Best Defensive Third Basemen

Best Defensive Third Basemen

It is important to remember that there are fewer third basemen in the Hall of Fame than any other position. The position has traditionally been looked at as a corner power-hitting place in the lineup. Therefore, trying to find a good power hitter who can also play defense is a challenging proposition. Most winning teams […]

Christy Mathewson: The Christian Gentleman

Christy Mathewson - The Christian Gentleman

Once, in the ninth inning of a game against the Cubs, the great Christy Mathewson looked into his fine-fielding catcher, the Californian Chief Meyers, for the sign. Suddenly, Meyers called “Time!”, jumped up and headed to the mound. “What’s the matter?”, asked Mathewson. “Skip wants a double-play ball,” responded Meyers. Mathewson glanced toward the dugout […]

Rube Waddell: The First American League Ace

Rube-Waddell-main

In the early part of the 20th century, baseball fans came out in droves to watch “Rube strike ’em out!” Yes, Rube Waddell was the new American League’s star pitcher. He was a flame-throwing strikeout ace–and he was really something to see. Before some games, he would paint, on the sidewalks and streets, “Come watch […]

Roger Connor: The First Giant

Roger Connor Cover

Roger Connor was the best first baseman in baseball during his 18 year career. He set a record for career home runs that was not broken until Babe Ruth broke it in 1921, 24 years later. What made Connor a star was his combination of power and superb fielding–an amazing balance on both sides of […]

Bill Lange: How Good Was He?

Bill-Lange

When asked about center fielder Bill Lange, A. H. Spink, founder of The Sporting News, responded, “Lange was Ty Cobb enlarged, fully great in speed, batting skill and baserunning.” Others agreed, only giving the nod to Buck Ewing as the greatest 19th century player because of his expertise at catcher. While Lange was widely acknowledged […]

David “Davy” Force: The Gold Glove

Davy Force

David “Davy” Force was not baseball’s first great short stop. Players such as Dickey Pearce and George Wright helped to develop the position in the 1860s and early 1870s. Yet, Force is clearly remembered as the first great defensive player at the position. He played on a number of teams for 19 years in the […]

UBTG DREAM TEAM BASEBALL POLL

UBTG Dream Team Baseball Poll

Recently, Ultimate Baseball The Game (UBTG) launched a “dream team” project, a Dream Team Baseball Poll designed to tally respondents’ favorite picks of all time at each position. I was asked to submit my all-time dream picks, and I decided to publish the following post in hopes of spurring some lively discussion. As many of […]

Monte Ward: Leader, Scholar and Athlete

Monte Ward

John Montgomery “Monte” Ward, all 5′ 9″ and 165 pounds of him, was one of the top pitchers of his generation. He was also one of the top shortstops of the 1880s and 1890s. And, he was one of the most influential “movers and shakers” in the history of baseball. As legends of baseball go, […]

Amos Rusie: The Pitcher Who Changed the Game

Amos Rusie Cover

Amos Rusie threw so hard, many fans swore they couldn’t see the ball when it left his hand. Experts believe he could “bring it” at 100mph–and that he routinely threw in the high 90s. His catcher, Dick Buckley, under his glove, placed a thin strip of lead covered in a handkerchief, and added a sponge […]

Big Sam Thompson: The First Great Clutch Hitter

Big Sam Thompson Main

In the 1880s, a new baseball star appeared on the horizon. He was 6′ 2 1/2″ tall and around 225 pounds, a pretty big fellow for his era, and his teammates, and the fans, called him “Big Sam”. Samuel Luther “Big Sam” Thompson was indeed a formidable force with a bat in his hands. He […]