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All-Time great 1st Baseman

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Who was the best 1b?

Lou Gehrig
37
71%
Jimmie Foxx
6
12%
Hank Greenberg
2
4%
Mark McGwire
1
2%
Cap Anson
1
2%
Harmon Killebrew
1
2%
Johnny Mize
0
No votes
Willie McCovey
4
8%
Eddie Murray
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 52

Postby Arlo » Wed May 19, 2004 6:00 am

LCBOY wrote:I ask again, can you name five 1B in history that are clearly better than Bag Pipes?

Just thought I'd let DK answer this if you want to start another debate... ;-)

Anyway, it really depends on your definition of greatness, perhaps more than is the case for most other positions. But here are five who are ahead of Bags in my book:


Gehrig. We can probably agree on this one; Gehrig was simply so great on so many levels that it's hard to top him.

Leonard. As valuable to the Grays as Gehrig was to the Yankees, and often compared with the Iron Horse. Even if Negro League stats are both incomplete and difficult to compare with major league numbers, his .382 average against major-leaguers speaks volumes.

Brouthers. The best hitter, period, in baseball's first twenty years.

Anson, if we assume for a moment that character doesn't count. Anson was one of the very few players who truly changed the game. He'd probably rank among the elite on the strength of his baseball intelligence alone, but he was also the game's first true superstar. Unfortunately, he was also a scumbag.

Foxx. The words "the right-handed Babe Ruth" say it all.


Bags is certainly one of the all-time greats, but 1B is packed with legends. When you can list a top five without mentioning Greenberg (good post by Mookie, and I can see the arguments for ranking him at the top) or Sisler, that's a stacked position.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Wed May 19, 2004 10:07 am

ironman wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:
ironman wrote:
LCBOY wrote:
ironman wrote:If you were to base it totally on defense you'd have to give props to Steve Garvey and Donnie Baseball.

Anyway I gotta go with Gehrig.


Actually, Hal Chase, Kieth Hernandez, and J.T. Snow were better defensive 1B...


Lets look at the lifetime fielding %

Don Mattingly - .996
Steve Garvey - .996
J.T. Snow - .995
Keith Hernandez - .994
Hal Chase - .980

All those guys are good but I wouldn't necessarily say they were any better defensively.
I don't know who was better defensively but fielding % is a very poor measure of defensive abilities. It doesn't take range into account.


Fair Enough. Here they are ranked by Range Factor.

Chase - 10.60
Hernandez - 9.73
Garvey - 9.65
Mattingly - 9.33
Snow - 8.47
I think those together give a pretty accurate picture of their defensive abilities. The only other thing I would think to add but not sure where to find it is the number of throwing errors committed by infielders on their teams.

btw - When range is taken into account it shows just how good Snow is with the glove.
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Postby frog99 » Wed May 19, 2004 11:07 am

Pogotheostrich wrote:
ironman wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:
ironman wrote:
LCBOY wrote:
ironman wrote:If you were to base it totally on defense you'd have to give props to Steve Garvey and Donnie Baseball.

Anyway I gotta go with Gehrig.


Actually, Hal Chase, Kieth Hernandez, and J.T. Snow were better defensive 1B...


Lets look at the lifetime fielding %

Don Mattingly - .996
Steve Garvey - .996
J.T. Snow - .995
Keith Hernandez - .994
Hal Chase - .980

All those guys are good but I wouldn't necessarily say they were any better defensively.
I don't know who was better defensively but fielding % is a very poor measure of defensive abilities. It doesn't take range into account.


Fair Enough. Here they are ranked by Range Factor.

Chase - 10.60
Hernandez - 9.73
Garvey - 9.65
Mattingly - 9.33
Snow - 8.47
I think those together give a pretty accurate picture of their defensive abilities. The only other thing I would think to add but not sure where to find it is the number of throwing errors committed by infielders on their teams.

btw - When range is taken into account it shows just how good Snow is with the glove.



Range factor is a mute point for a first baseman since is main job is to catch the ball. Infact Bill James 2004 Handbook doesn't even have range Factor as a cat for 1st baseman. The number will be purely dependant on how many throws your feilders make to first, that is why 1st baseman have the highest rangefactor.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Wed May 19, 2004 11:30 am

I wouldn't say mute. It makes it less accurate than other positions, but I would argue that a good defensive 1B will have more put outs and assists than a poor one. Maybe a better gauge would be +/- RF vs. league avg RF for a 1B.
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Postby ironman » Thu May 20, 2004 2:46 pm

For the modern players, the typical league average for range factor at 1B has varied around 8.40-8.50. When Hal Chase played it was closer to 10.50.
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Postby ajgnydc722 » Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:31 pm

ironman wrote:If you were to base it totally on defense you'd have to give props to Steve Garvey and Donnie Baseball.

Anyway I gotta go with Gehrig.


Donnie. If only he hadn't been hurt the 2nd half of his career, he'd be on this list. :-°
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Postby LBJackal » Tue Jun 22, 2004 5:47 am

Mattingly had 4 great seasons.....6 good ones (including the 4 great ones). That's not enough to make the list IMO..........if those 6 were instead 12-15, yeah he'd have earned being on the list.
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Postby JDD » Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:44 pm

Garvey is underrated on offense nowadays.

Twenty homeruns used to be a lot.
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Postby LCBOY » Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:09 pm

After thinking aobut it, I fogot about Sadaharu Oh, the great first baseman for the Youmuri Giants. I would rank around 4th-6th all-time...
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Postby davidmarver » Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:40 am

Foxx.
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