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?
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
 
Part 5: The 1970s.

The membership of our alternative history Hall of Fame now stands thus:

20th century players: Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson; Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Pete Alexander; George Sisler and Eddie Collins; Rogers Hornsby and Rube Waddell, Lou Gehrig, Sam Crawford, Eddie Plank, Harry Heilmann, Three-Finger Brown, Frankie Frisch, Frank Baker, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Terry, Goose Goslin, Burleigh Grimes, Red Faber, Eppa Rixey, Edd Roush, Heinie Groh, Lefty Grove, Gabby Hartnett, Charlie Gehringer, Carl Hubbell, Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx, Paul Waner, Joe Cronin, Ted Lyons, Mel Ott, Hank Greenberg, Bill Dickey, Red Ruffing, Ducky Medwick, Arky Vaughan, Stan Hack, Luke Appling, Billy Herman, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Lou Boudreau, Dizzy Dean, Johnny Mize, Zack Wheat, Max Carey, Dazzy Vance, Jackie Robinson, Bob Feller, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Larry Doby, Ted Williams, Hal Newhouser, Richie Ashburn, Stan Musial, Early Wynn.

19th century players: Cap Anson, Buck Ewing, Willie Keeler, Cy Young; Ed Delahanty, Old Hoss Radbourn, Herman Long, and King Kelly; Jimmy Collins and Fred Clarke; Kid Nichols and Amos Rusie, John M. Ward, Roger Connor, Pud Galvin, Dan Brouthers, Tim Keefe, Billy Hamilton, John Clarkson, Jesse Burkett, Mickey Welch, George Davis, Bid McPhee, Bill Dahlen, Jake Beckley, Jim O'Rourke, Bobby Mathews, Harry Wright, Davy Force, Joe Start.

Non-players/pioneers: John McGraw, Connie Mack, George Wright, Morgan Bulkeley, Ban Johnson, Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, Al Spalding, Judge Landis, Bill Klem, Tommy Connolly, Ed Barrow, Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel and Branch Rickey.

Our Hall is at 108 members, while the real-life HOF in Cooperstown 115. Cooperstown has passed our number sooner than I expected, and the gap will only grow. One of the problems of the frequent measures taken to tighten up the Hall is that they invariably backfire. Pressure builds up, and it must escape somewhere. Our Hall, with a more measured approach, is not prone to such problems. It also helps being imaginary.

The 1970s will bring the Negro Leagues Committee: our alternate choices will parallel those of real life. One pitfall of the 1970s, the profligacy of the Veterans' Committee, we will avoid. Our VC is mostly for non-players now, and we don't have a backlog of ignored past stars, nor a committee that can be affected by a single Hall of Famer with some sportswriter allies dominating the proceedings.

1970 brings eligibility for Duke Snider, who gains election, and Billy Pierce, who misses. He'll draw interest in subsequent ballots but it's a long shot for him. Our VC will ignore the real-life group's election of Ford Frick. Cooperstown has made a habit of electing each commissioner, but we will stick with Landis.

1971 brings the election of Yogi Berra and Warren Spahn, with Nellie Fox falling short. Like Pierce, he could get a second look. The Negro Leagues Committee made its first selection, choosing Satchel Paige, and we will make that same pick. The VC had an active year but we will pass.

1972 sees the election of two pitchers in Robin Roberts and Sandy Koufax. Koufax has only 165 wins but the precedent of Dizzy Dean and his short-term dominance make Koufax electable. Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson get the call from the Negro Leagues committee.

The 1973 vote elects Whitey Ford, and also picks up Nellie Fox this time. The Negro Leagues committee selects Monte Irvin. And, after his unexpected death, Roberto Clemente is singled out in a special election, similar to the honor bestowed on Lou Gehrig.

1974 sees the election of Mickey Mantle and Eddie Mathews. The Negro League choice is Cool Papa Bell. The 1975 vote chooses Ken Boyer and Don Drysdale, with Negro League pick Judy Johnson.

1976 sees no new outstanding candidates, so Billy Pierce makes it through for election. Oscar Charleston is the Negro Leagues choice. The real-life VC is being very prolific, with Frankie Frisch's playing cronies and also executives and umpires. We are ignoring these choices.

In 1977 Ernie Banks and Jim Bunning gain election through our BBWAA, and the Negro Leagues committee chooses Martin Dihigo and Pop Lloyd, then votes to disband. Would that all committees were so cooperative, and did their work so well. This committee is actually the inspiration, in many ways, of this exercise. Often there is a better way. Our VC will concur with the real-life one in one matter, electing manager Al Lopez to the Hall.

1978 sees the election of Hoyt Wilhelm; Clemente would have been eligible here save for his early recognition. We close out the decade in 1979 with the election of Willie Mays, a fitting end for any exercise.

