You could be loooooooved, but you’re way out of liiiiiiiine….
Today is a great celebrity birthday day—Babe Ruth, Ronald Reagan and Bob Marley were all born on February 6. Also Zsa Zsa Gabor and Axl Rose and Tom Brokaw. America and the world would be a poorer place without them…
Ruth is, quite easily, the best hitter AND the best pitcher born on February 6. The second-best hitter is Smoky Burgess or Richie Zisk, and while they were both good hitters they were obviously a million miles from Ruth. But the second best pitcher is probably Bob Wickman, who did save 267 games. But—and I find this amazing—he threw FEWER INNINGS than Ruth, who was only a pitcher early in his career but still went 94-46 with a 2.28 ERA and was pretty close to unhittable in his three World Series starts…
There are a few players before 1900 who were very good hitters and pitchers, probably highlighted by Monte Ward… Kid Gleason was not Hall of Fame caliber either way, but he was a pretty good pitcher (won 138 games), a pretty good hitter (1,946 career hits) and then he was the beleaguered manager of the 1919 White Sox… Smoky Joe Wood was absolutely a Hall of Fame caliber pitcher—there are those who still push for him as a Hall of Famer because one incredible season and a couple of very good ones—and after a serious injury he returned as a hitter, and was good… Wes Ferrell is probably the best hitting pitcher other than Ruth—but he never did get 200 plate appearances in a season. He hit 38 career home runs, nine of them in 128 plate appearances in 1931. He was also a very good pitcher in a high-scoring era—he is not in the Hall of Fame but he IS in the Baseball Think Factory Hall of Merit.
... Here, for fun, are the teammates who have combined for 100 homers in a season:
1. Mantle-Maris, 1961: 115
2. Barry Bonds-Rich Aurilia, 2001: 110
3. Ruth-Gehrig, 1927: 107
4. Mark McGwire-Ray Lankford, 1998, 101
5. Alex Rodriguez-Rafael Palmeiro, 2002, 100
Yes, who can forget that Bonds-Aurilia power combination?