Why Oral Baseball History Tells a Better Story Than Sabermetrics

Editor’s note: Joe Guzzardi wrote this article, but I agree wholeheartedly. At least for me, the magic of baseball is in its history. Statistics tell only a part of the story.


I consider myself a middling baseball fan. Outside of the three teams I root for, the San Francisco Giants, the Oakland Athletics and my hometown Pittsburgh Pirates I really couldn’t tell you much about the 27 others. A possible exception would be the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox with which ESPN has a fawning, almost nauseating addiction to.

When pressed, I like to call myself a baseball historian who is much more engrossed in the sport’s rich past and its vital role in American culture than I am in the dry, day to day statistics. I never warmed up to Sabermetrics, and while acknowledging that it has a place, I candidly confess that I never made the slightest attempt to fathom it.

Accordingly, I was encouraged when baseball’s new official historian John Thorn recently admitted that he too finds the stories more compelling than the stats.

Think of it this way. If you and I are visiting on my front porch, which is more entertaining—a debate about linear weights as a measure of batting performance (I’m still not totally sure what that means) or my recounting the time I saw Mickey Mantle hit a 400 foot single? In a game against the Washington Senators, Mantle hit a ball off Chuck Stobbs so hard to center field that it hit the wall like a rocket that Whitey Herzog played it on the bounce before firing the ball to second baseman Pete Runnels.

This is not intended to disparage the creative and important analysis that many of my SABR colleagues have done and continue to do. But my interests lie elsewhere.

I’ll offer two reasons why I haven’t jumped on the Sabermetric bandwagon. First, my head doesn’t work that way. All those stats remind me of my college economics classes—you know, the Dismal Science.

But more importantly, for more than six decades I’ve watched a lot of baseball. I’ve seen teams that are long gone like those in the old Pacific Coast League or the Puerto Rican Winter League. And I’ve seen hundreds of Hall of Fame players who have passed.

You may not have seen them or possibly never heard of them. I like to think that my oral history may spark an interest in you to put the stats aside, at least for a while, to dig into the past.

I can imagine retelling my grandchildren my Mantle story. But I can’t for the life of me picture us sitting around the old hot stove while I reminisce about 2010,  the year Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young Award because he had the American League’s best Sabermetrics.

The Great Friday Link Out XI: On Saturday this week

Many apologies for this week’s link post being late. Here is some stuff worth reading:

  • The series Bill Miller and I are doing on good players for bad teams continues. I wrote the latest installment, on Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Philadelphia Phillies of the 1910s (link should be active at some point Saturday) and Bill wrote last week about Graig Nettles, who I never realized played a few early years with the Cleveland Indians.
  • Speaking of Bill, he wrote an open letter to controversial, former New York Times writer and current blogger Murray Chass and got a response. The exchange is worth checking out.
  • Something I’ve been meaning to mention: I’ve started doing a podcast. Fellow SABR member Paul Hirsch and I are doing a show each Sunday for Seamheads.com called “Baseball by the Bay.” The show runs 7-7:30 p.m. PST though it can be listened to anytime here. We mostly focus on the Giants and A’s, though we’ll be comparing all-time Bay Area lineups this week and discussing the pending demise of Cal’s baseball program. At some point, we’ll start having guests, too.
  • Joe Posnanski writes about players who went through a season without an intentional walk. Who’d have thought it would include Roger Maris when he hit 61 home runs in 1961 or Alex Rodriguez?
  • Interesting anecdote from a new Babe Ruth biography: Apparently the idea of a designated hitter was proposed in 1930, under the name Ten-Man Baseball, a full 43 years before Ron Blomberg became baseball’s first DH.
  • Standing Tall: Slim Love’s Rise from Bar Room to Big Leagues. I’m pretty much always impressed at the caliber of writing and research from this blogger and his original, quirky, historical topics, speaking as someone who generally aims for that here.

Any player/Any era: Ted Williams

What he did: In 1957, Ted Williams defied logic and baseball history up to his time. At 38, and nearing the end of his storied career, Williams almost had his finest season, hitting .388 with a slugging percentage of .731 and an OPS+ of 233. All three were American League bests, and Williams just missed his career highs from 1941 when he hit .406 with a slugging percentage of .735 and an OPS+ of 234. Williams used a heavier bat in 1957 than he’d wielded as a leaner, younger man and, whether for this or other reasons, he performed in stark contrast to other Hall of Famers. At 38, Babe Ruth was in decline. Hank Greenberg, Jimmie Foxx, and Joe DiMaggio were retired. Lou Gehrig was dead.

