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Everything you wanted to know about Babe Ruth

Discussion in 'Sports Forum' started by Salty, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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  2. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    Baseball-Reference is a gold mine for baseball stat nerds (like me).

    Babe Ruth was the best baseball player in history.

    Sent from my Moto Droid Turbo.
     
  3. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    A lot of those old time ballplayers, especially Babe Ruth, are guys you like to read about and find out more about when you're a kid-- at least that was I and the other guys who liked baseball. I still remember a book in the school library that I checked out several times about the original 5 Hall of Famers-- Ruth, Cobb, Mathewson, Johnson, and Wagner-- and I loved the stories of every one. But expectedly there was a lot untold in a book of that level. There was no mention of Ruth wanting to divorce his wife, but didn't want to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church, and then she died under suspicious circumstances. I've heard preachers joke about such a matter-- "My wife and I never considered divorce-- we did consider murder...."-- but this may be the real thing in that way. I don't think the book told about Cobb's assault on a black man who just wanted to shake his hand, or his attacking a disabled fan who was heckling him; though no competent book can talk about Cobb without mentioning his rage and his desire to harm and intimidate if that will help him win. The more recent things I've learned about Ruth-- such as that he would pick up a half-smoked cigar in the floor of the men's room and stick it in his mouth and light it-- must have been concealed even by more 'mature' books for decades.

    But I have used baseball-reference.com for a lot of years to look up the stats a bout many players and teams. I'm glad it's there.
     
  4. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I would tend to see Willy Mayes as being superior, as was much faster and was a 5 tool player!
    truth is that Josh Gibson or some other Black ballplayer before Jackie R might have been better too!
     
  5. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    Did Willy Mays pitch in 163 games, winning 94, including 17 shutouts, with an ERA of 2.28? No.

    Did he pitch and win 3 World Series games (ERA of 0.87)? No.

    Sent from my Moto Droid Turbo.
     
  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Did the babe have to face superior black atheletes during his time, were there any relievers?
     
  7. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    Why are black athletes superior?

    The relievers in Ruth's era, like the relievers for most of Willy Mays era, were minor league starters that weren't good enough to be starters in the major leagues. Furthermore, for the final third of May's career there were 12 teams in the league, not 8, meaning the pitching was diluted.

    How many black pitchers that didn't play against Babe Ruth were better than, say, Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove, Ted Lyons, Wes Ferrell, Mel Harder, Stan Coveleski, etc.?

    Babe Ruth is the career leader in WAR (Wins Above Replacement Level) a statistic that measures the worth of a single player against the average player, and it works across the various eras of baseball. Mays is 5th on this list.

    Ruth is the career leader in OPS+ (on-base plus slugging), an offensive stat that measures the ability of a player to produce a run. Willy Mays is 21st on this list.

    The fact is that Babe Ruth pitched in 163 games and had an ERA of 2.28 AND he hit 714 HRs. Willy Mays hit 660 HRs and never pitched. Argument over.
     
  8. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    It seems there is no one criteria/objective to what is being talked about by "best player in baseball history."

    Greatest all-around player.
    Most valuable player.
    The best at what the player does.
    The farthest above his peers.
    The player whose efforts led to the most runs scored or the least runs allowed.

    Even with all these it's hard to compare eras, along with integration, equipment, medical/physiological knowledge, et al. Baseball, however, does cross eras and expectations better than football [www.pro-football-reference.com]; as, for instance, it can't be concluded that Drew Brees was far superior to Otto Graham by comparing the seasonal yardage records they both set (in 1952 and 2011).

