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In their prime . . .


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Babe Ruth. I can imagine Willie Mays, because he is in many ways the archetype of a great baseball player: defense, hitting, speed, love of playing - the whole archetype. We also have much more film footage. But Babe was just a freak. If you see him bat, he looks awkward - especially because most film footage we have is from when he was old. He was shaped weird, with a barrel torso and thin legs. 

I'd also have loved to watch Ted Williams bat, game after game. In my mind, he's the greatest pure hitter in baseball history.

 

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Babe Ruth, who hit more 500-foot home runs than any other player. I would especially have liked to see him in 1921 when he put up incredible numbers.

177 runs scored (still a record), 59 home runs, 168 RBI, 145 walks, .512 OBP, 1.359 OPS, and an all-time record of 457 total bases.

I also want to get this book:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Year_Babe_Ruth_Hit_104_Home_Runs

 

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39 minutes ago, fan_since79 said:

Babe Ruth, who hit more 500-foot home runs than any other player. I would especially have liked to see him in 1921 when he put up incredible numbers.

177 runs scored (still a record), 59 home runs, 168 RBI, 145 walks, .512 OBP, 1.359 OPS, and an all-time record of 457 total bases.

I also want to get this book:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Year_Babe_Ruth_Hit_104_Home_Runs

 

I like to see the ball come off the tree trunk bat.  The 1927 model with the notches carved after homers.

https://baseballhall.org/discover-more/stories/short-stops/a-notch-in-babes-bat

babe bat.jpg

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38 minutes ago, Taylor said:

If we're talking about who would be a better player in 2023, I think it's Willie Mays.

If you took 1954 Mays and 1927 Ruth and transported them both to 2023, I think you are correct. 

But if each player had been born in 1999 and was just entering his prime today, who knows? 

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The one player I wish I had seen live was Mickey Mantle. 

I did see Mays when I was young, at the very end of his career with the Mets. Not a pretty sight.  I do remember watching on TV when he was still very good, but past his prime. Those Giants teams were really good. Mays, McCovey, the Alou brothers, Marichal and so on. But they never won the World Series. 

Mays won once, 1954, with his famous catch the most iconic moment. But for the next decade and a half he was mostly on good to excellent teams that couldn't finish with a series win. In 1962 they were literally inches from winning, but Bobby Richardson somehow caught a scorching line drive from McCovey.

Back to the question.

Personally, Mays was more 'mortal' to me because I saw him on TV, followed the pennant races and recognized him as one of the best of his era. And his baseball card always sought after.

Ruth was way before my time, a mythological legend to a kid reading magazines and books about baseball. So in that sense I wish I had seen him play. 

And to me, a big part of the legend was all the World Series he won. Plus being a two way player in Boston. As well, hitting his 60 homers on the 1927 Yankees, one of the greatest teams in history, added more prestige. 

Today, with all the analytics and revisionism, Ruth's status can be critiqued more, and the pedestal tarnished a little. But not enough to change his status. 

Ruth was unique in his time. A true revolutionary. And he did to baseball what no one else had in terms of glamorizing it and drawing fans. His personality as well was a big factor. He was 'the man who built Yankee Stadium.' 

Mays had the better all around skill set and was arguably the best player in the game for some years. He was exciting, fun to watch and had an engaging personality. In all star games he was usually the most sought after player by the media. But he wasn't in the World Series enough over a very long career to add that extra but of status. And measure him under that pressure. 

I also would add that I'm glad I saw the Ohtani, Trout, Pujols trio in person a few times. In future history they will have their own unique status. Even though Pujols on the Angels  was well past his prime, his career will overshadow his last few seasons when the HOF has all three enshrined. 

 

 

 

 

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Ruth.  

In 1919, Babe Ruth broke baseball and it would never be the same.  He hit 29 hrs that year.  The next closest had 10.  The rest of his team had four.  Total.  FOUR.  And he pitched 133 innings with a 2.97 era.  

The next year he hit 54 home runs.  More than any other team.  

It's not that I think he'd do anything remotely close to that in the modern game because things have changed so much.  But he was that first fish to crawl onto land and start breathing air.  

It's not his raw numbers that are staggering but what he was doing compared to everyone else at the time.  It would literally be like if someone came along and started hitting 150 hrs a year.  

Shohei is amazing and we're all blessed to be able to see with our eyes how incredible it is.  But to me it's reasonable or at least possible that another player like shohei could exist in the game at some point.  

That doesn't exist for Babe.  

 

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11 hours ago, Docwaukee said:

 

It's not that I think he'd do anything remotely close to that in the modern game because things have changed so much.  But he was that first fish to crawl onto land and start breathing air.  

 

This is the best way to put it.

I seriously doubt he would have been anything close to what he was today, or even 50 years ago. 

But he absolutely changed the game. Almost what Jordan did for Basketball.

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Ruth on that 27 team.

Transporting to Yankee Stadium in 1927 and catching a Yankees game being aware of all the nostalgia and history that you're witnessing would be awesome.

Field of dreams!

Edited by REDneck
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