LBJackal wrote: wkelly91 wrote:
Close, but no cigar!
1956 Willie Mays 36-40
1957 Willie Mays 35-38
1970 Tommy Harper 31-38
1975 Mike Schmidt 38-29
1987 Eric Davis 37-50
1987 Juan Samuel 28-35
1995 Sammy Sosa 36-34
Willie Mays would dwarf Barry Bonds if he played in todays game.
You can't compare Mays and Bonds. Bonds is far and away the best player of his generation. How can you say somebody would be better than him? Even if Mays was the best player in his generation, that still puts him in the same class as Bonds. It's not like Mays was so much better than everybody else in baseball like Ruth was.
And 500/500 will NEVER be done again. Let alone 700/500 which Bonds will probably reach this season.
A few facts in Willie Mays defense:
1) Willie was a career .302 with a high of .347....he was no slouch hitter. In fact if he hadn't tried to hang on so long his average would have been higher.
2) Willie was no slouch in the walk department. He consistantly walked more than he struck out with a high of 112 total 1463.
3) Willie played in a dead ball era when you had homerun champions were routinely in the low to high 30's. Homeruns were MUCH harder to hit in the old ball parks with outfields ranging from 440-500 feet. Todays parks are built to enhance the homerun total for marketing purposes.
4) Willie played in an era when there were (16 teams) versus the (30 teams today). Thus there were much better quality pitchers and fielders on each team making it harder to get hits.
5) The stolen base was not utilized during this era either. In the years leading up to Mays stealing 40 in 1956, league leaders were often in the low 20's. In 1956 when Mays stole 40 the next closest J.Gilliam had 21.
6) Willie also played in an era when travel was more difficult and training isn't as advanced.
7) Willie started his career not long after the racial color line was crossed and surely put up with a lot of stress related to bigotry.
8) Lastly, I hesitate to mention this and start a firestorm but.....If it is found that Bonds has been using steroids he isn't playing on the same field as any player who hasn't and all records are suspect.
Also I omitted Soriano and Vlad because I figured most were aware of them. I was just trying to make some aware of others from the past who displayed speed and power.