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SaltyPretzel
07-15-2003, 01:06 PM
Bonds slams Babe Ruth (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/tom_verducci/news/2003/07/15/insider/)

"The one I care about is Babe Ruth and 715," the six-time MVP said. Asked why, Bonds replied, "As a left-handed hitter, I knocked him out. That's it. Because, according to baseball, Babe Ruth is everything. I got his slugging percentage, his on-base percentage, his walks, and when I take his home runs, that's it. Don't talk about him anymore . . . I'm the next generation of the Negro Leagues. Hank Aaron can have those 755 home runs.''


I wonder how well Barry would do hitting against Ruth. Show the guy a little respect at least.

TornLabrum
07-15-2003, 01:13 PM
Another case where it would be nice if someone knew what he was talking about before he opened up his mouth. How many games has Bonds pitched?

Iguana775
07-15-2003, 01:23 PM
LOL...he does know how to rub people the wrong way sometimes. lol. I think Ruth is one of, if not THE, greatest player of all time. He could pitch and hit! I'd like to see Bonds pitch.

SaltyPretzel
07-15-2003, 01:23 PM
Ruth was 94-46 with a 2.28 era. He has a few more World Series wins than Bonds too.

Iguana775
07-15-2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by SaltyPretzel
Ruth was 94-46 with a 2.28 era. He has a few more World Series wins than Bonds too.

That's pretty damn amazing, if you ask me.

TornLabrum
07-15-2003, 01:36 PM
Another thought: Did Barry ever hit .625 in a World Series or hit more home runs than some teams in his league?

harwar
07-15-2003, 01:42 PM
Plus the entire game is now geared for offense.Bonds has always been full of himself but i guess when your the best and you've grown up playing in baseball clubhouses you can get cocky.

B. Diddy
07-15-2003, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by SaltyPretzel
I got his slugging percentage, his on-base percentage, his walks, and when I take his home runs, that's it.

I wonder how well Bonds would fare if he didn't have access to performance-enhancing drugs, lighter, double-lacquered bats, played in the large ballparks that Ruth did, and faced pitchers from a higher mound liked Ruth did.

Oh, and Ruth also drank between innings. I'd like to see Bonds hit liquored up.

What an idiot...

Hangar18
07-15-2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by SaltyPretzel
Ruth was 94-46 with a 2.28 era. He has a few more World Series wins than Bonds too.

Once Bonds gets another record.....then he should Take the
mound as the Giants 4th starter and lets see what his
ERA is like.....

xil357
07-15-2003, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
Another thought: Did Barry ever hit .625 in a World Series or hit more home runs than some teams in his league?

To be the contrarian, though, you have to admit that with the advances in nutrition and training and, yes, steroids, todays players would absolutely SLAY during previous decades. Yesterday's players like Ruth would have a hard time making it to spring training and the only way they would see the major leagues would be with a ticket. The level of competition is so much higher today. Stars dominated yesterday by cleaning up against very inferior competition. Today's stars face much stiffer competition on an every day basis.

Now, could the teams of old do the little things like bunt and play defense and execute the fundamentals so much better than today's teams? Of course. But when it comes to offensive stats there is no comparison. Today's players win out, hands-down. Frank Thomas would hit .450 for his career facing 1920s pitching, and Bonds regularly would have hit 80 homers per year facing 1920s pitchers. Unless he hit the gym on a daily basis and cut down on the doughnuts and beer, Ruth would have a hard time getting up the Cell's upper deck steps to sell peanuts and cotton candy (if he didn't eat it all on the way up).

SaltyPretzel
07-15-2003, 01:57 PM
You would like this article then. (http://www.theonion.com/onion3626/in_my_day.html) :)

voodoochile
07-15-2003, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by xil357
To be the contrarian, though, you have to admit that with the advances in nutrition and training and, yes, steroids, todays players would absolutely SLAY during previous decades. Yesterday's players like Ruth would have a hard time making it to spring training and the only way they would see the major leagues would be with a ticket. The level of competition is so much higher today. Stars dominated yesterday by cleaning up against very inferior competition. Today's stars face much stiffer competition on an every day basis.

Now, could the teams of old do the little things like bunt and play defense and execute the fundamentals so much better than today's teams? Of course. But when it comes to offensive stats there is no comparison. Today's players win out, hands-down. Frank Thomas would hit .450 for his career facing 1920s pitching, and Bonds regularly would have hit 80 homers per year facing 1920s pitchers. Unless he hit the gym on a daily basis and cut down on the doughnuts and beer, Ruth would have a hard time getting up the Cell's upper deck steps to sell peanuts and cotton candy (if he didn't eat it all on the way up).

You can't just hand those improvements to the current players and then assume the old guys wouldn't use tnem also. In addition, Babe ruth swung a 50 OZ bat. How would he perform with the lower mound, better nutrition and lighter stronger bats?

You act like the difference would be one-sided. Put the great players from the old era in todays league and they would still be studs, even more so, probably. Heck give them the benefit of having the whole year to train and they would put up even better numbers.

xil357
07-15-2003, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by SaltyPretzel
You would like this article then. (http://www.theonion.com/onion3626/in_my_day.html) :)

This article should be framed in 24-carat gold and the writer inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

A.T. Money
07-15-2003, 02:05 PM
The only one who pitched better than Ruth in the late-teens is Eddie Cicotte.

Ruth was an absolute stud on the mound.

xil357
07-15-2003, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
You can't just hand those improvements to the current players and then assume the old guys wouldn't use tnem also. In addition, Babe ruth swung a 50 OZ bat. How would he perform with the lower mound, better nutrition and lighter stronger bats?

You act like the difference would be one-sided. Put the great players from the old era in todays league and they would still be studs, even more so, probably. Heck give them the benefit of having the whole year to train and they would put up even better numbers.

Baseball was not the institution it is today back in the 20s. It was Ruth who brought national attention to the game. Back then, not many high schools or colleges had baseball teams and not many kids had the time or money to play even if there were. The minor leagues weren't organized and there were just not as many players playing baseball back then as there are today. The U.S. population was so much smaller, 13% of it was not allowed in the majors at all, and kids from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Asia didn't play baseball as much as they do today. There were far fewer people playing baseball back then, when it was common that someone could be a major raw talent but never have the opportunity to play the game because they had to work in the factory or on the farm to feed their family.

Phenoms like Toe Nash, or whatever his name is, who are "discovered" to be great raw talents at the age of 18 receive national media attention because it is such a rare incident to find someone that old in the U.S. who has not been identified by scouts.

Put all the performance-enhancing drugs and diets and weight training and nutrition and double-lacquered bats aside, and still today's players have to be better based on the sheer volume of players playing baseball against whom they have to compete.

Given circumstances that are equal, it would be entertaining to see the old timers in their prime against today's stars.

That being said, I do believe that Bonds was disrespectful to Ruth and the game of baseball. While it is not an excuse for his behavior (nor is roid rage, if he indeed uses them), his slight of Ruth pales in comparison to the exclusion of blacks from baseball for many years, to say nothing of slavery and segregation.

duke of dorwood
07-15-2003, 02:22 PM
Where's the Ruth couldn't play in hot weather comment?

Dadawg_77
07-15-2003, 02:24 PM
When it comes to respect, some of what pushes Barry is what he perceives happen to his Godfather, Willie Mays. From what I have read in the past, Barry seems to think his godfather gets disrespected as he isn't mention with Ruth and Aaron. I think frames his point of view of his place in the history of Baseball.

voodoochile
07-15-2003, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by xil357
Baseball was not the institution it is today back in the 20s. It was Ruth who brought national attention to the game. Back then, not many high schools or colleges had baseball teams and not many kids had the time or money to play even if there were. The minor leagues weren't organized and there were just not as many players playing baseball back then as there are today. The U.S. population was so much smaller, 13% of it was not allowed in the majors at all, and kids from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Asia didn't play baseball as much as they do today. There were far fewer people playing baseball back then, when it was common that someone could be a major raw talent but never have the opportunity to play the game because they had to work in the factory or on the farm to feed their family.

Phenoms like Toe Nash, or whatever his name is, who are "discovered" to be great raw talents at the age of 18 receive national media attention because it is such a rare incident to find someone that old in the U.S. who has not been identified by scouts.

Put all the performance-enhancing drugs and diets and weight training and nutrition and double-lacquered bats aside, and still today's players have to be better based on the sheer volume of players playing baseball against whom they have to compete.

Given circumstances that are equal, it would be entertaining to see the old timers in their prime against today's stars.

That being said, I do believe that Bonds was disrespectful to Ruth and the game of baseball. While it is not an excuse for his behavior (nor is roid rage, if he indeed uses them), his slight of Ruth pales in comparison to the exclusion of blacks from baseball for many years, to say nothing of slavery and segregation.

There are just more players, and everyone can play. But, the best are still the best. The fact that there are more players, naturally means there are more "good/great" players, but if you take the best of the best from any era, they are still going to be the best of the best. Aaron rowand wouldn't be a stud in 1925 just because he was raised with better nutrition and can devote 24/365 to baseball. He'd still be average...

Iguana775
07-15-2003, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by B. Diddy Oh, and Ruth also drank between innings. I'd like to see Bonds hit liquored up.
[/B]

Imagine what he would have done w/o the liquor. lol.

But put Ruth in today society with all the nutritional supplements and better training (all the things Bonds has), it would be just scary to think what he could do. IIRC, Ruth never really did workout much.

34 Inch Stick
07-15-2003, 02:44 PM
I don't think his real point is that he is better than Ruth. I think his point is that a black man is better statistically yet recieves less accolades than the baseball icon. He is saying that his passing Ruth is an obliteration of the old system yet old biases still remain. However, as with most "important" statments by ignorant atheletes he weaves a lot of narcisism and misinformation into his theory.

He acts as if he is the next generation of Negro Leagues. In fact he is several generations removed from the Negro League experience. That is why he is able to take the game for granted as often as he does. If anything he is the antithesis of the Negro Leagues. They played the game under the harshest conditions for little money or acclaim. Barry has not met true adversity at any part of his life.

Throughout his career he has shown little respect for the second tier white stars on his team. From Williams to Kent to now Ruth he has put down accomplishments that ultimately help him become a better hitter. I would not argue that he has much more respect for minority teamates either.

He paints himself as villan and victim in the same interview. I would expect nothing less than an ill thought out schizophrenic discussion from him. I wish reporters were a little harder on him with facts.

1951Campbell
07-15-2003, 02:49 PM
Sorry Barry, but until you post a 94-46 record with an ERA of 2.28, Ruth's got one major tool you'll never have.

Hangar18
07-15-2003, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by xil357
Baseball was not the institution it is today back in the 20s. It was Ruth who brought national attention to the game. Back then, not many high schools or colleges had baseball teams and not many kids had the time or money to play even if there were. The minor leagues weren't organized and there were just not as many players playing baseball back then as there are today. The U.S. population was so much smaller, 13% of it was not allowed in the majors at all, and kids from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Asia didn't play baseball as much as they do today. There were far fewer people playing baseball back then, when it was common that someone could be a major raw talent but never have the opportunity to play the game because they had to work in the factory or on the farm to feed their family.

Phenoms like Toe Nash, or whatever his name is, who are "discovered" to be great raw talents at the age of 18 receive national media attention because it is such a rare incident to find someone that old in the U.S. who has not been identified by scouts.

Put all the performance-enhancing drugs and diets and weight training and nutrition and double-lacquered bats aside, and still today's players have to be better based on the sheer volume of players playing baseball against whom they have to compete.

Given circumstances that are equal, it would be entertaining to see the old timers in their prime against today's stars.

That being said, I do believe that Bonds was disrespectful to Ruth and the game of baseball. While it is not an excuse for his behavior (nor is roid rage, if he indeed uses them), his slight of Ruth pales in comparison to the exclusion of blacks from baseball for many years, to say nothing of slavery and segregation.

wow....good post...

Iwritecode
07-15-2003, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
There are just more players, and everyone can play. But, the best are still the best. The fact that there are more players, naturally means there are more "good/great" players, but if you take the best of the best from any era, they are still going to be the best of the best. Aaron rowand wouldn't be a stud in 1925 just because he was raised with better nutrition and can devote 24/365 to baseball. He'd still be average...

Is this really a true statement? I mean all you ever really hear about is all the good/great players of past decades. What about the really bad ones? How bad were they? Was the worst player in Ruth's era better than the worst player in MLB today? In today's times only the best of the best from anywhere in the world get to play. Back then, it was anyone who had the time and right color skin. Is it possible that Ruth's stats were inflated because he wasn't playing against the best players he could have?

voodoochile
07-15-2003, 03:04 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
Is this really a true statement? I mean all you ever really hear about is all the good/great players of past decades. What about the really bad ones? How bad were they? Was the worst player in Ruth's era better than the worst player in MLB today? In today's times only the best of the best from anywhere in the world get to play. Back then, it was anyone who had the time and right color skin. Is it possible that Ruth's stats were inflated because he wasn't playing against the best players he could have?

Are you honestly asking if Babe ruth would be a great player today?

No, I bleive the average ability of MLB players is much higher than in the past, but the cream of the crop is still the cream of the crop. You simply don't put up numbers like Rught, Gherig and Cobb did without being one hellacious player...

MarkEdward
07-15-2003, 03:13 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
Back then, it was anyone who had the time and right color skin. Is it possible that Ruth's stats were inflated because he wasn't playing against the best players he could have?

This is a huge point. Right now, Barry Bonds is facing the greatest competition in the world, be it African-American, Latin American, Australian, South American, Asian, and so on. Ruth only got to play against the best white players in America (no intercontinental scouting).

Don't get me wrong, Ruth was an awesome player, and his stats shouldn't be tarnished. He just wasn't playing against the best possible opponents in the world. Bonds is. And he's tearing them up.

For what it's worth, here are my four hitters (no order):
Barry Bonds
Babe Ruth
Willie Mays
Ted Williams

Iwritecode
07-15-2003, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Are you honestly asking if Babe ruth would be a great player today?

No, I bleive the average ability of MLB players is much higher than in the past, but the cream of the crop is still the cream of the crop. You simply don't put up numbers like Rught, Gherig and Cobb did without being one hellacious player...

I still believe he would be a pretty good player today, just not as good as he was back then.

Just think about how good the best white hitter today would be if he never had to face any non-american or black pitcher/defense. You would never have to worry about guys like Pedro or Colon. Torri Hunter or Kenny Lofton would never rob you of a home run... Hell, you can barely make 1 starting line-up just using today's all-star roster.

Of course there's going to be some really good players in each era but when they aren't facing the best they are going to look even better. The best players of today face much better pitchers and defense than the players of old IMO.

