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  #1  
Old 01-31-2018, 06:40 PM
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Default GOAT of GOATs?

So there is a lot of GOAT talk these days. Brady, Federer, etc. But who is the greatest among all the GOATs? Although one could define it as the greatest athlete ever, I think that question would yield a great bias towards people's preferred sports. So I'm defining it a bit differently: who, in your opinion, in any endeavor generally recognized as a competitive sport (e.g., no chess), had the greatest margin of dominance in that sport?

Although a bit off the beaten path, my vote would go to Alexander Karelin, notwithstanding his one loss to Rulon Gardner. I think he went something like a decade without giving up a POINT.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:30 PM
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Have a feeling this thread will garner many different answers. I have to go with the great one, Wayne Gretzky! Almost 1000 career points ahead of #2 on the all-time list. That is total dominance!
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2018, 09:34 PM
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Thought provoking topic...I tend to think of Ruth though not simply in the superficial "tales of the Bambino" kind of way. I don't have the stats in front of me, but relative to his era, the numbers he amassed were unthinkable ---until he did it, of course. Here was a player hitting more home runs than multiple teams! One could go on and on about how historic his hitting prowess was. However, his dominance as a pitcher wasn't too shabby either. For his time, he was the total package. I will be interested to read other figures suggested in this thread.

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Old 01-31-2018, 09:51 PM
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Fedor Emelianenko is the GOAT. In a sport that even the best get beat he went 10 years and around 30 fights without a loss. The most impressive part is he did this as a heavyweight. With men that size all it takes is a single punch to stop anyone. Sadly like a lot of greats he is still fighting way past his prime and has been recently beat by guys that he would have destroyed during his amazing run as the "baddest man on the planet".
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:02 PM
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I'd have to agree with Robert that Ruth, in his earlier years, had power hitting skills that were head and shoulders above anyone in the game. In the negro leagues, Josh Gibson was also dominant in that category.

Sugar Ray Robinson was very close to being undefeated in the 40's and 50's. He started out 40-0, lost to Jake LaMotta, then proceeded to go 88-0 after that (I will admit I had to look that up ).
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:12 AM
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I'd go with Gretzky too. Ruth was incredible in his time but over time people have been able to surpass some of what he did, though in his time he was without question totally unmatched.

On the other hand Gretzky is not only the only NHL player with 2,000 points, he has nearly 3,000 points. He holds 61 NHL records and many of them will never be broken. Even today's greatest players don't come close to his single season stats.

Last edited by packs; 02-01-2018 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:48 AM
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Babe Ruth and Usain Bolt. Both were so far ahead of their peers it was crazy.

In the chart below, we see that Ruth accomplished the feat of outhomering teams ninety times, between the years of 1918 and 1933, not to mention besting pairs of teams eighteen times.

BABE RUTH HOME RUN TOTALS VS TEAMS:

TEAM COMPARISONS 1918-1933 HRs > AL > NL

. . .. Ruth.> AL> NL
1918.. 11.. 4.. 1
1919.. 29.. 4.. 6
1920.. 54.. 7.. 7
1921.. 59.. 5.. 3 (a)
1922.. 35.. 1.. 1
1923.. 41.. 2 (b).. 1
1924.. 46.. 5.. 3
1925.. 25.. 0.. 0
1926.. 47.. 5.. 4
1927.. 60.. 7.. 5
1928.. 54.. 4.. 3
1929.. 46.. 2 (c).. 2
1930.. 49.. 1.. 0
1931.. 46.. 3.. 3
1932.. 41.. 1.. 0
1933.. 34.. 0.. 0 (d)
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:10 AM
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Default The GOAT with the big balls

I proudly nominate Herb Dudley, hurling ace of the world famous Clearwater Bombers. From 1940-1958, the team had no peers in fast pitch softball. The team won 10 national championships and three times were unscored upon throughout the district, regional, state and national playoffs. Dudley and his teammates are well represented in the ASA Hall of Fame. Other Bombers have impressive careers as well, so picking Dudley was not an easy choice.

