Picture Of The Day

Picture Of The Day
Flyers Stanley Cup Champions Parade From The '70s

Monday, August 3, 2009

Baseball's Top 100 of All-Time

Baseball’s Top 100 of All-Time (Pitchers and Negro League players not included)
* (S)- Steroid use confirmed

1. Babe Ruth- Predictable? Cliché? I dare you to find someone more dominant. Babe’s numbers have stood the test of time. Are you going to argue with a .342 average, 714 homers, and a .690 slugging percentage? In 1920, only one team hit more home runs collectively than Ruth did as an individual. To top it off, he logged a 94-46 record with a 2.28 ERA and 107 complete games as a pitcher.

2. Willie Mays- What couldn’t Willie do? Whether at the plate, on the bases or in the field, Mays was the ultimate natural. Say Hey managed to slam 660 career homers while spending most of his prime in the spacious Candlestick Park. Mays was a two-time MVP, 24-time All-Star and a 12-time Gold Glove winner. The list goes on: 3,000+ hits, 12 seasons of at least 100 runs and 300+ stolen bases. He remains the only player in history with at least 3,000 hits, 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases.

3. Ty Cobb- He was nasty, brutish—and amazing. The best player of the dead-ball era, Ty Cobb’s .366 career average remains one of baseball’s greatest feats. The Georgia Peach is 2nd all-time in hits, runs and triples, and third in doubles. Cobb stole nearly 900 bases and won a Triple Crown. In 24 seasons, he batted below .300 just once.

4. Lou Gehrig- The Iron Horse was an RBI machine. A gentleman to his last day, Gehrig’s consecutive games played streak is second only to Cal Ripken Jr. (#35) With nearly 2,000 RBI in just 17 seasons, Gehrig had eight straight years of at least 120 RBI. The numbers truly boggle the mind: a .340 average, a .447 OBP, a record 23 grand slams and 6 championships.

5. Ted Williams- He is quite possibly the greatest pure hitter in baseball history. Despite missing three years of his prime while serving his country during WWII, Williams managed 521 homers and a .344 average (the highest for any member of the 500 HR club). The Splendid Splinter won not one, but two Triple Crowns and he is the last player to hit .400 in a season. Williams hit a home run in his final at-bat and his lifetime .482 OBP is simply astonishing.

6. Hank Aaron- In many eyes, Hammerin’ Hank is still the home run king. For more than two decades, Aaron was the model of consistency. He hit at least 24 homers in every year from 1955 to 1973, and is the only player to belt at least 30 or more in at least 15 seasons. The all-time leader in RBI, extra base hits and total bases, Aaron stole a commendable 240 bases and won three Gold Gloves. He is a true hero for all he was put through in his pursuit of Babe’s record.

7. Barry Bonds (S)- A cheat or not, you cannot ignore Barry Bonds’ accomplishments. From 1987-1998 (it is alleged that his steroid use began following the 1998 season) Bonds compiled the following averages per season: 107 runs, 31 doubles, 32 home runs, 97 RBI, 34 SB, .294 AVG and .981 OPS. Whether you like it or not, he is the leader in career home runs. Bonds is first all-time in walks and second in runs. An 8-time Gold Glove winner, he stole 514 bases and finished with a 1.051 OPS.

8. Rogers Hornsby- The only National League player to win two Triple Crowns, Hornsby may be the greatest right-handed hitter in history and he is easily the game’s best second baseman. Between 1921 and 1925 Hornsby, a career .358 batter, hit an amazing .402. He belted more home runs and had more RBI than any other National Leaguer in the 1920s.

9. Stan Musial- The bedrock of the St. Louis Cardinals for nearly a quarter of a century, Musial won three MVP awards and finished with more than 3,600 hits. He remains an underappreciated and underrated star. Stan the Man won seven batting titles and compiled 725 doubles, 475 homers and a .976 OPS.

10. Joe DiMaggio- Joltin’ Joe’s career was limited to 13 seasons, but, gosh, they were a spectacular 13 seasons. Holder of the coveted 56-game hitting streak, DiMaggio was an All-Star in each year of his career and was a three-time MVP winner. He was a 9-time world champion. Although Yankee Stadium was not suited for right-handed power hitters in those days, DiMaggio blasted 361 round-trippers anyway. He averaged 132 RBI per year between 1936 and 1942. All of this while missing 1943 to 1945 due to military duty.

11. Jimmie Foxx- The greatest right-handed slugger ever, Foxx is the second-youngest player to reach 500 homers. He lived to rip the cover off a baseball. Between 1929 and 1940 Foxx averaged 40 homers, 136 RBI, a .334 AVG and a .644 SLG% per year. With 12 consecutive years of at least 30 homers, Foxx finished with 534 for his career.