Irishsox1
07-15-2003, 03:25 PM
Barry Bond's actually believes that once he hits 716 homeruns, people will stop talking about Babe Ruth!!! That is the funniest thing I've ever heard. Babe Ruth is bigger than Hank Aaron, Wille Mays, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Mark McGuire, Sandy Kofax, Nolen Ryan and Barry Bonds...combined!!!

Babe Ruth is up there with Jessie Owens, Knute Rockne, Michael Jordan, The Beatles.....the biggies.

Barry Bonds is up there with Jim Brown, Wilt Chamberlin, Ty Cobb, Chris Webber.....Talented jerks.

Nellie_Fox
07-15-2003, 03:29 PM
One aspect that no one has commented on is that while you are certainly correct that the players then were exclusively white Americans, it was a time when baseball was the undisputed king. Nothing else was even close. The very best athletes, if they aspired to pro sports, played baseball. Pro football was a very small-time operation, and some of the best football players of the era also played baseball (Jim Thorpe and Papa Halas come to mind.) It was the only place where there was anything approaching serious money to be made in sports.

Procol Harum
07-15-2003, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by xil357
Baseball was not the institution it is today back in the 20s. It was Ruth who brought national attention to the game. Back then, not many high schools or colleges had baseball teams and not many kids had the time or money to play even if there were. The minor leagues weren't organized and there were just not as many players playing baseball back then as there are today. The U.S. population was so much smaller, 13% of it was not allowed in the majors at all, and kids from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Asia didn't play baseball as much as they do today. There were far fewer people playing baseball back then, when it was common that someone could be a major raw talent but never have the opportunity to play the game because they had to work in the factory or on the farm to feed their family.

Phenoms like Toe Nash, or whatever his name is, who are "discovered" to be great raw talents at the age of 18 receive national media attention because it is such a rare incident to find someone that old in the U.S. who has not been identified by scouts.

Put all the performance-enhancing drugs and diets and weight training and nutrition and double-lacquered bats aside, and still today's players have to be better based on the sheer volume of players playing baseball against whom they have to compete.

Given circumstances that are equal, it would be entertaining to see the old timers in their prime against today's stars.

That being said, I do believe that Bonds was disrespectful to Ruth and the game of baseball. While it is not an excuse for his behavior (nor is roid rage, if he indeed uses them), his slight of Ruth pales in comparison to the exclusion of blacks from baseball for many years, to say nothing of slavery and segregation.

Lotta problems here. Back in the 1920s baseball was truly THE national pasttime--football, basketball, "X Games," video games, TV, etc., etc. did not compete for people's time. Every little town and company had its own baseball team, and the minor leagues were thriving in a way unimaginable today---where are the 'D' 'C' and "B' level teams that were all around the country up until the 1960s? The point of all this was that baseball was practically the only game in town. Up until the 1970s most American boys spent the majority of their daylight hours from March to September playing baseball. Compare that to today when many of your best athletes don't opt to play baseball, and about the only time you see kids playing baseball is when their elders are running an organized league for them. There is no comparison between the level of "competition" today and back then--even when population is taken into account. The ubiquitous monopoly baseball had in America back earlier in the century made for a level of baseball savvy and skill hard to fathom in light of our current situation.

As for the racial dynamics--I would argue that the African-American players of a generation ago--the Mays, Aarons, Banks, etc.--were better than their racial counterparts today. Here again it's a matter of competition--many of the best black athletes don't even play baseball anymore with the ascendancy of basketball, and football and track are often a more direct route for upcoming black athletes than having to master all the nuances of a sport like baseball. As for the Latin players, except in places like the Dominican, it would be pretty safe to say that baseball has DECLINED in popularity in the last 30-40 years. Soccer now rules the roost in many Latin countries--think Mexico--where baseball once held sway. If anything, I think we are drawing on a diluted talent pool not only in the United States, but throughout the world (baseball is also in trouble in Japan as a sport at the grass roots area).

Finally, I think Bonds has just shown himself to be the self-obsessed moron most observers--and teammates--have always said he was. Now he's just providing convenient verbal confirmation.

Nellie_Fox
07-15-2003, 03:57 PM
You said pretty much what I said, Procol, you just said it better. By the way, you forgot to mention soccer drawing kids away from baseball. How many of our teenage posters here played soccer instead of baseball when they were kids, and didn't really get into baseball until later, and only then as a fan?

I've seen the quality of play on little league fields today. I'll flat guarantee you that a group of 1930's to 1950's sandlot kids would have beat the snot out of today's little league teams. Every kid I knew had his baseball glove with him at all times, hanging on the handlebars of his bike, just in case a game broke out.

Iwritecode
07-15-2003, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox
You said pretty much what I said, Procol, you just said it better. By the way, you forgot to mention soccer drawing kids away from baseball. How many of our teenage posters here played soccer instead of baseball when they were kids, and didn't really get into baseball until later, and only then as a fan?

I've seen the quality of play on little league fields today. I'll flat guarantee you that a group of 1930's to 1950's sandlot kids would have beat the snot out of today's little league teams. Every kid I knew had his baseball glove with him at all times, hanging on the handlebars of his bike, just in case a game broke out.

I knew I grew up in the wrong generation. :(:

Baseball always has been and still is my first choice in sports.
Whether playing or watching. I've have graduated from carrying my glove on my handlebars to carrying it in my trunk though.

It's unbelievably difficult to find enough people anymore to get any sort of game going anymore though. About the only time I'm able to now is company picnics or camping trips...

Procol Harum
07-15-2003, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox
By the way, you forgot to mention soccer drawing kids away from baseball. How many of our teenage posters here played soccer instead of baseball when they were kids, and didn't really get into baseball until later, and only then as a fan?

I've seen the quality of play on little league fields today. I'll flat guarantee you that a group of 1930's to 1950's sandlot kids would have beat the snot out of today's little league teams. Every kid I knew had his baseball glove with him at all times, hanging on the handlebars of his bike, just in case a game broke out.

I try not to be the overbearing parent so my sons all played soccer as little tykes with their K & 1st grade buddies and I was dutifully supportive. But, oh how I rejoiced when they actually disliked it and didn't want to play anymore!! By contrast, they all have loved playing baseball and thus saved their dear old Dad the trials of sitting around watching park district soccer.

I agree with your analysis on the LL play and think the average team from the '50s would wallop the average team nowadays. You see it particularly in terms of some of the arms on these kids (or might I say, the arms that aren't on these kids) and just the general ignorance of rules, strategy, and basic fundamentals. Now, the cream still rises to the top and with all the specialized training, improved diet, exercise and weight programs we do see some truly remarkable baseball players. However, the cream is increasingly floating on top of some pretty thin milk these days.

voodoochile
07-15-2003, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
I still believe he would be a pretty good player today, just not as good as he was back then.

Just think about how good the best white hitter today would be if he never had to face any non-american or black pitcher/defense. You would never have to worry about guys like Pedro or Colon. Torri Hunter or Kenny Lofton would never rob you of a home run... Hell, you can barely make 1 starting line-up just using today's all-star roster.

Of course there's going to be some really good players in each era but when they aren't facing the best they are going to look even better. The best players of today face much better pitchers and defense than the players of old IMO.

I agree with Nellie and Procul about the best allowed athletes playing baseball almost exclusively.

If you want to say, Frank would tear up 1920's pitching because of better training, diet, year round commitment, better equipment, etc. You have to ask how those old-time players would have done under the same conditions. Have you seen the gloves those guys used? The bats? Many of them held down off season jobs just to make ends meet.

Great athletes are great athletes and though the overall quality of player is better today due to the change in circumstances, you cannot say for a fact that the best athletes/performers of their day in 1920 wouldn't be at the top of the class today also given the opportunity to perform under the same conditions the current players enjoy.

voodoochile
07-15-2003, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by Procol Harum
I try not to be the overbearing parent so my sons all played soccer as little tykes with their K & 1st grade buddies and I was dutifully supportive. But, oh how I rejoiced when they actually disliked it and didn't want to play anymore!! By contrast, they all have loved playing baseball and thus saved their dear old Dad the trials of sitting around watching park district soccer.

I agree with your analysis on the LL play and think the average team from the '50s would wallop the average team nowadays. You see it particularly in terms of some of the arms on these kids (or might I say, the arms that aren't on these kids) and just the general ignorance of rules, strategy, and basic fundamentals. Now, the cream still rises to the top and with all the specialized training, improved diet, exercise and weight programs we do see some truly remarkable baseball players. However, the cream is increasingly floating on top of some pretty thin milk these days.

Interestingly enough (and to continue your previous point) the 1950s are when the NFL came into it's own ("The Heidi Game") and the NHL and NBA started to grow up. No surprise that their were more great MLB players during that decade than at any time previously or since. After that is when the difusion of talent really started and even the influx of more races and foreign players cannot offset the talent drain that has followed.

Nellie_Fox
07-15-2003, 05:01 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Interestingly enough (and to continue your previous point) the 1950s are when the NFL came into it's own ("The Heidi Game") and the NHL and NBA started to grow up. No surprise that their were more great MLB players during that decade than at any time previously or since. After that is when the difusion of talent really started and even the influx of more races and foreign players cannot offset the talent drain that has followed. Actually, the Heidi game was in 1968. Hardly anyone paid any attention to football in the 50's; at least no one I knew.

voodoochile
07-15-2003, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox
Actually, the Heidi game was in 1968. Hardly anyone paid any attention to football in the 50's; at least no one I knew.

The Heidi game was in 1958. By 1968, they were playing Super Bowls and they never cut away before the end of the game.


No one you know watched football in the 50's? Whose guilty of that Middle of the road liberalism now? :D:

Nellie_Fox
07-15-2003, 05:10 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
The Heidi game was in 1958. By 1968, they were playing Super Bowls and they never cut away before the end of the game.


No one you know watched football in the 50's? Whose guilty of that Middle of the road liberalism now? :D: Sorry. According to NFL.COM it was November 17, 1968 (http://www.nfl.com/insider/story/5934055).

I knew I'd catch it for the "nobody I knew" statement after I used it to ridicule Pauline Kael.

longshot7
07-15-2003, 05:12 PM
I know we've strayed a little off-topic, but remember this...

Ruth played less games than Bonds has - that shows how amazing his feats were. Aaron broke the HR title because he played FOREVER - not because he put up awe-inspiring numbers.

fquaye149
07-15-2003, 05:17 PM
hey lookie here, back on track

bonds' comments were just ambitious and overzealous cuz he's barry bonds and he has some sort of crazy worldview.


regardless though, you can say today's game is geared towards hitting ally ou want, and you'd probably be right...BUT the game of the past was conducive to hitting.

what's the difference. Well, despite an absence of contraction, pitching is much more solid all the way through these days, especially in the national league. that's not to say pitchers are any better, because it would be hard to top some of the stars of the early 20th century. nolan ryan, strikeout king be damned, is no walter johnson. at least we can assume as much. HOWEVER there were a lot of rag arms back then. or at least more than now. how many teams woul dhave number 2 men as good as randy johnson, kerry wood(when his elbow is still attached to the cartilige), mike mussina, mark mulder, freddy garcia, and so on? and after all, when ruth went up against good pitching, he was unsuccessful. he couldn't hit a screwball very well at all(who could though i suppose). And if you want evidence that it was most certainly a hitter's market then look at the absence of the .400 hitter.

after all, either in the early early 1900's, late 1800's hitters were just unbelievably better than everyone else, as evidenced by the unbelievable amount of .400 hitters and extremely high .400's avgs(hugh duffy, tip o'neill, ross barnes?), or else play just wasn't as competitive, and by competitive i mean that these players were superstars but the other teams just didn't have any players who were as good....this is discussed very thoroughly by the late stephen jay gould in his book "full house."


the point is, ruth was great, tremendously great, and he did play in an era where the homerun was rare(although, some might argue that it was because few valued the homerun a la ty cobb). but to say it is any easier to HIT(not homeruns mind you, but hit) is a hard case to sell...i suppose...and homeruns too get thrown into the mix...after all who wouldn't be able to take one long when there's the possibility you might face some 19 year old joe nuxhall?

Fridaythe13thJason
07-15-2003, 05:22 PM
So, if I attempt to summarize...

The only way to judge players from different eras is against their own competition from the time. Based on that, Babe Ruth and Wilt Chamberlain are easily the best players in their sports ever.

So, never mind, that is still flawed. Maybe there's no objective way to compare players.

voodoochile
07-15-2003, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox
Sorry. According to NFL.COM it was November 17, 1968 (http://www.nfl.com/insider/story/5934055).

I knew I'd catch it for the "nobody I knew" statement after I used it to ridicule Pauline Kael.

My bad, I am thinking of a different game from the late 50's. It was a championship game that went double OT. I cannot remember the teams, but I think Colts and Giants.

That game is widely considered the game where the NFL came into it's own. Sorry for getting my stories mixed up... Should have Googled it...

TornLabrum
07-15-2003, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by 34 Inch Stick
I don't think his real point is that he is better than Ruth. I think his point is that a black man is better statistically yet recieves less accolades than the baseball icon. He is saying that his passing Ruth is an obliteration of the old system yet old biases still remain. However, as with most "important" statments by ignorant atheletes he weaves a lot of narcisism and misinformation into his theory.

He acts as if he is the next generation of Negro Leagues. In fact he is several generations removed from the Negro League experience. That is why he is able to take the game for granted as often as he does. If anything he is the antithesis of the Negro Leagues. They played the game under the harshest conditions for little money or acclaim. Barry has not met true adversity at any part of his life.

Throughout his career he has shown little respect for the second tier white stars on his team. From Williams to Kent to now Ruth he has put down accomplishments that ultimately help him become a better hitter. I would not argue that he has much more respect for minority teamates either.

He paints himself as villan and victim in the same interview. I would expect nothing less than an ill thought out schizophrenic discussion from him. I wish reporters were a little harder on him with facts.

The problem is that Barry's statistics are better than Ruth's on an individual basis, not for an overall career. Look at Ruth's lifetime stats vs. Barry's and it's obvious that Barry still has a long way to go, and not much time left to do it in to catch Ruth.

JJAustin69
07-15-2003, 05:59 PM
Barry Bonds doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as the man who captured the imagination of a nation and elevated baseball into the greatest sport in the world. Ask anyone on any of the 7 continents about baseball and invariably you will get one answer "Babe Ruth". Spare me the rants of a prima donna, overpaid, coddled, crybaby who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

JJAustin69
07-15-2003, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by Irishsox1
Barry Bond's actually believes that once he hits 716 homeruns, people will stop talking about Babe Ruth!!! That is the funniest thing I've ever heard. Babe Ruth is bigger than Hank Aaron, Wille Mays, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Mark McGuire, Sandy Kofax, Nolen Ryan and Barry Bonds...combined!!!

