Should We Allow 9 Players to Damage History

Should we allow nine players to damage Baseball’s History and it’s milestone numbers ?

Should baseball fans allow nine players in the history of the game to effect the way we view the record books and the history of the game?

Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, suspensions, steroids, the Hall of Fame, baseball records, as well as baseball history has been the focus of attention in the baseball world for a good part of July 2013. This topic once again has dominated the discussions on sports talk radio and all other forms of baseball media coverage. In the past several years, when discussions of the baseball record books, the Hall of Fame or any topic relating to baseball history, the steroid era has become the main focus. Fans became angry when the home run records of their childhood stars were shattered. Baseball fans, whether tuning in to sports talk radio, reading newspaper articles, looking up medical studies etc., have been bombarded with countless hours of debates of how baseball history should handle the steroid era. Most of the true fans feel cheated by this controversial era. The general feeling has been that baseball history, as well as, it’s record books have been damaged beyond repair. At baseballsgreatesthitters.com we feel we have a possible solution of viewing this era in a more favorable way.

From 1876 to opening day 2016 there have been 18,408 major league baseball players. We will begin by focusing on 9 of these players, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa,Jose Canseco ,David Ortiz, Gary Sheffield, and Rafael Palmiero all who played in the steroid era .We do realize that P.E.D. use was wide spread in this era, but the reality is, many of the players who broke the rules, who are not Hall of Fame candidates and did not enter the record books, will retire and be forgotten. As of now, we will begin with these 9 players and as story of this era unfolds, more players will be added to this list. We have put together some home run charts (see below), the one on the left are the numbers recorded in the record books as of July 2013, and the chart on the right illustrates how the record books would look without these 9 players. The players highlighted in red are the players who posted the “tainted” numbers, something we feel M.L.B. consider using. Unfortunately, baseball cannot erase the past 20 years nor can it remove players from the record books, but they do have the means to foot note the players who cheated the fans of their history. Eventually when all the names come out, we feel the number of players who fit in the statistical category with Bonds, Rodriguez, Sosa, McGwire, Ramirez,Canseco and Palmiero will most likely max out at 15 to 20 players. As baseball fans who respect the game, we should not allow a group of 15-20 players to destroy our record books and tarnish the history of the game we love. Since the numbers do exist and are already in the record books, highlight or asterick these numbers,identify them as being “tainted.” In Cooperstown where the names of the record holders are listed, recognize the players as the greatest of their era, who have put up Hall of Fame statistics and did have Hall of Fame talent, but never give them the privilege of ever being inducted members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

CHART 1 – Barry Bonds -762,  CHART 2 – Hank Aaron-755

No. Player H.R. No. Player H.R.
1 Barry Bonds 762 1 Hank Aaron 755
2 Hank Aaron 755 2 Babe Ruth 714
3 Babe Ruth 714 3 Wilie Mays 660
4 Alex Rodriguez 696 4 Albert Pujols 632
5 Willie Mays 660 5 Ken Griffey Jr. 630
6 Albert Pujols 631 6 Jim Thome 612
7 Ken Griffey Jr. 630 7 Frank Robinson 586
8 Jim Thome 612 8 Harmon Killebrew 573
9 Sammy Sosa 609 9 Reggie Jackson 563
10 Frank Robinson 586 10 Mike Schmidt 548
11 Mark McGwire 583 11 Mickey Mantle 536
12 Harmon Killebrew 573 12 Jimmie Foxx 534
13 Rafael Palmiero 569 13 Ted Williams 521
14 Reggie Jackson 563 Willie McCovey 521
15 Manny Ramirez 555 Frank Thomas 521
16 Mike Schmidt 548 16 Eddie Matthews 512
17 David Ortiz 541 Ernie Banks 512
18 Mickey Mantle 536 18 Mel Ott 511
19 Jimmie Foxx 534 19 Eddie Murray 504
20 Ted Williams 521 20 Lou Gehrig 493
Willie McCovey 521 Fred McGriff 493
Frank Thomas 521
23 Eddie Matthews 512
Ernie Banks 512
25 Mel Ott 511
26 Gary Sheffield 509
27 Eddie Murray 504
28 Lou Gehrig 493
Fred McGriff 493
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CHART 1Barry Bonds – 73, CHART 2 Roger Maris – 61

No. Player H.R. Year No. Player H.R. Year
1 Barry Bonds 73 2001 1 Roger Maris 61 1961
2 Mark McGwire 70 1998 2 Babe Ruth 60 1927
3 Sammy Sosa 66 1998 3 Babe Ruth 59 1921
4 Mark McGwire 65 1999 Giancarlo Stanton 59 2017
5 Sammy Sosa 64 2001 5 Jimmie Foxx 58 1932
6 Sammy Sosa 63 1999 Hank Greenberg 58 1938
7 Roger Maris 61 1961 Ryan Howard 58 2006
8 Babe Ruth 60 1927 8 Luis Gonzalez 57 2001
9 Babe Ruth 59 1921 9 Ken Griffey Jr. 56 1998
Giancarlo Stanton 59 2017 Ken Griffey Jr. 56 1997
11 Jimmie Foxx 58 1932 Hack Wilson 56 1930
Hank Greenberg 58 1938 12 Mickey Mantle 54 1961
Ryan Howard 58 2006 Jose Bautista 54 2010
Mark McGwire 58 1997 Babe Ruth 54 1928
15 Alex Rodriguez 57 2002 Babe Ruth 54 1920
Luis Gonzalez 57 2001 Ralph Kiner 54 1949
17 Ken Griffey Jr. 56 1997 17 Chris Davis 53 2013
Ken Griffey Jr. 56 1998 18 Mickey Mantle 52 1956
Hack Wilson 56 1930 Willie Mays 52 1965
20 Mickey Mantle 54 1961 Aaron Judge 52 2017
Jose Bautista 54 2010 George Foster 52 1977
Ralph Kiner 54 1949 Jim Thome 52 2002
Babe Ruth 54 1928
Babe Ruth 54 1920
David Ortiz 54 2006
Alex Rodriguez 54 2007
27 Chris Davis 53 2013
28 Mickey Mantle 52 1956
Willie Mays 52 1965
Aaron Judge 52 2017
Alex Rodriguez 52 2001
Mark McGwire 52 1996
George Foster 52 1977
Jim Thome 52 2002
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Content copyright 2017. Joe Angelini. All rights reserved.

