Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

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

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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, June 04, 2004
 
Number 119: Eddie Plank.

"Gettysburg Eddie" was born and died in that Pennsylvania city and Civil War battle site, events that occurred approximately 50 years apart. For 17 of those years, Plank hurled major league baseball, winning 326 games, mostly for the Philadelphia Athletics not terribly far from his home. He also pitched for the St. Louis Federal League team in 1915, lending credibility to that loop, and 1916-17 for the AL St. Louis Browns.

But it was for Connie Mack's A's that Plank won his renown. Plank first pitched in the majors in 1901, posting a 17-13 record and 3.31 ERA, an above-average figure for that season. His ERA was better than average each year but one, that being 1914 when he was 38 years old. Plank won 20 or more games in eight seasons, and pitched in four World Series for the A's, posting a 1.32 World Series ERA.

Plank earned 160.83 ratings points.

Plank's stats: 326-194 record, 2.35 ERA, 2246 K, 410 CG.


Wednesday, June 02, 2004
 
Number 118: Fred Clarke.

Clarke was made manager of the Louisville Colonels in 1897, when he was 24. In 1900 when the NL contracted he was shifted to Pittsburgh and was also manager there. He managed the Pirates throughout his playing career, until 1915. Therefore, he was also Honus Wagner's manager for most of Wagner's career.

But his managerial career is now why he's on this list. Clarke was also the left fielder on four pennant-winning Pirate teams. The midwesterner was a solid hitter, leading the league in slugging and OPS in 1903, finishing second in batting average twice, leading the league in doubles once and triples once. Clarke played in 21 seasons, 16 as a regular, and posted a 132 OPS+. He also played an excellent left field.

Clarke earned 162.1 ratings points.

Clarke's stats: .312 average, 2672 hits, 361 doubles, 220 triples, 1619 runs.


Tuesday, June 01, 2004
 
Number 117: Jim Edmonds

He was a spectacular center fielder, with those diving catches, and a regular feature of ESPN's "Web Gems." But he has snuck up on us, I think, as a great player. Not everyone who makes spectacular plays is actually a good fielder, as those plays often mean the guy gets a poor jump on the ball or is out of position. But Edmonds really was as good as he looked.

He was also a terrific hitter. He hit for a good average and for power while drawing walks. First with the Angels and more recently with the Cardinals, and finally with several teams, Edmonds was a great defensive player who was also a middle-of-the-order hitter, a very valuable commodity. Edmonds was an asset at any spot in the lineup. Oddly, he was only been an all-star four times, though a top-10 MVP finisher twice. Yet he is one of the greatest playing today. Hopefully a guy with 8 Gold Gloves and over 300 home runs will get his due.

Edmonds has earned 162.39 ratings points.

Edmonds' stats: .284 average, 393 HR, .376 on-base, .527 slugging, 132 OPS+.


Monday, May 31, 2004
 
Number 116: Joe Torre

Most know him as the manager of the New York Yankees, but Torre also had a successful playing career that included the 1971 NL MVP. He also won a 1965 Gold Glove as a catcher, but that was one of the bad award selections, as Torre was already being edged to a corner infield spot. He played more behind the plate than anywhere else during his career, but also played a lot at 1B and 3B.

Torre came up to the Braves in 1960, batting twice, played part time for two years and became a regular in 1963. He showed a good average and good power during his career, and also drew a fair number of walks. He won the 1971 batting title and also led the league in RBI that year, and was a 9-time all-star. He drove in 100 runs in 5 seasons, even playing in the depressed offensive era of the 1960s and 1970s.

Torre's numbers are not as impressive at first look as if you also check the context. His 129 OPS+ is indicative of his quality.

Torre earned 162.39 ratings points.

Torre's stats: .297 average, 252 homers, 2342 hits, 1185 RBI.


 
Number 115: Goose Goslin.

Leon Allen Goslin was a New Jersey native who began with the Washington Senators in 1921, playing 14 games and batting .260 at age 20. He soon moved into the regular LF job. Goslin became a top-notch hitter, with an excellent average and good power. His home park held down his stats a bit, but he won the 1928 batting title and led the league in RBI in 1924. The Senators were at their height, winning the World Series in 1924 and the pennant in 1925. Goslin was a major cog in those teams.

The Senators faded, and Goslin was traded to the Browns in mid-season 1930 for Heinie Manush and Alvin "General" Crowder. That gave him a shorter fence to aim at, and he hit 37 HR that year, his career high. Goslin spent two more full seasons with St. Louis, then was dealt back to the Senators for 1933, and the Nats won their final pennant that year. Goslin was then dealt to the Tigers, and the Detroit squad won the next two pennants with Goslin in LF, including the 1935 World Series.

Goslin was a regular through 1936, then a part-timer for two more years. He was a hard hitter and good outfielder, and part of a number of winning teams.

Goslin earned 162.69 ratings points.

Goslin's stats: .316 average, 248 HR, 2735 hits, .500 slugging.


Sunday, May 30, 2004
 
Number 114: Nolan Ryan

There will be two types of people who read this: those who can't believe Ryan is this low, and those who can't believe Ryan is this high. We'll look at both of those sides of the coin as we go.

Nolan Ryan is perhaps the hardest thrower ever in major league baseball. He continued to have an A+ fastball, right up to his retirement at age 46. This is simply astonishing, and largely unheard of. But Ryan was a force of nature, almost superhumanly resilient and capable of throwing pitch after pitch at extreme high velocity. No one ever had more strikeouts. Probably no one ever will.

Ryan also excelled at keeping the ball in the ballpark. He gave up few home runs, especially because he was a hard thrower. This was largely because he was so hard to hit solidly. On the third "true outcome," Ryan fell a little short as for much of his career he issued a lot of walks. He averaged over a walk per two innings for his career. Perhaps he so hated to give in to a hitter that he kept trying to throw that unhittable pitch, even when behind in the count, even at the expense of giving up a walk.

For all his talent, with eleven times leading the league in strikeouts and twice in ERA, he never won a Cy Young Award. He never led the league in wins, and won 20 in a season only twice. He pitched with a lot of lousy teams, of course, but did make five postseasons. Only in one of those years, 1969 with the Miracle Mets, did his team win a postseason series. Ryan was usually only a little below the league average in ERA. He was a pitcher of great extremes, and as such is difficult to rate. I give him credit for longevity, for being the greatest strikeout pitcher ever, and for his low home run totals. So, he rates this high. However, he did not make a big difference in a lot of pennant races, and he had a weakness for surrendering walks. So, he doesn't rate any higher. But I can tell you he was amazing to watch, even into his mid-40s.

Ryan earned 162.69 ratings points.

Ryan's stats: 324-292 record, 5714 K, 3.19 ERA, 222 CG, 61 shutouts.