Sunday, August 22, 2010

Who is the Greatest Baseball Player Ever? Baseball is a Team Game

How do you pick a best player? Some would say Babe Ruth was the greatest because he was a great pitcher and hitter. However, he didn't have speed. He wasn't the greatest defensive outfielder either. Willie Mays had those and power but he never pitched and wasn't a catcher which is considered the hardest position to play. Does that mean Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench or Ivan Rodriguez were the greatest players ever?

You can pick players who were great at their positions but to pick an overall greatest player is subjective and without any true basis. Even when you pick individual players by position it is completely subjective. How can you pick Lou Gehrig or Albert Pujols when they played in different eras with different training and equipment available to them.

All that said it is fun to pick your favorite player or the best player of all-time.  For me there was no greater center fielder than Willie Mays as he could do everything.   Was he the greatest player? No.   Ruth, Mays, Mantle, Ted Williams ( missed 5 years for military service lowering his already great numbers), Ty Cobb, Albert Pujols, Ken Griffey, Lou Gehrig, Roberto Clemente, Pete Rose and many many more were all great but none were perfect at every facet of the game.  Baseball is a team game and that is what makes it special. 

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