Roger vs Reggie

Roger vs. Reggie…….Who was the Greater “N.Y. Yankee”

A NYC Sports Talk Radio Debate, Reggie or Roger… Who is the greater Yankee ?

At baseballsgreatesthitters.com. we have heard over the past several years a lot of discussion and debates about the top All-Time Yankee greats. The idea to do this particular player comparison actually came listening to a sports talk show hosted by Marc Malusis, one of the industries most talented, knowledgeable and respected sports talk radio personalities. Using our rating system, we decided to do a comparison of the N.Y.Yankee careers of Roger Maris and Reggie Jackson. When looking back at the careers of both Reggie and Roger, there is no comparison. Reggie is a Hall of Famer and by far had the better lifetime numbers, but keep in mind, our player comparison is Jacksons’ five years as a Yankee compared to the first five Yankee years of Maris.

Who was the greater New York Yankee?

RATING: Roger Maris-3.525 Reggie Jackson- 3.395
(Career Rating- Roger Maris 3.453 Reggie Jackson- 4.114 )

5 Year Total At Bats Runs Hits 2B 3B H.R.’s R.B.I’s S.B. B.B. K’s Ave.
Roger Maris 2,504 461 679 94 15 182 477 7 348 328 272
Reggie Jackson 2,349 380 661 115 14 144 461 41 326 573 281
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Player Year A.B. Runs Hits 2B 3B H.R.’s R.B.I’s B.B. K’s S.B. Ave.
R. Maris 1960 499 98 141 18 7 39 112 70 65 2 283
1961 590 132 159 16 4 61 141 94 67 0 269
1962 590 92 151 34 1 33 100 87 78 1 256
1963 312 53 84 14 1 23 53 35 40 1 269
1964 513 86 144 12 2 26 71 62 78 3 281
5 yr Total 2,504 461 679 94 15 182 477 348 328 7 281
R. Jackson 1977 525 93 150 39 2 32 110 74 129 17 286
1978 511 82 140 13 5 27 97 58 133 14 274
1979 465 78 138 24 2 29 89 65 107 9 297
1980 514 94 154 22 4 41 111 83 122 1 300
1981 334 33 79 17 1 15 54 46 82 0 237
5 yr Total 2,394 380 661 115 14 144 461 326 573 41 279
  • Roger Maris had back to back M.V.P. seasons (1960 and 1961)- Reggie Jackson never won an M.V.P.as a Yankee.
  • In Roger’s first 5 seasons, the Yankees went to the World Series 5 times winning 2 championships, in Reggie’s 5 seasons, the Yankees went to the World Series 3 times winning 2 championships.
  • Roger Maris won a Gold Glove award in 1960, Reggie Jackson never won a Gold Glove.
  • Roger Maris had 3 consecutive 30 plus Home Run seasons. Reggie Jackson had never topped the 30 Home Run mark in consecutive seasons, and while hitting 563 career Home Runs, he had never topped the 30 H.R. mark in consecutive seasons his 21 year career.

When comparing these two historic players, about the only commonality was both wore pinstripes in right field. Roger Maris, chasing the Ruthian legend and eclipsing the untouchable record, had the biggest moment in Yankee history and perhaps baseball history in 1961. Unfortunately, because of a reprehensible media no doubt swayed by Ruth’s God-like status, this unbelievable accomplishment, rather than enhance his career with earned and deserved status, actually made him an unpopular and disliked Yankee and ball player generally. Mickey Mantle called Maris the best athlete on the team and he was a multi-tool, complete ball player for which he was never credited. He could do it all – hit for power,advance base-runners, bunt, run with speed and intelligence and was an outstanding fielder with a rocket throwing arm. Reggie Jackson does not compare to Maris in terms of the complete package. He was unquestionably a strong power hitter who consistently sought the long ball. He also sought center stage and on many occasions achieved it. Mr. October’s ability to shine with the spotlight on certainly made him heroic in the eyes of many but also may have skewed perceptions of his overall performance. Without question, Reggie grabbed the headlines often with his big personality, clutch hitting in post season and big moments on the national stage and was a great power hitter but we think that as a complete player during their “Yankee Years”, Maris outshone this superstar.

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Content copyright 2017. Joe Angelini. All rights reserved.

Gil Hodges

Gil Hodges…….A Forgotten Great ?

Should Gil Hodges be in the Hall of Fame?

