Originally posted by DertyDonahue: This debate is like the "who was a better player, Mantle or Mays?" question.
I respectfully disagree.
But, this should be a thread (Mantle vs. Mays), if it isn't already.
Willie Mays was HOF caliber in all 5 tools.
whats your argument for Mantle being better anyways?
Mantle was HOF caliber in all 5 tools as well. He was actually a faster runner than Mays. Mantle had amazing natural ability and there may be no hitter ever that had the power and speed that Mantle did. HOWEVER, Mays was clearly the better all around baseball player and got more out of his natural ability than Mantle did over an entire career.
Mays hit more HR, more RBIs, nearly 1000 more hits, more doubles, more triples, twice as many steals, struck out 200 less times, more runs scored, higher career batting avg, more assists, higher career offensive AND defensive WAR, and identical SLG% AND fielding % actually, which is really cool.
Mantle had him beat in OB%, but Mays was better. and power wise, Mantle hit the vast majority of his HR left handed at the short porched RF of Yankee stadium, whereas Mays played in some of the worst home conditions for power his whole career.
obviously both were legendary HOF players, its just that Mays was so great, i dont see that much of an argument from Mantle unless you just want to talk pure talent. clearly they both had all the natural ability in the world. power, speed, defensive play, throwing arm, batting eye, etc.
also, ill bring up something that may or may not mean anything. Mays played the first few years of his career in the big apple, but spent the bulk of his years out on the west coast, far away from the media circus. Mantle spent his entire career in the biggest spotlight in America, and played for a team known for producing legends. the fact that Mays is universally recognized today as the greatest all around baseball player who ever lived, from mostly an annex out West, instead of the New York Yankees golden boy of the 50's of very similar talent, tells you all you need to know about the greatness of Willie Mays.
btw John this was a general response to why the original poster thinks Mantle was better, not an argument against your post. i know you know how incredible Mays was.
mays played in 500+ more games than mantle, 2700 more atbats, so of course the numbers will be skewed towards mays.
mays hit .302, mantle hit .298, that is nearly identical.
mantle played on one bum knee his whole career, on two the last five and a half. yet he was still fast, played through pain and managed to steal bases and play good defense.
i never said i didnt think mays was incredible. read what i've posted. they had the same strengths, i give the nod to mantle because i think despite his playing with major injuries he still put up numbers comparable to mays in most categories despite 2700 less at bats. thats a ton of AB's.
my answer to all that is, "so what?" at the point when you play that many games, why does it count against Mays that he had more AB? Mantle played 18 seasons, Mays played 22. the fact that he was able to play 4 more years should help his case.
alot of what you said sounds exactly like someone whos side of the argument finishes 2nd statistically in almost every single category. "yeah but he had more talent. yeah but he had injuries. yeah but he had less AB's. yeah but...."
Mantle was great, Mays was greater. when youre talking about all these elite HOF guys, talent is a given. its the results that matter most, and Mays' results were more impressive than Mantles. WS titles are awesome, but those are team based accomplishments. if were talking player vs. player you have to throw that out.
Originally posted by Ninerjohn: What you dont give Dimaggio credit for is he hardly EVER stuck out. So, by putting the ball in play he gave himself many more chances for hits.
See, now you're bringing up something completely different.
Joe Dimaggio is one of the greatest baseball players to every play the game. He is a legend and his stats speak for themselves. At no point did I question Joe Dimaggio's talent or ability.
I just think that hitting in 56 consecutive games is an overrated accomplishment, given how much that "record" is romanticized by everyone.
All a hitting streak requires is that you obtain ONE HIT in every game. You could be a .250 hitter and still put together a prolonged hitting streak. Benito Santiago had a 34 game hitting streak lol. No one would consider him a guy who hits for average.
A hitting streak is a record of consistency. Like Cal Ripken's streak, it should be applauded to some extent, but placed in proper context.
Dimaggio didnt hit anywhere near .250 . He hit over .400 with 55 rbis in 56 games. His streak was magnificent. You keep saying that you could hit .250 and have a prolonged streak. Mathematically sure its possible but we all know that wont happen.
I love the way you just dream up in your mind what is overrated and what isnt. Again, no one has come WITHIN 12 GAMES of Dimaggio's streak. That speaks for itself. It was an incredible accomplishment and would be now if someone breaks it.
I don't think you're comprehending what I'm saying at all.
Joe Dimaggio’s Streak: 56 games (May 15-Jul 16 1941)
247 PA, 223 AB, 91 Hits .408/.463/.717
Let's take for instance a doubleheader on June 11, 1941. Joe Dimaggio went 1/4 in the first game, and went 1/4 in the second game. This was smack dab in the middle of his streak.
Imagine instead that Joe Dimaggio went 0/4 in the first game and 2/4 in the second game.
Guess WHAT. His performance in this 56 game stretch would have been EXACTLY EXACTLY as good as his performance during his hitting streak. He still, in that case, would have had an amazing 56 game stretch where he went .408/.463/.717. Except in this case, he wouldn’t have strung together 56 consecutive games with a hit.
No media coverage, no romanticizing the hitting streak, no making songs about Joe Dimaggio. His entire 56 game stretch in this instance would have been noticed by no one. Instead of winning the MVP in 1941, Dimaggio would have finished a distant second to Ted Williams.
And that’s funny to me, because in the scenario that I laid out, Joe Dimaggio would have had EXACTLY the same total production despite failing to hit safely in 56 consecutive games.
And that’s my contention. That hitting streaks are overrated. That STRINGING together consecutive games with a hit is an overrated accomplishment.
I totally understand what you are saying and you are wrong. AGAIN...no one has come within 12 games of this feat. PERIOD. All the great hitters, 162 games a year, and no one has come within 12 games. 56 in a row is a f**king amazing record. You obviously didnt play the game or you would know how hard it is to get hits in even 5 in a row.
Obviously the numbers would be the same in terms of total number of hits. However, that doesnt take anything away from the feat of 56 in a row. All you ever do is look at the numbers. Consider how difficult his achievement really was.
Hitting streaks are tough. Even the best hitters slump a few times during a season. That is the remarkable part about the record, that slumps tend to snowball... this debate and many others are compounded by the lack of video footage from that era of baseball, the "golden years" will forever remain romanticized because of this dearth of media.
I pick up what you guys are throwing down. Valid points on each side... this could almost be a point/counterpoint piece that high school atheletes would LIKE to read.
the hitless streak record is less impressive. if a player wanted to, he could set the record on purpose. it might take him being sent down, but when he gets back up, he can just keep it going. a record that anyone could break if they actually tried to isnt nearly impressive as a record that nobody can break, even trying their hardest.
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