As for Dudley, he pitched for 41 years retiring at the age of 61. He recorded over 13,000 strikeouts and pitched over 100 no-hitters. Fast pitch softball in this era was often a low-scoring affair at the championship level. In 1949, in a 21 inning game in Oklahoma City, Dudley recorded 55 strikeouts. Move over Walter and Nolan.
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:30 AM
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A couple other possibilities,

Long distance cyclist Eileen Sheridan, who broke all the long distance and point to point records the English cycling organization had listed for women in the 1950's. And made a good run at breaking the 1000 mile record outright, falling a bit over 2 hours short of the mens record. Her record for 1000 miles stood for 48 years, and five of the place to place record still stand.
https://rouleur.cc/editorial/eileen-sheridan/

Or Beryl Burton, who won nearly everything, and set a record for 12 hours that still stands,277.25 miles and at the time was the record, being farther than the mens record, which was set the same day.

https://rouleur.cc/editorial/eileen-sheridan/

A better article, but pretty heavily infested with ads.
http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/la...h-legend-62824
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2018, 11:31 AM
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Ruth didnít play against a full talent pool.

Brady played at offensive era and cheats.

Jordan was the best basketball player Iíve ever seen.

I donít watch hockey but Wayne Gretzkyís numbers are ridiculous.

For me football needs a better all time great. I donít agree that it has to be a QB. I would pick jerry rice or lawerence taylor( very biase with the New York Giants)

Maybe we try GOATs by the decade. But for the sake of this goat of goats Iíll pick the Great one.

An a honorable mention to Benny Friedman.goat of his time
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:34 AM
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Ruth and Jordan are both excellent arguments.

Obviously the talent pool was smaller in Ruth's time, but mechanically the game was much different then, too.
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:53 PM
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Default Goat

Ruth was the first person that came to mind as well. We are talking about a player that hasn't been on the diamond in about 80 years and even people that don't follow baseball know the name Babe Ruth . ( will any of the others mentioned be held at this level after that many year?) I'm thinking most of us won't be around to see that outcome but would bet Ruth will still be regarded as a Legend. Not everything has to be about stats to be THE Goat!
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:41 PM
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By my definition I would not pick Ruth, because it isn't that long a way down from him to Cobb, Williams, Mays, etc.

I am surprised nobody has mentioned Phelps yet, or did I miss it.
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Old 02-03-2018, 05:57 AM
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Iím a bit surprised no one has mentioned Jim Thorpe yet. He could do it all, and overcame a lot of adversity in doing so.
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
So I'm defining it a bit differently: who, in your opinion, in any endeavor generally recognized as a competitive sport (e.g., no chess), had the greatest margin of dominance in that sport?
This is a very complicated thread and something only a guy like Peter would start (just playing with you, buddy.)

How do we measure dominance? Is it by focusing on statistics alone, or the number of awards, or the number of times the athlete helped his team get to the finals? There are so many different things to look at here. Also, let's not forget that certain positions get more attention in sports. For example, forwards get more love than defenders and goaltenders.

A lot of people consider Gretzky to be the GOAT of GOATS (or whatever you want to call it), but they all fail to see the big picture. Gretzky played on an amazing team and many of these guys made the NHL top 100 list, such as Messier, Kurri, Fuhr, Coffey, etc. Now here is something that rarely gets mentioned: after Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, the Oilers won another cup WITHOUT HIM. In other words, they proved to the hockey world that they didn't need Gretzky to be great. Furthermore, many of these guys went on to win cups with other teams. For example, Messier won with the New York Rangers and Paul Coffey with Pittsburgh. Gretzky never won the cup again.

