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 2019 there have been 19,690 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
|1||Barry Bonds||762||1||Hank Aaron||755|
|2||Hank Aaron||755||2||Babe Ruth||714|
|3||Babe Ruth||714||3||Albert Pujols||680|
|4||Alex Rodriguez||696||4||Willie Mays||660|
|5||Albert Pujols||680||5||Ken Griffey Jr.||630|
|6||Willie Mays||660||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||Miguel Cabrera||502|
|Willie McCovey||521||21||Lou Gehrig||493|
|Frank Thomas||521||Fred McGriff||493|
CHART 1 – Barry Bonds – 73, CHART 2 Roger Maris – 61
|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||18||Pete Alonso||53||2019|
|Ken Griffey Jr.||56||1998||Chris Davis||53||2013|
|Hack Wilson||56||1930||20||Mickey Mantle||52||1956|
|20||Mickey Mantle||54||1961||Willie Mays||52||1965|
|Jose Bautista||54||2010||Aaron Judge||52||2017|
|Ralph Kiner||54||1949||George Foster||52||1977|
Content copyright 2017. Joe Angelini. All rights reserved.
The question is should we allow nine players to damage Baseball’s History and it’s milestone numbers ? Answer, of course not.
However, I would like to add eight more names to your list; Rogers Hornsby, Jimmie Foxx, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Chuck Klein, Al Simmons, and Hack Wilson. While these players weren’t juiced, the ball they used to bash the record books was. Their inflated statistics litter every offensive category with mystical otherworldly numbers. Nobody ever stops to ask, “Should we accept this?”
These were the top hitters of their day. Granted. However, unless they were also part of a race of super humans there is no way their numbers should be so far beyond the statistical norm. Consider these lines
.376, 59, 171
.401, 42, 152
.364, 58, 169
.386, 40, 170
.373, 47, 175
.337, 40, 183
.356, 56, 190
.381, 36, 165
If your any kind of stat head like me you could identify each line with each player. They’re eye popping stats. Not to be duplicated for 60 years.
I adore these numbers. Romanticize them. The problem is that they are not real. They are as inflated as Barry Bonds’ head. Take any of these eight players and put them in a different era, except the steroid era of course, and I surmise you would get dramatically different results. Hall of Fame numbers still, but seriously a second basemen winning the triple crown and batting over .400. Not just once, but twice. Say it out loud.
I know, I know there’s one big difference. These players from the live ball era weren’t cheating. They were just playing the hand dealt to them. I agree.
So then let’s say, hypothetically, if next season they moved all the fences in to 250 feet would you accept whatever homerun totals that came out of it as legitimate?
I’m certainly not trying to justify the actions of a handful of talented, cheating players. Their numbers should be discounted. If we’re willing to do that shouldn’t we at least consider a conversation about these other eight players as well?
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