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  #1  
Old 05-11-2021, 02:45 PM
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Default Your biggest what if's and thoughts on Tony Conigliaro?

I've always enjoyed looking through the past careers of players, especially ones that we often attach "what if?" to. I see how he was the fastest to 100 Home Runs for an American League player, and the numbers did look promising but numbers only tell so much. Anyone here see him play and could give me their honest opinion of him?

Additionally who do you often find yourself playing the what if game with?
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:07 PM
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Ray Fosse,

I wonder at time how good he could have been if Pete Rose would not have bowled him over during an All-Star game. Fosse did not have a bad career but maybe it would have been better if not for that collision.
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:41 PM
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I heard at one point they were going to make a movie about him, but have not seen anything lately on that.

https://www.themovieblog.com/2020/09...ully-realized/
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:20 PM
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Hollywood would turn him into a transgender, illegal immigrant minority to appeal to the 'woke' snowflakes.
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:51 PM
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Default What if players

Would have liked to see Thurman Munson play out his career. One of the top catchers at the time of his demise. HOF? Being aYankee might have helped his chances.
The other player was Lyman Bostock. Put up good numbers his first couple seasons but was shot and killed. Never got the chance
Didn’t get to see Tony C play but still collected all his cards.
Brett
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:51 PM
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Hollywood would turn him into a transgender, illegal immigrant minority to appeal to the 'woke' snowflakes.
Too funny!!
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by brett 75 View Post
Would have liked to see Thurman Munson play out his career. One of the top catchers at the time of his demise. HOF? Being aYankee might have helped his chances.
The other player was Lyman Bostock. Put up good numbers his first couple seasons but was shot and killed. Never got the chance
Didn’t get to see Tony C play but still collected all his cards.
Brett
I think Munson was borderline when he tragically passed. Can't imagine how much longer he would've caught but maybe 3-4 more seasons of what he was doing in his final year would've done the trick.

Bostock is a tragic story, I heard he was a fantastic Contact hitter. Another guy that comes to mind is Pitcher, Herb Score. Had some great years before that comebacker.
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Old 05-11-2021, 06:23 PM
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In two words, Don Mattingly. He went from being Superman to having a back made of kryptonite. Truly heartbreaking.
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Old 05-11-2021, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven View Post
I've always enjoyed looking through the past careers of players, especially ones that we often attach "what if?" to. I see how he was the fastest to 100 Home Runs for an American League player, and the numbers did look promising but numbers only tell so much. Anyone here see him play and could give me their honest opinion of him?

Additionally who do you often find yourself playing the what if game with?
That 1967 team had a few what ifs. Jim Lonborg tore his knee skiing the Christmas after he won the Cy Young Award and was never the same. Ken Harrelson broke his leg a couple years later and retired at 30. Then their first base coach, Bobby Doerr, had back problems that last year of his career and was out of the league at 33. He also lost a year and change due to military service during World War II.
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2021, 09:11 PM
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As a Yankees fan I would have liked to see what Chien-Ming Wang would have done if not for that base running injury. He was off to a great start.
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  #11  
Old 05-11-2021, 10:36 PM
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I think about Tony Horton and the career he could've had, if he could've put his career in perspective and enjoyed the game.
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:03 AM
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Eddie Gaedel could have literally “walked” into the Hall of Fame.
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Old 05-12-2021, 01:10 PM
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What if the Red Sox had signed Dave Kingman?

A right handed hitter who hit lots of massive popups in Fenway? We might be talking about how even the juicers fell short of the season HR record.
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2021, 04:53 PM
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Eddie G may have come up a little short, to make the HOF
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  #15  
Old 05-12-2021, 06:23 PM
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What if the Bird hadn't wrecked his wing? He and Jack Morris together would have been fun to watch through the 80's.

And as long as it's a "what if" why not an imaginary '76 rookie card to go with it.

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  #16  
Old 05-12-2021, 06:38 PM
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What if Mickey Mantle had been healthy...
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:58 PM
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When I think of Tony Conigliaro, I remember getting his card back in 1968 and looking at his stats and seeing 104 home runs after just four years playing. It was my first year as a baseball fan, and the first year I collected cards.

