Blog Entry

Vote for the Greatest LEFT FIELDER of All Time

Posted on: May 2, 2009 3:50 pm
I want to thank everyone who's been participating and voting on my blogs.   Its greatly appreciated and its a great motivator for me to keep this fun and to continue this labor of love.  

Lets start this off with the final results on the vote for the greatest shortstop.  I was pleased to see that many of you hold a fond appreciation of the players who played back in the days when baseball was the ONLY thriving sport.   The Flying Dutchman, Honus Wagner  won this vote rather easily with 13 votes.   "Iron Man" Cal Ripken placed second with 6, "Let Play Two" Ernie Banks received 4 votes and the "Wizard" Ozzie Smith placed 4th with 2 votes.  

So now, we have the infield set, with Johnny Bench behind the plate and around the diamond with the Iron Horse at first, Rogers Hornsby at second, Pine Tar at third and the Flying Dutchman at short.  We have two permanent bench players of Josh Gibson and Charlie Hustle.  Apparently many of the greats have nicknames.  

Now is where it gets fun!  We get to start the outfield in left field.  In my list of the 17th greatest left fielders of all time I spot about 5 or 6 of the greatest 15-20 hitters/players of all time.  I think this position may require you to think a bit harder than prior positions.   In my list, I've included 13 players who have already been enshrined into the HOF, 2 that are awaiting enshrinement, one who is not yet eligible for the HOF and one active player.   To try to keep my list as short as I could, I did toss 5 HOF left fielders out of the voting, but since they had great and worthy careers, let me give them a mention.   They are Chick Hafey, Joe Kelly, Ralph Kiner, Jim O'Rourke and Zack Wheat.    Once again, rather than listing fielding percentages, I went with a +/- system to each players peers, both in fielding percentage and range.  You may notice, like I did while compiling this list that these many of these players didn't become legends with their gloves.   Enough of my rambling now, on with the list.....

PLAYER                             AVE/OBP/SLUG          HR       RBI       Runs       SB       Fldg +/-      Range +/-

Lou Brock                          293/344/410            149      900       1610       938     -.13            +.26
Jesse Burkett                     338/415/446             75       952       1720       389     -.19            -.04
Fred Clarke                        312/386/429             67      1015      1619       506     +.07           +.27
Ed Delahanty                      346/412/505            101     1464      1599       455     +.26           +,33
Goose Goslin                      316/387/500            248     1609      1483       175      -.07           +.05
Heinie Manush                    330/377/479            110     1183      1287       114      +.11          -.09
Joe Medwick                       324/362/505             205     1383      1198       42       +.04           even
Stan Musual                       331/418/559             475     1951      1949       78       +.13           -.02
Al Simmons                       334/380/535              307     1827      1507      88        +.14          +.16
Willie Stargell                     282/363/529             475      1540     1195       17        -.09           +.15
Billy Williams                      290/364/492             426      1475     1410       90        +.04          +.23
Ted Williams                      344/483/634             521      1839     1798       24        -.03           -.21
Carl Yastrzemski                 285/382/462             452      1844     1816       168      +.05          +.35
Barry Bonds                        298/444/607             762      1996     2227       514       +.03         +.14
Rickey Henderson                279/401/419             297      1115     2295      1406      -.01          +.43
Jim Rice                             298/352/502             382       1451    1249        58        +.03         +.26
Manny Ramirez                   315/412/594             532       1740    1463        37        -.05          -.10

HAVE FUN WITH THIS ONE!!!!!!                
Category: MLB

Since: Sep 30, 2007
Posted on: May 3, 2009 7:51 pm

Vote for the Greatest LEFT FIELDER of All Time

Stan Musial was a class act, all the way. That puts him over the top with me.........but I'm a Cards fan!! Bonds.......well, what could have been?

Since: Sep 4, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2009 2:18 pm

Vote for the Greatest LEFT FIELDER of All Time

My vote goes to the Splendid Splinter, Ted Williams. Maybe the best hitting outfielder ever to play. Think what his numbers could have been if he did not have to go to war and lose four years in his prime ! He was called too duty not once but twice, WWII and later in Korea. A great American and the greatest leftfielder ever ! 2nd place goes to Stan Musual, 3rd Rickey Henderson. In my opinion that roided out turd Barry Bonds does not deserve any concentration and hope he gets none !