Babe Ruth is up there with Jessie Owens, Knute Rockne, Michael Jordan, The Beatles.....the biggies.

Barry Bonds is up there with Jim Brown, Wilt Chamberlin, Ty Cobb, Chris Webber.....Talented jerks. Well said.

rmusacch
07-15-2003, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
Another thought: Did Barry ever hit .625 in a World Series or hit more home runs than some teams in his league?

Is it true as I heard the other day that years ago, walks used to count as hits?

RKMeibalane
07-15-2003, 08:56 PM
Originally posted by rmusacch
Is it true as I heard the other day that years ago, walks used to count as hits?

I wish that were true today. Frank Thomas would have probably hit close to .400 during his run from 1991-97.

Daver
07-15-2003, 09:05 PM
Originally posted by rmusacch
Is it true as I heard the other day that years ago, walks used to count as hits?

I have read literaly dozens of books on baseball,both it's history and the current game,and I have never heard that.



But then again what the hell do I know? ©

RKMeibalane
07-15-2003, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by daver
But then again what the hell do I know? ©

You know more than most people I've talked to, and this includes people who know a great deal about baseball. Your knowledge of the minor leagues is unparalleled.

Daver
07-15-2003, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
Your knowledge of the minor leagues is unparalleled.

Randar and Vic both run where I crawl when it comes to minor league knowledge,but thank you for the kind words. :redneck

SluggersAway
07-15-2003, 11:22 PM
Barry Bonds is a shmuck and a schlemiel. I'm glad we booed him tonight.

Nick@Nite
07-15-2003, 11:43 PM
Barry Bonds is really Ty Cobb reincarnated, and playing a joke on all baseball.

Really!

Cobb disdained home runs, so now he's showing how easily it is to hit todays meatballs out of the park. He also had an abrasive personality (just like Bonds), and could steal bases (also, just like Bonds).

Along the way, he must have discovered some sense of humanity, because he came back as Afro-American (Ty Cobb was also racist).

Seems like a perfect explanation to me~

Btw, Babe Ruth was the greatest baseball player ever. Joe Morgan said so.

(Teal or no teal, I agree (for once) with Joe)

nixsox
07-15-2003, 11:45 PM
Babe Ruth had I believe almost 4K more at bats than Hank Aaron. IMO Ruth is the HR king. How many home runs do you think that Ruth would hit if he had that many AB's? As far as Bonds is concerned he's nothing but a racist primadonna. No wonder why Bonds and Baker get along so well!

voodoochile
07-15-2003, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by nixsox
Babe Ruth had I believe almost 4K more at bats than Hank Aaron. IMO Ruth is the HR king. How many home runs do you think that Ruth would hit if he had that many AB's? As far as Bonds is concerned he's nothing but a racist primadonna. No wonder why Bonds and Baker get along so well!

Did you mean 4K less at bats?

TornLabrum
07-16-2003, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by rmusacch
Is it true as I heard the other day that years ago, walks used to count as hits?

In 1888 a base on balls was scored as a hit. The rule was dropped in 1889.

Nick@Nite
07-16-2003, 12:12 AM
You sure about Ruth having 4K more AB's than Hank? If so, nobody would ever mention Sadaharu Oh, cuz Ruth would have hit 1,000 big fly's.

I don't base the above statement on any baseball-scientology.

I base it on the belief that, no matter what era, what advances in nutrition or physical training, no matter what advances in technology... some people "have it", and some don't.

Babe Ruth "had it". And yes, IMO, Barry Bonds "has it". They both "have" what it takes to be the greatest to play the game.

I have a feeling the Babe is laughing, enjoying himself at all the Barry-hoopla-homerun-chase... with a hot braut in one hand, and a cold beer (or six), in the other.

nixsox
07-16-2003, 12:20 AM
Sorry about that. I meant that The Babe had 4K less AB's then Aaron.

SaltyPretzel
07-16-2003, 12:44 AM
In 8399 at bats, Ruth hit 714 home runs, 2873 hits, 2213 rbi, 2062 walks, and a career .342 batting average.

In 8591 at bats, Bonds hit 643 home runs, 2543 hits, 1715 rbi, 2006 walks, and a career .296 batting average.

So, in 192 fewer at bats, Ruth hit 71 more home runs, 330 more hits, 498 more rbi, 56 more walks, and batted .048 higher than Bonds.

Also, he had a 94 and 46 record with a 2.28 era as a pitcher.

Shut up Barry.

Paulwny
07-16-2003, 07:41 AM
Damn, never thought I'd defend anything yankee.

With expansion came the diluting of pitching, the outlawing of some pitches, spit ball, shine ball and probably some I never heard of along with the lowering of the mound have aided today's hitters.

The one area I think today's player far surpasses players from prior years is defense. At times I'm totally amazed at some of the defense plays I've seen at ss and 3rd over the last 10+ years.
I'm sorry to say this, no disrespect to Looie and Nellie but, Visquel and Alomar have to be the best dp combination mlb has ever seen so far.

Procol, I give you credit, I don't know if I would've stayed awake if my son ever played soccor.

34 Inch Stick
07-16-2003, 10:22 AM
The question is why is a reporter not following up with this information for Barry and getting his thoughts?

Procol Harum
07-16-2003, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by Paulwny
Procol, I give you credit, I don't know if I would've stayed awake if my son ever played soccor.

It was tough, but thanks to Dunkin Donuts coffee I was able to make it.... :smile:

xil357
07-16-2003, 11:24 AM
Yes, baseball was the dominant sport among baseball, hoops, football, futbol, etc. in the United States beginning with Ruth's domination. Prior to Ruth, though, baseball was not the institution that it became. Baseball became the national pastime BECAUSE of Ruth. It was not the national pastime when he began his career.

We are forgetting that although poverty is still a big problem in the U.S. today (despite the fact that we are the most prosperous nation in the history of the Earth), the percentage of the U.S. population living above the poverty line is greater today than it was in the 1910's and 20's. (Adjusted for inflation, real wages peaked in 1979.)

Before WWII, there wasn't much of a middle class and if you lived in a city like Chicago or Boston or Pittsburgh and were 13 years old, you probably worked 12 hours a day in a factory or meat packing plant or steel mill and didn't get near a baseball field. If you lived in the country you probably helped out on the farm or worked in a coal mine or foundry and might, might have been able to work in a baseball game every now and then.

Even during the 30s, millions of Americans were standing in bread lines and hoping their backyard garden would keep their family from starving.

How many of the very best athletes in the U.S. were drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces for WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam at age 18? Or just enlisted? And during peacetime? How many potential athletic careers were sacrificed for military service?

Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby integrated the major leagues. Segregation was declared unconstitutional in 1954 by the Supreme Court. Even so, schools and colleges in many states were not integrated until the 1970s! Heck, the Dallas Independent School District just LAST MONTH was allowed to remove itself from court-ordered oversight of de-segregation efforts! Overall, minority athletes to this day do not have the opportunities that white athletes do.

Life was much harder for so many more people earlier in the 20th Century. Not only was the population smaller, and large portions of the population were prohibited from competing by law or economics, but there were fewer opportunities to play organized baseball for those that had the time and money. Add the influx of baseball players from all over the world (and only the best come here to play), and you have a much, much stronger talent pool from which to draw.

Yes, baseball is losing athletes to hoops and soccer. But these trends are just within the last 10 years or so. Even still, the pool of athletes who can afford to play organized sports is so much bigger -- even considering the additional competition from other sports -- than it was for baseball alone. Organized little leagues grew up around the rise of the large middle class in the mid-1950s.

Why do you think there are 50 rounds in the MLB amateur draft? There are so many American players from which to choose! The NFL has seven or eight rounds. The NBA has two. The NHL doesn't have anywhere near 50. It takes players YEARS to make it to the major leagues once drafted, if at all, because the competition is so fierce. First round NFL draft choices rarely don't earn starting jobs right away. NBA players can walk straight from their high school graduation to the starting five.

It used to be somewhat common for MLB teams to have a player walk on and join the team. Now, they have to be scouted and play for years before they even get to AAA in hopes of a September call-up.

Babe Ruth is larger than life because none of us saw him play live. He dominated a clearly less capable and smaller pool of talent. He single-handedly changed the game. He is a legend and has become immortal.

We see Bonds every night on Sports Center. He is familiar. He has a big mouth and he has an axe to grind. We tend to diminish his accomplishments because they seem routine. He has benefitted from advances in training, fitness, diet and chemistry. But so has his competition. He is competing against a much stronger league and the playing field is much more even because it is drawn from a much larger population with more opportunities and national prosperity and international superstars.

TornLabrum
07-16-2003, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by xil357
Yes, baseball was the dominant sport among baseball, hoops, football, futbol, etc. in the United States beginning with Ruth's domination. Prior to Ruth, though, baseball was not the institution that it became. Baseball became the national pastime BECAUSE of Ruth. It was not the national pastime when he began his career.

Wrong. Complete lack of any historical accuracy.

voodoochile
07-16-2003, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
Wrong. Complete lack of any historical accuracy.

Prior to 1920 MLB was the only professional sports league.

TornLabrum
07-16-2003, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Prior to 1920 MLB was the only professional sports league.

Precisely. Baseball was the national passtime by the end of the Civil War.

B. Diddy
07-16-2003, 12:36 PM
Regarding the "better crop of pitchers" that Bonds has had to face in comparison to Ruth:

(1) Bonds faces international competition, the best of the best in the world (score one for Barry... or we can even make that two)

(2) Ruth faced pitchers off a higher mound (score one for the Babe)

(3) Ruth hit in larger ballparks... and his owner didn't design a stadium that's 300 down the line for him (score another for the Babe)

(4) Ruth did not have lighter, double-lacquered bats (score another for the Babe)

(5) Ruth did not have access to steroids or even legal nutritional supplements (my guess is that Bonds has taken both), did not lift weights or work out, and was even known to drink beer during games (yet another for the Babe)

Looking at their stats alone, one could say that Barry is the better hitter. But taking into account the above, one would have to say that it's a tie at the very least (if not in Ruth's favor).

Now that we're done talking about hitting...

(6) Ruth was a stud on the mound (score a BIG one for the Babe)


Barry Bonds is an outstanding baseball player and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Babe Ruth was a complete freak of nature whose physical attributes put him far high and above his peers. We'll probably never see another like him.

voodoochile
07-16-2003, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by B. Diddy
(4) Ruth did not have lighter, double-lacquered bats (score another for the Babe)



Actually, he did. In fact, that's where the idea was invented, IIRC.

B. Diddy
07-16-2003, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Actually, he did. In fact, that's where the idea was invented, IIRC.

They used lacquered bats in the 20's and 30's???

Well, I stand corrected. However, the bats today are certainly a lot lighter and probably have larger sweet spots as well. We all know what advantages lighter bats have. Just ask Corky... :smile:

Oh, and I also forgot to state that the umps called a larger strike zone back then.

voodoochile
07-16-2003, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by B. Diddy
They used lacquered bats in the 20's and 30's???

Well, I stand corrected. However, the bats today are certainly a lot lighter and probably have larger sweet spots as well. We all know what advantages lighter bats have. Just ask Corky... :smile:

Oh, and I also forgot to state that the umps called a larger strike zone back then.

Whoops, left the wrong quote in. I meant the part about the 300 foot RF line. That is a classic feature of Yankee Stadium...

B. Diddy
07-16-2003, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Whoops, left the wrong quote in. I meant the part about the 300 foot RF line. That is a classic feature of Yankee Stadium...

I know that the right field line in Yankee Stadium isn't that far, but it's not as close as at Pac Bell, is it? I thought that Yankee Stadium's was something like 319 and Pac Bell's was a good 10-15 feet closer.

voodoochile
07-16-2003, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by B. Diddy
I know that the right field line in Yankee Stadium isn't that far, but it's not as close as at Pac Bell, is it? I thought that Yankee Stadium's was something like 319 and Pac Bell's was a good 10-15 feet closer.

I don't know the exact dimensions, but i thought that there was a time when the RF line of Yankee Stadium that was under 300 feet. I maybe misremembering though. I believe the original meaning of "HR porch" (a very short fence down the line) was invented by the Yankees specifically to give Ruth and their other sluggers an advantage...


Maybe someone else can fill in the specifics or correct me if I am wrong (as usual :D: )

B. Diddy
07-16-2003, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
I don't know the exact dimensions, but i thought that there was a time when the RF line of Yankee Stadium that was under 300 feet. I maybe misremembering though. I believe the original meaning of "HR porch" (a very short fence down the line) was invented by the Yankees specifically to give Ruth and their other sluggers an advantage...


Maybe someone else can fill in the specifics or correct me if I am wrong (as usual :D: )

No, you're correct. I guess it was actually UNDER 300 ft. for some time in the 30's. I didn't know they moved it in that far.

Anyway, Barry's (alleged) steroid use easily offsets that.

Procol Harum
07-16-2003, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by xil357
Yes, baseball was the dominant sport among baseball, hoops, football, futbol, etc. in the United States beginning with Ruth's domination. Prior to Ruth, though, baseball was not the institution that it became. Baseball became the national pastime BECAUSE of Ruth. It was not the national pastime when he began his career.

We are forgetting that although poverty is still a big problem in the U.S. today (despite the fact that we are the most prosperous nation in the history of the Earth), the percentage of the U.S. population living above the poverty line is greater today than it was in the 1910's and 20's. (Adjusted for inflation, real wages peaked in 1979.)

Before WWII, there wasn't much of a middle class and if you lived in a city like Chicago or Boston or Pittsburgh and were 13 years old, you probably worked 12 hours a day in a factory or meat packing plant or steel mill and didn't get near a baseball field. If you lived in the country you probably helped out on the farm or worked in a coal mine or foundry and might, might have been able to work in a baseball game every now and then.

Even during the 30s, millions of Americans were standing in bread lines and hoping their backyard garden would keep their family from starving.

How many of the very best athletes in the U.S. were drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces for WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam at age 18? Or just enlisted? And during peacetime? How many potential athletic careers were sacrificed for military service?

Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby integrated the major leagues. Segregation was declared unconstitutional in 1954 by the Supreme Court. Even so, schools and colleges in many states were not integrated until the 1970s! Heck, the Dallas Independent School District just LAST MONTH was allowed to remove itself from court-ordered oversight of de-segregation efforts! Overall, minority athletes to this day do not have the opportunities that white athletes do.