12. Honus Wagner- Wagner is the best shortstop to ever play the game. He stole 722 bases and pounded out 993 extra base hits. An 8-time batting champion, Wagner had 3,415 career hits and finished with a .327 average.

13. Mickey Mantle- Despite injuries and a high-flying lifestyle, Mantle had a stellar career. He was a three-time MVP and a seven-time world champion who still holds a number of postseason offensive records. The greatest switch hitter of all-time, Mantle blasted 536 homers and is famous for his tape-measure shots. He averaged 42 homers per year between 1956 and 1961.

14. Ken Griffey Jr.- After all these years, through injuries and “what-ifs,” Griffey stands as the greatest clean player (let’s pray) of his generation. His numbers between 1996 and 1999 are unreal: four consecutive years of at least 45 HR and 130 RBI. Fifth on the career HR list, Griffey also has 10 Gold Gloves.

15. Tris Speaker- Another all-timer who doesn’t get much ink, Speaker is baseball’s career leader in doubles and outfield assists. He was a lifetime .345 hitter with more than 3,500 hits and 400 steals. In 7,707 at-bats between 1913 and 1927, Speaker, a three-time world champion, struck out only 215 times.

16. Albert Pujols- Although he has completed only eight full seasons, Pujols, another presumably clean player from the steroid era, no doubt deserves this lofty ranking. He leads all active players with a .333 average and a .628 slugging percentage. Sir Albert has already amassed eight All-Star selections, two MVPs and a world championship. Along with Ralph Kiner, Pujols is the only player to hit at least 300 homers (319) in his first eight seasons. He has averaged 122 RBI per year and is arguably the best defensive first baseman in baseball.

17. Mel Ott- Master Melvin was the first National Leaguer to hit 500 homers and lead the league in round-trippers six times. A New York Giants fixture for more than two decades, Ott averaged 103 RBI per year between 1929 and 1945. He was a career .304 hitter.

18. Frank Robinson- Robinson remains the only player to win MVP awards in both the American and National Leagues. He finished with 586 career homers and 1812 RBI, all while hitting .294 and stealing 204 bases.

19. Rickey Henderson- Henderson is the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time. He ranks first in career runs and stolen bases, and second in walks. The Man of Steal managed to swipe more than 100 bases in a season three times. Although Henderson was only a .279 career hitter, he belted 297 home runs and batted .339 in World Series appearances.

20. Pete Rose- Charlie Hustle was a ball of energy. Baseball’s all-time leader in games played, at-bats and hits, Pete Rose was an MVP, a 3-time world champion and the 1975 World Series MVP. He was a 17-time All-Star at five different positions (1B, 2B, 3B, RF and LF). Rose averaged 100 runs per season between 1963 and 1981. He was a .321 postseason hitter in 268 at-bats. Although he made his share of mistakes, it’s time to put Rose in the Hall of Fame.

21. Mike Schmidt- Schmidt is undisputedly the game’s greatest third baseman of all-time and possibly the best player of the 1980s. From 1974 to 1987 Schmidt averaged 99 runs, 36 homers, 103 RBI, .274 AVG and a .933 OPS. Although he was only a .267 career hitter, he blossomed in later years. In his first nine seasons he .259; in his last nine, his average increased to .276. In addition, Schmidt was a magician at third, winning 10 Gold Glove awards. He led the National League in homers eight times.

22. Nap Lajoie- As one indicator of his hitting prowess, Lajoie is one of only five players in history to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded. He won the Triple Crown in 1901 batting .426 with 14 homers and 125 RBI. He also scored 145 runs and pounded out 232 hits. In 21 seasons, Lajoie stole 380 bases and batted .338.

23. Al Simmons- Born Aloisius Szymanski, “Bucketfoot” Al Simmons recorded 11 consecutive seasons of at least 100 RBI and a .300 AVG. A career .334 hitter, Simmons won two batting titles and was the anchor of the 1929 and 1930 World Series champion Philadelphia Athletics. His averages for those two seasons: 133 runs, 211 hits, 35 RBI, 161 RBI and a .373 AVG.

24. Hank Greenberg- Although WWII disrupted about five years of Greenberg’s career, the original Hammerin’ Hank belted 331 homers and had 1276 RBI. He had more than 140 RBI in a season four times. Greenberg was a two-time MVP and led the league in homers four times. All he did in 1937 was hit .337 with 40 homers, 183 RBI and 137 runs—and came in third in MVP voting.

25. Charlie Gehringer- Gehringer produced at least 200 hits in seven seasons and finished with a .320 AVG. A great fielder, Gehringer’s 7,068 assists are the second highest total in history for a second baseman. He was the 1937 AL MVP and finished with nearly 1,800 runs.

26. Eddie Collins- A staple of the Philadelphia Athletics teams that won three World Series titles between 1910 and 1914, Collins was a career .333 hitter and a defensive extraordinaire at second base. He twice stole six bases in a game and also holds the record for career sacrifice hits.

