Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

My rankings of the greatest baseball players ever, starting with number 1, in order.

Another nice team-specific site is at
Twinsgeek

The online sports almanac by fans and for fans is
Fanbase

All Baseball Teams deals with baseball history, stats, players and stadiums
All Baseball Teams

Want to weigh in yourself? Write me at the address below, or surf to rankings on just about everything at
RateItAll

Feedback
e-mail

Archives


09/29/2002 - 10/06/2002 10/06/2002 - 10/13/2002 10/13/2002 - 10/20/2002 10/27/2002 - 11/03/2002 11/03/2002 - 11/10/2002 11/17/2002 - 11/24/2002 12/15/2002 - 12/22/2002 12/22/2002 - 12/29/2002 12/29/2002 - 01/05/2003 01/05/2003 - 01/12/2003 01/19/2003 - 01/26/2003 01/26/2003 - 02/02/2003 02/02/2003 - 02/09/2003 02/09/2003 - 02/16/2003 02/23/2003 - 03/02/2003 04/06/2003 - 04/13/2003 04/13/2003 - 04/20/2003 06/08/2003 - 06/15/2003 07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003 07/27/2003 - 08/03/2003 08/03/2003 - 08/10/2003 08/10/2003 - 08/17/2003 08/17/2003 - 08/24/2003 08/24/2003 - 08/31/2003 08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003 09/07/2003 - 09/14/2003 09/28/2003 - 10/05/2003 10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 03/21/2004 - 03/28/2004 03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004 04/04/2004 - 04/11/2004 04/18/2004 - 04/25/2004 04/25/2004 - 05/02/2004 05/02/2004 - 05/09/2004 05/09/2004 - 05/16/2004 05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004 05/30/2004 - 06/06/2004 06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004 06/20/2004 - 06/27/2004 06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004 07/04/2004 - 07/11/2004 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 07/18/2004 - 07/25/2004 08/01/2004 - 08/08/2004 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 08/15/2004 - 08/22/2004 08/29/2004 - 09/05/2004 09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004 12/26/2004 - 01/02/2005 01/02/2005 - 01/09/2005 01/09/2005 - 01/16/2005 01/23/2005 - 01/30/2005 01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005 02/06/2005 - 02/13/2005 02/13/2005 - 02/20/2005 02/20/2005 - 02/27/2005 02/27/2005 - 03/06/2005 03/06/2005 - 03/13/2005 03/13/2005 - 03/20/2005 03/20/2005 - 03/27/2005 03/27/2005 - 04/03/2005 04/10/2005 - 04/17/2005 04/17/2005 - 04/24/2005 04/24/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/15/2005 - 05/22/2005 05/22/2005 - 05/29/2005 05/29/2005 - 06/05/2005 06/05/2005 - 06/12/2005 06/12/2005 - 06/19/2005 06/19/2005 - 06/26/2005 06/26/2005 - 07/03/2005 07/10/2005 - 07/17/2005 07/17/2005 - 07/24/2005 07/24/2005 - 07/31/2005 07/31/2005 - 08/07/2005 08/07/2005 - 08/14/2005 08/14/2005 - 08/21/2005 08/21/2005 - 08/28/2005 09/04/2005 - 09/11/2005 09/11/2005 - 09/18/2005 09/18/2005 - 09/25/2005 10/09/2005 - 10/16/2005 10/16/2005 - 10/23/2005 11/06/2005 - 11/13/2005 03/26/2006 - 04/02/2006 04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006 05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006 05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006 06/04/2006 - 06/11/2006 06/11/2006 - 06/18/2006 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006 07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006 07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007 06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007 07/13/2008 - 07/20/2008 08/03/2008 - 08/10/2008 08/10/2008 - 08/17/2008 08/17/2008 - 08/24/2008 01/11/2009 - 01/18/2009 11/21/2010 - 11/28/2010 02/20/2011 - 02/27/2011 07/10/2011 - 07/17/2011 07/24/2011 - 07/31/2011 09/04/2011 - 09/11/2011 01/20/2013 - 01/27/2013 01/27/2013 - 02/03/2013 02/03/2013 - 02/10/2013 02/10/2013 - 02/17/2013 02/17/2013 - 02/24/2013 02/24/2013 - 03/03/2013 03/03/2013 - 03/10/2013 03/17/2013 - 03/24/2013 03/24/2013 - 03/31/2013 04/07/2013 - 04/14/2013 04/14/2013 - 04/21/2013 04/21/2013 - 04/28/2013 06/09/2013 - 06/16/2013 06/23/2013 - 06/30/2013 07/14/2013 - 07/21/2013 07/28/2013 - 08/04/2013 08/04/2013 - 08/11/2013 08/11/2013 - 08/18/2013 02/02/2014 - 02/09/2014 05/18/2014 - 05/25/2014 05/25/2014 - 06/01/2014 08/03/2014 - 08/10/2014 08/10/2014 - 08/17/2014 02/01/2015 - 02/08/2015 02/08/2015 - 02/15/2015 02/22/2015 - 03/01/2015 08/28/2016 - 09/04/2016 This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Friday, October 04, 2002
 
Number 3: Barry Bonds.

