View Full Version : Rankings of Best Players in History of Baseball

07-22-2005, 06:37 PM
I just wanted to see what you guys think of some of Bill James' rankings of where some modern players rank among the best. I've noted some players that either a) still play today b) have played relatively recently c) have been a prominent player on the White Sox. Note that these rankings are based off of the 1999 season and before then, not any of the seasons up till 2005 because surely the rankings would change in that situation. Here is the list:
Top 100
16. Barry Bonds 75. Frank Thomas*
18. Eddie Collins 79. Mike Piazza
26. Rickey Henderson 80. Roberto Alomar
31. Mark McGwire 81. Tim Raines
35. Craig Biggio* 85. Minnie Minoso
45. Jeff Bagwell* 87. Ron Santo
48. Cal Ripken Jr. 92. Greg Maddux
49. Roger Clemens 93. Barry Larkin
66. Joe Jackson 97. Carton Fisk
73. Ken Griffey Jr.

First Base
3. Mark McGwire 21. Fred McGriff
4. Jeff Bagwell 32. Mark Grace
10. Frank Thomas 53. Jon Olerud
19. Rafael Palmeiro 72. John Kruk

Second Base
2. Eddie Collins 15. Nellie Fox
5. Craig Biggio 48. Jeff Kent
10. Roberto Alomar 67. Harold Reynolds

Third Base
6. Ron Santo 28. Chipper Jones
8. Paul Moliter 31. Edgar Martinez
22. Robin Ventura 70. Bill Melton

3. Cal Ripken Jr. 46. Julio Franco
6. Barry Larkin 61. Omar Vizquel
11. Luke Appling 74. Ozzie Guillen
13. Luis Aparicio 78. Buck Weaver
17. Alex Rodriguez

5. Mike Piazza 13. Ivan Rodriguez
6. Carlton Fisk 35. Ray Schalk

Left Field
3. Barry Bonds 20. Albert Belle
4. Rickey Henderson 54. Dusty Baker
6. Joe Jackson 62. George Bell
8. Tim Raines 94. Lou Pinella
10. Minnie Minoso 98. Dave Kingman

7. Ken Griffey Jr. 61. Marquis Grissom
37. Bernie Williams 67. Happy Felsch
41. Kenny Lofton

Right Field
36. Jose Canseco 52. Juan Gonzalez
42. Harold Baines 54. Gary Sheffield
45. Sammy Sosa 55. Larry Walker

11. Roger Clemens 49. Randy Johnson 60. Tom Glavine
14. Greg Maddux 50. Eddie Cicotte 73. Kevin Brown
29. Pedro Martinez 56. Red Faber 87. John Smoltz
43. Ted Lyons 59. Billy Pierce

*Today Bill James says he would put Thomas in top 50 because of 2000 and would put Bagwell and Biggio much much lower.

07-22-2005, 06:42 PM
John Kruk?

Mike Piazza #5

I don't think so. John Kruk anywhere is the top 100 is insane.

07-22-2005, 07:21 PM
81. Tim Raines
35. Craig Biggio*
87. Ron Santo

93. Barry Larkin

First Base
21. Fred McGriff
32. Mark Grace
53. Jon Olerud
72. John Kruk72. John Kruk
72. John Kruk72. John Kruk????????????????????
Second Base

5. Craig Biggio
67. Harold Reynolds67. Harold Reynolds
67. Harold Reynolds67. Harold Reynolds?????????????????
Third Base
6. Ron Santo


6. Barry Larkin

Left Field

54. Dusty Baker

8. Tim Raines

61. Marquis Grissom

:tealpolice: must be an ESPN ranking

07-23-2005, 02:46 AM
The only thing Krukkie should be in the top 100 of is hot dog eating. Other than that he is a waste of good oxygen. To include him in the top 1000 1B of all time would show Bill James is crazy. In the top 75 shows he needs to lay off the ESPN needle.

07-23-2005, 10:31 AM
Ron Santo ranks higher than Greg Maddux and Carlton Fisk???? You've got to be f-ing kidding me!

07-23-2005, 10:38 AM
I like reading this stuff as much as anyone, but I have one major problem with all of it.

Baseball is more a team sport than nearly every other major (American) sport. It is nearly impossible to rank a player perfectly aside from the teams he is/was playing with.

Nearly every individual accomplishment and statistic in baseball has some dependence on other players on the field. (Of course this is true with any sport, but baseball much more so).

I never read this particular ranking, and I do have a lot of respect for James. I hope he spent a lot of time trying to sift out the affect of other players.

07-23-2005, 05:11 PM
I'm ever so tired of Bill James and the stat geek thing. I actually like stats but this whole new wave of thinking is anal in the extreme. That being said if Oakland keeps streaking the pot here will be stirred once again.

Edit: I just noticed Billy Pierce is #59. Oh well, at least old Bill has more regard for him than the Veteran's Committee ever did.

07-23-2005, 05:43 PM
There are some real howlers on that list.

McGuire number 3? I guess this list isn't juice-discounted
Frank and Bagwell are similar offensive players (and born on the exact same day) , with Frank having the definite edge.

My guess is that if I really look hard, I can find 6 better 3rd basemen than Santo. Oh, what the hell, off the top of my head, just in my lifetime: Nettles, Brett, Schmidt, B. Robinson, Pete Rose, Robin Ventura, Terry Pendleton, Wade Boggs, Bill Madlock

Piazza the fifth best catcher? That's even more ridiculous. Hell, he isn't as good as his contemporaries I Rod and Charles Johnson.