27. Tony Gwynn- Mr. Padre, as it were, spent two decades in San Diego. Amazingly, Gwynn struck out only 434 times in 9,288 at bats. A career .338 hitter, he batted no lower than .309 in any full season. Throw in 15 All-Star appearances, 5 Gold Gloves and 319 stolen bases and it’s easy to see Gwynn’s worth.

28. Carl Yastrzemski- Yaz was a Red Sox fixture for more than two decades. In that time, he amassed 452 home runs, 7 Gold Gloves and more than 3,400 hits. A 18-time All-Star, MVP winner and the last player to achieve a Triple Crown, Yastrzemski is second all-time in games played.

29. Roberto Clemente- One the game’s greatest all-around ballplayers, Clemente is remembered as a humanitarian and gentleman. He won four league batting titles and 12 Gold Gloves. Clemente was a career .317 batter and also had impressive postseason totals.

30. Ed Delahanty- Big Ed was a member of the Phillies’ famed 1890s outfield that he shared with Sam Thompson (#38) and Billy Hamilton (#58). He led the league in slugging percentage five times and RBI three times. Delahanty finished with a .346 AVG, a .411 OBP and 455 stolen bases.

31. Dan Brouthers- Big Dan is often recognized as baseball’s first great slugger. He led the National League in batting five times, a 19th century record. Brouthers finished with a .342 career average, which stands as 9th highest of all-time. He also led the league in OPS eight times and pounded out 205 triples.

32. Joe Jackson- Sadly, Shoeless Joe is remembered only for his role in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal that ended in a lifetime ban from baseball. From 1911 to 1920, however, Jackson was a dominant force. His .356 career average is third all-time and his .423 OBP ranks among the best. Jackson compiled at least 200 hits in four of his ten full seasons.

33. Paul Waner- Paul “Big Poison” Waner had a .333 lifetime batting average and compiled 200 or more hits in eight seasons. The 1927 NL MVP, Waner had nine years of at least 100 runs.

34. George Brett- Brett’s 3,154 career hits are the most ever for a third baseman. Brett is one of only four players—Willie Mays (#2), Hank Aaron (#6) and Stan Musial (#9) are the others—to achieve a .300 average, 3,000 hits and 300 home runs in his career. A 13-time All-Star, he was terrific in the postseason: .337 AVG and 10 home runs. Brett led the Royals to a World Series title in 1985.

35. Cal Ripken Jr.- The Iron Man played his entire career for the Baltimore Orioles and broke Lou Gehrig’s fabled consecutive games played streak in 1995. By the streak’s end in 1998, Ripken played in 2,632 straight games. He was a 19-time All-Star and a member of the 3,000 hit club.

36. Alex Rodriguez (S)- Long considered the “best ever” in the making, A-Rod’s ranking takes a significant hit because of his positive steroid test from 2003. While his numbers immediately come into question, Rodriguez is great nonetheless. The youngest player to reach 500 home runs, he has twelve 100 RBI seasons and 3 MVPs.

37. Frank Thomas- Assuming he was clean, Big Hurt’s legacy is enhanced in an era full of cheaters. Thomas had a .301 career average to go along with a .419 OBP, two MVPs and nine seasons of at least 30 HR and 100 RBI. He amassed at least 100 walks in 10 seasons. If it had not been shortened by an untimely strike, Thomas’ 1994 season was shaping up as one for the ages.

38. Sam Thompson- The only 19th century player to drive in at least 150 RBI in a season. He did it twice. His career .923 RBI/game average is still a record. Between 1893 and 1895, Thompson batted .388 with 432 RBI in 349 games.

39. Ivan Rodriguez- With a .301 lifetime average, more than 2,605 hits, 14 All-Star Game appearances, 13 Gold Gloves and an MVP, I-Rod is the greatest catcher of all-time.

40. Wade Boggs- From 1983 to 1989, Boggs was an unrivaled force in the American League. He won five batting titles, compiled seven consecutive 200-hit seasons, seven consecutive 100-run seasons and produced an incredible .446 on-base percentage in that span. Boggs finished his career with 3,010 hits and a .328 batting average.

41. Derek Jeter- When you think of the modern day New York Yankees, you think of Derek Jeter. The backbone of the Bronx dynasty that won four World Series titles in five years (1996, 1998-2000), Mr. November is the ultimate gamer. He is a 3-time Gold Glove winner, a 10-time All-Star and carries a .316 lifetime average. Jeter has collected 100 runs in 11 seasons and holds countless postseason records.

42. Mike Piazza- Piazza is the greatest hitting catcher of all-time. He batted a stellar .308 for his career at a position not known for offense. In fact, 396 of Piazza’s 427 home runs came while playing catcher. His best year came in 1997, when he hit .362, belted 40 home runs and drove in 124 runs. Piazza had eight consecutive seasons with at least 30 home runs (1995-2002) and nine overall.

