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Rank the all time outfielders - espn


Moose Milligan

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http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/rank?versionId=2&listId=640#topOfList

Here's my very brief 1 minute ranking before I had to get back to work list:

1.Willie Mays

2.Babe Ruth

3.Ted Williams

4.Barry Bonds

5.Ken Griffey Jr.

6.Frank Robinson

7.Mickey Mantle

8.Hank Aaron

9.Ty Cobb

10.Joe DiMaggio

11.Stan Musial

12.Tris Speaker

13.Mel Ott

14.Rickey Henderson

15.Roberto Clemente

EDIT: Looking at it real quick I ranked Musial too low and Griffey Jr too high. I ranked DiMaggio low but I always thought he was overrated. While defense played a bit of a role in my decision making, IMO it's a no brainer that Clemente is 15th.

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Hard doesn't even do this one justice. You really could go hundreds of different ways on this. But, my list, based on no conclusive thought process:

1. Ruth

2. Aaron

3. Bonds

4. Williams

5. Mays

6. Cobb

7. Musial

8. Robinson

9. Griffey

10. Mantle

11. Dimaggio

12. Henderson

13. Speaker

14. Ott

15. Clemente

Looking at the list I may have overrated Henderson a little, and maybe some might say I did the same for Musial. However, I've often maintained that he's one of, if not the most under appreciated player in baseball history.

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Ruth

Bonds

(Charleston)

Mays

Cobb

Williams

Mantle

Speaker

Musial

Aaron

DiMaggio

Robinson

Henderson

Ott

Griffey

Clemente(shouldn't even on the list imo)

The voting results are quite poor imo, but that's to be expected. Clemente at #9 is a joke. Bonds and Speaker being so low(11, 13) is also absurd but not surprising given the hatred towards Bonds and the likely ignorance towards Speaker. JoeD is also overrated on here, but that's no surprise.

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http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/rank?versionId=2&listId=640#topOfList

Here's my very brief 1 minute ranking before I had to get back to work list:

1.Willie Mays (4)

2.Babe Ruth (1)

3.Ted Williams (8)

4.Barry Bonds (2)

5.Ken Griffey Jr. (17)

6.Frank Robinson (12)

7.Mickey Mantle (9)

8.Hank Aaron (5)

9.Ty Cobb (3)

10.Joe DiMaggio (16)

11.Stan Musial (7)

12.Tris Speaker (6)

13.Mel Ott (11)

14.Rickey Henderson (10)

15.Roberto Clemente (15)

I added career WAR rankings to Moose's list. Career WAR among outfielders. The missing #s 13 and 14 are Kaline and Yaz.

Now a straight WAR ranking doesn't do justice to the list. DiMaggio and Williams missed significant time to war, and could both be 3, 4, 5, spots higher with those missing seasons. Musial missed 1945 for the same reason.

You could argue Ruth, Speaker, Cobb all played pre-integration, pre-modern farm systems and scouting, and maybe their rankings don't truly reflect the level of competition they faced. There's some of that effect throughout history, and we're not entirely sure we're fully accounted even for the increase in difficulty over the last 30-50 years, much less 80 or 100.

Mel Ott played his home games in a park that was 250-some feet down the lines, but wasn't a huge hitter's park because it was 500 ft to center. But Ott was particularly adept at hitting 260-ft homers right down the line, and hit 323 of his 511 homers at home. So his WAR may overstate his impact somewhat.

WAR is also a counting stat, so this list may overrate players who were good for a very long time, while missing players who were great for shorter periods. For example, if your goal was to win the pennant right now might take any number of players over Al Kaline, who only had a single six-win season in his career.

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Seriously, there is almost no right or wrong answer.

Also, I thought Musial was a 1B.

Nah, there are plenty of wrong answers and that's how we got to the current poor rankings on the site.;)

But yes, it is difficult to rank them, especially the order of the top 10. We are talking about 10 of the top 14 MLB players according to Bill James as of about 10 years ago. So obviously these are the best of the best and a case can be made for move around a bit within that top 10.

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Seriously, there is almost no right or wrong answer.

Also, I thought Musial was a 1B.

One of the issues on doing a bb-ref search on this list is that neither Ruth nor Musial played 50% of their games at any one outfield spot, so you have to tweak the search to get them on the list. Ruth played 1057 in left, 1131 in right, 64 in center, 163 on the mound, and 32 at first. Musial is even worse, as he played 300ish in center, 900 and something in left, 700 and some in right, and 1000 or so at first.

So, is Ruth the best right fielder of all time? The best left fielder? Both? Neither? Raul Mondesi and JD Drew played more games in RF than the Babe.

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One of the issues on doing a bb-ref search on this list is that neither Ruth nor Musial played 50% of their games at any one outfield spot, so you have to tweak the search to get them on the list. Ruth played 1057 in left, 1131 in right, 64 in center, 163 on the mound, and 32 at first. Musial is even worse, as he played 300ish in center, 900 and something in left, 700 and some in right, and 1000 or so at first.

So, is Ruth the best right fielder of all time? The best left fielder? Both? Neither? Raul Mondesi and JD Drew played more games in RF than the Babe.

Cool, I didn't know that. I always thought Ruth was a RF, and never bothered to think that he played elsewhere. I knew Musial did play the OF some, but I didn't think it was that much.

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I added career WAR rankings to Moose's list. ....WAR is also a counting stat, so this list may overrate players who were good for a very long time, while missing players who were great for shorter periods.

Not to mention that a certain player on the list missed about 4.5 seasons fighting in two real WAR's, and some others missed time that way as well.

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