Life was much harder for so many more people earlier in the 20th Century. Not only was the population smaller, and large portions of the population were prohibited from competing by law or economics, but there were fewer opportunities to play organized baseball for those that had the time and money. Add the influx of baseball players from all over the world (and only the best come here to play), and you have a much, much stronger talent pool from which to draw.

Yes, baseball is losing athletes to hoops and soccer. But these trends are just within the last 10 years or so. Even still, the pool of athletes who can afford to play organized sports is so much bigger -- even considering the additional competition from other sports -- than it was for baseball alone. Organized little leagues grew up around the rise of the large middle class in the mid-1950s.

Why do you think there are 50 rounds in the MLB amateur draft? There are so many American players from which to choose! The NFL has seven or eight rounds. The NBA has two. The NHL doesn't have anywhere near 50. It takes players YEARS to make it to the major leagues once drafted, if at all, because the competition is so fierce. First round NFL draft choices rarely don't earn starting jobs right away. NBA players can walk straight from their high school graduation to the starting five.

It used to be somewhat common for MLB teams to have a player walk on and join the team. Now, they have to be scouted and play for years before they even get to AAA in hopes of a September call-up.

Babe Ruth is larger than life because none of us saw him play live. He dominated a clearly less capable and smaller pool of talent. He single-handedly changed the game. He is a legend and has become immortal.

We see Bonds every night on Sports Center. He is familiar. He has a big mouth and he has an axe to grind. We tend to diminish his accomplishments because they seem routine. He has benefitted from advances in training, fitness, diet and chemistry. But so has his competition. He is competing against a much stronger league and the playing field is much more even because it is drawn from a much larger population with more opportunities and national prosperity and international superstars.

I'm not trying to be flippant or mean, xil357, but you really need to read a basic history of the game of baseball, as well as some American history that can paint a more accurate picture of American social life in the early 20th-century. For all these working-class-to poor Americans you're talking about, baseball was the major form of outdoor, athletic entertainment and recreation. Impromptu sandlot games, business, municipal and church-related baseball teams, and the network of minor league baseball teams was much more extensive in the years between 1900 and 1920 (to say nothing of that which evolved in the "post-Ruth" years) than ANYTHING we have today.

And all those athletes drafted into WWI, WWII and Korea--you know what they did in their spare time--they played baseball!! How many baseball gloves do you think our servicemen in Iraq took along with them??

There really is no comparison in two of the issues being discussed here which are of the apples and oranges variety:

1.) The overwhelming level and extant of baseball's popularity and the proliferation of people playing it in pre-1960 America;

and,

2.) The advantages in diet, training, and exercise available to players of the last 20-25 years.

TornLabrum
07-16-2003, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by Procol Harum
I'm not trying to be flippant or mean, xil357, but you really need to read a basic history of the game of baseball, as well as some American history that can paint a more accurate picture of American social life in the early 20th-century. For all these working-class-to poor Americans you're talking about, baseball was the major form of outdoor, athletic entertainment and recreation. Impromptu sandlot games, business, municipal and church-related baseball teams, and the network of minor league baseball teams was much more extensive in the years between 1900 and 1920 (to say nothing of that which evolved in the "post-Ruth" years) than ANYTHING we have today.

And all those athletes drafted into WWI, WWII and Korea--you know what they did in their spare time--they played baseball!! How many baseball gloves do you think our servicemen in Iraq took along with them??

There really is no comparison in two of the issues being discussed here which are of the apples and oranges variety:

1.) The overwhelming level and extant of baseball's popularity and the proliferation of people playing it in pre-1960 America;

and,

2.) The advantages in diet, training, and exercise available to players of the last 20-25 years.

In the last 30-35 years of the 19th century, and well into the 20th century, many towns had amateur or semi-pro teams that traveled to other towns to play ball. By the last couple of decades of that century, minor leagues proliferated, and that continued into the '50s when they were pretty well wiped out by television. But the origins of all of this came a helluva long time before Babe Ruth.

brewcrew/chisox
07-16-2003, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by Procol Harum



And all those athletes drafted into WWI, WWII and Korea--you know what they did in their spare time--they played baseball!! How many baseball gloves do you think our servicemen in Iraq took along with them??




Exactly how many of those soldiers over in Iraq were playing Minor or Major league baseball?

Dadawg_77
07-16-2003, 03:19 PM
Yankee Stadium Dimensions: Left field: 280.58 (1923), 301 (1928), 312 (1976), 318 (1988); left side of bullpen gate in short left-center: 395 (1923), 402 (1928), 387 (1976), 379 (1985); right side of bullpen gate: 415 (1937); deepest left-center: 500 (1923), 490 (1924), 457 (1937), 430 (1976), 411 (1985), 399 (1988); left side of cente-field screen: 466 (1937); center field: 487 (1923), 461 (1937), 463 (1967), 417 (1976), 410 (1985), 408 (1988); deepest right-center: 429 (1923), 407 (1937), 385 (1976); left side of bullpen gate in short right-center: 350 (1923), 367 (1937), 353 (1976); right side of bullpen gate: 344 (1937); right field 294.75 (1923), 295 (1930), 296 (1939), 310 (1976), 314 (1988); backstop: 82 (1942), 80 (1953), 84 (1976); foul territory: large for the catcher behind home plate, but small for fielders down the foul lines.

PNC
Dimensions: Left field foul pole: 325 feet; LF power alley: 386 feet; left-center: 389 feet; deep left-center field: 410 feet; center field: 399 feet; RF power alley: 375 feet; right field foul pole: 320 feet; backstop: 52 feet.

Candlestick
Dimensions: Left field: 330 (1960), 335 (1968); left-center: 397 (1960), 365 (1961); center field: 420 (1960), 410 (1961), 400 (1982); right-center: 397 (1960), 365 (1961), 365 (1982); right field: 330 (1965), 335 (1968), 330 (1991), 328 (1993); backstop: 73 (1960), 70 (1961), 55 (1975), 65 (1982), 66 (1985); foul territory: very large.

Three Rivers
Dimensions: Foul lines: 340 (1970), 335 ft. (1975); power alleys: 385 ft. (1970), 375 ft. (1975); center field: 410 ft. (1970), 400 ft. (1975); backstop: 60 ft., foul territory: large.

Numbers from Ballparks.com


Comparing players from one era to another is very difficult and great bar debate material. Ruth made baseball, with his rise coming during the fall out of the Blacksox may have prevented MLB baseball from being destroyed. Ruth is a icon of American culture and Bonds isn't nor will be. As a just a baseball player, Bonds is probably superior to Ruth for several factors. Today's world is a much improved environment to be a baseball player from being paid more money to better training facilities and medical knowledge available. But due to this, the level of play is better. Pitching is better today then it was in the 20's and 30's, and defensive is better since players are quicker and have more range.

brewcrew/chisox
07-16-2003, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum


In the last 30-35 years of the 19th century, and well into the 20th century, many towns had amateur or semi-pro teams that traveled to other towns to play ball. By the last couple of decades of that century, minor leagues proliferated, and that continued into the '50s when they were pretty well wiped out by television. But the origins of all of this came a helluva long time before Babe Ruth.

The fact that towns had amature or even semi proleagues before Babe Ruth is inconsequential to the argument here. The fact of the matter is that level of competion in baseball during Ruth's time as it compares to the level of competion today was much lower.

xil357 touches on a number of valid reasons, citing factors such as general population in the United States and Segregation as obvious factors here (13% of the American population could not even play with Ruth. This is huge), not to mention the growth of international players playing in the league, diretly contigent on the sport's growing international popularity (Japan? Korea?)

and The fact that they are watching more soccer in Mexico doesn't matter. The mere fact that there are players from Mexico even playing in MLB is a far cry from the talent pool that played professional baseball during Ruth's day.

One also has to consider the fact that Baseball didn't pay anything. For most Americans, baseball was "a pastime", not a profession, or a career.
While great players like Ruth received a considerable sum, the average baseball player didn't make enough to support a family and usually had to take other jobs during the off season.

Do you know what ballplayers today do during their time off? They play more baseball.

Yes kids were playing lots of baseball in the sandlots, during those days. Today kid's play a heck of a lot of soccer. And How many world cups have the USA soccer team won?

That being said, this still doesn't take away Ruth's accomplishments. His accomplishments as a baseball player put his contemporaries to shame, all of this done without the use of body armor, juiced baseballs, and bats, and modern day training facillities. Ruth was a legend, and arguably did more for the name of baseball (really by just being himself) then anyone else, bar none. And this is what Bond's fails to understand or appreciate.

But the training facilities point is an interesting one though. Who is to say that Ruth would have actually used them had he played today? From what I've read about Ruth, he was hedonisitic, and weak for drink and really stubborn about it too. Indeed, he drank, smoke and ate horribly right up to his death. His talent was so great, however, that his drinking and diet didn't effect his play on the ball field.

Would Ruth have been strong enough mentallty to watch his diet and train each year and hit the gym in order to stay fit enough to remain competitive?

because he would have to if he played today.

TornLabrum
07-16-2003, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by brewcrew/chisox
The fact that towns had amature or even semi proleagues before Babe Ruth is inconsequential to the argument here. The fact of the matter is that level of competion in baseball during Ruth's time as it compares to the level of competion today was much lower.

xil357 touches on a number of valid reasons, citing factors such as general population in the United States and Segregation as obvious factors here (13% of the American population could not even play with Ruth. This is huge), not to mention the growth of international players playing in the league, diretly contigent on the sport's growing international popularity (Japan? Korea?)

and The fact that they are watching more soccer in Mexico doesn't matter. The mere fact that there are players from Mexico even playing in MLB is a far cry from the talent pool that played professional baseball during Ruth's day.

One also has to consider the fact that Baseball didn't pay anything. For most Americans, baseball was "a pastime", not a profession, or a career.
While great players like Ruth received a considerable sum, the average baseball player didn't make enough to support a family and usually had to take other jobs during the off season.

Do you know what ballplayers today do during their time off? They play more baseball.

Yes kids were playing lots of baseball in the sandlots, during those days. Today kid's play a heck of a lot of soccer. And How many world cups have the USA soccer team won?

That being said, this still doesn't take away Ruth's accomplishments. His accomplishments as a baseball player put his contemporaries to shame, all of this done without the use of body armor, juiced baseballs, and bats, and modern day training facillities. Ruth was a legend, and arguably did more for the name of baseball (really by just being himself) then anyone else, bar none. And this is what Bond's fails to understand or appreciate.

But the training facilities point is an interesting one though. Who is to say that Ruth would have actually used them had he played today? From what I've read about Ruth, he was hedonisitic, and weak for drink and really stubborn about it too. Indeed, he drank, smoke and ate horribly right up to his death. His talent was so great, however, that his drinking and diet didn't effect his play on the ball field.

Would Ruth have been strong enough mentallty to watch his diet and train each year and hit the gym in order to stay fit enough to remain competitive?

because he would have to if he played today.

One thing no one has ever been able to prove, however, because it is impossible, is how much of the loss in ability due to exclusion, either geographic or racial, has been counteracted since a large degree of the population after the 1950s who might have gone into baseball have gone into other sports instead.

Major league baseball has expanded from 16 clubs carrying about 350 players (if that) in Ruth's time) to 30 clubs carrying 750 players, so the total number of available jobs has probably slightly more than doubled.

On the other hand the NBA employs (what?) 380 players or so. The NFL employs roughly another 1500. This serves to dilute the modern talent pool, even as the addition of black players and players from elsewhere increases the talent level.

As far as whether the players who actually got into the major leagues were better or not, that is also an impossible thing to prove one way or the other. Put Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa in Ruth's time and what happens? Put them in Honus Wagner's time and what happens?

There are no weight trainers. There are no artificial enhancements. The equipment is nowhere near the quality that it is now. The fields are not kept up as well. The travel schedule includes trains and hotels without air conditioning.

On the other hand, give Ruth, or Cobb, or Wagner, or any other player from 70 or more years ago the same training and equipment available to today's athletes, what happens to them?

As to the salary issue, pro ballplayers didn't get rich, but they made a helluva lot more than the average player. Billy Pierce reported that his highest salary was about $40,000 in the mid-1950s. That's about 8-10 times more than the average American made then. Joe Jackson's $6800 in 1919 was still a lot better than the $20-25 per week the average worker might have made.

The worst salary any of the 1919 White Sox made was $1500. Not bad back then for six months' work. Still more than the average worker was making for 12 months.

brewcrew/chisox
07-16-2003, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum




Major league baseball has expanded from 16 clubs carrying about 350 players (if that) in Ruth's time) ..............
The worst salary any of the 1919 White Sox made was $1500. Not bad back then for six months' work. Still more than the average worker was making for 12 months.


Right, imagine the risk involved for someone to pursue a career in baseball. Only 16 teams and 350 players, to make around $1500 a year, that is unless you were Joe Jackson or Babe Ruth.

and during the great depression as well. Not a very attractive or logical career choice.

What were minor league or semipro players getting I wonder?

xil357
07-16-2003, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
One thing no one has ever been able to prove, however, because it is impossible, is how much of the loss in ability due to exclusion, either geographic or racial, has been counteracted since a large degree of the population after the 1950s who might have gone into baseball have gone into other sports instead.

Major league baseball has expanded from 16 clubs carrying about 350 players (if that) in Ruth's time) to 30 clubs carrying 750 players, so the total number of available jobs has probably slightly more than doubled.

On the other hand the NBA employs (what?) 380 players or so. The NFL employs roughly another 1500. This serves to dilute the modern talent pool, even as the addition of black players and players from elsewhere increases the talent level.


This is why it is such a good argument.

How can we assume that all 380 NBA players and 1500 NFL players would succeed at baseball? The skills sets are somewhat different.

My point is that today there are many more people playing competitive sports than there were in Ruth's day. A much more prosperous and much more populous nation allows for many more opportunities for people with athletic talent to develop those talents at the amateur, collegiate and seconday levels, increasing the size and raising the level of the talent pool. There are 280 MILLION or so Americans today. There are 6 BILLION people in the world. If we aren't all vaporized by nuclear holocaust and global prosperity continues to rise at the rate it has over the past few decades, especially in the developed nations, there will be many more athletes competing for jobs in baseball and other sports, causing the talent overall MLB talent level to continue to increase over the next few decades. That is, if Selig and co. don't manage to kill the golden goose.

Ruth completely dominated a vastly inferior talent pool. Bonds rose to the top of a much more capable talent pool.