Now let's take a look at Bobby Orr. In the 10 seasons he played with Boston - his career was a very short one - he won 8 consecutive Norris Trophies as the league's best defender and 3 consecutive Hart trophies. He is the only player in his position to win the Art Ross Trophy, and he did it twice. He took his team to the finals 3 times and won twice. He would would play insane defense, often dropping to his knees and taking punishment, and he was just as effective in the attacking zone. He had two seasons where he almost scored 40 goals, and towards the end his career, despite playing in a lot of pain, almost had 50 goals - we're talking about a DEFENDER here! The list goes on and on and those who saw him play consider him to be way better than Gretzky. I would take him and Gordie Howe over scrawny Gretzky.
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:07 PM
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Let's think outside the box. How about Secretariat?
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
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Let's think outside the box. How about Secretariat?
Was thinking the same thing and for a G O A T single moment in sports, when Bob Beamon broke the world`s record long jump by what, 1 and a half feet ? Breaking a record by that MUCH just can`t happen, but it did. Amazing
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Old 02-03-2018, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
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Let's think outside the box. How about Secretariat?
A legitimate case can be made for Man o' War. Secretariat actually lost five of his career starts (16 wins in 21 races). Man o' War lost only once in 21 career starts. He was so dominant that he was also forced to carry as much as 34 pounds more than other horses in the field. In the 1920 Stuyvesant Handicap, Man o' War went off at 1-100, which is believed to be a record for an American horse race.

In 1999, when many publications were doing greatest of the millennium polls, Man o'War often topped Secretariat, including the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated.

http://www.espn.com/sports/horse/news/story?id=247832

http://thoroughbred-racing.wikia.com...e_20th_Century
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Old 02-03-2018, 02:34 PM
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In terms of pure statistics, Wilt Chamberlain would get my vote. His 100 point game, and 50 point average for a season, are just two of his many unassailable achievements.
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Old 02-03-2018, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TUM301 View Post
Was thinking the same thing and for a G O A T single moment in sports, when Bob Beamon broke the world`s record long jump by what, 1 and a half feet ? Breaking a record by that MUCH just can`t happen, but it did. Amazing
Agreed as to a single event. He was so overcome when he saw the measurement he broke down and cried. I think in swimming Ledecky also obliterated some records by unheard of margins.

BTW I have confirmed, in a decade, nobody scored a point on Karelin. He remains my first choice. Phelps second. There is an old piece in SI that makes fascinating reading for those that care about such things. Karelin was no goon. He was a gentle giant of a man, an accomplished chess player, a student of the arts.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:04 AM
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Edwin Corley Moses (born August 31, 1955) is an American former track and field athlete who won gold medals in the 400 m hurdles at the 1976 and 1984 Olympics. Between 1977 and 1987, Moses won 107 consecutive finals (122 consecutive races) and set the world record in the event four times.
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Old 02-05-2018, 05:11 PM
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Edwin Corley Moses (born August 31, 1955) is an American former track and field athlete who won gold medals in the 400 m hurdles at the 1976 and 1984 Olympics. Between 1977 and 1987, Moses won 107 consecutive finals (122 consecutive races) and set the world record in the event four times.
That's amazing.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:32 AM
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Quote:
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Edwin Corley Moses (born August 31, 1955) is an American former track and field athlete who won gold medals in the 400 m hurdles at the 1976 and 1984 Olympics. Between 1977 and 1987, Moses won 107 consecutive finals (122 consecutive races) and set the world record in the event four times.
He would have won another Olympic gold medal in 1980 in Moscow if not for the U..S boycott (courtesy of Jimmy Carter). Edwin Moses was simply unbelievable........a machine.
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:53 PM
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Its too generic but true.

Ruth started as working class, unruly incorrigible kid without direction. His workaholic father sent him to St. Mary's to put a kick in his pants, but what he found was his talent in baseball.

Was a great pitcher for a few years and finally played outfield at the age of 24. Imagine his stats if he played outfield from day 1! But he was that good of a pitcher. Then he was a giant among boys, smashing all the records.

Add to it his love of kids (and women, hot dogs and beer...) and his stories of legend (called shot, drunk homerun, etc.)

