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View Full Version : Who are the greatest players only known to fairly serious baseball fans?


Whitesox029
12-07-2009, 03:18 AM
I came across an article today which made a reference to Bob Feller, and said that he was one of the best players who is only really known to serious, or, "true" fans, as the article stated it. What other players would you say fit into this category? (There are probably many, but who do you think is the best? I think we can limit the discussion to Hall-of-Famers or surefire future Hall-of-Famers, in order to give ourselves a reference point for whom to include)

eastchicagosoxfan
12-07-2009, 03:47 AM
Addie Joss died tragically at the age of 31.
Rube Wadell was a great pitcher, and struck out more than 300 batters in era when no one struck out 100 times a season.

SephClone89
12-07-2009, 04:02 AM
People don't know Bob Feller?

waldo_the_wolf
12-07-2009, 06:06 AM
Eddie Matthews is one that comes to my mind.

DumpJerry
12-07-2009, 07:52 AM
Aaron Rowand.

Zisk77
12-07-2009, 08:13 AM
People don't know Bob Feller?

Who?

BleacherBandit
12-07-2009, 09:32 AM
People don't know Bob Feller?

I'd say that most people don't. Many Americans probably don't know who Frank Thomas is, too.

spawn
12-07-2009, 09:38 AM
Oscar Charleston
Rube Foster

Moses_Scurry
12-07-2009, 10:18 AM
I'd say that outside of us Sox fans, not many people know much about Luke Appling, Ted Lyons, Red Faber, Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox, or Ed Walsh. Some are better known than others, but I bet if you asked an Angel fan to list the White Sox hall-of-famers, they wouldn't be able to come up with very many.

I think the problem is that none of these guys reached the specific milestones (3000 hits, 500 HRs, 300 wins) that put you on those lists for trivia questions, etc. Frank Thomas will probably be known 50 years from now as a member of the 500 HR club more than anything else.

Sargeant79
12-07-2009, 10:19 AM
Josh Gibson

SOXfnNlansing
12-07-2009, 01:12 PM
Tris Speaker

nsolo
12-07-2009, 02:41 PM
Having grown up in Michigan, I'd say Al Kaline. They named a battery after him.

TDog
12-07-2009, 03:06 PM
People don't know Bob Feller?

That was my reaction. Of course he hasn't pitched for half a century and he has become a bitter old man who gives you a lecture about why pitchers today aren't any good along with an autograph if you give him $25, but Bob Feller was certainly recognized outside of baseball fandom in his day.

GoGoCrede
12-07-2009, 03:07 PM
That was my reaction. Of course he hasn't pitched for half a century and he has become a bitter old man who gives you a lecture about why pitchers today aren't any good along with an autograph if you give him $25, but Bob Feller was certainly recognized outside of baseball fandom in his day.

He's mentioned in A League of Their Own, which is where I first heard of him. :redneck

tebman
12-07-2009, 03:28 PM
Having grown up in Michigan, I'd say Al Kaline. They named a battery after him.

:rolling:

pythons007
12-07-2009, 03:30 PM
If you think about it. Baseball has had a lot of players throughout the years. There are going to be plenty of the old players from back in the day that people may not know. Besides all the Yankee greats, I bet a lot of people won't know HOF players from other teams. We're talking about a game than has been played since the 1800s! So of course they're will be players people don't know.

How about naming teams that people might not remember, like the Pilots or the Colt .45s?

PKalltheway
12-07-2009, 04:01 PM
Paul and Lloyd Waner.

Rockabilly
12-07-2009, 04:34 PM
Lou Whitaker

illinibk
12-07-2009, 04:38 PM
Josh Gibson

Correct. I think the list of little known players has to start with him. Perhaps Cool Papa Bell could be thrown in as well. But I think a majority of the players only known to fairly serious baseball fans will come from the Negro Leagues.

WhiteSox5187
12-07-2009, 04:40 PM
There are so many it's mind boggling. Luis Apparicio doesn't get enough credit for being such a great shortstop, nor does Luke Appling. Guys from the Negro Leagues have sadly been almost forgotten, namely Josh Gibson - who might have been the best hitter who ever lived, Satchell Paige was by all accounts a phenomal pitcher and Cool Papa Bell might have been the best basestealer bar none. There are lots.

illinibk
12-07-2009, 04:54 PM
That was my reaction. Of course he hasn't pitched for half a century and he has become a bitter old man who gives you a lecture about why pitchers today aren't any good along with an autograph if you give him $25, but Bob Feller was certainly recognized outside of baseball fandom in his day.

