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: Sep 4, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2009 2:08 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Not only was Babe Ruth the greatest Rightfielder of all time he was the greatest player ever ! Not only did he hit 714 homers but he also had 94 wins as a Pitcher, he won 20+ games twice and had a lifetime ERA of 2.28 ! WOW , if he was allowed too pitch his entire career he could have been a Hall of Fame Pitcher but he was switched to the outfield and the rest is history ! Second place goes to Frank Robinson and 3rd place Hank Aaron .

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2009 1:50 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Another great list of ball players Lazer. Thank you for your work in putting it and the stats and all of this together. Add my thanks to CBS for recognizing your blog. Good post vespula and I like misterjbq's idea of greatest players in different eras. That'd be like say dead ball, war time, golden age and what *steroid*?
These are some great players. Al Kaline was another favorite growing up. I always seemed to get his Topps card. Frank Robinson was truly great in both leagues. That's something special. Roberto Clemente may have been the greatest. He was well on his way. Sad deal. In this vote for me it comes down to Hammerin' Hank Aaron and the great Babe Ruth. You can't go wrong either way. Babe was before my time. He is a true legend of the game. I remember watching Henry Aaron when he was younger. He had all the tools. Remember when he played with his brother Tommy? I'll vote for Hank Aaron. Thanks again Lazer and to everyone. I enjoy reading the comments.

Since: May 4, 2009
Posted on: May 17, 2009 12:11 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Wow, this is a hard one!  Looking at that list of names is like going to heaven and God asking you to pick your favorite saint.  One of the most difficult things for me is that I lived in Atlanta during the great homerun record of Henry Aaron.  He was no longer as fast as his days in Milwaukee or when he first came to Atlanta, but he was so good at the plate, no one cared.  In those years the Braves were known for ferocious hitting and bad pitching; Aaron's run at the lifetime homerun record was helped a lot by his placement between Darrell Evans and Davey Johnson, all of whom hit over 40 homeruns in 1973, I think.  (I went to a number of those games to watch Evans. You men don't notice stuff like this, but to a girl in her early 20's, he was also Rrrroww!) 
My dad told my brother and me stories of Babe Ruth as we were growing up.  He was the number one hero of the Great Depression era, and kids would gather outside the drugstore or barber shop to hear the radio broadcasts of the Yankees games,  Ruth not only had tremendous talent, he was apparently a great showman.  The multiple homerun games, the pointing at the bleachers stunt.  It's part of the legend.  It amazes me to think about the guys who had to pump on steroids to get to his and Aaron's levels today.  Ruth did body weakening drugs!  He drank a lot, smoked a lot, ummmm liked women a lot, and still managed to set every record in baseball for decades.  Even now, no single player has the numbers he does. You should read Claire Ruth's biography of him for some real baseball history.  And she was a real Steel Magnolia to hide her pain at his infidelity, his losing battle to cancer and the jealousies between her and Eleanor Gehrig. But like everyone from that time, she idolized Babe while truly loving him.
I remember seeing Roberto Clemente and the shock of his early death.  I think he could have reached levels like Aaron, if he had lived that long, but we can't really know that now. Reggie Jackson was Mr. October, but that's the problem.  I don't recall him being memorable except in October.  Al Kaline had good numbers, but I remember my brother showing me the baseball card of him with a huge mouthful of tobacco, so, yeah, he was good, but girl prejudice says ewww!  I won't go down the whole list.  I will tell you the worst outfielder I ever saw.  I was at a doubleheader between Atlanta and the Big Red Machine, and Johnny Bench switched from catcher to outfield in the second game.  (I think it was RF, but it's been 35 years.)  One of the Braves hit a soft looping fly ball toward him that even I could have caught.  It hit his glove and he dropped it!  I later saw him do that in televised games as well.  Wow. Bench is NOT my choice. 
So it's down to Aaron and Ruth for me.  And as much as I want to give credit to Dad for liking the Babe, that long right field porch in the house Ruth built makes me hesitate.  And I know what I saw of Henry Aaron up close from the first base line seats of Atlanta Stadium.
I vote for the Hammer. 

