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

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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

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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 […]

Sliding Billy Hamilton: The First Great Run Producer

Sliding Bill Hamilton

During the 1890s, “Sliding Billy” Hamilton drew fans by the thousands to watch his exploits on the baseball field. Hugh Nicol and Jim Fogarty, brilliant base runners, were about to retire, and along comes Hamilton to inject the next level of base running into the game. On offense, he was a one-man wrecking crew, wreaking […]

Down By Three: The Only 19th Century Grand Slam Walk-off Home Run…

An 18-year veteran, Roger Connor's career batting average was .316 and he slugged a nineteenth century record 138 home runs. Connor also led the League in fielding percentage for first basemen 4 times. He is a member of Cooperstown.

Roger Connor is the only 19th century player to ever hit a Grand Slam “walk-off” homer to win a game when his team was down by 3 runs. On September 10th, 1881, his team, Troy, was playing Worcester, when Connor, the Troy first baseman, a left-handed batter, came up against Lee Richmond, a star left-handed […]

Greatest Players of All-Time Series: First Basemen by Total Offense

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The following post represents Part Two in a presentation on the best First Basemen in the history of baseball. This list covers the greatest offensive players at the position. Part Three will list the best defensive performers at First Base.   #15 (2 tied): Orlando Cepeda Orlando Cepeda played first base for the San Francisco […]

History of Baseball: Greatest Players Series–First Basemen

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The following post starts a three part presentation on the best First Basemen of All-Time. Part One will show Total Player Rating on the top 13. Part Two will cover the best offensive players at the position. And, Part Three will list the best defensive performers at First Base. Lou Gehrig, one of the great […]

The Greatest Players: Total Offense #1 through #45

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This post ranks the 45 greatest players in the history of baseball based on their offensive performance. Forty of the players are described in previous posts covering Total Player Ratings; here, here, here and here. Five players not mentioned in those posts are described in further detail below.   #44 (two players are tied) Roger […]

History of Baseball: Greatest Players of All-Time Series (40-53)

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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 […]