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Mays vs Williams

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Mays vs Williams

Postby Tavish » Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:07 am

This is somewhat of a continuation of the Vote-Off thread.


Tavish wrote:
davidmarver wrote:
Tavish wrote:
davidmarver wrote:
Tavish wrote:
davidmarver wrote:Hey Tavish, why is Willie Mays on here, but not Ted Williams?


Because I try to keep the lists at 15 so people don't get bored by the time we are down to the last 5 or so. I left Cobb and Williams off so the list wouldn't be filled with baseball guys. The only one I'm upset I didn't put on the list (and I had every intention of him being there) was Ali.

I realize that, I was just wondering why you decided, then, to keep Mays instead of Williams, who I think would survive much better in this competition.


I figured it would be between Gretsky and Ruth and the rest were just side notes. Jordan is doing alot better than I expected. Not sure if you are comparing Mays and Williams in terms of popularity here at the Cafe or in skill. If you are talking skill I would take Mays anyday.

I was speaking in terms of skill. Mays' career OPS was .941. Williams' was 1.116, and he missed his years at age 24, 25, 26, 33, & 34. Mays with a glove and on the basepaths doesn't make up for the (huge) difference at the plate.


It more than makes up for the difference (which isn't nearly as huge as you make it out to be). I'll make a more detailed response in the Baseball History forum if you want to debate it some. You probably will have plenty to disagree with, Ted Williams doesn't even make my Top 10 Greatest Players. :-D


Some basic random info before I get into the breakdown.

My Top 15 Position Player List


<pre>Player Tavish James TSN SABR BB WARP3 WS OPS+
Ty Cobb 1 5 3 7 1 5 2 10
Willie Mays 2 3 2 8 4 3 6 20
Honus Wagner 3 2 10 10 2 7 4 30
Barry Bonds 4 16 23 47 11 2 3 3
Babe Ruth 5 1 1 1 3 1 1 1
Mickey Mantle 6 6 13 11 15 15 10 6
Stan Musial 7 9 8 5 13 6 8 16
Tris Speaker 8 10 19 16 8 8 7 17
Hank Aaron 9 11 4 4 16 4 5 23
Ted Williams 10 7 6 3 16 10 11 2
Rogers Hornsby 11 18 7 9 9 17 17 5
Lou Gehrig 12 13 5 2 10 21 19 4
Eddie Collins 13 16 17 34 12 9 9 69
Joe Morgan 14 14 44 25 42 14 16 ***
Frank Robinson 15 19 16 18 40 16 15 26
</pre>

James = Bill James Historical Abstract 2001
SABR = SABR member voting 1999
TSN = The Sporting News rankings 2005
BB = Bill Burgess SABR member 2006
WARP3 = Career WARP3 ranking as of 2005
WS = Career Win Shares ranking as of 2005
OPS+ = OPS+ Career rankings through 2005

James, SABR, TSN included pitchers in their rankings (I've removed them an adjusted their ranks to offensive players only). James, TSN, and Burgess included Negro League players in the list which I didn't factor out. The list is of course not any type of hard evidence, just a compiled list I have. The only voting list which has Williams ahead of Mays is the SABR voting. Maybe I found the only two SABR members (James and Burgess) who had Mays ahead.

Some stats next.
Last edited by Tavish on Sun Jun 11, 2006 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby CadensDad » Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:19 am

Wow, your putting alot of work into this, NICE job! ;-D
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Postby hwiggen » Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:26 am

I would take Mays over Williams in a heartbeat.
Imagine what kind of numbers Mays would have put up in Fenway.
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Postby teddy ballgame » Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:57 am

hwiggen wrote:I would take Mays over Williams in a heartbeat.
Imagine what kind of numbers Mays would have put up in Fenway.

I'd take Williams over Mays any day of the week. Imagine Williams numbers without a shift? Imagine Williams numbers with an extra 5 years during his prime that he did not get to play in?

He had a better HR/AB rate then Mays and Aaron, and would have definately been up there with them had he gotten those years back. 2nd all time in slugging, 7th in batting average (.406 anyone?), 1st all time OBP, and 1st for BB/PA.

Willie may have been a 5 tool player, but I'll still take Williams at the plate and in general any day. The way he hit, the book he wrote, everything is just amazing.

Not to mention, he's in the fishing hall of fame. }:-)
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Postby Tavish » Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:17 pm

teddy ballgame wrote:
hwiggen wrote:I would take Mays over Williams in a heartbeat.
Imagine what kind of numbers Mays would have put up in Fenway.

I'd take Williams over Mays any day of the week. Imagine Williams numbers without a shift? Imagine Williams numbers with an extra 5 years during his prime that he did not get to play in?


Imagine Williams numbers if he wasn't so stubborn and would hit the ball the opposite direction. Mays missed 2 prime years due to military service and another year because of racism where he sat on the bench.

He had a better HR/AB rate then Mays and Aaron, and would have definately been up there with them had he gotten those years back. 2nd all time in slugging, 7th in batting average (.406 anyone?), 1st all time OBP, and 1st for BB/PA.


Williams had better put up better offensive numbers than Aaron or Mays. He played in better hitters parks than both of them for his entire career and couldn't do anything else besides hit.

Willie may have been a 5 tool player, but I'll still take Williams at the plate and in general any day. The way he hit, the book he wrote, everything is just amazing.


I would take Williams at the plate as well. I woulod take Willie in every single other aspect of the game. And the difference between Ted and Willie at the plate is nowhere near as staggering as between Ted and Willie on the bases, with a glove, and with their arm.