When I saw his stats, I said, "Yeah, he must be good". I didn't know about his getting hit by the pitch at that point. What a shame. He was really on the road to what looked like a great career.

J.R. Richard is somebody else I think of when it comes to this subject...

Last edited by jgannon; 05-12-2021 at 07:08 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05-12-2021, 07:08 PM
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What if Bo Jackson didn't have the football injury?

What if Dustin Pedroia didn't have the knee injury (I'd argue he's borderline HOF now...imagine 3-4 more good seasons)

What if Nolan Ryan's career wasn't cut short by injury at only 46?

Last edited by Mike D.; 05-12-2021 at 07:08 PM.
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  #19  
Old 05-12-2021, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D. View Post

...What if Nolan Ryan's career wasn't cut short by injury at only 46?
Yeah, he might have put up some decent numbers if that didn't happen.

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Old 05-12-2021, 07:32 PM
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Here's one: what if Dean Acheson had included South Korea in the Asian Defense Perimeter? It likely would've prevented the Korean War (the Russians and Chinese were unwilling to support an invasion when they thought it likely the US would intervene, and omitting South Korea convinced them the US wouldn't). Leaving aside the political implications, with no war in Korea, Ted Williams doesn't get recalled, Willie Mays and Whitey Ford don't get drafted, and Mickey Mantle doesn't get hounded by alleged draft-dodging. Mays almost certainly hits 700 home runs. He might not have topped Hank Aaron, but he would have come close. Williams plays a full 1953 season where he tore the cover off the ball, and I'm sure there are other players as well who could've benefitted.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brett 75 View Post
Eddie G may have come up a little short, to make the HOF
Gaedel was a tough man to pitch to, but miserable on the base paths. Took him a full minute to go from first to third.
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  #22  
Old 05-13-2021, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric72 View Post
What if Mickey Mantle had been healthy...
I think Mickey with no Injuries (and while we're at it, no drinking problem) would've been the greatest to ever play. I think it was the Lost Boy where the author came to the Conclusion that Mantle at a minimum played his entire career with a torn ACL. His injury from Schoendiest landing on his shoulder in the world series certainly didn't help either. I think 650 Home Runs for his career would've been all but guaranteed. Quite possibly more as he had to hang them up pretty young. We would've probably saw him steal some more bases as well.


Quote:
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Here's one: what if Dean Acheson had included South Korea in the Asian Defense Perimeter? It likely would've prevented the Korean War (the Russians and Chinese were unwilling to support an invasion when they thought it likely the US would intervene, and omitting South Korea convinced them the US wouldn't). Leaving aside the political implications, with no war in Korea, Ted Williams doesn't get recalled, Willie Mays and Whitey Ford don't get drafted, and Mickey Mantle doesn't get hounded by alleged draft-dodging. Mays almost certainly hits 700 home runs. He might not have topped Hank Aaron, but he would have come close. Williams plays a full 1953 season where he tore the cover off the ball, and I'm sure there are other players as well who could've benefitted.

Had Williams not had to fight in both Wars, I think it would've just added to his cases as the greatest hitter ever. Mays would've come close to Aaron as well!
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  #23  
Old 05-14-2021, 12:48 AM
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If...Dalkowski
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Old 05-16-2021, 01:19 PM
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A pre-war guy, Smokey Joe Wood.
Pre and post war-Ted Williams. What would his career stats looked like if hadn't missed so much time ?
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Old 05-16-2021, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
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A pre-war guy, Smokey Joe Wood.
Pre and post war-Ted Williams. What would his career stats looked like if hadn't missed so much time ?
SI ran an article here while back, projecting the stats for Williams and Joe DiMaggio.
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Old 05-19-2021, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
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I think Munson was borderline when he tragically passed. Can't imagine how much longer he would've caught but maybe 3-4 more seasons of what he was doing in his final year would've done the trick.