Procol Harum
07-16-2003, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by brewcrew/chisox
The fact that towns had amature or even semi proleagues before Babe Ruth is inconsequential to the argument here. The fact of the matter is that level of competion in baseball during Ruth's time as it compares to the level of competion today was much lower.

xil357 touches on a number of valid reasons, citing factors such as general population in the United States and Segregation as obvious factors here (13% of the American population could not even play with Ruth. This is huge), not to mention the growth of international players playing in the league, diretly contigent on the sport's growing international popularity (Japan? Korea?)

and The fact that they are watching more soccer in Mexico doesn't matter. The mere fact that there are players from Mexico even playing in MLB is a far cry from the talent pool that played professional baseball during Ruth's day.

One also has to consider the fact that Baseball didn't pay anything. For most Americans, baseball was "a pastime", not a profession, or a career.
While great players like Ruth received a considerable sum, the average baseball player didn't make enough to support a family and usually had to take other jobs during the off season.

Do you know what ballplayers today do during their time off? They play more baseball.

Yes kids were playing lots of baseball in the sandlots, during those days. Today kid's play a heck of a lot of soccer. And How many world cups have the USA soccer team won?


What you fail to grasp is the comparative depth of involvement in the game of the general population of the U.S. back in earlier times as compared to today. Baseball was indeed the national pasttime and carried with it a badge of local honor and manly prowess--not to mention the possibility for supplementing or greatly multiplying one's income--that dwarfs the situation today.

Perhaps the most understandable analogy today would be the cult of basketball in very poor African-American neighborhoods. Tell me, compared to the latter scenario, that competition in any number of suburban white areas--despite perhaps a much greater number of actual teams and individuals involved--is going to measure up against that demonstrated in an inner city area where they breathe basketball and look to it as not only a possible ticket up and out, but as a mark of status and masculinity? We're talking a difference in sporting culture here, not just raw numbers (although in the case of baseball in the U.S. prior to 1960, we're talking overwhelming numbers as well).

As to the racial dynamics of pre-1947 MLB, you have to consider the fact that more intense interest, inclination and wherewithal among the nation's overwhelmingly white population to play baseball, made up-- in some degree--what it lacked in competitive level, from the exclusion of African Americans. For every Jackie Robinson how many Triple A at best 2nd Basemen did he compete against in the Negro Leagues? Often MLB segregation is trotted out simply in a Barry Bondesque fashion to illustrate the competion which caucasian players were "missing." Rarely, is the shoe put on the other foot--what sort of competition were African American players "missing" by not being able to face the best white players (something, which, if you read about Jackie Robinson and the other Negro League players of his time was a very real element of their desire to play in the Bigs--they knew the Negro Leagues were--taken as a whole--inferior to the Majors), particularly the pitching (MLB, even since 1947, has been dominated by caucasian pitchers)?

As for the international level I stand by my statement that baseball is on the decline in many of the nations where it has previously been popular--Japan in particular. Maybe the U.S. success of Ichiro and others will change that. However, the fact that Maggs and Geoff Jenkins have achieved success in MLB is hardly indicative of raging "Baseball Fever" in Latin America or Australia. What is better now for MLB is the easing of racial prejudice of various stripes and a better scouting system that is capable of finding--and signing and promoting-- the international talent that is out there--talent which can benefit from the same training and diet advantages of which modern day American players avail themselves.

As for the U.S. soccer argument--it is no argument. That game has climbed enormously in popularity here, fueled by the park district soccer phenomena and the influx of soccer-playing immigrants (think about it, the immigrant young male--from anywhere, practically-- coming to the U.S. is much more likely to be a soccer player than immigrants coming to the U.S. before WWII when the worldwide soccer boom really took off on an international scale). That the U.S. has not yet won the World Cup is irrelevant. Heck, we beat the English team in the World Cup in 1950 and what did that signify??

TornLabrum
07-16-2003, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by brewcrew/chisox
Right, imagine the risk involved for someone to pursue a career in baseball. Only 16 teams and 350 players, to make around $1500 a year, that is unless you were Joe Jackson or Babe Ruth.

and during the great depression as well. Not a very attractive or logical career choice.

What were minor league or semipro players getting I wonder?

Most of the Black Sox were making over $5000 per year. The only salaries besides Jackson's that I remember, though were Eddie Collins, who was making about $15,000 and Cicotte who was making around $12,000, iirc. Most of the club was making around $5,000, give or take a few hundred.

Those who did make it to the bigs were a whole lot better off. Remember, this is just about the time that Ford offered his assembly line workers $5 a day. They worked six day weeks back then, so Ford, who was a lot more generous than a lot of employers was paying his factory workers about $30.00 a week. Multiply that by 52 and you have just over $1500 a year. The worst paid major leaguers were making that in six months.

Minor leaguers, like major leaguers, were paid comensurate with their skills. You salary went up as you moved up from Class D to Class A. Guys like Lefty Grove were paid pretty close to what major leaguers got. Guys in the Pacific Coast League did pretty well, too, I think, especially with their long season, which iirc was around 200 games.

Semi-pro players passed the hat. On a good day the best players might get a few bucks a game.

xil357
07-17-2003, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by Procol Harum
I'm not trying to be flippant or mean, xil357, but you really need to read a basic history of the game of baseball, as well as some American history that can paint a more accurate picture of American social life in the early 20th-century. For all these working-class-to poor Americans you're talking about, baseball was the major form of outdoor, athletic entertainment and recreation. Impromptu sandlot games, business, municipal and church-related baseball teams, and the network of minor league baseball teams was much more extensive in the years between 1900 and 1920 (to say nothing of that which evolved in the "post-Ruth" years) than ANYTHING we have today.

And all those athletes drafted into WWI, WWII and Korea--you know what they did in their spare time--they played baseball!! How many baseball gloves do you think our servicemen in Iraq took along with them??

There really is no comparison in two of the issues being discussed here which are of the apples and oranges variety:

1.) The overwhelming level and extant of baseball's popularity and the proliferation of people playing it in pre-1960 America;

and,

2.) The advantages in diet, training, and exercise available to players of the last 20-25 years.

Perhaps my original phrasing was misleading. I acknowledge that RECREATIONAL baseball was the dominant form of recreation for Americans as far back at the post-Civil War days. However, my point is that in a modern competitive industry that acknowledges Ruth as the godfather (The House that Ruth Built, Babe Ruth Leagues), it was Ruth who made professional baseball what it is today.

I will not dispute that American servicemen in WWI, WWII, Korea, etc. played baseball when they weren't eating or drinking or weren't looking at pinups of Marilyn Monroe. Maybe it was the thing they did for the overwhelming majority of their recreational time. But being the national recreational pastime of choice is different than being a dominant American industry that recognizes and develops and provides opportunities and removes obstacles to athletic talent beginning with kids as young as 9 or 10, sometimes even younger.

Four hypotheticals for which the details are not important but the ideas are:

A kid from rural Kansas can hit a 100 MPH pitch 600 feet. But in an era with no social security that would provide for his disabled mother, he has to give up his dream of playing ball and go to work on the farm instead.

A boy from West Virginia can throw 95 MPH, can change speeds and throw a wicked curve, screwball and sinker. But drops out of school and gives up his dream of playing pro ball to go to work in the coal mine to support his bothers and sisters when his father gets killed in a mining accident.

A 16-year-old in New York, living blocks from Yankee Stadium, sneaks into Yankee games after he gets off from the night shift at the factory at which he works. He too is a great baseball player who can play center field and can bunt his way on base and steal second and then third before the third pitch is thrown to the next batter. He has been approached by Yankees scouts. But he gets maimed in an accident at the factory and his dream is dead.

A kid from Pittsburgh hits thirty homers with an OBP of 700 for his high school team. He avoids going into WWI because he is too young, even though three of his brothers went. But he dies in the influenza outbreak of 1919, or he is crippled by polio in the 20s.

None of these hypothetical possible major league stars made it to the majors, because they didn't have the opportunity and there were many, many more obstacles to them realizing their dreams. How many suffered these, or similar fates? We don't know, but we do know that these and similar instances were common.

That doesn't even account for the fact that although baseball was played recreationally by millions, and undoubtedly many of them were phenomenal players, a much larger proportion of them didn't have the opportunity to pursue a pro career because of the increased risk of death or injury to them or to a family member, or the school that they went to (and many kids didn't go beyond the 8th grade, or younger, to say nothing of college), didn't have competitive interscholastic baseball teams, or pony league, or colt league, or BABE RUTH league!

Then how about those kids who did have the time and opportunity, and did live where there was a high school with a competitive team where major league scouts watched the games, but were too dirt poor to have a glove or a real bat?

And those kids that may have had all the advantages, but got drafted or enlisted and then gave up on their pro baseball dream upon returning without injury and went to college on the GI Bill instead? Or went to work in a factory? Or on the farm? Or as a salesman or businessman? Where the income was more stable and guaranteed than the possibility of a baseball career? And those who did suffer an injury in a war that prevented them from playing competitively upon returning?

And those kids who may have had the God-given athletic ability, but were malnourished during the Depression, or who had to move with their families to California to escape the Dust Bowl?

My point is that this combination of adverse circumstances, in consort with the much smaller population that was further limited by segregation and the absence of the best foreign players, made the overall talent pool in which Ruth swam much smaller and much shallower than that in which Bonds swims today.

As for the advantages of diet, training, etc. from the last 20-25 years ... Ruth didn't have access to those, but neither did his much more limited pool of competition. Bonds does, but so does a much larger population of competitors.

Today's MLB is much more competitive and much tougher than the league that Ruth knew because it is drawn from a much larger population with fewer obstacles to pursuing and developing a professional baseball career.

TornLabrum
07-17-2003, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by xil357
Four hypotheticals for which the details are not important but the ideas are:

A kid from rural Kansas can hit a 100 MPH pitch 600 feet. But in an era with no social security that would provide for his disabled mother, he has to give up his dream of playing ball and go to work on the farm instead.

More likely he would play ball, make decent (for the era) money and move mom off the farm if he was that good.

A boy from West Virginia can throw 95 MPH, can change speeds and throw a wicked curve, screwball and sinker. But drops out of school and gives up his dream of playing pro ball to go to work in the coal mine to support his bothers and sisters when his father gets killed in a mining accident.

More than likely he'd be playing for the mine team and have a job where that wouldn't happen to him.

A 16-year-old in New York, living blocks from Yankee Stadium, sneaks into Yankee games after he gets off from the night shift at the factory at which he works. He too is a great baseball player who can play center field and can bunt his way on base and steal second and then third before the third pitch is thrown to the next batter. He has been approached by Yankees scouts. But he gets maimed in an accident at the factory and his dream is dead.

Or he's so good that he's the star of the factory team and has a job that keeps him out of that dangerous situation.

A kid from Pittsburgh hits thirty homers with an OBP of 700 for his high school team. He avoids going into WWI because he is too young, even though three of his brothers went. But he dies in the influenza outbreak of 1919, or he is crippled by polio in the 20s.

Finally something credible.

You see, as was mentioned before, you just don't get how pervasive baseball was in society. Not only did small towns have teams. So did mines, factories, etc. who played regular schedules. And the good players were well treated and got cushy jobs because they represented the company well.

It was more than recreational playing. It was competitive, and scouts used to go and watch these industrial league and town league players.

kempsted
07-17-2003, 01:33 PM
Right, imagine the risk involved for someone to pursue a career in baseball. Only 16 teams and 350 players, to make around $1500 a year, that is unless you were Joe Jackson or Babe Ruth. and during the great depression as well. Not a very attractive or logical career choice.

OK a couple of problems here. We have been mainly talking about baseball in the teens and 20's. That is NOT the great depression. The great depression was when the stock market crashed in 1929.

The other problem is every baseball player in MLB made better money than the average American. It was not a risky career choice. In fact I doubt anyone then or now sits around saying - well I could make it in the majors but .... People play baseball, if they are good enough they keep playing it. That was even more before.

xil357
07-17-2003, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum

You see, as was mentioned before, you just don't get how pervasive baseball was in society. Not only did small towns have teams. So did mines, factories, etc. who played regular schedules. And the good players were well treated and got cushy jobs because they represented the company well.

It was more than recreational playing. It was competitive, and scouts used to go and watch these industrial league and town league players.

I am not denying that it was pervasive, and even, as you define it, competitive. I am not denying that there may have been a team or more than one for every factory and mine and small town in the entire U.S. Maybe at one time or another EVERY American citizen was able to play baseball.

What I am saying is that its one thing to tear apart the hypotheticals I gave, but it is something entirely different to dispute the general idea of my argument. What about the kid who today would have the opportunity to develop his talent in organized competitive baseball, but for reasons of illness, injury, death or needing to work years ago he was unable or unwilling to develop that talent? Not something he had yet exhibited (like throwing a 90 MPH fastball), but something he had the unrealized potential to do.

And furthermore, how do we know how fast the kids -- heck the major leaguers -- at the turn of the century pitched? Or ran the bases? Were there radar guns? Were there stop watches with tenth- and hundreth-second measurements? Did they compare their times and distances against galloping horses? Against Model-T's? Steam locomotive's? Did they have tape measures that were 500 feet long readily available? Computers that could calculate trajectory and distance? Or did they walk off distances in steps? Were there independent official scorers at every game to judge every run, hit and error? Did all the mine and factory teams keep detailed records of stats? Maybe someone could "run like the wind" or "hit it a country mile."

More likely, some folks here and everywhere suffer "good old days syndrome" and can't accept the POSSIBILITY that today's players may actually, in some cases, be superior. All we see from the 30s and 40s are highlight reels. All we have from the 10s and 20s, for the most part, are perhaps some audio recordings and more likely newspaper accounts. Today, we are SATURATED with 100s of cable channels, the Internet, cell phones that will give us scores up to the second, scouting magazines, that we reach the point of overload. We see lunar shot home runs many times per day if we watch Sports Center and Baseball Tonight. Or we can tune it out. And its because baseball, like football and soccer and basketball, are multi-billion dollar industries, perhaps reaching the hundreds of billions of dollars of GDP when you consider the money that is spent on bats, balls, uniforms, candy sold door-to-door to pay for equipment, $350 million stadiums and less expensive minor league and little league and high school and college fields and coaches and trainers, etc. etc ad infinitum. Despite the competition from other sports, organized competitive baseball is just as big today, if not more so, than it was at any time before. The statistics are so overwhelming that they become a blur, we become numb, we get envious of and irritated at big mouths on bigger egos (like Bonds) and we harken back with nostalgia to simpler times and convince ourselves that "It was better back then."

This romanticism suggests to us that Ruth, because he played in a "better" time, must be the superior player to those players at the top echelon of baseball today.

