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All-Time All-Stars: Part II (Thomas Sowell)
Creators Syndicate ^ | July 6, 2012 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 07/06/2012 11:08:24 AM PDT by jazusamo

Edited on 07/06/2012 12:19:40 PM PDT by Sidebar Moderator. [history]

Trying to choose the greatest pitcher of all time is at least as difficult as trying to choose the greatest hitter of all time. In both cases, the best we can do is narrow down the list.

Outside a charmed circle of five batters, no one had both a higher lifetime batting average and a higher lifetime slugging average than any of those five. In alphabetical order, they are Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. There are other batters whose lifetime records came close, including Barry Bonds, Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg. But close cannot define the greatest.


(Excerpt) Read more at creators.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: baberuth; baseball; sowell; thomassowell

1 posted on 07/06/2012 11:08:28 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

Of course, we don’t know how Hank Greenburg would have done if he got to have Lou Gehrig in the on deck circle.

We also don’t know if Babe Ruth could have either pitched or hit a good slider.


2 posted on 07/06/2012 11:19:01 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("Stronger. You see? You see? Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid! "--Eros, Plan 9 From Outer Space)
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To: abigail2; Amalie; American Quilter; arthurus; awelliott; Bahbah; bamahead; Battle Axe; ...
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3 posted on 07/06/2012 11:37:50 AM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: Dr. Sivana

I know which side of a wager on that issue I would take.

But even if he couldn’t he would have led the league in total home runs for the next 50 or 60 years. Just as he did in the pitching category.

And the funny part is if you had to pick him out as one of the greatest athletes of all time, you couldn’t because he looked like anything but. Barrel-chested, bandy legged with short arms hardly a near-Greek God like many of today’s guys.


4 posted on 07/06/2012 11:42:23 AM PDT by arrogantsob (Obama must Go.)
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5 posted on 07/06/2012 12:09:23 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
It's an easy trap to fall into. Rating players solely on stats without reference to the era they played in. Dr. Sowell should know better.

Anyone who pitched largely in the dead ball era, as did Johnson, will obviously have his shutouts and ERA magnified. Pitchers who excelled in a more hitter friendly era (Grove and Spahn are the first two that come to my mind) are always going to be underrated based on those numbers.

A more fun question is "Who's the best player you ever saw?" As far as pitchers go, for me it's Bob Gibson, hands down.

6 posted on 07/06/2012 12:09:53 PM PDT by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: Notary Sojac
A more fun question is "Who's the best player you ever saw?" As far as pitchers go, for me it's Bob Gibson, hands down.

A great pitcher.

For me, it's Pedro Martinez.

7 posted on 07/06/2012 12:23:38 PM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: Notary Sojac; jazusamo; All

I agree with you different eras. Also, Sowell is living in pre-sabermetrics era. I would rate Marichal and Koufax ahead of Gibson, although Gibson’s 1968 season was the greatest season ever by a pitcher.


8 posted on 07/06/2012 12:27:23 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: jazusamo
Walter Johnson's lifetime earned run average was 2.17. Christy Mathewson had a lifetime ERA of 2.13, but Mathewson played for better teams. It is hard to think of any other pitcher whose lifetime records top theirs, except for records based on sheer longevity, like Cy Young's 511 victories. Cy Young had a lifetime ERA of 2.63 — obviously great, but not the greatest.

If Cy Young won 511 games, it is probable that he pitched well into older age. It is also probable that his efficiency was reduced as he got older. So his 2.63 includes many games when he wasn't at his best. We should therefore then take a comparable number of his early years and use that ERA if we are to compare him with some of the short timers.

9 posted on 07/06/2012 12:36:22 PM PDT by oldbrowser (Your character is your fate.....fortune cookie)
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To: EveningStar

It was great indeed. Mrs jimfree was in HS in St Louis that glorious year. As a straight A student she got comp tickets from time to time and went with her Dad to see some Cardinals. I don’t remember if she actually saw a Series game in 68 but I believe she saw Gibson perform. I’ll have to ask her this evening.


10 posted on 07/06/2012 12:53:51 PM PDT by jimfree (In Nov 2012 my 12 y/o granddaughter will have more relevant executive experience than Barack Obama)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost; Notary Sojac

A more fun question is “Who’s the best player you ever saw?” As far as pitchers go, for me it’s Bob Gibson, hands down.
A great pitcher.

For me, it’s Pedro Martinez.

<><><><><

Gazing into my crystal ball, I see that Notary Sojac is 10-15 years older than Hemingway’s Ghost.

Me too. Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax.

But no team, not now, not ever, had the starting rotation my Orioles had back in the early 70s with 4 20 game winners.