43. Manny Ramirez (S)- Man-Ram is a true enigma. The statistics are amazing, but they are tainted by confirmed steroid use. No one can say when the use began, but, regardless, Manny must make the list. His 165 RBI in 1999 were the most in a season since Jimmie Foxx’s total in 1938. A .315 lifetime hitter, Ramirez has 12 seasons of at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI. He has amassed an astonishing 21 career Grand Slams and he holds the record for postseason home runs.

44. Joe Morgan- A vital member of the 1970s Big Red Machine, Morgan was a 10-time All-Star, back-to-back NL MVP (1975, 1976) and a two-time World Champion. He had an impressive blend of power, speed and fielding ability. Morgan compiled 268 home runs, 689 steals and four Gold Gloves during his career.

45. Johnny Bench- Morgan and Bench go back-to-back on the list as two key members of the Red’s Big Red Machine. He was a 14-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, two-time NL MVP (1970 and 1972) and the 1976 World Series MVP. Bench revolutionized the catcher’s position with his large frame and athletic skills. He had four seasons of at least 30 home runs and finished with 389 for his career.

46. Vladimir Guerrero- Though he has been slowed by injuries late in his career, Vlad’s resume is impressive. Between 1998 and 2008, he averaged 34 home runs, 111 RBI and a .325 batting average. Known for hitting without batting gloves and swinging (and hitting) everything in sight, Guerrero also has a cannon arm in right field.

47. Johnny Mize- One of the best National League hitters in the 1930s and ‘40s, Mize led the Senior Circuit in batting once (1939), RBI three times (1940, ’42 and ’47) and home runs four times (1939, ’40, ’47 and ’48). He finished with 359 home runs and a .312 lifetime AVG., despite the fact that missed three full seasons (1943-1945) due to military service in World War II.

48. Ichiro Suzuki- Like Albert Pujols (#16), Ichiro has only completed 8 full seasons. Since coming from Japan’s pro league, however, he has been unstoppable. He is a 9-time All-Star, an 8-time Gold Glove winner and a two-time batting champion (2001 and 2004). Ichiro broke George Sisler’s (#76) single season hits record with a total of 262 in ’04. He holds a .333 career AVG., has scored at least 100 runs in every year of his ongoing career and averages nearly 40 stolen bases per year.

49. Rod Carew- Carew was an All-Star in every year but his last. He was the 1967 AL Rookie of the Year and the 1977 AL MVP, hitting .388 with 128 runs and 100 RBI that season. Between 1973 and 1977, Carew batted an astonishing .358. Carew was a 7-time batting champion; he finished his career with 3,053 hits and a .328 AVG.

50. Yogi Berra- Though often overshadowed by his famous Yogiisms and oversized personality, Yogi Berra’s career was quite extraordinary. He appeared in a record 14 World Series with the New York Yankees, winning ten titles. Yogi still holds World Series career records for hits and doubles. He received MVP votes in every year from 1947 to 1961 and won the honor three times (1951, 1954 and 1955). Berra was a 15-time All-Star, a career .285 batter and a very good defensive catcher. He belted more than 20 home runs in 11 seasons and finished with 358 for his career. And you better go to his funeral, because, if you don’t, he won’t go to yours!

51. Eddie Murray- A member of the elite 3000 hits/500 HR club, Murray had 20 consecutive seasons of at least 75 RBI. He holds the record for career sacrifice flies and he was a 3-time Gold Glove winner.

52. Harry Heilmann- Possibly the most underrated player of the 1920s, Harry “Slug” Heilmann won four American League batting titles between 1921 and 1927. In that span, he batted at an unbelievable .380 clip, averaging 103 runs, 202 hits and 116 RBI per year. Heilmann batted .403 in 1923, but finished third in MVP voting behind Babe Ruth (#1) and Eddie Collins (#26). He finished with a .342 lifetime average and 1,539 RBI.

53. Goose Goslin- Leon Allen “Goose” Goslin helped led the Washington Senators to their first and only championship in the nation’s capital in 1924. He would again win a title in 1935 with the Detroit Tigers. Goslin produced 11 seasons with at least 100 RBI and was a .316 lifetime hitter. He also pounded out 500 doubles and 173 triples.

54. Paul Moliter- Moliter is one of only four players—Ty Cobb (#3), Honus Wagner (#12) and Eddie Collins (#26) are the others—to compile at least 3,000 hits, 500 stolen bases and a .300 lifetime AVG. He is the only one of the group to accomplish the feat while hitting 200 home runs. In two World Series appearances, Moliter hit at a superb .418 clip and was a career .368 hitter in the postseason. He also had 605 career doubles.