I can't accept that without examining some facts of social history. Today, kids who show any inkling of aptitude are identified and nurtured and coached and taught in the hopes that they can rise to the top and become professional baseball players. And that is not just here in the U.S. It is also in Japan and Korea and the Caribbean and Latin America. Sure, kids who show more promise (height) in hoops are steered to focus more on basketball. Bigger-boned kids are channeled into football. Kids who can just run but don't show much in the way of size or strength are directed to soccer. Many of the kids who you believe are being diverted from baseball by other sports more than likely wouldn't have the same aptitude for success in pro baseball anyway.

My point is that kids who have the potential to succeed at baseball, not just those that already can throw the high heat or cream a curve ball over the fence, are identified and nurtured and have fewer obstacles on the road to realizing their potential than they did back then. For the vast majority of cases today, at age 12 or 13 (often younger) they aren't in the position of having to support their families through manual labor. They don't run the risk of dying or being crippled by influenza or polio, or getting hurt on the job they no longer have to work because this more prosperous country is able to provide for families who have lost a breadwinner (despite the best efforts of Tom DeLay). Today's kids probably won't catch measles or mumps or rubella. Ear infections generally won't leave them deaf. They probably won't get kicked by a horse. And if they have trouble seeing, they have access to glasses or contact lenses because there are professionally-trained optometrists with scientific instruments in virtually every town in America who can give them the EXACT prescription to give them 20-20 vision! And if the kid gets pink eye, they won't run the risk of going blind because we have antibiotics that are readily available and generally affordable. Rather, boys today are most likely to be injured from PLAYING COMPETITIVE SPORTS. And when they do get hurt, they have almost immediate access to medical attention whereby a broken bone generally will heal properly and allow a return to normal activity after a few weeks or at worst months, instead of the possibility of a debilitating disfigurement.

Again, I go back to the indisputable fact that today the United States is the richest, most prosperous nation that sits atop the globe like a colossus. The U.S. is almost immeasurably more prosperous and geometrically more populous and can afford to expend the heretofore unimaginable resources to have its best athletes devote considerable time and money on developing their abilities than was the case in, say, 1920. Baseball may have to share the spotlight with other sports, but this still does not diminish the overall increase in population, prosperity, opportunity and lack of obstacles to developing natural athletic ability and baseball aptitude.

kempsted
07-17-2003, 04:45 PM
The fact is this whole discussion is fun and all but completely unverifiable. There are no facts about which era was better only speculation. With that said here is some more ; )

You can point to all of the (somewhat exaggerated) social woos you want but many people suspect the talent pool is probably not as good now as it once was and that is not a good old day problem. The fact is there are twice as many teams now. If you think that the talent was EXACTLY the same between the best players now and the best players then (i.e. they were not better then), your hitters are facing worse pitching on average. If the talent is the same only half of the current major league pitchers would still be pitching. Take Bonds or anyone else and make them play against only the upper half, play fewer games and then you will be closer to comparing.

I am not saying Ruth was better than Bonds. It is just that you can run plenty of arguments both ways about which era is harder to play in.

brewcrew/chisox
07-17-2003, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by kempsted


OK a couple of problems here. We have been mainly talking about baseball in the teens and 20's. That is NOT the great depression. The great depression was when the stock market crashed in 1929.[QUOTE]

Babe Ruth's last year as a Yankee was 1934. In 1935, at the age of forty, he announced that his playing days were through and that he wanted to become a manager.

Although there have been posts here quoting MLB salaries up until the mid 1950's

[/B][QUOTE]
The other problem is every baseball player in MLB made better money than the average American. It was not a risky career choice. In fact I doubt anyone then or now sits around saying - well I could make it in the majors but .... People play baseball, if they are good enough they keep playing it. That was even more before. [/B]


Look, I'm not saying that a MLB baseball player didn't make more money....and you're right, no one would sit down and say, "well, I could sit make the majors but". It would be stupid to think that 16 year old kid would think that way. However, you have to consider the socioeconmic factors involved that would prevent a kid from probably taking that chance....determine parental influence as well. I'm right with xil357 on this one, and I believe he/she has provided a number of valid examples here to prove his/her point (especially his/her last post).

Yes, one can not deny the power of ideology, but one has to see it from all sides, in it's attitude toward a national pastime, but also how it is constructed by the social and economic strains of a particular time as well. Regardless if one "lives and breathes" baseball, if the chances of opportunity are slimmer, one will have a more difficult time to succeed.

Again, as I said before, playing the sport as kids is not enough (which was what I was getting at with my soccer post). It's not enough that every kid on the block has a baseball glove. Talent needs to be cultivated along..There are years of training and yes, social providence involved here. We have to look even internationally, as former third world countries are becoming more Affluent, those opportunities to succeed (and I mean really succeed MLB style)in recreational activities become greater. There is just more opportunity for that to happen in this day and age. Again, xil357 has provided more than enough examples on this as well, I'm not going to repeat them.

brewcrew/chisox
07-17-2003, 05:19 PM
sorry, something went wrong with my las t post. I tried to respond to two quotes, and part of my reply went in the quote section.

D'Angelo F Death
07-17-2003, 06:08 PM
Lots of interesting talk here but very little of it addresses the core issue:
Namely, does Bonds overall accomplishments eclipse Ruth's?

Look:
Bonds is single season HR, OBP, SLG, and BB king.
Bonds could be career HR, BB, and RUNS king.
Bonds has 5 MVPs, two more than anyone else--ever, and is well on track for number 6 this year.
Bonds also has 500 (!!) stolen bases.
Bonds also has 8 gold gloves so he must be doing something right defensively.
Bonds probably should have two more MVPs than he does...in '91 his numbers killed Terry
Pendleton's, in '00 his numbers were better than Kent's.
That would be a total of 7 MVPs...maybe going on 8....

Yeah Ruth has him when it comes to postseason success, and yeah Ruth could pitch, which is ultracool, and Ruth clearly was more dominant in '20 & '21 than anyone else has ever been in the history of MLB.

But the league caught up to him...in a big way.

Check out
this: (http://www.baseballreference.com/awards/mvp_cya.shtml) (click the "V" to see voting by year)
And see how (in)frequently Ruth even placed in the top 10 in MVP voting.

Yeah there was no MVP in '20 & '21...which he would've won hands down...but check out what his contemporaries thought about him the rest of his career.

Bonds destroys him (and everyone else in the history of the game) in MVP voting! So never mind arguments about which league was stronger (though it seems obvious to me)...Bonds is wildly unpopular among media and players, and yet every freaking year he wins or comes close to winning the MVP. He's a baseball god and when he retires if we're honest we'll admit that he was our era's greatest by far.

D'Angelo F Death
07-17-2003, 06:22 PM
Anyway what I really want to say is that Bonds comparing himself to Ruth is no insult or outrage -- Bonds is right -- that's where he belongs -- in the inner circle pantheon with Ruth Cobb Wagner Mays Williams Hornsby Musial and about five other guys...he's been doing it since 1986 and he's still doing it today. Inner circle all-time great.

TornLabrum
07-17-2003, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by D'Angelo F Death
Lots of interesting talk here but very little of it addresses the core issue:
Namely, does Bonds overall accomplishments eclipse Ruth's?

Look:
Bonds is single season HR, OBP, SLG, and BB king.
Bonds could be career HR, BB, and RUNS king.
Bonds has 5 MVPs, two more than anyone else--ever, and is well on track for number 6 this year.
Bonds also has 500 (!!) stolen bases.
Bonds also has 8 gold gloves so he must be doing something right defensively.
Bonds probably should have two more MVPs than he does...in '91 his numbers killed Terry
Pendleton's, in '00 his numbers were better than Kent's.
That would be a total of 7 MVPs...maybe going on 8....

Yeah Ruth has him when it comes to postseason success, and yeah Ruth could pitch, which is ultracool, and Ruth clearly was more dominant in '20 & '21 than anyone else has ever been in the history of MLB.

But the league caught up to him...in a big way.

Check out
this: (http://www.baseballreference.com/awards/mvp_cya.shtml) (click the "V" to see voting by year)
And see how (in)frequently Ruth even placed in the top 10 in MVP voting.

Yeah there was no MVP in '20 & '21...which he would've won hands down...but check out what his contemporaries thought about him the rest of his career.

Bonds destroys him (and everyone else in the history of the game) in MVP voting! So never mind arguments about which league was stronger (though it seems obvious to me)...Bonds is wildly unpopular among media and players, and yet every freaking year he wins or comes close to winning the MVP. He's a baseball god and when he retires if we're honest we'll admit that he was our era's greatest by far.

You forgot to mention one thing. Back in the early incarnation of the MVP award in the '20s and '30s you could only win once. You will note that Ruth's name does not even appear as receving votes in subsequent years.

So what does it prove? That Ruth was definitely regarded as the most valuable player of his era since he received the first award.

StepsInSC
07-17-2003, 09:57 PM
Originally posted by Procol Harum

As for the international level I stand by my statement that baseball is on the decline in many of the nations where it has previously been popular--Japan in particular. Maybe the U.S. success of Ichiro and others will change that. However, the fact that Maggs and Geoff Jenkins have achieved success in MLB is hardly indicative of raging "Baseball Fever" in Latin America or Australia. What is better now for MLB is the easing of racial prejudice of various stripes and a better scouting system that is capable of finding--and signing and promoting-- the international talent that is out there--talent which can benefit from the same training and diet advantages of which modern day American players avail themselves.

Baseball in Japan is declining in popularity? Could have fooled me. Baseball over here is still by far the most popular team sport. In the 3 months Ive been over here all anyone talks about is baseball, only being 20 I can`t say for sure, but I imagine its similar to the olden days of America when baseball was THE sport. Soccer is popular but cant compare. Every game I`ve been to while here is packed with rabid, crazy fans. Everyone on the streets can talk about baseball for hours it seems.
Ichiro, Matsui, and the likes of them…arn`t really helping the game popularity wise, but not that they`re hurting it. They were just as insanely popular before they left for the states as they are now. I used to think that b/c of the likes of Nomo, and Ichiro that the MLB was becoming popular in Japan, but the Japanese don’t care about the MLB, just the Japanese in it. I had a chance to watch a tape of the All Star game, and the camera just follows Ichiro, Matsui, and Hasegawa the whole game…even if the pitcher is in the middle of pitching.
Baseball is in no trouble, at least as far as Japan is concerned.

voodoochile
07-17-2003, 10:49 PM
Originally posted by brewcrew/chisox
sorry, something went wrong with my las t post. I tried to respond to two quotes, and part of my reply went in the quote section.

click the check box at the bottom of each post and then click the button that has 2-checkmarks and the words "quote selected" at the very bottom of each page of the thread in question.

voodoochile
07-17-2003, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by StepsInSC
Baseball in Japan is declining in popularity? Could have fooled me. Baseball over here is still by far the most popular team sport. In the 3 months Ive been over here all anyone talks about is baseball, only being 20 I can`t say for sure, but I imagine its similar to the olden days of America when baseball was THE sport. Soccer is popular but cant compare. Every game I`ve been to while here is packed with rabid, crazy fans. Everyone on the streets can talk about baseball for hours it seems.
Ichiro, Matsui, and the likes of them…arn`t really helping the game popularity wise, but not that they`re hurting it. They were just as insanely popular before they left for the states as they are now. I used to think that b/c of the likes of Nomo, and Ichiro that the MLB was becoming popular in Japan, but the Japanese don’t care about the MLB, just the Japanese in it. I had a chance to watch a tape of the All Star game, and the camera just follows Ichiro, Matsui, and Hasegawa the whole game…even if the pitcher is in the middle of pitching.
Baseball is in no trouble, at least as far as Japan is concerned.

They were talking about this a bit over the AS break. People are starting to follow American baseball more and more. The Japanese teams aren't as popular as they once were.

Dadawg_77
07-17-2003, 10:59 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
They were talking about this a bit over the AS break. People are starting to follow American baseball more and more. The Japanese teams aren't as popular as they once were.

Voodoo that only proves Steps point, baseball is still popular whether it was home bred or abroad.

kempsted
07-17-2003, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by D'Angelo F Death
Anyway what I really want to say is that Bonds comparing himself to Ruth is no insult or outrage -- Bonds is right -- that's where he belongs -- in the inner circle pantheon with Ruth Cobb Wagner Mays Williams Hornsby Musial and about five other guys...he's been doing it since 1986 and he's still doing it today. Inner circle all-time great.

No one was insulted or thought it was an outrage that Bonds compared himself to Ruth. The problem is that he made the comment that Ruth was a nothing and we should stop talking about him.

TornLabrum
07-17-2003, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by kempsted
No one was insulted or thought it was an outrage that Bonds compared himself to Ruth. The problem is that he made the comment that Ruth was a nothing and we should stop talking about him.

Bonds out-Rickeyed Rickey "Today I am the greatest" Henderson with his idiotic remark.

StepsInSC
07-18-2003, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by voodoochile
They were talking about this a bit over the AS break. People are starting to follow American baseball more and more. The Japanese teams aren't as popular as they once were.

Thats the thing, they`re not actually following American baseball, just the Japanese players in it. If the Mariners win but Ichiro goes 0-4, then it will be on page 7 of the paper, if the Mariners lose but Ichiro goes 3-4 with with 3 runs and 2 SB, then he will be on the front page…and the score of the Mariners games will be along with him.
On a lot of news broadcasts…they don’t show the score of the Yankees and Mariners games, they just show how Ichiro and Matsui did.
Especially with the usually weak Hanshin Tigers having a superb season, Japanese baseball is still almost anyone talks about.

D'Angelo F Death
07-18-2003, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
You forgot to mention one thing. Back in the early incarnation of the MVP award in the '20s and '30s you could only win once. You will note that Ruth's name does not even appear as receving votes in subsequent years.

So what does it prove? That Ruth was definitely regarded as the most valuable player of his era since he received the first award.

Um....oops?

Well anyway Bonds is beyond belief. If his ego's a little carried away, it's no surprise...he's the 21st century Ted Williams.

SaltyPretzel
07-18-2003, 09:50 AM
The Ruth Museum is now ripping Bonds

Link (http://www.dailyherald.com/sports/sports_story.asp?intID=37820126)

Procol Harum
07-18-2003, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by StepsInSC

Baseball is in no trouble, at least as far as Japan is concerned.

For well over a decade Japanese baseball boosters have been reporting declining attendance and revenues for most teams, less participation and enthusiasm among the young, etc., etc. Perhaps the Ichiro & Friends enthusiasm will turn around the latter trend, but who knows about the former.

brewcrew/chisox
07-18-2003, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by Procol Harum


For well over a decade Japanese baseball boosters have been reporting declining attendance and revenues for most teams, less participation and enthusiasm among the young, etc., etc. Perhaps the Ichiro & Friends enthusiasm will turn around the latter trend, but who knows about the former.


