 vs 1949
RBI 2297 vs 1951 (still the record)
H 3771 vs 3630
HR 755 vs 475
OBP 374 vs 417
SB 240 vs 78
WAR 137 vs 123

It's very close obviously, even closer if you give Musial back his war year when he was regularly putting up 8-9 WAR, but Aaron is ahead on almost everything and was the better all-around player (not that Stan was a slouch). Really Musial's only arguments are 3 MVPs vs. 1 and the OBP edge and I suspect the latter is partly (but not wholly) due to era differences.
   62. cardsfanboy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4324157)
It's very close obviously, even closer if you give Musial back his war year when he was regularly putting up 8-9 WAR, but Aaron is ahead on almost everything and was the better all-around player (not that Stan was a slouch). Really Musial's only arguments are 3 MVPs vs. 1 and the OBP edge and I suspect the latter is partly (but not wholly) due to era differences.


I don't really see Aaron as ahead on almost everything, just look at obp that you listed alone. That is a pretty healthy discrepency in my book. On top of that you could argue that Musial dominated his era more than Aaron dominated his era. Of course the counter argument is that Aaron had an influx of greater talent playing during his era. And of course if you are a war fan, then you can compare their best war years.

Musial Aaron
10.8-- 9.1
9.3-- 8.8
8.9-- 8.4
8.8-- 8.4
8.7--8.1
8.4-- 8.0
7.8--7.7
7.5--7.7
6.9--7.6
6.8--7.5

10 best years. Aaron makes up ground in the lesser years, although a little bit of that is a function of the longer schedule.

Note:I admit it's the bias I grew up with that is probably coloring my perception, just as I find it hard, even now, to think of someone as better than Ty Cobb.
   63. Rob_Wood Posted: December 13, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4324238)
As you know, Musial played two years during WWII (43-44, missed 45) when he compiled the 9.3 and 8.8 WAR seasons. All things considered, I have Aaron (8) slightly ahead of Musial (13) in my all-time rankings. Of course, both were inner circle all-time greats.
   64. cardsfanboy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4324279)
when he compiled the 9.3 and 8.8 WAR seasons.


He still beats him on their top years. Again I know it's my bias, but I just don't see Aaron as better than Musial, see him as more consistent and good for a longer period of time, but Musial dominated his era unlike Aaron. (product of different leagues, increased competition etc. I know, but ultimately I think Musial was the better player) Aaron gains ground by 13 years in a league with 8 more games a season, by not missing a full year due to war and of course any timelining. Musial was the better rate hitter, better peak, and only reason there is any real difference in their numbers, is due to about 2 seasons of games, 80 of which is due to extra schedule length, and 150 of which is due to WWII.


Musial .331/.417/.559/.976 159ops+ 3026 games played
Aaron .305/.374/.555/.928 155ops+ 3298....by the rate numbers Musial wins. The extra playing time is a property of extra games played for reasons already mentioned. You can talk speed all you want, but Musial played in an era where stolen bases didn't happen, his speed was fairly good(more accurate, it was excellent) and he hit into fewer gidp per plate appearance so there is no hidden value that Aaron gets because of untracked numbers. Both were good fielders, edge goes to Aaron here, probably. Basically it's do you like the better best seasons and the years of dominance, or the guy who put up nearly as great of years, but added a more consistent great season after season (Musial has 10 seasons of 6+ war, Aaron 15...although you could probably add 1 or 2 more to Musial if he would have played in 162 game season)


Again a minor nitpick, this is not anything in comparison of including Rivera in the top 100 list, or Jeter in the top 50.
   65. dlf Posted: December 13, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4324301)
He still beats him on their top years.


That two of Musial's MVPs came before integration and one when it had barely started, gives me a little pause. (Note that I love the Joe Black story oft told about how welcoming Musial was to the Dodger's hurler.) Take out the war depleted years and the fact that in several of Musial's best season, the league functionally wasn't integrated -- Jackie Robinson, Don Bankhead, and half a season of Roy Campanella, give or take, in his best WAR season -- and I'd prefer Aaron's peak. It's splitting hairs between two of the absolute best players, and frankly best people, to ever play but if there's not a dime's worth of difference, my penny is on Aaron.
   66. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 13, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4324307)
Again a minor nitpick

Speaking of nitpicks... In the side-by-side columns comparing Ruth and Bonds, Tim Kurkjian writes of Ruth:

"He hit 136 triples, more than any active player at the time."

