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The Crimson King

Greatest Player You ever Saw Play

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So who is yours?

We had this discussion at Shea in the 80's when the same people showed up every day in their season seats. After about a 5 inning debate we settled on Willie Mays. There was one box that was not owned by a 
"regular" but rather by a Broadway  ticket agency so there were new folks most nights. An older fellow was sitting there listening to the whole debate without saying anything.  After we all agreed on Mays, he got up from his seat and tapped me on the shoulder and said "Well, that's all well and good kid, but you ain't never seen DiMaggio". Never forgot that

So again, who is yours?

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9 hours ago, The Crimson King said:

So who is yours?

We had this discussion at Shea in the 80's when the same people showed up every day in their season seats. After about a 5 inning debate we settled on Willie Mays. There was one box that was not owned by a 
"regular" but rather by a Broadway  ticket agency so there were new folks most nights. An older fellow was sitting there listening to the whole debate without saying anything.  After we all agreed on Mays, he got up from his seat and tapped me on the shoulder and said "Well, that's all well and good kid, but you ain't never seen DiMaggio". Never forgot that

So again, who is yours?

Jim Brown

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9 hours ago, The Crimson King said:

So who is yours?

We had this discussion at Shea in the 80's when the same people showed up every day in their season seats. After about a 5 inning debate we settled on Willie Mays. There was one box that was not owned by a 
"regular" but rather by a Broadway  ticket agency so there were new folks most nights. An older fellow was sitting there listening to the whole debate without saying anything.  After we all agreed on Mays, he got up from his seat and tapped me on the shoulder and said "Well, that's all well and good kid, but you ain't never seen DiMaggio". Never forgot that

So again, who is yours?

So, stop with the suspense.  Was the older fellow Joe DiMaggio? 

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1 hour ago, #27TheDominator said:

So, stop with the suspense.  Was the older fellow Joe DiMaggio? 

This was the 80's so it was just some guy who watched him play. Had to have been in person as there wasn't much TV when Joe D played

The memorable part was the way he said what he did, with a small shake of his head like "dumb young person doesn't know what's what"

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11 hours ago, The Crimson King said:

BTW:

Still sticking with Willie

 

Don't blame you. Willie was THE man.

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12 hours ago, The Crimson King said:

So who is yours?

We had this discussion at Shea in the 80's when the same people showed up every day in their season seats. After about a 5 inning debate we settled on Willie Mays. There was one box that was not owned by a 
"regular" but rather by a Broadway  ticket agency so there were new folks most nights. An older fellow was sitting there listening to the whole debate without saying anything.  After we all agreed on Mays, he got up from his seat and tapped me on the shoulder and said "Well, that's all well and good kid, but you ain't never seen DiMaggio". Never forgot that

So again, who is yours?

If you never saw DiMaggio play how could he be the greatest player you ever saw play ? Simple logic.

 

For me it was Sandy Koufax. Simply dominant, unhitable,  when he was on the mound. And he quit at the top of his game, 27-9 , 317 K's with a 1.74 ERA his last year... WOW !

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Baseball?

That's tough.   Barry Bonds was so good, even before steroids, he was hitting 300, on base over 400, winning Gold Gloves, winning MVPs, hit 30 HR and 50 SB in the same year,    Steroid Bonds was a video game, in an era where everyone was juicing, he was the king.  On base over 600, slugging over 800.

Griffey Jr. was another total package, amazing center fielder, power, average, all of it.  

Trout now is there, but I don't watch as much as I did, so it's tough to say.

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30 minutes ago, Thai Jet said:

If you never saw DiMaggio play how could he be the greatest player you ever saw play ? Simple logic.

 

For me it was Sandy Koufax. Simply dominant, unhitable,  when he was on the mound. And he quit at the top of his game, 27-9 , 317 K's with a 1.74 ERA his last year... WOW !

Not only did he have a 1.74, he had it over 320 innings in one season.   Blake Snell last year threw 180.

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Ken Griffey Jr. 

If I was alive to see the likes of Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio or Mays, I imagine my answer would be quite different. 