    But regarding Willie Mays v. Babe Ruth, as has been put forth here... Babe Ruth was the best run-producer in a long career, and one of the most effective pitchers in a short (4-year) span. Willie Mays, in a long career, was among the best at hitting, power-hitting, fielding, throwing, and running. But Mays could only play the outfield (till he lost range and had to play 1B near the end), where his great catches and throws were much talked about, but overall they did quite little to minimize opponents' run productions. [If we get into how much they mattered psychologically, as in the 1954 World Series, there is definitely no way to objectively evaluate that.] If Mays had a weakness as a player, I think it was in the strategic approach-- he had trouble reading signals, and he sometimes tried to do what even he was incapable of; Leo Durocher once benched him for starting to take second on a routine fly ball to LF, and he only stopped because the 1B coach shouted at him. And he committed the 4th greatest career number of errors as a CF, while the 3 ahead of him (Carey, Speaker, Cobb) all played in an era in which errors were charged with less 'mercy' and gloves were not as good-- for all his great plays, a great number didn't 'work.' Ruth sometimes let his team down by his own lack of discipline, as by such a childish thing as a ridiculous overconsumption of hot dogs, which caused him to have a sub-par year in 1925. And while Ruth did a lot for both ends [score most; allow least], he was nothing special a a full-time OF, and he wasn't a very good base runner-- but he still tried to steal and was caught almost as many times as he succeeded. But surely no player changed the game more than he-- to the consternation of Cobb and others who liked the 'dirty, bloody' game over counting on the HR, and he vacuumed the lost confidence in the game from 1919-20, renewing interest with a new excitement. Mays was the first black superstar who played an entire career in the major leagues (well, arguably; he began in the Negro League, but still made the Giants at age 20), and he did bring the best of the style of baseball of those leagues into the 'mainstream,' where he still fit in and quickly helped his team win; near where Ruth, such a short distance away, had helped his new team win quickly 30 years before.

    There's a lot of reasons they are hard to really compare, but it's hard to ever put an individual player, even the caliber of Willie Mays, over Babe Ruth individually for what he did and its impact, for his own time and the lasting consequences.
     
  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Babe ruth was the single most important person in history of baseball, and was one of the greatest, but still think Willie Mayes was a superior all around player to him.
     
  10. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I meant that he did not have to face the stars from the negros leagues, many of whom were very bit as good as their white counterparts!
     
  11. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    Why? How can a guy that didn't pitch, didn't hit as many home runs (despite having 2,400 more ABs), had a batting average 40 points lower than Ruth, scored fewer runs, etc. etc. be the "superior all around player"? Because he stole more bases? Mays averaged 15 SBs per season, not exactly a speed burner.
     
  12. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    He was playing in an era where there were night games, and there were relivers, and there were black and latino ball players, so much better set of skilled players going against!
     
  13. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    I don't know how many times I've got to say this--Babe Ruth pitched in 163 games, winning 94 of them with an ERA of 2.28. Babe Ruth won three World Series games as a pitcher. Willy Mays did not pitch. Not ever!

    As to your better set of skilled players in Willy Mays' era, he played a significant portion of his career when there were 24 teams; Babe Ruth played when there were only 16 MLB teams. More teams means more dilution of talent.
     
  14. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Except that they did not have blacks or latinos to play then!
     
  15. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    I guess, then, we are supposed to trade Ruth's great pitching for Mays' stolen bases, which is really the only thing Mays bested Ruth in other than by playing more games as an outfielder. And then, I suppose we trade the 400 (16 x 25) best white ballplayers (some of whom were Hispanic) which Ruth played against for the 500 best black and white players that Mays played against.* I really think those kind of stats come out -even+.

    Mays played 9 seasons with 16 teams, 7 seasons with 20 teams, and his last 5 seasons with 24 teams, so 500 players is about the average.
     
  16. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Who was the better fielder, Mayes, better baserunner, <ayes, less strikeouts, more balls into play, mayes, more hits, Mayes and very clse to Babe in home runs!

    Babge better pure slugger, power hitter, willie better overall!
     
  17. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    Mays was better with the glove (could be related to more modern glove technology), however Ruth had 9 more OF assists than Mays, in 549 fewer games.

    Again, a guy cannot be a better overall player if he hasn't pitched.
     
  18. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Guess that means Mile trout better become a starter!
     
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