Ballplayers in general don’t peak or revitalize at so late an age, though it’s happened more in recent years, perhaps because of steroids. One need only look at Barry Bonds’ run from 2001 to 2004 when he hit 209 home runs with a .349 batting average and his four highest OPS+ scores. Rumors of Bonds’ chemical enhancement aside, I see at least a few parallels between him and Williams, what with their sometimes surly personalities, otherworldly talent, and unusual late career transformations from skinny young ballplayers to bulky sluggers. It makes me wonder how Williams might have fared at Bonds’ home in later seasons, AT&T Park.

Era he might have thrived in: We’re moving Williams to his native California in a time where he’d receive greater medical care, conditioning, and a ballpark seemingly built to let the left-hander pull home runs into the cove beyond the right field fence like no player besides Bonds. Williams would also get the chance to do something no one’s ever done– hit .400 just shy of age 40. Bonds may have been unreal in later seasons, but Williams wouldn’t be far off.

Why: Bonds probably has the edge in power, since he hit a record 73 of his 762 home runs in 2001, though he did it with a .328 batting average, below his career best clip the following year of .370. That’s excellent, of course, though because Williams hit .388 in 1957, a rather ordinary year for hitters, he’d do even better in the translation to 2001. The stat converter has Williams hitting .391 with 41 home runs and 89 RBI. His OPS of 1.269 would trail Bonds circa 2001 at 1.379, though differentiating those scores is like choosing between a Porsche and a Lamborghini.

San Francisco isn’t even the peak option for Williams in 2001. In Fenway Park in Boston, the hitters pinball machine Williams played in all his years in the majors, his 1957 season converts to a .412 batting average with 44 home runs and 101 RBI. Williams would have the opportunity to serve as a designated hitter in the modern American League, getting him out of left field where he didn’t fare much better than Bonds in later years. He’d also probably be an upgrade over Boston’s DH the majority of 2001, Manny Ramirez. His projected stats are certainly far better.

Still, for our purposes, I like San Francisco, and it would be a great challenge for Williams, enough of a fighter to serve in two wars and battle the Boston media in between.

Any player/Any era is a Thursday feature here that looks at how a player might have done in an era besides his own.

Others in this series: Albert Pujols, Babe Ruth, Bad News Rockies, Barry Bonds, Bob Caruthers, Bob Feller, Bob Watson, Denny McLain, Dom DiMaggio, Frank Howard, Fritz MaiselGeorge CaseHarmon Killebrew, Harry Walker, Home Run Baker, Ichiro Suzuki, Jack Clark, Jackie Robinson, Jimmy Wynn, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny FrederickJosh HamiltonKen Griffey Jr., Lefty O’Doul, Matty Alou, Michael Jordan, Nate Colbert, Paul Derringer, Pete Rose, Prince Fielder, Ralph Kiner, Rickey Henderson, Roberto Clemente, Sam Thompson, Sandy KoufaxShoeless Joe Jackson, Stan Musial, The Meusel BrothersTy Cobb, Willie Mays

Ted Williams Remembers His Old San Diego Padres

The Los Angeles that I grew up in during the 1950s was a place so beautiful that I can hardly believe it ever existed.

So few people lived in Los Angeles that it could easily be called a small town. The beaches were unspoiled and empty. Slightly inland, orange grove and eucalyptus trees were everywhere.

Today Los Angeles is ruined, killed by too many people and too much cement.

As beautiful as Los Angeles was back then when my family wanted to vacation in a truly magnificent spot, we went to San Diego.

I’ve always associated the Padres not with the current version but with the San Diego team that played in the old Pacific Coast League and challenged my beloved Hollywood Stars.

Ted Williams was the premier Padre.

In his contribution to a wonderful collection of essays published 1995 by the Journal of San Diego History, Williams shared his recollections about the early days of his Padres’ career from 1936-1937 before he was called up by the Boston Red Sox.