As a kid, I had heard of Bob Feller, but I didn't know much about him (other than he was a hall of fame pitcher). As I got older, I still knew little about him, other than that he enlisted in the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor. Then only a few years ago out of curiosity, I wanted to know more about him, and I was amazed to find out how truly dominate he was. Just imagine how good he would have been had he not given away a few years to the Navy. From time to time we hear that same argument for Ted Williams, and to a lesser extent Joe DiMaggio, but very rarely for Bob Feller.

I guess my point is, people know about Bob Feller, but many don't know how great he was. I mean, he made it to the majors without playing a single game in the minors. He was 17 when he debuted.

Foulke You
12-07-2009, 05:29 PM
Correct. I think the list of little known players has to start with him. Perhaps Cool Papa Bell could be thrown in as well. But I think a majority of the players only known to fairly serious baseball fans will come from the Negro Leagues.
Satchel Paige is another name that comes to mind.

Whitesox029
12-07-2009, 05:38 PM
People don't know Bob Feller?
I'm referring to the fans of 2009. I'm sure many more people knew his name when he was playing, just from hearing it on the radio or reading it in the newspapers.
An easy way to tell nowadays would be to have someone listen to Who's on First, and if they don't get the "Feller" joke, they don't know Bob Feller.

If you think about it. Baseball has had a lot of players throughout the years. There are going to be plenty of the old players from back in the day that people may not know. Besides all the Yankee greats, I bet a lot of people won't know HOF players from other teams. We're talking about a game than has been played since the 1800s! So of course they're will be players people don't know.

How about naming teams that people might not remember, like the Pilots or the Colt .45s?
We could do that, but then someone would list all the teams that have ever been, and the thread would be no fun anymore. I know there are lots of players like this, but I was wondering who people thought was perhaps the best. Just trying to start some interesting banter in this baseball-barren wasteland that is the offseason.
For my part I'd say Paul Molitor was one of the best players like this (since I am old enough to remember seeing him play, and thus to know how good he really was).

FoulTerritory
12-07-2009, 05:59 PM
Paul Molitor.

TDog
12-07-2009, 06:21 PM
As a kid, I had heard of Bob Feller, but I didn't know much about him (other than he was a hall of fame pitcher). As I got older, I still knew little about him, other than that he enlisted in the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor. Then only a few years ago out of curiosity, I wanted to know more about him, and I was amazed to find out how truly dominate he was. Just imagine how good he would have been had he not given away a few years to the Navy. From time to time we hear that same argument for Ted Williams, and to a lesser extent Joe DiMaggio, but very rarely for Bob Feller.

I guess my point is, people know about Bob Feller, but many don't know how great he was. I mean, he made it to the majors without playing a single game in the minors. He was 17 when he debuted.

The same applies for all the great players, but the iconic ones, who played more than 50 years ago. It isn't because Feller was unappreciated in his day, and in truth. There was a film made to show that Feller threw more than 100 mph shown in newsreel footage back in the day. Before there were speed guns, the producers got a motorcyclist allegedly riding at 100 mph to ride parallel with Feller's fastball.

It has more to do with baseball fans not caring about the history of the game. Shoeless Joe Jackson would be an answer to the thread question if his career hadn't been a tragedy.

mzh
12-07-2009, 06:45 PM
Napoleon Lajoie (spelling?). Cleveland even called themselves the Naps for a few years early in the century because he was almost their entire team at that point due to their still-historical suckage of the late 1890's-early 1900's

soxinem1
12-07-2009, 06:58 PM
Addie Joss died tragically at the age of 31.
Rube Wadell was a great pitcher, and struck out more than 300 batters in era when no one struck out 100 times a season.

An excellent pick, though he has been dead nearly 100 years, and thus a lot of modern day fans have no idea who he was.

Waddell had several 300K seaosns, and still holds the LHP single-season K record. Waddell had some stellar seasons and a lifetime ERA barely over two!

He also was a major flake who would disappear during games to go to the circus or ride fire engines, or make his OF's sit down while he would whiff each hitter who came to the plate. Because of this eccentric behavior and real bad drinking problem (remember, booze was much purer back then) he played for many teams, and was out of MLB when he was barely 30 years old.

