Blog Entry

Vote for the Greatest FIRST BASEMAN of All Time

Posted on: March 28, 2009 4:15 pm
 

 Welcome to my blog, where my objective is to put together the greatest all time baseball team as determined by us CBS posters.   In my last entry, I asked all of you to vote for who you felt was the greatest catcher of all time.  The vote was really back and forth until the later days where the Bench voters showed strong and edged out Yogi Berra.   Here's the totals......

  • Johnny Bench - 12
  • Yogi Berra - 8
  • Carlton Fisk - 3
  • Ivan Rodriguez - 3
  • Gary Carter - 2
  • Mike Piazza - 1

Although I did not cast a vote on the catchers, I did make a "command" decision to pick Josh Gibson as a back-up catcher for this all-time team.  Since Gibson was widely considered as the greatest Negro League player ever and has been dubbed "The Black Babe Ruth", I felt that had he been given the opportunity to play in the MLB, that he'ld have been in the same discussion with Bench and Berra, and as for all players he may have been on the same plane as Ruth, Cobb and Williams.   If you want to read my entire explanation for this move, check my previous blog entry to this one.  Oh, and by the way, if I had a vote on the catchers, I probably would have went with Yogi.

Okay, now for the matter at hand.  I've listed the top 19 first baseman (my opinion of course) of all time.   Of the 19 listed, 16 are in the Hall of Fame, two were exceptional players who may or may not get inducted and one is currently playing.   I've done the dirty work and listed their career statistics.  I didn't list defensive numbers, mainly because the great ones didn't make the HOF for fielding prowess.    Here's your list of candidates.

           PLAYER                        AVE    OBP      SLG    Hits      HR       RBI        Runs     SB

  • Cap Anson                    .329    .395   .446    2995     97       1978      1719     247
  • Jake Beckley                 .308    .361   .435    2930     86       1575      1600     315
  • Jim Bottomley               .310    .369   .500    2313     219      1422      1422      58
  • Dan Brouthers               .342    .423   .519    2296     106      1296      1523     256
  • Orlando Cepeda            .297    .353   .499    2351     379      1365      1131     142
  • Roger Connor                .317    .397   .486    2467     138      1322      1620     244
  • Jimmie Foxx                  .325    .428   .609   2656     534      1922      1751       87
  • Lou Gehrig                    .340    .447    .632   2721     493      1995      1888      102
  • Hank Greenberg            .313    .412    .605    1628     331     1276      1051        58
  • Harmon Killebrew           .256    .379    .509   2086     573      1584      1283        19
  • Willie McCovey              .270     .377   .515    2211     521      1555      1229        26
  • Johnny Mize                  .312     .397   .562   2011     359       1337      1118       28
  • Eddie Murray                 .287     .359   .476    3255     504      1917      1627      110
  • Tony Perez                    .279    .344   .463    2732     379       1652      1272       49
  • George Sisler                .340     .379   .468    2812     102       1175      1284      375
  • Bill Terry                      .341      .393   .506    2193     154       1078      1120       56
  • Mark McGwire                .263      .394   .588    1626    583       1414      1161        12
  • Raphael Palmeiro          .288      .371   .515   3020     569       1835      1663       97
  • Albert Pujols                  .334      .425   .624   1531     319        977        947       45

  Thats the list.  Have at it ladies and gentlemen.  Feel free to discuss any first baseman related stories you wish to.             

 

Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: April 2, 2009 1:47 pm
 

Vote for the Greatest FIRST BASEMAN of All Time

Lou Gehrig  is the best. That was an easy choice. Although given a few more years and Albert Pujols will be a close second.




Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: April 2, 2009 1:02 pm
 

Vote for the Greatest FIRST BASEMAN of All Time

As much as it pains me to vote for a Yankee, its Lou Gehrig. 




Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: April 2, 2009 7:58 am
 

Vote for the Greatest FIRST BASEMAN of All Time

Based on career stats I'm gonna go with Lou Gehrig. I think if Gehrig didn't get sick his stats would have been almost untouchable due to the line up he was surrounded with. 