Williams as quoted in the article “This Was Paradise,”

I remember my first at-bat for the Padres. The manager, Frank Shellenback, sent me in to pinch hit and I took three strikes right down the middle. Didn’t even swing. Then he sent me in to pitch one night and I got hit like I was throwing batting practice. But that first time I pitched I also hit — and I hit a double, I pitched two innings, and the next time up I hit a double. And then I was in the lineup. I went over to Lefty O’Doul one day and I said, ‘What do I have to do to be a good hitter?’ He said, ‘Kid, don’t ever let anybody change you.

That 1937 team was a good composite team: young, old, former big league players, good leadership under Frank Shellenback (the nicest man I ever met in baseball). Why we didn’t win it I don’t know. There was no friction. Did we win the playoffs in ’37? (Editor’s note: Yes!)

Lane Field was an old wooden ballpark, nice park for a lefthanded hitter, and the ball carried pretty good. We played a lot of day games. I enjoyed  guys like Herm Pillette (the old pitcher), Howard Craghead, Jimmy Kerr (the catcher), George Myatt, Bobby Doerr . . .

There was no particular pressure on me playing in San Diego. I didn’t know what pressure was. I was nervous–not because I was born there, but because it was a whole new experience playing before crowds, professional baseball. San Diego was the nicest little town in the world. How the hell was I to know it was the nicest town in the world? I’d never been anyplace.

Readers interested in learning more about the Pacific Coast League should sign up for Richard Beverage’s Pacific Coast League Historical Society. Annual membership dues of $15 includes a subscription to the “Potpourri” newsletter. Write to Richard Beverage, PCLHS, 420 Robinson Circle, Placentia, CA 92870 or email him here.

Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? Moises Alou

Claim to fame: A member of perhaps the largest extended family of major leaguers, Moises Alou is not only the son of Felipe and nephew of Matty and Jesus, but also the cousin of pitchers Mel Rojas and Jose Sosa.  Although a lifetime .303 hitter and a six-time All-Star in a lengthy career with seven NL clubs, Alou might be best known for flailing his arms and beseeching the left field umpire that he was denied an opportunity to catch a foul pop-up in the 2003 playoffs – the infamous Bartman incident.

Current Hall of Fame eligibility: Alou last played in 2008.  His name will first appear on the BBWAA ballot in January of 2014.

Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? Among all players named Alou, his .369 OBP and .516 SLG are tops.  His BA was bettered only slightly by Matty at .307.  Moises hit more homers than his father and two uncles combined, by a wide margin.  Moises of course benefited from playing during the hitter-friendly 90s, while Felipe, Matty, and Jesus played a generation earlier, enduring the pitcher-dominated 60s.  Even era-adjusted, however, most would consider Moises as the best hitting Alou.  But being the best in the family – even a large and distinguished family – does not necessarily open the gates to Cooperstown.

Alou twice finished third in MVP voting, and his career WAR is good, but certainly not stellar, at 38.2.  Alou’s 332 home runs rank 93rd all-time.  That puts him ahead of Hall of Famers Hank Greenberg, Gary Carter, and Al Simmons, but behind Gary Gaetti, Matt Williams, and Joe Carter, none of whom is likely to be headed to the Hall.  Perhaps more impressive, Alou ranks 68th in career slugging percentage, ahead of insiders Willie McCovey, Eddie Mathews, and Harmon Killebrew, but behind outsiders Kevin Mitchell, Hal Trosky, and Mo Vaughan.  What’s more, Alou once led the majors in grounding into double plays, a dubious achievement, although one that never weighed too heavily against Jim Rice.  As a Hall of Fame candidate, Alou falls in the grey area – not clearly in, not necessarily out.

Recently, the case for Jim Edmonds was presented in “Does He Belong in the Hall of Fame?”  Edmonds’ and Alou’s careers spanned approximately the same years, and their batting stats are broadly similar (slight edge to Edmonds).  In the field, however, Alou lacked the defensive sparkle (and appropriately his trophy case lacks the hardware) for which Edmonds is known.  If you’re for Edmonds, you might or might not be for Alou.  If you’re against Edmonds, you’re probably against Alou, too.