Not to mention, he's in the fishing hall of fame. }:-)[/quote]
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Postby teddy ballgame » Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:30 pm

Tavish wrote:
teddy ballgame wrote:
hwiggen wrote:I would take Mays over Williams in a heartbeat.
Imagine what kind of numbers Mays would have put up in Fenway.

I'd take Williams over Mays any day of the week. Imagine Williams numbers without a shift? Imagine Williams numbers with an extra 5 years during his prime that he did not get to play in?


Imagine Williams numbers if he wasn't so stubborn and would hit the ball the opposite direction. Mays missed 2 prime years due to military service and another year because of racism where he sat on the bench.

Being stubborn is one thing, but who's to say he could have easily hit the other way every time? It's the same situation as Ortiz now. Yeah the left side of the field is open, but that doesn't mean that with the pitches he's getting he can just put it over there every time.

I'm looking at Mays career stats, and he missed some of his second year (age 21) and his would have been 3rd year (age 22). 21 and 22 are hardly prime.
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Postby Tavish » Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:56 pm

teddy ballgame wrote:I'm looking at Mays career stats, and he missed some of his second year (age 21) and his would have been 3rd year (age 22). 21 and 22 are hardly prime.


Mays after the war at 23/24 (hardly prime years also)

41 HR .345 BA 1.078 OPS 175 OPS+
51 HR .319 BA 1.059 OPS 176 OPS+

The same kind of offensive numbers that Williams put up the two years before the Korean War at age 33/34 and you want to give him credit for those 2 seasons missed as being "prime years".
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Postby Tavish » Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:04 pm

First set of stats: League Leading. My excel workbook has a bunch of the All-Time Greats in the list, I'll cut out most of them but leave a few in to show littel better comparison.


<pre>BA Mays Williams Cobb Wagner Bonds Ruth
1st 1 6 11 8 2 1
2nd 3 3 4 1 0 3
3rd 2 1 0 0 1 2
4th 0 1 1 2 1 1
5th 1 0 1 1 0 1
Top 5 7 11 17 12 4 8
Wgt 25 53 85 57 17 27

OBP Mays Williams Cobb Wagner Bonds Ruth
1st 2 12 7 4 8 10
2nd 1 0 4 1 3 2
3rd 2 0 3 1 0 1
4th 0 0 1 2 2 3
5th 5 0 1 2 1 0
Top 5 10 12 16 10 14 16
Wgt 27 72 70 37 65 77

SLG Mays Williams Cobb Wagner Bonds Ruth
1st 5 8 8 6 7 13
2nd 2 1 3 3 1 1
3rd 1 1 3 2 1 1
4th 2 2 1 0 3 0
5th 4 0 0 1 1 0
Top 5 14 12 15 12 13 15
Wgt 49 59 71 55 56 85

OPS Mays Williams Cobb Wagner Bonds Ruth
1st 5 9 10 8 9 13
2nd 3 2 4 1 2 1
3rd 2 2 1 1 3 1
4th 3 0 0 2 0 0
5th 1 0 0 0 0 0
Top 5 14 13 15 12 14 15
Wgt 55 68 79 59 71 85

RBI Mays Williams Cobb Wagner Bonds Ruth
1st 0 4 4 5 1 6
2nd 2 2 2 2 1 4
3rd 3 1 1 2 0 1
4th 3 1 0 3 4 2
5th 1 1 1 2 0 0
Top 5 9 9 8 14 6 13
Wgt 24 38 36 52 18 59

R Mays Williams Cobb Wagner Bonds Ruth
1st 2 6 5 2 1 8
2nd 6 1 3 2 3 2
3rd 3 2 2 2 6 0
4th 0 0 1 1 0 0
5th 0 1 1 1 1 1
Top 5 11 10 12 8 11 11
Wgt 45 47 51 29 37 57

HR Mays Williams Cobb Wagner Bonds Ruth
1st 4 4 1 0 2 12
2nd 1 2 3 2 5 3
3rd 3 2 1 0 1 1
4th 1 0 1 1 5 0
5th 1 0 1 2 0 0
Top 5 10 8 7 5 13 16
Wgt 40 38 24 12 45 87

Total 265 375 416 301 309 477</pre>

The number of years they finished at the listed spot in the league standings at the end of the season. Wgt is the weighted total of the finishes (6 for 1st, 4 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd. 2 for 4th, 1 for 5th) and the final total is the total of all weighted amounts.

Williams has a pretty big lead on Mays from the looks of things although about half of his lead comes from his OBP greatness. But when you look at the contemporaries of the two players you will see it was so much more difficult for Mays to make that Top 5 in any category simply because he was playing against a much higher level of competition.

Players with career OPS+ of 130 or better who played in the NL at the same time as Mays.

<pre>Musial 159
Allen 156
Aaron 155
Robinson 154
Kiner 149
McCovey 148
Stargell 147
Mathews 143
Howard 142
Snider 140
Cepeda 133
Williams 132
Carty 132
Morgan 132
Clemente 130
Bonds 130</pre>

And the same list for Williams

<pre>Mantle 172
Foxx 163
Greenberg 158
DiMaggio 155
Keller 152
Killebrew 143
Heath 139
Johnson 138
Rosen 137
Doby 136
Kaline 134
Henrich 132
Colavito 132
Minoso 130</pre>

HoF pitchers from Mays career is a whos-who of pitchers.
Spahn
Roberts
Drysdale
Gibson
Koufax
Marichal
Perry
Carlton
Neikro
Jenkins
Seaver
Sutton

HoF pitchers from Ted Williams career is a list of some excellent guys and a some Yankees.
Grove
Feller
Lyons
Gomez
Newhouser
Chandler
Lemon
Wynn
Ford
Bunning
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