His origins story, his play as both a pitcher and a batter, and his lore makes him the GOAT. tell me another athlete that has the whole package like that.
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:41 PM
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samosa4u View Post
This is a very complicated thread and something only a guy like Peter would start (just playing with you, buddy.)

How do we measure dominance? Is it by focusing on statistics alone, or the number of awards, or the number of times the athlete helped his team get to the finals? There are so many different things to look at here. Also, let's not forget that certain positions get more attention in sports. For example, forwards get more love than defenders and goaltenders.

A lot of people consider Gretzky to be the GOAT of GOATS (or whatever you want to call it), but they all fail to see the big picture. Gretzky played on an amazing team and many of these guys made the NHL top 100 list, such as Messier, Kurri, Fuhr, Coffey, etc. Now here is something that rarely gets mentioned: after Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, the Oilers won another cup WITHOUT HIM. In other words, they proved to the hockey world that they didn't need Gretzky to be great. Furthermore, many of these guys went on to win cups with other teams. For example, Messier won with the New York Rangers and Paul Coffey with Pittsburgh. Gretzky never won the cup again.

Now let's take a look at Bobby Orr. In the 10 seasons he played with Boston - his career was a very short one - he won 8 consecutive Norris Trophies as the league's best defender and 3 consecutive Hart trophies. He is the only player in his position to win the Art Ross Trophy, and he did it twice. He took his team to the finals 3 times and won twice. He would would play insane defense, often dropping to his knees and taking punishment, and he was just as effective in the attacking zone. He had two seasons where he almost scored 40 goals, and towards the end his career, despite playing in a lot of pain, almost had 50 goals - we're talking about a DEFENDER here! The list goes on and on and those who saw him play consider him to be way better than Gretzky. I would take him and Gordie Howe over scrawny Gretzky.
Not that it adds much to the eternal Gretzky v Orr debate, but I once heard Gordie Howe interviewed and he was asked if he could pick one of them to start a team, which would it be. He said Orr.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:14 AM
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Joe Davis the snooker player must have a shot at this. He was World Snooker Champion in 1927,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40, from 41-45 he was busy in Europe tending to other things, & 1946. In comparison he was pretty auwful at Billiards (trust you all know the difference) being World runner up in 1926,27 - World Champion in 1928,29,30,31,32 and finally runner up in 1933,34

So, World Champion 20 times and a runner up 4 times. I guess his trophy cabinet at home had at least 2 shelves ...I have numerous cards of Joe but no idea which is his first card. If you do let me know and I will bag a few.

Would be interested to learn of other WC's for 20 years or more. BTW, Joe's brother Fred, was WC in 1948,49 & 51 and was the only player ever to beat Joe off scratch (ie with no starting points advantage - usually great players would give 1,2,3,4 etc Black ball start to opponents. A black ball being worth 7 points eg 3 black start = 21 points and so on).
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:22 AM
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Wilt Chamberlain had sex with 20,000 women.

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Old 02-13-2018, 10:41 AM
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Joey Chestnut.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:10 PM
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While he was beaten a few times in the Olympics and World Championships over a 3 decade career, and others will have a different opinion, the greatest U.S. Weightlifter and the first to win four Olympic medals was the late Norbert Schemansky. He was very under appreciated, could not even get time off from work to compete in the Olympics, won a Gold over the Russian's and no one even came to the airport to greet him home. There is a great book entitled "Mr. Weightlifting" which tells his entire story. He recently passed away in 2016.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norbert_Schemansky
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:20 PM
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Joey Chestnut.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:31 PM
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Not my choice, but an interesting addition to the conversation is Donald Bradman in Cricket. I found the entry below on Wikipedia. Doesn't look like he took into account more than one statistic (i.e. HRs in baseball, rebounds in basketball, etc.) but a very impressive athlete.