As a member of baseball’s class of 2008, Alou will not be the most impressive player on the 2014 ballot, which will be rich with first-timers.  All-time great Greg Maddux is a certain first-ballot inductee who will probably be named by all but the most persnickety of voters.  Jeff Kent might also get in on the first ballot, but if not, he will certainly collect a large number of votes.  So will Tom Glavine, Luis Gonzalez, Mike Mussina, and Frank Thomas.  Worse for Alou, the 2007 class is also strong (Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Kenny Lofton, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling). Throw in the possibility that in 2014 most of those players (I’m guessing Bonds, Clemens, Lofton, and Schilling) could be holdovers from the 2013 ballot, and it becomes clear that Alou might be feeling the squeeze in 2014.

Alou had a strong enough career that he deserves the consideration and debate that a long tenure on the HOF ballot would provide.  It will be an injustice if he immediately falls below the 5% cutoff due to the misfortune of retiring in the same year as Maddux, Kent, Mussina and others.

Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? is a Tuesday feature here.

Others in this series: Adrian Beltre, Al OliverAlbert Belle, Barry Larkin, Bert Blyleven, Billy Martin, Cecil TravisChipper Jones, Closers, Dan Quisenberry, Darrell Evans, Dave ParkerDon Mattingly, Don NewcombeGeorge Steinbrenner, George Van Haltren, Harold Baines, Jack Morris, Jim Edmonds, Joe Carter, Joe Posnanski, John Smoltz, Juan Gonzalez, Keith Hernandez, Ken Caminiti, Larry WalkerMaury WillsMel HarderPete Browning, Phil Cavarretta, Rafael Palmeiro, Roberto Alomar, Rocky Colavito, Ron Guidry, Ron Santo, Smoky Joe Wood, Steve Garvey, Ted Simmons, Thurman MunsonTim Raines, Will Clark

10 things I love about baseball

1. Hot Dogs: Hot Dogs never taste as good as when you eat them at a ball park.

2. Girls: I have noticed that there often a surprising number of good looking girls at ball games.  By the middle innings of a game on a hot summer afternoon, they are often barefoot, scantily clad, and sweaty.  This is where sex and baseball come together, an unbeatable combination.

3. Camaraderie: Sitting in a pub with a ball game on, striking up a conversation with the guy sitting next to you.  You’ve never met before, but you form an instant bond over the fact that you both think Johnny Damon looks like a hairless monkey and throws like a girl.

4. Strategy: Sitting (I do too much sitting) along the third base line, or on my couch at home, explaining to my son why the shortstop is cheating over towards second base with a runner on first.  Or why the sacrifice bunt is for losers.

5. Babe Ruth: Only baseball could have produced the Sultan of Swat.  Hercules, P.T. Barnum and a scruffy, profane street kid all rolled up in one.  If he’d never actually existed, we would have had to pay Studs Terkel big bucks to invent him.

6. Countdown to Opening Day: My kids have the twelve days of Christmas (actually more like 45) to build up the anticipation of their favorite holiday.  My countdown to Opening Day begins as soon as the first snow hits the ground.  Then, as Rogers Hornsby said, I just stare out the window and wait for spring.

7. Baseball Cards: I don’t buy as many as I used to, but I still get the same rush of anticipation every time I open a new pack.  The contents of most packs are pretty standard and predictable (Derek Lowe, Astros Team Checklist, Joe Girardi manager card,) but once in a while, you find a real gem.

8. Baseball Movies: I wait for those hot July summer nights, crack open a beer, and watch The Natural, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, or whatever baseball movie I’m in the mood for. They’re all more than a little corny (and I don’t think the definitive baseball movie has yet been made) but they help top off the baseball rapture in my soul.

9. Box Scores: I love those little bastards.  They say so much by saying so little.  An entire game reduced to little rows of numbers about the size of a paragraph.  Halladay:  9 IP – 2 H – O ER – 0 BB – 7 K’s.  Just beautiful.

10. Playing Catch: Tossing the ball around, hitting fungoes, watching my kid rope a vicious line drive into the parking lot for a ground rule double.  This is as good as it gets for a middle-aged American male.

Predictions for the 2011 baseball season

1.  Los Angeles Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully will, for the first time in memory, actually talk about the game at hand, foregoing his usual distracting, infuriating and irrelevant digressions about anything and everything. He will also finally be assigned a color commentator, someone who will keep Vin focused and lucid. Vin will now be unable to digress about the use of the number three in ancient Rome or the day mankind first walked upright.