This question has been raised countless times and debated by baseball writers, sport talk radio hosts, as well as baseball fans throughout the country. At baseballsgreatesthitters.com, this presentation is based only on statistics, ranking, and the career numbers put up by Gil Hodges. As we all know, the Hall of Fame for the most part is all about the numbers or as we call it, the back of the baseball card. At a very early time in baseball history, Babe Ruth, statistically, set the bar at an extremely high level. Even today as the 2018 season comes to an end, no player has come close to putting up Ruth-like career numbers. Please keep in mind, before you review our research, all of the players currently in the Hall of Fame are not at the level of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays or Hank Aaron, to name a few. The players that are in the Hall of Fame are all “A” players, but with careers at different levels. At baseballsgreatesthitters.com we have put them into three categories, The “A+” Player, The “A” Player and The “A-“Player.

We will make reference to other players in our research, but without the intent of elevating or discrediting any of the accomplishments of these great players, to make a case to support or not to be supportive of Gil Hodges’ entry to Cooperstown. For example, if we feel Gil Hodges is a better player than player A, and player A is in Cooperstown, therefore Gil Hodges should be elected……that particular approach will not be used. The goal of our research is to have our readers review our work and kindly get back to us with your opinion.

Gil Hodges retired from baseball in 1963, and became eligible for the Hall of Fame vote in 1969, and after 15 years of falling short of the 75% required for election, his Hall of Fame entry was turned over to the Veterans Committee. From1983 and for the past 32 years he has been kept out of Cooperstown.

The Hall of Fame, as we said, for the most part is statistics driven, and baseball is, and has always been, the game of numbers.

Checking the back of the baseball card:
Gil Hodges 1943-1963

  • 1943 only 2 major league at bats
  • 1944-1945 Military Service
  • 1946 –Minor League
  • 1947-1957 Brooklyn Dodgers (age 23 to age 33)
  • 1958- 1961 L. A. Dodgers
  • 1962- 1963 N.Y. Mets

The record books list him as having an 18 year playing career, but it was actually a 12/13 year career.

Where does Gil Hodges rank in the rating system of baseballsgreatesthitters.com?

  1. All-Time Rank # 110
  2. Position Ranking # 26
  3. ERA Ranking – we have developed our own era grouping,though Gil Hodges official baseball career years are 1943- 1963 we have him listed in our era 4 group (1950- 1964 )his Era Ranking is # 13
  4. Era/Position Ranking #3

Our feeling has always been that players such as Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg and Johnny Mize, the first baseman who preceeded Gil Hodges, statistically, set the bar at a very high level for the first base position. Gil Hodges’ playing career actually began in 1947, and perhaps many baseball people felt his numbers simply did not match up well in comparison to those he followed.

When Jim Rice was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2009, his final year of eligibility, one of the main contributing factor to his election, was the fact that he was a dominant hitter in the American League for ten seasons. Don Mattingly, who was arguably the best hitter in baseball for six/seven seasons, falls short in the voting, and the main reason for the lack of support is “didn’t do it long enough, he needed another three/ four more productive seasons”….he falls short of the ten season mark.

Gil Hodges was a dominant hitter in the National League for 10 seasons. In fact, in the 1950’s he was the best hitting first baseman in all of baseball. From 1947 to 1957 he had eleven straight 20- plus home run seasons which included two 40 plus seasons and four seasons hitting 30 or more home runs.

Between 1949 and 1955 Gil Hodges put together a string of 7 consecutive seasons of 100 or more R.B.I.’s. To fully understand this accomplishment, it has never been matched by some of baseballs all-time greats.

Reggie Jackson had a total of six 100 R.B.I. seasons in his 21 year baseball career, other baseball greats who never topped the mark of having seven consecutive 100 R.B.I. seasons in their career, include: Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Eddie Murray, Willie McCovey, Frank Robinson, Stan Musial, etc.

HOME/AWAY SPLITS

We all know Ebbets Field was a hitters park. Gil Hodges, along with other Dodger greats enjoyed the benefit of its hitter friendly dimensions. While Gil Hodges career did reflect favorable home field numbers, his numbers do not reflect the over- the- top type of splits as some of other all-time greats. Many baseball fans feel his numbers took a downward turn when the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn, this may be true, but at the time of the move in 1958, Gil was 34 years old. In that era of baseball most players in that age group saw a significant decrease in their numbers. Some of baseballs greats who enjoyed extremely favorable Home/Away splits: Ernie Banks, had an.830 career OPS, 886 at home and a .773 on the road, an astonishing 113 point split. Mel Ott, who for over sixty years was the National Leagues greatest home run hitter, hit 511 career home runs, he hit 323 at home while hitting 188 on the road, and Carl Yastrzemski, a career .285 hitter, hit 306 at home, while hitting .264 on the road, to go along with his .503 Slg.% at home and a 422 Slg.% on the road.
GIL HODGES/ HALL OF FAME RE-CAP

Once again, we are just reading the numbers, our research is based only on the career statistics of Gil Hodges. We do mention some of the baseball Hall of Famers in our work, but we did our best not to try to influence our readers by using player comparisons.

For a player to even be considered to be elected to baseballs Hall of Fame, after doing some research, the player must have ten dominant offensive seasons. Although he is ranked # 3 in the era/ position chart established by baseballsgreatesthitters.com (1950 to 1964) Gil Hodges is the greatest hitting first baseman of the decade, the 1950”s.