Statistician Charles Davis analysed the statistics for several prominent sportsmen by comparing the number of standard deviations that they stand above the mean for their sport. The top performers in his selected sports are:

Standard
deviations

Bradman
Cricket
Batting average
4.4

Pelť
Association football
Goals per game
3.7

Ty Cobb
Baseball
Batting average
3.6

Jack Nicklaus
Golf
Major titles
3.5

Michael Jordan
Basketball
Points per game
3.4


The statistics show that "no other athlete dominates an international sport to the extent that Bradman does cricket". In order to post a similarly dominant career statistic as Bradman, a baseball batter would need a career batting average of .392, while a basketball player would need to score an average of 43.0 points per game. The respective records are .366 and 30.1.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:36 PM
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Did any of them change the way the entire sport played?

People emulated Jordan, but he didnt alter the game, like Babe did.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:13 PM
Johnny Ballgame Johnny Ballgame is offline
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Joe Davis the snooker player must have a shot at this. He was World Snooker Champion in 1927,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40, from 41-45 he was busy in Europe tending to other things, & 1946. In comparison he was pretty auwful at Billiards (trust you all know the difference) being World runner up in 1926,27 - World Champion in 1928,29,30,31,32 and finally runner up in 1933,34

So, World Champion 20 times and a runner up 4 times. I guess his trophy cabinet at home had at least 2 shelves ...I have numerous cards of Joe but no idea which is his first card. If you do let me know and I will bag a few.

Would be interested to learn of other WC's for 20 years or more. BTW, Joe's brother Fred, was WC in 1948,49 & 51 and was the only player ever to beat Joe off scratch (ie with no starting points advantage - usually great players would give 1,2,3,4 etc Black ball start to opponents. A black ball being worth 7 points eg 3 black start = 21 points and so on).
My guess on oldest card is the 1928 Churchman's (aka Men of the Moment series). I haven't seen anything older related to his earlier billiards career or his first title, though I've really only collected snooker items (mostly Joe/Fred Davis items and anything related to that "snooker plus" variant of the late '50s) for a few years.

I think if Joe hadn't elected to stop playing in the World Snooker Championship after 1946 he could've kept winning into the early '50s -- though I do think that Fred would eclipsed him at some point. It's incredible to think about how long the current final match is (best-of-35) and then compare it to the best-of-73 that Joe played in '41 (37-36 vs. Fred, though there were dead frames played after Joe got over the line) and the best-of-145 Joe played in his last title match in 1946. I'm not sure that Joe would've been able to sustain his performance in a best-of-145 against his younger brother. He had nothing else to prove, though, too, having been on top that long.

Fred Davis making the semifinal of the World Championship in 1978 as a 65-year-old is incredible. I'm not sure if there's anyone that can make a case for longevity like that in snooker or in most other sports.

Joe was essentially the face of snooker during his time, but that sport was only played at the top level by maybe 20 people in those 20 years. But he still had everyone's number. ... There are a few modern players (Davis, Hendry, O'Sullivan) that are ranked ahead of him in casual all-time rankings based on how competitive the game became after its explosion in popularity, even though they only have 7/6/5 titles, respectively. You can make the argument that Joe was so good that it affected the survivability of the sport as a whole, which I don't think you can make for many other athletes and is a good rubric for determining a G.O.A.T.

......

My GOAT vote is for Sir Donald Bradman, the cricketer. His career Test batting average defies statistics.

I remember Stephen Jay Gould ending an article by making a comparison of Joe Dimaggio's hit streak and the idea of cheating death repeatedly (it's a supreme outlier being about 25% longer than Keeler or Rose's streaks) ... but Bradman's Test average of 99.94 is 57% more than the second place batsman, and that's over a 20-year career. I'm hard-pressed to find even a counting stat in a sport where the margin between the all-time leader and second place is that great, let alone something like a rate stat. It's a larger difference than Rickey Henderson vs. Lou Brock in steals.