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I was a young kid when Jim Brown was wrapping up his career (way too soon) and in those days we didn’t get to see him play on tv unless it was against the Giants or a playoff game.

I’m going to go with OJ Simpson. I know why we all hate him now, but man he was one special football player.

Also on my list of “fun to watch:”

Lawrence Taylor is the defensive player I’d pick.

Dan Marino at QB

Dan Fouts and Air  Coreyell was fun. Staubach was also.

Two best defenses to watch were the Steelers circa early to mid 70s and that unreal ‘85 Bears team.

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2 hours ago, Thai Jet said:

If you never saw DiMaggio play how could he be the greatest player you ever saw play ? Simple logic.

 

For me it was Sandy Koufax. Simply dominant, unhitable,  when he was on the mound. And he quit at the top of his game, 27-9 , 317 K's with a 1.74 ERA his last year... WOW !

 

1 hour ago, chirorob said:

Baseball?

That's tough.   Barry Bonds was so good, even before steroids, he was hitting 300, on base over 400, winning Gold Gloves, winning MVPs, hit 30 HR and 50 SB in the same year,    Steroid Bonds was a video game, in an era where everyone was juicing, he was the king.  On base over 600, slugging over 800.

Griffey Jr. was another total package, amazing center fielder, power, average, all of it.  

Trout now is there, but I don't watch as much as I did, so it's tough to say.

I’ll agree with you two about Koufax. 

Dont forget though, it was such a different game back then. Juan Marichal wasn’t far behind Koufax. They were like beasts back then. I’m trying to remember a game, I want to say it was Warren Spahn vs Marichal. Both pitchers went the distance(!!!) 15 innings, 1-0 game. Amazing.

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Willie and Hank.  

Although I only saw Willie in person as a Met.

Saw Seaver, live, strike out 19 Padres, last 10 in a row. 

Longest homer I ever saw was Richie/Dick Allen.  Hit it about 20 rows into the parking lot at Shea. 

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Oh geez, Doc Gooden just arrested for cocaine but I have to put him up there with one of the greatest players I ever saw.

I've met Doc a few times, really really good and humble guy but this just sucks.  

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Is this meant to be in person? I saw Pedro pitch live at peak Pedro. CG SO. 16 Ks. Amazing. 

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1 hour ago, CrazyCarl40 said:

Is this meant to be in person? I saw Pedro pitch live at peak Pedro. CG SO. 16 Ks. Amazing. 

Randy Johnson 

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Willie Mays.  As a Giant.  

Saw him play at Candlestick against the Mets one year when I was out in SF as a kid with my family.  Probably about 1970.  Don't remember much about the game other than Mays having 3 or 4 hits, pretty sure he was a homer short of the cycle.  Probably was disappointed then because he beat the Mets.  But now, looking back, even though he was past his prime, I got to see Mays at his best; if just for one night.

 

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On 7/11/2019 at 11:05 PM, The Crimson King said:

BTW:

Still sticking with Willie

 

flashiest, for sure.  But also good.  he might be the best I ever saw. I have to think more about it.

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18 hours ago, Philc1 said:

Randy Johnson 

Peak Pedro vs Peak Randy vs Peak Maddux super tough.

Pedro in that stacked AL East, shutting down good hitting teams.   Randy for sheer intimidation.   Maddux didn't have the strikeouts, but over 5 season led the league in innings 5 straight times, led the league in ERA 3 times, and won 4 Cy Youngs with a 5th place finish the other year. 

If the goal of a starter is to throw innings and not give up runs, Mad Dog did that pretty damn well.

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8 hours ago, chirorob said:

Peak Pedro vs Peak Randy vs Peak Maddux super tough.

Pedro in that stacked AL East, shutting down good hitting teams.   Randy for sheer intimidation.   Maddux didn't have the strikeouts, but over 5 season led the league in innings 5 straight times, led the league in ERA 3 times, and won 4 Cy Youngs with a 5th place finish the other year. 

If the goal of a starter is to throw innings and not give up runs, Mad Dog did that pretty damn well.