Bostock is a tragic story, I heard he was a fantastic Contact hitter. Another guy that comes to mind is Pitcher, Herb Score. Had some great years before that comebacker.
Doing what in his final year, being a below league average offensive performer?

Thurman was on the downside of his career. His power was all but gone. Being behind the plate is a rough way to make a living, and his future was either being moved to first (which Don Mattingly would soon claim), or being traded to another team.

I just don't think he had a long enough peak to get into Cooperstown. Fine player, and it's tragic how he passed. Appreciate the way he played, and let's not try to put every borderline Hall-worthy guy in.
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Old 05-19-2021, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
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In two words, Don Mattingly. He went from being Superman to having a back made of kryptonite. Truly heartbreaking.
Mattingly is my guy with a bat, and Ben Sheets on the mound.

Sheets took that step as a true ace at age 25, and just was never the same after that season. It's too bad that he got hurt, and that the Brewers team he played on was utter trash. Sheets was a legit stud.

Check out the video on Youtube of his striking out 18 Braves that season. Just nasty stuff.
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Old 05-19-2021, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
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Doing what in his final year, being a below league average offensive performer?

Thurman was on the downside of his career. His power was all but gone. Being behind the plate is a rough way to make a living, and his future was either being moved to first (which Don Mattingly would soon claim), or being traded to another team.

I just don't think he had a long enough peak to get into Cooperstown. Fine player, and it's tragic how he passed. Appreciate the way he played, and let's not try to put every borderline Hall-worthy guy in.
He was on the downside, from a WAR perspective (not that it's the be all and end all, far from it) he had a 2.4 WAR in 97 Games. Had he put together a few more 3+ WAR seasons I think he would've been borderline. I should correct my original statement. Though on the subject of the Hall I'm more of a Small Hall type of guy, and I do agree, not every borderline guy should be voted in. Mattingly was a tragedy, that back injury really did him in. Such a good hitte.r
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Old 05-19-2021, 06:56 PM
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I don't think Cecil Travis has been mentioned yet, so I'll bring him up. He led the league in hits before enlisting a couple days after Bob Feller. He almost lost a foot due to frostbite during the Battle of the Bulge. He was never the same afterwards, and was washed up at 31.
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Old 05-20-2021, 09:42 AM
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As a Cardinal fan I will bring up the cases of John Fulgham, Bill DeLancey and Austin McHenry.

Fulgham pitched 2 seasons for the Cardinals in 1979 and 1980.

In those 2 seasons he went 14 and 12 in 233 innings with a WHIP of 1.06 and ERA of 2.84 with 3 shutouts.

He was only 24 when he pitched his last game, and a torn rotator cuff did him in.

I am sure he will be the last pitcher to have career totals of complete games equal to or higher than his career wins, as he had 14 wins and 14 CG.

Bill DeLancey, who Branch Rickey said was one of the 3 greatest catchers of all time, died at age 35. At age 22 he was the catcher on the 1934 WS champs. Tuberculosis and lung issues would end his career at age 23, and he would die at age 35.

Austin McHenry played for the Cardinals from 1918-22. He was well on his way to a Hall of Fame career, when he died at age 27 from a brain tumor.

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Old 05-20-2021, 09:57 AM
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Fulgham, McHenry, and Delancey
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Old 05-20-2021, 12:24 PM
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It would have been nice to see what Buzz Arlett could have done with a major league career. He only got one shot at age 32 and put up an OPS of 925, which wasn't too shabby.

But as a career minor leaguer he was essentially Babe Ruth. Not only did he hit 341 over his career and over 400 homers, but he also won over 100 games as a pitcher.

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Old 05-20-2021, 08:20 PM
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What if Rick Ankiel hadn't gotten the "yips"?