He was so good that he also threatened the survivability of his sport -- the bodyline tactic the English used against him (which was basically "throw at him and hope he defended himself with the cricket bat -- which could result in an out if he hit to a fielder) actually threatened diplomatic relations between Australia and Great Britain because of the fallout, and necessitated rules changes to reduce the effectiveness of bodyline. (I'm not sure that cricket ever put in rules to limit Bradman's effectiveness like you'd see in other sports, though.)

That's by far the most I've ever written about sports that aren't baseball. Ultimately I think it's all apples-and-oranges but it's fun to throw it out there.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:16 PM
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Not my choice, but an interesting addition to the conversation is Donald Bradman in Cricket.[/b]
We had the same idea at the same time -- I just got distracted by writing about Joe Davis. I should've thought of expressing it in standard deviations. Nice.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:48 PM
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We had the same idea at the same time -- I just got distracted by writing about Joe Davis. I should've thought of expressing it in standard deviations. Nice.
Ha! Just to be clear. The standard deviation math was not mine.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:33 AM
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By my definition I would not pick Ruth, because it isn't that long a way down from him to Cobb, Williams, Mays, etc.

I am surprised nobody has mentioned Phelps yet, or did I miss it.
Michael Phelps should be considered

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Old 02-14-2018, 05:47 PM
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Not a huge fan of the sport or the man, but Shaun White sure made a statement.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:04 PM
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Not a huge fan of the sport or the man, but Shaun White sure made a statement.
There are plenty of people that can be considered if you start throwing in sports with limited popularity and participation. I can think of Alexander Karelin, Lance Armstrong, Tony Hawk and Kelly Slater just off the top of my head. Not to mention Shaun White

Think if an athlete like Allen Iverson or Barry Sanders spent their whole life playing something like squash. No offense against the people who play some of the less popular sports, but I think you need to be in a sport that had at least some worldwide appeal to be in the discussion.
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:58 AM
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You couldn't stop Don Hutson. You could only hope to contain him.

Don Hutson, the greatest receiver in NFL history, did. He revolutionized the game as a vertical pass receiver. And, he dominated the game like no other player before or after. Jerry Rice, who is often (and incorrectly) referred to as the greatest receiver in NFL history, had peers, receivers who were as physically gifted as he was, who put up comparable numbers. Hutson had no peers. None. He played eleven seasons, and accomplished the receiver triple crown, leading the league in receptions, yards and touchdowns, in his seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth seasons. He did it five times, overall. Rice? He did it once in his twenty-one years played. Don't get me wrong, I think Rice was a fabulous player. I became a big Niners fan in the early Eighties because Joe Montana was their quarterback (we Gregorys are Fighting Irish fans), and Jerry Rice was one of my favorite players. But there were other receivers that were every bit as good as he was. Sterling Sharpe put up numbers that were just as good, and he didn't have Joe Montana or Steve Young throwing him the ball. He had the young, but talented Brett Favre before he became an NFL MVP. He had Don Majkowski during his one healthy, great season in 1989. The rest of the time, he was catching passes from Anthony Dilweg, Randy Wright, Blair Kiel and Mike Tomczak. The Packers had no running game, and no other receiving threat. Defenses knew that the ball was going to Sharpe, and they still couldn't stop him. His numbers were every bit as good as those put up by Jerry Rice. Then, there were guys like Herman Moore, Michael Irvin and Cris Carter.

Hutson's 99 TD receptions mark set in 1945 stood for forty-four years until the great Steve Largent broke his record. But Largent played fourteen seasons to Hutson's eleven, and, from his third season on, the league played sixteen games. NFL teams played eleven games in the Thirties and Forties. It took Largent 200 games to do what Hutson did in 116.

And since it's often brought up how great a pitcher Babe Ruth was, well, look at what Hutson did during his career besides dominating as a wide receiver (or, split end as the position was referred to). While Jerry Rice, Steve Largent, Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss et all were sitting on the sidelines relaxing, watching the defense, Hutson was playing left end, and defensive back. In addition to his 99 receiving touchdowns, he also intercepted thirty passes. That's one more than four-time All Pro cornerback Darrell Revis has in his eleven year career playing defensive back full time. Look at Don Hutson's 1942 season. He caught 74 passes for 1,211 yards (the first 1,000 yard season in NFL history) and 17 touchdowns. AND, he intercepted seven passes. Oh, and Hutson was also the Packers' kicker.

