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 […]

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”). […]

400 Hitters Don’t Always Win Titles

Ed Delahanty

In 1894, the Philadelphia Phillies claimed four .400 hitters, yet Boston’s Hugh Duffy won the batting title with a .440 clip. The four Phillies .400 hitters were batting race runner-up Tuck Turner at .418, followed by right fielder Sam Thompson and left fielder Ed Delahanty, each with .407, and center fielder Billy Hamilton with .404. […]

Top RBI Seasons of All Time

Hack Wilson

The top 3 RBI seasons are by the Chicago Cubs’ Hack Wilson in 1930 with 191, the New York Yankees’ Lou Gehrig in 1931 with 184, and the Detroit Tigers’ Hank Greenberg in 1937 with 183. Of the top 55 RBI seasons, only 2 are from the 19th century, and both years are by Hall […]

Most RBI Per 9 Innings

Big Sam Thompson

Samuel “Big Sam” Thompson holds the career record for most RBIs per 9 innings played. No one else is even close. For example, in 1895, he averaged 1.387 RBIs per 9 innings; in 1894, his average was 1.382; and, in 1887, his average was 1.307. His closest competitor was Hack Wilson in 1930 who averaged 1.232 […]

The Greatest Players: Total Offense #1 through #45

Papa-Bell-620

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 (1 to 14)

Honus Wagner

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 […]