This is not just incorrect; it's not even close to being true. We'll ignore the fact that Ruth's career has about a 15-year overlap with Ty Cobb's, and Cobb was second all-time in triples. Even taking the most generous possible interpretation of the statement (which would be: "Ruth was the active leader in triples at the time of his retirement" (1935)), it's still not within shouting distance of correctness.

As best I can tell, Ruth was 10th on the active triples leaderboard at the end of the 1935 season. As it happens, the nine players ahead of him are all Hall of Famers.

That sounds like a trivia question if I've ever heard one! Name the top 9 active players in triples at the end of the 1935 season.
   67. Booey Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4324336)
While everyone can quibble here and there, the only significant ranking I object to is Tris Speaker coming in at 25. I have him at #10 all-time.


My only problem with this is that Speaker has to rank behind contemporaries Ruth, Cobb, and Johnson (plus Wagner, if you consider him a contemporary), and he's not too far ahead of Hornsby, Collins, and Alexander, either. The 4th or 5th best player from one era probably shouldn't be top 10 all time, IMO. I'd have a hard time placing him above the best player of another era (like Schmidt), personally.

I suspect a lot of people here would include all of Ruth, Cobb, Johnson, Speaker, Collins, Hornsby, and Alexander in their top 20. But that'd be 7 players - more than a 3rd of the entire top 20 - that debuted between 1905-1915, and who's careers all overlapped for a full 14 seasons (1915-1928). That seems unreasonably high to me. I know that talent distribution is random and all and that it really is possible for that to happen, but it seems much more likely to me that the average player was just so much worse back then that the stars of that era looked better in comparison, and we're simply not making strong enough era adjustments.

Thoughts?

   68. cardsfanboy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4324342)
That sounds like a trivia question if I've ever heard one! Name the top 9 active players in triples at the end of the 1935 season.


You would have to be more specific as to what time frame. Ruth doesn't crack the top 50 if you include the "NL Era". 1876-1935.

Top ten from that era.
Rk                  Player  3B
                              
1             Sam Crawford 309
2                  Ty Cobb 295
3             Honus Wagner 252
4             Jake Beckley 244
5             Roger Connor 233
6             Tris Speaker 222
7              Fred Clarke 220
8            Dan Brouthers 205
9               Joe Kelley 194
10              Bid McPhee 189
11           Eddie Collins 187
12            Ed Delahanty 186
13                Sam Rice 184
14               Edd Roush 182
15             Ed Konetchy 182
16           Jesse Burkett 182
17              Buck Ewing 178
18       Rabbit Maranville 177
19            Harry Stovey 174
20              Zack Wheat 172
21             Tommy Leach 172
22          Rogers Hornsby 169
23    Shoeless Joe Jackson 168
24            Sherry Magee 166
25            Jake Daubert 165
-----
58               Babe Ruth 136 


If you limit it to the World Series era you get

Rk                 Player  3B
                             
1                 Ty Cobb 295
2            Sam Crawford 249
3            Tris Speaker 222
4           Eddie Collins 187
5                Sam Rice 184
6            Honus Wagner 183
7               Edd Roush 182
8             Ed Konetchy 182
9       Rabbit Maranville 177
10             Zack Wheat 172
11         Rogers Hornsby 169
12   Shoeless Joe Jackson 168
13           Sherry Magee 166
14           Jake Daubert 165
15           Goose Goslin 164
16            Pie Traynor 164
17          George Sisler 164
18           Harry Hooper 160
19              Joe Judge 159
20              Max Carey 159
21             Paul Waner 156
22            Earle Combs 154
23         Harry Heilmann 151
24             Wally Pipp 148
25            Bobby Veach 147
---------
30              Babe Ruth 136 
   69. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4324354)
[68] Many of those players were not active in 1935.
   70. Rob_Wood Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4324372)

Did TK mean that Ruth had more triples than anyone active during Bonds's time (not Ruth's)?
   71. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4324377)
Speaking of nitpicks... In the side-by-side columns comparing Ruth and Bonds, Tim Kurkjian writes of Ruth:

"He hit 136 triples, more than any active player at the time."

This is not just incorrect; it's not even close to being true. We'll ignore the fact that Ruth's career has about a 15-year overlap with Ty Cobb's, and Cobb was second all-time in triples. Even taking the most generous possible interpretation of the statement (which would be: "Ruth was the active leader in triples at the time of his retirement" (1935)), it's still not within shouting distance of correctness.
You can't even say "He hit more triples than any other player during his career (1914-1935)". He's tied for 19th.
   72. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4324379)
Did TK mean that Ruth had more triples than anyone active during Bonds's time (not Ruth's)?
That would make sense. Know who has the most 3B from '86-'07?
   73. cardsfanboy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4324399)
That would make sense. Know who has the most 3B from '86-'07?