But he also sacrificed his health, and eventually life, in saving a town from flooding and contracted pneumonia and tuberculosis, and died April Fools Day when he was only 36-37 years old.

From that era, I recommend someone very much like him, except he was a hitter:

Ed Delahanty.

eastchicagosoxfan
12-07-2009, 07:22 PM
An excellent pick, though he has been dead nearly 100 years, and thus a lot of modern day fans have no idea who he was.

Waddell had several 300K seaosns, and still holds the LHP single-season K record. Waddell had some stellar seasons and a lifetime ERA barely over two!

He also was a major flake who would disappear during games to go to the circus or ride fire engines, or make his OF's sit down while he would whiff each hitter who came to the plate. Because of this eccentric behavior and real bad drinking problem (remember, booze was much purer back then) he played for many teams, and was out of MLB when he was barely 30 years old.

But he also sacrificed his health, and eventually life, in saving a town from flooding and contracted pneumonia and tuberculosis, and died April Fools Day when he was only 36-37 years old.

From that era, I recommend someone very much like him, except he was a hitter:

Ed Delahanty.
I see there's a book about Delahanty out, and I keep forgetting to buy it.

soxinem1
12-07-2009, 07:45 PM
As a kid, I had heard of Bob Feller, but I didn't know much about him (other than he was a hall of fame pitcher). As I got older, I still knew little about him, other than that he enlisted in the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor. Then only a few years ago out of curiosity, I wanted to know more about him, and I was amazed to find out how truly dominate he was. Just imagine how good he would have been had he not given away a few years to the Navy. From time to time we hear that same argument for Ted Williams, and to a lesser extent Joe DiMaggio, but very rarely for Bob Feller.

I guess my point is, people know about Bob Feller, but many don't know how great he was. I mean, he made it to the majors without playing a single game in the minors. He was 17 when he debuted.

He probably would have won 300 games if he had not enlisted.

Many, many players enlisted in the Armed Forces during WWI, WWII, and Korea, and lost many of their prime years.

Can you imagine today's baseball players walking away to serve the nation? NFW!!!

Nellie_Fox
12-07-2009, 07:48 PM
He probably would have won 300 games if he had not enlisted.

Many, many players enlisted in the Armed Forces during WWI, WWII, and Korea, and lost many of their prime years.Imagine the numbers Ted Williams and Warren Spahn would have put up.

soxinem1
12-07-2009, 07:53 PM
Imagine the numbers Ted Williams and Warren Spahn would have put up.

Sure can. Williams would have had over 3,000 hits and Spahn might have won 400 games.

Nellie_Fox
12-07-2009, 08:10 PM
Sure can. Williams would have had over 3,000 hits and Spahn might have won 400 games.
Williams would probably have had over 600 homeruns, too. He not only missed three seasons for WWII, but one for Korea.

TDog
12-08-2009, 12:13 AM
Williams would probably have had over 600 homeruns, too. He not only missed three seasons for WWII, but one for Korea.

Williams was a rookie in 1939. The World War II years were from what would have been his prime years as a player. Of course, the same could be said for Feller and Spahn.

Not many star ballplayers besides Williams missed time because of the Korean War, though.

FloridaTigers
12-08-2009, 10:43 AM
Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker

illinibk
12-09-2009, 11:56 AM
Another one I thought of this morning is Mickey Cochrane. From what I've read, he was one of the best hitting catchers of all time, and generally is forgotten because Berra and Bench were so good. Mickey Mantle was even named after him.

TornLabrum
12-09-2009, 07:02 PM
Ernie Lombardi.

MinnieMinoso
12-09-2009, 09:11 PM
How about Hank Greenberg, Who along with Bill Veeck, bought the Sox from Chuck Comiskey. Look up his stats. Simply amazing and you never hear him mentioned.

TornLabrum
12-09-2009, 09:57 PM
How about Hank Greenberg, Who along with Bill Veeck, bought the Sox from Chuck Comiskey. Look up his stats. Simply amazing and you never hear him mentioned.

And don't forget, he was the first player drafted when the U.S. instituted the draft pre-WWII. He missed all but 19 games in 1941 and wasn't back until about midway through the 1945 season. So his early 30s were essentially spent out of the game.

