CBSsportsline has been doing these polls where people vote on who was the best player at each position for the last couple of months. The problem is they set it up as a bracket with questionable rankings. It usually turned into a flame fest with one side stuffing the ballot box. I thought we could set up a poll and get some good discussions in the process. I didn't include any current players because I think we should wait for a player to finish his career before we compare them with the all-time greats. I included most HOF catchers but if anyone has any other suggestions let me know.
I think this discussion has to begin with a look at Josh Gibson. Comparing major leagues with one another is difficult enough, especially in the case of those playing in different eras, but with Gibson, we have to look at imperfect stats that don't translate easily and eyewitness accounts. Quite a few people consider Gibson to be among the elite, but was he the best ever? It's certainly possible...
I think this really comes down to Yogi, Gibson and Bench. Personally I think Bench was the best ever. He changed the way catcher is played and was a defensive wonder. Not to mention he swung a mean stick.
In terms of "career value" it is pretty obvious it's Yogi Berra. He played in 15 Worlds Series and won 10 World Championships. He won THREE MVPs, which is incredible considering he had Mickey Mantle as a teammate.
In terms of "peak value" it is probably between Bench, Piazza, and Gibson. It is very hard to determine Gibson's talent and performance since there is not a lot of stats, just stories. I'd probably pick Bench right now in terms of "peak value".
DK wrote:How could you forget Piazza, by far the greatest hitting catcher ever?
of your people, i say gibson.
The only "issue" with Gibson is that we don't have a lot of stats. We only have many anecdotal stories. We may be giving too much weight to these stories. He cetainly had tremenedous power but his career was a little short. I'll go research this further...