Steve Finley.

Rk               Player  3B
                           
1          Steve Finley 124
2         Lance Johnson 117
3          Kenny Lofton 116
4          Brett Butler  92
5          Johnny Damon  87
6         Jimmy Rollins  81
7        Roberto Alomar  80
8            Ray Durham  79
9         Vince Coleman  79
10       Tony Fernandez  78
11          Barry Bonds  77
12         Barry Larkin  76
13       Andy Van Slyke  76
14         Paul Molitor  75
15        Carl Crawford  74 
   74. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4324412)
Did TK mean that Ruth had more triples than anyone active during Bonds's time (not Ruth's)?

That does make more sense. I suppose "active at the time" could be a legendarily bad phrasing of "active now" - Carl Crawford, with 114.

Of course, both of those comparisons are useless, because triples have gone into the tank leaguewide in the last century. It's roughly as valid a tool for establishing Ruth's versatility as comparing his career stolen base total to Joe DiMaggio's.

Which Kurkjian also does.

Look, I don't have any particular quibble with Ruth as #1 all time. But it's not an argument you make with triples.
   75. Walt Davis Posted: December 14, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4325298)
Look, I don't have any particular quibble with Ruth as #1 all time. But it's not an argument you make with triples.

He's just trying to overcome the popular image that Ruth was a fat slob. At the end of his career (which are the photos and film clips everybody knows) Ruth was a fat slob. As a young guy, he was not.

To wit, if you were comparing Bonds to Ted Williams, wouldn't most of your argument focus on Bonds' all-around superiority to Williams not on quibbles about who was the better hitter? To the extent anybody (well, your average joe) would argue for Bonds over Ruth, their #1 argument is going to be Bonds wasn't a fat slob. (Or maybe #2 behind integration.) Kurkjian is just trying to head off that argument and show that Ruth was a great all-around player.
   76. TomH Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4325402)
good point, booey in 67

But if I create a top 20 offhand, it also includes a lot of playrs active in the late 50s. Is that wrong.

(timeline approx)

Wagner ...... Ruth .................. Mays .......... Bonds
Cobb Johnson ..Gibson Williams Musial Mantle Aaron .. Clemens
Speaker Collins Hornsby Grove Charleston Morgan Schmidt
Alexander

   77. cardsfanboy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4325504)
But if I create a top 20 offhand, it also includes a lot of playrs active in the late 50s. Is that wrong.


I think that anytime there is a seismic shift in the game, that it's going to lead to a group of players who "get" the shift better than their contemporaries. The 20's you have the Ruth offense, 50's integration and 90's the TTO era takes hold. I fully expect to find a larger group of greats in those time frames than others. I also expect to find more greats from when the game fully matured(which is again what I consider the Ruth era to be the catalyst to that)
   78. Booey Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4325568)
But if I create a top 20 offhand, it also includes a lot of playrs active in the late 50s. Is that wrong.


No, but the color barrier was broken by then, so MLB was drawing from a larger talent pool. Plus there still isn't as many players from that era in the top 20 or whose careers overlapped for as long of a time.

1915-1927: Ruth, Cobb, Johnson, Speaker, Collins, Alexander, Hornsby
That's 7 players who all played together for 13 years

1954-1960: Aaron, Mays, Mantle, Williams, Musial
That's 5 players who all played together for 7 years

So from a larger talent pool, the late 50's still had 2 fewer players in the top 20 and who's careers overlapped for only half as long. I'm not saying it's impossible that the 1915-1927 era might have been the greatest ever WRT all time greats, I just don't think it's the most LIKELY explanation. YMMV.

Edit: Oh, and that's not even considering that if you narrowed the time frame, you could also add Wagner to the beginning of that group from 1915-1917 and Gehrig at the end from 1923-1927. So that'd actually be 8 of the top 20 who all played at the same time, depending on which end of the time frame you wanted to focus on.
   79. TomH Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4325834)
good points, but in my top 20, the 7 guys from the 1920 era include only 3 guys in my top 12 (first 2 lines), while all 5 50s guys are top 12. And I can bump GCAlex to #21 for Tom Seaver if you wish.

edit: and now I see I forgot Mr Gehrig who would be about 13th.

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