MLB’s All-Time Team, Right Field: Nominations and Voting
In the end, the talent in this position was so deep that I felt it was necessary to go for a final six-man ballot. It would have seemed “wrong” to exclude any of the following candidates from the ballot, for a variety of different reasons!
Ruth’s record of 714 career homers seemed untouchable. But Aaron proved otherwise, posting a superior tally of 41, passing the Babe on April 8, 1974, in the Braves’ home opener. But he still walked more often than he hit in his career. Hank’s consistency was epic: from 1956 to 1969 inclusive, he was worth over seven bWARs in a single season: Aaron was worth 6.8 bWARs that year. He holds the MLB all-time mark for RBI (2,297) and total bases (6,856). In his senior season of 1976, he was the last Negro League player on a major league roster, having played for three months with the Indianapolis Clowns at the age of eighteen.
MrRbi17: “Has there ever been a better defensive right fielder than Clemente? If there is, I’ll eat my D-Backs cap. Jim’s numbers seem to confirm this. His game was honed on the clay courts of Puerto Rico and his hitting style was far from “classic”. But he produced exactly 3000 hits and was an excellent bad ball hitter. I also consider his throwing arm the best in MLB history. Another thing about Clemente is that he was really the first to popularize the “sliding” latch of downline workouts, which are now universal. Before Roberto, outfielders learned the much riskier grip.
Imstillhungry95: “The real king of all time.” The paramilitary wing of the Pete Rose Fan Club will be visiting ish95 after these words I guess. 🙂 But he is right. Ichiro didn’t even appear in the majors until he was 27, but still ranks 24th all-time in hits. By the time he arrived in MLB, he had already played nine seasons for the Orix BlueWave in Japan, where he had a .353 average, 1,278 hits and seven Golden Gloves. Few NPB players have transitioned to the majors more easily, with Ichiro batting .350 en route to MVP and RoTY honors. It was the first of seven times he led the league in hits, peaking at 262 in 2004. He would earn ten MLB Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers.
Jack Sommers: “Probably the greatest right fielder in the Negro Leagues was Oscar “Heavy” Johnson. Listed at 5’7”, 200 pounds, some said he weighed as much as 250 pounds! I can see how he got his nickname. 😉 He had a relatively short career, only 1981 PA career in the black leagues, only really playing full time between 1922-1928. His peak was 1923 when he won the Triple Crown while hitting .406 for the 2nd year in a row. Below is a look at his 22-28 peak, plus an average of 162 games. He was a great hitter and it would have been interesting to see how he fared in MLB over those years.
Diamondhacks: “Arguably the most underrated ‘modern’ great player. He has all the stats, 107 WAR. MVP in both leagues. 586 HR in ‘right lane’ – 4th all-time when he has retired. But what I remember of Robinson are not the stats. I remember the way he played: hard and serious. Really, really hard. I remember how he broke the double games. Press down, cleats down. I remember when he was old, diving into the RF stands at Yankee Stadium to steal a home run. I remember how he was the captain of the Orioles, unofficial or not, as a black man in the 1960s. He just was. I remember how he argued with the referees and how they let him most of the time. Not because he was a “star” or difficult, but because he was the truth, a fiercely competitive truth, and he gave way to no one.
Three position players have produced seasons worth more than 12.5 bWAR. All are Babe Ruth. No position player has more than his 162.7 bWAR – and because he started out as a pitcher, Ruth didn’t become an everyday hitter until his fifth season in the majors. He revolutionized the way the game was played, considering that before Ruth, no batter in the American League had hit more than 16 HR in a season. He was 11 years old when he touched more than forty. How transcendent was the baby? In 1920, Ruth hit 54 home runs. No other TEAM in the AL this season has exceeded fifty HR, and no other player has even reached twenty. Ruth was responsible for 15% of all home runs hit in the American League that year.
Who was the greatest outfielder of all time?
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