What if Kerry Wood and Mark Prior had stayed healthy?
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Old 05-21-2021, 07:16 AM
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Perhaps the biggest "what if" of them all:

What if there had never been a second world war?
  • Names we've never known would have had HOF careers
  • The "color barrier" might not have been broken by Jackie Robinson
  • Team rosters would have included different players, possibly changing the outcome of several franchises. Maybe my beloved Phillies win their first World Series before their 97th year
  • Ted Williams possibly becomes the one who hits 715
  • Etc., etc., etc.
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Old 05-21-2021, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric72 View Post
Perhaps the biggest "what if" of them all:

What if there had never been a second world war?
  • Names we've never known would have had HOF careers
  • The "color barrier" might not have been broken by Jackie Robinson
  • Team rosters would have included different players, possibly changing the outcome of several franchises. Maybe my beloved Phillies win their first World Series before their 97th year
  • Ted Williams possibly becomes the one who hits 715
  • Etc., etc., etc.
I think if there is no War, Williams is regarded as the 2nd or third greatest behind Ruth, and Cobb, and I don't think this is talked about enough. In the four years leading up to the War, Williams average state line was the following

Hits: 187
Doubles: 38
Home Runs: 32
RBI's: 129
WAR: 8.5


Assuming he at a minimum meets those averages for the three years he plays, he adds 561 Hits, 114 Doubles, 96 Home Runs, 387 RBI's and 25.5 WAR to his career Totals. Williams Career Line now looks like this

3,215 Hits, 639 Doubles, 617 Home Runs, 2226 RBI's and a 147.3 WAR

That's just if World War Two doesn't Happen! Korea also bit a chunk out of Williams career as well. He misses the majority of two seasons due to the Korean War. Using the same method as above, compiling the average of the four seasons leading up to Korea (along with subtracting the small numbers he compiled during the limited amount of games he played, we are looking at a minimum at another 287 Hits, 62 Doubles, 50 Home runs, 217 RBI's 11.9 WAR which brings us to Teds minimum career stat line (assuming he is healthy) to

3,502 Hits 701 Doubles, 667 Home Runs 2443 RBI's and a 159.2 WAR

Truly insane. This is why I love playing the What If Game.
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Old 05-21-2021, 09:35 AM
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I think if there is no War, Williams is regarded as the 2nd or third greatest behind Ruth, and Cobb, and I don't think this is talked about enough. In the four years leading up to the War, Williams average state line was the following

Hits: 187
Doubles: 38
Home Runs: 32
RBI's: 129
WAR: 8.5


Assuming he at a minimum meets those averages for the three years he plays, he adds 561 Hits, 114 Doubles, 96 Home Runs, 387 RBI's and 25.5 WAR to his career Totals. Williams Career Line now looks like this

3,215 Hits, 639 Doubles, 617 Home Runs, 2226 RBI's and a 147.3 WAR

That's just if World War Two doesn't Happen! Korea also bit a chunk out of Williams career as well. He misses the majority of two seasons due to the Korean War. Using the same method as above, compiling the average of the four seasons leading up to Korea (along with subtracting the small numbers he compiled during the limited amount of games he played, we are looking at a minimum at another 287 Hits, 62 Doubles, 50 Home runs, 217 RBI's 11.9 WAR which brings us to Teds minimum career stat line (assuming he is healthy) to

3,502 Hits 701 Doubles, 667 Home Runs 2443 RBI's and a 159.2 WAR

Truly insane. This is why I love playing the What If Game.
If that was his stat line in 1960, then I’m sure he comes back for at least one more year. He would’ve teed off on the expansion pitching.
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Old 06-09-2021, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Seven View Post
He was on the downside, from a WAR perspective (not that it's the be all and end all, far from it) he had a 2.4 WAR in 97 Games. Had he put together a few more 3+ WAR seasons I think he would've been borderline. I should correct my original statement. Though on the subject of the Hall I'm more of a Small Hall type of guy, and I do agree, not every borderline guy should be voted in. Mattingly was a tragedy, that back injury really did him in. Such a good hitte.r
I really liked Munson. Though he died young, I've watched about everything I could find about the man on Youtube. The man had guts, and loved playing in New York. It's spooky watching the video of the last game he played. I watch him at the plate, and think to myself "somebody tell him to skip going out to the air field for a few days." The most heartbreaking aspect to Munson's death is that he got the plane, and his pilot's license, so he could fly home between days off to see his family. I'm sure after he started, the allure of being a pilot kicked in. But the impetus was spending more time with his wife and kids. That realization is a punch in the gut.

