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Claudecat's Place: Was Johnson the Best Ever?


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http://claudecat17.tumblr.com/

"On August 2, 1907, I encountered the most threatening sight I ever saw in the ball field. He was a rookie, and we licked our lips as we warmed up for the first game of a doubleheader in Washington. Evidently, manager Pongo Joe Cantillon of the Nats had picked a rube out of the cornfields of the deepest bushes to pitch against us. ? He was a tall, shambling galoot of about twenty, with arms so long they hung far out of his sleeves, and with a sidearm delivery that looked unimpressive at first glance. ? One of the Tigers imitated a cow mooing, and we hollered at Cantillon: ?Get the pitchfork ready, Joe?your hayseed?s on his way back to the barn.? ? The first time I faced him, I watched him take that easy windup. And then something went past me that made me flinch. The thing just hissed with danger. We couldn?t touch him. ? every one of us knew we?d met the most powerful arm ever turned loose in a ball park."
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I don't know who that is. The best I ever saw was

1. Pedro

2. Johnson

3. Santana

4. Kershaw

5. Lincecum

I'm only going by the dominance I saw in their prime and I left off Maddux because in the mid 90s I saw him, but too young to appreciate his pitching.

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I don't know who that is. The best I ever saw was

1. Pedro

2. Johnson

3. Santana

4. Kershaw

5. Lincecum

I'm only going by the dominance I saw in their prime and I left off Maddux because in the mid 90s I saw him, but too young to appreciate his pitching.

Bob Gibson

Pedro

Koufax

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More often than not historians start their list with the Big Train. After him you get the following pitchers in some order:

Pete Alexander

Roger Clemens*

Lefty Grove

Christy Matthewson

Greg Maddux

Tom Seaver

Cy Young

The next group give-or-take looks like:

Bob Gibson

Randy Johnson

Kid Nichols

Satchel Paige

Warren Spahn

Koufax and Martinez would show up after that, typically because of their shorter careers. Bob Feller and Smoky Joe Williams find spots too. Steve Carlton often makes the top 20.

Sadly, Jim Palmer seems to be getting worse as the years go on, dropping easily to the 20s and sometimes the 30s on the all time list. People are penalizing him for the great defenses he had behind him (aka he takes a big hit in FIP). Whitey Ford's stock is also dropping.

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I don't know who that is. The best I ever saw was

1. Pedro

2. Johnson

3. Santana

4. Kershaw

5. Lincecum

I'm only going by the dominance I saw in their prime and I left off Maddux because in the mid 90s I saw him, but too young to appreciate his pitching.

You don't know who Walter Johnson was? Wow.

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I don't know who that is. The best I ever saw was

1. Pedro

2. Johnson

3. Santana

4. Kershaw

5. Lincecum

I'm only going by the dominance I saw in their prime and I left off Maddux because in the mid 90s I saw him, but too young to appreciate his pitching.

[video=youtube;imwUHeuVqME]

Like Corn said, BEST of his time. Hard to compare eras.

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[video=youtube;imwUHeuVqME]

Like Corn said, BEST of his time. Hard to compare eras.

Deadball pitchers are the hardest to compare. Johnson usually faced lineups that were all-white, mostly under 6' and 175 lbs, used soggy baseballs, and played in many parks with 450 and 500-ft fences. It's well documented that pitchers of his era threw at 75% effort most of the game. 180 degrees out from the MLB of today. He might have still been good in a different way today. Maybe not. Certainly would have thrown about half as many innings, if he was even a starter.

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Yea... that was my thought. Especially in this area. Johnson isn't just the best Washington player, he's best by 10 miles. Original class of the Hall. 2nd in all time wins. I thought even most casual fans knew of him.

That statue of him out in CF at Nats Park is an abomination.

Statues are statues. Which means they STAND STILL. Trying to simulate motion just makes him look like some sort of space alien with multiple arms.

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That statue of him out in CF at Nats Park is an abomination.

Statues are statues. Which means they STAND STILL. Trying to simulate motion just makes him look like some sort of space alien with multiple arms.

If he really was a space alien then maybe the apocryphal stories of him consistently throwing 100 mph (sidearm!) for 450 innings a year weren't so apocryphal.

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