I'm sorry, but I just can not believe this. 6 years ago, (gosh has it been that long?) I lived in Japan for two years. Baseball was, bar none, the most popular sport in the country....This was BEFORE Ichiro and Matsui. Since I've lived there, I've been back three times, and the sport still seemed to be booming, with the exception of last year because of the World Cup.

Where did you read this?

Procol Harum
07-19-2003, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by brewcrew/chisox
I'm sorry, but I just can not believe this. 6 years ago, (gosh has it been that long?) I lived in Japan for two years. Baseball was, bar none, the most popular sport in the country....This was BEFORE Ichiro and Matsui. Since I've lived there, I've been back three times, and the sport still seemed to be booming, with the exception of last year because of the World Cup.

Where did you read this?

Most popular sport still, I wouldn't doubt. The question is relative decline. As to sources, all I can say at this point is they were articles I read at some point within the past few years--ask an academic where he read something not directly related to his field?? Sheeessshhh--ask the cotton farmer where he saw a boll weevil. I'll see if I can do a search that will dredge something up for ya.

harwar
07-19-2003, 11:44 AM
I was in Shimonoseki around 80 or 81 and i remember 2 things.There was a big fight going on over whether the japanese should be allowed to hunt whales again and everyone seemed to love baseball.

koch44
07-20-2003, 01:29 AM
:tomatoaward

Whitesox029
07-21-2003, 11:19 PM
Yes, Barry, you have those things. But let's forget about the similarities, let's look at the differences:
Ruth played 154 games a season. You play 162.
Ruth played in the dead-ball era. You play in the time most notorious for hitting.
Ruth played with muscle. You play with muscle, + Amphetamines.
Ruth won his teams seven World Series Championships. You have none.
And the most undeniable thing that Ruth did better than you? He had a career ERA of 2.28, and a W-L record of 94-46. What's more, in 1915, he hit for a .315 average, plus he was 18-8 with a 2.44 ERA. Then in 1916, Babe Ruth led the league with 9 shutouts, led the league with a microscopic 1.75 ERA, and still hit .272.

Now, Barry Bonds, tell me you're better than Babe Ruth.

TornLabrum
07-22-2003, 12:06 AM
Originally posted by Whitesox029
Yes, Barry, you have those things. But let's forget about the similarities, let's look at the differences:
Ruth played 154 games a season. You play 162.
Ruth played in the dead-ball era. You play in the time most notorious for hitting.
Ruth played with muscle. You play with muscle, + Amphetamines.
Ruth won his teams seven World Series Championships. You have none.
And the most undeniable thing that Ruth did better than you? He had a career ERA of 2.28, and a W-L record of 94-46. What's more, in 1915, he hit for a .315 average, plus he was 18-8 with a 2.44 ERA. Then in 1916, Babe Ruth led the league with 9 shutouts, led the league with a microscopic 1.75 ERA, and still hit .272.

Now, Barry Bonds, tell me you're better than Babe Ruth.

You forgot the consecutive shutout innings in the World Series as a pitcher. (What was it? Something like 18 2/3?) I don't think Barry ever did that either?

D'Angelo F Death
07-22-2003, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by Whitesox029
Ruth played in the dead-ball era. You play in the time most notorious for hitting.

You really mean that? Ruth played in the greatest hitters era of all-time. In 1920 the ball was changed, and so was the game, and so were home run numbers - dramatically.

Bonds has only benefitted from the "Great Hitters Era" for the past few years. And that doesn't make his 5 MVP awards any less impressive.

Bonds also did not mention Ruth's pitching for God's sake.

He simply claimed that he thought he was the greatest left-handed hitter of all-time, and the amazing thing is that he might be correct. Or at worst, he's the the 3rd best, behind Ruth & Williams.

Ignore Bonds' greatness at your peril. If you're not old enough to remember Mays & Mantle, he's the best player you've ever seen.

Procol Harum
07-22-2003, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by D'Angelo F Death
Ignore Bonds' greatness at your peril. If you're not old enough to remember Mays & Mantle, he's the best player you've ever seen.

Perhaps in terms of raw talent and physical ability, but when it comes to heart, enthusiasm for the game, and the ability to raise his teammates' overall play (to say nothing of the feelings inspired in fans), he doesn't come close to either those two, or any number of others who've played the game in the last 40 years that I've been watching. Intangibles count for a great deal--Willie, Mickey, Hank, Clemente, Schmidt, Ripken, Yount and many others have Bonds beat all to Gehenna in those sorts of categories.

D'Angelo F Death
07-22-2003, 10:32 AM
How 'bout let's talk production and not pretend we can possibly gauge vagaries like "raising teammates' level of play" from our living rooms? On the field the man is a monster. Far beyond Ripken or Yount or even Schmidt & Brett.

I assume that helping your team win day after day is going to be the best thing you could do for your teammates' emotional states. Bonds' teams always win. And he always plays especially well in September. Lay on him for his lousy postseason play, and you got me there. He's been no Brett in October. Except in Oct '02, that is.

I know the baseball media insists on telling me that GWYNN and RIPKEN and CLEMENTE were intagibling like mofos while BARRY and RICKEY and BELLE just made their teammates cry day after day but I can only believe what I see. And what we've all seen since about 1990 is that Bonds is the most productive player in the game.

P.S. --- Procol, where can I find that song that starts "She wandered thru the garden fence"? I know I should just go to Allmusic.com but I'm going to assume you know.

voodoochile
07-22-2003, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by D'Angelo F Death
How 'bout let's talk production and not pretend we can possibly gauge vagaries like "raising teammates' level of play" from our living rooms? On the field the man is a monster. Far beyond Ripken or Yount or even Schmidt & Brett.

I assume that helping your team win day after day is going to be the best thing you could do for your teammates' emotional states. Bonds' teams always win. And he always plays especially well in September. Lay on him for his lousy postseason play, and you got me there. He's been no Brett in October. Except in Oct '02, that is.

I know the baseball media insists on telling me that GWYNN and RIPKEN and CLEMENTE were intagibling like mofos while BARRY and RICKEY and BELLE just made their teammates cry day after day but I can only believe what I see. And what we've all seen since about 1990 is that Bonds is the most productive player in the game.

P.S. --- Procol, where can I find that song that starts "She wandered thru the garden fence"? I know I should just go to Allmusic.com but I'm going to assume you know.

Yep, Bonds is great. Doesn't excuse his comments on Ruth, who was even better.

Paulwny
07-22-2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by D'Angelo F Death
You really mean that? Ruth played in the greatest hitters era of all-time. In 1920 the ball was changed, and so was the game, and so were home run numbers - dramatically.



I don't know if the ball was juiced in 1927 when Ruth hit 60 hr's. That was 14% of all hr's in the league that year. Today a player would have to hit ~ 300 hr's to equal 14%.

Whitesox029
07-22-2003, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by D'Angelo F Death
You really mean that? Ruth played in the greatest hitters era of all-time.

Yes I do mean that. Babe Ruth hit 60 Home Runs in 1927, a record which stood for 34 years. When Roger Maris hit 61 homers in 1961, that record stood for 37 more years. Only two men hit 60 homers in the span from 1927-1997. (that's 70 years) From 1998-present (that's 5 years) three different men (unless I'm missing someone else) have hit 60 home runs, and two of them have hit 70.
Do you really think the 20's (1 incidence of 60 homers) were a better hitting era than 1995-present (at least 4 incidences of 60 homers, two of 70)?
Forgive me if some of the stats from 1995-present are wrong, My baseball encyclopedia doesn't go beyond '95.

D'Angelo F Death
07-22-2003, 02:20 PM
1920 is the year that's I've always heard described as the end of the Dead Ball Era. MLB had to get the public excited after the World Series unpleaseantness of the previous year.

And yeah I'll agree with the crazy assertion that Babe Ruth was better than Barry Bonds...and everyone else who's ever played. But cut Bonds some slack if he starts looking at the numbers and gets other ideas. 'Cause it just not that outlandish.

Talk about Bonds' ego all you want, but if you were rubbing your hands together in preparation for making the final push for the All-Time Home Run Record: hoo boy. I'd bet you'd have a bit of the big head too, no?

D'Angelo F Death
07-22-2003, 02:25 PM
As far as who played in a better hitters era, check this out.

League ERA:

1920, AL: 4.76
1921, AL: 5.12
1927, AL: 4.92
1930, AL: 5.41


1990, NL: 4.20
1994, NL: 4.62
1998, NL: 4.60
2002, NL: 4.45

Just a little sampling of their respective eras from baseballreference.com.

Procol Harum
07-22-2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by D'Angelo F Death
P.S. --- Procol, where can I find that song that starts "She wandered thru the garden fence"? I know I should just go to Allmusic.com but I'm going to assume you know.

Well, at least we can agree on this :) The song "She Wandered Through the Garden Fence" is on PH's debut, self-titled 1967 album along with such other worthies as "A Whiter Shade of Pale," the original version of "Conquistador," "Repent Walpurgis," and "Cerdes(Outside the Gates Of)."

D'Angelo F Death
07-22-2003, 03:09 PM
Thanks. That's a toe-tapper. E-bay here I come.

Whitesox029
07-22-2003, 03:18 PM
it appears that the numbers you ran off were not ERAs, they were runs per game averages. Check your columns more carefully next time.
While the correct ERAs from those years would further prove your point......
AL 1920-3.79
AL 1921-4.28
AL 1927-4.14
AL 1930-4.64

NL 1990-3.79
NL 1994-4.22
NL 1998-4.24
NL 2002-4.10
......Here are the Home Run totals for the leader in each year of the 20s and the ten year period of 1993-2002.
1920- Ruth, 54 NL Leader: Cy Williams, 15
1921- Ruth, 59 NL Leader: George Kelly, 23
1922- Rogers Hornsby, 42 AL Leader: Ken Williams, 39
1923- Ruth/Cy Williams, 41
1924- Ruth, 46 NL Leader: Jack Fournier 27
1925- Hornsby, 39 AL Leader: Bob Meusel, 33
1926- Ruth, 47 NL Leader: Hack Wilson, 21
1927- Ruth, 60 NL Leaders: Hack Wilson, Cy Williams, 30
1928- Ruth, 54 NL Leaders: Hack WIlson, Jim Bottomley, 31
1929- Ruth, 46 NL Leader: Chuck Klein, 43

1993- Barry Bonds/Juan Gonzalez, 46
1994- Matt Williams, 43 AL Leader: Ken Griffey Jr., 40
1995- Albert Belle, 50 NL Leader: Dante Bichette, 40
1996- Mark McGwire, 52 NL Leader: Andres Galarraga, 47
1997- Griffey, 56 NL Leader: Larry Walker, 49
1998- McGwire, 70 AL Leader: Griffey, 56 (not to mention shammy's 66 or whatever it was)
1999- McGwire, 65 AL Leader: Griffey, 48
2000- Sammy Sosa, 50 AL Leader: Troy Glaus, 47
2001- Bonds, 73 Al Leader: Alex Rodriguez, 52
2002- Rodriguez, 57 NL Leader: Sosa, 49

There we have 2 ten year periods. In 8 of 10 years of the 1920s, the Home Run Crown went to none other than Babe Ruth, with a tie one year. From '93- '02, Bonds won the home run crown but twice, also sharing it once. Thus showing that Ruth is either better than Barry Bonds, or that the competition wasn't as good (Either way it proves my point).
The final stat I have for you is that in the 20's, the total for the leader of the league not containing the champion exceeded 40 only once. In the past ten years, the leader from the other league has exceeded 40 every single year, and exceeded 50 twice.
Now that I have copied the entire baseballreference.com website onto this post, you see that Bonds provides no competition.

PS--It's interesting how you haven't denied the steriod accusation from my first post. It's also interesting how Bonds looked like Ray Durham when he came up with Pittsburgh, as did Mark McGwire in his early Oakland days, and Shammy with the Rangers and White Sox.

ScottySoxFan
07-22-2003, 03:33 PM
Here's an interesting column that supports Barry.

MSNBC Column (http://www.msnbc.com/news/941709.asp?0cv=CB20)

B. Diddy
07-22-2003, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by D'Angelo F Death
Ignore Bonds' greatness at your peril. If you're not old enough to remember Mays & Mantle, he's the best player you've ever seen.

Barry may be one of the most talented players I've ever seen, but he's far from the best. I'd group him with guys like Albert Belle and Juan Gonzalez: talented as hell, but no championships because he does nothing to elevate the level of play of his teammates. In fact, his teammates hate him.

And let's not mention the fact that, last season notwithstanding, Bonds chokes in the playoffs.

Bonds is Dan Marino to Ruth's Joe Montana.

D'Angelo F Death
07-22-2003, 04:59 PM
You're right, I did by mistake post runs/game numbers. Which are actually more indicative of the "Hitterishness" of the respective eras. It appears that there were a lot more unearned runs in the Ruth era than today...and clearly, Ruth's era was the higher-scoring one.

With regards to the HR numbers, well, we all know HRs ain't everything. Both Bonds' & Ruth's greatness lie in the fact that they produce runs in ridiculous numbers. By hook or by crook. Nevertheless Bonds is the single-season HR champ and number 4 (and climbing) all-time.

Steroid-user? Who knows. As long as MLB doesn't want to legislate against it, it's immaterial.

I don't buy any of this "Bonds is bad for his team" nonsense. Isn't winning a good thing? Isn't great offense and gold-glove defense and great baserunning the best thing you can have in a teammate?

Hell man don't try to sell me on the notion that Bonds is so noxious a human being that he's the reason JT Snow can't hit. The fact he's on base 52% of the time should help all his teammates hit.

Be fair, Bonds is way better than Juan Gonzalez. And Juan Gonzalez is pretty damn good.

voodoochile
07-22-2003, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by D'Angelo F Death
You're right, I did by mistake post runs/game numbers. Which are actually more indicative of the "Hitterishness" of the respective eras. It appears that there were a lot more unearned runs in the Ruth era than today...and clearly, Ruth's era was the higher-scoring one.

There are other differences. How many pitchers did teams carry in the '20's? I know that in 1906, the Sox pitched Ed Walsh on one days rest in the World Series. It isn't like today where specialty pitchers are common place and fresh pitchers enter the game 2 or more times late in the game almost every game.

Also factor in the defensive stuff. Have you seen the mitts those guys were playing with? Might as well have been a batting glove by today's standards.

Add in the fact that most players only spent the time between February and September actually concentrating on baseball and it changes the face of those numbers even further.

You cannot claim that the 20's were a better hitters era until you look at all the facts, IMO. Heck, even if the ball was juiced back then, it is nothing compared with the "cueballs" they are using today.