If we're talking absolute statistical dominance of a sport, there's Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Don Hutson, Wayne Gretzky and Wilt Chamberlain. Ruth changed the game of baseball forever. So did Hutson.

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Did any of them change the way the entire sport played?

People emulated Jordan, but he didnt alter the game, like Babe did.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:29 PM
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It sucks that Hutson has no cards issued during his career.
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:29 PM
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You couldn't stop Don Hutson. You could only hope to contain him.

Don Hutson, the greatest receiver in NFL history, did. He revolutionized the game as a vertical pass receiver. And, he dominated the game like no other player before or after. Jerry Rice, who is often (and incorrectly) referred to as the greatest receiver in NFL history, had peers, receivers who were as physically gifted as he was, who put up comparable numbers. Hutson had no peers. None. He played eleven seasons, and accomplished the receiver triple crown, leading the league in receptions, yards and touchdowns, in his seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth seasons. He did it five times, overall. Rice? He did it once in his twenty-one years played. Don't get me wrong, I think Rice was a fabulous player. I became a big Niners fan in the early Eighties because Joe Montana was their quarterback (we Gregorys are Fighting Irish fans), and Jerry Rice was one of my favorite players. But there were other receivers that were every bit as good as he was. Sterling Sharpe put up numbers that were just as good, and he didn't have Joe Montana or Steve Young throwing him the ball. He had the young, but talented Brett Favre before he became an NFL MVP. He had Don Majkowski during his one healthy, great season in 1989. The rest of the time, he was catching passes from Anthony Dilweg, Randy Wright, Blair Kiel and Mike Tomczak. The Packers had no running game, and no other receiving threat. Defenses knew that the ball was going to Sharpe, and they still couldn't stop him. His numbers were every bit as good as those put up by Jerry Rice. Then, there were guys like Herman Moore, Michael Irvin and Cris Carter.

Hutson's 99 TD receptions mark set in 1945 stood for forty-four years until the great Steve Largent broke his record. But Largent played fourteen seasons to Hutson's eleven, and, from his third season on, the league played sixteen games. NFL teams played eleven games in the Thirties and Forties. It took Largent 200 games to do what Hutson did in 116.

And since it's often brought up how great a pitcher Babe Ruth was, well, look at what Hutson did during his career besides dominating as a wide receiver (or, split end as the position was referred to). While Jerry Rice, Steve Largent, Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss et all were sitting on the sidelines relaxing, watching the defense, Hutson was playing left end, and defensive back. In addition to his 99 receiving touchdowns, he also intercepted thirty passes. That's one more than four-time All Pro cornerback Darrell Revis has in his eleven year career playing defensive back full time. Look at Don Hutson's 1942 season. He caught 74 passes for 1,211 yards (the first 1,000 yard season in NFL history) and 17 touchdowns. AND, he intercepted seven passes. Oh, and Hutson was also the Packers' kicker.

If we're talking absolute statistical dominance of a sport, there's Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Don Hutson, Wayne Gretzky and Wilt Chamberlain. Ruth changed the game of baseball forever. So did Hutson.
Wow, thank you for that info.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:02 PM
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I don't question Hutson's greatness and I agree that by the numbers he was probably the most dominant NFL player ever. But if you're doing such a thorough analysis of his career you should note that over a third of his games and almost half his TDs came between 1942-1945 when the NFL was severely depleted because so many other players went to war.
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:10 AM
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Step aside, mere drops of water. Let the ocean pass. There's Ali, then there's everyone else.
The greatest fighter in the toughest division of the toughest sport. Not to mention that he was barred from fighting for three years at the peak of his career, yet still managed to become (by far) the most recognizable human being on the planet. Case closed.
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Old 02-16-2018, 01:01 PM
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Not too surprised that no one has mentioned Richard Petty yet. Some of his achievements are impossible to beat by any current and possibly future driver, though some of that has more to do with current rules and schedules than anything else. I would say he would have a better case if he had not continued to race long after he was last competitive. Anyway here are some of his numbers:

Most wins 200, next closest is David Pearson with 105, and the closest active driver is Jimmie Johnson with 83.
From 1958-1970 Richard won 119 races vs. David Pearson's 58.