Randy dominated in the steroid era.  Yes so did Pedro but hitters feared Randy

 

Maddox was great in the early 90’a which was his peak with the Cubs and Braves but that was before everyone and their brother in the mlb started using steroids.  Also, most mlb stadiums back then were still pitcher friendly football stadiums were guys would hit the ball 420 ft and it would be a flyball

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1 hour ago, Philc1 said:

Randy dominated in the steroid era.  Yes so did Pedro but hitters feared Randy

Maddox was great in the early 90’a which was his peak with the Cubs and Braves but that was before everyone and their brother in the mlb started using steroids.  Also, most mlb stadiums back then were still pitcher friendly football stadiums were guys would hit the ball 420 ft and it would be a flyball

Maddox won his last Cy Young in 95, Pedro won his 1st in 97, there wasn't that big a spread in there eras of dominance.   Regardless of the stadium, he threw the most innings, and had the best ERA, multiple times.   It's hard to win an ERA title, let alone lead the league in innings while doing it, he led the league in wins, innings, and ERA in back to back years.   Really, what more can a starter do?

2002 Randy won the quadruple crown.   Wins, innings, ERA, and strikeouts.   I also wouldn't be shocked if Randy was on something as well, when people hit their athletic prime at 38.   (I don't care about the steroids, everyone was on them and he dominated everyone).

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1 hour ago, chirorob said:

Maddox won his last Cy Young in 95, Pedro won his 1st in 97, there wasn't that big a spread in there eras of dominance.   Regardless of the stadium, he threw the most innings, and had the best ERA, multiple times.   It's hard to win an ERA title, let alone lead the league in innings while doing it, he led the league in wins, innings, and ERA in back to back years.   Really, what more can a starter do?

2002 Randy won the quadruple crown.   Wins, innings, ERA, and strikeouts.   I also wouldn't be shocked if Randy was on something as well, when people hit their athletic prime at 38.   (I don't care about the steroids, everyone was on them and he dominated everyone).

Dude there actually was a big difference between ‘95 and ‘97.  1998 was when McGwire and Sosa both beat Maris’s record and everyone in the mlb suddenly looked like they turned into the Incredible Hulk. 1996 Brady Anderson went from being just another leadoff hitter to hitting 50 hrs

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15 hours ago, jack48 said:

flashiest, for sure.  But also good.  he might be the best I ever saw. I have to think more about it.

So many guys from our generation are picking Willie. As great as the Say Hey Kid was, McCovey was always the guy who I hated to see come to the plate on the Giants. That guy flattened baseballs.

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22 minutes ago, 14 in Green said:

So many guys from our generation are picking Willie. As great as the Say Hey Kid was, McCovey was always the guy who I hated to see come to the plate on the Giants. That guy flattened baseballs.

I never saw Willie live, but everything I have ever read or seen in highlights, it wasn't just his hitting.   Great arm, all time great center fielder, literally just could do anything on a ball field.

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43 minutes ago, chirorob said:

I never saw Willie live, but everything I have ever read or seen in highlights, it wasn't just his hitting.   Great arm, all time great center fielder, literally just could do anything on a ball field.

Yeah, I never saw him play a lot, unless it was against or with the Mets. This was from around the early 60s til he retired. 

Obviously as a 5 or 6 year old I couldn’t appreciate a lot of what he was actually doing athletically as far as his fielding and running skills. By the time I could appreciate him a few years later, his skills were fading. He was still good, but McCovey was an intimidating slugger by that point. Plus he killed the Mets...

 

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7 hours ago, 14 in Green said:

So many guys from our generation are picking Willie. As great as the Say Hey Kid was, McCovey was always the guy who I hated to see come to the plate on the Giants. That guy flattened baseballs.

a more feared hitter. But the best player? I would say no.  One guy I would consider is Mickey Mantle.  Until he could not run well anymore he was a scary, exciting player, and pretty good from both sides. He was faster than Mays and had prodicious power.  I only saw Williams late, but he was a hitter primarily. Boy could he hit.  What is interesting is that I tend to go back to the 50s and 60s for the best players I have seen.  I have seen almost nothing of Trout, for instance.  But my favorite players seem to dwell in my youth