He completed what could reasonably be described as the best four consecutive seasons by a hitter in history, setting a single-season record for slugging percentage in 2001, then doing the same for on-base percentage in 2002, and upping his on-base again in 2004. According to Bill James' win shares system, Bonds is only the second player (the first was Ruth, of course, in 1920-21) to post consecutive years of 50 or more win shares. The totals for both are the same, 104 in the two years. He “slipped” to 30 Win Shares for 2003, but set a new personal high of 53 in 2004. Bonds has pushed his way to the front of the line among left fielders, past Stan Musial.

Bonds was a good enough defender to play center field when he first came up, then moved to left field, but won Gold Gloves for his defense from that spot. Bonds combines power, speed, patience, and his batting titles attest to his ability to be prolific. Holding the single-season home run title, with 73 (!) doesn't hurt either. Bonds got off to a slow career start, but was still valuable with speed and defense, as well as power and walks. Now, he may be the greatest offensive force ever.

You and I have been privileged to watch a legendary ball player at his peak, live and in person. Let's not let anything get in the way of that.

Bonds accumulated 324.01 rating points.

Bonds' stats: .298 average, 762 home runs, 1996 RBI, 514 SB, 2227 runs, 2558 BB, 8 Gold Gloves, 7 MVPs.


Thursday, October 03, 2002
 
Number 2: Ted Williams

Tall and lean, he was nicknamed, "The Splendid Splinter." The title he wanted was, "The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived." Only Babe Ruth has a better claim to that title. Williams was so good, year after year, even with interruptions for wartime. He was a decorated fighter pilot. Yet Williams was even more deadly with a bat in his hands. Fielding and baserunning often seemed like annoyances to him, and he could be curt with press and fans alike; but the man could hit like nobody else. Even with the Green Monster looming in left field, Williams was a dead-pull hitter, and is still the last man to bat .400 for a season. He was one of the few who could win a Triple Crown (leading in batting average, home runs, and RBI) and not win an MVP, because he played in the same league as Joe DiMaggio.

He made no compromises and took no prisoners on the ballfield or in life. After his baseball career ended he became a champion fisherman. And as time went on his legend grew, until at last he was the icon of an era and the old player that young players gravitated to, respecting his ethics and his doggedness.

The question on rating Williams is, do you give credit for his time spent in the military, and if so how much? I gave him credit for what I thought he would have achieved, trying to be conservative. If I made no adjustment, Williams would rank 6th. With credit for over four seasons missed, he gets 330.78 points.

Williams' stats: .344 average, 521 home runs, 1839 RBI, 2019 walks, 555 Win Shares.


Tuesday, October 01, 2002
 
Number 1: Babe Ruth

Without a doubt, by any measure, the Babe is the greatest ever. No other player can be credited with changing the game as much as Ruth did. He took a game that was built around bunts, stolen bases, and the hit-and-run, and introduced the home run, the majestic, towering drive, the four-bagger. Oh, others had hit home runs, but usually just a few, and rules were often soon changed to deemphasize the offense. With the Black Sox World Series scandal as a backdrop, Ruth's changes stayed permanent. Soon a bevy of muscular sluggers were swinging for the fences.

Ruth was a "problem child," sent to an industrial school as a youth as an incorrigible behavior problem. He was a big, rough kid. Somehow, when he grew up, he kept that vulgarity that made him a favorite of the common people, especially children, but lost the violent edge. Ruth was just a kid when Jack Dunn, owner of the Baltimore Orioles (then a minor league team) found him in that Baltimore industrial school. Dunn saw a kid with a lot of ability, and made arrangements to become Ruth's guardian. Starting as a pitcher, the Babe quickly established himself as one of the best, and went to the best team in the American League, the Boston Red Sox.

Ruth helped the Red Sox win the World Series as a top pitcher, but soon was winning even more acclaim for his bat. But, his behavior was still far from that of a choir boy. Looking at him as a guy who would be an early flame-out, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Ruth's contract to the New York Yankees, previously a down-and-out franchise. The Red Sox didn't win a World Series again until 2004, and in that time the Yankees won 26.

Ruth soon hit 54 homers in a season, shattering the record of 29. Then he hit 59. Then, in 1927, he hit 60. He hit 714 in his career, a record that stood for many years. Besides that, he was a great pitcher until his teams decided he was more valuable for his bat. Ruth hit for a high average, drew tons of walks, and had good speed and played good defense in his younger days before he started to gain too much weight in his 30s. He was an all-around great player, the most prolific slugger ever to play the game, and the game's most popular figure ever.

By the rating system I have used, Ruth gets 361.9 points.

Babe Ruth, the greatest baseball player of all time.

Ruth's statistics: lifetime .342 average, 714 home runs, 2213 RBI. Pitching record 94-46, 2.28 ERA. 756 Win Shares.