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The All Time Hardcore Team


Moose Milligan

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Oh, I'm not saying he meant to kill Chapman, but as you said everyone hated him. Also, killing a guy is pretty intimidating.

My substance-addled brain... I remember that Mays pretty much was traumatized by Ray Chapman. Went straight downhill and out of baseball shortly after that...

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I think he's on the team because he was a mean SOB that no one liked. I don't believe he had any intention of killing Ray Chapman.

What puts him over the edge is after he hit Chapman in the head, he went to pick up the ball and throw it to first. He "thought" it hit of the handle of the bat because the sound was so loud.

The best is Ty Cobb's note he sent to Mays right before his next start (against Cobb's Tigers) after the Chapman tragedy.

"If it was within my power, I would have inscribed on Chapman's tombstone these words: Here lies the victim of arrogance, viciousness and greed. "

This feud between the two started the first time they meet.

Story goes Mays throws at Cobb and misses. Next pitch Cobb bunts down the 1st base line. Mays goes to make the play and gets in Cobb's baseline (lol). Cobb runs Mays over, in the process, spikes Mays. Mays carries a 6 inch scar to his grave from that incident.

That is why Cobb is my favorite player of all time. No one played the game harder than him.

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My substance-addled brain... I remember that Mays pretty much was traumatized by Ray Chapman. Went straight downhill and out of baseball shortly after that...

Not at all. He pitched right after the incident (against the Tigers). He had a great career and is not in the HOF only because of what happen to Chapman.

One of his best seasons was the season after 1920.

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Don't know how I missed this thread until now... but I'm not sure the old school guys did it "right". They were just a lot more hardcore. I think the average guy was a little more hardcore in 1880 or 1890 than today. Baseball was kind of like hockey today in the 1890s - it was a contact sport, or close to it. It was expected that you'd get into some rough stuff on the bases. It was commonplace to get into fistfights on and off the field. With players and umpires. There are documented incidents where brawls turned ugly and the only thing that saved opposing players or umps from being lynched (I mean actually killed or maimed by an out-of-control mob of fans) was the intervention of a hometown player.

Much of what went on in the 1890s would get a person arrested today. Could you imagine if a current Oriole went up to the ump (and there was only one back then), stomped on his feet with sharpened metal spikes, screamed in his face, shoved him a couple times, then slugged him in the jaw? That kind of thing really did happen pretty frequently.

But it wasn't popular. I mean, sure it has its fans. But ballplayers were thought of as thugs. Sometimes they weren't allowed to stay at better hotels. Many, many parents forbid their daughters from dating ballplayers, or their sons from playing ball. Ban Johnson started the American League and probably owed no small part of its success on the idea that it was the "clean" league. He didn't put up with that kind of crap. When McGraw refused to stop brawling, Johnson banned him indefinitely. By the end of the 1890s attendance was down, and four teams got contracted. Although I guess you could argue that the economy and syndicate baseball had a lot to do with that, too.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think players slugging umpires is a cool thing. I guess I got carried away in my OP.

However, if a player were to take a swing at an umpire, I think the umpires should definitely be allowed to swing back. When Alomar spit in that umps face, I always wished that the umpire had clocked him in the jaw.

Players these days are just wusses though. I remember when Bynum slid past 2nd base this past summer to break up a double play, it was an awesome attempt to break it up. The announcers were horrified, the guy on the pivot was pissed...

So what? The game is meant to be played hard. Like that post about Carl Mays getting in Cobbs basepath and getting trucked...well, thats what you should get.

I'm not a fan of players charging into stands to beat hecklers like they did in the early 1900's or so...but next time someone breaks up a double play, runs a middle infielder over, or throws high and tight to a batter, it shouldn't be frowned upon.

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Great post Moose! but I must spread rep around before giving it to you again... This discussion HAS to start with John McGraw, the hardest hardass probably to ever play the game.

Ok, him or Ty Cobb... a tossup.

I forget the exact details, but McGraw is the reason the 1904 WS wasn't held. I think he had some grudge against the AL, so he just refused to play them.

Frederick G. Lieb wrote a book called The Baltimore Orioles, and it talks about the days of John McGraw.

What I wouldn't give to see him in an Orioles uniform today. I'd love to see him trip and spike guys like Punk and Puke if they showboated.

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Don't get me wrong, I don't think players slugging umpires is a cool thing. I guess I got carried away in my OP.

However, if a player were to take a swing at an umpire, I think the umpires should definitely be allowed to swing back. When Alomar spit in that umps face, I always wished that the umpire had clocked him in the jaw.

Players these days are just wusses though. I remember when Bynum slid past 2nd base this past summer to break up a double play, it was an awesome attempt to break it up. The announcers were horrified, the guy on the pivot was pissed...

So what? The game is meant to be played hard. Like that post about Carl Mays getting in Cobbs basepath and getting trucked...well, thats what you should get.

I'm not a fan of players charging into stands to beat hecklers like they did in the early 1900's or so...but next time someone breaks up a double play, runs a middle infielder over, or throws high and tight to a batter, it shouldn't be frowned upon.

Frederick G. Lieb wrote a book called The Baltimore Orioles, and it talks about the days of John McGraw.

What I wouldn't give to see him in an Orioles uniform today. I'd love to see him trip and spike guys like Punk and Puke if they showboated.

You have to be careful where you draw the line of what's legal and what's not. Because the farther you go in the direction of allowing physical play the more you limit your audience. The world was a much rougher place in 1895, and even then ballplayers were often treated as a couple notches above criminals. You move baseball back towards the brawlin' 1890s and you lose a lot of fans who just want to see baseball. When the AL sprung up and Ban Johnson fought hard to eliminate rowdyism the game got much more popular very quickly, the media coverage of the sport exploded, and the players lost their reputation for being thugs.

You'll gain some of the XFL fans, and the guys who love minor league hockey because there's a fight every three minutes. But you'll lose (IMO) a lot more baseball fans. I'm not sure Bud Selig and the other owners are interested in focusing their market expansion on 13-25 year old boys.

Not only that, but there will be a huge backlash the first time Albert Pujols is out for three months with a six-inch gash in his leg from a flying spike.

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