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5 hours ago, jack48 said:

a more feared hitter. But the best player? I would say no.  One guy I would consider is Mickey Mantle.  Until he could not run well anymore he was a scary, exciting player, and pretty good from both sides. He was faster than Mays and had prodicious power.  I only saw Williams late, but he was a hitter primarily. Boy could he hit.  What is interesting is that I tend to go back to the 50s and 60s for the best players I have seen.  I have seen almost nothing of Trout, for instance.  But my favorite players seem to dwell in my youth

 

5 hours ago, jack48 said:

a more feared hitter. But the best player? I would say no.  One guy I would consider is Mickey Mantle.  Until he could not run well anymore he was a scary, exciting player, and pretty good from both sides. He was faster than Mays and had prodicious power.  I only saw Williams late, but he was a hitter primarily. Boy could he hit.  What is interesting is that I tend to go back to the 50s and 60s for the best players I have seen.  I have seen almost nothing of Trout, for instance.  But my favorite players seem to dwell in my youth

I’m the same way as you with the older players, and not just with baseball, I’m that way with every sport.

i don’t know why either. Maybe because we were kids and we idolized those guys? We certainly didn’t have as many opportunities to watch them on all the different cable channels, yet if you were like me, you couldn’t wait to read about them in the sports section, lol.

I think expansion had an effect also. I remember as a kid knowing who played on the first 3 lines for each and every hockey team. The defensive duos also. The starting five of each NBA team, and every MLB teams starting lineup and PS.

Now, I’m lucky if I can name more then 2 or 3 players on a team, despite getting information overload from so many different sources.

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My first ever baseball game was as a kid in the late 90's, and the giants were in shea stadium. Therefore Barry Bonds was probably the best i've seen live. However, my favorite person I had ever watched was Derek Jeter, he was my role model as a kid. 

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First Pro game was in 1975 at Yankee Stadium  against Bhaston,  I was 9 don't really know, a few?

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Dr J for the Nets vs Spurs in ABA playoffs...   I was in 3rd grade

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sorry. didnt realize it was in teh baseball section.

 

 

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3 hours ago, 14 in Green said:

 

I’m the same way as you with the older players, and not just with baseball, I’m that way with every sport.

i don’t know why either. Maybe because we were kids and we idolized those guys? We certainly didn’t have as many opportunities to watch them on all the different cable channels, yet if you were like me, you couldn’t wait to read about them in the sports section, lol.

I think expansion had an effect also. I remember as a kid knowing who played on the first 3 lines for each and every hockey team. The defensive duos also. The starting five of each NBA team, and every MLB teams starting lineup and PS.

Now, I’m lucky if I can name more then 2 or 3 players on a team, despite getting information overload from so many different sources.

Me too. I think it is the kid thing myself.  Although watching entire teams gang tackle Jim Brown sold me on him.  And I just think a healthy Mickey Mantle would probably tear the league apart. He was a physical speciment back then (even though he abused it terribly) That home run in D. C. still sticks with me.  He hit a lot of homers to those huge gaps in old Yankee Stadium.   and I am a Mets fan.

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11 hours ago, jack48 said:

a more feared hitter. But the best player? I would say no.  One guy I would consider is Mickey Mantle.  Until he could not run well anymore he was a scary, exciting player, and pretty good from both sides. He was faster than Mays and had prodicious power.  I only saw Williams late, but he was a hitter primarily. Boy could he hit.  What is interesting is that I tend to go back to the 50s and 60s for the best players I have seen.  I have seen almost nothing of Trout, for instance.  But my favorite players seem to dwell in my youth

Willie vs The Mick was the debate for decades.   People also forget, Willie doesn't lose 2 seasons for the war, he probably passes Babe Ruth in HR.

I read a ton on Mantle, by his own admission, Mays was a better defensive center fielder, Mantle just had such amazing speed that even if he didn't get a great break on the ball he could cover enormous ground.

Plus, being a center fielder then was a bit different.  May's "Catch" was in a stadium where dead center was 455 (the foul poles were 279 and 260).   Mantle had to cover "Death Valley" a left center power alley of about 460 feet.

 

Polo.gif

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