I remember reading a comment from Rod Beck a few years ago when the whole Juiced ball issue first surfaced. He said that when he came into the league (1990?) you could pinch the leather on a baseball slightly. Now, not at all. They also remove balls from games like it is going out of style. Hit the ball? take it out. They don't get any chance to get even a little soft, or scuffed so the pitcher can use it to his advantage. Back in the 20's they would go into the stands and retrieve the foulballs and give the fans a ticket for another game as payment, then reuse the balls.

So player stats may have been inflated back in the 20's because of many factors which would have led to more runs being scored, and today's hitters get to hit rock hard brand new baseballs all the time. The fact that RPG were higher in the 20's doesn't mean the ball was juiced. Meanwhile in 2003, the only excuse for the sudden surge in power numbers is harder baseballs and "supplements".

TornLabrum
07-22-2003, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
There are other differences. How many pitchers did teams carry in the '20's? I know that in 1906, the Sox pitched Ed Walsh on one days rest in the World Series. It isn't like today where specialty pitchers are common place and fresh pitchers enter the game 2 or more times late in the game almost every game.

Also factor in the defensive stuff. Have you seen the mitts those guys were playing with? Might as well have been a batting glove by today's standards.

Add in the fact that most players only spent the time between February and September actually concentrating on baseball and it changes the face of those numbers even further.

You cannot claim that the 20's were a better hitters era until you look at all the facts, IMO. Heck, even if the ball was juiced back then, it is nothing compared with the "cueballs" they are using today.

I remember reading a comment from Rod Beck a few years ago when the whole Juiced ball issue first surfaced. He said that when he came into the league (1990?) you could pinch the leather on a baseball slightly. Now, not at all. They also remove balls from games like it is going out of style. Hit the ball? take it out. They don't get any chance to get even a little soft, or scuffed so the pitcher can use it to his advantage. Back in the 20's they would go into the stands and retrieve the foulballs and give the fans a ticket for another game as payment, then reuse the balls.

So player stats may have been inflated back in the 20's because of many factors which would have led to more runs being scored, and today's hitters get to hit rock hard brand new baseballs all the time. The fact that RPG were higher in the 20's doesn't mean the ball was juiced. Meanwhile in 2003, the only excuse for the sudden surge in power numbers is harder baseballs and "supplements".

The ball that was used in the 1920s first came into use around 1912-1913 (I may be off by a year or so, and the two leagues changed balls a year apart. There was no particular juicing of the ball that I know of until 1930 when Hack Wilson and Bill Terry tore up the NL.

What did change in 1920 was the banning of defacing the ball for all but one designated pitcher on each team and the umpires being directed to change balls whenever a ball became too dirty. Before that only a few balls would be used in a game, and foul balls and home run balls had to be returned to the field of play by the fans. I have a book with a newspaper article from 1908 which makes note of the rare, but not unheard of, fact that a ball was used in one major league game for all 9 innings.

Things got even tighter in 1920 after Ray Chapman was killed by a pitched ball from Carl Mays. It was thought that Chapman couldn't see the ball for two reasons. First, Mays threw a with a submarine delivery that came from so low that it was described as one in which his knuckles nearly scraped the ground. The other is that Mays was notorious for scuffing up the ball. So after that incident (which was in August, iirc), umpires checked the balls even more closely. This practice continues to this day.

D'Angelo F Death
07-22-2003, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile

You cannot claim that the 20's were a better hitters era until you look at all the facts, IMO.

The fact that more runs were scored per game seems to be the most germane fact to me.

Yeah there's about a hundred different things that are dramatically different about baseball today versus the way it was when Ruth ruled the universe. Which is why the best way to analyze exactly how good someone is is to compare him against his contemporaries. Everyone from Bonds to Rey Sanchez is hitting against these "pinchless" baseballs, right?

Bonds rank in Adjusted OPS+, by year, since 1990:
90: 1
91: 1
92: 1
93: 1
94: 3
95: 2
96: 3
97: 3
98: 2
99: (not enough AB to qualify, but would've been 4)
00: 1
01: 1
02: 1
03: 1

By any measure, that's off the charts insane. Ruth tops it though, from '18 to '31 he led the league 13 times...but Bonds hangs close.

StepsInSC
07-22-2003, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by B. Diddy
Barry may be one of the most talented players I've ever seen, but he's far from the best. I'd group him with guys like Albert Belle and Juan Gonzalez: talented as hell, but no championships because he does nothing to elevate the level of play of his teammates. In fact, his teammates hate him.

And let's not mention the fact that, last season notwithstanding, Bonds chokes in the playoffs.

Bonds is Dan Marino to Ruth's Joe Montana.

Oh come on gimme a break, can you honestly compare the teams that Ruth and Bonds played with, respectively, and say that its Bonds` fault he has no championship rings? Look who else Ruth played with. Sheesh.

And until you are a teammate of his, Im not buying into the whole his teammates hate him BS. Yea, he and Kent may have argued, but do you remember how awsome Kent was when he was batting 3rd last year in front of Barry? And your telling me he doesnt elevate the play of his teammates? Cmon. And anyways putting anyone in the same sentence as Albert Belle is a disgrace, Belle was a rage a holic, theres a difference between violently accosting players and fans, and being egotisitical.

Whitesox029
07-26-2003, 12:18 AM
Barry Bonds has accomplished a lot during his career, and the numbers all point to his at least being equal to the Babe, but that's not the only issue. The only time Babe Ruth ever refused an autograph to a youngster was at the funeral of Lou Gehrig, an understandable time to do so. I can't prove anything, but given Bonds' overly large head, don't you think he might have refused autographs more than once? An issue just as big as the stats is what kind of person each man was. Baseball is just a game. When judgement day comes, (excuse my religiousness or political incorrectness or whatever) God won't look at their career homeruns, he'll look at their lives as people.

Now I'll go back to being superficial--As far as the greatest left handed hitter, I've seen in this thread Ruth, Williams, and Bonds mentioned. This is nothing against Teddy Williams, since I greatly admire him, but since you said it yourself, D'Angelo, that homers aren't everything, why isn't Ty Cobb the greatest lefthanded hitter of all time? The man hit .367 over a span of 24 years. That's the best average for a legitimate career of all time (He also has the most career runs scored).

TornLabrum
07-26-2003, 01:57 AM
Originally posted by Whitesox029
Barry Bonds has accomplished a lot during his career, and the numbers all point to his at least being equal to the Babe...

I'm so glad you chose to avoid any hyperbole.

The only time Babe Ruth ever refused an autograph to a youngster was at the funeral of Lou Gehrig, an understandable time to do so.

The only time? I'd love to know how you came upon that bit of knowledge. If it is true, I can say one thing about it. Most kids who got autographs then looked at them as having something to remind them of a hero. Now they're an investment.

I can't prove anything, but given Bonds' overly large head, don't you think he might have refused autographs more than once? An issue just as big as the stats is what kind of person each man was. Baseball is just a game. When judgement day comes, (excuse my religiousness or political incorrectness or whatever) God won't look at their career homeruns, he'll look at their lives as people.

I don't know about the political incorrectness, but it seems to me you're basing everything you say here on preconceptions. I don't know if Barry Bonds ever refused an autograph, and I don't know if Babe Ruth ever did either. sounds like you're doing the judging here rather than waiting for God to do it.

Now I'll go back to being superficial--As far as the greatest left handed hitter, I've seen in this thread Ruth, Williams, and Bonds mentioned. This is nothing against Teddy Williams, since I greatly admire him, but since you said it yourself, D'Angelo, that homers aren't everything, why isn't Ty Cobb the greatest lefthanded hitter of all time? The man hit .367 over a span of 24 years. That's the best average for a legitimate career of all time (He also has the most career runs scored).

Babe Ruth is by far the best lefthanded hitter of all time with an OPS of 1.164. His lifetime BA was "only" .342, but he did manage to get on base 47.4% of the time. He drove in 2213 runs, and was so feared that he walked 2056 times, many of them with Lou Gehrig in the on deck circle. Most of these offensive statistics were compiled after he spent 4 seasons primarily as a pitcher, so really most of his offensive stats were compiled over about 17 years.

Cobb did hit .366 (or .367 depending on which set of stats you believe, but his OPS was .945. Far lower than Ruth. He got on base less than Ruth (.433) and of course didn't hit all those home runs. He "only" had 1937 RBI, well short of what Ruth managed, in a longer career.

Williams is still the best lefthanded hitter I've ever seen. His OPS was 1.117, still short of Ruths, but he hit 521 HR in a career that was shortened by close to 5 years due to his military service. His batting average of .344 is right up there with the greats, and like Ruth he walked over 2000 times (2019).

Looking at extra base hits, Ruth had 1356 (including 714 home runs), Cobb had only 1136 (including 117 HR) and Williams had 1297 (including his 521 HR). Since I don't call stolen bases a batting statistic, Cobb does not rank with either of them.

Going into this season, Bonds had an OPS of 1.023 which puts him ahead of Cobb. Right now he has 1247 extra base hits (including 646 HR) which means he will catch Williams shortly and will very likely catch Ruth not long after. His OBP going into this season was .428, which is lower than Cobb's. His .295 BA is the worst of the lot, but coupled with the rest, he belongs up there.

I think you could make a good argument that as far as career statistics go for lefthanded batters, you'd have to rank them in the order Ruth, Williams, Bonds, Cobb.

D'Angelo F Death
07-28-2003, 10:04 AM
Cobb hangs with anyone. Duh.

You can't just say "Cobb's OPS was lower than Ruth's therefore Ruth was better." That way leads to madness.

Cobb's prime was during the dead-ball era, which he dominated. Led the league in Adjusted OPS+ 11 times, including 9 times in a row. Led the league in stolen bases 6 times. Was one of the best home run hitters of his time, too, finishing in the top 10 in the league 11 times. Cobb, Ruth, Williams, Gehrig, Musial...this is the company Bonds keeps.

TornLabrum
07-28-2003, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by D'Angelo F Death
Cobb hangs with anyone. Duh.

You can't just say "Cobb's OPS was lower than Ruth's therefore Ruth was better." That way leads to madness.

Cobb's prime was during the dead-ball era, which he dominated. Led the league in Adjusted OPS+ 11 times, including 9 times in a row. Led the league in stolen bases 6 times. Was one of the best home run hitters of his time, too, finishing in the top 10 in the league 11 times. Cobb, Ruth, Williams, Gehrig, Musial...this is the company Bonds keeps.

The cork-centered ball was introduced about 1911 or 1912 in the AL. That was the prime of Cobb's career. Interesting that you latched onto one point, ignoring the fact that Ruth had a higher OBP, due partly to more walks, more RBI, and more extra base hits.

So how is Cobb better? He had more hits and a higher BA, and while Cobb was a regular for 20 years (using 100 or more games as the criterion), playing an outfield position the entire time, and while stealing all those bases, he scored 2248 runs, while Ruth scored 2174 runs (78 less) playing in over 100 games in only 17 season. Think Ruth could have caught up with him if he'd played another four seasons in the outfield instead pitching?

In addition, you forgot to mention that Ruth led the league in adjusted OPS+ 13 years, consecultively, twice more than Cobb lifetime, four more years than Cobb's consecutive streak. Ruth's lifetime OPS+ leads the major leagues. As far as bonds goes, he is fourth in adjusted OPS+, which is where I ranked him among lefthanded hitters. He has led in that category 7 times through last season.

Whitesox029
08-02-2003, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum


The only time? I'd love to know how you came upon that bit of knowledge. If it is true, I can say one thing about it. Most kids who got autographs then looked at them as having something to remind them of a hero. Now they're an investment. [/B]

It's amusing for me to think of an 8 year old saying to his father "I want Barry Bonds autograph because it'll be a good investment for me in the future."
I don't know about you, but among children the thinking always was and still is, "I want his autograph because he's my hero"


I don't know about the political incorrectness, but it seems to me you're basing everything you say here on preconceptions. I don't know if Barry Bonds ever refused an autograph, and I don't know if Babe Ruth ever did either. sounds like you're doing the judging here rather than waiting for God to do it.[/B]

I wasn't just talking about autographs here. I was also referring to, as I said before, Bonds' overly large head. If there is one thing that makes me absolutely and finally hate a person it is their being a blowhard who's full of himself/herself. (see the example set by Scammin Sham-ME Sosa, who swings for the fences with his team down 12 runs in the 9th).



As to Cobb, I was not saying he was the best, I was just putting his name in the air since everyone seemed to have forgotten about him in all the home run fever.

TornLabrum
08-02-2003, 11:31 PM
Originally posted by Whitesox029
It's amusing for me to think of an 8 year old saying to his father "I want Barry Bonds autograph because it'll be a good investment for me in the future."
I don't know about you, but among children the thinking always was and still is, "I want his autograph because he's my hero"

How about their dads?

As to Cobb, I was not saying he was the best, I was just putting his name in the air since everyone seemed to have forgotten about him in all the home run fever.

I take that as an admission that Ruth came out better than Cobb, even in the stats you chose to cite. The thing I found funny was how Bonds shot off his mouth about Ruth, obviously knowing nothing about Ruth's actual lifetime accomplishments. Of the lefthanded hitters we looked at, Bonds is third or fourth, depending on how you rank him vs. Cobb. He's nowhere near Ruth or Williams.

AsInWreck
08-04-2003, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
Another thought: Did Barry ever hit .625 in a World Series or hit more home runs than some teams in his league?

Not to mention double the pre-Babe homerun record, which,correct me if i'm wrong, was 29.

AsInWreck
08-04-2003, 06:39 PM
And this is the guy who ripped Zambrano "trust me, the game will teach him respect." What a choad.

Whitesox029
08-05-2003, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
How about their dads?

I don't know about their Dads, but I believe I did say the only time he refused an autograph to a youngster was at Gehrig's funeral. Who knows how many autograph requests he had from adults, and how many he fulfilled, because let's face it, adults are less trustworthy.

Whitesox029
08-05-2003, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum

Things got even tighter in 1920 after Ray Chapman was killed by a pitched ball from Carl Mays. It was thought that Chapman couldn't see the ball for two reasons. First, Mays threw a with a submarine delivery that came from so low that it was described as one in which his knuckles nearly scraped the ground. The other is that Mays was notorious for scuffing up the ball. So after that incident (which was in August, iirc), umpires checked the balls even more closely. This practice continues to this day.

Wasn't this issue resolved for the most part when the batting helmet was invented? Couldn't we have continued the practice of using scuffed balls again after that innovation came into play? Could we resolve the whole issue entirely and make everyone happy by inventing a substance which would clean dirt off a baseball allowing it to continue in use? or is that too far-fetched?