Blog Entry

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Posted on: May 16, 2009 6:08 pm
First off, I want to thank the powers that be at CBS.   I'm pretty quick to criticize them when I disapprove of a policy or a change, but I have to also show my gratitude when they throw me a bone.  They featured this blog last week when we were voting for the greatest center fielder of all time and the response I got was tremendous and insightful.   I also want to thank all of you who took the time to stop by, vote and give your reasons.  I'd love to see all of you to stick around as we still have much more team building to do.   This week we'll be voting for the final position on the field before we move to the pitchers and the bench. 

Before we get to this vote, its time to announce the center fielder who you all voted as the best all time.  The clear cut winner was Willie Mays who garnered 35 of of the 75 votes that were cast.   Ty Cobb finished second with 19 votes, Mickey Mantle was a distant third with 6 votes and Ken Griffey Jr. was fourth with 5 votes.  Eight other centerfielders received either one or two votes.   Had I voted, I would have been torn between my heart and my head.   I began my love affair with baseball in the late 60s, so one of my early favorite players was Willie Mays and I jumped at every opportunity to watch a game he played in.  Unfortunately, back then there was only one or two baseball games a week to watch back then and you didn't get to choose what game they'ld decide to televise.  So my heart is with Willie Mays.  This being said, I can't overlook the chance of my all time team having a .366 lifetime batting average and .433 OBP leading off for me.  2246 runs scored and 892 stolen bases tells me that in those 43% of the time he reaches base, he's a great bet to score a run.  Judging from the defensive stats, Cobb appears to be on par with Mays, at the very least pretty darned close, so I would have personally picked Cobb.   Due to the need of a true leadoff hitter for this all time team, I may have chosen Speaker or Hamilton over Mays due to their speed, OBP and defense.   

Now we get to the matter at hand.   Who is the greatest right fielder.  If I was a slacker, I could have probably gotten by with just listing 3 or 4 names on my list and let it fly, but as you know, I'm a rather thorough fellow and I want to give as many great players as I can the recognition that they deserve.  My list consists of 22 past and present right fielders.  16 of these 22 are in the Hall of fame and the other 6 are a mix of current players or retired players who aren't in the hall but had distinguished careers.   The 7 HOFers not listed are Elmer Flick, Harry Hooper, King Kelly, Chuck Klein, Tommy McCarthy, Enos Slaughter and Ross Youngs.   I also nearly included the stats of two great retired right fielders that narrowly missed my cut, Andre Dawson and Dave Parker.  Some of you may feel that I should have included their numbers rather than the 6 non-HOFers I did include, well, sorry, but its my blog.   At least you vote...I'll only cast a vote if we have a tie.   Anyway, without further ado, here's my list....

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

Hank Aaron                       305/377/555          755     2297     2174      240       +.05           +.30
Roberto Clemente              317/362/475          240     1305     1416      83         -.04            +.37
Sam Crawford                    309/362/452          97       1535     1391      366        +.13           -.22
Kiki Cuyler                        321/386/474           128     1065     1295      328        +.01           +.04
Tony Gwynn                      338/388/359           135     138       1383      319        +.09           +.26
Harry Heilmann                 342/410/520           183     1539     1291       113        -.04           -.35
Reggie Jackson                 262/358/490           563     1551     1702      228         -.10           +.17
Al Kaline                           297/379/480           399     1583     1622      137         +.07          +.29
Willie Keeler                     341/388/415            33       810      1719       495         +.20          -.34
Mel Ott                             304/414/533           511     1860     1859       89           +.06         -.22
Sam Rice                          322/374/427           34       1078     1514       351         even         +.02
Frank Robinson                 294/392/537           586      1812     1829      204         +.10          +.19
Babe Ruth                         342/474/690           714      2213     2174      123         +.02          -.20
Sam Thompson                 331/384/505           127      1299     1256      229          +.29         -.23
Paul Waner                        333/404/473          113      1309      1627     104          +.02         -.05
Dave Winfield                    283/355/475           465      1833     1669      223          +.07         +.21
Vladimir Guerrero               322/389/573           393      1271     1129      173          -.18          +.29
Sammy Sosa                     273/344/534           609      1667      1475     234          -.05          +.32
Ichiro Suzuki                     330/376/431            77       481        898       320          +.10         +.43
Larry Walker                      313/400/465           383      1311      1355     230          +.07         +.18
Dwight Evans                     272/370/470            385      1384      1470     78           +.09          +.27
Gary Sheffield                    292/394/515           501       1640     1606     252          +.02          +.08

Have fun ladies and gentlemen and thanks again!

Category: MLB

Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: May 18, 2009 7:20 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

I voted 2 days ago, but I just came back and read the other votes and I feel compelled to help clear some things up.   Personally, if I were doing this I would use each players 162 game average rather than career stats because that better tells people what this player was able to do on an annual basis on the average.  I'm going to give the 162 game averages of the four best players or popular players what have you...This should clearly illuminate who is clearly the best.