His career statistics do fall short of the numbers put up by his predecessors, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Johnny Mize and Bill Terry, but these players did set the bar at a very high level. We also feel playing in New York in the 1950’s, the career of Gil Hodges was overshadowed by playing in the same town with the likes of Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, and fellow teammates Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, as well as the last seasons of Joe DiMaggio.

Home/ Away Splits, playing his prime years in Ebbets Field, a hitters park, he did have a home field benefit, but by no means was it a career changing home field advantage.

First Base…..An offensive position as well as a power position. Reading the career statistics of Gil Hodges, while his .273 average is not highly impressive, the fact is, it does top the career batting average of some of the baseball greats, which include, Harmon Killebrew at .256, Willie McCovey at .270 and Reggie Jackson at .262, ironically Reggie and Gil also share the same OPS career .

The Gold Glove Award was introduced in 1957, Gil Hodges won the first three awards in 1957, 1958, and 1959 at the age of 33, 34, and 35.Our website strictly deals with hitting, but we feel it is safe to consider Gil Hodges as one the best defensive First Baseman of his era.

At the time Gil Hodges was put on the ballot in 1969 there were only eight First Baseman in the Hall of Fame. In 1983, when his eligibility was in the hands of the Veterans Committee, there were seven First Baseman in Cooperstown elected by the committee, and since 1983 Orlando Cepeda remains the only First Baseman to enter Cooperstown by the Veterans Committee vote.

Similar Comparisons: At baseballsgreatesthitters.com, we feel using the rating system that we have developed, Gil Hodges compares favorably to Hall of Famers Tony Perez and Orlando Cepeda, and by the numbers, to some of the non Hall of Fame greats, Hal Trosky, Richie Allen and Fred McGriff ,who are all very close to Gil Hodges when comparing the numbers.

The list below are the major league first baseman that have made it to Cooperstown. As of January 1,2016 ten players were voted in while nine players were selected by the veterans committee. Please note, since the fate of Gil Hodges entry to the Hall of Fame in 1983 was in the hands of the veterans committee, Orlando Cepeda in 1999 has been the only first baseman elected to the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee. Our question is should Gil Hodges be included in the group of players listed below…

Player H.R. Ave. Last Yr. H.O.F. Vote
Lou Gehrig 493 340 1939 1939 Sp. Election
Jimmie Foxx 534 325 1945 1951 79.2
Hank Greenberg 331 313 1947 1956 84.9
Frank Thomas 521 301 2008 2014 83.7
Willie McCovey 521 270 1980 1986 81.4
Eddie Murray 504 287 1997 2003 85.3
George Sisler 102 340 1930 1939 85.8
Bill Terry 154 341 1936 1954 77.4
Harmon Killebrew 573 256 1975 1984 83.1
Tony Perez 379 279 1986 2000 77.2
Johnny Mize 359 312 1953 1981 Veterans
Jim Bottomley 219 310 1937 1974 Veterans
Orlando Cepeda 379 297 1974 1999 Veterans
Cap Anson 97 334 1897 1939 Veterans
Jake Beckley 87 308 1907 1971 Veterans
Dan Brouthers 106 342 1904 1945 Veterans
Frank Chance 20 296 1914 1946 Veterans
Roger Connor 138 316 1897 1976 Veterans
George Kelly 148 297 1932 1973 Veterans

POWER NUMBERS: Did Gil Hodges hit for power? Let’s consider, when Gil Hodges retired in 1963, his 370 career home runs earned him the #11 spot on the all-time home run list.
THE 1963 CAREER HOME RUN LIST

No. Player Career H.R.
1. Babe Ruth 714
2. Jimmie Foxx 534
3. Ted Williams 521
4. Mel Ott 511
5. Lou Gehrig 493
6. Stan Musial 475
7. Eddie Matthews 422
8. Mickey Mantle 419
9. Willie Mays 406
10. Duke Snider 403
11. GIL HODGES 370
12. Ralph Kiner 369
13. Joe DiMaggio 361
14. Johnny Mize 359
15. Yogi Berra 358
16. Ernie Banks 353
17. Hank Aaron 342
18. Hank Greenberg 331
19. Roy Sievers 310
20. Al Simmons 307

Feel free to contact us and share your opinion. Also let us know if our research has changed your opinion on Gil Hodges / Hall of Fame.You can email us at joeangelini518@ aol.com, visit our website baseballsgreatesthitters.com or fill out the contact form below.

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Content copyright 2017. Joe Angelini. All rights reserved.

2009 Season End of the Steroid Era

2009 Season……End of the Steroid Era ?

End of the steroid era? Home Run Explosion Over? 2009 Home Run numbers may change your opinion.

Home Run trends of various years and eras
Babe Ruth is the most notable player in baseball history who single handedly changed the way we view baseball statistics , especially the Home Run .The Home Run is the most talked about statistic in baseball and perhaps the single most discussed and familiar stat in all of sports. The chart below lists the total home runs hit per season, as well as the average home runs hit per team in selected years and eras.

1938 1,475 Total Home Runs – 92.19 Home Runs per team
1961 2,730 Total Home Runs – 151.67 Home Runs per team
1976 2,235 Total Home Runs – 93.13 Home Runs per team
1990 3,317 Total Home Runs – 127.58 Home Runs per team
1998 5,064 Total Home Runs – 168.80 Home Runs per team
2009 5,042 Total Home Runs – 168.07 Home Runs per team

Sports radio talk show hosts, sports writers, as well as most baseball fans feel that the steroid era has apparently come to an end as reflected by the decreased home run totals we have seen in the past two seasons .Baseball has not seen a player top the 50 Homerun mark and the American League has not had a player top the 40 home run mark in the past two seasons.