55. Dave Winfield- Winfield falls in just behind Moliter in a close contest. One of the game’s greatest athletes, Winfield starred in baseball and basketball at the University of Minnesota. Believe it or not, he was drafted by MLB, NFL and NBA teams before going pro in baseball! He went on to become a 12-time All-Star and a 7-time Gold Glove outfielder for the Padres and Yankees. Winfield finished with 15 seasons of at least 20 home runs, 8 seasons of at least 100 RBI and 3,110 hits.

56. Hugh Duffy- Sir Hugh was one of the best hitters of the 1890s. He batted .332 with an average of 126 runs, 108 RBI and 48 stolen bases per year during the decade. Duffy won the National League Triple Crown in his incredible campaign of 1894, batting .440 with 160 runs, 145 RBI and a .502 OBP. He finished his career with a .324 AVG. and 574 stolen bases.

57. Cap Anson- Baseball’s rise in the late 1800s would not have been possible without Cap Anson. One of the best players of the sport’s early era, he played a record 27 consecutive seasons from 1871 to 1897 and was the first to reach 3,000 career hits. Anson led the National League in RBI on eight occasions; he is 3rd in career RBI, behind only Hank Aaron (#6) and Babe Ruth (#1). He was a lifetime .333 hitter.

58. Billy Hamilton- Hamilton starred for the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Beaneaters (now the Atlanta Braves) during the 1890s. A career .344 batter, Hamilton averaged 143 runs and 79 stolen bases per year between 1890 and 1898. In 1894, he batted .404 with a .523 OBP, 192 runs (the Major League single-season record) and 98 stolen bases. His 912 career stolen bases are the third most all-time. Hamilton scored an amazing 1690 runs in 1591 games.

59. Eddie Mathews- Between 1953 and 1961 Eddie Matthews put on an incredible power display, belting at least 30 home runs in nine consecutive seasons. Ty Cobb (#3), a man who granted few compliments, paid Matthews an enormous one: "I've only known three or four perfect swings in my time. This lad has one of them." Matthews finished his career with 512 home runs.

60. Reggie Jackson- Mr. October was a flat-out winner. A leading member of both the Oakland Athletics’ three-peat (1972-1974) and the Yankees late ‘70s mini-dynasty (1977 and 1978), Jackson was a 14-time All-Star and two-time World Series MVP (1973 and 1977). Forever the clubhouse lightning rod, Reggie mashed 563 career home runs and averaged 30 home runs and 92 RBI per year between 1968 and 1982. Although he struck out at a record-setting pace in his career, Jackson hit .357 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI in his World Series appearances.

61. Harmon Killebrew- Killebrew was arguably the best slugger of the 1960s, hitting more home runs (393) in the decade than any other player. He led the American League in dingers six times and belted at least 40 home runs in eight seasons. From 1959 to 1972, Killebrew averaged 101 RBI per year.

62. Sam Crawford- The first player to lead both the National League (1901) and American League (1908) in home runs, Crawford was one of the dead-ball era’s greatest sluggers. His 309 career triples are still a record and he finished with a .309 AVG and 2,961 hits. Crawford compiled 366 career stolen bases and had six seasons of at least 100 RBI.

63. Ernie Banks- Mr. Cub was an 11-time All-Star and a two-time NL MVP (1958 and 1959). At the height of his career, between 1957 and 1960, Banks hit .293 with averages of 44 home runs and 122 RBI per year. He collected one Gold Glove and finished with 512 career home runs.

64. Craig Biggio- Biggio played his entire career with the Astros, collecting 3,060 hits, 1844 runs, 668 doubles and 414 steals. He was a four-time Gold Glove winner and a 7-time All-Star. In 1998, Biggio accomplished the astonishing combination of 50 doubles and 50 stolen bases in the same season.

65. Ralph Kiner- Despite injuries that limited his career to 10 years, Kiner accomplished as much as some do in two decades of service. He led the National League in home runs in every year beginning with his rookie campaign in 1946 and lasting until 1952. A 6-time All-Star, Kiner hit more than 40 home runs five times and more than 50 twice. He had amassed 369 home runs and 1019 RBI at the time of his retirement.

66. Jeff Bagwell- Bagwell, along with Craig Biggio (#64), was the face of the Astros franchise during the 1990s and early 2000s. His overall legacy and ranking here, however, are dependent upon one important question: Was he a steroid user? Bagwell’s incredible statistics came at the height of the steroid era, but he has never been directly linked to illegal use. If this is truly the case, his stretch between 1996 and 2001 is amazing: Six straight years of at least 30 home runs and 110 RBI. Bagwell was a .297 hitter with nine years of at least 100 runs, including an astonishing 152 in 2000. To top it off, he finished with 202 career steals and a Gold Glove.