2.  The Texas Rangers will trade Michael Young hoping that their new multi-million dollar third baseman, Adrian Beltre, will play at least 80 games and hit .260 with 10 homeruns and 60 RBI. He won’t. At least not until the final year of his current contract. Michael Young will go on to win a batting title and the “best guy in the clubhouse” award for his new team. Texas will then try and trade for a player who is a good influence, plays hard and hits .300. Someone like Michael Young.

3.  The Pittsburgh Pirates will win 30 games by November 1. Also, Pedro Alvarez will raise his average vs. lefties to .130 and strike out only 300 times.  Pittsburgh, stating their new and sure-to-work philosophy, will fire manager Clint Hurdle saying that he is too outgoing and express a desire to hire a manager who is quiet and unemotional. Ryan Doumit will be the new Pirate shortstop, management citing a lack of offense from that position the previous season. The Pirates will then move to Heinz Field citing winning traditions and fan support.

4.  It will be revealed that Bryce Harper is really 60 years old and has already hit 900 homeruns, his best season being 1969 when he hit 80 homeruns for the Montreal Expos. It is then revealed that this record may be tainted as his consumption of Canadian beer gave him the strength of ten while not increasing his hat or shoe size. It is also revealed that Harper has the same last name as the Canadian prime minister, forcing him to change his name to Bud Selig III. A statue in Bud’s likeness will be erected and displayed in Bryce Canyon the new home of Harper and the Oakland A’s.

5.  The New York Mets will be sold to Albert Pujols who will become the first active player to make $40 million per game and own his own team. Pujols will complain that the Mets players make too much money and will sell every player on the team and play for both the Cardinals and Mets. Bud Selig will declare this change of ownership to be in the best interests of the game but insist that Pujols must bat left handed three times each game. The new Mets owner will then lock himself out rather than sign a new collective bargaining agreement and hire Tim McCarver as his media spokesperson. By day, Pujols, will talk, act, and look more and more like embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi. And play like him, too.

6.  FOX will broadcast a game which lasts under four hours. Also, FOX will broadcast a game which does not feature the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees. FOX will broadcast a game which will, finally, completely fill the screen with painfully obvious information and which will enable the viewer to see nothing of the actual game. The games themselves will be shortened to two non consecutive innings to allow FOX to feature even more commercials and reveal their exciting new, completely unrelated to baseball programming, all starring Joe Buck as himself.

Slugging Smead Jolley and the San Francisco Seals

I’ll travel anywhere, anytime to debate anyone that no player in organized baseball has ever had four better back-to-back-to-back-to-back offensive seasons than Smead Jolley.

The issue is beyond dispute. Playing for the Pacific Coast League San Francisco Seals from 1926 to 1929, Jolley batted .346, .397, .404, and .387 with 138 homers in the four years. His .397 led the league in hitting in 1927 and his 163 RBIs led the PCL. In 1928, Jolley led in almost every offensive category to win the Triple Crown (.404, 45 homers, and 188 RBIs).

Readers inclined to dismiss Jolley’s Herculean feats as the stuff of watered down minor league pitching should remember that the PCL’s quality was always considered to be just a notch below the bigs.

Over his sixteen year minor league career, Jolley hit .367 and won two additional batting titles with the Texas League’s Corsicana Oilers.

Astonishingly, in 1928 and 1929 Jolley played in 191 and 200 games while batting 765 and 812 times and recording a mind-boggling 309 and 314 hits. Throughout the PCL’s history, very long seasons were common. Since the players were paid by the week and could often earn more in the PCL than in the big leagues, many of them preferred to stay on the West Coast where both the money and the weather were better.

The rap on Jolley was that while he could hit, he couldn’t field worth a lick. Jolley, while acknowledging that his fielding left plenty to be desired, took umbrage at the intensity of the criticism direct at him.

Jolley eventually made his way to the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox where he hit a solid .305 during his four years from 1930 to 1933. But, in 788 chances with the two Sox teams, Jolley made 44 errors for a .944 fielding average.

In an interesting footnote to his career, Jolley’s last game pitted him against Babe Ruth who, since the Yankees had lost the pennant to the Washington Senators, decided to pitch. Jolley went one-for-five while Ruth hung on for a 6-5 win.

