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: Nov 2, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2009 6:14 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Babe Ruth, in a landslide

Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2009 5:52 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Lazer -- I'll go with RUTH.

Like I said, too bad we didn't get to see all that Clemente COULD have done.

Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2009 5:21 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

What a great list. Clemente was awesome. If I needed a single...Tony Gwynn is the man. Walker, Guerrero, and Shef just could not be pitched to when they were (are) hot. If I needed a clutch big hit....Reggie or Winfield. If I needed a 3 letter word in a crossword puzzle for a baseball is always Mr. Ott.
I personally loved to see Dwight Evans play. 

Hank Aaron was special....esp when I a teenager (yes, I am old) and the AtlantaBraves in the early 70's....with players like Rico Carty, Mike Lum, Davey Johnson, Darrell Evans, and the Niekro brothers.....HANK AARON WAS THE KING...when I was getting hooked on baseball.

But my vote goes to Babe Ruth.

Since: May 6, 2009
Posted on: May 17, 2009 4:01 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Hank Aaron. Best in HR, RBI's good fielding numbers. Props to Roberto Clemente, He could have been great.

Since: Jun 26, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2009 3:58 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Sorry man, no ties.  Is this a vote for Clemente, Ruth or Aaron?  You did say that Clemente was your sentimental pick, so unless you correct me, I'll assume its a vote for Clemente.

I love all the responses everyone, but please make it clear who you're voting for.   

Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2009 3:27 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

I concur with a couple of other Community members who have posted here. I would love to have seen what Roberto Clemente could have done in a full career. He is one of the first players I remember following when I was but a wee young lad. He played like he meant it! I tend to think he would have competed with the top numbers guys here in everything except perhaps home runs. Clemente is my sentimental pick.

From a pure numbers standpoint, it comes down to Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. I think the scales tilt slightly in Ruth's direction, but can I call this one a tie?

Since: Mar 29, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2009 3:12 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

I'll go with Hank Aaron.  Babe Ruth can DH.  My favorite to watch old clips of is Roberto Clemente.  I love the old Pirates reels.  It would be amazing to see what else Clemente would have done for his people had we been around longer. 

Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2009 2:30 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

In many of these discussions in the past, especially when we were discussing the best center fielder, many prefaced with "what if".  What if Griffey would have stayed healthy, what if Mickey Mantle would have stayed healthy and even here some have mentioned what if Clemente wouldn't have tragicly gotten killed.   Well, I'll go with the what if's on Babe Ruth.  What if he never pitched in the majors?   What if he played a 162 game schedule and played in the expansion era with watered down pitching like Robinson and Aaron did?  What if Ruth played in cookie cutter ball parks like we've seen post 1970?  I won't even get into the long train rides and playing all day games in the sweltering sun in the middle of summer.   The fact is, if Ruth would have been exclusively an outfielder under a modern schedule under modern conditions he'ld probably have hit well over 800 home runs...and I think thats a rather conservative estimate.   Lazer, you have a great blog going here and your best ever team deserves to have the best player ever as your starting right fielder.   That man is Babe Ruth.    

Since: Sep 6, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2009 2:28 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Aaron's numbers only appear to be better than Ruth's until you take both sets of numbers and divide by the number of at bats. Ruth's are so much better. Even if you took Bond's numbers and divided by his at bats Ruth is so much better than Bonds. Ruth also had a lot of outfield assists and that would have been even better but runners chose not to challenge him.

Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2009 2:14 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

My vote without a doubt has to be Reggie Jackson. Reggie was an incredible hitter that hit for both power and average in one of the most exciting decades for baseball the 1970's.  When you think about all the great pitchers, hitters, and teams in that era the list is neverending.  I wasn't alive during the era but ESPN Classic plays enough games for me to almost have.  Jackson was a guy that took good teams and helped make them great teams.  The 1972, 1973, 1974 Oakland A's and the 1977 and 1978 New York Yankees.  The guy won 5 World Series in 7 years! Not to mention he hit 4 home runs in 4 consecutive at bats in the 1977 World Series against the Dodgers.  1 at the end of game 5 and 3 in game 6.

That list is full of guys that could be the best with Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and I don't know why Roger Maris and Daryll Strawberry arent on this list  but I think Reggie was the best big game and postseason player out of all of them.  Also, I can't put anyone as the best there ever was if they didn't play after desegregation of baseball. Babe Ruth was a god among men when he played for the Red Sox and Yankees but how can a guy be the best ever when he didn't play against African Americans, Latino Americans and Asian baseball players?  I would love to see Babe Ruth hit against Bob Gibson or Satchel Paige.  He was a legend in his own time but I feel players who play in the desegregated area are better due to better competition.

My vote is Reggie Jackson!

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