Originally posted by HOOTIE
Now that i think about it, yea McGwires 5 hrs came not in a DH.
Not sure why Colbert declined early.
As to this maybe top 10 player, nothing rings a bell. Aaron never hit 3 in a game, Cobb wasn't a power hitter, nor Wagner. So that narrows it down to
Ruth, Gehrig, Mays, Mantle, Williams, Musial, Schmidt. Since Colbert was there, that narrows it down to Schmidt, Mays, Mantle. I never recall Mays
doing it. I know Schmidt had some huge days at Wrigley, so i will say Schmidt?
Cobb actually did hit 3 in one game, late in his career, with the live ball. The story goes that before that game, he said he was going to "try for
home runs" that day, just to show that he, too, could hit HR's like Ruth, if he wanted to debase himself by playing that mindless style of
But the answer to the question is:
who was either the greatest or second-greatest left fielder of all time, at least until Bonds did what he did. (Sorry, Rickey, I'm one of your
biggest fans, and I rate you well ahead of Yaz and the underrated Goslin, but you were no Stan the Man.)
For people who are too young, or too uninformed about baseball history, to know just how tremendous a player Musial was, here are some examples:
(1) In 1948, he had what is arguably the greatest season in baseball history not had by someone named Ruth or Bonds. He
led the league in batting average (.376), on-base (.450) and slugging (.702, back when a .700 slugging average was a huge feat). He led the league
with 135 runs scored, 230 hits, 429 total bases (the 6th best ever) and RBI's (131), and created a whopping 192 runs, which was 68 (!) more than the
next best (Mize). It's also the second-highest single-season Runs Created since WW II, trailing only You-Know-Who in 2001. An incredible season.
(2) For his career, Musial:
-----Led the league in Doubles EIGHT times, and his career total (725) is #3 all-time;
-----Led the league in Triples FIVE times, and his career total (177) is easily the highest since WWII, with only Clemente being in the same
-----Hit 475 HR's, which was the highest career total by someone who never won a HR crown, until Eddie Murray came along;
-----Racked up 1,951 career RBI's, the FIFTH best ever;
-----Scored 1,949 runs, the NINTH best ever;
-----Won SEVEN batting titles, SIX on-base titles and SIX slugging titles;
-----Won THREE MVP Awards, and, according to Bill James, did better than anyone else in MVP voting... until You-Know-Who;
-----Had excellent career on-base percentage (.417) and slugging percentage (.559) totals, surpassing Mays, Mantle and Aaron in the latter, and Mays
and Aaron in the former; AND, THE BIG STATS:
-----RANKS NUMBER TWO ALL TIME IN TOTAL BASES (6,134);
-----RANKS NUMBER TWO ALL TIME IN EXTRA-BASE HITS (1,377, behind only Aaron); AND
-----RANKS NUMBER THREE ALL TIME, BEHIND RUTH (#1) AND AARON (#2), IN RUNS CREATED.
Now, I know most baseball fans realize Stan Musial was a good, or even very good, player. But I strongly doubt that, 42-1/2 years after his
retirement, very many fans realize he was anywhere near THIS
great. He was a contemporary of Teddy Ballgame's, and he's been largely
forgotten or minimalized by a whole lotta people, because he's fallen into the shadows of Williams, Mays, Mantle and Aaron.
It is NOT an inescapable fact that ANY of those four men was a better player than Musial. I happen to believe that some of them were, but given all
of the above stats, and remembering the hellacious season Musial had at age 41 when I was a 9-year-old in 1962, my advocatorial skills would not be
hard-pressed at all to make an argument for Musial over any of those four guys, including Wilie Mays.
So those stats don't lie. Bill James rates Stan the Man as the #8 best player in MLB history. I say he was at LEAST that good.