162 game averages:

;  305/374/555, OPS+ 155, 37 HR, 31 2B, 5 3B, 113 RBI, 107 Runs, 12 SB, 69 BB, 68 SO
Clemente    317/359/475, OPS+ 130, 16 HR, 29 2B, 11 3B, 87 RBI, 94 Runs, 6 SB, 41 BB, 82 SO
Robinson    294/389/537, OPS+ 154, 34 HR, 30 SB, 4 3B, 105 RBI, 106 Runs, 12 SB, 82 BB, 88 SO
Ruth     &
nbsp;    342/474/690*, OPS+ 207*, 46 HR, 33 2B, 9 3B, 143 RBI, 141 Runs, 8 SB, 133 BB, 86 SO

* denotes major league record


Since: Feb 3, 2008
Posted on: May 18, 2009 5:21 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Roberto Clemente also was the only player to play all 9 posistions in a double header series.

Since: Feb 3, 2008
Posted on: May 18, 2009 5:16 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

I would have to agree with Roberto Clemente as the all time best right fielder of all time. He didn't get his nickname "The Great One" for nothing and the Roberto Clemente Award in his honor.

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2009 1:17 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

I have to go with Clemente. He not only had all the skills but also the desire to play everyday. When someone asks me to define what qualities a ballplayer should have, I envision Clemente. He played every game to win, whether it was the second game of a doubleheader in July or game 5 of the WS. His intensity was infectuous.

There have been some great arms in right field. Evans, Parker, Kaline come to mind but nobody got it done better than Roberto.

Clemente's combination of speed and power at the plate puts him in the same category as Ruth and Aaron overall. The Babe dominated the game offensively in a way we will never see again so if this were strictly an offensive discussion he would have to come out on top.

This isn't even close in my book. I would rate my top five as follows:
4)Kaline (sorry, gotta let the homer in me out)

Since: Jan 27, 2008
Posted on: May 18, 2009 12:46 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Great idea, Lazer.  Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.  I'd have to go with Babe Ruth because numbers don't lie.  As someone else mentioned, the guy could pitch.  I think he won about 100 games.  I realize that stat has no bearing on being the best right fielder but I find it astonishing.  It also surprises me that Ruth had 123 stolen bases.  We've all seen the pictures of him.  The man had a pretty good beer belly for a good part of his career.

A person could make a strong case for Hank Aaron.  More home runs, RBI's, same amount of Runs and more stolen bases than Babe Ruth.  Ruth beats him fairly well at AVE/OBP/SLUG.

After looking at the numbers and rereading my post, I'm changing my vote to Hank Aaron.

Keep up the great blog posts.  You write well and come up with great ideas.  Well done, Lazer.

Since: Jan 13, 2009
Posted on: May 18, 2009 12:15 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Tony Gwynn.

In an era where players jumped from team to team, Tony was loyal to the Padres and led them to two World Series births.  I'll admit I'm biased to players who played during the time I watched baseball, but I've never seen a better hitter than Tony Gwynn.   If you had to take a player from the 80s or 90s and drop him into a clutch situation where you knew he had to get a hit, is there anyone other than Tony Gwynn who you would want?

Since: Apr 2, 2009
Posted on: May 18, 2009 12:12 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

It is pretty hard to not cast my ballot for the original homerun king, Babe Ruth.  But the sultan of swat isn't getting my vote.  Neither is the man who bumped the Babe from his perch as the all-time leader in roundtrippers, Hank Aaron.
As a lifelong Detroit Tiger fan I'll be giving my vote to the greatest power hitter without 400 homers.  The American League batting champion as a rookie, the kid from Baltimore with a golden arm, George Kell's longtime broadcast partner, the great Al Kaline.

Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2009 11:56 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

even though my favorite RF and player of all time is Juan Gonzalez (and he is better than a few of the players on this list) my vote would have to be for Babe Ruth.  He dominated in era and no one will ever be able to match his productivity (except for maybe Pujols, MAYBE)

Since: Dec 31, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2009 11:10 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

This is an extremely tough selection. Just look at those numbers and credentials.  Ichiro is the modern day Pete Rose when it comes to delivering hits and hustle.  Then there is Babe Ruth, the Godfather of Baseball.  I have my prejudice for Frank Rosbinson, my sentimental favorite is Hank Aaron, the consumate quiet professional.  Mays and Aaron in the same outfield, WOW. Roberto Clemente was cut short too quick but he was a phenom.  So I have to say 755 HR, 715 HR or 586 HR  2297 RBI, 2213 RBI or 1812 RBI.  I have to go with Hammerin Hank as the RF.

Since: May 1, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2009 10:49 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Henry Aaron

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