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2009 10:24 am

Vote for the Greatest LEFT FIELDER of All Time

Apparently I will be the voice of reason... Barry Bonds is beyond a shadow of a doubt the best Left Fielder of all time...

I will say this... the position is stacked, Ted Williams was an amazing player and the years in which he served in the military cut down on his incredible numbers... Stan Musial was a phenomenal player as well... you have Willie Stargell, Billy Williams and Carl Yastremski all from another era of excellence... Henderson as has been pointed out was an will be the best lead-off hitter we have ever seen... Manny is in all likelihood thebest right handed hitter of his day...

But with all that said... the numbers do not lie... you have all brought up the topic of performance enhancing drugs... no denying that many players of this era have taken some type of supplements... as did many of the 60's and 70' with the introduction of 'greenies' to MLB locker rooms... let us not forget the 80's and 90's that were littered with cocaine among other substances of choice... and before all the righteous old timers get to excited... many a story hve been told of pitchers barely able to walk onto the mound or batters to the box from the previous nights escapades...

Baseball always has been and will always be a sport in which the players look for an edge... with the media of today and the ability to get information out there, today the players are victims of a bigger spotlight... in years gone by the local writers from the train rides of the 20's to the biased broadcasters of the 60's forward have protected their stars... that is not the case today... funny thing about this era... it is the one era in which players took substances looking to improve their play and they are being hammered the hardest by the pundits???

Back to Barry Lamar Bonds... the man is unmatched in his versatility... recall his days as an MVP with the Pirates... Gold Glove Left Fielder... lightining quick on the bases... terror at the plate... all of this before his 'transformation'... once a GIANT literally and figuratively he continued to amaze with his development... yes he became a power hitter... unmatched in his success to hit the long ball... yet the average took off as well and his plate discipline got even better... 500 HRS... 500 SBS... an exclusive club... who is in it... BARRY BONDS!!!

and this coming from a jilted Pirate fan... sorry guys the best is still the best... and to think that some of you will chastise Bonds and sing the praises of Pete Rose... or eventually Babe Ruth...  talk about hypocrisy...

Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2009 9:35 am

Vote for the Greatest LEFT FIELDER of All Time

Wow! What a list!  I'm struggling with this choice more than I have with any of the others.  Having seen ten of these players play (no, NOT Delahanty!), makes it even harder, I have to say that it comes down to Ted Williams or Stan Musial among the players I've seen, With Rickey Henderson getting honorable mention.  I'll go with Ted Williams.

However, I find it curious that Shoeless Joe Jackson was left off this list and Barry Bonds was included.  Yes, I know that Bonds has not been convicted of anything, and Jackson was, justly or unjustly, banned from baseball for his presumed role in the Black Sox scandal.  And I'm sure that Bonds has his defenders.  And I guess it's wrong to "convict" him, even though "everybody knows" he used banned substances.  The evidence against Jackson is a lot stronger than that against Buck Weaver, who was banned, not for actually throwing any games, but merely for not reporting what he knew to the club.  There is some evidence that Jackson actually did receive money, although he played very well in the series and no questionable plays were linked to him.  Still I'd like to see him inlcuded on the list.  So, here it is.  Can't do the fielding stats, but Jackson was an outstanding defensive left fielder.  The rest of the stats are:

;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;      AVE/OBP/SLUG    
;      HR     &nb
sp; RBI     &n
bsp; Runs     &
nbsp; SB     &nb
sp; Fldg +/-      Range +/-

Joe Jackson    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;    356/413/517    
;     54     785     &n
bsp;  873     &n
bsp;  202     &n
bsp;   +     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp; +

Looking at the stats,  they certainly qualify him for the list, even though I doubt if he'd win.  Still, among the dead-ball era players, his stats, even the power ones, stack up very nicely, especially considering that his career ended at age 31.

So, I'll give an honorable mention to Shoelss Joe.

Since: Apr 29, 2007
Posted on: May 3, 2009 9:24 am

Vote for the Greatest LEFT FIELDER of All Time

Ted Williams
Stan Musial
Ted Williams
Stan Musial
Ted Williams
Stan Musial
Ted Williams
Stan Musial
Ted Williams
Stan Musial
Ted Williams
Stan Musial
Ted Williams
Stan Musial
Ted Williams

Ted Williams it is.  This was a tough one.

Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2009 7:32 am

Vote for the Greatest LEFT FIELDER of All Time

Okay, misterjbg......Now, I am a Cubs fan and impartial, but sweet swing'n Billy Williams was named such because he had one of the smoothest swings of all time. He was the 1961 Rookie of the year and was elected into the HOF in 1987. I would take him over a number of players even on this list. I agree he is not near the top of this list, but on it he is. He is my fav Cub of all time and I still have the pages of a SI article titled Sweet Swing'n Billy Williams on my wall from early 70's, so I have to defend him. I thought you were a Cards fan for a moment and almost got angry, but I see you are a A's fan, so you just dont know any better......... Good day to you. sir.

Bonds not being voted for is understandable, but not based upon his substance abuse. I JUST NEVER DID LIKE HIM. He is in TIMEOUT for ever with me. The Babe was drunk every game and simply because the latest craze is the roid, doesnt exclude anybody from a list. You can't say take all the players who were juiced, drunk, on cocaine, smoking weed, or whatever and exclude them from any list at this point. In 20 years, there may be something else players are doing that upsets fans and exclude some of these players also. There may be a ban on hemorrhoid medication and players that used it. They may find the medication makes a player excited about pine tar, and then little Georgie Porgie would off someones list.

Okay, enough of that.....the real 'race" is between Stan and Ted. I will go with TED WILLIAMS.

P.S. My hat is off to you, Major..

Since: Aug 30, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2009 2:19 am

Vote for the Greatest LEFT FIELDER of All Time

Ted Williams
This was tough. I went back and forth between Teddy Ball Game and Rickey. Rickey did do a lot of things well. What did it for me with Williams was projecting stats in the years he missed serving in two wars. This might be a stretch, but he could of been the Home Run King. He also had a high batting average for being a dead pull hitter. In every year he played he made the All Star team and got MVP votes as well, winning it twice and finishing second five times. In 1952 he only played in six games because he went to fly in the Korean War, so that's the only year he didn't get any accolades on the ball field. That's why chose the Splendid Splinter.

Since: Mar 5, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2009 2:18 am

Vote for the Greatest LEFT FIELDER of All Time

Rickey Henderson, he was the quintessential table sitter. You have to have a guys to get on base to drive them in. He could swipe the bags and walk. Sure, Ted Williams had the power and the average, but his role was different from Henderson’s and every team needs a Rickey Henderson.

Since: Jun 26, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2009 1:35 am

Vote for the Greatest LEFT FIELDER of All Time

Don't worry about me being offended at all ponie.   Even if I was a Bonds apologist, which I'm not, this is a close call whether you're a Williams fan, a Henderson fan, a Delahanty fan or a Musual fan.   Throw Bonds in with those 4 and you probably have 5 of the best 15 players ever.  It doesn't take a scholar to see that Bonds' numbers are the best, but any baseball realist also realizes that steroids have inflated his numbers.   Unless science has some way of discovering how much steroids help a particular player, which I doubt it ever will, its pretty much up to the opinions of each person as to how much.    

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: May 3, 2009 12:20 am

Vote for the Greatest LEFT FIELDER of All Time

Hey ponie02 - no apology needed for that.  I am with you 100% on your views.  I will NOT vote for Bonds.  Not sure I would have anyway, but given the circumstances surrounding his career of late, I am not even considering him.

Before I cast my vote, Lazer - wasn't Ty Cobb considered mostly to be a left fielder???  I didn't think he was center, but as long as you have him there, I will be able to vote for him.

Back to the current lineup of LF. 

To me, I am really only considering 3 candidates.  To the person who voted Delahanty, I tip my cap to you, he was great and will be overlooked because of when he played, but I am a bit of an old school baseball buff and I know quite a bit about his career.

But in my estimation, I am looking at Musial, Williams (not Billy who does not belong on this list at all - I'd put Wheat on this list before Billy) and Henderson.

Musial and Williams were very similar in their careers, though Stan ended up at 1B late in his career.  Numbers were somewhat similar, etc.  But I just can't overlook the force that was Rickey Henderson in his prime.  And getting to see him in person on a number of occasions, I am baffled by his defensive numbers.  But if you look at his range numbers, you can understand that he got to a number of balls that none of the other guys on this list would have gotten to and sometimes he did make errors on those.  I saw him toss out 2 guys at the plate - in one game!  And what he did getting on base and scoring runs is nothing short of legendary.  And he had more power than any other lead off hitter ever.  No, his HR's and RBI's don't match with the others, but you can't have all HR hitters on the team.

I hereby cast my vote for Rickey Henderson.

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