Thursday, October 12, 2006

Baseball’s Greatest Living Player

With the passing of Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, there has been much discussion as to who now should be regarded as baseball’s greatest living retired player. Many favor Willie Mays or Henry Aaron. Don’t forget Stan Musial.

Mays certainly displayed the most exceptional range of skills. Aaron hit home runs and produced other big hits with amazing consistency. Musial was remarkable in the following: career averages and quantities, number of prodigious and star-type seasons, seasonal batting leaderships, MVP awards and second-place finishes, and impact on the times.

Both Mays and Aaron also were remarkable in the same areas of achievement, and superior to Musial in some of them. They had the advantage of 162-game schedules during more of their prime seasons. Musial’s advantage involves career averages and the seasonal leaderships.

In time, Barry Bonds may succeed to this distinction.

By the way, I always have ranked Musial ahead of DiMaggio and Williams. DiMaggio was the "big winner.” Williams had the most spectacular seasons. Musial’s career was longer and fuller, both in career quantities and number of star quality seasons. It wasn’t Williams’ fault he missed so much time to military service and injury, but Musial continued to excel and accumulate.
I wouldn’t object to a triumvirate.

Sam Reich, 10/06/06


Post a Comment

<< Home