In 2003, the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame elected Jolley.

According to an excellent essay written by my Society for American Baseball Research colleague Bill Nowlin, after baseball Jolley worked for many years as a house painter for the Alameda (California) Housing Authority. When he died in 1991, Jolley’s ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean not far from where he performed his incomparable slugging for the Seals.

The Great Friday Link Out X

  • On a serious note, to anyone who hasn’t seen it, there was an 8.9 earthquake in Japan and tsunami warnings and advisories are in effect for the West Coast. Here is a map of the effected areas.

Baseball articles worth reading:

Any player/Any era: Matty Alou

What he did: The 1960s was bleak for hitters, a decade where pitchers dominated and offensive numbers were at arguably their lowest point since the Deadball Era. One of the great forgotten bats of this time is Matty Alou. His career batting average of .307 won’t get him in Cooperstown, and his OPS+ of 105 rises just above mediocrity, thanks to his limited power and ability to get on-base (he hit 31 home runs lifetime and never walked 50 times in a season.) For a few years, however, Alou approached Roberto Clemente, Pete Rose, and maybe a few others as baseball’s best hitter. Like those men, he might have hit .400 in a different era.

Era he might have thrived in: Alou started off his career as a platoon player for the San Francisco Giants and subsequently did his best work as a Pittsburgh Pirate at vast Forbes Field, which may have suited him as a contact hitter. Thus, we’ll give Alou another large stadium in a far superior offensive age to the one he played in. We’re making him a New York Yankee in 1998. On a team that somehow won 114 games and the World Series with starting left fielder Chad Curtis hitting .243, Alou would make it still better.

Why: Admittedly, many players may have been an upgrade over Curtis in 1998. How he started for the Yankees is beyond me, his WAR of 2.7 being just above replacement level, his OPS+ of 90 the worst of any Yankee starter. Though his team scored 965 runs, Curtis batted in just 56. He also had the worst batting average, slugging percentage, and number of home runs. In baseball history, Curtis has to be one of the worst starters on a great team, though perhaps he offered something that doesn’t come through in stats. I do admire Curtis for being one of the few players to speak out against steroids at the height of their popularity in baseball. He’d be the kind of veteran presence I’d want in my clubhouse.

Alou might not match Curtis’s fielding, as he posted negative defensive WAR rankings ten of his 15 seasons. But his bat would almost certainly be more than enough to compensate. The stat converter on Baseball-Reference.com has Alou’s 1968 season, where he hit .332 in the Year of the Pitcher, translating to a .380 clip for the ’98 Yankees. His 1969 year, where he led the National League with 231 hits, would be good for a record 265 hits on the ’98 Yankees to go with a .362 batting average and 129 runs. He’d be like Ichiro Suzuki minus the glove, and either converted season would easily give him the AL batting title over teammate Bernie Williams, who somehow won it that year hitting .339.

Seeing as Alou had WARs of 5.2 and 4.7 in ’68 and ’69 respectively, the thought here is that he would give the Yankees another 2-3 wins. And he’d probably do more in the playoffs than Curtis, who only played in the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians and went 0-5 over two games. The net result would be the same, of course, with the Yankees still triumphing in the World Series, so maybe this wouldn’t make any major difference to them. But for Alou, who received 1.3 percent of the Hall of Fame vote his only year on the writers ballot in 1980, it could lead to much more.

Any player/Any era is a Thursday feature here that looks at how a player might have done in an era besides his own.

Others in this series: Albert Pujols, Babe Ruth, Bad News Rockies, Barry Bonds, Bob Caruthers, Bob Feller, Bob Watson, Denny McLain, Dom DiMaggio, Frank Howard, Fritz MaiselGeorge CaseHarmon Killebrew, Harry Walker, Home Run Baker, Ichiro Suzuki, Jack Clark, Jackie Robinson, Jimmy Wynn, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny FrederickJosh HamiltonKen Griffey Jr., Lefty O’Doul, Michael Jordan, Nate Colbert, Paul Derringer, Pete Rose, Prince Fielder, Ralph Kiner, Rickey Henderson, Roberto Clemente, Sam Thompson, Sandy KoufaxShoeless Joe Jackson, Stan Musial, The Meusel BrothersTy Cobb, Willie Mays