Best first baseman of all time?

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by Babe_Ruth, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    Just like we did for Best catcher of all time, it's time to have best first baseman of all time. Who do you think is the best first baseman of all time and why? Once again please give me an explanation why you have chosen that player, if I don't like your reply, I have the write to delete your message.

    Discuss.
     

  2. mopeg

    mopeg Guest

    Thomas was referred to as the right-handed ted williams in his prime. he did this all against a league full of guys using steroids, and pitchers using steroids. His ugly decline phase has hurt his image as an alltime great hitter. still imo thomas from 90-97 was perhaps the greatest hitter the game ever seen, although Pujols is making a case for himself. Gehrig of course will win this poll, and while i have no problem with it, he's far from the easiest choice, IMO.
     
  3. Gehrig, hands down. As clear a choice as Babe Ruth in right field.

    I recently demoted Foxx from #2, where almost everyone else has him, to #4, because of his ridiculous home/road splits. I have Frank Thomas at #2, which is a lot higher than the vast majority of people have him, and Jeff Bagwell at #3. As for Pujols, Howard, Fielder, etc., they have a long way to go to earn their way into this conversation, and I'd frankly be astonished if any of those guys weren't on HGH--which is an absolute disqualifier, in my book.

    Like the above poster, I'm satisfied Thomas did it the honest way. That's why I've put him 2nd on a list of really, really great hitters, like Foxx, Murray, Killebrew, Greenberg, McCovey, etc.
     
  4. mopeg

    mopeg Guest

    jeff bagwell is an interesting choice. he certainly has a case as one of the 3 greatest firstbasemen ever. In Bagwell's case I suspect he at the very least used some form of steroids and hgh. he lost a huge amount of weight when steroid testing was put in place, and seemed to be out of baseball quickly after that. Pujols could very well be on HGH, but I hope not given that he's my favorite baseball player. Until something is proven, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
     
  5. Edgartohof

    Edgartohof Guest

    My list goes something like this:

    1. Lou Gehrig
    2. Jimmie Foxx

    3. Frank Thomas
    4. Jeff Bagwell

    They just seem to come in pairs don't they.

    #1 and #2 are from the '20's/'30's, and #3 and #4 are from the '90's/'00's. Doesn't really mean anything, just thought it was worth mentioning


    Hands down, it is Gehrig - really no other possibility.

    Though I have heard some throw in Musial to the mix as they feel that he should be rated at a 1Bman.

    But I have a couple problems with that.

    1. He played 1800+ games in the outfield and just over 1000 games at 1B. And the majority of the time spent in the outfield was in left field. So personally, I rank him as a Left Fielder.

    2. Even if I DID rank him at 1B, I would still have Gehrig ahead. While Musial had a lot more playing time, I feel that Gehrig's lead in OPS+, and credit for his untimely departure from the game, keep him ahead.

    Gehrig may have only had 14 full years, as compared to 21 full seasons for Musial, but I give him some extra credit. And Gehrig showed that when he DID play, he was better than Musial was. If you compare their OPS+ numbers through age 36 (Gehrig's last year), Musial had a 168 OPS+, whereas Gehrig had a 179 OPS+.

    It's not the largest gap imagineable, but an 11 point spread is decent enough. And I believe that without the disease, Gehrig would have continued to play at a high level until age 40+, thereby effectively closing the gap in playing time.
     
  6. Millz

    Millz Black 7! Staff Member V.I.P.

    Frank Thomas may have the biggest head in MLB outside of Bonds...how do we know he didnt take HGH too? ANd does it even matter? I bet 85% of ball players took it. I bet Bagwell did. And yes I'm just throwing stuff out there but I do believe most players were on something in the 90's.

    I agree with the Gehrig comments...I think we should have someone argue AGAINST Gehrig as that might be tougher to do.

    Stan Musial did play 1,016 games at first base so you could possibly put him in the discussion as I think he's underrated as far as the greatest players of all time go. Not that he's not mentioned, I just dont think he gets his just due. He's the greatest Cardinal of all time.

    .331 BA
    475 HRs
    1,951 RBIs
    .417 OBP
    OPS+ 159

    But like Edgartohof mentioned, Musial played more games in the outfield and Gehrig's ridiculous OPS+ of 179 is just, well, ridiculous. (By the way I see Musials OPS+ as 159, so it might be an even further gap there).

    .340 BA
    493 Hr's

    I dont need to go on any further. A guy like ALbert Pujols could possibly catch Musial and Gehrig one day but for now he's not even close.
     
  7. mopeg

    mopeg Guest

    frank thomas was always big. he was always for steroid testing well before the BALCO scandal. Back in the early-mid 90's thomas was complaining about the game being infested with juicers.
     
  8. Millz

    Millz Black 7! Staff Member V.I.P.

    True and Mark McGwire hit 49 homers as a rookie in 1987. So what?
     
  9. The_Kid

    The_Kid Sexy Beast

    1. Lou Gehrig - 1925-39 - No need to explain, probably as easy a choice as Ruth in RF.

    2. Jimmie Foxx - 1926-42, '44-45 - Lefty Gomez once said "He had muscles in his hair". Great slugger, the most dominate slugger of his era.

    3. George Sisler - 1915-30 - '20-22 - The greatest fielding first baseman ever, a few times called the greatest hitter ever by those who saw him.

    4. Bill Terry - 1924-36 - One of the greatest fielding first baseman ever since Sisler, great average man at the plate.

    5. Hank Greenberg - 1933-41, '45-47 - One of the greatest RBI men to play the game. Good glove.
     
  10. Millz

    Millz Black 7! Staff Member V.I.P.

    Good selections The Kid...I'll throw another one out there...

    Willie McCovey

    Batting average was a little low at .270 but he did hit 521 home runs, knocked in 1555 RBIS, and had an OPS+ of 147. Not talked about that much but was one hell of a slugger.
     

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