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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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
 
Number 243: Tommy Leach.

"Wee" Tommy Leach stood just five-foot-six but he was a sturdy baseball player, mostly for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Honus Wagner era. Leach began his career as an infielder, mostly at third base where a spry fellow was required to field the many bunts of the deadball era. Leach did well at that, but later in his career began to spend most of his time in center field, running down fly balls and pouncing on base hits quickly.

Leach didn't have much power at that small stature but sprayed the ball around the field, collecting lots of hits and stretching out doubles and triples when they hit the gaps. He drew a fair number of walks, too, and was an effective offensive weapon. Leach played in two World Series, getting nine hits in each, with four triples in the 1903 Classic and four doubles in 1909.

Leach earned 133.17 ratings points.

Leach's stats: .269 average, 2143 hits, 361 steals, 172 triples.


Monday, August 18, 2008
 
Number 242: Stan Coveleski.

Coveleski was a spitballer, his status surviving the 1920 outlawing of the pitch through the "grandfather" clause that went with it. He first appeared in the majors in 1912 with the Philadelphia A's, but his 2-1 record did not impress with a team in the midst of four pennants and he was sent back out. In 1916 he joined the Indians and began a run of success in Cleveland, starting with a 15-13 season that year at age 26.

Coveleski won 20 games four years in a row 1918-21, led the league in ERA in 1923 and 1925, in strikeouts in 1920. He won three games for the Indians in the 1920 World Series, pushing the Tribe over the top. After a 15-16 season in 1924, he was swapped to Washington, and went to another Series in 1925. He was just an occasional pitcher by 1927, and finished up with twelve games for the Yankees in 1928.

Coveleski earned 133.25 ratings points.

Coveleski's stats: 215-142 record, 2.89 ERA, 224 CG, 127 ERA+.