BASEBALLSGREATESTHITTERS.COM HAS SOME QUESTIONS ?
How do we explain that the home run explosion of the 1998 season, which included Sosa / McGwire, produced a total of 5,064 home runs hit, and the 2009 season produced 5,042 round trippers, ironically nearly the exact same numbers? Is the steroid era still alive and well? Is it a game change as we saw in 1976?, Perhaps is it simply a good crop of power hitters as we saw in 1961, or is it the combination of bigger, stronger players and smaller ballparks?

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Posted by Joe Angelini at 12/4/2009 3:21 PM
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Content copyright 2017. Joe Angelini. All rights reserved.

Mariano and Jeter

Mariano and Jeter……How do they rank with the Yankee Greats ?

Where do current Yankee greats Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera rank amongst Yankee immortals?

Since the retirement of Mickey Mantle after the 1968 season, the exclusive group of Yankee immortals has always been Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle. The hot topic of debate in the NY sports media this season has been whether or not Derek Jeter should be added to this elite group, which has not had a new member in over 40 years.We also feel Mariano Rivera should be equally considered.

At www.baseballsgreatesthitters.com we would like to break down how we came up with our Top 10 List. Our main focus was who is the greatest “Yankee,” not necessarily the greatest “Player.” We also took into consideration the greatness of the player in “his era” of Yankee history. In putting together our list, a position player was given the nod over a pitcher.

The Top 10 Yankee Greats:
1. Babe Ruth
2. Joe DiMaggio
3. Mickey Mantle
4. Lou Gehrig
5. Derek Jeter
6. Mariano Rivera
7. Yogi Berra
8. Whitey Ford
9. Don Mattingly
10. Thurman Munson

Honorable Mention:
Bill Dickey, Tony Lazzeri, Phil Rizzuto, Elston Howard, Roger Maris, Billy Martin, Bobby Murcer, Graig Nettles, Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, Dave Winfield, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez

Below is a player analysis used in putting together our list.

1. Babe Ruth – The greatest Yankee of all-time, the greatest player of all-time. When any type of ratings or lists are put together, Babe Ruth stands alone, put him at the top of the list and then compare the rest.

2. Joe DiMaggio – Looking back at the career of DiMaggio and examine the first part of his career (pre WW II ), Joe D. can be considered the greatest right hitter of all-time and perhaps the greatest all around player in the history of the game. Very early in his career, the Yankees became DiMaggio’s team, though Lou Gehrig was still on the team, Joe, took over as the # 1 Yankee.

3. Mickey Mantle – Mickey was the first superstar ballplayer to have been blessed with incredible power from both sides of the plate as well as amazing speed. Baseball has never before seen such a combination of power and speed. Mickey was a very special player and at his very best was one of the 10 greatest ballplayers in the history of the game. We do rank Mantle # 3, behind Joe, since the “DiMaggio Cloud ” hung over the Mick for a good part of his career.

4. Lou Gehrig – Lou Gehrig, though one of the greatest hitters and run producers in history of the game, spent a good part of his career playing in the shadow of Babe Ruth as well as Joe DiMaggio. Baseball fans seem to remember him for his consecutive game streak and his farewell speech. At baseballsgreatesthitters.com we rank Lou Gehrig as the second greatest hitter in Yankee history, as well as, the second greatest hitter who ever lived.

5. Derek Jeter – We feel,when we look back at the career of Derek Jeter, there is very little doubt that the Yankee Captain belongs in the company of the all-time Yankee greats Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle.Though, he may not be at the same talent level of this elite group. Derek Jeter in “his era” in Yankee history, enters the list as one of the five greatest Yankees. We also should keep in mind Derek Jeter was a “clean” player playing in the steroid era…an obstacle the other Yankee greats never dealt with.

6. Mariano Rivera – We rank Mariano a shade below Jeter, giving Derek the edge because he is an everyday player. It is very easy to sum up Mariano’s career………. The Greatest In Baseball History.

7. Yogi Berra – Yogi Berra is one of the greatest catchers in the history of the game. One of the most popular Yankees who ever lived, MVP’s, Championship Rings…Yogi did it all. We do rank Berra behind Jeter and Mariano since we feel he was never the #1 player on his Yankee teams, the first part of his career behind DiMaggio, and the second half of his career second to Mantle.

8. Whitey Ford – Whitey Ford is the greatest pitcher in Yankee history, as well as one of the best World Series pitchers the game has ever seen.Whitey, along with Mickey and Yogi, will always be remembered as a key player on those championship teams, but we do rank Ford just below Berra, giving Yogi the edge as an everyday player.

9. Don Mattingly – Not a Hall Of Famer, no championship rings, but in that 6/7 year stretch, when he was at his best, Don was not only the best player on his team, he was, perhaps, the best player in baseball. At times we seem to forget what huge star and fan favorite Mattingly once was. In the 1980’s, Don Mattingly was the greatest ballplayer the Yankee fans have seen since Mickey Mantle.

