Rube Waddell: The First American League Ace

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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 […]

Big Ed Delahanty: The First Five-Tool Player

Big Ed Delahanty

A sportswriter once called “Big Ed” Delahanty “a holy terror” at the plate. As 1890s pitcher Crazy Schmit once said, “When you pitch to Delahanty, you just want to shut your eyes, say a prayer and chuck the ball. The Lord only knows what’ll happen after that” (quoted from Louis P. Masur’s book, “Autumn Glory”). […]

Nap Lajoie: First Among AL Legends Of The Game

Napoleon Lajoie (1905)

“He glides to every ball–no one can hit anything past him,” exclaimed an opposing manager. Nap Lajoie was indeed one of the smoothest-fielding second basemen in history, as supremely proficient on defense as he was overpowering on offense. There has never been an American League second baseman rated higher than Lajoie. He was one of […]

The Best Defensive Second Basemen Of All Time

Best Defensive Second Basemen

The following post represents Part Three in a presentation of the best second basemen in the history of baseball. This list covers the greatest defensive performers at second base:   #9 (11 tied): Jerry Coleman Jerry Coleman played mostly as a second baseman for 9 years for the New York Yankees in the 1950s. He […]

Tris Speaker: The Grey Eagle

Tris Speaker

Tris Speaker is on most lists as one of the top 5 center fielders of all time. On many rankings, he is the top defensive center fielder, and he is generally evaluated as one of the top 6 position players ever. How did this sometime champion calf-roper achieve such a lofty status in baseball lore? […]

The Greatest Offensive Second Basemen

Rogers Hornsby, Sr. (1896-1963)

The following post represents Part Two in the presentation of the greatest second basemen. This post: Total Offense.     #14 (2 tied): Hub Collins Hub Collins, a second baseman, was a fearless base stealer, who played for almost 7 seasons for mostly Brooklyn of the National League between 1886 and 1892. He averaged over […]

Addie Joss: Standard of Excellence

Joss' career record of a 0.97 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) is the best in baseball history.

Addie Joss starred for the American League’s Cleveland franchise in the earlier part of the 20th century (1902-1910). Cleveland’s team name eventually became the Indians, and featured great players such as second baseman Nap Lajoie, left fielder “Shoeless Joe” Jackson and center fielder Tris Speaker. At about the dawn of the 1900s, a young man […]

Greatest Players of All-Time Series: The Second Basemen

Hornsby 620

The following post is part of a Three Part presentation on the greatest second basemen of All-Time. Part One will rate the players by Total Player Rating; Part Two will cover the offense, and Part Three will list the best defensive players. “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll […]

History of Baseball: Greatest Players of All-Time Series (28 to 39)

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The following post is part of an ongoing series taken from Paul Gillespie’s book, ALL-TIME GREATS OF BASEBALL: My Top Picks At Each Position. These lists include the greatest offensive and defensive players in the history of baseball, extracted from a database Paul developed for the lifetime composite ratings and skill sets of players from […]

History of Baseball: The Greatest Players of All-time Series

Cy Williams (1887-1974) was one of only three players born before 1900 to hit 200 homers in his career (Babe Ruth and Rogers Hornsby are the other two).

The philosopher Jacques Barzun had it right. He pointed out the necessity of learning baseball if one was to understand the essence of American culture. My grandfather once said that when America is excavated by archaeologists two thousand years in the future, it will be known for three main contributions to civilization… our form of […]