Most wins in a season 27, followed by season totals of 18 and 16. The next best total is Jeff Gordon's 13.

Most consecutive wins in a season 10.

From 1967-1971 he won 92 races.
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Old 02-16-2018, 01:10 PM
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And then there is this guy:
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:17 AM
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If he'd seen an artificial increase in his production, it would be worth mentioning. But he was already the dominant receiver in the game. In 1941, before the U.S. entered WW II, he led the NFL with 58 catches, 738 yards and 10 receiving TDs. The second time he led the NFL in all three categories. He had a freakish 1942 season with those 17 scores, but then he had 11, 9 and 9 the last three years of his career. None of those final three seasons were outside of his norms before the outbreak of WW II.

The war hadn't started for the U.S. when had 34 catches for 846 yards and 6 TD in 1939. The best players in the NFL sure didn't slow him down then, as he averaged a whopping 24.9 yards per catch.

What, in any of his career performance prior to the entrance of NFL players into WW II indicates that he wouldn't have been just as dominant had those players never left? In seven seasons, he'd already led the NFL in catches and yards four times each, and receiving TD six times.

Nobody could stop Hutson.

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I don't question Hutson's greatness and I agree that by the numbers he was probably the most dominant NFL player ever. But if you're doing such a thorough analysis of his career you should note that over a third of his games and almost half his TDs came between 1942-1945 when the NFL was severely depleted because so many other players went to war.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:23 AM
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It does, Peter. It also sucks that I don't yet own that card. I will though.

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It sucks that Hutson has no cards issued during his career.
Thank you for participating in this discussion.

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Wow, thank you for that info.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:28 AM
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What's your source? Because, I have to believe that John Lennon, Elvis and John Kennedy would have given Ali a run for his money as far as worldwide recognition went in the 60s.

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Step aside, mere drops of water. Let the ocean pass. There's Ali, then there's everyone else.
The greatest fighter in the toughest division of the toughest sport. Not to mention that he was barred from fighting for three years at the peak of his career, yet still managed to become (by far) the most recognizable human being on the planet. Case closed.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:46 AM
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Do you happen to recall when he was asked that, Peter? I watched a two hour-long Gretzky documentary called Ultimate Gretzky (2003) about a month ago, and was surprised to learn just how close Gordie Howe and The Great One really were. I knew that Gretzky had played against Howe when Gordie was on the Whalers in the WHA during the '79-'79 season, but didn't know the extent of their relationship.

I only ask because I wonder if Gordie Howe didn't want to appear to be showing favoritism to Gretzky.

Either way, you couldn't go wrong. Gretzky was undersized for a forward, and wasn't the fastest guy in the NHL, either. But he had maybe the greatest hockey instincts that the game has ever seen. The documentary talks about how Gretzky had the kind of brain the World Champ chess players have. Most real good NHL players can see a move ahead. Gretzky could see two or three. He just instinctively knew where the puck, his teammates and the defenders were going to be two or three passes ahead of time.

The great ones just process information differently. Gretzky had a ridiculous work ethic that would have made him a star, but that hockey IQ took his talents to a ridiculous level. Ted Williams was the same way as a hitter.


I had to pick up this McFarlane after watching it. It sits on my book shelves now.

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Not that it adds much to the eternal Gretzky v Orr debate, but I once heard Gordie Howe interviewed and he was asked if he could pick one of them to start a team, which would it be. He said Orr.
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