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
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Friday, January 09, 2004
 
Number 83: Pee Wee Reese

The shortstop and leadoff man of the great 1950s Dodgers teams, Reese was a good defensive shortstop, and a very good hitter, a combination that gave the Dodgers a great start on their seasons. It is this combination of offensive and defensive value that pushes Reese up the charts.

Reese reached Brooklyn in 1940 at age 21, and batted .272 in 84 games. He played every day in 1941-42, then was called up to World War II for the next three years. When he returned to the game in 1946, he was 27, and physically mature. He embarked on a string of 10 excellent seasons, and he would play in 7 World Series and 10 All-Star Games. He only batted .300 once, but drew about 90 walks a year and hit a few home runs, and stole some bases. The Dodgers were one of the few teams that would run in this era, with Jackie Robinson on the team.

In 1956, 37 years old, Reese batted only .257, his lowest since before the war. In 1957 the Dodgers did not win the pennant, and Reese hit only .224. He made the trip out to Los Angeles, but batted .224 in 1958 as a part-timer and then retired. He had posted a .272 average in 44 World Series games.

Reese earned 172.91 ratings points.

Reese's stats: .269 average, 2170 hits, 1220 walks, 330 doubles, 1338 runs.


Thursday, January 08, 2004
 
Number 82: Frank (Big Hurt) Thomas

Thomas was a defensive liability, but the man could simply hit. Thomas has been a prolific hitter since shortly after being drafted by the White Sox in 1990. He hit .330 with 7 home runs in 60 games that year, and proceeded to knock the cover off the ball through 1997, batting over .300 with more than 100 walks and at least 24 home runs every season. In 1998 his average dropped, and in 1999 the average went back up but his power dropped. In both seasons, he was still a productive hitter, just not at his earlier level. In 2000 he was his old self, then in 2001 he was hurt and only played 20 games. In 2002 he was at 1998 levels. In 2003 he was once again a feared hitter. This guy was simply amazing with a bat, holding a career OPS+ of 156, a Ruthian figure. He is a one-dimensional player, but that dimension is so awesome, he is among the best players ever.

Thomas earned 173.22 ratings points.

Thomas' stats: .301 average, 521 homers, 495 doubles, 1704 RBI, .419 OBA, .555 SLG.


Tuesday, January 06, 2004
 
Congratulations to Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley, the 2004 inductees to the Hall of Fame, announced today. Both are deserving of the honor.