BleacherBandit
12-09-2009, 10:02 PM
Ralph Kiner--Only played for a handfull of years.
Joe Cronin-- Has his number retired by the Red Sox among the likes of Williams, Yastrzemski, Fisk etc.
Chief Bender--Greatest name in the history of baseball and a pitching force in the early twentieth century. Played on many great A's teams.

thomas35forever
12-10-2009, 12:39 AM
Rocky Colavito
Bob Allison
Wally Post
Gil Hodges
Jackie Jensen

DSpivack
12-10-2009, 12:53 AM
How about Hank Greenberg, Who along with Bill Veeck, bought the Sox from Chuck Comiskey. Look up his stats. Simply amazing and you never hear him mentioned.

And don't forget, he was the first player drafted when the U.S. instituted the draft pre-WWII. He missed all but 19 games in 1941 and wasn't back until about midway through the 1945 season. So his early 30s were essentially spent out of the game.

There was a documentary made about him a few years ago, I want to say it was on HBO.

Railsplitter
12-10-2009, 10:29 AM
How about Hank Greenberg, Who along with Bill Veeck, bought the Sox from Chuck Comiskey. Look up his stats. Simply amazing and you never hear him mentioned.

And don't forget, he was the first player drafted when the U.S. instituted the draft pre-WWII. He missed all but 19 games in 1941 and wasn't back until about midway through the 1945 season. So his early 30s were essentially spent out of the game.

Actually, Greenberg was the second big leauger drafted. The first was Phillies pitcher Hugh Mulchahey. Back then, box scores had "winning pitcher" and "losing pitcher" printed in full. Mulchahey was so bad, he was called "Losing Pitcher Mulchahey"

PaleHoser
12-10-2009, 11:26 AM
George Sisler (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/sislege01.shtml) - HoF 1B for St. Louis Browns. Hit over .400 twice and retired with a lifetime batting average of .340. Too bad he played most of his career for the Browns, otherwise he'd likely be remembered as one of the all-time greats.

soxinem1
12-10-2009, 12:05 PM
George Sisler (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/sislege01.shtml) - HoF 1B for St. Louis Browns. Hit over .400 twice and retired with a lifetime batting average of .340. Too bad he played most of his career for the Browns, otherwise he'd likely be remembered as one of the all-time greats.

He is. He is in the HOF.

TommyJohn
12-10-2009, 01:37 PM
Actually, Greenberg was the second big leauger drafted. The first was Phillies pitcher Hugh Mulchahey. Back then, box scores had "winning pitcher" and "losing pitcher" printed in full. Mulchahey was so bad, he was called "Losing Pitcher Mulchahey"He was referenced (obscurely) in the book MASH-Hawkeye and Duke refer to Father Mulcahy as "Losing Preacher" Mulcahy.

"Losing Pitcher" Mulcahy was a pitching coach for the White Sox in 1970-the year they went 56-106. Ahem, yes. That's what happens when you hire a picthing coach called "Losing Pitcher."

PaleHoser
12-11-2009, 12:44 PM
He is. He is in the HOF.

True, but how often do you hear him mentioned in the roll call of All-Time great hitters.

I should restate: Too bad he played for the St. Louis Browns, otherwise he'd be recognized as one of the very best hitters of All-Time. He'd be mentioned in the same breath as Cobb, Hornsby, Williams, Carew, Gwynn, etc.

Paulwny
12-11-2009, 12:58 PM
One of the "whiz kids" of the 50's Phillies, HOFamer Richie Ashburn.

tstrike2000
12-11-2009, 02:57 PM
Robin Yount

TornLabrum
12-11-2009, 07:04 PM
Actually, Greenberg was the second big leauger drafted. The first was Phillies pitcher Hugh Mulchahey. Back then, box scores had "winning pitcher" and "losing pitcher" printed in full. Mulchahey was so bad, he was called "Losing Pitcher Mulchahey"

I knew that! Brain fart.

LITTLE NELL
12-12-2009, 12:25 PM
Eddie Matthews is one that comes to my mind.
I'll go with Matthews also. After the Sox the Milwaukee Braves were my 2nd favorite team and Eddie was my favorite on the Braves.
Solid hitter and 3rd baseman.
A sidenote:
One of the biggest crimes in baseball history was allowing the Braves to move to Atlanta.

DSpivack
12-12-2009, 11:33 PM
I'll go with Matthews also. After the Sox the Milwaukee Braves were my 2nd favorite team and Eddie was my favorite on the Braves.
Solid hitter and 3rd baseman.
A sidenote:
One of the biggest crimes in baseball history was allowing the Braves to move to Atlanta.