Now if Albert Pujols continues with stats like he has been carrying for his career, SO FAR, I would go with him. However, since he is not finished with his career and say something happens where he falls off monumentally then it would just be wrong to put him in as the BEST first basemen of all time. 




Since: Jun 26, 2008
Posted on: April 1, 2009 1:56 pm
 

Vote for the Greatest FIRST BASEMAN of All Time

Pujols just turned 29 in January and already has 8 straight seasons under his belt in which he's driven in over 100 runs and hit 32 or more homers every season.  He's only 23 RBI short of 100 right now.   If he can stay relatively healthy and play until he's 40, he could conceivably hit 700 homers and drive in the neighborhood of 2250 runs.  Add to this fact, he's got a career average of .334 and is one of the toughest to strike out in the NL.  It sickens me that Albert went to high school here in the Kansas City area but it was the Cardinals that signed him.  I have a strong hunch that by the time Pujols retires, the debate on who the greatest first baseman of all time will be a much livelier debate. 




Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: April 1, 2009 10:27 am
 

Vote for the Greatest FIRST BASEMAN of All Time

Gehrig, hands down.  His numbers speak for themselves.  Even though he played on great teams with the Yankees, he was one of the major reasons, if the THE reason, they were great.  Sad story, but he never felt sorry for himself.  I just finished reading the book "Luckiest Man:  The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig".  I recommend it to everyone. 

Ask this question again in 5-10 years and the answer may be different. Pujols' numbers fit in nicely with the others considering he's near the midpoint of his career.  Don't know how these compare to everyone else after the same number of games played, but they've got to be close.




Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: April 1, 2009 7:36 am
 

Vote for the Greatest FIRST BASEMAN of All Time

Josqwagg--At least he didn't injure himself pitching and mess up his career like Jose Canseco did when he came to pitch in a blowout game. Tongue out

 

 




Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: April 1, 2009 7:34 am
 

Vote for the Greatest FIRST BASEMAN of All Time

 

 Oh--I guess I never actually answered the question at hand, did I? Well, even without the inspiring speech at Yankee Stadium and the movie about his life, I think Lou Gehrig is the winner hands down--and what a great part of the championship Yankees teams of his era he was, too.




Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: April 1, 2009 1:42 am
 

Vote for the Greatest FIRST BASEMAN of All Time

Thanks mr. wright and mr. badgermaine, I do a think Mark Grace was a great first baseman on offense and defensive sides, but he never made much of a pitcher the night he was playing for Arizona and came on in 
relief because they were down 20+ runs and it would be kind of funny and sightful for the fans lol. 




Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2009 10:44 pm
 

Vote for the Greatest FIRST BASEMAN of All Time

Josqwagg,

Welcome to the boards at CBS--lots of interesting discussions here.

Being only 46, I obviously never saw the really old time guys play, but Bill James talks a lot in his Historical Abstract about how Hal Chase, who played in the early 20th century, was perhaps more spectacular on defense at first than anyone else to ever play, and at a time when power hitting was not as much a part of the job description at first as it is now. The trouble with him is that he seems to have been involved in a lot of unsavory activity and probably was throwing games on multiple teams and was the ultimate bad influence in the clubhouse, which is a big reason why he moved around so much.

 

 




Since: Jun 26, 2008
Posted on: March 31, 2009 7:05 pm
 

Vote for the Greatest FIRST BASEMAN of All Time

josqwagg,

You as have several others have asked about the great defensive first basemen.  Of the players on this list of 19, there were few better than Johnny Mize.   Although he was one of the best sluggers of his time, he was nicknamed "The Cat" for his quickness at first base.  If you check out Baseball-Reference.com, you'll find that he did have exceptional range at his position and may be the best offensive/defensive package of the bunch.    As far as players who aren't on the list that were exceptional fielders, I like Keith Hernandez, Mark Grace and Steve Garvey. 

I also want to welcome all the new members to my blog.  I favorite all members who post on my blog and I hope you all favorite me as well, as it will make it easier for you to locate my next blog entry.    



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com