67. Rafael Palmeiro (S)- Palmeiro is one of only four members of the exclusive 3,000 hits-500 HR club—Mays (#2), Aaron (#6) and Eddie Murray (#51) are the others. Despite a long and consistent career, Palmeiro’s impressive statistics were immediately tarnished by his positive steroid test in 2005 and his blatant lies in front of Congress. Like Barry Bonds (#7), Alex Rodriguez (#36) and Manny Ramirez (#43) before him, however, Palmeiro cannot be excluded from the list. He belted at least 38 home runs in nine consecutive seasons between 1995 and 2003, breaking Babe Ruth’s (#1) record of seven consecutive seasons (1926-1932). Palmeiro was a 3-time Gold Glove winner; he finished with 569 home runs and 1,835 RBI.

68. Willie McCovey- Bursting on the scene in 1959, the original Big Mac won the National League Rookie of the Year award by batting .354 with 13 home runs in just 52 games. McCovey was a 6-time All-Star and the 1969 NL MVP. Between 1963 and 1970, he averaged 36 HR and 99 RBI per year. He would finish with 521 career home runs.

69. Lou Brock- Before Rickey Henderson, there was Lou Brock. A 6-time All-Star, Brock was an integral part of the 1964 and 1967 St. Louis Cardinals World Series championship teams. In fact, he hit .391 with 14 stolen bases in the three World Series in which he played. Brock led the National League in stolen bases eight times, swiped more than 50 bases in 12 seasons and stole 118 in 1974. He was lifetime .293 batter and had 3,023 career hits.

70. Roberto Alomar- Arguably the best defensive second baseman in history, Alomar won 10 Gold Gloves during his career. He was a 12-time All-Star, a two-time World Champion (1992 and 1993) and a career .300 batter. Alomar scored more than 100 runs in six seasons, stole more than 30 bases in eight seasons and finished with 2,724 lifetime hits.

71. Kirby Puckett- In his twelve-year career, Puckett was a 10-time All-Star, 6-time Gold Glove winner and led the Minnesota Twins to two World Series titles (1987 and 1991). In 1991—in what many believe to be the best World Series ever played—Puckett blasted a game-winning home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to win Game 6 and force a deciding game. He led the American League in hits four times and collected more than 200 hits in five seasons. Puckett finished with a .318 career AVG.

72. Al Kaline- Mr. Tiger was a 15-time All-Star and won the 1955 American League batting title at the age of 20. Kaline won 10 Gold Glove awards, belted at least 25 home runs in seven seasons and finished his career with a .297 AVG. He amassed 3,007 career hits and batted .379 with 8 RBI in the Tigers’ seven-game World Series triumph in 1968.

73. Jeff Kent- Kent, a 5-time All-Star, was one of the more underappreciated stars of the late 1990s and early 2000s. His production from 1997 to 2005 is nearly unrivaled among second baseman in baseball history. During that stretch, Kent batted .296 with averages of 28 home runs and 110 RBI per year. He is the only second baseman with six consecutive seasons of at least 100 RBI. Kent was the 2000 NL MVP and holds the record for most home runs by a second baseman.

74. Jim Rice- Rice finally got his due when he was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2009. An 8-time All-Star, Rice was the 1978 AL MVP when he collected 406 total bases while leading the league in hits, triples, home runs, RBI and slugging percentage. He was a .298 career batter, had at least 200 hits in four seasons, belted at least 20 home runs in 11 seasons and reached at least 100 RBI in eight seasons.

75. Roy Campanella- Campy was a prominent face of the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1950s, one of the game’s greatest catchers and a pioneer in breaking the color barrier. An 8-time All-Star and 3-time NL MVP (1951, 1953 and 1955), Campanella played in the Negro Leagues prior to his Major League career. He batted over .300 with at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI in each of his MVP seasons. Campanella’s record 41 home runs in 1953 stood for 43 years as the most by a catcher.

76. George Sisler- Gorgeous George’s single-season hits record (257 in 1920) lasted for 84 years before it was broken in 2004. He was the 1922 American League MVP, batting .420 with 134 runs, 105 RBI and 51 stolen bases. Sisler led the league in stolen bases on four occasions, finished with 6 200-hit seasons and held a .340 lifetime AVG.

77. Chipper Jones- Chipper is the only switch-hitter in history to carry a .300 AVG and at least 400 career home runs. He’s a 6-time All-Star, won the 1999 National League MVP, and was the 2008 NL batting champion. Jones and Paul Waner (#33) are the only players to have an extra-base hit in 14 consecutive games. Between 1996 and 2003, he averaged 32 home runs and 107 RBI per year while batting .313.

78. Duke Snider- The Silver Fox was the king of Dodgers during the 1950s and early 1960s. Between 1953 and 1956 Snider averaged 42 home runs, 124 RBI, 123 runs and a .320 average. He propelled the Dodgers to World Series titles in 1955 and 1959. Snider was an 8-time All-Star and finished with a .295 batting average and 407 home runs. In fact, no one hit more home runs during the ‘50s than Snider.