10. Thurman Munson – The first Yankee captain since Lou Gehrig, Munson was one of the most respected and popular players ever to wear the pinstripes. When looking back at those Yankee teams of the70’s, though Reggie Jackson did grab most of the headlines, Thurman Munson was the heart and soul of those championship teams.

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Posted by Joe Angelini at 2/4/2013 3:34 PM
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Content copyright 2017. Joe Angelini. All rights reserved.

Hall of Fame Voting

Hall of Fame Voting……A Flawed Process ?

HALL OF FAME 2013

Starting in 2014, the hall of fame election process should include a review/grievance committee whose sole purpose is to evaluate the careers and statistics of the players who played in the steroid era.

January 18, 2013

The steroid era is the most difficult era to put in perspective. While the performance enhancement drug use was widespread, we know not all of the users. And while the users experienced a clear performance enhancement, we know not exactly to what extent. We know that the era is filled with inflated numbers but judging those numbers is a difficult and perhaps an impossible task. Measuring inflated statistics against the truer statistics of predecessor eras is unfair. Measuring the cheaters against other cheaters or suspected cheaters seems inherently wrong. Crowning a “king” of the cheaters seems clearly inimical to the standards and integrity of the game. But should all be punished? Should those admitted cheaters who would have gained admission anyway by virtue of their pre-steroid numbers and accomplishments be elected?

Many baseball fans feel quite strongly that known and/or admitted cheaters should be disqualified from the Hall as their election makes a mockery of the standards and ideals of the game. While we recognize that some of these players undoubtedly were great even absent steroid use, the ideals of baseball must transcend and supersede the individual. Cheating cannot be countenanced and ideals must be preserved for future generations. We also think that those who are suspected of cheating must be put through a process of high scrutiny.

The traditional process of electing players to the Hall of Fame has worked very well, but dealing with the steroid era is perhaps the most difficult task the baseball writers will ever encounter. At baseballsgreatesthitters.com we feel a review committee/grievance committee needs to be set up to overlook the election process.

Mike Piazza, arguably the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history is a first ballot Hall of Fame player, but in his first year of eligibility only received 57.8% of the vote .It is obvious a good number of the writers “felt” Piazza cheated and did not vote for him.The message was simple – taking steroids and putting up inflated statistics will not be tolerated and “cheaters” will not be elected. The steroid era is the most difficult era to put in perspective.As previously stated, while the performance enhancement use was widespread, we do not know all of the users. Since the era is filled with inflated numbers,and no one is certain who used and who didn’t, perhaps the traditional way of electing players to the Hall of Fame needs some “help.”

Using the new system we are suggesting the Hall of Fame to put into use, Mike Piazza would have 10 days to go to a committee, plead his case and explain that he had a clean career and BBWAA got it wrong. The committee would then meet with a committee of baseball writers to try to get it right Another example is Fred McGriff (20.7%), who has Hall of Fame numbers or at least border-line numbers, who could also make a case since his stats as a clean player don’t measure up to the stats of the players who used PED’s.

The review/grievance committee would be set with approximately 15 members to include Hall of Fame members, retired players, and members of the media. The BBWAA committee would also be set up with writers who covered baseball both before the steroid era as well as writers of the steroid era, which would present a balanced mix. To tie it up, basically electing players to the Hall of Fame remains the same, but in 2014 the review/grievance committee will be added to help with the difficulty of dealing with the steroid era.

We feel our patented home run curve can be an asset in analyzing a players statistics from this complicated era since the home run statistic has been the center of attention. At www.baseballsgreatesthitters.com we feel a review committee/grievance committee needs to be set immediatelly to overlook the election process. We also feel very confident that our patented home run curve accurately levels the playing field when comparing the statistics of players of all eras.

Though our system does give an accurate rating of the all-time greats of all eras,we cannot change how many baseball fans will view the tainted accomplishments of this era,and most importantly, how they will look back at the players, they felt,cheated this great game.and it’s rich history.

What do you think? Please share your comments…

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Posted by Joe Angelini at 2/4/2013 3:12 PM
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Content copyright 2017. Joe Angelini. All rights reserved.

Ken Griffey Jr

Ken Griffey Jr……..Where does he rank among the greatest hitters in Baseball History

Ken Griffey Jr. has retired at the age of 40 after playing 22 years in Major League Baseball. During his prime years many felt that when Griffey’s career was over he could possibly be one of the top 10 greatest hitters of all time. Injuries became a problem late in Griffey’s career and put a halt to the hopes of another 700 home run hitter and possibly a new home run king. Nonetheless Griffey still ranks as one of the greatest hitters in MLB history.

At baseballsgreatesthitters.com we have Ken Griffey Jr. ranked 23rd overall on our greatest hitters list. He is the 6th best hitting centerfielder, and is ranked as the 15th greatest outfielder of all time based on our formula. In his era alone (The Steroid Era), he is ranked only behind Barry Bonds as the second greatest hitting outfielder. He is also ranked as the 2nd greatest hitter at any position during the Steroid Era Part 1, only behind Barry Bonds.

When looking back on Griffey’s great career, there has never been any indication or suspicion of any steroid use. We do feel he is a first ballot Hall of Famer, and feel he is the greatest hitting centerfielder since Mantle and Mays. When looking at the prime years of Ken Griffey Jr. he ranks as one of the greatest hitters who ever lived.