11 posted on 07/06/2012 1:07:35 PM PDT by dmz
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
"A great pitcher.
"For me, it's Pedro Martinez."

Best I ever saw live was Roger Clemens, although that night Bo Jackson took him deep (over the Green Monster).

12 posted on 07/06/2012 1:22:14 PM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: arrogantsob

Hell, my dog can tell you who the greatest baseball player of all time is


13 posted on 07/06/2012 1:26:50 PM PDT by Figment
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To: Notary Sojac

I second that.

Gibson OWNED the plate


14 posted on 07/06/2012 1:32:30 PM PDT by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: Figment
Hell, my dog can tell you who the greatest baseball player of all time is

I have a small dog, and she claims the greatest baseball player of all-time was first baseman Hank Arft (St. Louis Browns, late '40s, early '50s).
15 posted on 07/06/2012 1:33:40 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("Stronger. You see? You see? Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid! "--Eros, Plan 9 From Outer Space)
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To: jazusamo

And let’s not forget Shoeless Joe Jackson, with a lifetime batting average of .356, third behind Cobb and Hornsby. Shoeless Joe hit .411 in his rookie season, something we’re not likely to see again.


16 posted on 07/06/2012 1:38:13 PM PDT by JoeA (JoeA / Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est)
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To: Notary Sojac
It's an easy trap to fall into. Rating players solely on stats without reference to the era they played in. Dr. Sowell should know better. Anyone who pitched largely in the dead ball era, as did Johnson, will obviously have his shutouts and ERA magnified. Pitchers who excelled in a more hitter friendly era (Grove and Spahn are the first two that come to my mind) are always going to be underrated based on those numbers. A more fun question is "Who's the best player you ever saw?" As far as pitchers go, for me it's Bob Gibson, hands down.

Speaking of eras, Gibson played during the modern day dead ball era of the late sixties with high mounds...etc...that magnified his pitching performances.

That said, Gibson was still one of the best I've seen.

17 posted on 07/06/2012 1:52:14 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: FreeReign
Gibson played during the modern day dead ball era

Yes he did, can't argue with that. But having watched him pitch a couple of times from a seat behind the plate at Wrigley, frankly I don't know how anyone ever had the nerve to get in the batter's box against him, dead ball, juiced ball, whatever.

The big change is not the ball or the mound, but the fact that pitchers aren't allowed to intimidate any more.

18 posted on 07/06/2012 3:22:27 PM PDT by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: Notary Sojac
Bob Gibson is an interesting fellow. Before pitching days, even his teammates were scared to talk to him in the clubhouse, he was so intense. Pete Rose said Gibson was the toughest pitcher he ever faced.
19 posted on 07/06/2012 4:15:01 PM PDT by boop (I hate hippies and dopeheads. Just hate them. ...Ernest Borgnine)
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To: jazusamo

I’m not going to state who I think was the greatest bb player of all time, but all the young fans today should be aware that nobody has ever hit baseballs as far as Ruth hit them. A writer named Bill Jenkinson documented Ruth’s clouts for 1921 in a book called “The Year Ruth Hit 104 Homeruns.”


20 posted on 07/06/2012 4:56:50 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: Dr. Sivana

That’s a dog that knows some baseball history :)


21 posted on 07/06/2012 5:56:36 PM PDT by Figment
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To: jazusamo

Steve Carlton


22 posted on 07/06/2012 6:28:19 PM PDT by razorback-bert (I'm in shape. Round is a shape isn't it?)
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To: boop
There's a great story or two about Gibby brushing guys back in an old timers' game.
23 posted on 07/06/2012 6:51:57 PM PDT by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: jazusamo
Back then it was real people with real jobs that played.

The hitters had it easier, with less capable pitchers.


Here in the 21st, it has become a steroid mechanized E German precision like machine.

They took the people out of it. I care not to watch even more felonious millionaires on TV. Aren't there enough already?

24 posted on 07/06/2012 6:53:43 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: rawcatslyentist
I tend to agree. Years ago the great players had their natural ability, worked at it and gave the sport their all.

Some players now and in the not so distant past have chosen to enhance their game in various ways subverting the rules, for me the game has lost much of its appeal.

25 posted on 07/06/2012 7:28:55 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: driftless2
That's why Ruth IS the greatest. It's fun to compare people from different eras and how they would do if placed at a different time, but we can't do that. All we can do is look at how someone performed in their own era.

By any measure, Ruth was literally levels above anyone else.

26 posted on 07/06/2012 7:36:10 PM PDT by boop (I hate hippies and dopeheads. Just hate them. ...Ernest Borgnine)
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