Since: Jun 18, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2009 10:29 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Another GREAT list Lazer...Great job! My vote has to go with the man who made the game what it is today. Well, at least got it going in that direction. George Herman Ruth. There are alot of great players on the list, but I just don't see how you can dispute the stats & he did it in a era when NOBODY was doing it!

Since: Apr 29, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2009 9:20 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Babe Ruth.  He also held the strikeout record for 38 years.  He was once quoted as saying "Never let the fear of striking out get in your way".  With his OBP, it looks like it never did.

Since: Jan 13, 2009
Posted on: May 17, 2009 9:04 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

What a list. This may be the most stacked group you have trotted out yet. While most of the list had full careers so it is easy to find the standouts, I would be remiss if I did not mention the obvious. Roberto Clemente never had the chance to finish. In his shorten career he was the best of his day in my book. That being said though the greatest of all time, to me, is Babe Ruth. The numbers tell most of the story. (Babe Ruth     &
;     &nbs
p;  342/474/690    
; 714      2213     2174 &
nbsp;    123     &n
bsp;   +.02     &
nbsp;    -.20)
There are some things that the numbers leave out. The stadiums had much deeper fields in Ruth's time. 400 feet all the way around was not uncommon. So hitting the ball out was not as easy as say the 330 sign in left for most stadiums now. The career average of .342 to go with the .474 on base, i mean how can this not amaze? The slugging percentage of almost .700, for a career. As i have stated in my past votes, to me it is the fear factor of a players that separates him from the pack. Well in this case he would still be feared if he was around. Todays pitchers would pitch around him all day and he would still hit the side walk.
Thanks for all the hard work in putting htis together and keep up the good work.

Since: Dec 7, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2009 7:26 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

As always, great job in putting htis vote together Lazer.

There are a ton of great ball players to vote for on this list.  Robinson, Kaline, Evans, Jackson, Gwynn, Clemente, and Ruth are all people I tried to make cases for.  In the end, my all time right fielder is Henry Aaron.  Hammerin' Hank was so consistent, rarely injured, and a good fielder as well.  Hank played most of his career in an era that tended to favor pitchers.  To be able to put up those numbers consistently makes him in my eyes the best RF of all time. 

Can't go wrong with many of these guys though.

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2009 4:58 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

Man - you have some great names on here.  I hereby request that you make another all-time team - but for players who played the bulk of their career before WWII, or some other time frame that gets it out of the realm of the "modern" era.  Maybe make 1950 the cutoff??  I don' t know, but for baseball vets like myself, that actually know who some of these players were (say Harry Heilmann, Paul Waner, Willie Keeler, Mel Ott) it would be nice to have a team that they could be on.

Personally, I grew up a HUGE Aaron fan.  I still have the statuette that my parents gave me when I hit my first ever home run in Little League about a month after I watched Hank hit his 715th.  I've read his book, etc.

But that being said, how can you vote against Babe Ruth??  The Bambino is the simple choice for this team.  He is one of the best ever to play the game at any position, and to me, the best right fielder.  He is the biggest name in the history of this sport, and maybe the biggest in any sport.  And his numbers back all that up.


Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2009 12:05 am

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

This is going to be my only bias pick in the whole thing, I hope. My vote is for Babe Ruth. His numbers are not the best but when I think of my beloved Yankees he is the first one I think of and, most likely, the first person anyone would think of.

Now if I were being fair I would have picked Hammerin' Hank. His numbers appear to be at or near the top when I looked at them. Definitely a bench position if he doesn't win outright.

The sentimental favorite to a lot of baseball fans will be Roberto Clemente and if he wins I will definitely not have a problem with it. Not that I would with any of the players listed or the 7 HOF players not on the list.

Nice job again, Lazer! It is only going to get tougher from here I'm think. Congrats on being a featured blogger, too!!!!!

Since: Mar 18, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2009 10:49 pm

Vote for the Greatest RIGHT FIELDER of All Time

A great list but there can be only one and that is Babe Ruth who probably could have been a HOF pitcher had be not been such a great hitter.  Hard to figure out number two with Aaron, Clement, Kaline, Robinson and Ott.

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