There are few better 'duos' in baseball history than Aaron and Matthews.

Viva Medias B's
12-13-2009, 08:53 AM
Jimmie Foxx

october23sp
12-13-2009, 11:24 AM
Satchel Paige

johnr1note
12-13-2009, 12:37 PM
Jerry Janeski

LITTLE NELL
12-13-2009, 01:53 PM
Jerry Janeski


His 10-17 record in 1970 gave him a .370 winning pct which was better than the teams .346 pct.
And people thought 2007 and 2009 were bad.

TommyJohn
12-13-2009, 03:26 PM
His 10-17 record in 1970 gave him a .370 winning pct which was better than the teams .346 pct.
And people thought 2007 and 2009 were bad.Tell me about it. Any Sox fan that endured 1968-70 seasons deserves some kind of medal. I came around in September of 1968, so I don't remember it at all.

LITTLE NELL
12-13-2009, 08:41 PM
Tell me about it. Any Sox fan that endured 1968-70 seasons deserves some kind of medal. I came around in September of 1968, so I don't remember it at all.
1968 was really tough for me, spent the whole year in Nam and every time I managed to pick up the Stars and Stripes newspaper I read about another Sox loss. I started following the Sox in the early 50s and 68 was the first losing season that I experienced. After discharge I came home in 69 and the Sox were in the dumps and all of a sudden Chicago was nuts about the Cubs and the city had turned into a Cub town. 69 was a horrible year with the Cubs almost winning the East and then came the disaster of 1970. On top of this,the talk was that the Sox were moving to Milwaukee or Seattle. Those years were the worst I have experienced as a Sox fan.

HebrewHammer
12-15-2009, 10:08 PM
Jim Rice!!!!!!

A serious fan knows who Lee Man-soo is.

Waysouthsider
12-15-2009, 10:42 PM
Lefty Grove

-led AL in strikeouts seven times
-led his league in ERA nine different times
-300W - 141L

TornLabrum
12-16-2009, 09:31 PM
Buck Ewing

seasontickets
12-17-2009, 01:53 PM
The Big Hurt. Period.

kaufsox
12-17-2009, 06:00 PM
Jimmie Foxx

I was going to mention him too. My dad is very proud to have attended the game where he hit his 500th (I think, I know it was a milestone HR) I also go with Mel Ott, Wee Willie Keeler and Hoss Radbourn. BTW if you're not following Hoss on Twitter, you should check him out at oldhossradbourn.

veeter
12-17-2009, 09:08 PM
Our very own Dick Allen, and to some extent Christy Mathewson. He had an ungodly record of 372-188. A 2.12 career e.r.a. and 2502 K to 844 BB. Pitchers should win the Young/ Mathewson award.

eastchicagosoxfan
12-17-2009, 09:17 PM
Our very own Dick Allen, and to some extent Christy Mathewson. He had an ungodly record of 372-188. A 2.12 career e.r.a. and 2502 K to 844 BB. Pitchers should win the Young/ Mathewson award.
I would rather it be the Alexander (NL) and Johnson (AL) award. Young was great in both leagues.

I'll add the Wright brothers, Harry and George. Harry was primarily a manager, while George was a great player.

BeeBeeRichard
12-18-2009, 12:27 AM
Vern Stephens. Who? In 1950, the slugging Red Sox shortstop tied for the AL lead in RBIs (144), hit 30 HRs and batted .290. And 6 of his Boston teammates finished ahead of him in the MVP voting.

TDog
12-18-2009, 12:47 AM
How about Van Lingle Mungo, who led the National League in strikeouts in 1936 and was thrice an All-Star.

Obviously he's not the best player that even some serious baseball fans have never heard of, but Dave Frishberg ranks among the best and most accomplished singer songwriters that most people have never heard of.

I hope a few people here get the reference.

TornLabrum
12-18-2009, 09:12 PM
How about Van Lingle Mungo, who led the National League in strikeouts in 1936 and was thrice an All-Star.

Obviously he's not the best player that even some serious baseball fans have never heard of, but Dave Frishberg ranks among the best and most accomplished singer songwriters that most people have never heard of.

I hope a few people here get the reference.

I did.

WhiteSoxJunkie
12-19-2009, 12:41 AM
Bert Blyleven