I hate that he didn't have the opportunity to rebound, because the man was a gamer. If anybody could have gutted out a couple more All Star seasons, he'd be that guy. He's one of those players that you'd have had to literally drag off the field, like Mantle. Mickey tried to will himself to 600 home runs. His body just completely gave out on him. And Munson was the kind of guy every manager dreams of having. The Yankees have had an absurd bevy of riches behind the plate, haven't they?

If Munson does get in, you won't hear a single negative word from me. There are occasional guys that transcend mere statistics. His contributions to one of the best teams in baseball in the mid to late 70s, championship teams, cannot be overlooked. And I waffle on his worthiness. My heart says put him in, but my brain gets in the way.
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Old 06-09-2021, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven View Post
I think if there is no War, Williams is regarded as the 2nd or third greatest behind Ruth, and Cobb, and I don't think this is talked about enough. In the four years leading up to the War, Williams average state line was the following

Hits: 187
Doubles: 38
Home Runs: 32
RBI's: 129
WAR: 8.5


Assuming he at a minimum meets those averages for the three years he plays, he adds 561 Hits, 114 Doubles, 96 Home Runs, 387 RBI's and 25.5 WAR to his career Totals. Williams Career Line now looks like this

3,215 Hits, 639 Doubles, 617 Home Runs, 2226 RBI's and a 147.3 WAR

That's just if World War Two doesn't Happen! Korea also bit a chunk out of Williams career as well. He misses the majority of two seasons due to the Korean War. Using the same method as above, compiling the average of the four seasons leading up to Korea (along with subtracting the small numbers he compiled during the limited amount of games he played, we are looking at a minimum at another 287 Hits, 62 Doubles, 50 Home runs, 217 RBI's 11.9 WAR which brings us to Teds minimum career stat line (assuming he is healthy) to

3,502 Hits 701 Doubles, 667 Home Runs 2443 RBI's and a 159.2 WAR

Truly insane. This is why I love playing the What If Game.
I'll get reamed for this, but even without the missed years' stats, I still think Ted Williams is the greatest hitter of all-time.

Here's how I see it:

1a. Teddy Ballgame
1b. The Bambino

Ruth has superior statistics, but I consider the other factors. Ruth never had to play at night. And most importantly, he never played against black players, at least, not in official games. Ruth also had vastly superior offensive talent around him. The last seven years of his prime, he had arguably one of the five greatest hitters in baseball history batting behind him. Having to pitch to Ruth because of the gorilla on deck would have helped to offset any early erosion of Ruth's skills, slight though that erosion would have been. But nobody can deny that Gehrig being behind him exponentially increased the quality of pitches he saw.

I think it is very close between them. If they were thoroughbreds at the Derby, it would be a photo finish.

My short list of the greatest hitters would look something like this:

1a. Williams
1b. Ruth
3. Cobb
4. Hornsby
5. Gehrig
6. Musial

Then, I'd start looking at guys like Tony Gwynn. Fantastic hitter, but he didn't have the power the guys on that list did. DiMaggio and Mantle would both be high on the list-DiMaggio is lowered a bit because his true peak, prior to WW II, was shortened, and Mantle's later career was tremendously hampered by injury. Mantle is still a top ten offensive performer in history with that downside of his career. But before the injuries really took their toll:

1951-1964:

.309 AVG, .429 OBP, .582 SLG, 1.011 OPS, 177 OPS+.

I'm sure I'm forgetting somebody.
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Old 06-09-2021, 11:48 AM
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What if Joe Jackson hadn't decided to throw World Series games? Would've easily been a first ballot HOFer.

Last edited by Jim65; 06-09-2021 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 06-09-2021, 12:48 PM
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All due respect to Ted Williams but I don't think any extended career was going to catch him up with Ruth.
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Old Yesterday, 12:45 PM
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Hunky Shaw: What if he had 2 ABs?
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