In examining his career we see many similarities between Griffey and Mickey Mantle. Both players always played the game hard with little regard for their own bodies, were beloved by the fans, and considered the most important ambassadors for Major League baseball during their respective careers. The decline of Mantle’s numbers at the end of his career kept him out of the top 10 hitters of all time, and the same can be said of Griffey, who we feel if it had not been for nagging injuries would have easily broken into the top 20 list of all time.

What do you think? Please share your comments…

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Content copyright 2017. Joe Angelini. All rights reserved.

61 The Asterisk

1961*… “The Asterisk”

Put the asterisk back next to Roger Maris’ 61 Home Run season…..this time for the right reason!

Ironically, the 50th anniversary of the 1961 season when Roger Maris broke the single season home run mark coincides with the end of the steroid era. In 1961, the asterisk was put in place next to Maris’ name by the Commissioner Ford Frick in an effort to discredit his accomplishment. Years later in 1991, the asterisk was removed as an apology for the unfair way this record was treated by baseball. The original logic of placing the asterisk next to Maris’ name by baseball was for the integrity, the good of the game, and to preserve baseball’s history. This was instated at the conclusion of the ’61 season to make it apparent to baseball fans that it took 162 games to break the 60 home run feat accomplished by The Babe in 154 games.

What did Roger do wrong? Follow the rules? Play the 162 game schedule that baseball put into place that year? As surprising as this might sound, at www.baseballsgreatesthitters.com, we would like to see this famous asterisk once again next to Roger’s name to bring attention to his accomplishment….but for a different reason.

We believe that since 1961, no player has legitimately broken this record. Between the 1961 season and the 1998 season, showcased many of baseball’s greatest sluggers such as, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Eddie Matthews, Frank Robinson, Willie McCovey, Harmon Killebrew, Richie Allen, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Frank Thomas and Ken Griffey Jr. all of whom had a legitimate shot to break the record. However, all fell short, despite the fact that they were all better hitters than Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, the two who broke the record in 1998.

When this website was launched in 2008, there was some consideration given to putting an asterisk next to the players who used steroids. We felt adding an asterisk or any other symbol next to their names would have drawn more attention to the steroid players. Instead, our goal is to focus on the players who did it the right way… give more accolades to the newest members of the 600 home run club, Ken Griffey Jr. and Jim Thome, more headlines to Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli, Miguel Cabrera, Chipper Jones, Ryan Howard, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun, etc. Let’s bring more attention to Albert Pujols, who perhaps at the end of his career, might be considered the greatest right-handed hitter in the history of the game. There is a more constructive use for the asterisk, one that will ensure that future generations of baseball fans can look back at the record book and make sense of what’s actually occurred…and it is magnificent in its simplicity.

*Roger Maris’s 1961 home run total remains the single season Home Run record for players not accused or suspected of utilizing Performance Enhancing Drugs. (Steroids)

The baseball record books cannot be changed, but a plaque in Cooperstown recognizing Roger Maris as the single season home run king would show MLB that baseball fans still recognize the 61 home runs hit in the 1961 season as the unblemished record. What better message to send to today and tomorrow’s future MLB players, what better way to preserve the integrity and history of the game and what better time to do so on the 50th anniversary of what baseball fans agree is the true record!

Celebrate the end of the steroid era with a special Hall of Fame committee, not by electing Roger Maris to the Hall of Fame, but reestablishing the asterisk next to his name. The baseball record books can never be changed, but a plaque in Cooperstown recognizing Roger Maris as the single season home run king… stating that the number “61” remains the unblemished number.

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Content copyright 2017. Joe Angelini. All rights reserved.

Greatest Hitting Infields

Was the 2010 New York Yankee infield the greatest hitting infield of all-time?

Over the past few years this hot topic has been debated countless times. When looking back on some of the greatest offensive infields of all time, the two teams that are most commonly mentioned are the 1976 Cincinnati Reds and the 1934 Detroit Tigers. Below you will find a composite ranking of the current New York Yankees infield in relation to the 1976 Cincinnati Reds and 1934 Tigers using the BGH ranking system. Based on projected career statistics for Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano our analysis shows that ultimately the 2010 Yankee infield may someday be viewed as the greatest hitting infield of all time.

2010 Yankees 1976 Reds 1934 Tigers
Position Player Point Total Player Point Total Player Point Total
First Base Mark Teixeira 3.980 Tony Perez 3.787 Hank Greenberg 4.568
Second Base Robinson Cano 3.560 Joe Morgan 4.106 Charlie Gehringer 4.198
Short Stop Derek Jeter 3.652 Dave Concepcion 3.251 Billy Rogel 3.119
Third Base Alex Rodriguez 4.398 Pete Rose 3.978 Marv Owen 2.953
Catcher Jorge Posada 3.370 Johnny Bench 3.729 Mickey Cochrane 3.845
Total Points 18.960 18.851 18.683

Have an MLB infield that you would like us to rank?

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Posted by Joe Angelini at 9/30/2010 3:28 PM
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Content copyright 2017. Joe Angelini. All rights reserved.

Keith Hernandez

Keith Hernandez……Has his career been given it’s
proper place in Baseball History ?

When a major league ballplayer’s career (10 to 12 years or more or, as in this web-site, 5,000 or more at bats) comes to an end, the inevitable question comes up… Was it a Hall of Fame career? Many baseball people (players, coaches, managers, sports writers, radio talk show hosts and educated fans) feel the player falls into two categories: he either IS a Hall of Famer or he is NOT a Hall of Famer. At www.baseballsgreatesthitters.com we feel strongly about a third category “The Border-line Player.” Examining the history of the Hall of Fame, we feel there have been a number of players who have fallen in this category. Some of these great players slip in to the Hall of Fame, while others fall short.