To sum up, the decade sees the election of:

20th century players: Duke Snider, Yogi Berra, Warren Spahn, Robin Roberts and Sandy Koufax, Whitey Ford and Nellie Fox, Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Ken Boyer, Don Drysdale, Billy Pierce, Ernie Banks, Jim Bunning, Hoyt Wilhelm, Willie Mays.

Negro Leagues: Satchel Paige, Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson, Monte Irvin, Cool Papa Bell, Judy Johnson, Oscar Charleston, Martin Dihigo, Pop Lloyd.


Non-players: Al Lopez.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014
 
Part 4: the 1960s.

We continue our look at what an ideal Hall of Fame selection process might have accomplished, with a better thought out election process, groups dedicated to selecting 20th century and 19th century players, and money committed to doing research years before the actual fact of the Baseball Encyclopedia and the Society for American Baseball Research happened in the real world. The result, we hope, is a better process leading to better results.

Our world of might-have-been has produced a Hall with these members through 1959:

20th century players: Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson; Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Pete Alexander; George Sisler and Eddie Collins; Rogers Hornsby and Rube Waddell, Lou Gehrig, Sam Crawford, Eddie Plank, Harry Heilmann, Three-Finger Brown, Frankie Frisch, Frank Baker, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Terry, Goose Goslin, Burleigh Grimes, Red Faber, Eppa Rixey, Edd Roush, Heinie Groh, Lefty Grove, Gabby Hartnett, Charlie Gehringer, Carl Hubbell, Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx, Paul Waner, Joe Cronin, Ted Lyons, Mel Ott, Hank Greenberg, Bill Dickey, Red Ruffing, Ducky Medwick, Arky Vaughan, Stan Hack, Luke Appling, Billy Herman, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Lou Boudreau, Dizzy Dean, Johnny Mize, Zack Wheat.

19th century players: Cap Anson, Buck Ewing, Willie Keeler, Cy Young; Ed Delahanty, Old Hoss Radbourn, Herman Long, and King Kelly; Jimmy Collins and Fred Clarke; Kid Nichols and Amos Rusie, John M. Ward, Roger Connor, Pud Galvin, Dan Brouthers, Tim Keefe, Billy Hamilton, John Clarkson, Jesse Burkett, Mickey Welch, George Davis, Bid McPhee, Bill Dahlen, Jake Beckley, Jim O'Rourke, Bobby Mathews, Harry Wright, Davy Force, Joe Start.

Non-players/pioneers: John McGraw, Connie Mack, George Wright, Morgan Bulkeley, Ban Johnson, Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, Al Spalding, Judge Landis, Bill Klem, Tommy Connolly, Ed Barrow, Joe McCarthy.

We have 94 men in our Hall at this point; Cooperstown in 1959 had 84 members of the Hall. Our exercise is ahead of reality, but that will not last. The actual Hall would get quite enthusiastic in the 1960s, and downright prolific in the 1970s.

In both 1958 and 1960 the real-life BBWAA failed to elect anyone; rather than going to yearly elections, they decided to try runoffs. Yearly elections resumed with 1966, and continue to this day. The Veteran's Committee was electing some people at this point. Our 1960 BBWAA election, not finding any worthy new candidates (Johnny Pesky and Allie Reynolds are the top names), looks backward and researchers produce Max Carey as a worthy name, who gains election. 1961 has a similar problem (Ralph Kiner, Vern Stephens, and Hal Newhouser are considered), and similarly Dazzy Vance is chosen.

1962 has no such issues. Jackie Robinson and Bob Feller both join the ballot and are elected immediately. Phil Rizzuto draws some support. The 1963 ballot elects Roy Campanella, and now the color line of the HOF is fully broken. More to come. George Kell and Dizzy Trout were also-rans.

1964 elects Pee Wee Reese to the Hall with Bob Lemon in the mix. In 1965 we gain Larry Doby with Enos Slaughter following on the voting list. 1966 brings Ted Williams, and his famous induction speech calling for the addition of Negro League players to the Hall. Spurred into action, our researchers work on the problem. Our Veterans' Committee also mirrors the action of the real-life version, and votes in Casey Stengel and Branch Rickey as non-player HOFers.

1967 produces no outstanding new candidates, with Ted Kluszewski likely the best player. Hal Newhouser is elected. In 1968 Richie Ashburn gains election. Herb Score reminds of what might have been. In 1969, it's Stan Musial and Early Wynn. Gil Hodges and Red Schoendienst draw interest.

The 1960s has passed quietly for us in our exercise. The effects of the World War II era show in the absence of candidates in some years, but also enables some research to catch a few misses. Our new members for the decade:

20th century players: Max Carey, Dazzy Vance, Jackie Robinson, Bob Feller, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Larry Doby, Ted Williams, Hal Newhouser, Richie Ashburn, Stan Musial, Early Wynn.


Non-players: Casey Stengel and Branch Rickey.