79. Albert Belle- Long-derided by the baseball media, Albert Belle gets a boost in these rankings because he was never implicated in the steroid mess. Sure, he was combative and abrasive, but his numbers speak for themselves. A 5-time All-Star, Belle had 9 consecutive 100-RBI seasons from 1992-2000. In that span he batted .300 with an average of 38 home runs per season. Belle finished with an incredible 52 doubles and 50 home runs in 1995. He compiled more RBI (1,099) than any other player during the decade of the 1990s.

80. Chuck Klein- The greatest hitter in Phillies history before the arrival of Mike Schmidt, Klein’s best stretch came between 1929 and 1936 when he batted .340 with averages of 30 home runs and 118 RBI per year. He led the NL in hits twice, in RBI twice, in runs three times and in home runs four times. Klein won the 1932 NL MVP award while leading the league in both homers and steals.

81. Todd Helton- Helton’s legacy could be tarnished by his stay in hitting-friendly Colorado (.367 home batting AVG. vs. .295 road AVG.), but his numbers speak for themselves. The active leader in on-base percentage, Helton’s 2000 campaign is one of the best ever: .372 AVG, 138 runs, 216 hits, 59 doubles, 42 home runs, 147 RBI and a .698 slugging percentage. He reached the 400 total bases plateau in both 2000 and 2001; he is also a 3-time Gold Glove winner.

82. Billy Williams- Williams was the 1961 National League Rookie of the Year and a 6-time All-Star. He batted .298 with averages of 28 home runs and 98 RBI between 1961 and 1973. Williams finished with a .290 AVG, 2,711 hits and 426 home runs.

83. Andre Dawson- Dawson blended speed with power to produce a stellar career. An 8-time All-Star and an 8-time Gold Glove outfielder, he was the 1977 NL Rookie of the Year and the 1987 NL MVP. The Hawk blasted at least 20 home runs in 13 seasons and amassed 438 in his career. He also stole at least 20 bases in 7 seasons and finished with 314 for his career.

84. Dave Parker- The Cobra was a 7-time All-Star, a 3-time Gold Glove winner, a two-time batting champion (1977 and 1978) and the 1978 NL MVP. Parker hit at least 20 home runs in nine seasons and finished with 2,712 hits to go along with a .290 career AVG.

85. Willie Stargell- Willie “Pops” Stargell was famous for his monstrous home run shots. He belted more home runs (296) during the decade of the 1970s than any other player. A 7-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion (1971 and 1979), Stargell was the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1979, he was the National League MVP, the MVP of the League Championship Series and the MVP of the World Series. Stargell finished with 475 round-trippers.

86. Brooks Robinson- The Human Vacuum Cleaner won an astonishing 16 consecutive Gold Glove awards, easily making him the best defensive third baseman ever. Robinson was a 15-time All-Star and a two-time World Champion with the Baltimore Orioles (1966 and 1970). After losing the ‘70 World Series to Robinson’s Orioles, Cincinnati Reds manager Sparky Anderson said, “I'm beginning to see Brooks in my sleep. If I dropped this paper plate, he'd pick it up on one hop and throw me out at first.” In his prime years between 1960 and 1975, Robinson averaged the respectable totals of 15 home runs and 79 RBI per season. He was also the 1964 AL MVP (.317 AVG, 28 HR and 118 RBI).

87. Jim Thome- One of the more complete sluggers of his generation, Thome has never been linked to steroids (at least not yet), so I am assuming he’s clean. Thome is the active leader in walks and boasts a career .405 OBP. He has 12 seasons of at least 30 home runs and 9 seasons of at least 100 RBI.

88. Robin Yount- Playing his entire career as a Milwaukee Brewer, Yount won two American League MVP awards (1982 and 1989), one Gold Glove and was a 3-time All-Star. He was a .285 career hitter and compiled 3,142 hits, 251 home runs and 271 stolen bases.

89. Carlos Delgado- Delgado has quietly put together a stellar career of impressive power numbers without a cloud of steroid suspicion. A two-time All-Star, he once blasted four home runs in one game. Delgado has 12 seasons of at least 90 RBI and 11 seasons of at least 30 home runs.

90. Dick Allen- When he exploded onto the scene in 1964, Allen was the best hitter in Philadelphia since Chuck Klein a generation earlier. He won NL Rookie of the Year that summer, batting .318 with 13 triples, 29 home runs and 91 RBI. Allen swung a massive bat (44 ounces) and his moon shots were a thing of legend. He once hit a home run over and out of Connie Mack Stadium. Willie Stargell (#85) said of Allen, “Now I know why they the Phillies fans boo Richie all the time. When he hits a home run, there's no souvenir.” Despite trouble off the field, Allen managed to hit at least 30 home runs in six seasons and bat .292 for his career.