We would like to take a close look at the career of Keith Hernandez, who we feel should be considered one of those “Border-line Players.” Even though our web-site deals strictly with the rating of great hitters, it is no secret that Keith Hernandez is considered by most
baseball people to be the greatest defensive first baseman in the history of baseball. As we examine his career more closely, the fact that the highest Hall of Fame vote total he ever received was 10.8% in 1998 is an “insult” to a great career, since he is notably the best defensive first baseman in 100 years. Many baseball people feel that his home run numbers do not measure up with other great hitting Hall of Fame first basemen.

Let’s examine the careers of four of the top players of era 6, Keith Hernandez, Don Mattingly, Ryne Sandberg and Kirby Puckett.We do realize the offensive expectations vary at different positions. We are not trying to determine which of the four players should be hall of famers or who should not, but after analyzing their careers, we feel that the 10.8% support Keith Hernandez did receive does not represent his career accomplishments. We do realize his home run numbers are a bit low for a first baseman while the power numbers for Ryne Sandberg are high for second baseman, but how do the power numbers and run production of Kirby Puckett measure up to the power numbers of Mantle, Mays, DiMaggio, Snider and other Hall of Fame centerfielders as well as other home run hitting outfielders ?

Keith Hernandez –  3.582 rating #5 era 6 first baseman #20 hitter of his era #189 all-time
Ryne Sandberg –     3.596 rating #2 era 6 second baseman #19 hitter of his era #179 all-time
Kirby Puckett –       3.632 rating #8 era 6 outfielder #17 hitter of his era #163 all-time
Don Mattingly –      3.657 rating #3 era 6 first baseman #13 hitter of his era #150 all-time.

Keith Hernandez Kirby Puckett Ryne Sandberg Don Mattingly
At Bats 7,370 7,244 8,385 7,003
Runs 1,124 1,071 1,318 1,007
Hits 2,182 2,304 2,386 2,153
Doubles 426 414 403 442
Triples 60 57 76 20
Home Runs 162 207 282 222
R.B.I.’s 1,071 1,085 1,061 1,099
Stolen Bases 98 134 344 14
Walks 1,070 450 761 588
Strike Outs 1,012 965 1,260 444
Batting Ave. .296 .318 .285 .307
On Base % .384 .360 .344 .358
Slugging % .436 .477 .452 .471
M.V.P.’s 1 0 1 1
Gold Gloves 11 6 9 9
Hall of Fame Votes 1996 – 5.1% 2001 – 82.1% 2003 – 49.2% 2001 – 28.2%
1997 – 9.5% First Ballot 2004 – 61.1% 2002 – 20.3%
1998 – 10.8% 2005 – 76.2% 2003 – 13.7%
1999 – 6.8% 2004 – 12.8%
2000 – 10.4% 2005 – 11.4%
2001 – 8.0% 2006 – 12.3%
2002 – 6.1% 2007 – 9.9%
2003 – 6.0% 2008 – 15.8%
2004 – 4.3% 2009 – 11.9%
2010 – 16.1%

The players listed below are perhaps the greatest defensive players at there positions. Both Brooks Robinson and Ozzie Smith are both first ballot hall of famers, after carefully examining their career statistics, it is quite obvious it was there dominant defensive skills that gave them entry into the hall of fame.

When we look back at the career of Keith Hernandez, his defensive dominance of first base is comparable to that of Brooks Robinson at third base as well as Ozzie Smith as short-stop.

As an offensive player, according our rating system, he is a well above average hitter. When evaluating the careers of these three great players, of which two are first ballot hall of famers, does a 10.8% hall of fame vote properly sum up the career accomplishments of Keith Hernandez ?

KEITH HERNANDEZ – Greatest defensive First Baseman
BROOKS ROBINSON – Greatest defensive Third Baseman
OZZIE SMITH –             Greatest defensive Short- Stop
KEITH HERNANDEZ – 3.582 Rating #5 ERA 6 First baseman #20 Hitter of his era #196 all-time
BROOKS ROBINSON – 3.585 Rating #3 ERA 4 Third baseman #27 Hitter of his era #195 all-time
OZZIE SMITH –             3.337 Rating #3 ERA 6 Short-Stop #43 Hitter of his era #317 all-time

Keith Hernandez Brooks Robinson Ozzie Smith
At Bats 7,370 10,654 9,396
Runs 1,124 1,232 1,257
Hits 2,182 2,848 2,460
Doubles 426 482 402
Triples 60 68 69
Home Runs 162 268 28
R.B.I.’s 1,071 1,357 793
Stolen Bases 98 28 580
Walks 1,070 860 1,072
Strike Outs 1,012 990 589
Batting Ave. .296 .267 .262
On Base % .384 .322 .337
Slugging % .436 .401 .328
M.V.P.’s 1 1 0
Gold Gloves 11 16 13
Hall of Fame Votes 1996 – 5.1% 1983 – 92% 2002 – 91.7%
1997 – 9.5% First Ballot First Ballot
1998 – 10.8%
1999 – 6.8%
2000 – 10.4%
2001 – 8.0%
2002 – 6.1%
2003 – 6.0%
2004 – 4.3%
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Content copyright 2017. Joe Angelini. All rights reserved.