91. Fred McGriff- The Crime Dog was a consistent power threat throughout the 1990s. He was a 5-time All-Star and finished with 493 home runs and 1,550 RBI. McGriff accomplished the rare feat of leading both the American League (1989) and National League (1992) in home runs. From 1988 to 2002, he averaged 30 home runs and 97 RBI per year while batting .288.

92. Mark McGwire (S)- What can you say about Big Mac? He deserves a place on this list for his sheer power, despite the allegations, the steroids and the embarrassment. McGwire hit a home run every 10.61 at-bats during his career—a rate even Babe Ruth (#1) did not match. Of course, he ranks so low because his career totals are highly suspect and nearly all he did was hit home runs (36% of his hits left the ballpark). As a rookie in 1987 he mashed 49 home runs. Between 1996 and 1999, McGwire averaged 61 home runs and 132 home runs per year! During the famous (infamous?) summer of 1998, the nation was behind McGwire as he tracked down Roger Maris’ single-season home run record. More than a decade later, McGwire is a forgotten outcast.

93. Tim Raines- The Rock stole at least 70 bases in each of his first six full seasons and lead the National League in steals in four consecutive years (1981-84). Raines led the league in batting once (1986), runs twice (1983, 1987) and finished with a .294 career average. His 808 steals place fourth all-time and he holds the second-highest stolen base percentage in baseball history. It’s time to put Raines in the Hall of Fame.

94. Mickey Cochrane- One of the more nimble catchers of his generation, Cochrane’s speed and running ability were adequate enough that Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack would place him in the leadoff spot on occasion. Cochrane was a two-time All-Star, a 3-time World Champion (1929, 1930 and 1935) and he won two AL MVP awards (1928 and 1934). He finished with a lifetime .320 AVG and .419 OBP.

95. Ozzie Smith- The Wizard of Oz’s defensive prowess warrants a place in the top 100. A 15-time All-Star, Smith won 13 Gold Glove Awards in his career. He finished with 2,460 hits and 580 stolen bases.

96. Sammy Sosa (S)- Once an icon and a fan favorite at Wrigley Field, Sosa fell out of favor after his notorious corked bat incident. In 2009, as most had long suspected, it was revealed that Sosa had tested positive for steroids during his playing career. Only five players—Bonds (#7), Aaron (#6), Ruth (#1), Mays (#2) and Griffey Jr. (#14)—have hit more home runs than Sosa’s 609. Between 1998 and 2001, Sosa hit .310 with monstrous averages of 60 home runs and 149 RBI per season.

97. Larry Walker- Walker was a 5-time All-Star and 7-time Gold Glove winner. Although his Coors Field-fueled home (.348 AVG, 1.068 OPS) vs. away (.278 AVG, .865 OPS) splits diminish his ranking, Walker had an impressive career. Between 1992 and 2002, he averaged 93 runs, 27 home runs and 92 RBI per year. Walker won three National League batting titles (1998, 1999 and 2001) and finished with a .313 AVG.

98. Gary Sheffield (S)- Although he was named in the Mitchell Report for having obtained and used steroids, Sheffield grabs a spot on the list. He is a 9-time All-Star and won the 1992 National League batting title. A member of the 500-home run club, Sheffield has 8 seasons with at least 30 home runs and 8 seasons with at least 100 RBI.

99. Tony Perez- The fourth member of the Big Red Machine to be included here, Perez was a 7-time All-Star. He averaged 23 home runs and 98 RBI per season between 1967 and 1980 and compiled 7 seasons of at least 100 RBI.

100. Roger Conner- An obscure player of dead-ball era, Conner’s contributions are deserving of the final slot in the rankings. Conner’s 138 career home runs stood as a record for 23 years after his retirement in 1897. He is credited with hitting the first over-the-wall home run at the Polo Grounds in New York. Conner had 8 seasons with at least 100 runs, 233 lifetime triples and a .317 career AVG.

Close, but no cigar
Orlando Cepeda, Lance Berkman, Jesse Burkett, Joe Medwick, Bill Terry, Sherry Magee, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Dale Murphy, Heinie Manush, Don Mattingly, Dwight Evans, Carlton Fisk, Barry Larkin, Ryne Sandberg, Juan Gonzalez, Edgar Martinez, Willie Keeler, Luke Appling, Richie Ashburn, Hack Wilson, Frankie Firsch, Joe Carter and Omar Vizquel

1 comment:

www.buyingachampionship.com said...

Nice list. I agree with most of your selections, but I personally would place Jeter in the top 25. In addition to all of the stats he has put up, he brings an intangible factor to the game. By the time his career is over, I believe he will be in the Top 10. Remember, "the best" doesn't always mean the highest stats. Just my .02 cents.